Credit Sesame’s Badges Give Users a Certification for Financial Responsibility

Credit Sesame.jpg

Finishing off the first morning session, Credit Sesame demonstrated its Certified Badge program:

“It not only authenticates your identity online, but also certifies that you are financially responsible and trustworthy because of your good credit. After signing up for Credit Sesame, you are able to get and easily display your Certified badge on your social media profiles, email signatures, resume, blog/personal website, and other web-based locations. 

Obtain different levels of badges based on your credit rating and credit management and customize your badge verification page. Credit Sesame’s Certified Badge helps you stand out and gives you an edge that can make a real difference in today’s complex, competitive world.”

Product Launched: September 2010 
HQ Location: Sunnyvale, CA 
Company Founded: January 2010 
Metrics: $7.1M raised, 15 employees
Presenting Adrian Nazari (CEO) & Irene Shubladze (VP Marketing)


Finovate Alumni Website Traffic in July

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of Finovate alums using data from Web-analytics company Compete
Out of 255 alumni, 59 (23%) had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in July 2011 (see tables below). Of those, 19 (32%) had more visitors than in the previous month and 25 (42%) were flat. Year-over-year, 26 (44%) had an increase, 10 (17%) were flat, and 23 (39%) were down. 

Private Companies
Notable successes:
  • Seeking Alpha had the most traffic in July with more than 2 million unique visitors.
  • eToro saw the highest monthly growth percentage with 3 times the number of unique visitors in July compared to June.
  • Bundle had the highest increase in number of unique month-over-month visits, with 450,000 more visitors in July than in June.
  • eRollover had the highest percent year-over-year traffic increase, with 260,000 more visitors from last July. 
Source: retrieved week of August 15, 2011
1. The previous month recorded was May 2011
2. Sears Credit Score is powered by
3. Kasasa is powered by BancVue
Public Companies
Notable successes:
  • PayPal had the highest number of U.S. visitors in July, with more than 30 million visitors.
  • Jack Henry & Associates saw the highest monthly growth with twice as many visitors in July than June.
  • Wipro Technologies had the highest year-over-year growth, with 3 times as many visitors this year compared to last year.
  • FIS Global and Online Resources also doubled their traffic compared to last year. 
Source: retrieved the week of August 15, 2011
1. The previous month recorded was May 2011.
1. We reviewed 255 Finovate alumni. Only those with at least 10,000 unique visitors in July are listed. 
3. NM = Not measurable
4. Compete estimates online visitors based on the activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic and may undercount at-work usage.

FinovateFall 2011 Sneak Peek: Part 2

FInFallLogo.jpgMore than 60 leading fintech innovators, both startups and established companies, are gearing up to present at the biggest Finovate ever, Sept. 20/21 in NYC.

Each company provided a sneak peek of what they’ll be demoing on stage next month. Below is the second installment of these teasers (see part 1 here). We’ll have more next week. 
Don’t miss your chance to see the live demo from each company and meet the execs responsible. Get your FinovateFall ticket here



Customers use different communication channels throughout the day and expect the same from their FI. But to reach and interact with the greatest number of customers – and deliver reward value to both institutions and their customers – banks and reward vendors alike must fully support the growing range of channels: online, mobile, social, e-mail and more, while providing requisite security and privacy for email communications featuring sensitive data. 
Cardlytics & ActivePath combine powerful technology to personalize reward offers based on transaction data that can be securely delivered and transacted directly within interactive email, enabling customers to respond at their convenience, anytime, anywhere.
Innovation type: Cards, communications, rewards

Andera (2).jpg

Andera’s FortiFI product stops online new account fraud. It scans applications submitted online at over 500 institutions, discovering patterns used by fraud rings only visible on an industry-wide scale, and flags applications matching known patterns before an account is opened. 
FortiFI is available as part of Andera’s hosted account-origination solution and its Software Development Platform that gives developers “plug and play” access to the services and software components (e.g., ID verification, application risk management, funding risk management, funds transfer, etc.) used by Andera’s popular hosted online account-opening solution, reducing the time and cost to bring innovation to market.
Innovation type: identity, marketing, sales


Online and mobile banking has created a new breed of cybercriminal. New forms of defense are needed.  
Authentify will unveil publicly for the first time, Authentify 2CHK. It is an app that will transform an end user’s mobile device into a secure transaction authenticator. The device becomes a defensive weapon in the battle against cybercrime. Authentify 2CHK is a natural extension of Authentify’s out-of-band technology and will help satisfy audit requirements for end user and transaction authentication spawned by FFIEC guidance updates.
Innovation type: Identity, payments, security

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BillGuard is the world’s first antivirus for bills. This free, Web-based solution empowers consumers with the assurance of an unheard-of level of personal finance security. The easy-to-use service has already saved consumers more than $300,000 from unwanted or unauthorized charges.  
BillGuard aims to be the “seal of approval” that merchants and financial institutions display so consumers recognize that their accounts are protected and that all posted charges are accurate. In the future, it will be imperative to display a BillGuard badge to gain customers.
Innovation type: cards, identity, security


Gen Y embraces frugality and seeks “engagement banking” with rich, interactive online experiences around their $200 billion in income.
Bobber represents a profound shift in how Gen Y relates to their money, integrating the most effective social engagement mechanics for cost-efficient acquisition, sustained loyalty, and increased wallet share. Bobber’s cash-management tool simplifies daily spending and incentivizes goal achievement. Users engage in a highly interactive debit rewards program grounded in their personal savings goals.
Bobber’s technology is architected into the Facebook ecosystem for low-friction onboarding, social collaboration, and experiences tailored to users’ Facebook data.
Innovation type: banking products, cards, marketing, online UI


CarryQuote IntelliCast is a private-labeled solution that allows you to securely deliver proprietary research and mul
ti-media content directly to your clients’ Apple, Android, BlackBerry, or Microsoft smartphones and tablets. 
Through CarryQuote’s unique, SaaS-based mobile technology platform, which offers compatibility across all five major mobile platforms, CarryQuote IntelliCast allows you to place a highly advanced, branded mobile application in your clients’ hands, and become their “go to” source for the latest financial research. Notably, this turnkey solution can be customized and deployed across all platforms in fewer than six weeks.
Innovation type: communications, investing, mobile and tablet UI


Cartera Commerce is re-inventing the deal with card-linked offers. 
Cartera, the leading provider of card-linked marketing solutions, will unveil its solution that enables banks to tap the explosive growth of the local deals market popularized by daily deal sites.
For banks, issuers and loyalty programs, Cartera provides the industry’s most comprehensive card-linked offer platform powering personalized in-store and online shopping programs that build consumer engagement, maximize card spend and create new revenue streams. For merchants, Cartera powers the industry’s largest card-linked advertising network, targeting and tracking shopping offers to 150 million+ loyal consumers. 
Innovation type: cards, marketing, rewards


CashStar, the preferred digital gifting and incentives partner for retailers and incentive partners, provides consumers with the most personal, compelling and convenient gifting experiences available. The only company to successfully combine an on-demand digital gifting and incentives platform with innovative multichannel marketing strategies, CashStar is changing the way rewards currency is exchanged from the digital world to the brick and mortar.
At FinovateFall 2011, CashStar will unveil a first-of-its-kind, location-based iPhone application that enables consumers to instantly turn credit card points into digital currency while they are in a participating retailer’s store.
Innovation type: cards, marketing, rewards


How do you know whether to trust online profiles? Where do you turn for assurance or accountability? The ability to demonstrate financial ‘good sense’ would give you an invaluable edge to stand out and succeed in career, business and personal objectives.
At FinovateFall 2011, Credit Sesame, one of the Internet’s most trusted credit management sites — backed by global financial institutions and world-class science, technology and financial experts — will reveal how to get that “edge.”
Whether you’re applying for a new job, transacting commerce online, or interacting with someone on the Web for business or personal reasons, Credit Sesame can help.
Innovation type: identity, lending, PFM


You’ve seen it all: savings tools, financial games, virtual banks and so on. But these products have a limited reach with your customers. DoughMain is the first and only service to combine family coordination and financial education into one simple and convenient platform.  
Achieve a new level of engagement with your adult customers who have active families. Integrate your bank and financial service products in a completely new way and upsell your offerings to a lucrative market.
Innovation type: banking products, marketing, PFM
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for FeeFighters.jpg

Samurai is the easiest and most elegant gateway on the market. It gives you ultimate flexibility at an affordable price.
With Samurai, you’ll be able to integrate payments on your site in minutes. Samurai boasts premium features such as intelligent routing, data portability, and gateway emulation. Send payments anywhere with Samurai — it’s universally compatible. Oh yeah, and that’s just a sneak peek at all that Samurai has to offer.
Innovation type: back office, payments, small business


Google Advisor makes it fast, safe, and easy for consumers to find personal finance products. Google will be showing the latest version of Advisor and be available for conversations with potential partners who are interested in the platform.
Innovation type: banking products, online UI

IND_Group (1).jpg

IND Group “wow” innovation is a new online and mobile banking platform that has reinvented the way a bank can communicate with its customers. The platform’s simplicity and ease of use is underpinned by natural language and data visualization — key differentiators.
Easy-to-use main features are the account and transaction visualization, wizard-type money transfers and investments, zero-effort personal finance management, online sales engine and
the support center. IND Mobile banking is more than just the extension of online banking features, unique ergonomic design, user experience, security and the fact that it is always-online.
Innovation type: mobile and tablet UI, online UI, PFM


See Kony’s mobile commercial banking solution in action. It allows the corporate treasurer and executives to approve transactions from any mobile device, including tablets. 
Each user is able to view the transaction amount, date, account involved, the approval status of other users, and a memo. This speeds the process of approving transactions as well as tracking the progress. Plus, from the development perspective, the application is updated and deployed to any mobile device, mobile Web or tablet from a single application definition.
Innovation type: banking products, mobile and tablet UI

LearnVest believes that financial planning should not be a luxury.
LearnVest is making personal financial advice accessible and affordable to millions of Americans. The company does this by providing the content, tools and advice to help women get informed, get organized, and get support.  
LearnVest’s new My Money Center and the LearnVest Advice Center are the keys to this transformation. By helping members create everything from a personalized budget to a retirement savings plan, LearnVest empowers women to build their wealth and afford their dreams. Come learn more about the new LearnVest Method and see where the company is headed.
Innovation type: communications, PFM


There’s a tremendous opportunity to gain share of cash and check spending by small businesses; if only business owners felt they could adequately delegate and manage the credit, debit or prepaid card spending of their employees. Now they can. 
MasterCard inControl Small Business Controller empowers small business owners to more confidently and securely delegate card spending to employees, improving expense control and helping to better manage cash flow. Small business owners can also create profiles with controls and alerts for each employee card and use virtual card numbers to shop more safely online.
Innovation type: cards, online UI, small business


miiCard is a revolutionary digital passport. It enables users to prove their identity online to the same level of authority as a drivers license or passport would do offline. 
By creating trust in an environment characterized by anonymity and transient identities, miiCard will open up opportunities for business online and put Internet users back in control of their personal information on a global basis.
Innovation type: identity, payments, security

Offermatic .jpg

Retailers are constantly looking for new ways to increase sales.
Over US$20 billion is spent on consumer promotions each year, but while promotions can be effective, they are costly and reduce margins.
Offermatic already enables any merchant today to precisely target Offermatic members based on their actual spending history. Merchants can acquire guaranteed-new customers, who are already spending in the category, on a 100% pay-for-performance basis.
At FinovateFall 2011, Offermatic will announce its latest innovation. This new model will enable merchants to run a free promotion and grow sales at no cost!
See you on September 21st.
Innovation type: marketing, rewards, coupons, small business 

PayNearMe (2).jpg

PayNearMe offers a convenient payment option to individuals who prefer to make payments in cash, as well as the more than 60 million adults who are unbanked or underbanked. 
PayNearMe will demonstrate an easy and inexpensive way for these consumers to pay their rent and auto loans with cash at their local 7-Eleven store. And with our self-service portal, merchants of any size will soon be able to take advantage of this simple payment alternative.
Innovation type: payments


RobotDough will be presenting a new product that helps people protect their investments.
Innovation type: investing and asset management, PFM

Thumbnail image for Wall_Street_Survivor.jpg

Wall Street Survivor is relaunching at FinovateFall 2011 with a website that finally demystifies investing. Wall Street Survivor couples a real-time stock market simulator with content t
o create missions. 
The product helps users understand financial concepts, such as creating a virtual portfolio, how to manage it, and how to find good stocks, all in a fun and rewarding way. If you want to learn how to invest better, or just want more confidence when speaking to your financial advisor or stockbroker, then the new Wall Street Survivor is for you.
Innovation type: Investing and asset management

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

TILE Financial.jpg

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

Alumni News — Week of July 4, 2011



CNNMoney examined Zong’s competition with Boku. Link
  • The Forbes blog recommended BrightScope as a tool to check your financial advisor’s history. Link
  • The Washington Examiner discussed how BrightScope helps consumers make informed decisions about their 401(k) plan. Link
Clairmail increased its security by using authentication from the RSA Secured Partner Program. Link
Credit Karma
The Forbes blog recommended Credit Karma as a tool to track and monitor your credit score. Link
Credit Sesame

Credit Sesame.jpg

The Forbes blog recommended Credit Sesame as a tool to track and monitor your credit score. Link

Dwolla updated its iPhone app to allow customers to send money via email. Link
American Banker discussed Dynamics’ adaptability to the mobile payment world. Link
Small Biz Technology outlined three of Enloop’s features. Link
AlphaTrade Finance discussed eToro’s CopyTrader network. Link
Expensify’s app was listed as Gearburn’s App of the WeekLink


GeekWire reviewed Finsphere’s new round of $1.75 million funding. Link
American Banker reported that Geezeo’s partnership with Sharetec Systems will help Geezeo reach more credit unions. Link

Guardian Analytics
The Street reported that Guardian Analytics’ Anomaly Detection & Fraud Monitoring will help financial institutions meet updated FFIEC guidelines. Link

Kony Solutions
Kony Solutions announced a partnership with Donriver for the delivery of multi-channel mobile apps. Link
The Quickbooks blog examined’s PFM tool. Link
Monitise Americas


Monitise developed two banking apps designed for the iPad for NatWest and RBS. Link
The Paypers interviewed Avangate and PayNearMe regarding their partnership and various future endeavors. Link
TechCrunch speculated that eBay’s acquisition of Zong  will advance PayPal’s mobile payments. Link
Credit Union Times discussed ProfitStars’ partnership with Corporate One Credit Union. Link
The Social Lending Network reviewed Prosper’s new Quick Invest feature. Link


Q2ebanking commented on the security implications of the new FFIEC guidelines. Link
The Motley Fool highlighted RobotDough as a powerful new tool for individual investors. Link
SilverTail Systems
  • Credit Union Times reported that SilverTail Systems’ capabilities enable financial institutions to comply with FFIEC guidelines. Link
  • Homeland Security Television profiled SilverTail Systems. Link

ThreatMetrix enhanced its security in anticipation of FFIEC guidelines. Link
TradeKing analyzed TradeKing’s services. Link
Xero hired a CFO onto to its team. Link

  • Yodlee released its new MoneyCenter app. Link
  • Quickbooks’ blog examined Yodlee’s PFM tool. Link
  • TechCrunch reported that Yodlee reached 30M users. Link

PayPal and Cortera Take Charge in May’s Web Traffic

Each month we survey the Web-traffic performance of our alums, using data from Web-analytics company Compete to review the sites they operate. 

Out of 255 alumni, 62 (24%) had more than 10,000 unique U.S. visitors in May 2011 (see tables below). Of the 62 reviewed, 25 (40%) had fewer visitors than in the previous month and 28 (45%) saw a decline year-over-year.

Private Companies
The 44 private companies are as follows:

Notable successes:

  • Cortera saw the highest number of unique U.S. visitors in May, with almost 2 million hits.
  • HelloWallet experienced the greatest month-over-month growth, with more than four times as many visitors.
  • Betterment saw its traffic increase an impressive 38 times from May of last year.

Private Finovate Alumni With More Than 10,000 Unique Visitors in May 2011

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for May2011PrivateWebTraffic.jpg

Source: retrieved June 29, 2011

Public Companies
The 18 public companies are as follows:

Notable successes:

  • PayPal experienced the highest number of U.S. visitors in May, with over 32 million visitors.
  • TransUnion Interactive saw the highest month-over-month growth with more than two times the number of visitors in May than in April.
  • Sybase 365 experienced the highest year-over-year growth, with its traffic up almost 80% from last year.

Public Finovate Alumni With More Than 10,000 Unique Visitors in May 2011 


Source: retrieved June 29, 2011



1. We reviewed 255 unique sites. Data was unavailable or irrelevant for 201 sites because: 

  • They had been acquired.
  • They were no longer available online.
  • They were not covered by Compete for various reasons (including some that were not U.S. domestic companies).
  • The number of unique visits was too small to be considered accurate.
  • They were subdomains of larger websites.

2. Numbers have been rounded to three significant digits.

3. The charts include companies that did not have measurable traffic in May 2011, indicated by “N/A.”

4. Compete draws its information from the online activity of a panel of more than 2 million U.S. Internet users. It is only an estimate of traffic, and may undercount at-work usage.

Alumni News — Week of May 30, 2011

Medill Reports discussed the benefits of Betterment and Currensee, claiming that the social networking craze changes the way some people invest. Link
BrightScope announced the top 10 treasury inflation protected securities funds in America’s 401ks. Link


Fox News’ Studio 10 reviewed ChargeSmart, PlasticJungle, and and found a number of money saving tools and ideas. Link
Check Point Software Technologies
Check Point Software Technologies won The Ten Best Web Support Sites of 2011 Award from The Association of Support Professionals for its exceptional web support design, implementation, and customer experience. Link
ClairMail announced record customer expansion with a 300% year-over-year growth in users. Link


The New York Times reported that Corduro’s cloud platform challenges PayPal and Square’s mobile payment services. Link
Credit Sesame
The Wisdom Journal depicted Credit Sesame’s services as more than just credit scores. Link
See Betterment above.
  • doxo explained how to use its online filing cabinet and “due date” alerts to help organize GroupOn, Living Social, and other daily deals. Link
  • discussed Oregon Federal Credit Union’s use of doxo and discussed other usage ideas such as uploading a scan of your passport prior to travelling. Link
  • Credit Union Times listed Dwolla as a contender in the P2P payment space. Link
  • Dwolla rallied community efforts to gather donations for the tornado-stricken town of Joplin by selling its t-shirts and accepting donations. Link
  • Omaha World-Herald covered Dwolla’s arrival into Nebraska. Link


  • highlighted Enloop’s business plan creation service. Link
  • Forbes blog discussed “How Not to Fail” by using Enloop to assess the potential success of a business plan. Link
Call Federal Credit Union, based in Richmond, VA, selected Geezeo for its PFM solution. Link
Guardian Analytics
Guardian Analytics positioned by Gartner in the “Visionary” quadrant for web fraud detection. Link


San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom urged residents to improve their money management by using HelloWallet. For every five subscriptions purchased, HelloWallet will give away one subscription to a family in need. Link
Hidden Levers
Financial Advisor Blog discussed using Hidden Levers to build better portfolios, highlighting risk management and accuracy of the service. Link
Lending Club
  • Lending Club exceeded a quarter million dollars in cumulative loans and is offering cash bonuses. Link
  • Wall Street Journal blog discussed growth of P2P Lending sites Prosper and Lending Club. Link


Lendio raised $2 million in debt financing. Link
PayNearMe founder Danny Shader, in an interview with Vator News, revealed the service is used beyond the unbanked population, including teens who prefer to pay with cash and consumers who would like to keep their online transactions private. Link
See Lending Club above.


Dow Jones Financial reports that a UCLA professor backed RobotDough. Link
The Washington Business Journal discussed SecondMarket’s recent popularity. Link


Sybase launched the M-Commerce Guide, a publication for examining global market opportunities for mobile network operators, advisors, and FIs. Link
TradeKing CIO Dan Raju discussed security issues that may arise with the NYSE cloud community, citing its security. Link
Tyfone contracted with Star One Credit Union to use its NFC technology.



CEO of UBank examined security concerns and competitors during an interview with ZDNet. Link

Alumni News — Weeks of March 7, 13 and 21, 2011

To view our alumni news updates in real time, follow us on Twitter

Andera adds its 500th customer.
Bill Harris and Mark Goines join the Pageonce Advisory Board. Harris was formerly CEO of Intuit and of PayPal, and Goines was formerly a senior executive at Intuit and Charles Schwab. named to the JMP Securities “Hot 100.” The list includes the 100 best privately held software companies for 2011 according to the investment bank.
BillShrink adds Anil Arora, Yodlee president and CEO, to its board of directors. The announcement comes just after the launch of “Statement Rewards” from BillShrink.
Boku moves from virtual-goods billing to real-goods billing in Germany. Now real goods can be added to wireless bills thanks to Boku’s technology.
Cardlytics wins Judge’s Choice Award in the 2011 Paybefore Awards. The Paybefore  awards are hosted annually by Prepaid Media.
CashEdge signs Huntington for P2P PopMoney.
Check out the Filene webinar with Thwakk on how to leverage financial education to increase youth membership.
Columbus Water Works customers can now pay their utility bill via eWise’s secure payment platform.
Cedit Sesame closes on $6.15 million Series B funding round led by Melo Ventures.
eToro launches “Trade Story.” This social platform helps traders learn the strategies behind other users’ trades.
Expensify is featured in Money magazine.
Guardian Analytics raises $11 million. This is Guardian’s fourth round of funding, this time led by Split Rock Partners.
H&R Block and Yodlee partner to make it easier to file taxes.
ICICI and Intuit partner on a Mint-like platform for India.

Credit Sesame to Demystify Personal Credit, Offer Alternatives

Thumbnail image for CS_Logo_Circle.pngFinovateFall 2010 alum Credit Sesame has shown promising growth in the nine weeks since launching in public beta. The startup helps consumers make smarter decisions about their loans and debt. The company is already monitoring $375 million in loans and has generated $18 million in lifetime savings for users. And during the last two months, the company has averaged 60,000 monthly unique website visitors.  

(Image credit:
Credit Sesame monitors credit scores and debts, free of charge, with targeted advertising providing the revenue. Users must register with their Social Security Number, and once registered, input the interest rates of their debts. Otherwise, all of the data is provided from the credit report. 
I recently gave Credit Sesame a try, and was impressed at how exhaustive the information was. Unlike other user-reported tools for determining debt strategy, the service provides a full report of an individual’s credit utilization 
All open debt accounts are visible, as well as credit score and credit use percentages.  All charts are clear and easy to read.  If needed, relevant product recommendations are made based on the data. And the startup doesn’t try to steer you to something you don’t need. For example, Credit Sesame marked my mortgage as “competitive” and gave me a green light without any advertising.  The only advertising displayed was geared toward helping me save money on  my consumer debt, a credit card and a Lending Club loan.  In addition, Credit Sesame weeds out offers that you don’t qualify for, making the research process much simpler. 
When I first toured the site a few weeks ago, recommendations offered by Credit Sesame indicated that I should include refinance my remaining consumer debt into a second mortgage to obtain a lower monthly payment.  This is not practical to me, since I’ll have the balance of the consumer debt paid off this spring,but  if I was shopping for the lowest payment, this would be a reasonable solution.  
Another visit to the site this week confirmed that the data is refreshed regularly, with options changed based on the latest numbers.  In my case, after a few payments on my credit card, Credit Sesame stopped recommending a second mortgage as an alternative. 
Users will see a new option, now that Credit Sesame is partnering with Lending Club, offering peer-to-peer loans within the debt optimization recommendations see screenshot below).



Credit Sesame believes the Lending Club partnership is a win-win for consumers, who can be introduced to this emerging financial product when they’re looking for an alternative to high-interest credit cards. The Lending Club term loans, both the three and five year options are offered, help meet the needs of those consumers looking to eliminate debt altogether. [See our earlier coverage on the five-year notes from Lending Club.]
Lending Club benefits from the direct link to consumers who are looking to refinance debt. Chief Marketing Officer Scott Sanborn reported to Credit Sesame that over 60% of the Lending Club’s borrowers are borrowing to refinance higher-interest debts.
Credit scores on the site are provided by Experian. 

Weekly Updates — Week of November 15, 2010

To see Finovate news updates in real-time, follow our feed on Twitter

Backbase is launching its fall webinar series. — The first 25 signups get a copy of Brett King’s new book “Bank 2.0.”
Billeo is powering the new American Express inSite service. — Amex users get rewards and bonuses from within their browser.
BillFloat shines at the “Under the Radar Conference.” — The company won the “Judges’ Choice” and “Audience Choice” awards in the Commerce category.
Blippy lets users “fancify” their profiles.
Data is king at BrightScope. — See the  O’Riley Radar article which includes a five-minute video on how the startup gathered 401k plan info from the Department of Labor

Credit Sesame launches. — Public Beta is open to everyone. Excellent info-graphic about consumer debt in America
eRollover announces new website. — The new site is designed to be easier to navigate and better show analytic tools.
GoalMine launches with $25 reward to users who establish a $25 per month investment plan. — The program not only encourages ongoing investment, but highlights the convenience of the company’s online GoalPack gift card system.
Ixaris launches Secret Path Developer Challenge. — Secret Path rewards developers who build payment applications on Ixaris Opn for social media networks, mobile devices and ecommerce.
Kasasa Poetry Challenge. — Poets can win cash prizes, and have their work used in a Kasasa commercial.
Monitise and US Bank work together for contactless payments solution.
Mozo wins Deloitte’s Rising Star award. — The award is for companies in operation for fewer than three years.
PayNearMe garners $16 million in venture capital. — Khosla Ventures led the funding round. The company will also be launching a mobile payments application. 
SmartyPig adds 21 new “Best in Class Retailers” just in time for holiday shopping. — Retail partners boost users’ savings by up to 14% when the savings goal is withdrawn via their gift card.
Tempo Payments powers reward card for Sheetz convenience stores. — The decoupled affinity debit cards are independently-branded rewards debit cards, which link to the customer’s checking account.
Wikinvest launches Android and Blackberry apps which allow users to view their accounts regardless of brokerage.

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Videos Now Available


We’re pleased to announce that the demo videos from FinovateFall 2010 are now available for free download (or immediate consumption) from the Finovate archives.

This fall’s NYC conference showcased 56 handpicked companies doing 7-minute demonstrations (no slides allowed) of their latest technology innovations to a sold-out audience of 650 financial & banking executives, venture capitalists, press, analysts and entrepreneurs.

Check out these cutting-edge ideas in financial, banking, payments, mobile, lending, investing and security technologies today for inspiration and your next edge on the competition! 

(P.S. If you’re interested in joining us at the next Finovate event, tickets are now on sale for FinovateEurope (Feb, 1, 2011 in London). It is going to be an amazing showcase of European and global fintech innovation!)


Eric Mattson is CEO of Online Financial Innovations, the parent company of NetBanker, Online Banking Report and the Finovate Conference Series. He can be reached at

FinovateFall 2010 Demo Lineup Revealed


We’re very excited to reveal the 56 cutting-edge companies that have been selected to demo their latest technology innovations on October 4 and 5 in New York City at FinovateFall.

Over the show’s two days, attendees will get to watch the future of fintech and banktech unfold on stage via fast-paced demos (28 each day) from these innovators. And then have a chance to interact with top executives from each of the demo companies during intimate networking sessions.

Without further delay, here’s the list of companies we’re excited to showcase:

If you’re interested in attending the conference, registering now will save you $100 on your ticket via the early-bird discount and reserve your spot (space is limited and we’re expecting to sell out). We’ll see you in New York!


Eric Mattson is CEO of Online Financial Innovations, the parent company of NetBanker, Online Banking Report and the Finovate Conference Series. He can be reached at