Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Signicat and Mitek Team Up to Improve Digital Onboarding.
  • Meniga Scoops Up $3.6 Million in New Funding Courtesy of UniCredit Investment.
  • OutSystems’ $360 Million Funding Round Boosts Valuation Above $1 Billion.
  • Credit Karma Hires Colleen McCreary as First Chief People Officer.

Around the web

  • Oman’s Bank Sohar to deploy core banking platform from Infosys Finacle.
  • IdentityMind Global announces update of its trusted digital identities platform.
  • Revolut CEO Nikolay Storonsky tells Reuters his company will seek a banking license in the U.S.
  • i-Sight to deploy ACI Worldwide’s Case Management solution to fight bank fraud.
  • D3 Banking Technology unveils new account opening service.
  • collectAI improves Hanseatic Bank’s receivables management with a 24 percent higher collection rate.
  • SMArtX adds 18 new strategies.
  • Kony unveils new digital banking solution – Kony DBX
  • Edwards Federal Credit Union signs with Bankjoy to enhance home and mobile banking functionality.
  • Two of the top 5 US banks (and three of the Top 10) are now using Socure’s ID+ platform.

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.

CollectAI Launches in the U.K.

Accounts receivable and debt collection management company collectAI made inroads into the U.K. this week.

The expansion is made possible via a partnership with Pay360 by Capita, which will build a branded receivables management solution for its business and government clients around collectAI’s technology.

Stephen Ferry, managing director at Pay360, said, “By working with strategic partners such as collectAI, we’re able to deliver a smarter, more efficient receivables process, that’s in line with today’s smartphone generation. Coupled with our ability to settle outstanding payments via the U.K.’s most popular payment methods, we’re edging towards an era of smart payments based on the needs and behaviour of the end consumer.”

Operating as a subsidiary of Germany’s largest ecommerce retailer Otto Group, collectAI launched in 2016 and now has $50 million (€40 million) in receivables under management. This is $6 million higher than the company’s October 2017 milestone of $31 million (€25 million). Pay360 is the third company collectAI has partnered with to offer its white label debt collection technology. collectAI has also partnered with an additional 20 medium and large businesses to pursue the collection of debt on their behalf.

As its name suggests, the Germany-based company leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve the debt collection process. The technology engages consumers via their preferred digital channel and allows them to settle debt using their favorite payment method. The implementation of these enabling technologies not only makes for a better end user experience, it also relies less heavily on human labor, offering a cost reduction.

Describing the technology, Steve Emecz, CCO of collectAI, said that the company brings receivables into the digital age. “Our technology provides access to all digital communication channels and ensures frictionless payments. As a result, faster execution and higher repayment rates improve the consumer experience and boost customer retention. AI isn’t the future, it’s the now.”

Mirko Krauel, collect.AI CEO, demoed the company’s claims management technology at FinovateEurope 2017. To date, the company has improved the collection rate to 33% on average with a 41% reduction of processing costs.

Finovate Debuts: collectAI Brings Omnichannel Engagement to Debt Collection

 

collectAI_homepage_April2017You won’t hear us refer to collectAI’s innovative approach to outstanding payments as “Debt Tech.” But the Hamburg, Germany-based fintech startup does have a different idea of what matters most when it comes to accounts receivables management, the art of dunning, and debt collection.

During the company’s Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in February, CEO Mirko Krauel pointed out that while other A/R specialists focused solely on boosting collection rates (“which, of course, are very important,” he noted), default rates are only part of the picture. “It’s also about securing a potentially good customer relationship. It’s also about having low cost,” Krauel said, adding “We at collectAI want a perfect balance between those three goals.”

collectAI_stage_FEU2017

Pictured: collectAI CEO Mirko Krauel demonstrating collectAI Claims Management at FinovateEurope 2017.

The fact that Krauel refers to the debtor as “the consumer” is a tip-off to the way the company believes is the best way to resolve outstanding payments more efficiently. The collectAI platform leverages artificial intelligence, for example, not only to determine the best communication channel to use to reach the debtor, but also to figure out the best time and the best tone to take. This is part of the platform’s “baseline strategy” creation which is followed by content engineering to add what collectAI managing director Michael Backes explained as “the behavioral economics, the psychology to help the debtor resolve the issue more quickly.”

After demonstrating a number of examples of personalized messages from collectAI including text and email, Krauel highlighted a handful of ways he believed collectAI would “reinvent the topic of debt collection and A/R management.”

First of all, we are not doing just debt collection. We do it very early in the process, we do the invoicing and also the dunning part. Number two, we are supporting a large variety of channels, digital and analog. Number three, we have the landing pages and payment pages to increase the payment conversion rate. Number four, we are a fintech startup. Of course, we have an API. And last, but not least, we have the AI and the AI is very important to really optimize every aspect of our product.

Following the company’s Finovate debut, collectAI was featured in Euro Finance Tech and in Digitale Leute, and discussed the “magic of AI” in the context of accounts receivable at the Retail Banking Forum in Vienna. This week, the company bested 47 rivals to win first place at the EXEC Conference pitch contest in Berlin, Germany.

Company facts

  • Founded in 2016
  • Headquartered in Hamburg, Germany
  • Maintains 30 employees

CollectAI_SteveEmeczWe met with collectAI Chief Commercial Officer Steve Emecz at FinovateEurope and followed up with a few questions by e-mail. Here are his responses.

Finovate: What problem does your technology solve?

Steve Emecz: collectAI helps customers digitize and optimize their receivables. We digitize with new ways to communicate like email, SMS, and messaging apps. We optimize using integrated digital payments – all supported by an artificial intelligence platform that automates and enhances the processes to make the receivables process much more efficient. collectAI provides everything from traditional mass invoicing to personalized and optimized service – i.e. getting your money faster, at lower operations cost and reducing service issues.

Finovate: Who are your primary customers?

Emecz: Any organization that sends bills to their clients (consumers or business) can benefit from enhancing the receivables process. Our main clients are those with lots of bills like utilities, banks, lending companies, e-commerce retail and digital clients, and insurance companies. It’s a white label service so the person receiving the bill simply sees the process improving from their supplier.

collectAI_stage_image_FE2017

Pictured: collectAI’s Virtual Agent algorithms determine the channel, time of day, and other factors to enable greater personalization when building effective messages to debtors.

Finovate: How does your solution solve the problem better?

Emecz: Our platform helps select the best way to communicate to the client by channel (e.g. email, SMS, etc), time and content of message. We then enrich this with fast and efficient digital payment methods to settle the bills quickly and, if there is an issue, we provide a structured dispute resolution process to optimize client feedback. Finally, this is all supported by an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that learns from the behavior of the client and optimizes everything on its own.

Finovate: Tell us about your favorite implementation of your technology.

Emecz: We have a large payments client who has multiple retail brands within their portfolio where their invoices and reminders were all sent by post. For them, we have made three big impacts. First, adding in email and SMS reminders replacing some of the letters has reduced costs in their dunning process. Second, some of the amounts have been paid earlier. Third, we introduced a structured feedback process. Until now, all disputes came in via email or their call centre (and sometimes social media) at random in response to letters. We helped them free up valuable time and effort.

collectAI_stage_FE2017

Pictured (left to right): collectAI’s Michael Backes (MD) and Mirko Krauel (CEO) demonstrating the Health Card feature of the outstanding payments portfolio.

Finovate: What in your background gave you the confidence to tackle this challenge?

Emecz: We have a rather unique setup. Our lead investor the Otto Group (turnover €12 billion) has over 100 businesses in the group with a long history of receivables, combined with an agile fintech company builder (Liquid Labs) with experience in artificial intelligence (AI). This means in our first year, alongside building a market-leading AI platform specifically for receivables, we have gained first-hand experience of the processes we are enhancing, with both internal and external customers.

Finovate: What are some upcoming initiatives from collectAI that we can look forward to over the next few months?

Emecz: Although we will continue to add things you can see, like more payment methods or communication channels, the real magic will be in the things you don’t notice: AI, self-learning landing pages, more backend services, and simpler integration.

Finovate: Where do you see your company a year or two from now?

Emecz: We plan to be the leading provider of receivables digitization and optimization services in Europe, expanding through partners into several new territories.


collectAI CEO Mirko Krauel and Managing Director Michael Backes demonstrating collectAI Claims Management platform at FinovateEurope 2017.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Finovate Debuts: collectAI Brings Omnichannel Engagement to Debt Collection.

Around the web

  • Geezeo to provide PFM tools to FI clients of Computer Science Professionals (CSPI) in new partnership.
  • Fenergo adds former HSBC executive Spencer Lake as board vice chair.
  • FICO announces partnership with economic empowerment non-profit, Operation HOPE.
  • Forrester names Kofax a leader in ECM transactional content services.
  • OutSystems launches global partner program, connecting integrators, resellers, and consultants to its low-code development platform.

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.

FinovateEurope Sneak Peek: collectAI

Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 2.20.57 PM

Screen Shot 2017-01-23 at 4.27.53 PMA look at the companies demoing live at FinovateEurope on the 7 and 8 of February 2017 in London. Pick up your tickets today and save your spot.

collectAI leverages AI, digital communication channels and integrated payments to improve collections rates and customer satisfaction.

Features

  • Full digital communication, if meaningful
  • AI-supported communication for best results
  • Integrated payments for high conversion rates

Why it’s great
It can be easily integrated and is able to improve both collection rates and customer satisfaction at the same time.Screen Shot 2017-01-30 at 4.33.19 PM

Presenters

Mirko Krauel, CEO
Krauel has 15+ years of experience in financial services and works as a CEO for collectAI. Before joining collectAI, Mirko worked for several startups and consulting companies.
LinkedInScreen Shot 2017-01-30 at 4.33.28 PM

Daniel Colomer, Product Owner
Colomer works as a product owner for collectAI and is responsible for customer interaction and payments. Prior to joining collectAI, he was a lead developer with Project Collins at the Otto Group.
LinkedIn

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

Around the web

  • Betterment unveils new multi-plan offering with access to human advisors.
  • Green Dot to acquire UniRush and its prepaid card business, RushCard, for $167 million.
  • Fidor partners with EPAM Systems to gain access to additional product development and software engineering talent.
  • D3 reports record revenue in 2016, up 160% from 2015.

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.