Dwolla Passes $1 Million In Transactions Per Day Milestone

Payment platform Dwolla has been circulating around news headlines lately, and for good 


reason. The startup recently announced that it is processing more than one million dollars in transactions per day. This news comes just seven months after launching its service and three months after achieving one million dollars in transactions per month.
Location: Des Moines, IA
Funding: $1.31 million
Founded: June 2008
Users: 20,000
Business Model: Dwolla charges merchants 25 cents per transaction.
User Experience
There are multiple ways to pay using Dwolla. The following scenario walks through the user experience of purchasing a coffee.
1) After establishing a profile, enter your bank account information. Here’s the email that describes how to verify your bank account:


2) Transfer funds from your bank account into your new Dwolla account. Dwolla confirms that funds are now available:

Dwolla Funds.jpg

3) Find a business that accepts Dwolla payments. Dwolla Spots (mobile and online) locates a business near you, like this coffee shop:
3) To purchase your coffee, tell the cashier you’ll be paying with Dwolla. Find and select the merchant on Dwolla Spots, then enter your PIN and the payment amount.
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4) Review the payment amount and send the money to the merchant. 
IMG_0110.PNG5) The merchant completes the transaction using a Dwolla “Kiosk” on an iPhone, Android, Windows 7, or computer with a wi-fi connection. Here’s what it looks like from their side:


That’s it. There’s no dirty cash or digging out a credit card. And for the merchant, there is no extra hardware necessary and no need to store credit card information.
To learn more, check out Dwolla’s website or FinovateSpring 2011 demo.

Currensee’s Trade Leaders Program Now Available to China’s 450 Million Internet Users

Currensee, a Boston-based startup that provides an online trading platform for world 


currencies, recently launched its Trade Leaders program in China. The Trade Leaders program allows investors of all ability levels to automatically copy the currency trades of the highest-performing investors on Currensee’s platform. As part of this expansion, the company is launching a dedicated website to serve the Chinese market — www.currensee.hk
Why is Currensee expanding to China?
  • It’s a huge potential market: China has 450 million Internet users and it is the second largest economy in the world. 
  • Investing is increasingly popular: Retail currency trading in China has grown 112% in the last 3 years to almost $20 billion in trading volume per day. 
  • Currensee’s performance is beating the Chinese stock market: From January to June 2011, Trade Leaders delivered returns of 33.5%. Compare this to the Heng Seng Index’s 2.94% return and the Shanghai Composite Index’s 2.39% loss during the same time.
  • Plus Currensee’s Trade Leaders program already has a foothold there: Three of Currensee’s 15 Trade Leaders are from China.
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Currensee’s Profile
  • Founded: 2008 (Its Trade Leaders Program began in fall 2010) 
  • Located: Boston, MA
  • Total Funding: $16.8 million from North Bridge Venture Partners, Egan-Managed Capital, and Vernon & Park Capital
  • Assets Under Management:  $12 million (50% is the result of existing customers increasing their investments)
More Info

Alumni News — Week of July 25, 2011

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Clairmail chose Jigsaw’s Data Cloud to help its mobile banking client improve marketing and receive more leads. During vendor trials it saw an increase in productivity, response rates, sales, and marketing effectiveness. Link

Clovr Media 
Boston Business Journal reported that Clovr Media is preparing for the launch of its credit 


card-linked offers at the end of the fourth quarter by hiring 12 new staff members. Link
Confident Technologies
Confident Technologies released a two-factor mobile phone authentication platform that requires the user to memorize images. Because this second factor security is not stored on the user’s device, it mitigates the opportunity for Zeus-in-the-middle attacks. Link
The Forbes blog looks at Currensee for social foreign exchange investing, paying special attention to its rapid growth rate. Link
The Entrepreneur blog compared doxo’s document storage and online payment system to PayPal, citing that the cost to collect payment is less than half of a typical PayPal transaction. Link
The Pittsburgh Business Times interviewed Jeff Mullen, CEO of Dynamics, Inc on the naming of the company. Link
  • The Forbes blog looked at eToro for social foreign exchange investing, paying special attention to its rapid growth rate. Linketoro.jpg
  • The World Finance Awards selected eToro as Best Social Trading Network, Best Mobile Trading Platform, and Best Trading Software Provider. Link
Geezeo was selected by The Coca-Cola Family Credit Union to provide a PFM solution and integrated marketing platform. Link
Ideon Financial Solutions
Ideon Financial Solutions was granted a patent for its Choice Savings technology, a system that allows financial institutions to provide their clients with a variety of customizable savings products. Link
Identity Theft 911
Identity Theft 911 partnered with Arabella Protection Insurance Company to offer commercial data breach services like preparedness and response. Link
TechCrunch reported that Intuit launched a QuickBooks mobile app for the Android that 


allows small businesses to access their data from QuickBooks Pro, Online, and Premier. Link
Lending Club 
  • American Consumer News provided a comparison guide for borrowers and lenders to Prosper’s and Lending Club’s services. The benefits included high rates of return and flexibility. Link
  • Brian Wong’s Database blog looked at what its like to invest in Lending Club. He presented his opinion on the usability of the service. Link
EverBank, a $7 billion Internet bank, announced that it is seeking to be an early adopter of Metavante’s customer information management product, a product that was built from the Temenos Core Banking Platform, a result of the partnership formed in 2007. Link
NEFCU added a mobile app for the Android, using mFoundry’s technology to offer account balances, check history, transfers, and bill pay. This is in addition to its existing apps for Blackberry and the iPhone. Link
1st Advantage Federal Credit Union, a major Virginia credit union, announced that it will use


 Micronotes’ cross-sell engine, KulaX, to improve lead generation. Link
American Consumer News provided a comparison guide for borrowers and lenders to Prosper’s and Lending Club’s services. The benefits included high rates of return and flexibility. Link
Syphr was among 6 out of 90 fintech companies selected by the Fintech Innovation Lab who will present their innovations to Wall Street venture capitalists. Link

Standard Chartered Bank Goes Mobile With Apple

Standard Chartered, a heavyweight in the banking industry with 80,000 employees in over 70 

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countries and territories, was recently featured on Apple’s website. An entire page in the iPad Customer Stories section highlights the bank’s innovative use of the iPad and iPhone.  A three-minute video describes why Standard Chartered chose Apple and how the technology benefits employees and clients. 
Mobile apps
Standard Chartered has developed more than a dozen in-house iPhone apps that employees and customers can download through an internal app store called The Standard Chartered App Centre. Here are a few highlights:
For Consumers: 
  • Breeze: A suite of mobile banking and lifestyle applications.Thumbnail image for AppleIMG2.1.jpg
  • FX Rates: A continuously refreshed, holistic view of exchange rates for currency traders (pictured on right).

For Employees:

  • Straight2Bank: A mobile authorization app that gives corporate treasurers better control over transactions. 
  • TradePort: An iPhone app that enables Trade Finance Relationship Managers to securely perform and monitor trades on the go.
  • iNeeds: An iPad app that allows bank Relationship Managers to organize clients by using customized profiles. It can also be used as an interaction platform to explain the benefits of products such as savings accounts or mortgages, which will ultimately lead to up-selling and/or cross-selling more products.
In addition to the security that’s already built into the iPad and iPhone, Standard Chartered also uses:


  • Restricted VPN access for internal systemsExchange servers to remotely wipe data from lost or stolen items
  • Consumer confirmation of ATM activity using text messaging to complete transactions
What’s Next?
Standard Chartered has started using location-based services and is in the midst of creating a profound user experience by introducing augmented reality.
More Information

Balance Financial Launches Certified Pro

Last week Balance Financial launched a second service, Certified Pro, a new version of its 


billpay service. It’s a mix of financial software, training, and tech support that allows Balance’s advisory clients a way to offer personalized services to end users. 
While it’s designed primarily for professional bookkeepers and wealth managers, it also has a version geared toward financial advisors and CPAs.  Pricing is $49 to $199/mo depending on the version; there is also a free, view-only option.
Certified Pro Services
  • Initial and ongoing software training
  • Co-branding that includes a branded sign-up page for end users
  • Marketing support to generate new leadsIMG2.jpg
  • Tech support
  • Bill payment services
  • Document storage that organizes all client-related files in one place
The service is currently in beta and is being used by selected wealth managers.
More Information

Alumni News — Week of July 18, 2011

AOL’s Daily Finance highlighted Chargesmart’s secondary gift card market that allows 


consumers to pay for bills in exchange for gift cards. Link
Family Wealth Report stated that CheckFree is leading the way in UMA processing. Link
Credit Karma 
  • CBS Money Watch discussed Credit Karma’s data on America’s debt. Link
  • Fox Business News listed Credit Karma’s credit score simulator tool as a 15-minute fix for your credit score. Link
Practical Ecommerce listed doxo as one of 17 apps for productivity. Link
  • Dwolla hit $1 million in payments per day and Ben Milne, CEO, shared a sneak peak of future plans. Link
  • Ace Community Credit Union provided customers with access to Dwolla through its site.
  • Dwolla CEO Ben Milne explained why starting a business in Iowa isn’t hard. Link
  • Dwolla introduced a new Autoload feature. Link
  • Dwolla was listed on The Next Web as one of eight awesome ways to pay with your phone. Link
eToro Partners began testing a new foreign exchange affiliate tool called Custom Links. Link
  • The Info.rmatics blog testified to Expensify’s ease of use. Link
  • ipCommerce showcased Expensify’s innovation. Link


Mango Money added GoalMine to its list of services. Link
HelpMyCash revamped its website to be more consumer-friendly. Link
IDTheft 911
Barnstable County Mutual Insurance Company selected Identity Theft 911 for its LifeStages service. Link
iPay Technologies 
TechCrunch reported that Bill Ready, former President of iPay Technologies, joined Accel Partners as an Executive in Residence. Link
Lending Club 
  • ATM Options discussed seven good reasons to invest through Lending Club. Link
  • Netbanker discussed Lending Club’s record high growth. Link
  • Lendio added TAB Bank to its network of lenders. Link
  • Reuters reported that Swift Capital and Lendio partnered to help small businesses. Link


  • American Banker considered Bank of America’s recent investment in mFoundry. Link
  • Credit Union Journal discussed Colombia Credit Union’s adoption of mFoundry’s mobile banking. Link
  • Mint.com introduced a manual transactions feature for its iPhone app. Link
  • TechCrunch reported Mint.com’s debut of a new feature that tracks bills and sends reminders. Link
  • Monitise signed over 6,000 users in Nigeria to a mobile payments trial. Link
  • TechMarketView discussed Monitise’s financial success. Link
Yahoo! Finance reported peerTransfer’s growth in international student payment processing. Link
  • Netbanker discussed Prosper’s record high growth. Link
  • Prosper raised its interest rates by 2.5 percent. Link
SmartyPig introduced its back-to-school cash giveaway contest. Link
ThreatMetrix announced its upcoming user conference October 9th through 10th. Link
TradeKing launched a new video series to help consumers understand options trading. Link


Oregonlive.com described Tyfone as a major player in mobile payments. Link
Forex Promos shared an interview with Mike Sha, Wikinvest CEO. Link
Reuters reported that Xero agreed to acquire Paycycle, a payroll company. Link

Wealth Building Tips and Strategies blog shared Zecco’s options trading video series. Link
ZimpleMoney adjusted its services in response to the Dodd-Frank reform. Link

Finovate Alumni Chosen for Institutional Investor’s Tech 50

Institutional Investor’s Tech 50 List ranks technological leaders and innovators in the financial 

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industry. It includes nominations and input from industry experts and is finalized by the editors and staff of Institutional Investor who assess the nominees on 4 attributes:
  • Experience and contributions over the course of a career
  • Scope and complexity of responsibilities 
  • Influence and leadership inside and outside one’s organization
  • Technological innovation or achievement
Below are the three Finovate alum chosen for this year’s Tech 50 list.

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Founded: 2007

Located: New Orleans, LA with offices in New York
Funding: $29.8 million from Fidelity Ventures, Prism VentureWorks, RedPoint Ventures, and Bain Capital Ventures
Market: Online Accounts Receivable Trading
FinovateFall 2010 Demo
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Founded: 1969
Located: Worldwide with headquarters in Singapore
Market: Global Bank
FinovateFall 2010 Demo


Founded: 2003
Located: Paris
Market: Online Trading and Investments
FinovateEurope 2011 Demo
More Information

AlphaClone’s Sentiment Scores: More Than a Feeling

Last week, AlphaClone introduced a new feature called sentiment scores which tracks changes in aggregate holdings of individual stocks within mutual fund portfolios * 


Sentiment Scores are listed on users’ Current Clone Portfolio (see image below) and Stock View Pages. Note how the numbers are color-coordinated with sentiment:
    • Green when bullish 
    • Red when bearish 
    • Black when there is no change
AlphaCloneIMG1.jpgThe Scores can also be viewed in a bar graph that displays quarterly sentiment scores over time (see screenshot below). Data can be retrieved as far back as 2000. 
AlphaClone IMG2.jpg
For more information, check out their blog posts here and here and their Finovate Startup09 demo.
*The sentiment score is derived from taking the total market value in a stock and dividing it by the sum of the market values of all holdings. As an example, AlphaClone provides the following: 
“…if 30 out of 300 funds own AAPL with a combined total market value in AAPL of $15 billion and the total market values for all holdings across all 300 funds is $2 trillion, AAPL’s Sentiment score would be ($15/$2000) x 1000 or 7.50.”

Guardian Analytics Adds Security Expert to Your Team

FraudDESK, released July 13th by Guardian Analytics, adds an experienced fraud analyst to


 your team without having to hire or train anyone. A staff member from Guardian Analytics is assigned to monitor customers’s online transactions using FraudMAP software (see screenshot below).

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Founded: 2005
Location: Los Altos, CA
Funding: $25.8 million from Foundation Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Split Rock Partners
Market: Security

FraudDESK Capabilities
  • Proactively monitors every online banking session for all customer accounts 
  • Monitors Transactions and investigates suspicious activity 
  • Detects anomalies and informs FI of likely account takeover and payments fraud before money is lost
  • Provides weekly reports that summarize risk-related trends, analyst activity, and the status of cases in process. The reports also help the FI understand online usage trends and consumer behavior.

More Information

Alumni News — Week of July 11, 2011


Last week, AlwaysOn released its 2011 AlwaysOn Global 250 Top Private Companies List that represents the top emerging companies Worldwide. Twelve Finovate Alumni were selected:
  • BillFloat
  • Bling Nation
  • Boku
  • Cardlytics
  • ClairMail
  • Expensify
  • IDAnalytics
  • Lending Club
  • SecondMarket
  • Wikinvest
  • Wonga
  • Yodlee
In other Alumni News:
Aptys Solutions

Aptys Solutions.jpg

Aptys Solutions announced that the ACH functionality in its PayLogics payment platform provides same-day settlement. Link 
Balance Financial
  • Balance Financial launched Balance Certified Pro, a new software that is geared toward professionals. Link
  • Balance Financial released an iPhone App. Link
TechCrunch reported that BillGuard’s “Anti-virus for Bills” is now completely free for users. Link
CNNMoney’s article, Simplify Your Retirement Savings, pointed to BrightScope to provide a clear understanding of retirement savings. Link
ChargeSmart announced that its Bill Payments customers can now pay many of their utility bills with an American Express card. Link
Continuity Control
Continuity Control raised $1.1 million in financing from convertible promissory notes and warrants. Link


The Miami Herald reported that Cortera’s Risk Data and Reporting is now an SAP-endorsed business solution. Link
Cortal Consors
Institutional Investor ranked Oliver Le Grand, CEO of Cortal Consors, number 13 of 50 in its Tech 50 ranking of financial tech leaders and innovators. Link
Credit Karma
Credit Karma’s new feature, Credit Alerts is available for free to the first 200 people to click the link. Link
Credit Sesame
The Hands On Home Buyer blog recommended Credit Sesame for its interactive property taxes tool. Link
The Business Insider reported that Currensee plans to launch its Trade Leaders program in China. Link
  • The E-News publication, Business Record, commented on Dwolla’s positive impact on Iowa’s startup culture. Link
  • Financial Plus Credit Union adopted Dwolla’s FiSync integration. Link
Dynamics revealed its angel investors in Series A and Series B funding rounds. Link
Guardian Analytics
  • American Banker reported that Guardian Analytics is planning to launch an outsourced fraud prevention service that will help financial institutions meet new FFIEC guidelines. Link
  • Guardian Analytics introduced its FraudDESK service to provide fraud analytics support to financial institutions. Link
  • Guardian Analytics is hosting a free webinar on Tuesday that will explore FFIEC guidance. Link
iPay Technologies
iPay Technologies helped Generations Community Federal Credit Union increase bill pay adoption and its number of transactions. Link
Lending Club
  • San Francisco ABC News Channel 7 explained the benefits of P2P loans from Lending Club. Link
  • Finextra news blog discussed Lending Club’s success. Link
  • American Banker reported that, in June, Lending Club saw an increase of 7% in loans originated that totaled a record $20 million. Link
Lodo Software
The Silicon Prairie News reported that Lodo Software is seeking to raise $5 million in a round of Series D funding. Link

Columbia Credit Union announced that it deployed mFoundry’s mBanking, a mobile banking platform. Link


MSN Money reported that Mitek Systems began a NASDAQ market listing on July 14th, and is trading under the symbol MITK. Link
  • CNBC reported that Monitise’s ReliaCard will be offered to U.S. Bank’s Visa cardholders in some states. Link
  • Monitise, US Bank, and FIS announced that they are planning to offer a mobile app for Visa’s ReliaCard users. Link
  • San Francisco’s ABC News Channel 7 explained the benefits of P2P loans from Prosper. Link
  • Finextra news blog discussed Prosper’s success with its P2P lending service. Link
Q2ebanking’s director of security solutions, Ward Howell, published an article detailing a Credit Union’s perspective of the FFIEC guidelines in The Credit Union Ti
mes. Link
Receivables Exchange
Institutional Investor ranked Justin Brownhill and Nicolas Perkin, Co-Founders of The Receivables Exchange, as number 42 of 50 in its Tech 50 ranking of financial tech leaders and innovators. Link
Standard Chartered
Institutional Investor ranked Jan Verplancke, CIO of Standard Chartered, as number 37 of 50 in its Tech 50 ranking of financial tech leaders and innovators. Link
TILE Financial

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Daily Finance interviewed Amy Butte, CEO of TILE Financial. Link
TradeKing announced the public availability of its API. Link
CoVantage Credit Union chose to implement Tyfone’s mobile wallet solution. Link
  • Zopa founder Giles Andrews was interviewed on BBC’s The Bottom Line. Link
  • Finextra news blog discussed Zopa’s success as a P2P lending service. Link

Yodlee Reaches User Milestone, Adds Mobile App

Last week, Yodlee announced that it exceeded 30 million registered users for its account 


aggregation platform (note 1). With a client base that includes five of the top 10 U.S. banks, 
the company dominates the space. 
FinApp Store
Yodlee continues to build out  its FinApp Store, which has an open API that allows developers to build apps. Here are some fast facts about its FinApps:
  • 12 Facebook FinApps are in processGraphic1.jpg
  • Over 250 developers are working on FinApps
  • It recently released its MoneyCenter Mobile App for $3.99 (see screenshots below) that features: 
        • Account Summary Views
        • Transaction Views
        • Expense Analysis Views
        • Ability to set Budgets by Category
        • Charting
        • Portfolio Management
  • Location: Redwood City, CA
  • Founded: 1999
  • Funding: $116M total from Accel Partners, Institutional Vendor Partners, Warburg Pincus, and Bank of America
  • Clients include Bank of America, Fidelity, Amex, and many others 
More Information
1. The 30 million reflects registered users, which indicates the total number of users who have registered. This does not reflect active users.

New Funding for Braintree, Dynamics, and Finsphere

Recently, three Finovate alumni reached significant funding milestones. 

New Round
$14 million Series A funding from Accel Partners
Market Position: Online Payment Processing
Founded: 2007
Location: Chicago
Braintree is a business credit card processor that provides:
    • Merchant accounts
    • Payment gateways
    • Recurring billing
    • Credit card storage
More Information
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New Round
$35 million Series B funding from Bain Capital Ventures
Funding History
$5.7 million Series A funding in 2009
Previous Investors
Adams Capital Management
Market Position: Interactive Payment Cards
Founded: 2007
Location: Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, New York City
Dynamics’ use of programmable magnetic stripes on payment cards increases security with its four payment card products
    • Hidden: Hides the card number until a user enters his pin on the card.
    • MultiAccount: Holds two accounts on one card, allowing the user to choose which to use.
    • Redemption: Allows the user to choose between using rewards or credit for in-store purchases.
    • Dynamic Credit Card: Writes a new security code onto a magnetic stripe for every in-store purchase.
More Information

New Round
$1.75 million from undisclosed investor
Funding History
$9.9 million in June 2008
$9 million in July 2009
$1.75 million in March 2011
Previous Investors
Shasta Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Frazier Technology Ventures, and Bezos Expeditions
Market Position: Identity Fraud Protection
Founded: 2007
Location: Bellevue, Washington

Finsphere helps reduce Identity fraud for businesses and individual consumers. Its core product, PinPoint Fraud, validates a user’s identity by comparing the location of their mobile phone with that of the credit or debit card transaction.
More Information