Xalts Buys Contour Network to Fuel Trade Finance Solutions

Xalts Buys Contour Network to Fuel Trade Finance Solutions
  • Financial infrastructure platform Xalts is acquiring Contour Network.
  • Xalts will leverage the purchase to create embedded solutions for trade and supply chain finance.
  • Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Singapore-based financial infrastructure platform Xalts announced this week it is buying Contour Network with an aim to enhance global trade finance. Financial terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Contour Network was built in 2017 by a consortium of eight global banks to create an open trade finance network. Today, more than 22 banks and 100+ global businesses use Contour’s network for digital trade finance.

Xalts helps banks streamline global trade, receivables, and supply chain financing operations with tools that facilitate everything from origination to multiparty workflows. The company will leverage Contour’s processes and integrations to facilitate communication and transactions between businesses and financial institutions in its network. Once the deal is complete, Xalts will initially focus on creating solutions that banks, logistics companies, and fintechs can embed within their own applications for their business customers.

Xalts CEO Ashutosh Goel said the company aims to create a “Plaid for Trade.” He explained, “Our vision is to expand the scope of Contour’s network which is trusted by banks and corporates, and build it into a rail that enables businesses to access digital solutions for trade and supply chain finance offered by banks, fintechs and technology partners. Combining our platform with Contour’s Network will allow participants to develop and deploy customized solutions quickly.”

Xalts, which leverages the blockchain to help its clients build tokenization applications, was founded in 2022 and currently has a team of more than 50 employees spread across offices in Singapore, Hong Kong, India, the U.A.E., and U.K.

“Citi has long been a leader in driving innovation in financial services. We invested in Contour in 2020 and led the seed round for Xalts in 2022,” said Citi Ventures Director Everett Leonidas. “The combination of these two companies into one firm with an expanded vision and a great leadership team will accelerate innovation in global trade finance.”

With Xalts aiming to become the “Plaid for Trade,” the partnership opens up new potential for businesses to access digital solutions for trade and supply chain finance. This move, combined with the company’s use of the blockchain, offers the potential to create more accessible and efficient solutions to a wider range of businesses.

Photo by Kurt Cotoaga on Unsplash

Ripple to Acquire Digital Asset Platform Standard Custody

Ripple to Acquire Digital Asset Platform Standard Custody
  • Decentralized finance company Ripple acquired Standard Custody & Trust Company, a firm that offers institutional-grade custody, escrow, and settlement platform for digital assets.
  • The California-based company says the purchase not only underscores its commitment to regulatory compliance, but that it will also help bolster its existing product offerings.
  • Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Blockchain and crypto solutions company Ripple announced its fourth acquisition today. The company bought Standard Custody & Trust Company for an undisclosed amount.

Ripple said the move serves two purposes. First, it underscores the company’s “commitment to regulatory compliance,” and second, it will enable Ripple to strengthen its existing offerings and add new products to its lineup. Specifically, the California-based company has its eye on Standard Custody’s limited purpose trust charter and its money transmitter licenses. Both will complement Ripple’s existing portfolio of regulatory licenses.

“Ripple and Standard Custody are dedicated to enabling enterprises to reap the benefits of blockchain across a host of financial use cases building institutional-grade solutions to tokenize, store, move, and exchange value. By expanding our licenses portfolio and making smart acquisitions, Ripple is well-positioned to take advantage of the current market opportunities and further strengthen our crypto infrastructure solutions,” said Ripple President Monica Long. “We will continue to leverage our strong financial standing to expand our product offerings, support new initiatives on the product roadmap and serve a broader segment of customers.”

Owned by blockchain infrastructure company PolySign, Standard Custody was founded to create an institutional-grade custody, escrow, and settlement platform for digital assets. “Together with Ripple, we will further innovate and extend our leadership position in providing crypto infrastructure,” said Standard Custody CEO Jack McDonald.

Amid an environment of increased scrutiny of decentralized finance tools and digital assets, Ripple is looking to conduct its operations in the most transparent, regulatory compliant way. The company and its subsidiaries have acquired a New York BitLicense, nearly 40 U.S. money transmitter licenses, a Major Payment Institution License from the Monetary Authority of Singapore, and a Virtual Asset Service Provider registration with the Central Bank of Ireland.

