Hydrogen, TD Bank Partnership Drives DIY Financial Planning

Clients of TD Bank’s TD Direct Investing will have new tools to build their own financial plans and portfolios – thanks to a newly-announced collaboration between the Canadian bank and fintech innovator Hydrogen. The two companies have entered into a licensing agreement that will integrate Hydrogen’s APIs into TD Bank’s WebBroker platform as the first phase of the partnership.

“This is the first of several significant building blocks that will deliver a fully integrated, digital investing experience for TD clients,” Tony Ierullo, VP of Wealth Digital Innovation for TD Bank Group, said. “While our initial focus is on improving the self-directed investor experience, our ultimate goal is to bring best-in-class digital investing solutions to all TD clients, at every stage of their financial journey.” The agreement marks the first instance a Canadian bank has provided customers with the technology to build financial plans and investment portfolios on their own, all of which are integrated into the customer’s online brokerage account.

“Hydrogen has built an interconnected global platform designed to provide access to some of the best financial infrastructure and products currently on the market,” President and CEO of Hydrogen Michael Kane said. “Our agreement with TD is testament to the power of embedding innovative digital solutions into established investment services.”

Additional resources are planned for the platform, including the creation of a direct access digital advisor. Once additional phases of the rollout are underway, clients will have access to a fully-integrated, end-to-end digital investing platform for both self-service and “advice-led” investing – as well as those who want a mix of both.

“Almost every industry has been disrupted due to the pervasiveness of technology and shifting customer preferences,” Kane said, “and the Wealth industry is no exception.”

Hydrogen demonstrated its technology at FinovateEurope 2018, building a European savings solution – including UI/UX, onboarding, backend connectivity, and business intelligence – live on stage in five minutes. The firm’s APIs enable companies to save tens of millions on building and running a variety of financial services apps. The company is also the maker of the Hydro blockchain, the public ledger for financial services, and Ion AI, a machine learning technology for financial apps.

Last month, the company launched the FINDI Consortium to “facilitate a more open, transparent, and decentralized global financial system” powered by public blockchains. In July, Hydrogen introduced the Hydro mobile app, a security and identity management solution that leverages the public blockchain. Winner of the grand prize at the Luxembourg Fintech Awards this summer, the self-described “Stripe for fintech” was founded in 2017 and is based in New York City.

BizEquity Brings its Valuation-as-a-Service Solution to TD Bank

BizEquity just signed its first – really big – bank.

TD Bank has partnered with the online business valuation specialist to provide SMEs across the country with real-time insights into fair market, enterprise, and liquidation values based on current market conditions. Relationship managers at TD Bank will leverage BizEquity’s technology to produce detailed valuation and industry KPI reports, and then share them with business owners to help them create succession plans, formulate tax planning strategies, explore funding and M&A opportunities, and more.

“Without proper valuation knowledge, many of these business owners will not be adequately funded or have the right wealth or succession plans in place,” BizEquity founder and CEO Michael M. Carter said. “Together, we are helping to democratize this important knowledge for small and mid-size business owners from Maine to Florida.”

BizEquity, developer of Valuation-as-a-Service (VaaS) and the VaaS Business Valuation Cloud, enables companies to produce a customized valuation performance report that gives SME owners key insights into business valuation data as well as industry comparisons in 40 KPIs. BizEquity’s more than 500 financial services clients include KPMG, Mass Mutual Financial Group, and Mutual of Omaha; as well as fellow Finovate alums like Experian, Xero, and Equifax. TD Bank represents BizEquity’s first and only top-10 U.S. bank partner.

With headquarters in Wayne, Pennsylvania and offices in Tower Hamlets, London, Biz Equity was founded in 2010. The company began the year announcing an agreement with Windfall Data, in which the consumer financial data specialist will offer its wealth data on the BizEquity platform. Last month, BizEquity was honored at the FinTech Breakthrough Awards, earning the Innovation Award for Wealth Management.

BizEquity has raised $5.1 million in funding, courtesy of an investment from London-based venture capital firm, Frost Brooks. The company demonstrated its BizEquity One U.K. valuation-as-a-service technology at FinovateEurope 2015.

Based in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, TD Bank appeared with Moven at FinovateSpring 2016 for a live demonstration of the TD MySpend app. The app features a full integration of the Moven platform within TD Bank’s mobile banking ecosystem. Operating in the U.S. northeast and mid-Atlantic regions, as well as metropolitan D.C., the Carolinas, and Florida, TD Bank is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • BizEquity Brings its Valuation-as-a-Service Solution to TD Bank.

