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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
As part of Finovate’s continued celebration of Women’s History Month and female-led fintech, we are taking a moment to showcase the women whose companies demoed their latest innovations at our Finovate conferences last year.
CEO and Co-Founder, Amplify Life Insurance, FinovateFall. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2019, Amplify helps people build wealth through permanent life insurance.
CEO and Founder, Coconut Software, FinovateSpring. Headquartered in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, and founded in 2007, Coconut Software provides a platform for financial institutions to help them improve customer digital and in-person engagement.
CEO and Founder, Horizn, FinovateFall (Best of Show winner). Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and founded in 2011, Horizn helps banks accelerate digital banking knowledge, fluency, and adoption for both customers and employees.
CEO, Icon Savings Plan, FinovateFall. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2019, Icon Savings Plan provides portable retirement savings plans, the next generation in workplace savings.
Ana Inés Echavarren
CEO, Infocorp, FinovateFall (Best of Show winner). Headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay, and founded in 1994, Infocorp offers a smart digital platform that provides banks with fast and flexible solutions to deliver superior customer experiences.
CEO, Long Game, FinovateFall (Best of Show winner). Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2015, Long Game is a gamified finance app that helps banks acquire new customers and increase engagement with their current Millennial and Generation Z customers.
CEO, UNest, FinovateFall. Headquartered in Hollywood, California, and founded in 2020, UNest is the leading provider of financial planning, savings, and investment tools for parents to help their children reach their dreams.
CEO and Co-Founder, Vymo, FinovateSpring, FinovateFall. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, and founded in 2013, Vymo offers a sales acceleration platform for financial services firms like Berkshire Hathaway, AXA, and BNP Paribas.
The latest round of Finovate Podcasts features four of the companies that won Best of Show awards at FinovateFall in September. A common theme in the conversations with most of these firms is the importance of customer engagement at a time in rapid digital adoption.
Below is a small sample of what Finovate VP and program host Greg Palmer and his guests are talking about. For more, be sure to check in for new episodes of the Finovate podcast every week.
“We often joke internally that we’re not your parent’s PwC and, as a collective customer transformation team, we’re constantly challenging ourselves to be more provocative in the way that we engage with technology, the experiences that we drive for our clients, and the insights that we deliver.”
“From a Horizn standpoint, we are absolutely focused on helping financial institutions to be able to achieve three key objectives: the first one is overachieving their digital growth goals, the second is successfully supporting mergers and new platform launches, and then the third component is driving mass adoption of new innovation and capabilities.”
“We’ve been doing this since 1994 through IC Banking, our digital channel platform that’s already implemented in more than 40 banks in Latin America and the Caribbean. We are helping people love their banks because we give them superior experiences with our digital channels. Today banks need to build loyalty through digital engagement. That’s why you need as a bank to have customers that love going to your application and your bank.”
“How fast could a mortgage be? At some point in the future, you’ll be able to get a mortgage in a couple of days. It’s harder to say when than to say what but, in theory, if you could process all of the information, and it’s all there available, you should be able to get a mortgage in a couple of days versus a month or more – what it takes today.”
FinovateFall 2021 wrapped up a little over a week ago. Our return to live fintech conferencing produced one of our largest number of Best of Show winners (nine) to date. The event also gave us the one of the highest percentage of non-U.S. based Best of Show winners for a FinovateFall event.
This week’s Finovate Global Alumni Profile gives us an opportunity to take a closer look at the quartet of international fintechs that wowed our audiences with their latest innovations in New York City last week.
A Finovate alum since 2016, Bambu has made most of its Finovate appearances at our international shows in Hong Kong, South Africa, Dubai, and Berlin. The company is a multiple-time Best of Show winner, earning its first award in its second Finovate appearance at FinovateAsia in 2017, its second Best of Show award a year later at our conference in Capetown, and its third Best of Show trophy just last week in New York.
Bambu offers a next-generation B2B roboadvisory platform for both financial institutions and fintech disruptors. Powered by the company’s proprietary algorithms and machine learning technology, Bambu’s cloud-based platform has 300,000 end users in ten countries around the world. This summer, the company announced the acquisition of investment management technology provider Tradesocio, a move that will help expand Bambu’s reach internationally.
“After five years of building solid foundations, Bambu is now entering a phase of rapid growth,” Bambu CEO Ned Phillips said when the acquisition was announced in July. “This deal helps us in three key areas: it expands our product offering into stocks and crypto, it gives us a wider global footprint, and enables us to scale our team effectively to match exponential demand. We believe this positions us well for our Series C and ambitions of becoming the global leader in WealthTech.”
Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Dreams earned its second Best of Show award last week at FinovateFall. The company, founded in 2014, is among the more recent Finovate alums, joining our roster last year for our all-digital FinovateEurope conference.
Dreams offers engagement banking solutions that leverage insights from cognitive and behavioral science to enhance financial wellbeing. Launched as a B2C offering, the company has expanded into the B2B2C space, offering its solutions to banks to help them boost digital engagement with their customers. This year at FinovateFall, Dreams demonstrated the savings module of its white-label banking platform, which features debt management and micro-investing functionality, as well as new social/viral features.
Over the past year, Dreams has announced partnerships with Singapore-based financial services software provider Silverlake Symmetri and Ukrainian commercial bank UKRSIBBANK, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas Group.
“Our financial wellbeing platform – which is built upon behavioural science and personal finance management principles – will provide the perfect tool for UKRSIBBANK to help its customers make better financial choices and become more sustainable in the way they handle their finances,” Dreams CEO and founder Henrik Rosvall said when the collaboration was announced. “This partnership will also help UKRSIBBANK safeguard the loyalty of its customers and futureproof its digital banking offering against a growing number of challenger banks and fintechs.”
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, digital adoption platform Horizn was launched in 2012. The company is dedicated to helping financial institutions leverage micro-learning, social technology, gamification, and advanced analytics to enhance employee performance, fuel client adoption of new technologies, and boost revenues. With a global reach of more than 40 countries in North and South America, Asia, and Europe, the company has enabled its clients to realize 85% employee adoption rates and a 20% increase in mobile platform usage.
Horizn made its Finovate debut in 2017 at FinovateEurope in London. The company earned its first Best of Show honors at FinovateEurope in Berlin three years later, and picked up its second Best of Show award the following year at our all-digital event FinovateFall 2020. “It’s great to see Finovate recognize the impact that Horizn is having on banks worldwide,” company CEO Janice Diner said last year. “While COVID-19 may have accelerated the shift to digital, Horizn ensures bank customers stay digital.”
In addition to their Best of Show winning technology demonstrations, Horizn has also provided Finovate with some of its most compelling keynote speakers. Both Diner and Senior Vice President for Global Sales Steve Frook have shared their insights during the Conference Days component of our Finovate events. Frook’s FinovateEurope presentation, Landing Your First Bank Customer, was a highlight of our Berlin conference last year. And Janice Diner’s epigrammatic reminder that “if you build it they will come is a myth” remains as a good a piece advice for fledgling fintechs as you’ll ever hear.
The rise of fintech in Latin America has been one of the most impressive developments in global financial services in recent years. This is partly why the Best of Show award won by Uruguayan fintech Infocorp last week at FinovateFall feels so special.
Making its Finovate debut in the spring of 2017, Infocorp demonstrated its IC Campaigns platform that enables financial institutions to coordinate marketing and commercial operations via all available channels to better identify the optimal, next action for each client. The technology takes the omnichannel banking and seamless user experience requirements of modern banks to another level by helping institutions set up shorter-cycled, more agile campaigns that deliver increased conversion rates and higher ROI. Last week at FinovateFall, Infocorp introduced its Mobile Native App, a new solution that brings hyper-personalized experiences for every user in a single bank app.
Inforcorp CEO Ana Inés Echavarren spoke to the importance of “the mobile challenge” in a conversation with fintech analyst and thought leader Jim Marous in the weeks leading up to Infocorp’s return to the Finovate stage in September. “Everywhere the mobile channel is the one of choice now among users,” she explained. “Adoptions have gone up in all the implementations that we have in all the countries that we know of.” As far as Echavarren is concerned, this means that there has been a “mindset shift” in which the mobile experience and the user experience increasingly have become synonymous. To this end, Echavarren said, “we are no longer talking about the bank application, but about the user application.”
Founded in 1994 and headquartered in Montevideo, Infocorp has more than 40 successful deployments, 10+ million active users on its platform, and processes more than 120 million transactions a year.
Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.
The Best of Show winners of FinovateFall this year featured both veterans and newcomers, established companies and bold, Millennial-led startups, fintech innovators from as far away as Europe and Latin America, as well as home-grown talent from right here in the U.S.A.
To be honest, we could not imagine a better way to celebrate Finovate’s return to New York!
So please join us in offering a hearty congratulations to the companies selected by our attendees as the FinovateFall 2021 Best of Show.
Array for its personalized consumer credit, identity, and financial wellness tools available via both API as well as embeddable components. Video.
AutoBooks for its small business digital invoicing and online payment acceptance tools for FIs. Video.
Bambu for its B2B robo-advisory platform for financial institutions and fintech disruptors. Video.
Dreams for its banking platform that leverages behavioral science to boost customer engagement and financial well-being. Video.
Horizn for its platform that helps banks accelerate digital banking knowledge, fluency, and adoption. Video.
Infocorp for its Mobile Native App, that brings hyper-personalized experiences for every user in one single bank app. Video.
Long Game for its gamified finance app that helps banks acquire new customers and increase engagement with their Millennial and Gen Z customers. Video.
Ocrolus for its intelligent automation technology that transforms documents into data analytics, helping lenders make timely, high quality credit decisions. Video.
PwC for its Customer Link solution that turns customer data into smarter action and provides a 360 degree view of your customers. Video.
Thanks to all the demoing companies, our sponsors and speakers, and our attendees for making our return to live fintech conferencing such a resounding success. Keep in touch with us via the Finovate blog for updates on our upcoming events next year in London for FinovateEurope, in San Francisco for FinovateSpring, and beyond!
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 nine companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 through 2021 conferences are below:
A look at the companies demoing at FinovateFall on September 13-15, 2021. Register today and save your spot.
Infocorp has created a user-centric, mobile native banking app. It’s a personalized experience for every user.
Delivers a hyper-personalized experience for each user
Shows relevant content and gives proactive advice
Integrates with other services to increase app usage
Why it’s great We are disrupting the whole bank app traditional concept.
Ana Inés Echavarren, CEO Echavarren is a Systems Engineer and MBA, with a solid track record in the financial software market. She helped make the company a benchmark in digital channels for banking in Latin America and the Caribbean. LinkedIn
Gonzalo Laguna, Product Manager Laguna is the Product Manager at Infocorp and Professor of Software Architecture & Design on the Engineering faculty at ORT University, Uruguay. He is the former member of the Microsoft Regional Director program. LinkedIn
The decision by Canada’s Constellation Software to acquire Uruguayan technology firm – and Finovate alum – Infocorp earlier this year is a reminder of the vibrancy of the fintech ecosystems thriving in the countries to the north and south of the U.S. The acquisition was completed in June via Constellation Software’s U.S.-based subsidiary Aquila.
“We have been looking for a partner to support us as we move to our next level of experience for our clients,” InfoCorp CEO Ana Inex Echavarren said. “We are excited to join Aquila and the Constellation family as they believe in long-term relationships, and the ‘buy and hold forever’ approach supports us in our focus on long term growth with our clients.”
Montevideo-based InfoCorp offers its customers an omnichannel banking platform that leverages the latest advanced technologies – conversational AI, machine learning, voice recognition, and chatbots – to build solutions to better engage and serve financial services customers. With clients such as Banco Santander, Banco de Bogota, Banco Internacional, and Towerbank, the 25+ year old company made its Finovate debut in 2017, demonstrating its marketing and commercial actions orchestrator platform that enables more agile, personalized, marketing campaigns that lead to higher conversion rates and ROI.
“InfoCorp has an inspiring focus on their clients,” Aquila CEO Mike Byrne said. “To produce solutions that connect the banks with their clients is such a deep passion for the team at InfoCorp. We are really looking forward to working with the group.” Operations at InfoCorp will remain the same, post-acquisition, with Echavarren continuing as CEO and the company keeping its client portfolio and offices. InfoCorp has 250+ workers in its development and innovation centers in Santiago de Chile, Montevideo, and Colonia.
In fact, the company announced last month that it is looking to expand into both Mexico and Argentina in the wake of the acquisition, with potential expansion to Europe, Canada, and the U.S., as well. Echavarren told BNamericas that the company is currently growing at a rate of 40% to 50% a year over the past five years and is looking at investments to power Infocorp’s ability to enter bigger markets.
The fintech ecosystem in Uruguay is often overlooked compared to the fintech industries in other Latin American nations such as Mexico and Brazil – both of which Uruguay borders. With a population of approximately three and a half million, the country is the second smallest in South America and gets high marks on a number of metrics including democracy, low perception of corruption, and e-government. Uruguay is regarded as a “high-income country” by the United Nations.
In its look at fintech in Uruguay, Contxto highlighted a baker’s dozen of companies that are not only growing regionally, but moving closer to expansion worldwide. The feature divides the country’s fintech industry into five components: payments, exchange, open banking, investments, and what it calls “fintech enterprise services (FES).” This primarily involves providing fintech solutions to online financial services companies.
Here is our look at fintech around the world.
A partnership with Standard Chartered Bank will enable Airtel Africa to build its fintech business and help support financial inclusion.
South African digital banking platform provider Ukheshe earns finalist spot in the 2020 Ecobank Fintech Challenge.
ThisDayLive features VC investor Ameya Upadhyay on the challenge of startup development in Africa.
Central and Eastern Europe
Fintech Futures takes a look at financial inclusion in Russia.
Poland’s mPay teams up with iDenfy to bring biometric facial recognition and other identity verification technologies to its mobile payments platform.
Romania’s PayByFace brings its biometric facial recognition technology to Up Romania cardholders, enabling biometric purchases as participating stores and restaurants.
Middle East and Northern Africa
CIH Bank of Morocco partners with Finastra for a remote implementation of the company’s Fusion Corporate Channels and Fusion Trade Innovation systems.
Cairo, Egypt-based payments-as-a-service fintech Paymob raises $3.5 million in funding.
National Bank of Oman enables cardless ATM transactions.
Central and Southern Asia
MEDICI featured Indian regtech startup Signzy in its RegTech Top 21 Startups for 2020 roster. Signzy is the only Indian regtech to make the list.
Reserve Bank of India announces offline digital payments pilot project.
JCB International and PJSCB Orient Finans initiate merchant acquiring operations in Uzbekistan.
As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Latin America and the Caribbean
Brazil’s Nubankannounces debit options for its digital savings account.
Infocorp spinoff Bankingly raises $5.25 million in Series A funding in round led by Elevar Equity.
Vocalink to modernize Peru’s electronic payments infrastructure courtesy of new deal with the company’s automated clearinghouse, Cámara de Compensación Electrónica (CCE).
IC Campaigns from Infocorp provides true omnichannel intelligence for banks and financial institutions. Boost your activities and increase conversion rates through AI and ML.
Segmentation for tailored marketing campaigns
Real-time analysis and adjustments to increment leads and conversations
Omnichannel administration allowing a unified communication
Why it’s great
Infocorp includes the latest innovation and technologies like AI and ML to help banks exploit the information they already hold while both increasing their selling volume and reinforcing their clients’ loyalty.
Ana Ines Echavarren, CEO Infocorp Banking
Echavarren’s dedication has led the company to the number one reference in the field of omnichannel banking in Latin America, and has been a driving force in the management for the last 16 years. LinkedIn
Felipe Gil, VP of Product Development
With more than 13 years of insight at Infocorp, Gil shares his passion for financial technology, innovation, and startups with coworkers, clients, and partners. LinkedIn