Alumni News– July 10, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgOptimal Payments announces partnership with Oink.
  • Braintree releases v.zero SDK, featuring support for Pay with PayPal.
  • Bank Innovation highlights leaders at Ripple, LoopPay, Finect, and Fiserv in its list of 30 key innovators in fintech.
  • Segmint named a Preferred Vendor of MAGNET Global Network.
  • Holvi preps to launch into Irish marketplace.
  • doxo named one of Washington State’s 100 Best Companies to Work For 2014 by Seattle Business magazine.
  • Think Advisor features the different approaches of 3 robo-advisors: Betterment, Personal Capital, and Wealthfront.
  • Cachet Financial Solutions prices Initial Public Offering.
  • DoubleBeam’s GoPago POS system is enabling Slyde, a mobile commerce beacon-enabled shopping app.
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.

LoopPay Receives Undisclosed Amount of Funding from Synchrony Financial

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Late last month, mobile payments platform company LoopPay released its ChargeCase, a battery case for iPhone 5 and 5s.

Now, two weeks later, the Massachusetts-based company has announced it received an undisclosed amount of funding from Synchrony Financial. This adds to the $10 million in Series A funding LoopPay raised last November from Beta Fund.

Under this strategic investment, LoopPay will provide Synchrony Financial with special features and benefits to provide greater convenience and utility to its cardholders and retail partners.

LoopPayIMG

LoopPay uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) to enable a contactless payment experience in which customers use LoopPay’s ChargeCase and Fob Button Pay devices to pay at a merchant’s existing credit card swipe reader.

To see LoopPay demonstrate its MST technology live, check out its FinovateSpring 2014 demo.

Alumni News– July 7, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAmerican Banker features Tradeshift in a column on startups innovating in the small business bill pay space.
  • Credit Union Broadcast interviews Greg Ewald, VP of Marketing for Loop.
  • Zighra partners with Toyuma to launch a Kickstarter project to launch PassZweipe, a password manager app.
  • Billhighway to provide automated donation processing for The Michigan Humane Society.
  • Open Bank Project organizing Hack/Make The Bank hackathon in Berlin. Check out more builder tools at FinDEVr this Fall.
  • Bill.com, ZenPayroll, and Expensify earn spots Sqrl blog’s list of 39 apps you didn’t know could grow your business.
  • Narrative Science’s Kris Hammond is featured in Business Insider’s Technology section.
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.

Alumni News– June 25, 2014

  • Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Finovate-F-Logo.jpgKreditech raises $40 million in series B round.
  • Charge! LoopPay launches its iPhone ChargeCases.
  • Fiserv announces new partnerships and renewals with four credit unions.
  • Navy FCU chooses Select Mobile Money prepaid mobile app from Cachet Financial Solutions.
  • P2Binvestor adds three Colorado companies to its portfolio in June.
  • Ian McKenna examines how Yseop’s artificial intelligence can help financial advisors.
  • Vaamo launches Goal-Based Savings Platform on Invite-Only Basis.
  • Oink (formerly VirtualPiggy) and SafetyPay partner to enable Oink to accept local payments as they expand into Europe and Latin American markets.
  • ReadyForZero launches API to enable partners to deploy its debt-management platform on their own sites.
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.

Charge! LoopPay Launches its iPhone ChargeCases

Loop Logo

Trying to solve the puzzle of point-of-sale mobile payments? Don’t worry, Loop is on the case.

Mobile wallet innovator, Loop announced today that its LoopPay ChargeCase, the company’s battery case for the iPhone 5 and 5s, is now available.

As part of a limited time promotion, customers who buy the $99 ChargeCase will get the Loop fob for free. The fob, which retails for $39, is useful for loading cards onto the Loop app. The fob can also be used as a standalone payment device, especially at hospitality locations like restaurants and bars.
Looppay_chargecase_homepage
What’s unique about Loop’s technology is the way the company uses short-term, short-range magnetic fields to communicate mag stripe data from the app to the POS terminal. And while the fob and ChargeCase represent the two main hardware approaches to storing the small wire that makes this magnetic field technology possible, the company is in talks with OEMs and hopes one day to have the hardware installed in phones during the manufacturing process.
Read more about Loop in our “Behind the Scenes” feature from the company’s Finovate debut this spring.
In the meanwhile, the LoopPay ChargeCase will put iPhone users that much closer to the sort of mobile wallet nirvana the industry has been promising for years. Like the fob, the charge case can work on its own, whether or not the Loop app – or the phone for that matter – is turned on. Unlike the fob, the ChargeCase of course serves another purpose, providing the iPhone with an additional 60% charge when needed.
Loop was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts. Will Graylin is CEO. The company demoed its Loop app at FinovateSpring 2014 in San Jose. See a video of the company’s technology at work here.

Behind the Scenes with Digital Insight, Loop, and Qapital

We hope you are enjoying our Behind the Scenes series.

Every Finovate conference brings a new cohort of startups and entrepreneurs into the Finovate family. Behind the Scenes helps you get to know these innovators, and the new products and services they are providing, that much better.

Catch up with previous installments of our Behind the Scenes series below.
In our latest installment, we introduce you to mobile banking technology innovator, Digital Insight; mobile wallet specialist Loop; and Swedish PFM developer, Qapital.

What they do
Digital Insight leverages mobile and online channels to help banks and financial institutions intensify customer engagement, and diversify revenues through location-based cross-selling.
The company’s Promotion Suite for mobile, demoed at FinovateSpring, gives banks the ability to provide contextual, highly-relevant products and services to their customers when their customers are most likely to want and use them. 
The solution uses geo-location technology and the ubiquity of mobile phones to give consumers what they want when and how they want it. “Imagine if you were able to be there for your customers at their time of need, exactly when they needed you,” said Digital Insight Director of Product Management Karishma Anand from the Finovate stage. “That’s possible.”
The Stats
  • More than 11 million online banking customers
  • More than 4 million mobile banking end users
  • Acquired by NCR in January 2014
The experience
Helping banks become a greater part of the world of e-commerce is a major theme for FIs looking for new ways to grow revenues. And while there are many potential services banks could provide their customers, facilitating commerce and e-commerce via financing may be among the lowest hanging fruit on the proverbial tree.
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Digital Insight provides the example of a consumer shopping for a new car. With a banking app that includes Digital Insight’s location-based cross-selling solution, this shopper could receive a notification alerting her to an auto loan from her bank as soon as she pulls into the parking lot of the auto dealership.
Digital_Insight_BtS_2
Clicking on the message opens up the notification. In the case of an auto loan, the alert could feature information about the car, the loan rates available, and even a calculator to help the customer determine the affordability of the loan.
If the customer were not interested in the message from her bank – or not interested at the moment – the app provides an easy way to either stop further notifications or to have the bank remind her later via phone, email or text.
Digital_Insight_BtS_3
Where the app gets especially interesting is the way it allows customers to contact their bank to move the process forward, either by email, phone, or even features such as video chat. Banks also have the ability to integrate their own loan processing technology with the app.
What’s next from Digital Insight? With the tumult of acquisitions now behind it (two in less than a year), the company is focused on product development. Promotion Suite for mobile is on track for limited availability by the end of the year, with video integration likely in 2015.
What’s important, expressed Karishma, is that the company has not slowed down as it has moved from independence, through its growth as part of Intuit, and now as a member of NCR. In fact, she sees the latest acquisition as an opportunity for the company’s technology to reach an even greater number of consumers.
“The financial sector probably doesn’t even know about the entirety of NCR,” she says. “They touch consumers in more ways than people realize.” So, too, may Digital Insight.

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What they do
Loop has developed a smart mobile wallet system that can be used at virtually all POS terminals. The company’s technology does this without the merchant having to make any changes to existing POS hardware and infrastructure.
The stats
  • Founded in August 2013
  • Headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts
  • Raised more than $10 million in funding
The experience
In Loop CEO Will Graylin’s colorful description, Loop represents the “first mobile wallet bullet train that has existing rails that can reach the vast majority of stations today.”
Why is this important? First, speed. Mobile wallet technology has to be faster and more efficient than pulling a credit or debit card from a physical purse or wallet. Second, in order to be
adopted quickly and widely, there needs to be as little adjustment as possible – for both consumer and merchant.
Loop_homepage_new2
Having seen Loop in action during a briefing months ago, I can attest to the speed with which a common transaction – purchasing a couple of lattes at a local coffee shop- was completed. I was with Damien Balsan, VP for Business Development and Strategy, who was demoing the technology, and he already had the mobile app loaded with a set of credit and debit cards. Basically any card with a mag stripe that you’d carry in your wallet, he had loaded into his Loop app. 
If anything, there was a modest “Wow” factor on the part of the barista (and a few other employees who happened to pass by). And while that was truly a positive verdict in many ways, it might not have been appreciated had there been a queue behind us.
Loop_BtS_loadingcards
Being able to rely on existing hardware is a huge deal for potential adoption. On the merchant side, there is literally no change. With the exception of the kind of card readers typical at gas station pumps, readers that require the actual insertion of the physical card, more than 90% of the existing POS terminals that take credit and debit cards will have no problem taking payments via Loop.
On the consumer side, in addition to the mobile app, users can use a fob (below) to swipe card information into the Loop app. The interesting thing about the fob is that it not only stores the users’ card information, but also can be used to make mobile payments independent of the mobile phone in venues like bars and restaurants. 
Users can also opt for a carrying charge case for their smartphone that will serve the same function as the fob when it comes to both entering card information into the app as well as actually making mobile payments at the POS.
Loop_fob
The technology behind Loop is fascinating in and of itself. While the rest of the world wrangles over NFC, Loop has leveraged its expertise in magnetic secure transmission technology to produce a way to convince the mag stripe readers of POS systems that they are interacting with the mag stripe of a credit or debit card. The magnetic field created by a simple loop of wire embedded in the Loop fob or charge case is both short-term and short-range (users hold their phone approximately four inches from the card reader), lending to both the speed and security of the transaction.
Loop believes that its technology solves a number of mobile wallet problems at the same time, from ease of use, to the centrality of the smartphone, to the lack of any hardware changes on the merchant end. Will put the challenge this way:
“In order for 1% of lead users to be happy enough to change their habits, and not rely on plastic cards or their leather wallet, they must have a critical mass of merchants that accept that payment form, which we believe is 80%. Until you get to that critical mass, you can’t even get lead users.”

Going forward the company already has its Loop fob on the market, and the charge case is expected to be available soon. Will says that Loop is working with some of the largest mobile device manufacturers to potentially embed the loop technology into mobile devices. This would be a move that would in some ways change the way Loop has introduced its business to the public. But the upside could be getting the technology in the hands of far more consumers far faster, and its hard to see an argument against that.


What they do
Is what keeps many people from spending smarter and saving better simply a matter of how boring and unfulfilling the budgeting process is? Qapital’s insight is to combine the less pleasant aspects of spending analysis (none dare call it budgeting) with the far more pleasant goal-setting and planning. 
By connecting the two, Qapital’s technology helps consumers not only make better choices when it comes to spending, but turns those times when consumers do spend into opportunities to help move them closer to their goals.
The stats
  • Founded in September 2012
  • Headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Technology live in Swedish market; closed beta in U.S.
  • Estimated product launch in November 2014
The experience
Qapital is designed to make it easy for consumers to answer three of the most common personal finance questions: How am I spending my money? How much money can I spend? How can I manage my finances to help me achieve goals?
Qapital_homepage_0
Answering the first question was the easy part, in many ways. But as the team continued to develop and test the technology, it became clear that the other two questions were just as important when it comes to helping people effectively managing personal finances in the post-budget era. The company’s testing process (more on this below) encouraged them innovate further, adding and fine-tuning both the savings and goal-managing features of the app.
The result is an app that not only puts the key, must-have, PFM elements – budgeting, account aggregation and so on – alongside more unique features like Smart Saving and Safe Balance. But also the app connects all of these features on a behavioral level (“connecting virtues and vices” as they put it), making saving that much easier for people who have trouble with the admittedly abstract problem of trading off “the now” for “the later.”
Qapital_BtS_1
Qapital’s Smart Saving approach allows consumers to see their spending in the context of larger goals, like
saving for a vacation in a year’s time. But more than that, the technology actually helps consumers make progress both toward limiting potentially budget-busting (or, at least, goal-diminishing) spending decisions.
And as Qapital CEO noted from the stage at FinovateSpring during his company’s demo, those using the app can move real money from real connected, FDIC-insured accounts. This means, for example, that every time a purchase of one type is made (such as in the example of Starbucks above), a specified amount is transferred to the pre-arranged goal account (the trip to Africa in the above example).
Qapital_BtS_2
Users can see the goal section of the app, which indicates the deadline by which the goal is to be reached, the estimated duration, and even a motivational photograph to help the user stay on the path to smarter and more fulfilling spending and saving.
Qapital calls this “rule-based savings”. And depending on the user’s disposition, the rules can be set up as rewards (“save a $1 in my vacation account every time I go to the gym”) or punishments (“set aside $5 in my new motorcycle account every time I eat a cupcake”) or both.
Qapital_BtS_3
Qapital’s app also includes a “safe to spend” feature called “Safe Balance”, something that is a must-have for any PFM today.  In fact, it is technologies like these that are helping people move away from the old-fashioned notion of budgeting toward a real-time understanding (and projection) of cash flow. 
Qapital_BtS_4
As I mentioned, the beta process has been critical to the technology’s development according to the Qapital team with whom I spoke at FinovateSpring in San Jose. A year’s worth of testing showed that the savings component was critical, turning the app from a run-of-the-mill expense tracking PFM tool to a higher-frequency use resource that actually helps users accomplish real financial goals.
Partnerships with companies like Social Money and Plaid are helping Qapital brings its PFM technology to the U.S. – likely before the end of the year. Qapital is live in its home country of Sweden since December 2013, and is currently in closed beta in the United States.