Around the web

  • FICO to offer free cybersecurity ratings to companies via its FICO Enterprise Security Score Portrait solution.
  • NICE Actimize covers P2P payments within its Fraud Essentials Cloud solution.
  • Global Debt Registry launches its loan registry on the IBM Blockchain Platform.
  • Harmonic Fund Services goes live with loan servicing technology, Fusion Loan IQ, from Finastra.
  • Gro Solutions names digital consulting firm Xtensifi as a certified development partner.
  • Kony accepted as a member in Jack Henry’s Symitar Vendor Integration Program.
  • NIIT Technologies ranked number one in ‘Business Understanding’ by clients in the 2018 UK IT Outsourcing Study.
  • 3rd-eyes selected for Swiss National Fintech Team.

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.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FDLD17_EventLogoV1_wdate(large) (1)We saw some great stuff at FinDEVr New York last month; stay tuned for videos of the live presentations! If you missed out, check out FinDEVr London on June 12 & 13 during London Tech Week. Register today and save big time.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Xero sees $26.4 Million investment

Alumni updates

  • Money management app, TD MySpend from TD Bank, closes in on one million users.
  • ACI Worldwide broadens its relationship with Ant Financial Services mobile payment provider, Alipay.
  • PayPal teams with Android to launch a new way to pay.
  • i-exceed earns Gartner Magic Quadrant recognition as notable vendor in Asia Pacific for mobile app development platforms.
  • Former Kabbage CTO Amala Duggirala joins Regions Bank as its new CIO.
  • FICO announces partnership with economic empowerment non-profit, Operation HOPE.
  • Forrester names Kofax a leader in ECM transactional content services.
  • OutSystems launches global partner program, connecting integrators, resellers, and consultants to its low-code development platform.

Stay current on daily news from the fintech developer community! Follow FinDEVr on Twitter.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Check out this week’s FinDEVr APIntelligence.
  • Robo Advisor Wealthfront Launches Line of Credit to Make Users More Liquid.
  • Our latest FinovateSpring Sneak Peeks are up! Meet Unison, Hedgeable AI Lab, AccountScore, SynapsePay, and HEDG.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Xero Sees $26.4 Million Investment

Around the web

  • Money management app, TD MySpend from TD Bank, closes in on one million users.
  • mBank launches mobile app with Android Pay.
  • ACI Worldwide broadens its relationship with Ant Financial Services mobile payment provider, Alipay.
  • PYMNTS reportsTransferWise To Move Headquarters Out Of UK Due To Brexit.
  • NICE Actimize Launches ActimizeWatch, a Fraud Analytics Optimization Solution.
  • Fiserv to power core processing for SouthEast bank.

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.

Mobile: Going All-in with PFM in Mobile Banking

becu_mx_mobileThe ongoing migration to mobile provides financial institutions a chance to reboot their approach to delivering information digitally. Digital banking v1.0 (desktop online banking) was primarily about porting paper-based statements into an online format. It was a huge change and made banking more convenient, though not really any more effective than the paper-and-call-center system it replaced.

Digital banking v2.0 (mobile banking) is where modern processing power and machine intelligence pays off. Banking becomes not only more convenient, but much simpler, less time consuming, and helps consumers make better financial decisions. But to get to those payoffs, FIs need to provide advanced features, that we in the industry call PFM (personal financial management).

But it’s hard to transition entrenched desktop-banking users to the more powerful PFM platforms. Many customers have been happily using desktop-online banking for a decade or more. And it’s a painful process to move them into what looks initially like a more complicated system.

So some FIs are gently pushing users into the future by offering ONLY a PFM-based native app. The largest U.S. financial institution to use that approach is Seattle-based BECU, the fourth largest credit union in the nation, with nearly 1 million members and 350,000 using mobile banking (up 75% in the past year).

A year ago, the credit union replaced its simple mobile-banking app with a fully PFM-integrated version powered by MX (see them at FinovateFall next week). CU members using native apps (Apple, Android, Windows) now do all their banking through a full PFM interface.

becu_mob_money_homeIt’s a good long-term move. Users expect, and need, more functionality than simple balance lookup and funds transfer. But making such a big change all at once carries risks too. With more than 200,000 users at conversion time, there ensued some initial member grumbling, inevitable with such a big change. But the latest version released in May 2016 carries the highest 5-star rating, so apparently users have come to grips with the change. You can see the reviews in the iTunes and Google Play stores. Check out the MX case study for more details.

The full-conversion approach used by BECU may be the fastest way to move customers into the future. But to minimize initial pushback and work out any UX hiccups, grandfathering the old app could provide some breathing room. Or call the new version “Pro,” charge $1.50/mo for it (waived for a few months), and let both versions live side by side indefinitely. TD Bank in Canada offers the Moven-powered MySpend app as an add-in to its regular mobile banking app (see Moven at FinovateFall next week).

Alternatively, users turned off by a the full-featured app can be referred to the mobile website with instructions on how to save it as an icon on their phone. As long as you have a reasonably responsive, well-designed site, non-power user customers will be satisfied.

—–

The BECU Money Manager has a start page (inset) that includes links to a tour, FAQs, new member application, online banking enrollment (required for mobile banking), location finder, and a link to the full mobile website.

——

Here’s a 3-minute MX-produced video of BECU exec Howie Wu discussing the desktop PFM platform and integration:

BECU on MX

2015 Holiday Marketing Efforts from the Top-20 U.S. Banks

The end of the year provides a unique challenge to banks. Customers are busy buying gifts, finishing year-end projects at work, and preparing for holiday travel, meal prep and/or extended family time. There isn’t an abundance of deep thought about long-term financial plans, other than how to pay down inflated December credit card bills.

For banks, it’s a good time to run a few simple messages:

  1. Thank customers for a great year
  2. Wish them happy holidays and/or a wonderful new year
  3. Help customers deal with holiday overspending and planning for the new year
  4. Provide last-minute gift assistance via prepaid MasterCard/Visa cards
  5. Detail holiday branch hours and service options (extra credit for an online/mobile banking plug)

This is not a tall order, yet only 9 of the 20 largest banks managed to do even 1 of the above 5 during the week leading up to Christmas. While that may not seem like a great performance, it was more than double the measly four last year. And it’s back in line with historical norms of 9 banks 2013; 8 in 2012; and 10 in 2011. It looks like 2014 was an anomaly.

Congrats to PNC Bank, which once again, proved it was the holiday champ thanks to its long-running 12 Days of Christmas Index, earning a full 5 bulbs on our 1-to-5 light bulb scale. Runner-up Key Bank moved up to an impressive 4-bulb performance with four holiday promos. And we had three 3-bulbers (Fifth Third, BMO Harris, Union Bank) who posted impressive holiday graphics.

The scrooge list: Top-20 banks with no holiday promotions or graphics on 23 Dec 2015:
Bank of America; Bank of the West (BNP Paribas); BB&T; Capital One & Capital One 360 (formerly ING Direct); Chase (note 2); Citizens (RBS); HSBC; SunTrust; US Bank; Wells Fargo; Zions Bank.

Following is a quick overview of the promotions, including a 1- to 5-bulb rating.

Previous year-end holiday posts: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 (big banks), 2011(CUs/community banks), 2009 part 1, 2009 part 2, 2007, 2006, 2006, 2004.

_____________________________________________________________________

Large U.S. banks show holiday spirit

PNC Bank

Score: imageimageimageimageimage

Homepage (23 Dec 2015):

pnc_holiday2015
PNC Christmas Price Index page:

pnc_holiday_2015_2

———–

Key Bank

  • Checking account promo with holiday imagery (1 of 3 rotating promos)
  • Security tips related to holiday spending (2 of 3 rotating promos)
  • Rewards promo with holiday image (lower left on homepage)
  • Credit card promo with holiday copy (lower right on homepage)

Score: imageimageimageimage

Homepage promo #1 (23 Dec 2015):

key_holiday2015
Homepage promo #2:

key_holiday2015_2

———-

Fifth Third Bank

  • Page-dominating “wishes”

Score: imageimageimage

Homepage (23 Dec 2015):

53_holiday2015

———-

BMO Harris

  • Community service announcing a Milwaukee holiday display (#2 of 3 rotating promos)
  • Security message related to holidays and its new chip card (#3 of 3 rotating promos)

Score: imageimageimage

Homepage promo #1 (23 Dec 2015):

bmoharris_holiday2015

Homepage promo #2:

bmoharris_holdiday2015_2

———

Union Bank

  • Rose Bowl parade float (#1 of 4 promos)
  • Billpay offer with charity tie-in (#2 of 4 promos)

Score: imageimageimage

Homepage promo #1 (23 Dec 2015):unionbank_holiday2015
Homepage promo #2:unionbank_holiday2015_2

———–

Comerica

  • Gift card promo integrated into main image (promo 2 of 3 rotating)

Score: imageimageimage (2.5)

Homepage (23 Dec 2015):

comerica_holiday2015

———-

Regions Bank

  • Loan discount with holiday copy (well below the fold)

Score: imageimage

Homepage with loan offer (23 Dec 2015):

regions_holiday_2015
Landing page for loan offer:

regions_holiday2015_2

——–

TD Bank

  • Checking account promo with holiday imagery and Samsung giveaway (main promo)

Score: imageimage

Homepage with checking promo (23 Dec 2015):

tdbank_holiday2015

———-

Citibank

  • Year-end home-equity promo with winter imagery

Score: image

citi_holiday_2015

 

————————-

Notes:
1. Observations taken between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. Eastern Time on Wed, 23 Dec 2015, from a Florida IP address, running Mac Chrome browser with cookies cleared.
2. Chase is running a series of newish articles/posts below the fold, one of which covered holiday budgeting. But it wasn’t prominent enough to move them off the scrooge list.
3. Animation from
http://www.millan.net/anims/christmas.html#

Game On: What Banking Can Learn from Fitbit

TDbank_fitbit_signageI’ve always been a “wanna be” tracker. I like watching the stats closely, but I also lose interest if the process, either capturing the data or compiling it, becomes tedious. But thanks to mobile (including wearables), the drudgery is disappearing and that has big implications for banking and financial services.

Some examples: I’ve used Mint since 2007 for personal and business expenses, so I have a massive database of transactions, which in theory should make it easy to locate just about anything I’ve charged to a credit or debit card in the past eight years. However, it’s never quite perfect because I will go for long periods without doing the required maintenance to keep every aggregated account flowing. Recently, I just fixed one of my main credit cards which has been on hiatus for two years. So, there are big holes in the data.

Then there’s BillGuard, another service I love and have been using for years. I love how it alerts me to questionable items as they hit my card accounts. However, BillGuard’s database is so good, that I rarely hear from them any more. This is good news for me (no questionable items), but less so for them. Because what’s invisible, loses its perceived value.

And I’ve tried tracking other things over the years, both financial and personal. And nothing seems to stick. Until now. I just hit my two-year anniversary using Fitbit, usually glancing at its tiny readout several times per day. So what is it about Fitbit that makes it addictive? And more importantly, how can financial institutions do the same for money management?

capitalone_uber1. Make it easy to use: While Fitibit requires zero maintenance once you get it activated, you do have to remember to keep it on you. The same goes double for a bank’s credit or debit card. You not only have to remember it, but also must choose to use it at the point of sale.

Action item: Incent users to get your card loaded into digital ecommerce sites such as Apple Pay, Amazon, iTunes, PayPal, Uber, Spotify and others. Capital One just unleased a great, albeit expensive, program with Uber to credit back 20% of rides to its cardholders (link).

2. Make it easy to see exactly where you stand in real-time: Fitbit provides feedback literally every step of the day. It’s extremely motivating, though at times discouraging when you fall way behind in personal goals. Card issuers today do something similar delivering real-time alerts right to the smartphone homescreen (and soon to the Apple Watch). But transaction alerts still don’t tell you where you are.

Action item: Make notifications smarter by including daily, weekly, monthly transaction summaries and/or credit available. They could be included in the notification, or enabled with a swipe of the transaction alert.

3. Make it easy to compare to previous periods: This is still a missing piece of my ultimate Fitbit experience. The mobile app makes it easy to scroll backwards or look at bar charts to see how you are doing over time. But there are no simple month-over-month or year-over-year comparisons to see your progress in similar time periods.

Action item: Create single-click views of financial activity and balances compared to one month ago, one year ago, two years ago, etc.

Fitbit email

4. Provide ongoing incentives: Similar to saving money being its own reward, burning calories by walking and climbing is clearly its own incentive to bump up your Fitbit numbers. But it doesn’t hurt to provide extra incentives along the way. An incentive can not only keep customers engaged, but also appreciative of the game provider. Unlike BillGuard, which so quietly goes about its business that I forget about it, Fitbit delights users with badges and pop-up notifications, for hitting various daily or lifetime milestones. (Fitbit actually needs to do more incentivizing, as experienced users can rarely get a new badge; I haven’t had a new one since last November).

Action item: The badges may be cheesy, but the email congratulations are powerful (see inset from Fitbit the first time you walk 20,000 steps in a day). This has to be one of the simplest things you could do to reinforce good money management. Send an email congratulating a customer when their savings balance, rewards points, interest earned, or whatever, increases compared to a month ago or a year ago. Who doesn’t appreciate an “atta boy or girl” every now and then (even if it is from your bank).

5. Get social: While I’m not of the social media generation, I do understand its appeal. Just today, Fitbit sent me a reminder to add friends. This allows users to compete against friends and family, a potentially motivating way to get you off the couch and moving. And while I’d never share Fitbit data with friends, I do enjoy a friendly competition with my wife. The key is to make sharing highly selective, customizable, and easy to switch on and off.

Action item: While financial information is not as readily shareable as fitness data, Venmo has proven that it has potential. The youthful set who’ve taken to using Venmo (see the Venmo line), enjoy sharing payment activity, but only without revealing the actual dollar amount, and allowing for maximum snark in the share. And there are also plenty of serious use-cases for sharing financial data, such as employees with their employers, kids with their parents, etc. Card issuers should add optional sharing to all card-management platforms.

——–

Screenshot: TD Bank landing page (22 April 20015, link)

tdbank_fitbit

 

—————–

Picture Credit: TD Bank has been giving away Fitbit Flex trackers to new checking account customers (screenshot above). A reader from MaximizingMoney.com contributed this upper-right photo of TD signage in the NYC subway.

 

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com:

  • Lendio Raises $20 Million in New Funding to Help Finance Small Businesses
  • Motif Investing Partners with Pacific Life to Offer Cause-Based Investing.
  • Bank Innovation’s Coolest Brands of 2015 Features Finovate Alums.
  • Printer Giant Lexmark to Acquire Kofax for $1 Billion.

Around the Web:

  • ShopKeep POS acquires payment processing startup, Payment Revolution.
  • Financial Guard and FutureAdvisor are featured as alternatives in a Bloomberg column on “breaking up with your expensive adviser.”
  • Bank Innovation column on “InsuranceTech” and Fintech 1,000 lists Insuritas.
  • Opentabs integrates with PayPal to power its mobile app order-ahead services.
  • PYMNTS: Monitise takes itself off the market. CEO steps down.
  • Billhighway awarded Silver Stevie Award for Innovation in Customer Service in the Financial Services Industry category. It is the second win for Billhighway since 2013.
  • Dexterity Ventures (Place2Give) bolsters team with new CMO, Product Manager, Developer, and Office Assistant.
  • The FinTech Blog interviews Eli Broverman, Co-Founder and COO of Betterment.
  • Fiserv, TD Bank Group, Intuit, and PayPal rank among Forbes’ list of Americas’ Best employers.
  • SocietyOne appoints former Investec Group chief lending officer, Simon Schwarz, as new COO.
  • Ad Age highlights how BancVue seeks to level the playing field for community banks.
  • Rippleshot joined fellow winners of the Chicago Innovation Awards in ringing the closing bell at the Nasdaq on Monday.
  • BankNXT looks at the rise of marketplace lending platforms including Finovate alums Lending Club and OnDeck.

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.

TD Bank Launches Dynamic Login Page

image It’s no secret that a first-time online banking visitor has far different needs than the power user returning for login #1,712. But most banking sites provide the same visual login treatment for all users.

That forces new users to search out buried "getting started" or "register" links. Or they will make time-consuming, and expensive, phone calls to customer service for guidance.

And the one-size-fits-all approach is not optimal for experienced users either. As they skim by the static boilerplate in the banking version of banner blindness, power users miss the chance to learn more about new features and promotions.

The new design unveiled last week (4 June 2013; see old look in last screenshot below) from TD Canada Trust aims to solve both problems: 

  • After selecting login on the homepage, new users are shown a page with prominent help on how to get started along with links to register, take a tour, get help and so on (see first screenshot below).
  • Previously logged in visitors see a page featuring a banner below the login box emphasizing a single online banking feature and contextual links on the right (see second screenshot).

Bottom line: I like the concept. And eventually the bank can segment even tighter showing different looks for intermediate users, mobile-primary customers, French-speaking customers, and so on. Even in this first iteration, TD could make it better by:

  • Greeting/welcoming the customer
  • Providing more detailed instructions (e.g. What’s the optional "description" box for?, Why are they asking for access card number or username?)
  • Adding more graphical emphasis to draw the user’s attention

For reference, see how Chase Bank handles new and existing visitors.

——————————————

TD Canada Trust login page: First-time user (4 June 2013)
Note: Getting started info placed in right column

TD Bank login page: new user

TD Canada Trust login page: Existing user
Note: Online banking tips are displayed under the login box and contextual links are shown on right, in this case a link to the mobile app

TD Canada Trust login page: Existing user

Previous login page (3 June 2013)

Previous login page prior to june 4 2013