Ripple was founded in 2012 and offers tools for global money transfers, CBDCs, and digital assets. Last year, the company acquired digital asset management solutions company Metaco for $250 million. Additionally, Ripple has recently partnered with HSBC, BBVA, and Zodia Custody, and launched its payments offering in Africa. The company supports live commercial custody offerings in 20 regulatory jurisdictions, and facilitates payments to 70 countries worldwide.

Nordic Capital Acquires Canadian Fintech Zafin

Nordic Capital Acquires Canadian Fintech Zafin
  • Nordic Capital has agreed to acquire Canadian banking technology company Zafin.
  • The acquisition will help Zafin become a “global leader in banking technology solutions.”
  • Zafin made its Finvoate debut at FinovateFall in 2017.

Nordic Capital agreed this week to acquire a majority share in Canadian SaaS core modernization solution provider for FIs, Zafin. In a statement, Nordic Capital noted that the investment was made “in close partnership with Zafin’s founders and management, who will reinvest in the company alongside Nordic Capital.”

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of this year, subject to standard closing conditions.

Zafin CEO Al Karim Somji called the transaction an “absolute game-changer” for his team and its customers. “We have been powering the modernization and transformation of banks and future-proofing their banking technology investments for years,” Somji said. “With Nordic Capital’s scale, technology expertise, and deep market understanding, this partnership enables us to become a global leader in banking technology solutions.”

Nordic Capital Advisors Partner Mohit Agnihotri said the deal will help Zafin “emerge as a gold standard in bank IT modernization efforts.” He added, “Nordic Capital has been highly impressed with Zafin’s innovative approach to helping its customers react to a constantly changing business landscape.” Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Nordic Capital invests in companies headquartered in both Northern Europe and North America. The firm has made 24 technology and payments platform investments since 2001, deploying $6.5 billion (€5.8 billion) in equity capital. Nordic Capital includes Finovate alums boost.ai, Signicat, and Trustly among its portfolio companies.

Zafin’s customers include FIs such as Wells Fargo, US Bank, HSBC, Truist, and PNC. The company’s core SaaS platform enables users to collaborate in the design and management of pricing, products, and packages. The platform also gives users the ability to respond dynamically to changing customer preferences and market opportunities. This means faster time to market, greater potential revenues, lower operating costs, and fewer operational risks – all while maintaining compliance and transparency.

Banks using Zafin’s technology have experienced 129% increase in deposits, 50% improvement in time to market, and 70% reduction in annual fee change processing costs. Five of the top seven banks in the U.S. run on Zafin’s platform. The company processes more than 500 million accounts every day.

Zafin made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in 2017. At the conference, the company demoed its enterprise banking platform that enables FIs to manage dynamic multi-product offerings, real-time pricing and billing, loyalty and rewards, analytics, and cash management.

Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Zafin was founded in 2002. A few months ago, we caught up with Zafin President of Modernization and Transformation Charbel Safadi. In a wide-ranging conversation, we discussed the challenges faced by banks when it comes to digital transformation. Safadi also shared his thoughts on what FIs can do to future-proof their businesses.

Photo by Brett Sayles

Blackhawk Network to Acquire Tango Card

Blackhawk Network to Acquire Tango Card
  • Blackhawk Network is acquiring incentive delivery technology company Tango Card.
  • Founded in 2009, Tango Card has experienced 800% growth since 2018.
  • Terms of the deal, which is expected to close later this year, were undisclosed.

It takes two to tango. That’s what prepaid card and payments products provider Blackhawk Network (BHN) may have realized this week. The California-based company has acquired incentive delivery technology company Tango Card for an undisclosed amount.

Once the deal closes, BHN clients, along with Tango’s existing customers, will benefit from Tango’s B2B incentives platform and customer support. Tango was founded in 2009 to help enterprises reward their employees with a prepaid card, charity donation, direct deposit, or via a selection of more than 1,000 gift cards. The company, which first demoed at FinovateFall 2016, experienced significant growth in the past six years, having grown 9x, equivalent to 800%.

“Joining BHN at this time provides a once-in-a-company opportunity to continue innovating in this space, better support our customers’ evolving global needs and create awesome experiences for recipients,” said Tango Founder and CEO David Leeds.

BHN, which is best known for its gift cards and egifts, also offers rewards and incentives tools for enterprises to gift employees, customers, and suppliers. Additionally, the company has a digital payment system for corporate payouts, relief support, and more.

“We have been a longtime partner to Tango and were also an early investor. We are thrilled with the opportunity to combine the best of BHN with the best of Tango to provide leading, global, scalable solutions and innovation to the rewards and incentives industry,” said BHN President and CEO Talbott Roche.

