Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Pindrop Advances into Smart Devices with $90 Million in Funding.

Around the web

  • iSignThis begins accepting customer deposits to its own issued International Bank Account Numbers (IBANs).
  • Personal Capital moves headquarters to Redwood Shores.
  • Signifyd opens EMEA headquarters in London to support its ecommerce fraud protection business in Europe.
  • Juvo expands across Asia with regional headquarters in Singapore.
  • Ondot announces new digital card services platform to support U.K. banks.
  • Lighter Capital provides NinjaCat $1.1 million.
  • R3’s new Corda App supports Ripple’s XRP.
  • Upserve (formerly Swipely) releases newest point-of-sale device, Upserve POS, now available for Android.

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.

Ondot Lands Strategic Investment from Citi Ventures

A strategic investment from Citi Ventures announced today will help power international growth for mobile payment services specialist Ondot.

“As we steadily march toward high-frequency, invisible and autonomous payments, consumers increasingly expect detailed information about their transactions,” Ondot CEO Vaduvur Bharghavan said. “Bringing together details such as real-time transaction authorizations, proximity controls, merchant specifications, and applying machine learning on historical data helps consumers have more control over their cards and delivers a premium cardholder experience.”

The amount of the funding was not disclosed. Prior to today’s news, the company reportedly had raised $51 million in equity financing.

Ondot offers banks and credit unions technology that enables them to provide their customers with solutions to better manage and control their card payments. The company’s real-time, API-based platform and mobile app provide an end-to-end digital payment card services experience that ranges from bot-assisted digital acquisition and instant activation to geolocation-based contextual alerts and messaging. Ondot’s technology gives payment cards a “digital voice,” supported by a three-way interaction between the card issuer, the card holder, and the merchant.

“Consumers want to be able to manage their financial lives anywhere and at any time, and their expectations for a seamless experience will continue to evolve,” Citi Ventures’ co-head of venture investing Ramneek Gupta said. “Ondot meets this demand by providing innovative solutions that enable increased access and control of financial information, so we are thrilled to invest.”

Ondot’s strategic investment comes as the company announced a partnership with Mexico’s INVEX. The collaboration will enable INVEX to leverage Ondot’s digital acquisition and instant issuance technology to provide the country’s first “Instant Card.” Integrated with Ondot’s technology, INVEX’s Digital Card Services solution will also feature mobile product presentment and selection, as well as built-in card controls and alerts.

“Nowadays, credit card customers and digitally savvy generations, seek simplicity and immediate financial solutions through 100% digital channels,” Jean Marc Mercier, INVEX’s Managing Director for Consumer Banking and Payments, said. He added that INVEX was “committed to consolidate our position as a player at the forefront of the Mexican consumer and payments market, providing solutions that meet these expectations.”

Santa Clara, California-based Ondot Systems demonstrated its Digital Card mobile app at FinovateSpring 2018. The company also participated in our inaugural FinovateMiddleEast conference earlier this year, winning Best of Show honors for a live demo of its card control technology. More than 3,000 banks and credit unions around the world use Ondot’s white label apps, including the premier credit union services organization in the U.S., PSCU, which announced a partnership with Ondot in August.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Open Bank Project Collaborates with Open Source Software Company Red Hat.
  • Ondot Lands Strategic Investment from Citi Ventures.
  • Experian, FICO, and Finicity Launch the UltraFICO Score.

Around the web

  • Bloomberg TV features Best of Show winner Bumped.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee launches new suite of developer tools.
  • ThreatMetrix partners with SAS, bringing digital identity intelligence to machine learning to help creditors fight identity fraud.
  • Finastra introduces its cloud-based instant payments offering for SMEs.
  • Sberbank inks Memorandum of Understanding with SWIFT.
  • Artivest appoints new Chief Compliance Officer, Kamal Jafarnia.
  • Featurespace unveils its ARIC White Label solution for advanced fraud and risk prevention.
  • Finextra: Fidor and GFT extend partnership to the Americas markets.
  • Kony acquires innovation subsidiary of Umpqua Bank.
  • Finextra: NTT Data plans pan-Asian federated trade information platform based on blockchain.
  • SuperMoney surpasses $1 billion in financing requests
  • Bluefin and TokenEx partner to strengthen payment security with PCI-validated P2PE and omni-channel tokenization.
  • ID.me launches KYC / AML identity verification solution and ID document verification solution.

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.

How Fintech is Disrupting the Modern Workplace

From the way payroll and benefits are administered to the nature of work itself, fintech innovation is helping build the 21st century workplace.

Will “pay day” be a thing of the past? How long until companies across the country are competing on the basis of their ability to help you pay off your student loans?

Technology has done much to change the nature of work in recent years. The same can be said for specific areas like financial technology. Here’s a look at how fintech innovations are making their own contributions to the 21st century “office”.

Getting Paid

Many of us work because we enjoy what we do. But whether you consider getting paid a top priority or just a perk, who wouldn’t love the flexibility of being able to get income when you need the money most – rather than on an arbitrary, twice a month schedule?

Companies like Gusto are among those making this possibility a reality. This summer, the payroll, benefits, and HR technology company introduced Flexible Pay, a new solution that enables employees to get paid on a date other than their employer’s standard pay date. Calling bi-weekly pay schedules a “relic” of the days when payroll taxes were calculated manually, Gusto co-founder and CEO Joshua Reeves has set out to prove that “with modern technology, employees shouldn’t have to wait weeks to get paid.”

The New Workspace

Even the word “telecommute” sounds more like something from a bygone time rather than the way a growing number of Americans are “going to work”. But the reality of remote employment for a growing number of people is here and fintech companies have both encouraged and participated in this trend. “Millennials simply don’t feel they need to be in the office, or at their desk, to get a job done — especially since the evolution of technology has made portability very possible,” Demetrios Gianniris, a director at MG Engineering, wrote for Forbes.com earlier this year in a post called The Millennial Arrival and the Evolution of the Modern Workplace.

To this end, innovations in mobile technology and messaging (consider Eltropy’s innovations in providing secure, compliant communications via popular messaging apps) have helped accelerate the revolution in remote work. There are also fintechs removing friction from some of the more mundane aspects of working outside the office. Expensify, for example, has partnered with Uber to make it easier for workers who use the ride-sharing service to separate business from personal expenses. And speaking of expenses, the tools offered by companies like Ondot empower workers to make necessary purchases while ensuring control and accountability for managers and employers.

Doing the Work

The flip side of the convenience that technologies like chatbots and IVR provide is that, for a growing number of financial professionals, these technologies are virtually co-workers. As machine learning and AI become increasingly commonplace, workers are more likely to rely on interacting with processes than communicating with people when it comes to getting their daily tasks done.

For financial advisors, fintechs are developing a wide variety of tools to make it easier for them to communicate with customers, and build highly personalized investment portfolios and financial plans. Onist, which announced a partnership with Quovo this summer, enables financial advisors to set up a virtual family office to facilitate collaboration between advisors and clients.

Technology also promises to make it easier for workers to leverage the work of other workers more effectively. One of the key insights of New York-based WorkFusion was the way a combination of machine learning and crowdsourcing of human talent could enable smaller businesses to “punch above their weight” when it comes to managing data. The company has since leveraged this technology to produce the first integrated RPA (robot process automation) and cognitive automation platform: Smart Process Automation (SPA) currently deployed in verticals including financial services, healthcare, and insurance.

Managing the Gains

Fintechs are in the lead when it comes to helping workers make better financial decisions. A firm like DoubleNet Pay helps employees manage cash flow by automating their billpay and savings obligations and coordinating payouts around paydays. Wealthucate, a financial wellness specialist out of San Jose, California, provides an automated financial wellness program that helps businesses enhance their own offerings. Wealthucate’s solution leverages gamification and personalization to increase the participation rate in benefit programs and help companies better explain their benefit offerings.

Among the more interesting ways that fintechs are helping workers manage their money is the approach by Student Loan Genius. This company enlists employers in the fight to help Millennial workers in particular pay off their student loans while simultaneously investing in their own employer-based retirement plan as soon as possible.

Fintech and the Work of the Future

It may be only a matter of time before we are able to watch the real-time flow of micropayments into our accounts or a be a part of a workforce in which most of us have both a robot supervisor and a robot subordinate. In any event, it is clear that whatever innovations the workplace of the future holds, fintech companies will be very much a part of making them happen.

Top image designed by Freepik

Ondot Brings Card Control Technology to PSCU

The premier credit union services organization in the U.S., PSCU, has teamed up with mobile payments innovator Ondot to enable its members to add comprehensive card alerts and controls to their offerings. The solution adds to PSCU’s current card alerts offering and can be readily integrated into mobile apps, online account management apps, or delivered via PSCU’s digital experience platform.

“Members of our Owner credit unions will now have the ability to easily transact with their own card: (turn it) on and off, set spending limits, even create real-time alerts, all to ensure they can seamlessly manage their finances,” VP of Product Management for PSCU, Jeremiah Lotz said. “This is one of the many exciting developments in our mobile solution that our Owners can expect to see in the coming months.”

Ondot’s card alerts and controls technology has been credited with reducing fraud losses, including a more than 50% reduction in the number of fraud attempts. The solution also lowers the call volume to contact center representatives, and helps boost both card usage and top-of-wallet movement thanks to newly empowered and engaged members and customers.

“Mobile card control services are no longer an option to remain competitive and provide the highest level of member experience,” Ondot CEO Vaduvur Bharghavan said. “We are excited to partner with a CUSO, leveraging technology to ensure its Owner credit unions have the ability to deliver seamless and secure card management options to provide personalized and engaging card-based payment experiences.”

The card alerts and controls feature includes:

  • Geolocation-enabled alerts. Allow or restrict transactions beyond the cardholder’s current location.
  • Lock/unlock switch. Control access to and use of individual cards.
  • Enable/disable transaction types: Limit use of card to specific transactions such as in-store, ATM, and eCommerce.
  • Enable/disable merchant types. Limit use of card to specific kinds of merchants such as department stores, entertainment venues, and hospitality.
  • Threshold controls. Set specific transaction amounts or monthly spending limits.
  • Transaction type alerts. Receive notice of transaction merchant types (ATM, in-store, eCommerce) and transaction categories (restaurant, gas, travel)

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Santa Clara, California, Ondot demonstrated its Digital Card Mobile app at FinovateSpring 2018. Earlier this year, the company also participated in our inaugural FinovateMiddleEast 2018, demonstrating its Card Control technology and winning Best of Show honors.

Last month, the company introduced its digital card services platform, which gives card issuers full digital card lifecycle management from initial invitation through secure payments. Ondot announced in May that more than 3,000 FIs are offering mobile card controls powered by its technology.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Onfido Helps TransferGo Onboard New Users Faster.
  • Hydrogen Unveils FINDI Consortium to Boost Support for Public Blockchains.
  • Ondot Brings Card Control Technology to PSCU.

Around the web

  • AI Foundry teams up with ECM software provider MTS Software Solutions.
  • Joint solution between Jscrambler and Intertrust to provide protection for mobile and JavaScript apps.
  • Home Bank implements Loan Fulfillment Center (LFC) from Mortgage Cadence.
  • Tinkoff Bank begins offering loans to SMEs.
  • AlphaPoint hires Srikant Manda as Chief Information Security Officer.

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

  • Risk Ident to Help Universum Protect Retailers from Fraud.
  • Dorsum Unveils My Wealth Mobile App.
  • Ondot Introduces Digital Card Services Platform.

Around the web

  • NuData Security named a “Top 100 in Tech” by Business in Vancouver.
  • ThetaRay wins ATMIA’s Next Generation ATM Security Award.
  • Tuition.io to power student loan repayment benefits for Hulu employees.
  • Standard Chartered Bank announces intentions to apply for the virtual banking license.
  • Conversation.one is Amazon Alexa-Certified for Financial Institutions.
  • Flywire and UnionPay Partner to Take the Cost Out of Cross-Border Payments from China.
  • Yoyo introduces quarterly tracker to monitor customer activity in closed catering environments.
  • U.K.-based Business Leader magazine features Wealthify and YellowDog among its 32 South West Tech Businesses That Are Shaping the Future spotlight.
  • Unblu opens offices in London.

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

  • Wave Brings Business Services to Royal Bank of Canada’s Online Banking Platform
  • Finicity Teams with DataVerify.
  • Ripple Entices Banks with New Accelerator Program.

Around the web

  • Tradeshift joins the Hyperledger Board.
  • DAVO to offer app to Poynt merchants via Poynt’s App Marketplace
  • Ondot, Elan provide two-way fraud alerts for My Mobile Money app.
  • EverSafe wins a spot in Fidelity’s list of “8 financial tips for new widows.”

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

  • Truphone Raises $339 Million to Fuel Global Expansion.
  • Best of Show Winner Voleo and Nasdaq to Launch Equity Trading Competition.

Around the web

  • New York Life launches student loan repayment program; partners with Student Loan Genius.
  • NCR unveils new mPOS solution, Ring Up, designed for U.S. micro businesses.
  • Invstr to offer fractional share trading via partnership with DriveWealth.
  • MarketEarlybird announces availability on cloud-based workflow and collaboration platform, Symphony.
  • Quadient (formerly GMC Software) expands Partner Advantage Program.
  • Top Image Systems eFLOW Remit tops 50 billion transactions.
  • Ondot Systems brings its card control technology to Access Softek mobile banking platform.
  • Pendo launches Pendo Machine Learning Platform (PMLP).
  • ICBA adds CECL Solution from ProfitStars to Preferred Service Provider Program
  • Finastra adds three new CU clients
  • Kony to power next-gen digital platform for NRT and Sightline.
  • Pendo Systems selected by SWIFT as One of 16 Fintechs to Exhibit at SIBOS 2017.
  • 35 Finovate alums named in IDC Financial Insights’ top 100 fintech rankings

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.

Increasing Use of Card Controls in SMB Market is Reducing “Friendly Fraud”

In 2014 Ondot Systems was a newcomer to Finovate. Now, we have asked them to give us an update on where card controls are in the small-to-medium-sized business market, and where they are set to take the fintech sector, in particular the future of fraud.

The small business credit card market reached 13.9 million accounts in 2015, with an average of 20 transactions per month, accounting for one in every six dollars spent on general purpose cards (roughly $430 billion all together). These payments are fundamental to running the operations of any small and mid-size business (SMB), from purchasing office supplies, paying off utility bills, clearing invoices of various service providers, etc.

An SMB owner opening up a credit card for the business has its benefits like financial rewards perks, and flexibility in spending. If handled correctly, allowing employee use of the owner’s credit cards can simplify the reimbursement process and reduce administrative hassles. However, without proper controls, employee credit cards can encourage bad spending habits, theft, or fraud.

Owner cards are only as good as the communication and trust between owner and employee. Unless the owner keeps close tabs on purchases, there is a risk of “friendly fraud,” which is when an employee takes advantage of their purchasing power for their own benefit. Left unchecked, these fraudulent charges can equate to thousands of dollars lost, the loss of an employee, or even a lawsuit.

A recent study by ACFE found that 60% of small businesses didn’t recover any of their losses from this type of fraud. By giving credit cards to key employees, it implies a high degree of trust, but unfortunately, fraud can and does happen.

According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ latest study, illegitimate expenses make up around 14 percent of asset misappropriation fraud and cause a median loss of $40,000. If you aren’t monitoring those purchases closely, they may go unnoticed.

Owners typically wear many hats, and managing internal financial fraud should not have to get in the way of running a business. So how can SMB owners take the worry of transactional fraud off of their shoulders? Through proactive card controls, SMB owners can allow the use of SMB payment card by setting where, when and how the card can be used for business purposes.

SMB owners can set limits on purchase amounts, location where the card can be used, types of transactions and even merchant categories. In addition, through a few taps on their smartphone, they can view card activity in real time through push notifications and even turn the card off in case of misuse.

Let’s consider a use case of a small business owner employing truck drivers to distribute food supplies around the town. Truck drivers are given a payment card for fuel and other business purchases to make sure they make it to their destination without any hiccups.

The owner of the business is able to set location controls enabling card use only in the areas of their route, and limit transactions up to certain amount at gas stations only. They can set the parameters to deny the ability to withdraw cash from an ATM or use it for entertainment purposes for example. This avoids unpleasant conversations about card misuse while allowing business owners more time to concentrate on operating their business effectively. Through these controls, receipt management for reimbursement becomes a thing of the past and business expense management is more streamlined.

Another example for of how these card controls can protect SMB owners is in the case of doctors and dentists that have their own practice. Typically these doctors employ two or three people for the office where payment cards are used for everything from office supplies to keeping the lights on. Friendly fraud can often go unnoticed if, along with an office purchase, one were to also shop for some personal items. Such businesses typically do not employ full time accounting personnel to track expenses and run on a small budget where misuse can have an impact on the bottom-line.

Through card controls, SMB owners can take on the task of managing company purchases proactively. With just a few minutes on their smartphone app setting card controls and alerts preferences, they and their businesses can be protected from “friendly fraud.”