FinovateAsia: From Digital Transformation to the Evolution of the Customer

A few days ago, we featured the Power Panels that will take place in Singapore at FinovateAsia next week. Today, we highlight the fintech analysts, executives, and entrepreneurs who will share their insights and experience at this year’s event.

FinovateAsia is just days away! To join us, visit our registration page today and save your seat as Finovate returns to Singapore! For more details, check out our full ,two-day conference agenda (including information about our additional Summit Day on October 16.)

Main Stage Presentations

  • The Digital Shift – How Can Financial Institutions Embrace Innovation & Harness New Technologies In The New Digital World? – featuring Scott Bales of Innovation Labs, Asia
  • Results Of The First ASEAN FinTech Industry Survey – featuring Shan Luo of FinTechSpace
  • Challenger Banks – How Will The Rise Of Virtual Banks & Open Banking Impact Business For Incumbents? – featuring Louise Beaumont

Emerging Asian Markets stream

  • The Exponential Rise of B2B & B2C FinTech In China – What Next For The World’s Most Progressive Fintech Market? – featuring Melissa Guzy of Arbour Ventures

Digital Lending stream

  • How New Players Are Harnessing New Technologies To Disrupt The Digital Lending Landscape In Asia – featuring Zennon Kapron of Kapronasia
  • How To Link The Customer Story To The Money Story In Financial Services – featuring Tom Mouhsian of Forrester

Digital Payments stream

  • How New Technologies & Changing Consumer Behavior Are Driving The Payments Race – featuring Dimitris Litsikakis
  • Ecosystem Disruptions and Payments Imperatives – featuring Daniel Latimore of Celent

InvesTech stream

  • Design Thinking & Organizational Change Through 21st Century Ways Of Working – featuring John Gist of Fidelity
  • The Retirement Journey In Asia: Building A.I. Powered Engagement With Your Customers – featuring Fahd Fachidy of ABAKA
  • Investment For Good Is Good Investment – Finance 2.0 – featuring Helene Yi of GoImpact

InsurTech stream

  • Digital Brokers: Shaping a New Era in Insurance – featuring Vivien Chua of Shenton Insurance Brokers
  • What Makes An Insurtech Start-up An Attractive Investment Proposition And Why? – featuring William Bao Bean of China Accelerator
  • Vertical Urban Mobility – How To Earn With It & How To Insure It – featuring Michael Wieser of Helvetia Fund

Main Stage Presentation

  • Where Are The Vulnerabilities In Financial Services Mobile Apps & How Can The Industry Safeguard Itself Against The Threat From Attackers? – featuring Alissa Knight of Aite Group

FinovateAsia is right around the corner! For more information about our upcoming conference in Singapore, check out our FinovateAsia page for details on how to pick up your ticket, plan your visit, and more!

Ripple to Offer Blockchain Technology through Finastra

Enterprise blockchain solution company Ripple teamed up with Finastra this week. The two are collaborating to enable Finastra clients to transact with RippleNet partners and make international money transfers.

RippleNet is Ripple’s global payment network that works across 40+ currencies and consists of more than 200 financial institutions. Because RippleNet leverages the blockchain, users are able to track funds, delivery time, and status.

“This partnership will enable Ripple to expand the reach and solutions for our partners, and the footprint of RippleNet while allowing customers to transact directly with each other,” said Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple.

Riteesh Singh, Senior Vice President, FMS, Finastra said that the partnership will prove “particularly beneficial” to Finastra’s clients that rely on correspondent banks. That’s because, since RippleNet runs completely on the blockchain, transaction fees are lower than the industry average.

Ripple has offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Singapore, Sydney, and, as of July, Brazil. At FinovateSpring 2013, company co-founder Chris Larsen debuted Ripple (originally known as OpenCoin). Ripple started this year by surpassing 200 customers and, in June, the company formed a strategic partnership with MoneyGram.

Finastra formed in 2017 from the combination of Misys and D+H after Vista Equity Partners acquired Misys in 2012 and bought D+H in 2017. Misys demonstrated its FusionFabric.cloud technology at FinovateEurope 2017.

Voleo Teams Up with Software Development Firm Convergence Concepts

A new partnership between Best of Show winner Voleo and Convergence Concepts will enable the Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada-based social investing platform to enhance its technology and improve the user experience on its iOS, Android, and online applications.

“This partnership will allow Voleo to focus on its core – growth and scalability in both the B2C and B2B partnerships,” said Voleo CEO Thomas Beattie. “We are hearing the feedback from our customers and we are delivering. Later this year there will be more features and developments introduced into the platform, a direct result of customer interaction.”

A major goal of the partnership is to achieve a unified codebase across all three platforms – iOS, Android, and online. This will make it easier for Voleo to introduce new features, as well as improve its ability to test new marketing and user journeys. Voleo anticipates this will help the company scale its current B2C customer base and provide support for more “nimble, robust integrations” with financial services companies, credit unions, and banks on the B2B side.

“Convergence is thrilled to become Voleo’s partner for product engineering and design, and it is a privilege to work with such a professional and experienced management team,” Convergence CEO Matthew Housser said. “We believe that the Voleo platform has huge potential in both the B2C and B2B fintech spaces, and we’re excited to help evolve and scale Voleo’s core platform and unique user experiences.”

Founded in 2015, Voleo demonstrated its social investing platform at FinovateFall 2017, winning Best of Show for its app that leverages the collective wisdom of investors to pursue higher returns in the market. Earlier this year, the company successfully completed the 2019 FIS Fintech Accelerator program in July, along with fellow Finovate alums Neener Analytics, Gremln Social, and Digital Onboarding.

Voleo also participated in Google’s Digital Strategy program over the summer in a bid to increase user acquisition. This spring, Voleo won the 2019 Best Stock Trading App award in the investment category of the FinTech Breakthrough Awards. In March, the company teamed up with Nasdaq to launch their second Student Equity Trading Competition.

Publicly traded on the TSX Venture Exchange under the ticker TRAD, Voleo has a market capitalization of $9 million.

Finn.AI’s New Integration Makes Chatbots More Personal

Conversational AI technology company Finn.AI is helping banks deepen their connection to consumers. The new capability comes thanks to a partnership with Coconut Software, a digital scheduling solutions provider.

Finn.AI has integrated Coconut Software’s API into its own technology to allow users, through a natural chat conversation, to schedule a meeting with a live bank representative.

The partnership seems like an obvious fit to help banks communicate with a range of customers who have different comfort levels on digital channels. By adding the ability to schedule an in-person conversation, banks seamlessly communicate with customers and potential customers across channels, allowing them to switch between digital and in-person communication, depending on their channel preference.

“A fall off point for banks–that do not have a fully digital journey–is getting the consumer to interact with a banker, either in person or on the phone, after they have demonstrated an interest in a product online,” said Jake Tyler, Finn AI CEO. “By integrating with Coconut Software, we’re bridging that gap and making it easier for banks to interact with and convert online prospects.”

The combination of high tech and high touch is something we’ve seen a lot of in fintech, specifically in the wealth management space where consumers crave a high tech investment interface, but many still prefer to have a human to fall back on. In the chatbot arena, we’ve seen the insertion of the human touch in different ways. For example, some chatbots offer an option to view a phone number to call a customer service department. Other bots automatically change the conversation from bot to human, depending on the level of technicality. Finn.AI’s chatbot technology not only has this capability, but also leverages machine learning to learn from the human interactions.

Finn.AI has demoed twice at Finovate, taking home Best of Show honors both times. At its most recent appearance, FinovateFall 2017, Tyler demoed the company’s virtual banking assistant in Facebook Messenger and Google Assistant. Among Finn.AI’s recent partnerships are MX, TymeBank, and Auth0. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada.

StreetShares Partners with Farm Bureau Bank

Lendtech StreetShares, which offers business loans of up to $250,000 to US citizens, announced its partnership with rural US Farm Bureau Bank (FBB) to provide small business lending services to Farm Bureau’s six million members nationwide, reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

StreetShares’ small business lending-as-a-service (LaaS) platform will provide the bank’s small business customers with “a decision in minutes and funding within 24 hours.”

FBB is a full-service digital bank in the US. Now able to offer fully-digital business loan applications with StreetShares’ technology, the bank says it chose the partner on account of its “flexibility and commitment to providing stellar service to underserved populations”.

“Since StreetShares is veteran-run, and we cater to rural America, we knew our values and mission would align with rural Americans’ small business lending needs,” said FFB’s director of national accounts Bob Baker.

By using a LaaS solution, FBB can offer unsecured lines of credit, making its loans faster and more competitive. The bank does not even have to integrate StreetShare’s platform with its core banking software.

“Since implementing the business lending platform, we have been able to expand our offerings and provide our members an innovative solution that meets their unique needs and helps them better manage and grow their businesses,” said Baker, who describes the entire loan process with StreetShares as “incredibly easy.”

Bank members can now apply from the comfort of their own home or office with instant replies and funding. Baker said the integration positions the bank “for continued growth” and “long-lasting relationships” with customers.

SteetShares’ CEO Mark L. Rockefeller said the bank’s adoption of its LaaS will “provide a better customer experience and expand its business lines.” Rockefeller hopes the partnership will bring small business lending to more qualified entrepreneurs across the country.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Reston, Virginia, StreetShares demonstrated its lending-as-a-service platform at FinovateFall 2019. The company has raised more than $261 million in funding, and includes Rotunda Capital Partners, Fenway Summer Ventures, and Accion among its investors.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Voleo Teams Up with Software Development Firm Convergence Concepts.
  • Finn.AI’s New Integration Makes Chatbots More Personal.
  • Ripple to Offer Blockchain Technology through Finastra.

Around the web

  • Salt Edge reaches milestone of 500+ integrated open banking APIs.
  • Tink makes its platform available in the Netherlands.
  • Stratifyd teams with Anexinet to scale delivery of its AI-powered analytics platform.
  • TASCET releases SYM Certain software suite.
  • Microblink earns a spot in the Deloitte Fast 500.
  • Vymo teams up with ABeam Consulting to expand its business in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • YUKKA Lab joins Plug and Play’s incoming cohort for its Insurtech Europe program.
  • Socure wins 2019 API Award for Best in Data APIs from API World.