The deal, which marks BHN’s 14th acquisition since it was founded in 2001, is expected to close later this year.

Photo by Sora Shimazaki

Ramp to Acquire Procurement Startup

Ramp to Acquire Procurement Startup
  • Ramp acquired procurement startup Venue.
  • Venue will help Ramp improve its Procurement product with purchase orders that automatically sync up to accounting platforms, collaboration tools, and new approval workflows.
  • Venue was founded in 2022. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Business finance automation platform Ramp announced it has acquired procurement startup Venue and that it has made improvements to its Procurement product automations. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Ramp expects the acquisition will help it expand beyond corporate cards as it tackles inefficiencies across more of the financial tech stack.

Venue was founded in 2022 to help businesses simplify how they review, approve, and manage the cost of vendor relationships. The company’s tool helps employees request what they need, while offering finance teams visibility into all vendor requests spending. A year after launch, Venue was supporting clients with 500 to 1,000 employees and had raised $1.2 million in funding from Sequoia Capital, Exponent Founders Capital, and Basecase Capital.

“With Venue, we built a frictionless purchasing experience for employees and empowered businesses to buy what they needed while staying in-policy,” said Venue CEO and Co-founder TK Kong. “We’re excited to bring our expertise to Ramp and together help enable more efficiency, productivity, and seamless decision-making for our customers.”

Along with today’s acquisition, Ramp is launching improvements to its Procurement product with support from the Venue team. The combined team will offer businesses more control over and insight into employee spend, speed up review cycles, and help organizations save costs on IT and software spending. Now available for businesses using Ramp Plus, the new features include:

  • Integrates the contract review process into Ramp’s approval workflow.
  • Dynamic intake forms that capture every purchase request in one place.
  • Purchase orders that sync to accounting platforms and offer auto-code matched invoices.
  • Collaboration tools that allow all parties to comment and tag team members within requests.
  • An activity feed to track procurement processes and keep record of approvals and changes made to requests and purchase orders.
  • Seat Intelligence to track who is using the software and ensure businesses are getting their money’s worth from their SaaS contracts.

Ramp’s accounts payable product currently processes over $10 billion in accounts payable volume each year. The company, which is best known for its corporate card and expense management tools, counts more than 15,000 business clients.

Photo by Ihsan Adityawarman

Crédit Agricole Acquires 7% Stake in Worldline

Crédit Agricole Acquires 7% Stake in Worldline
  • Credit Agricole is taking a 7% minority stake in Worldline.
  • The announcement comes six months after the two initiated their partnership in July of 2023.
  • Credit Agricole is making the move to “reaffirm confidence” in Worldline, which was hit with scrutiny over its AML practices last year.

French bank Credit Agricole announced this morning it has taken a 7% minority interest in payments services company Worldline.

Today’s agreement comes six months after the two first partnered in July of last year. According to Credit Agricole, today’s move to deepen this relationship will help strengthen the partnership to create “a major player” in the French merchant payment services market.

“Through this transaction,” the bank said in its press release, “Crédit Agricole Group is reaffirming confidence in its partner: a strong franchise, leading-edge technologies, and proven innovation capabilities, at the service of its customers.”

Credit Agricole’s other aim in taking a minority interest is to demonstrate its intention to not only support Worldline’s development, but also to implement its strategy as a player in the European payments sector. In the long-term, Credit Agricole seeks to remain a minority shareholder in Worldline.

France-based Worldline, which faced scrutiny over its AML practices last year, saw its shares cut in half after the allegations arose regarding its AML safeguards. After today’s announcement, Worldline’s shares jumped 5%.

Worldline began facilitating card transactions in 1973 and currently has 18,000 employees in more than 50 countries and counts annual revenue of around $4.4 billion. Gilles Grapinet is CEO.

Interested in demoing at FinovateEurope in London next month? Applications are still being accepted from innovative companies with new solutions that are ready to show. Visit our FinovateEurope hub today to learn more.

Photo by Anna Shvets

Talus Pay Makes Two Acquisitions to Boost Growth

Talus Pay Makes Two Acquisitions to Boost Growth
  • Talus Pay has acquired home services fintech infrastructure company Jobox.ai and B2B payment solutions company Clarus Merchant Services.
  • Combined, the new entity will process more than $9 billion for 22,000+ merchant customers annually.
  • Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Texas-based Talus Pay announced two major purchases this week. The payments processing company has acquired home services fintech infrastructure company Jobox.ai and B2B payment solutions company Clarus Merchant Services. Financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Combined with the two new companies, Talus Pay now processes more than $9 billion a year for its more than 22,000 merchant customers. The fintech expects the acquisitions will help it grow its client base within the home and facility services verticals.

