Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • The ID Co. Lands $2 Million.
  • Finastra Inks New Bank Partners for its Blockchain-Based Lending Platform.
  • ClickSWITCH Raises $13 Million in Series B.
  • masterqueue Closes First Round of Funding.

Around the web

  • Fintech Switzerland lists additiv, finhorizon, and clevercircles on list of wealthtechs offering more than just roboadvisory.
  • Forbes on how Tradeshift is fighting modern day slavery.
  • Mint Life names FamZoo on list of apps to teach kids about money.
  • IBS Intelligence features CustomerXPS’ Clari5 in its latest report.

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 Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Yandex.Money Moves Mobile Wallet Forward with Moven Enterprise.

Around the web

  • Jumio won gold award for Security Software Enterprise Product of the Year at the 2018 Best in Biz Awards
  • FamZoo redesigns card to make it more teen friendly.
  • Coindesk reports: Coinbase Quietly Opened Its OTC Crypto Trading Desk This Month.

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 Finovate Guide to the Future of SavingsTech

OL1V2Z0

Don’t panic! I’m not necessarily saying that “savingstech” is yet another “thingtech” that you’ll be required to know before the next Fintech Cocktail Club social. Think of savings tech simply as shorthand for companies that are developing and deploying technologies that enable us save more of what we earn. Sure, the average fintech fan probably feels they know all there is to know when it comes to PFM. But the technologies that help ferry our hard-earned money into a safer place than the nearest cash register are more diverse than you might imagine.

Just check out our multi-part series on savings tech. From crowdfunding and Generation Z targeting to passive investing and goals-based PFM, fintech has left few technologies untested in the pursuit of better, more efficient and effective savings strategies for all of us.

And so the only question that remains is: Where is savings tech going and what will it look like when it gets there? We reached out to our Finovate alumni community and put the question to them. This is what they told us.

Om Kundu, CEO and Chairman InSpirAVE (FF16)

InSpirAVE’s Internet of Savings® platform leverages the power of social networks to encourage smart financial decision-making and amplify savings.

Finovate: What is the most challenging aspect about building a savings solution?

Om Kundu: A part of it is structural forces. Think about the arc in the evolution of the internet over the past decade and a half. It has been strikingly asymmetrical in how it has put our spending muscle on steroids while our longer-term savings muscle has atrophied on a relative basis … especially when it comes to goals that really matter.

If there is a singular obsession in ‘reducing friction’ that stands out in the juggernaut of e-commerce – as much as in-store technologies – it is the preoccupation of an ever-accelerating tech-stack to fuel “Push-Button-Get-Stuff” as the defining essence of commerce in much of our lives.

What is missing in that future? Technology that is equally ingenuous and accountable in furthering human agency to make decisions that are thoughtful, rather than impulsive. We think of them as purchase decisions, but they really are financial decisions that can only be made properly to the extent you and your loved ones have the tools to discern whether buying that shiny object really matters … and whether you have the savings to pay for it.

InSpirAVE_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: InSpirAve CEO and Chairman Om Kundu demonstrating The Internet of Savings® at FinovateFall 2016.

Finovate: Let’s look to the future. What kind of savings technology will we see over the next three to five years, for example?

Kundu: It’s really about goals and creating sustainable, achievable pathways to getting you there in ways that are not only affordable, but are equally memorable in terms of the shared experiences that are created for you and your loved ones in that path-to-purchase. As the definition of liquidity – historically confined to monetary equity socked away in your bank account and credit line – becomes more inclusive of social equity across increasingly networked social platforms and distributed ledgers, your overall well-wishing community will play an equally important role as the historical stores of savings (banks) and spending (merchants) have.

And that’s a big part of the fabric woven into InSpirAVE’s design as well, empowering our users with the digital tools to cultivate their own well-wishing community which, in turn, eggs the user on … in articulation, accelerated progress, and ultimately fulfillment of whatever goal they set their mind to.

Bill Dwight, CEO and Founder, FamZoo (FS13)

FamZoo is an online and mobile platform that helps parents teach their children responsible personal financial habits through a private, secure”Virtual Family Bank.”

Finovate: Do you see a bright future of savings-enabled technologies?

Bill Dwight: I think savings enabling tech will explode in popularity. As a consumer, having to diligently exercise willpower to amass savings is a pretty horrible experience. If, on the other hand, a piece of smart automation can amass savings for me painlessly “behind my back”, the experience is nothing short of delightful. One day, you sign in and say, “whoa, I have $1000 in my emergency fund or $500 in my travel fund – awesome!” That’s what companies like Digit (digit.co/) are doing for individuals, and that’s what we (famzoo.com) do for kids earning an allowance or working odd jobs for their parents. It’s such a delightful and positive financial experience from the norm that its expansion and evolution is inevitable.

FamZoo_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: FamZoo CEO and Founder Bill Dwight demonstrating FamZoo’s Prepaid Card Family Pack at FinovateSpring 2013.

Finovate: Which direction do you think savings tech will – or should – go in the years to come?

Dwight: Automation algorithms will naturally grow more sophisticated and effective as they leverage more and more knowledge about the saver’s unique situation and financial habits. They’ll also be able to allocate funds across a broader array of target accounts in an integrated, optimal way. For example, if the algorithms know you have young kids, more automated savings might be redirected toward 529 accounts to help pay for future college expenses. Or, your teen with that first summer job might have more automated savings funneled toward an early Roth IRA where it can grow tax free for decades. Or, perhaps the everyday “behind your back” savings will automatically redirect to knock out your most expensive consumer debt first before adjusting back to satisfying your longer term savings goals.

Greg Midtbo, Chief Revenue Officer, Moven Enterprise (FE17)

Moven Enterprise is an engagement platform that transforms customer financial data into digital experiences and actionable insights.

Finovate: What is most challenging when it comes to building savings solutions?

Greg Midtbo: The challenge is to take a different approach. Industries primarily approach this from a product perspective, as savings-as-a-product, and how to find tools to enable that product. The hunch is to take it from a customer’s perspective, to help the customer understand the trade-offs between the little decisions they make day to day, and how that impacts their medium- and long-term financial well-being.

In other words, how to help people make better decisions that may give them simple ways to give transparency to that trade-off and to take action. This may mean how to (1) control their spending or manage their spending and then (2) how to manage what they do with the amount of money they make that they don’t spend – which is savings or investing or other durations of storing assets. I think that’s the challenge: to break out of the product and cross-sell-into-a-product metaphor and approach it from a holistic customer perspective.

Banks tend to communicate to people around savings around rate and term. And since we’re in a very low interest rate environment, there’s not a lot of motivation there. So the motivation we think is around their overall financial health and helping them understand that trade-off.

Moven_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: Moven Chief Revenue Officer Greg Midtbo demonstrating Moven Enterprise at FinovateEurope 2017.

Finovate: And in terms of future, looking out over the next three to five years?

Midtbo: I think we’ll move beyond just insight into the current state and start to make smart recommendations. How do you get to those goals that you set – whether its that carbon fiber bike or savings for education and retirement? What actions can you take to get there? We think artificial intelligence algorithms that know everything about you and can start to bring financial advice are next … I’m thinking back to the e*Trade commercials – not just some guy your Dad introduced you to or a twice-a-year sit down with a financial advisor – but a solution that is everyday giving you a little bit of financial coaching based on you. Not based on people like you or a segment (of the population), but based on you, what your next smart financial move is.

So that and (removing) the friction from taking those actions are key. Put the product/channel construct in the background and, in the foreground, a more seamless and advice-driven customer experience.

Dr. Yassin Hankir, CEO and Founder, savedroid (FS16)

With its lifestyle savings rules called “smooves,” savedroid is an algorithm-based mobile app that transforms everyday activities into automated savings.

Savedroid_stage_SavingsTech

Pictured: Savedroid CEO and Founder Dr. Yassin Hankir demonstrating his company’s savings solution at FinovateSpring 2016.

Finovate: What is the future of SavingsTech? What can we expect from this space over the next three to five years?

Yassin Hankir: I strongly believe Artificial Intelligence (AI) will be the key driver of innovation in savings technology going forward. Smart and autonomous savings tools enabling users to achieve their personal saving goals through automatically optimizing their individual savings and spending are on the rise.

This will create the next level of personal financial everyday assistance suitable for typical mass market users. (This will) contribute to fintech overcoming its niche market status and expanding to a significantly broader target audience.  

Ryan Clark, CEO and Founder, ProActive Budget (FF16)

One of the most popular savings strategies ever devised, cash envelope budgeting, is re-invented and digitized in the new savings solution from ProActive Budget.

Finovate: What are some of the most challenging issues in savings tech right now?

Ryan Clark: 57% of the U.S. is financially “unhealthy,” living paycheck-to-paycheck. For these people saving money isn’t even on their radar. They’re just trying to pay the bills each month. The key is to help them control their discretionary spend. Fix this and suddenly there’s some money to save.

ProActiveBudget_savingstech

Pictured: CEO and founder Ryan Clark demonstrating ProActive at FinovateFall 2016.

Do you see a bright future for savings-enabled technologies?

Clark: People like automation, but too much causes people to check out of their finances causing even worse problems. The ideal system will help them analyze their finances and then determine where they can cut back to be able to save. This must be involved and customized since money is very emotional. But these tools are coming and it will help people save and grow their wealth like never before.

Which direction do you think savings technology will – or should – go in the years to come?

Clark: It has to be holistic while keeping things simple. Spending controls will dominate the space since savings is a byproduct of spending decisions. The convergence of budgeting and banking will continue and accelerate making both controlling spending inside a planned budget and automated savings easier.


For more on our savings technology, check out our six-part series on key players and the enabling technologies.

Designed by Freepik

A Look at the Savings Tech Horizon: Gen-Z Targeted

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This is part three of a six part blog series about savings technology. Last week we discussed how savings technology works in goals-based PFM platforms and standalone, automated savings platforms. Today, we’re shifting our focus to a younger generation.

Missed the other five savings categories? Check them out:

Generation Z, also known as the iGeneration, is defined as people born between the years 1995 to 2012. While this group generally doesn’t have much discretionary income (or any income at all), they are at a key age to learn how to manage their money.

Gen-Z targeted

Many banks understand the value of catering to younger generations– if you hook them young, it’s easier to score them as clients for life. Gen-Z targeted solutions work well for banks seeking easy client acquisition (a B2B model) and for parents who want to teach their children fiscal responsibility or are tired of giving hand-outs (a B2C model).  Worldline and FamZoo both offer solutions for banks that appeal to kids as well as their parents.

  • Worldline
    At FinovateEurope last month, Worldline debuted its WL Connected Piggy Bank, a smart piggy bank that is connected with a tandem mobile banking app for kids. The piggy bank serves as a physical savings account for the kid– when a coin is deposited, the piggy lets out a snort.The connected mobile app helps the child recognize coins and add up the balance of the physical coins in their piggy bank combined with the amount in their online account. The parent-facing side of the mobile app allows parents to deposit money into the child’s online account using NFC between their phone and the piggy’s nose. Snort, snort!
Worldline’s Connected Piggy hogs the stage at FinovateEurope 2017 in London.
  • FamZoo
    While FamZoo is geared mostly toward spending, it also helps teach kids the other faces of financial discipline– saving and giving. With FamZoo’s Virtual Family Bank, parents help kids manage their money. Among the features are parent-paid interest on savings balances and savings contribution matching. The app works with either an IOU account or prepaid cards, a feature FamZoo debuted at FinovateSpring 2013.Because they offer spending independence, the prepaid cards help the FamZoo app grow with the child through high school; something a piggy bank cannot do. FamZoo takes both a direct-to-consumer approach and a B2B approach. The company launched its partner edition at FinovateFall 2011, where it won Best of Show.
With FamZoo, parents set the compound interest rate with which they want to reward their child

To recap, here are the types of savings tech we’ve seen so far:

Stay tuned later this week for the final three categories.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • 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.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • ID.me Lands $3.7 Million Grant
  • Coinbase Offers Mobile Card Payment Option to European Bitcoin Buyers

Around the web

  • RightCapital announces new partnership with Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP). See Right Capital at FinovateFall 2016 in New York next week.
  • Intuit unveils personalized app recommendations for QuickBooks Online.
  • Business News Daily names BlueVine Best B2B Factoring Service.
  • Top Image Systems increases footprint in Asia.

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 Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • “Finovate, FinDEVr Alums Among Winners of 2016 Fintech Innovation Awards”
  • “Marketplace Lending “Power 20” List Honors 8 Alums”

Around the web

  • FamZoo celebrates its tenth birthday of helping parents prepare financially strong children.
  • EyeVerify’s EyeprintID to power HYPR’s Biometric Security Suite.
  • Socure launches v. 2.5 of its ID+ Digital Identity solution.
  • Blockchain solution provider Gem launches Gem Health.
  • EdgeVerve Systems launches its EdgeVerve Blockchain Framework for banks.
  • Sberbank to deploy risk management technology from Wolters Kluwer.
  • FD teams up with Thomson Reuters to power its DaaS platform, Velocity Analytics.

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 Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “InforcePRO Rakes in $4 Million Following Finovate Debut”

Around the web

  • Jumio brings its ID verification technology to Loot, a prepaid card and money-management app.
  • Let’s Talk Payments looks at the Venmo-powered Ledge, a mobile P2P lending app.
  • CardFlight mPOS solutions certified by First Data to accept EMV chip card payments.
  • Re/code profiles Twilio as part of its new “Lunches with Unicorns” series. Join Twilio’s Authy at FinDEVr 2015 in San Francisco next week.
  • Fortune Magazine lists OnDeck on its list of 100 Best workplaces for millennials.
  • Hyperwallet’s founder, Lisa Shields, wins EY Canada’s Entrepreneur Of The Year award.
  • FamZoo wins The People’s Choice Award at FinCon15.

This post will be updated throughout the day as news and developments emerge. You can also follow alumni news headlines on the Finovate Twitter account.

Tuesday Tactics: Creating an Interconnected Family Bank Account

Yodlee_tandem_positioningA major consequence of ubiquitous digital banking will be a long-term improvement in customer retention, at least for the “primary” bank/checking account. Digital natives will perceive little need to change banks as they move from home to college and then to multiple jobs. Assuming you keep them satisfied and connected to family members, today’s 15-year old might stick with their primary bank or credit union for seven or more decades.

But you can’t retain a customer who never opens an account.

That’s why I believe FIs should do their best to get an account started for every child in every customer household, probably bundling them into a “family wrap account” which could carry a premium fee (though the individual kids’ accounts should probably come at no additional fee).

And the family account needs to be fully connected and in sync with the parents, guardians, and other current and potential family members. That enables real-time money movement along with expense tracking. And yodlee_tandem_streamas children grow into adulthood, the accounts should be able to be easily be converted into their own family account, and the cycle can be repeated with their kids.

Building it

We’ve seen a number of youth-oriented platforms at Finovate, but they have rarely focused on inter-connectivity and communications. Two exceptions are Yodlee’s Tandem app (inset) which debuted at FinovateSpring 2013 and FamZoo, which demoed its new platform the same year. Watch their demos and be inspired (Yodlee, FamZoo).

For more info on the mobile side, see yesterday’s post.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • “PayPal’s Early Valuation Tops $44 Billion”
  • “Monitise to Emphasize API, On-Site Solutions in Strategy Shift”

Around the web

  • Xero to offer foreign invoice payments via new partnership with Midpoint Holdings.
  • Loop featured in profile of Samsung Pay.
  • PYMNTS.com takes a look at PayPal CEO Dan Schulman’s conversation with the Financial Times.
  • Gulf News Banking highlights Zopa in its review of the rise of P2P business lending.
  • Ferratum Group selects Mambu to Power SME Lending.
  • Top Image Systems to deploy an automated multichannel and mobile data-capture project for online financing company that provides funds to India-based SMBs.
  • Lighter Capital closes 100 deals.
  • CDApress recommends FamZoo to help kids understand personal finance skills.
  • Credit.com blog lists Global Debt Registry as a tool to help get rid of an old debt.
  • Better ATM Services CEO Todd Nuttall quoted in Australian Times column on how technology delivers a growing share of bank services.
  • The Bitcoin News interviews the new online marketing manager for Bitbond, Chris Grundy.
  • Wall Street Journal features PsychSignal in a review of stock market sentiment and social media.
  • Inc. feature on Silicon Prairie highlights Blooom, Hip Pocket, and Dwolla.
  • Rise in tech investment in the United Kingdom credited to companies like Azimo and Currency Cloud in London’s fintech sector.
  • Forbes column on investing for millennials features Hedgeable.
  • Realty Mogul adds two new vice presidents of commercial real estate.

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.