WattzOn’s SNAP Delivers AI-Enabled Data Extraction For Cleantech Sales Teams

Utility bill data solution provider WattzOn has unveiled SNAP, a new product for energy and cleantech firms that leverages AI to capture data from utility bills. SNAP will enable sales teams to provide prospects with faster, customized quotes and pricing, as well as make it easier for them to onboard new customers.

WattzOn CEO Martha Amram said SNAP was part of her company’s effort to give sales professionals in the industry the digital tools they need. “Leading solar and energy companies are out in the field, meeting potential customers where they are at,” Amram said. “Mobile data capture solutions are critically important for converting leads into customers, and for instantly offering customized plans that meet customer needs and secure profitable operations.”

A streaming data service, SNAP works by leveraging a set of pre-trained, machine learning models to automatically extract utility bill information from PDF files and images displayed on supported devices. Extracted data is sent to customers via API in seconds, and can be readily integrated into CRM, ERP, and custom software solutions. New utilities can be added to SNAP’s library to ensure broad coverage across states. And while the solution is pre-set for residential utility bills, SNAP can be configured for both commercial and industrial utility bills, as well.

“Our years of market experience have shown that adding the option of data capture from a single utility bill in paper or PDF form increases consumer engagement and sales conversion rates,” Director of Product Management for WattzOn David Nelson said. “I’m delighted that our powerful machine learning system can be applied to this important use case, opening up new sales opportunities for our customers.”

WattzOn demonstrated its Personal Energy Management Platform at FinovateSpring 2012. The company currently offers two solutions for the energy and cleantech industry in addition to SNAP: LINK, which extracts data and bills from utility accounts directly; and GLYNT, WattzOn’s automated, instant data extraction system for utility bills and other documents.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, WattzOn was founded in 2008.

Alterna Bank Partners with nCino

A new partnership between Alterna Bank and nCino will enable small businesses in Canada to take advantage of a new digital banking solution that features a seamless, anytime, anywhere, account opening experience, as well as automated decisioning, digital document management, and portfolio management.

The agreement marks nCino’s first Canadian credit union customer. nCino CEO Pierre Naudé called Alterna – which consists of Alterna Savings and its subsidiary Alterna Bank – “one of the most innovative financial institutions in Canada.” With a combined $8 billion in assets under management, Alterna was also the first bank in Canada to offer its customers an end-to-end digital mortgage experience.

In addition to its plan to enhance its onboarding processes, Alterna is also working on other initiatives to further improve the customer journey. These efforts include new loan referral and merchant services, and a partnership with Canada’s largest acquirer, Global Payments. The firm said that it plans to deploy its new nCino-powered, digital small business banking solution by the end of this year.

“At Alterna Bank, we’re dedicated to finding the best solutions for our valued small business customers,” Alterna President and CEO Rob Paterson said. “We know that small business owners are extremely busy and we took on the challenge to create a faster and easier banking experience for them.”

Winner of RateHub’s Best Personal Banking, Best eChequing, Best TFSA eSavings, and Best RRSP eSavings account awards, and named Canada’s Best Bank for Millennials, Alterna Bank was founded in 2000 as a subsidiary of 110-year old Alterna Savings. Alterna Savings was the first credit union established in Canada outside of Quebec, and has been awarded Canadian Top Employer honors three consecutive times.

nCino’s partnership with Alterna Bank is the latest in a string of big fintech headlines for the Wilmington, North Carolina-based fintech. Last month, nCino announced that Columbia Bank, a New Jersey-based bank with $7 billion in assets, had gone live with nCino’s Bank Operating System. Also in July, nCino announced its acquisition of analytics and insights specialist Visible Equity for an undisclosed sum. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Visible Equity has more than 850 bank and credit union customers who use the firm’s technology to better manage risk and improve credit decisioning.

Other partnerships for nCino this year include deals with Westfield Bank and South State Bank in June, with S&T Bancorp in May, and with Navy Federal Credit Union in April. Navy FCU is the largest credit union in the world, with more than eight million members and 329 branches.

Founded in 2012, nCino has raised more than $133 million in funding, and counts Insight Partners and Salesforce Ventures among its investors. More than 1,100 financial institutions around the world are partnered with nCino, including 12 of the top 25 FIs in North America. nCino demonstrated its Bank Operating System at FinovateEurope 2017.

U.K. Neobank Gravity Chooses Core Banking Tech from Finastra

U.K.-based neobank Gravity has chosen the third largest fintech in the world, Finastra, to provide its end-to-end core banking capabilities, reports Ruby Hinchliffe of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The Fusion Essence cloud-based solution, built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, will enable the challenger to deliver “an agile, customer-oriented service that will make business banking fairer and simpler,” said Gravity chairman, Tim Brooke.

“Small businesses in the U.K. continue to struggle when it comes to choosing a bank that can support their needs. Traditional banks are failing to keep up with the agility these firms require and instead restrict their access to capital, stifle them with bureaucracy, and provide little or no support.”

Gravity is still seeking authorization to serve SMEs with lending, credit card and deposit services, but looking forward with Fusion Essence the bank hopes to scale, offer a range of products, benefit from evergreen software updates and access a collaborative platform.

Finastra’s retail banking general manager, Anand Subbaraman, called Gravity “an aspiring new entrant in the U.K. business banking sector” who will be able to “differentiate its services from traditional banks” by focusing more on strategic growth and resulting timely return on investment.

This agreement follows closely behind Finastra’s deal with Manchester-based new bank, Revverbank, who also selected Fusion Essence for its end-to-end core banking capabilities.

Currently 90 of the world’s top 100 banks use Finastra technology.

Finastra (as Misys) demonstrated its FusionFabric.cloud technology at FinovateEurope 2017. Simon Paris is CEO.


Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • U.K. Neobank Gravity Chooses Core Banking Tech from Finastra.
  • WattzOn’s SNAP Delivers AI-Enabled Data Extraction for Cleantech Sales Teams.

Around the web

  • Dwolla to power Bento Pay, email-based payments for Bento for Business’ clients.
  • Lendio ranks 28 of 50 on a list of Utah’s fastest growing companies.

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.

CurrencyCloud’s Grant Boosts Total Funding Over $80 Million

Just over a month after announcing a $40 million Series E funding round, international payments platform Currencycloud received another windfall. The company landed a $12.2 million (£10 million) grant as a part of the Banking Competition Remedies (BCR) program. This week’s funds bring Currencycloud’s total investment to more than $80 million.

Part of the BCR’s Capability and Innovation Fund Pool C, the award aims to include lending, international payments, and local payments services to SMEs in the U.K. The goal fits well with Currencycloud’s API offerings that help businesses accept, pay, and convert foreign currencies. The company’s tools also help businesses manage balances, send notifications, set permissions, and compile reports.

Currencycloud CEO Mike Laven said that the company plans to use the funds to “accelerate product development for SME’s, particularly in the area of collections.” He added, “We will also work on distribution partnerships that enhance our ability to deliver to SMEs. Our current U.K. eco-system of over 150 FX brokers, money transfer firms, payment service firms and banks service 1,000’s of U.K. SMEs with payment services today. Our intent is to widen access to affordable FX and international payments for U.K. SMEs, targeting 40,000 SMEs using our platform by 2024.”

Founded in 2012 and headquartered in London, Currencycloud counts fellow Finovate alums AzimoKlarnaRevolut, and Fidor as clients. The company can make domestic and international payments in 38 currencies to 180+ countries. Currencycloud most recently appeared at FinovateFall 2016 where it debuted its Payment Engine

South Korean Unicorn Raises $64m; India Tops China in Fintech Deals

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerians in the U.S. are exploring opportunities to launch a Nigerian Federal Credit United Union.
  • Kenya’s Wapi Capital partners with China-based mobile device maker Transsion to fund African fintech startups.
  • Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority (CMA) admits three fintechs – Pezesha, Innova, and another remaining in stealth mode – to its new regulatory sandbox.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Latvian fintech Mintos tops €3 billion in loans financed.
  • Looking for a cryptocurrency gig in Russia? Coin Rivet examines top options.
  • Mobile operator Orange Poland partners with Ukraine’s PayUkraine to expand its money transfer business in the country.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) announces partnership with Plug and Play and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM).
  • MenaFN investigates how Jordanian companies are supporting digital transformation in Iraq.
  • Central Bank of Oman finalizes plans for national payment system in effort to support local fintech industry.

Central and Southern Asia

  • CB Insights reports that the number of fintech deals in India topped those in China for the first time.
  • Female-founded Pakistani venture capital firm, i2i Ventures, announces investment in Pakistani startup Mauqa Online.
  • Indian online investment platform Scripbox acquires rival Upwardly.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Zenus, a challenger bank based in Puerto Rico, gains U.S. banking license.
  • Coindesk looks at how Mexico’s new fintech law may impact the cryptocurrency market.
  • CapitalTech acquires Konsigue, a crowdfactoring startup based in Mexico.

Asia-Pacific

  • Toss, a South Korean P2P money transfer service, picks up $64 million in new funding.
  • Fintech Singapore profiles alternative and micro lenders in Vietnam.
  • Singapore’s Koku, a fintech that specializes in foreign exchange technology solutions, plans expansion into Indonesia.

Top image designed by Freepik

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • CurrencyCloud’s Grant Boosts Total Funding Over $80 Million.

Around the web

  • Barclays ends partnership with cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase.
  • The ID Co illustrates 12-month plan to expand DirectID’s global data coverage.

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.

Jack Henry Celebrates 57 New Customers in 2019

Jack Henry & Associates has attracted 57 banks and credit unions away from competitors in the fiscal year 2019, reports Jane Connolly of Fintech Futures (Finovate’s sister publication).

The technology solutions and payment processing services provider has seen a record number of financial institutions switch to its core banking platform, in the year to 30 June.

Jack Henry focuses on helping community and regional financial institutions to offer their customers modern banking experiences and to remain competitive in a changing market.

New clients stated reasons for switching have included the desire to provide an online retailer-style service for customers, openness and commitment to scale, and the ability to achieve tighter integrations and enhanced workflows from the open infrastructure.

Busey Bank and holding company First Busey Corporation both chose the Jack Henry Banking SilverLake System.

“Jack Henry’s advanced API network provides the open architecture and sophisticated connectivity necessary for us to chart our own course. This partnership supports our dedication to strategic process improvements and investment in integrated technology platforms,” said Howard Mooney, chief information officer of First Busey Corporation.

David Foss, president and CEO of Jack Henry, said it is an exciting time in banking.

“The industry is open to more collaboration and advanced technologies, while renewing its focus on user centricity,” he adds. “We’re committed to partnering with these regional and community financial institutions to help them compete with technology that is efficient, scalable and built to last.”

The 32 banks and 19 credit unions range from those with $64 million in assets to $9.6 billion, along with six de novo banks.

Jack Henry’s most recent appearance at Finovate was at FinovateFall 2015, when the company demonstrated technology from its recent acquisition, Banno. Founded in 1976 and headquartered in Monett, Missouri, Jack Henry is the primary technology partner for more than 1,000 community banks and multi-billion dollar mid-tier financial institutions.

With more than $1.5 million on revenues during fiscal 2018, Jack Henry is a publicly-traded on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker JKHY and has a market capitalization of $11 billion.

Revolut and Xero Partner on New Expense Management Tool

If your company has a cumbersome expense management process, then you will welcome the news that Revolut for Business has introduced a new solution to make those issues a problem of the past. Courtesy of a new partnership with fellow Finovate alum Xero, the expense management tool provides real-time expense monitoring, and the ability to approve or reject team expenses.

“The potential for expense management to turn into one big ugly mess is high,” Revolut Marketing Manager Aaron Larsson wrote on the company’s blog. “That’s why we’re proud to introduce our new Expense Management tool to Revolut for Business.”

Revolut’s new tool makes the expense management process easier for team members, finance teams, and accountants. Available within the Revolut for Business app, the tool enables users to record expenses with a simple push notification and a photograph of the receipt, and helps finance teams track expenses more accurately.

Revolut customers that are not Xero users can also take advantage of the expense management tool by creating their own categories and exporting expenses as a CSV file. Revolut noted that it plans to feature additional integrations to offer more accounting resources.

Making its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2015, Revolut has grown into an alternative digital bank offering a mobile current account that can be used to hold, exchange, and transfer funds in 29 different currencies. without fees. The account includes a variety of financial management tools including budgeting, instant spending notifications, and a spare change “stash-away” feature to support incidental saving. More recently, Revolut has added stock trading functionality to its app.

The company launched Revolut for Business in 2017 to extend the benefits of digital, API-powered banking services and streamlined, affordable international payments to small businesses and freelancers. The initiative signed up 16,000 business accounts in three months and, in its first year, helped companies save more than $14 million in fees. Last month, the company announced that Revolut for Business would add two new business account plans with no monthly subscription fees. Revolut also made price structure changes to include a customizable model that gives businesses more control and a better value.

Founded in 2013 and headquartered in London, U.K., Revolut has raised more than $336 million in funding from investors including DST Global, Future Fifty, and Lakestar. Nikolay Storonsky is founder and CEO.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Revolut and Xero Partner on Expense Management Tool.

Around the web

  • Transferwise goes live with new debit cad for customers in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Finastra inks cloud banking deal with U.K. neo bank Gravity.
  • Argentina’s largest national private bank Banco Galicia integrates PFM technology from Strands.
  • Overbond to open three AI analytics labs in Montreal, Quebec, Canada to support R&D in bond pricing.
  • Vymo hires Rajesh Sabhlok as its new Chief Customer Officer, with an emphasis on Japan and APAC.
  • BlueRush announces strategic partnership with InfoSlips.
  • Artivest names Martin Bealieu, formerly executive chairman, as new CEO.
  • Lendio’s marketplace lending franchise program tops $50 million in loans facilitated via its platform.
  • Ignite Sales unveils the latest version of its customer engagement platform, Ignite Neuro 2.0.
  • Salt Edge increases the total number of connected banks in the E.U. to more than 300.
  • Experian unveils new configurations of its Ascend Analytical Sandbox.

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.