“We are excited to welcome both Jobox and Clarus to the Talus Pay team,” said Talus Pay CEO Kim Fitzsimmons. “We have tremendous end-to-end technology infrastructure and sales and service platforms. Adding Jobox and Clarus gives us additional proprietary software and scale in complimentary business-to-business industry verticals.”

Jobox was founded in California in 2016 to offer job matching, scheduling, payments, customer communications, and inventory management technology to U.S. home services professionals. The company currently serves more than 5,000 home services professionals across 39 U.S. states. Talus Pay will leverage its direct and reseller channels to scale Jobox’s open-source architecture across more industries, including auto repair, beauty, hospitality, non-profit, and service retail, among others. 

“Jobox is a terrific tool for underserved home and facility services professionals to help them efficiently run their businesses and increase their bottom lines,” said Jobox Co-founder and CEO Shay Bloch. “By joining forces with Talus Pay, we can accelerate our market share in the home services end market while having the opportunity to accelerate entry into new market verticals.”

Maryland-based Clarus, which has been providing payment services since 1999, currently processes more than $2 billion in annual card volume each year for a wide range of businesses, credit unions, wholesale distribution groups, and building materials distribution companies. After the acquisition is finalized, Clarus will be able to offer its merchant clients new solutions from Talus Pay.

Logistically, Clarus President Eric Pottebaum will join Talus Pay’s leadership team, serving as general manager of its Clarus portfolio. Bloch has been named Talus Pay’s chief strategy officer and Jobox Kaushik Pendurthi, also from Jobox, has been named chief technology officer.

Talus Pay, which itself was acquired by private equity firm A&M Capital Partners in 2017, processes 67.8 million transactions on an annual basis via sales agents and its network of financial institutions, independent sales organizations, independent software vendors, and value-added resellers. 

Photo by Lech Naumovich on Unsplash

Blackstone Agrees to Acquire Sony Payment Services

Blackstone Agrees to Acquire Sony Payment Services
  • Blackstone has agreed to acquire Sony Payment Services.
  • The firm is acquiring Sony Payment Services from Sony Group’s Sony Bank, which will still support Sony Payment Services as a minority investor.
  • The acquisition marks Blackstone’s first investment in a Japan-based fintech company.

Private equity group Blackstone has agreed to take a majority stake in Japan-based Sony Payment Services (SPSV). The firm is acquiring SPSV from Sony Group subsidiary Sony Bank. Sony Bank will continue to support SPSV as a minority investor.

The acquisition marks Blackstone’s first investment in a Japan-based fintech company. The firm’s other Japan-based acquisitions have centered around the pharmaceutical industry. In 2002, Blackstone acquired AYUMI Pharmaceutical and Alinamin Pharmaceutical, a deal that marked the largest healthcare transaction in the market ever.

“We are thrilled to invest in SPSV… and expand our Japan Private Equity portfolio in ‘good neighborhoods’ – sectors with strong secular growth,” said Blackstone Japan Head of Private Equity Atsuhiko Sakamoto. “Digitization of the economy is a key trend around the world including Japan, and SPSV is exceptionally positioned to benefit with its sophisticated technology and robust customer base. We’re committed to bringing our operational and technology expertise and scale to support SPSV’s growth.”

Sony established its payment services group in 1995, and the group became a standalone company when it established SPSV in 2006. Headquartered in Tokyo, SPSV offers infrastructure for online payments processing.

“For the past 30 years, SPSV has led Japan’s cashless evolution, making payments safe and secure for customers,” said Sony Group Chairman and CO Kenichiro Yoshida. “We believe Blackstone, a long-standing partner of Sony Group, can help continue the legacy that SPSV has formed and support its next phase of growth.”

Combining Sony’s legacy and Blackstone’s expertise brings potential for SPSV to further innovate in Japan’s cashless evolution. This collaboration suggests there may be room for more strategic partnerships between traditional industry players and investment firms to foster innovation and drive advancement in the payments industry.

Founded in 1985, Blackstone counts more than $1 trillion in assets under management. The firm serves both institutional and individual investors with a wide range of portfolio companies and investment vehicles including private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, infrastructure, life sciences, growth equity, opportunistic, non-investment grade credit, real assets, and secondary funds.