Alumni News– June 13, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgAstroPay launches Ripple LatAm, a licensed money service business to use Ripple Labs’ payment network.
  • Ron Shevlin looks at Credit Agricole’s bank-run mobile app store.
  • FirstView selects Cachet Financial Solutions to develop a prepaid mobile app to offer to FirstView cardholders.
  • Financial Review: James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch eye stake in peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne.
  • Jumio brings NetSwipe to the mobile web for companies without a native app.
  • PayPal rolls out PassPort to give merchants a resource for stats, tips and general information on selling internationally.
  • Zopa wins Most Trusted Loan Provider and Most Trusted Specialist at 2014 MoneyWise Customer Service Awards.
  • Thinking Bigger features the team from EyeVerify.
  • Green Dot announces new GM of GoBank, Joshua Goines.
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.

FinovateSpring 2014: Lights! Camera! Demo Videos!

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The demo videos from FinovateSpring 2014 are now available in our Video Archive. Check them out here.

Here’s your chance to relive FinovateSpring 2014 in its new home in what was a very sunny San Jose. Every single video from the two-day event is here, arranged alphabetically from Artivest to Zumigo

You’ll see and hear every presenter, every screen capture, every device display (from mobile payment fobs to smart watches and Google Glass), and every innovation that our 67 presenting companies had to share.
And if you’ll be checking out our presenters for the first time, then sit back and enjoy our unique, demo-only format in action.
This is also a great opportunity to see (or see again) just what it took to win the hearts and minds of our audience of more than 1,200 fintech professionals who voted for Best of Show. As a reminder, our FinovateSpring 2014 Best of Show winners are below. Click on the company logo to see the award-winning demo.
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Interactions_stageshot_BoS
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Motif_stageshot_BoS
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Ondot_stageshot_BoS
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PrivatBank_stageshot_BoS
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Stockpile_stageshot_BoS
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Finovate Alumni News– May 14, 2014

  • Finovate-F-Logo.jpgTIO Networks partners with New Jersey’s Public Service Electric and Gas Company to set up bill payment kiosks.
  • Pindrop Security and AGNITiO partner to protect call centers as they adapt to an increasingly mobile customer base.
  • Bolstr explains the basics of crowdfunding on NBC Chicago.
  • Loop Wallet app now available on Android.
  • Maps Credit Union chooses ACI Worldwide’s online banking platform.
  • Javelin Strategy takes a look at bill pay alternatives to Manilla, including Finovera.
  • BodeTree brings in $2 million in Series A round.
  • SavedPlus, LikeFolio, Wallaby, FutureAdvisor, Simple and Wealthfront earn spots on CNN Money’s list of the 15 best financial websites and apps.
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– May 12, 2014

  • Xero and ASB launch business to bank payments.
  • Bancbox and Kingdom Trust Company partner to streamline the crowdfunding and P2P lending platform for the IRA investor.
  • Actiance tops Forrester’s social risk and compliance product list.
  • Strands hires new CEO, Erik Brieva.
  • Dealstruck and Entrepreneurial Finance Lab named finalists in Core Innovators Challenge.
  • FIS announces launch of FIS Instant Card to accelerate FI’s ability to provide new or replacement cards.
  • Chris Skinner highlights the relationship between SmartyPig and ICICI Bank in a feature on Banking-as-a-Service.
  • ZDnet takes a look at ShopKeep POS, including its recent $25 million investment form Thayer Street Partners.
  • The Motley Fools calls Loop, the invention that “will change the way you pay for everything.”
  • The Rock Trading Ltd. partners with Jumio for real-time ID verification services.
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.

Best of Show Winners from FinovateSpring 2014

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Our record-breaking audience has spent a hot two days in San Jose watching 68 demos covering the best in fintech.

After watching the 68 demoing companies show off their newest innovations on stage in front of the sold out auditorium, the crowd voted for their 3 favorite demos at the end of each day. The eight companies with the highest number of votes were crowned winners.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Thumbnail image for EyeVerifyLogo.jpgEyeVerify, for its Eyeprint Verification technology that enables mobile biometric authentication

Thumbnail image for Loop_logo.jpg

Loop, for its smart mobile wallet system accepted at virtually every retail POS terminal without making changes to the existing POS system

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Interactions, for its voice-activated self-service solution for mobile and phone interactions 

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Motif Investing, for its Advisor Platform that streamlines the way advisors build, monitor, and rebalance investment portfolios
OndotLogo

Ondot Systems, for its CardControl technology that allows users to remotely control their credit and debit cards via their smartphone

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PrivatBank, for topless, contactless smartphone-enabled Android ATM technology

SaveUpLogo

SaveUp, for its Gen Y/Millennial-oriented solution that combines gamification with personal finance

stockpile_hi_res_FS2014

Stockpile, for their “give the gift of stock” solution that helps people invest in the brands they love  

As always, thanks for your continued support. See you next year at FinovateSpring 2015!
All of the demo videos will be available on Finovate.com in two weeks.

——————————————————————

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 ballots were named Best of Show.  
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners. 

FinovateSpring 2014 Best of Show Winners

Thumbnail image for FinovateSpring2014ButtonLogo.jpg

Our record-breaking audience has spent a hot two days in San Jose watching 68 demos covering the best in fintech.

After watching the 68 demoing companies show off their newest innovations on stage in front of the sold-out auditorium, the crowd voted for their three favorite demos at the end of each day. The eight companies with the highest number of votes were crowned winners.

Here they are in alphabetical order:

Thumbnail image for EyeVerifyLogo.jpgEyeVerify, for its Eyeprint Verification technology that enables mobile biometric authentication

Thumbnail image for Loop_logo.jpg

Loop, for its smart mobile wallet system accepted at virtually every retail POS terminal without making changes to the existing POS system

Thumbnail image for InteractionsLogo.jpg

Interactions, for its voice-activated, self-service solution for mobile and phone interactions 

Thumbnail image for motiflogo.jpg

Motif Investing, for its Advisor Platform that streamlines the way advisors build, monitor, and rebalance investment portfolios
OndotLogo

Ondot Systems, for its CardControl technology that allows users to remotely control their credit and debit cards via their smartphone

Privatbank_hi_res_FS2014

PrivatBank, for topless, contactless smartphone-enabled Android ATM technology

SaveUpLogo

SaveUp, for its Gen Y/Millennial-oriented solution that combines gamification with personal finance

stockpile_hi_res_FS2014

Stockpile, for their “give the gift of stock” solution that helps people invest in the brands they love  

As always, thanks for your continued support. See you next year at FinovateSpring 2015!
All of the demo videos will be available on Finovate.com in two weeks.

——————————————————————

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 ballots were named Best of Show.  
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners.