George Anderson, Founder of Ninth Wave on Keeping Up with Fintech

The following interview is with George Anderson, CEO and founder of Ninth Wave, a Gold Sponsor of FinovateFall.


In the run-up to FinovateFall, we interviewed George Anderson, CEO and founder of Ninth Wave (formerly Enterprise Engineering) to get the scoop on how the company keeps up with ever-changing trends in fintech.

In addition to serving as an expert on information management and technology to solve business problems, Anderson has authored several books and articles on enterprise architecture, relational database design, internet development, and high performance computing. He has 25 years of experience working with leading banks and technology companies in the development of emerging information systems.

Finovate: You founded Ninth Wave (originally Enterprise Engineering Inc.) in 1995. How has the company’s focus shifted to help financial institutions serve clients when customer expectations are changing faster than ever?

George Anderson: I spend a tremendous amount of time with Ninth Wave customers. It is critical to clearly understand the challenges they are facing in a constantly evolving market. This allows Ninth Wave to advance its platform, remain leading edge, and provide constant and ongoing value.

As a platform provider, Ninth Wave must maintain its deep business and technology expertise through continuous communication with our clients. Having founded and run a tech company for 23+ years, I know that contributing to the client’s bottom line is key to success across volatile financial cycles.

Our clients are premier, sophisticated Fortune 500 firms who are ahead of the curve – investing in top talent and the development / acquisition of innovative solutions. As a trusted partner, we have to ensure we are offering a platform that aligns with their requirements and capabilities.

Lastly, by spending so much time with customers, you can anticipate trends and meet customer expectations much faster than they could reasonably expect you to. We are focused on exceeding our clients’ expectations every day.

Finovate: Ninth Wave’s corporate mantra is – “If you’re not moving ahead, you are falling behind!” Tell us about key processes you use to keep the company pushing forward in an industry moving faster than ever.

Anderson: Ninth Wave is a company that has a unique culture of passion about everything we do. This passion for excellent client service, continuous learning, deep expertise, employee engagement and being best-in-class has been the driver that has differentiated us and has us leading the competition.

We hire top talent who thrive in a fast-paced, complex and ever-changing environment. The mixture of collaboration, curiosity, client focus along with the desire to win have been the fuel that powers our creation of new products and make the Ninth Wave platform the preferred solution for our clients.

Our associates are immersed in the financial industry and emerging technologies through learning forums, advisory sessions, client interactions and brainstorming with both Ninth Wave and industry peers. The goal is to align the technology we deliver with the business strategy of our clients to be relevant today and in the future.

Finovate: Ninth Wave has multiple Fortune 500 clients. What is your strategy for capturing and keeping such high-profile clients?

Anderson: The Ninth Wave team has unparalleled experience with Fortune 500 clients. We understand their jobs from the inside, we understand their challenges and the pressure they are up against every day. Given this experience, there is no learning curve for us when we walk in the door. Odds are, we have fixed their problem or addressed their opportunity for one of their peers. We are often told that we cover in one meeting what takes others weeks to do.

We are also in a great position to tell our clients about how they stack up against their competition. What gaps do they have? What is their edge? Their differentiation? Perhaps even more importantly, what are their opportunities for time-to-market for competitive advantage? And what are others doing to leap frog them?

Finovate: Ninth Wave offers a range of products, from data aggregation tools to tax form data. What’s next on the horizon?

Anderson: We believe there is tremendous room for improvement in the financial data ecosystem. The world between banks and consumers is still filled with inefficiencies and cyber risks. Consumers are focused on data access and custom views and are often unaware of the dangers that currently exist.

Already at the next point on the horizon, Ninth Wave is now launching advanced solutions for fintech connectivity that deliver the control and security required by financial institutions and consumers while streamlining the integration of fintech applications.

After this? Ninth Wave is developing a unique and compelling new technology that truly offers business value and best-in-class services. These revolutionary innovations will simplify and provide full transparency to replace the opaque and often fragmented current environments.

Ninth Wave will continue to focus on providing unparalleled connectivity to unlock data for authorized and secure delivery for financial institutions. We will keep you posted as we finalize the reveal date.

The Final Countdown to FinovateFall

The kickoff to FinovateFall has almost arrived, and we’re just hours away from the first demo. That can only mean one thing– we’re busy watching companies rehearse each demo they will showcase over the first two days.

If you still don’t have your ticket, register online or pick one up tomorrow morning after 8 am when the registration desk opens. As a reminder, here are all of the details you need to know for FinovateFall this week:

Where

We’re changing this up this year, and FinovateFall will be held at the Marriott Marquis Times Square1535 Broadway, New York, NY 10036.

When

The first demo begins at 8:45 am tomorrow but be sure to come early– registration opens at 8:00 am and we’ll have coffee and a continental breakfast for you to enjoy before you take your seat in the auditorium. For a full look at the schedule, here is the agenda.

Who

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, we’ll host 79 companies on stage as they each show off a live demo of their newest product. Check out our full list of demoing companies and don’t miss our Sneak Peek series that gives you an inside look. On Wednesday, you’ll listen to and interact with industry analysts and experts as they discuss the latest fintech trends. For more information, take a look at our full speaker roster. And if you’re registered for our exclusive Blockchain and AI Summit Day, get ready to hear in-depth analyses about these emerging trends and how they apply to your industry, and how you can implement them into your strategy.

Still have questions? Feel free to reach out to our staff to get some answers. We’re looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

Cortera Raises $10 Million to Enhance Risk Scoring

B2B credit scoring company Cortera landed $10 million in funding this week, bringing its total capital raised to just over $578 million in combined debt and equity. Investing in the Florida-based company are Hearst’s Fitch Group Financial Venture Fund, who led the round, as well as existing investors Volition Capital, Battery Ventures, Allen & Company, and Tomorrow Ventures.

“We are passionate about fueling profitable business growth in the U.S.,” Cortera CEO Jim Swift said. “For too long, the flow of capital has been hamstrung by the need for more complete and timely insights into private companies. It is exciting to be at a point of network coverage where businesses now have a powerful alternative to traditional sources.”

Founded in 1993, Cortera gathers insights on the purchase and payment behavior of more than 20 million public and private U.S. businesses. The company leverages this data to create analytics such as new customer risk assessments, customer portfolio risk monitoring, supplier risk management, customer segmentation, insurance underwriting, customer profitability modeling, and loan-default prediction. Essentially, the data help businesses make decisions about their customers, prospects, and suppliers, and minimize risk.

Hearst’s Fitch Group Financial Venture Fund Managing Director Shea Wallon, who will join Cortera’s board of directors, said, “Cortera’s unique business information and analytics provide an alternative view into the credit risk of private businesses where traditional financial statements are not reliable or easily available.”

Cortera demoed a network where businesses can share payment experiences at FinovateSpring 2010. Earlier this week, the company announced its trade credit data will be available in Moody’s Analytics RiskCalc small business solution. Last spring, Cortera scored LexisNexis as a client, blending its B2B trade credit with LexisNexis’ risk solutions alternative data.

CardFlight’s New Release Adds Paper Receipt Printing, Advanced Security, and More

Mobile POS and payment technology company CardFlight has upgraded its flagship SwipeSimple technology, announcing version 5 of the product this week.

The new enhancements, which will be available to existing users starting next week, are aimed to offer merchants more payment acceptance capabilities. Some of the updates include:

  • Paper receipt printing
  • Discount options that allow merchants to set up dollar or percentage discounts that can be applied to either specific items or an entire transaction
  • Item categories for inventory tracking and marketing insights
  • Favorites pages on the checkout screen that show frequently used discounts and popular items
  • Item images on the checkout screen to help quickly find items for a transaction
  • SwipeSimple Virtual Terminal that helps reduce fraud using full Address Verification Service (AVS) for card not present transactions

This release comes just after CardFlight updated thousands of card readers for more than 45,000 merchants currently using SwipeSimple to enable EMV Quick Chip for faster processing times.

“At CardFlight, we continually work to make SwipeSimple the best payment acceptance technology for merchants all across the country,” said Derek Webster, CardFlight’s founder and CEO. “We know that tens of thousands of businesses rely on our technology to run and grow their businesses. Releasing Version 5.0 of SwipeSimple demonstrates our team’s dedication to putting easy to use, efficient payment acceptance tools in the hands of our users.”

Founded in 2013, CardFlight serves 10 of the top 30 merchant acquirers in the U.S., reaching tens of thousands of merchants across all 50 states. To date, more than 93% of its merchant clients are EMV-enabled. The New York-based company debuted its technology at FinovateSpring 2013, showing off the first iteration of its API/SDK. Earlier this summer, CardFlight landed a distribution partnership with BoomTown.

Getting Gritty with Fintech’s Top Trends

Have you had a chance to look through what’s ahead at FinovateFall next week? Between the live demos, keynotes, stream discussions, and summit sessions, there will be a lot of content coming your way.

The event will take place on September 24 through 26 in New York (tickets are still available). During the first two days, 80 companies will take the stage to show off their newest technologies, live in front of an audience of financial professionals. The final day we’ll host industry analysts and experts to share their knowledge of key trends, as well as hold panel discussions regarding the grittiest topics in banking.

Behind this grit are the individual trends we’ll see at this year’s event. Check out the word cloud below that depicts the biggest driving forces of new fintech in 2018:

AI

It’s not a surprise to see AI come out on top as one of the biggest themes at this year’s FinovateFall. The enabling technology is pervasive throughout fintech, making shifts in security, investing, customer relationship management, sales, and marketing. In next week’s demos, we’ll see where and how AI is being used in fintech and learn how you can leverage this powerful technology.

Data

In financial services, it’s data or die. No matter what sector of fintech you’re in, if you haven’t started leveraging your data yet, you’re behind the competition. Data is increasingly critical in credit scoring and risk underwriting for loans, personalization of banking services, analytics marketing, investing, and security. Unlocking the value of data requires not only access to large sets of consumer data but also a way to sift through and organize the data, making it useful for analysis. Next week, not a demo will go by that doesn’t use data in some way. It’s up to you to decide which use case is most valuable for your institution.

Compliance

Compliance isn’t sexy; in fact, most firms simply see it as an obligation and a stumbling block. But who says compliance can’t be fun? Many fintechs are using enabling technologies such as the blockchain and AI to create efficiencies, and some are even using gamification to boost active participation during training exercises. We’ll host a number of companies demoing compliance tools that make regulation seem more exciting than ever.

Customer engagement

There are more tools than ever to help financial services companies gain consumer interest in their products and services. From marketing campaign personalization to predictive analytics that anticipate consumers’ needs, these revenue-boosting technologies are worth implementing. We’ll host multiple demos next week that showcase the latest tools to help your organization boost sales numbers.


What are you hoping to discover at FinovateFall next week? Check out the agenda to learn more of what’s in store. Have questions? Visit our contact page to get in touch and we’ll help you out.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Getting Gritty with Fintech’s Top Trends.
  • TradeIT Teams Up with TradingView to Help Retail Investors Reach Big Brokers.
  • Get Your VAT Back: Expensify Integrations to Streamline Reclamation.

Around the web

  • Mambu extends capacity with Integration Platform as a Service.
  • Entrust Datacard and Blackboard partner to enhance the ID card issuance process.
  • Peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne hits $500 million in loans.
  • CREALOGIX reports record sales for the third time in a row.
  • Compass Plus expands its processing business with Mastercard and Visa certified UK-based processing center.
  • Continuity recipient of 2018 Marcum Tech Top 40 Award.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Infosys to Acquire Fluido for $76 Million

International technology firm Infosys announced this week it has acquired cloud advisory and consulting services company Fluido for $76 million. This marks Infosys’ second acquisition this year, following its purchase of WONGDOODY in April.

Fluido’s excels as one of the largest and oldest platinum consulting partners for Salesforce in Europe and is also an authorized Salesforce training delivery partner in the Nordic region. India-based Infosys anticipates the buy will boost its reputation as a Salesforce enterprise cloud services provider.

Infosys will benefit from more than just Fluido’s Salesforce expertise, however. The company will also receive more recognition across the Nordic region, given Fluido’s offices in Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Slovakia, as well as tap into Fluido’s established client base across the region.

In the press release Ravi Kumar, president and deputy COO at Infosys, said, “Fluido will be an important addition to the Infosys family, bringing a unique combination of market presence, deep salesforce expertise, agile delivery, and training, that combined with our existing capabilities will help companies reimagine and transform their businesses. This acquisition also aligns to our efforts to invest in local capabilities in the regions in which we operate.”

Fluido’s clients will also benefit from the deal. As the company’s founder and CEO, Kai Mäkelä explained, “With Infosys we will now be able to provide truly global scalable services while maintaining the close relationship with our customers. With digital experience playing a key role in customer success, we are excited to have the opportunity to work with Infosys to help Fluido customers change the way they connect with their customers.”

The acquisition is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a subsidiary of Infosys, showcased EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework for Financial Services at FinovateEurope 2017. At the start of 2018 Infosys teamed up with Tradeshift to help clients digitize supply chain management. Last month, the Australian Military Bank became the first bank in Australia to go live with Infosys’ Finacle solution.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Personality Biometrics Specialist Neener Analytics Partners with American Express.
  • Infosys to Acquire Fluido for $76 Million.

Around the web

  • Avaloq upgrades open software architecture designed to make banks more agile.
  • PayPal announces global launch of Checkout with Smart Payment buttons.
  • TransPecos Banks selects NYMBUS to launch BankMD.com.
  • itBit selected as a custody provider for Voyager’s new crypto-brokerage service.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow all the alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Ocrolus

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 24 through 26, 2018 in New York. Register today and save your spot.

Ocrolus has developed the fastest and most accurate technology for automating the analysis of loan documents.

Features

  • Cash flow analytics
  • Cutting-edge fraud detection
  • Traceable data validation

Why it’s great
Ocrolus is the first regtech company backed by QED Investors.

Presenters

Sam Bobley, CEO
Bobley is a natural entrepreneur and co-founder of Ocrolus.
LinkedIn

Kevin Bailey, Director of Business Development
Bailey was Presidential appointee to the Treasury who has since devoted himself to fintech.
LinkedIn

FinovateFall Sneak Peek: Lomsy

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateFall on September 24 through 26, 2018 in New York. Register today and save your spot.

Lomsy brings credit closer to underbanked people with a low score, promoting their financial and social inclusion with personal loans and financial education.

Features

  • Fair: assesses creditworthiness with a multi-dimensional methodology
  • Easy: built by and for the Hispanic community
  • Fast: offers a 5-minute application process

Why it’s great
Lomsy works by the motto you are not a score by leveraging technology to empower underbanked people with credit and financial education.

Presenters

Enrique Huesca, CEO
Huesca is passionate about financial inclusion for Hispanics and holds more than 10 years of experience in high-level cabinet positions in the Mexican government.
LinkedIn

Jose Ramon Pardinas, CMO
With more than 10 years of experience in marketing, Pardinas’ career has taken him to work in both the creative and executive areas with an international perspective.
LinkedIn

Enrique Castro, CFO
With more than five years of experience in economics and a background in applied math, Enrique enjoys working with data to understand the underbanked, develop underwriting strategies, and improve processes.
LinkedIn