Photo by Daniel Absi

Ncontracts Acquires Quantivate for Undisclosed Amount

Ncontracts Acquires Quantivate for Undisclosed Amount

Risk management and compliance solutions provider Ncontracts has acquired Quantivate this week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Quantivate, which provides governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions for banks and credit unions, was founded in 2005. Quantivate’s flagship offering is its Business Continuity Software. Today, the company has a suite of governance, risk, and compliance management solutions, including ERM Intelligence, Compliance, Operational Resilience, IT Risk, Procurement, Audit, and more.

“Quantivate has always believed in the power of innovative technology and exceptional people to help banks and credit unions thrive,” said Quantivate Founder and CEO Andy Vanderhoff. “Ncontracts shares this mission, and I’m excited to watch as the strength and experience of our united teams take risk management solutions to the next level.”

With today’s acquisition, Ncontracts aims to position it as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) and knowledge-as-a-service (KaaS) leader. Quantivate’s GRC solutions and broader suite covering areas like ERM Intelligence, Compliance, IT Risk, and more, strengthen Ncontracts’ portfolio by enhancing its capabilities in addressing the complex needs of financial institutions.

This acquisition not only expands Ncontracts’ workforce to 350 employees and customer base to 4,000 financial services companies, but it also emphasizes the industry’s increasing reliance on sophisticated risk management solutions.

Ncontracts was founded in 2009 and specializes in risk, vendor, and compliance management software for financial services companies. The company currently serves more than 4,000 financial services organizations, including Tinker Federal Credit Union, Columbia Bank, Security Bank of Kansas City, and more. Earlier this fall, Ncontracts teamed up with fellow Finovate alum True Digital to enhance banks’ vendor data.

Ncontracts most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2022 where the company debuted Nrisk, an online risk management solution that strengthens compliance controls in real time. Tools like these are especially imperative to financial services firms in today’s regulatory environment in which regulators have increased their scrutiny of enterprise risk management practices.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Quantivate,” said Ncontracts founder and CEO Michael Berman. “We are both mutually committed to helping financial institutions reduce risk, improve compliance, and control costs, so combining our resources empowers us to be an even better provider of software and services for our customers and the financial industry.”

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YieldStreet Pads Alternative Investment Offerings with Cadre Acquisition

YieldStreet Pads Alternative Investment Offerings with Cadre Acquisition
  • YieldStreet has agreed to acquire Cadre. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Cadre CEO Ryan Williams will lead YieldStreet’s new division focused on building an institutional audience.
  • When the acquisition is finalized, YieldStreet will hold an investment value of more than $9.7 billion and will serve more than 500,000 investors.

Alternative investments platform YieldStreet made its third acquisition today. The New York-based company announced it has picked up real estate investment platform Cadre for an undisclosed amount.

When combined with Cadre, YieldStreet will hold an investment value of more than $9.7 billion and will serve more than 500,000 investors across eight institutional and retail distribution channels. Across the two companies’ platforms, investors have allocated $5.3 billion and have received $3.1 billion in returns to date.

Founded in 2015, YieldStreet offers an alternative investment platform that provides access to a wide range of asset classes– including art, real estate, legal, corporates, consumer, and commercial– via single investments or funds. The company also offers short-term notes on offerings with terms between 3 and 6 months.

Cadre is headquartered in New York and offers its investors fractional commercial real estate investment opportunities, as well as access to funds comprised of multiple commercial real estate holdings. The company was founded in 2014 and had raised $133 million.

“After nearly a decade of building a top-tier real estate investment platform that has generated compelling returns for institutional investors, we are incredibly proud to take the next step in our journey to broaden access to institutional real estate and other alternative asset classes alongside Yieldstreet,” said Cadre Founder and CEO Ryan Williams. “Together with Yieldstreet, we look forward to helping expand institutional distribution and broadening its offering of institutional-caliber products and innovative solutions that reduce friction for investors in private markets.”

Logistically, Ryan Williams will remain CEO of Cadre and will take on a new role as Yieldstreet’s Global Head of Institutional Partnerships & Clients, where he will lead YieldStreet’s new division focused on building an institutional audience. Cadre investor and advisor Mike Fascitelli will serve as the Global Chairman of Real Estate and Head of Cadre’s Investment Committee. The rest of the Cadre team, including Chief Investment Officer Dan Rosenbloom, will also join YieldStreet.

“We will continue to pursue strategic opportunities to increase revenue, enhance profitability, drive operating synergies, and unlock new channels for distribution or exceptional technology,” said YieldStreet CEO Michael Weisz. “Expanding complementary distribution channels and markets beyond the U.S., investment portfolios and capabilities with Cadre is just the beginning. We are thrilled to welcome Cadre to the Yieldstreet family.”

Photo by Pixabay

Crastorehill Acquires Open Banking Players Qwist and ndgit

Crastorehill Acquires Open Banking Players Qwist and ndgit
  • Crastorehill is acquiring two Germany-based open banking players, ndgit and Qwist.
  • Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Crastorehill has appointed Matt Colebourne as CEO.

Fintech Capital-owned Crastorehill announced this week it has acquired two German open banking players, ndgit and Qwist (formerly known as finleap). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Warsaw-based Crastorehill builds data analytics products for financial services. The company’s strategy hinges on acquiring other open banking providers to help enhance its product suite, geographical coverage, as well as its big data and artificial intelligence capabilities.

Crastorehill is making the acquisition in anticipation of the European Union’s pending PSD3 regulation. PSD3 is an advancement of PSD2 and is expected to accelerate the proliferation of open banking based products.

As part of today’s announcement, Crastorehill unveiled it has appointed Matt Colebourne as CEO. Colebourne is Chair of ecommerce technology company Visii and former CEO of Searchmetrics.

“Open standards, in almost any technological or regulated area, create the opportunity to solve previously insoluble problems, to do things faster, more easily and more cheaply,” said Colebourne. “Much as the internet ushered in a previously inconceivable plethora of new ways to interact, transact and research, the rise of open banking will enable new ways to assess risk, verify identity, understand macro-economic behaviour and enable faster, easier interaction for consumers. I’m excited to join Crastorehill at a time when we have the opportunity to lead this transformation and grow.”

Photo by Vie Studio

More PFM Shakeup: Status Money Shuts its Doors

More PFM Shakeup: Status Money Shuts its Doors
  • Peer comparison PFM Status Money is shutting down and has transferred its users to Quicken Simplifi.
  • Starting November 10, the Status Money website and app will no longer be available.
  • Status Money’s closing comes a week after Mint announced it will close its doors at the end of the year.

While many in the fintech industry are still processing Mint’s departure from the fintech scene, there appears to be more shakeup in the PFM world this morning. Budgeting service and social personal finance app Status Money has notified its users that it is shutting down.

“As part of our ongoing commitment to providing you with the tools you need to get ahead financially, we will be transitioning our member accounts, including yours, over to Quicken Simplifi,” the company said in an announcement on its website.

Status Money was founded in 2016 to help users aggregate, track, and manage their entire financial lives and compare their financial standing with their peers. This peer comparison capability stood out as Status Money’s differentiating factor. The feature allowed users to compare their spending in specific categories to others by age, zip code, and income level.

The New York-based company’s other tools allowed users to set goals and participate in discussions with other users. In 2020, the company launched a $20 per month premium tier that allowed users to chat with a financial advisor on a monthly basis.

Starting November 10, however, the Status Money website and app will no longer be available, but users will be able to use their existing credentials to log into Quicken’s Simplifi budgeting tool, which costs around $3 per month. Status Money has transferred each user’s personal information and data associated with their account to Quicken. The Status Money Rewards program, which paid users in cash and Bitcoin for referrals and for engaging in product recommendations, is no longer available.

Status Money, which demoed at FinovateSpring 2019, hasn’t released much more information regarding the transition. There is currently no word on whether Quicken acquired the entire company or just its users, nor has Status Money disclosed transaction details.

One thing is clear, however. This appears to be yet another nail in the coffin of PFM. In his recent piece in Forbes titled The Demise of Intuit Mint and Personal Financial Management, Cornerstone Advisor’s Ron Shevlin goes into detail of why PFM is a dying fintech subsector. He notes that consumers are looking for more than just tracking, but are instead drawn toward tools such as those that help them optimize the return on their savings, save money, and mitigate monthly bills.

As someone who still uses an offline Excel spreadsheet to budget each month, I would argue that there may still be a market for simple PFM tools. However, the consumer-facing fintech market is crowded. In order to survive, standalone PFM companies may fare better with a B2B approach by embedding their tracking tools within larger fintechs or financial services organizations. This meets the consumer where they are already are instead of imposing an additional app to keep track of.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko