Finovate Alumni News


  • Daon Brings Mobile Biometric Authentication to UnionBank.
  • A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Standalone, Automated Savings with Dyme and Digit.
  • A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Gen-Z Targeted with Worldline and FamZoo.

Around the web

  • TradeShift announces new AI-powered interface for B2B commerce, Tradeshift Ada.
  • MasterCard introduces new fraud detection solution, Decision Intelligence.
  • Co-op Financial Services to leverage machine learning-based fraud fighting technology from Feedzai.
  • TickSmith partners with DataBP to bring integrated financial data solutions to exchanges.

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.

A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Standalone, Automated Savings


This is part two of a six part blog series about savings technology. Yesterday we discussed what savings technology looks like in goals-based PFM platforms. Today, we’re considering a far simpler approach– standalone, automated savings platforms.

Missed the other five savings categories? Check them out:

These types of companies debuted in 2011 with the launch of ImpulseSave*, which was acquired by Betterment in 2013. Since that time, a few other competitors have launched and are beginning to build steam with their Millennial user base.

Standalone, automated savings

These are mobile app-based savings tools that differentiate themselves based on simplicity. The solutions are aimed at millennials and use an algorithmicScreen Shot 2017-03-14 at 1.29.08 PM approach to determine the best dollar amount and frequency to save on behalf of the user, based on their historical spend. They use a chat-based interface for client communication and account management. Two examples in this space are Dyme, which takes a strict B2B approach, and Digit, which offers a B2C app.

  • Dyme
    Dyme’s B2C product is a text message savings solution for 18 to 40 year olds. The AI-driven chat capability is set apart by its unique voice and familiar tone. The app offers users the option to set the voice as standard, 1980’s aerobic instructor, sad high school teacher, or terrible parent (see image right).Dyme launched its consumer-facing app at FinovateFall 2015 and has since pivoted. The company has narrowed its focus to a offer a B2B solution and expanded its products to include text capability for customer service, financial education, account alerts, and bill pay reminders.
  • Digit
    This customer-facing app harks back to text banking of the late 1990’s. In fact, users don’t even need IMG_0356a smartphone to take advantage of it. All they need to do it set up an account with their primary debit card and text the commands. Want to set aside an extra $10? Text, “save $10.” Want to withdraw your entire balance to pay your taxes? Text, “withdraw $1,700 for taxes.” To encourage interaction, Digit texts users their savings balance and checking account balance on a regular basis.Last month, the company expanded its platform with the launch of a Goalmojis feature that encourages users to set up and save for all types of spending goals, ranging from vacations to utility bills, simply by texting an emoji that matches that goal, for example a Christmas Tree emoji (pictured right). If the user assigns a due date for the goal, Digit will set aside money on their behalf to help them achieve it.

That’s a look at the first two types of savings technology. Stay tuned later this week for the final three examples.

*This Massachusetts-based company is not to be confused with U.K.-based ImpulseSave, whose parent company True Potential launched a similar product for the European market at FinovateFall 2014.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Finovate Debuts: Juvo’s Identity Scoring Builds Credit for the Underserved.

Around the web

  • Techfoliance features Dyme, Personetics, and
  • Cryptocoins news examines LendingRobot’s new automated hedge fund.
  • The CardLinx Association unveils Microsoft-developed, open source, card-linking software available to public.
  • Capital One forges strategic partnership with and Gusto to develop financial management tools for SMEs.

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.

Fintech Trending: Germany Grows, Pokemon Goes, PayPal Partners


Today we unveil our fintech trends column, a look at trending topics of the past week or two, compiled by the Finovate research team.

Trending highest: Pokemon Go

Our inaugural post leads with the Pokemon Go phenomenon which has fintech innovators rethinking their strategies around not just mobile, but the power of gamification, location-based marketing, and the diversity of data, as well.

Sberbank (F16) was clever enough to offer free accident insurance for distraction-prone Pokemon Go players. But the Russian-based bank has bigger plans to engage potential customers via the game, including bonuses for players who catch Pokemon in a Sberbank branch. Sberbank also plans to use lures to help drive traffic to its locations, an initiative already underway at CenterState Bank in Florida. Read our take on the technology, and its potential as a marketing tool for FIs.

It comes as no surprise that fintech’s foremost futurist, Brett King, makes the most far-reaching case in favor of a connection between Pokemon Go and fintech. Calling the game “a glimpse into how very different the world of banking, investing, and financial advice will be in 10 year’s time,” the Moven (F16) CEO and author of Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane tells The Financial Brand’s Jim Marous: “(Pokemon Go) illustrates why banking is no longer a place you go, but something you do—on a phone, in AR, and as a person lives their life.”

Other quality Pokemon posts:

  • Lessons Pokemon Go Can Teach the Banking Industry – The Financial Brand
  • Is Pokemon Go the Killer App for Location-Based Marketing – AdvertisingAge
  • Urban gamification: can Pokemon transform our public spaces – The Guardian
  • Pokemon Go Is Inspiring Small Retailers. So Has Augmented Reality Gone Mainstream? – AdWeek
  • Pokemon Go has reinvented the power of data – IT Pro Portal
  • Capture your business spend: no Pokeball needed – TradeShift blog

Other trending topics

Brexit a Boon for German Fintechs?
With the strong fundraising performance of Germany’s fintech startups in late June, and news this week that Peter Thiel took a $3.5 million stake in Cologne-based nextmarkets, London’s position as Europe’s fintech capital may be weakening. And Germany seems to be the likeliest beneficiary.

  • Brexit spurs London startups to investigate Berlin move – Reuters
  • ‘Over a hundred’ London startups have asked to relocate to Berlin since Brexit – International Business Times
  • Berlin bids to replace London as post-Brexit fintech capital – Financial Times

Nasdaq Fintech Index Goes Live
You know Wall Street loves you when they render your likeness in an index. This week, Nasdaq launched its Fintex Index which tracks the performance of 49 fintech companies including 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums. The index of publicly traded fintechs excludes banks and is limited to companies that “mainly sell financial services,” are not brick-and-mortar based, and generate revenues from fees rather than interest.

A Week in the Blockchain
While in Florida, a judge ruled that Bitcoin isn’t money, the EU commission made a step fostering the cryptocurrency, proposing the creation of a central database that keeps a record of bitcoin users. With the new measure, the executive arm of the EU aims to prevent the use of the currency to fund terrorists.

Mastercard Accentuates the Digital
Mastercard (F14) enhanced Masterpass, allowing consumers to make in-store payments at 5 million brick-and-mortar stores. The company rebranded its logo with a lowercase ‘c’ to focus less on a physical card and more on a digital wallet. One week later the company purchased a majority stake in U.K.-based VocaLink for $1.14 billion, giving Mastercard a potentially larger role in the overall U.K. payments universe.

Pump Up the Visa Volume
Visa (F10) and PayPal (F12, FD16) partnered, putting to bed a long-standing conflict. PayPal will encourage users to make Visa their preferred payment method. And more importantly, PayPal will stop steering Visa cardholders to pay via ACH bank transfer, increasing the transaction volume sent to Visa and its card-issuing banks. In turn, Visa is adding PayPal to its Visa Digital Enablement Platform, allowing consumers to use PayPal mobile wallet at the physical POS at major retailers. PayPal has been trying to engage consumers with physical POS payments since 2012, when it first introduced its pay-by-phone-number at Home Depot.

More Fintech Companies Choose Chatbots
This ongoing trend saw new entrants with Polly Portfolio (F16) launching a chatbot, along with MyKAI and YouInvest. Additionally, text-based savings service Dyme (F15) launched the first prototype of its Facebook Messenger Bankbot.

We’re also keeping our eyes on:

  • Amazon partnered with Wells Fargo to offer a 0.50% discount on student loans for Amazon Prime members
  • Square adds same-day bank deposits for merchants. While relatively pricey, adding 1% of the transaction amount to the processing cost, it’s a simple way to improve cash flow for certain businesses.
  • Cambridge Savings Bank partnered with SigFig (F11) to become one of the first U.S. banks to offer a robo-adviser investment service.

Parentheticals after a company name refer to the year of their most recent Finovate or FinDEVr conference appearance (F = Finovate, FD = FinDEVr),

FT Partners New Research Report on Digital Wealth Management Features a Dozen Finovate Alums

FTPartners_logo_2The new research report on digital wealth management from Financial Technology Partners is a timely reminder of just how deep the firm’s dedication to, and insight into, the fintech world goes (that the report features a dozen Finovate and FinDEVr alums is pretty neat, too).

FT Partners’ report “Are the Robots Taking Over? The Emergence of Automated Digital Wealth Management Solutions” looks at the different platforms and business models used by digital wealth management companies, as well as the response by industry incumbents. The 140+ page report also features interviews with CEOs from leading major digital wealth-management companies such as Betterment, Nutmeg, and SigFig.

Writing about this FT Partners’ report on digital wealth management for Bloomberg View, columnist and money manager Barry Ritholtz noted:

“For those of you who may not have thought much about how technology might affect Wall Street, the work you do each day, and how you do it—not to mention what it means for your careers—this report is invaluable.”

Ritholtz outlined how his own experience as a money manager had been shaped by the rapidly changing technology landscape (“My office is small, but thanks to technology, and fintech in particular, we are able to be very productive with just 14 people,” he wrote). He also admits this productivity comes at a cost for some. “Those people who don’t adapt will find themselves with limited career options,” Ritholtz writes.

So who are the disruptors in the digital wealth management space of whom both FT Partners and Ritholtz speak?



















  • Founded in 2008
  • Headquartered in Los Altos, California
  • Kevin Cimring and Michael Blumenthal are joint CEOs
  • Acquired by Invesco, January 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2013




  • Founded in 2009
  • Headquartered in New York, New York
  • Alexa von Tobel is CEO and founder
  • Acquired by Northwestern Mutual, March 2015
  • FinovateFall 2013
















  • Founded in 2005
  • Headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida
  • Donato Montanaro is CEO
  • Acquired by Ally Financial, April 2016
  • FinovateSpring 2008


Dyme Unveils Prototype of Facebook Savings Chatbot


With all due respect to the blockchain, 2016 may well be the year of the bot.

Bank Innovation reports that Finovate Best of Show winner Dyme has unveiled the first Facebook financial chatbot. The savings-related chatbot comes in a trio of tones (including the ever-popular “terrible parent” option) and while it is essentially the same as Dyme’s text-based savings solution, the company told Bank Innovation that the chatbot is part of the company’s plan to create a comprehensive set of messaging apps and services. Bank Innovation’s JJ Hornblass also praised the speed with which Dyme was able to put the chatbot app together, given that Facebook made specs available in April.


Pictured: Dyme founder Joseph Prather demonstrated his company’s text-message-based savings solution at FinovateFall 2015 in New York.

What exactly is a chatbot? A chatbot is a software program that communicates in text form with human users; as machine learning and artificial intelligence play a greater role on the back end, many of these technologies are being deployed on the front end. With chatbots, businesses are able to perceptively receive queries and deliver information to busy consumers through popular, recognizable formats and channels. The technology has its detractors who decry the lack of human contact in commerce, and is still very much a work-in-progress when confronted with real-world externalities as Microsoft learned with its embarrassing Tay experiment this spring. But there’s no doubt that the convergence of technology and convenience will drive innovation in chatbot development as it has in mobile banking, biometric authentication, and other areas.

Writing about the relationship between chatbots and financial services in March, our own Jim Bruene noted that while the technology is very effective in self-service applications, chatbots are also capable of handling transactions in general and the “repetitive routine ones typical of online/mobile banking sessions” in particular. “If you think of online banking via a PC as digital banking 1.0, and mobile as digital banking 2.0, then the upcoming invisible UI … using chatbots, AI and machine learning could very well be version 3.0,” Bruene wrote.

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in San Francisco, Dyme demoed its text-message-based savings technology at FinovateFall 2015. The company was featured in Benzinga’s “3 Ways Fintech Companies Can Help You Save” and is currently in the spring cohort of the fintech accelerator of Bank Innovation INV.

Finovate Alumni News


  • Tradeshift Closes $75 Million Series D Round, Boosts Valuation to $500 Million.
  • Finovate Debuts: EquityZen Lets Wealth Managers Invest in Pre-IPO Companies.
  • Backbase Announces New CFO Leonore Van Waiij.
  • MyOrder, Wirecard Helps Power Shared Spending Functionality for GRPPY App.
  • Dyme Unveils Prototype of Facebook Saving Chatbot.

On FinDEVr

  • FICO Launches Falcon Assurance Navigator to Help Universities Monitor Federal Grant Spending.

Around the web

  • Chartis names CustomerXPs an Enterprise Solution player in the 2016 RiskTech Quadrant for Enterprise Fraud Tech.
  • Patch of Land Adds Institutional Investors to Real Estate Platform.
  • Prosper hires investment banks to explore raising more funds.
  • NuData Security Selected Best AntiFraud Solution at CardNotPresent Expo.
  • TechCrunch: Lending Robot makes Lending Club investing easy as setting screen brightness.
  • Tokbox launches its video broadcast solution for producers.
  • Banking Technology: Goldman Sachs to use technology from Infosys to power its new digital bank, GS Bank.
  • Business Insider features Finovate alums Azimo, eToro, Currency Cloud, and Zopa in list of potential future U.K. fintech unicorns.
  • True Potential wins Best Use of Technology at Money Marketing Awards 2016.
  • CreditHQ announces special freelancer rate.

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.

Finovate’s 2015 Best of Show Winners Give Something to Tweet About


2015 was quite a year for the 800+ Finovate alumni. From acquisitions to IPOs, and everything in between, there was plenty to tweet about. Here are the highlights from the 2015 Best of Show winners:

FinovateEurope 2015

Avoka demoed a three-minute loan application that delivers a fast onboarding experience.

CoinJar showed a technology that enables consumers to buy, sell, and use digital and traditional forms of currency any way they choose, from dollars to bitcoins.

ebankIT demoed its omnichannel and social banking solution that maximizes interaction between FIs and clients.

eToro showed its innovations in social trading and investing for generation Y.

Jumio demoed credentials-management technology Netverify that turns mobile devices into ID document-scanning terminals.

mBank & i3D demoed their interactive, digital retail-branch concept.

Meniga showed off Market Match, its transaction-data analytics and enrichment engine.

FinovateSpring 2015

Alpha Payments Cloud demoed AlphaHub, its omnichannel access platform that helps banks, merchants, MSPs, and ISOs gain access to any solution provider in the world.

Avoka (see above)

Money Amigo showed technology that brings financial services to the underbanked and underserved, delivering traditional banking products in an innovative way.

Moven launched Moven Financial Health Platform that provides real-time contextualized notifications and interactions that create “gamified money moments.”

NAMU Systems demoed “Joyful Banking” which uses new and intelligent behavior modeling to focus on customer behavior and digital experiences to create a new standard in mobile banking. showcased its Receipt Capture for Banks, a solution that boosts functionality of online and mobile banking apps while providing fraud protection.

Stratos demonstrated its dynamic Stratos Bluetooth-connected card and digital card issuance platform that analyzes card-usage trends and interactively engages card members.

FinovateFall 2015 launched technology that enables financial services and other enterprises to set up and build applications on a private, hosted blockchain.

Dyme showcased its innovative method for helping people start a savings habit and fund their lifestyle using text messaging.

Dynamics demoed fully programmable interfaces (stripe, EMV, NFC) for use in next-generation payment cards.

Finanteq launched its SuperWallet that helps banks take full advantage of their potential by integrating m-commerce and remote services with mobile banking.

Hedgeable: demoed its private banking platform for millennials.

HelloWallet showed its Retirement Explorer solution, an approachable and actionable online planning tool that helps employees model and work toward specific retirement outcomes.

SaleMove demoed its Engagement Platform and Omnicall technologies that enable online consumers to engage live with businesses as if they were face-to-face.

Soundpays showed its app that recognizes ultrasonic and sonic waveforms even in extremely noisy environments.

Want to see more award-winning demos of the newest fintech ideas? Pick up your ticket FinovateEurope 2016 and we’ll see you in London.

Deadline for Queen City Fintech Spring 2016 Accelerator is This Week


The deadline for applications to join the Spring 2016 cohort of the Queen City FinTech Accelerator Program is this Wednesday, 6 January.

QCFinTech is based in Charlotte, North Carolina, a major U.S. financial services hub that provides access to professional mentors from institutions ranging from Bank of America to Wells Fargo. The accelerator program runs for 12 months with 12 weeks of on-site “intensive acceleration” beginning in March and ending with a Demo Day event on 1 June 2016. Finovate Best of Show award winner Dyme is among the program’s alums.

In a statement, QCFinTech said their accelerator program was an opportunity to help different kinds of fintech companies bring their innovations to market. “While our program does not focus on one aspect of FinTech,” the statement noted, “our mentors and expertise tend to have core expertise in payments, cyber security, retail and consumer banking.”


FinovateFall 2015 Best of Show Winners Announced


The Best of Show votes for FinovateFall 2015 have been cast and counted! After two days and 70 live demos of the latest in fintech innovation, our attendees made their opinions known as to which companies earned “Best of Show” (see footnotes for voting methodology).

This year at FinovateFall, it was the debuting companies that made some of the biggest impressions on our record-setting Finovate audience. Of the eight companies to take home “Best of Show” honors, five of them were making their very first appearance on the Finovate stage.

So with a hearty “Congratulations!” let’s meet the Best of Show winners of FinovateFall 2015 (in alphabetic order): for its technology that enables financial services and other enterprises to set up and build applications on a private, hosted blockchain.


dymeDyme for its innovative method for helping people start a savings habit and fund their life using text messaging.

DynamicsLogoDynamics for its fully programmable interfaces—stripe, EMV, NFC—for use in next-generation payment cards.


FINANTEQLogoFinanteq for its SuperWallet that helps banks take full advantage of their potential by integrating m-commerce and remote services with mobile banking.

HedgeableLogoHedgeable for its private banking platform for millennials.


HelloWalletLogoHelloWallet for its Retirement Explorer solution, an approachable and actionable online planning tool that helps employees model and work toward specific retirement outcomes.

SaleMoveSaleMove for its Engagement Platform and OmniCall technologies that enable online consumers to engage live with businesses as if they were face-to-face.

Soundpays_logo_FF2015Soundpays for its patent-pending technology that allows the app to recognize ultrasonic and sonic waveforms even in extremely noisy environments.

We had a great time at FinovateFall 2015 and hope you enjoyed the show, as well. Thanks, as always, to everyone who attended, sponsored, partnered with and demonstrated their latest technologies at FinovateFall 2015. We’ll see you next year!

Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their three favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate the companies on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The eight companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballot were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from FinovateEurope 2015 are here. Best of Show winners from FinovateSpring 2015 are here.

Dyme Launches its Text Message-based Savings Solution

dymeThis post is part of our live coverage of FinovateFall 2015.

The founder of Dyme “pay yourself” is our next presenter.

Dyme is demoing its primary service, focusing on text message interactions with the user. These texts are designed to help the user make small, in-the-moment contributions that nudge the user into saving toward long-term goals and savings.

Presenter: Joseph Prather, founder




Product launch: September 2015

Metrics: Raised ~$300,000 for beta test; 5 employees
Product distribution strategy: Direct to consumer (B2C); direct to business (B2B); through financial institutions

HQ: San Francisco, California
Founded: May 2014
Twitter: @mydyme