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 Demo Videos Are Live

Maybe you missed your chance to attend FinovateFall earlier this month. Or maybe you want to watch your favorite demos over again. Either way, today’s your day. We’ve just released all of the videos from the 75 companies that demoed their fintech on stage.

All of the 7-minute demos are available to stream and download for free at Finovate.com. And if you don’t know where to begin, we’ll get you started with the nine demos that won Best of Show at the event.

BlytzPay

Cinchy

College Aid Pro

ebankIT

Glia

MX

owl.co

Pinkaloo Technologies

Zogo Finance

Blend Integrates with Mortgage Credit Specialist Avantus

Hot on the heels of the launch of its “one tap” mortgage preappoval solution, mortgagetech innovator Blend is back in the fintech headlines with news of its partnership with Avantus. The integration will enable mortgage borrowers using Blend’s digital lending platform to access Avantus’ Tri-Merge credit reports.

“Blend has helped many Avantus clients create a more streamlined end-to-end lending solution, with impressive results,” Avantus president Louis Capobianco said. “We’re excited to be part of the Blend platform and look forward to working on our shared goal of helping lenders close more loans.”

Headquartered in West Haven, Connecticut, Avantus provides customized mortgage credit reports and related services that enable loan originators, credit unions, banks, and lenders to streamline and accelerate the approval process, as well as keep costs low. With more than 75 years of experience in analyzing consumer data, the company announced a partnership with digital mortgage platform ARIVE earlier this month that will bring its customized credit reports to a broader range of independent mortgage brokers and wholesale lenders.

“We’re pleased to add Avantus to our platform, expanding options for lenders pulling credit within Blend, and further strengthening and optimizing the consumer’s mortgage experience,” Blend’s Head of Business Development Brian Martin said. “Partnering with Avantus will support our mission to continue to deliver a best-in-class lending experience for consumers and lenders.”

Founded in 2012 and based in San Francisco, California, Blend demonstrated its “Data-Driven Mortgage” solution at FinovateSpring 2016. The company is also an alum of our developers conference, presenting its technology at FinDEVrSiliconValley 2016.

Named one of the best places to work by Inc.com, Blend launched a deposit account in April that enabled its customers to improve the digital account opening experience on both mobile and desktop. Mountain America Credit Union, which deployed the product in one month, now has 53% of its applications arrive via a mobile channel that had not been previously available for deposits. The credit union also reported a 45% decrease in account opening times.

Also this spring, Blend announced a partnership with FGMC’s direct-to-consumer division, Goodmortgage, helping the Plano, Texas-based lender develop a “simpler and more sophisticated online mortgage process.”

In July, Blend locked in an investment of $130 million in a round led by Temasek and General Atlantic. The funding took the company’s total to $290 million.

Thought Machine Teams Up with Sweden’s SEB

SEB, the Swedish financial group, has partnered with core banking firm Thought Machine in a project which will see the former deploy a new banking platform in its innovation studio, SEBx, reports Alex Hamilton of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

SEBx is implementing Vault, Thought Machine’s flagship cloud-hosted core banking system.

According to Nicholas Moch, group CIO of SEB, the innovation studio has a “clear mandate for exploring tech to create next generation customer offerings.”

“Having the opportunity to build a bank from the ground up within SEBx, we are determined to work with partners that bring new perspectives to a traditional industry, and the team at Thought Machine does that,” Moch said.

SEB launched its innovation studio in July, and describes it as an initiative for testing new technologies, alternative technology platforms and new services. The studio currently employs 16 people.

The bank’s CEO, Johan Torgeby, told Swedish media at the time that SEBx could become a separate company in the future.

Paul Taylor, CEO and founder of Thought Machine, said of the project: “SEB is one of the most innovative banks in Europe, and it is significant that they have decided to deploy Vault as part of their technology exploration.”

SEB’s activities mainly comprise retail and corporate banking, but it also dabbles in life insurance and pensions. Founded in 1972, it operates subsidiaries in Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Russia.

Thought Machine demonstrated its core banking solution, Vault, at FinovateEurope 2018. Founded in 2014 and headquartered in London, U.K., the company has raised $22 million (£18 million) in funding from investors including Lloyds Banking Group, Backed VC, and IQ Capital.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Blend Integrates with Mortgage Credit Specialist Avantus.

Around the web

  • Recognise Financial Services to deploy nCino’s Bank Operating System.
  • NCR announces plans to acquire Midwest POS Solutions.
  • Courtesy of a new partnership with Personetics, Metro Bank launches its Business Insights solution for business customers.
  • Revolut teams up with Bottomline, enabling real-time payment services to its retail and business customers in the U.K.
  • As part of a new initiative, open banking specialist NDGIT to bring its PSD2 Compliance APIs to Switzerland.
  • 3E Software’s Teslar Software adds Pendleton Community Bank to list of clients.
  • Overbond, FI.SPAN, and Finn.AI among 12 Canadian fintech startups chosen for U.K. trade mission.
  • CardFlight’s SwipeSimple terminal available on PAX A80.

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.