Fintech Favorites

Featured

  • U.K.-based challenger bank Atom opens to the public. The bank’s iPhone and iPad app is built on the Unity gaming platform and is the only way to access the mobile-only bank. Atom has a customer service team equipped with AI and machine learning, and has bolstered its security using voice and face biometric login. Atom Bank is the first of a handful of U.K. challenger banks set to launch this year, including Mondo, Starling Bank, and Tandem. Atom is headquartered in Durham and is already valued at almost $190 million. Check out Business Insider’s coverage.

Deals

  • Akamai (FEU 15) acquires Soha Systems, which offers secure access as a service for enterprises. This matches well with Akamai’s aim to offer cloud-based services to enterprises, and places it in a good position for a potential acquisition. See our coverage.
  • Jack Henry & Associates (FF 15) collaborates with Visa (FDSV 14) to accelerate P2P payments to debit cards. This may help banks compete with other services that have sped up settlement times, such as Zelle (formerly clearXchange) and Venmo (FS 13). See the press release.

Milestones

  • IBM (FF 16) announced a $200 million investment for a new global headquarters for its Watson IoT business. The headquarters will be located in Munich and is one of IBM’s largest-ever investments in Europe. This move is part of a $3 billion initiative to bring Watson’s computing expertise into the world of IoT. See IBM at FinDEVr Silicon Valley, 18/19 Oct 2016. See VentureBeat’s coverage here.
  • Banking Technology reported that Misys (FEU 15) is preparing to issue an IPO in Nov 2016 with a $6.9 billion float. Advisory firm Moelis will be overseeing the move. Misys was delisted from the London Stock Exchange in 2012 when it merged with Turaz. Misys CEO Nadeem Sayed says going public is a “logical step in our evolution.” See Banking Technology’s coverage.
  • Aire (FEU 15) raised $2 million. Along with the funding announcement, the alternative credit-scoring platform announced it is now authorized and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the U.K.’s financial regulator. This places it on a more level playing field to compete with the big three credit bureaus. See our coverage.

Tech

  • Thomson Reuters (FF 12) unveils blockchain-dev platform, BlockOne ID. Built for Ethereum, BlockOne ID is an experimental framework in which app owners can manage access to their blockchain contracts in a controlled environment. See Banking Tech’s coverage.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FinDEVrSV16-withdateOur FinDEVr New York developer showcase was a success! FinDEVr Silicon Valley will be held 18/19 October in Santa Clara. Early bird tickets expire soon so register today to save your spot!

The latest from FinDEVr New York 2016 presenters

  • Fintech Trending: Look Who’s Chasing Venmo, Student Loan Servicing Falls Short

Alumni updates

  • Currency Cloud partners with Arkea Banking Services to provide faster payments and better reconciliation. Join Currency Cloud in New York next week for FinovateFall 2016.
  • Uber and Visa team up on local offers.
  • Bluefin Payment Systems unveils PAX devices for PCI-validated, point-to-point encryption (P2PE).
  • Backbase Partners with Entersekt to Deliver Authentication Technology
  • Intuit unveils personalized app recommendations for QuickBooks Online.
  • Quisk rolls out mobile money platform at National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited.
  • Entersekt brings its Transakt technology to the Middle East in collaboration with IST Networks.
  • Temenos to provide core banking solutions for Microcred, international microfinance specialist.
  • Crowdfund Insider interviews Rob Frohwein, Kabbage CEO and co-founder.
  • Xero named most-loved accounting software for second year in a row.

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

Fintech Trending: Look Who’s Chasing Venmo, Student Loan Servicing Falls Short

VenmoImage

A look at the trending topics of the past two weeks, co-authored by Finovate’s research analysts David Penn and Julie Schicktanz.

Payments

Venmo competition heats up
We’ve lately noticed more P2P payment app competitors trickle in. They have Braintree-owned Venmo’s (FD2016; F2013) millennial-focused social components stamped all over them:

  1. Founded by former N26 employees, Cookies launched this week to offer Germany-based users a free P2P payment solution. The simple UI has a messaging platform for senders and recipients to engage with, and it allows people to include emojis with their payments (Cookies calls them paymojis). Some paymojis have special powers, for example, a lightning bolt that allows users to send the money faster. Unlike Venmo (more like Square Cash), users do not maintain a balance on Cookies; instead, Cookies connects directly to a user’s bank account.
  2. Tilt originally began as a crowdfunding platform but launched P2P payments functionality this week. While the user interface is very Venmo-esque with emojis, gifs and a social feed, Tilt has a few differences. Aside from being based on a crowdfunding model where users pool money for weekend road trips and pizza nights, Tilt lists fundraising campaigns in its social feed and is available outside the U.S. Tilt has already launched in the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
  3. Our last Fintech Trending post described the growth of P2P payment service clearXchange, which scored Fiserv (F2016) as a distribution partner and added MasterCard Send debit cardholders to its client base. The Wall Street Journal reported this week that clearXchange is rebranding to Zelle in October to step up its competition with Venmo. While there is no word yet on UI and UX specifics such as emojis with special powers, gifs, and social feeds, there have been a few questions about the name Zelle, which Urban Dictionary defines as “a girl who is attractive and intelligent.”

New mobile payments methods are everywhere (and that’s not a good thing)

Last week, CVS joined a group of other retailers, banks, technology providers and payment services companies to launch its own mobile wallet. With the launch, the pharmacy intends to streamline the use of its rewards points with point-of-sale (POS) payments, but what it may actually be doing is adding yet another wet log to the slow-burning, mobile POS-payments fire.

The issue lies in part with low consumer interest and adoption; it’s still faster to swipe (or insert) your credit card than to take out and unlock your phone, open an app, and try to convince the cashier it is a legitimate way to pay. Also at fault is the large, fragmented number of suppliers. We’ve lost count, but here’s a partial list:

  • Apple Pay
  • Android Pay
  • Cake Pay
  • CVS Pay
  • Walmart Pay
  • MasterPass
  • Samsung Pay
  • Wells Fargo Wallet
  • Chase Pay
  • Starbucks
  • Capital One Wallet

Other news in the payments space

  • UnionPay’s mobile payments launched in Canada. The China-based payments network is the third largest in the world (following Visa and Mastercard). The launch enables Canadian cardholders to use UnionPay’s QuickPass EMV cards or app to pay at participating merchants.
  • Visa (FD2014; F2010) is in discussions with Nigerian banks to roll out mVisa, its QR code-based mobile payments service, by the end of this year. Consumers will be able to use their smartphone or feature phone to pay for goods with merchants, send domestic P2P payments, and access cash.
  • Apple expands carrier billing to Taiwan and Switzerland. The Taiwanese carrier is EasTone and while there’s no word yet on the carrier in Switzerland, it is expected to be Swisscom. This expands Apple’s carrier-billing partnerships, already operating in Germany and Russia, to four countries.

A big deal in ATMs gets a second look

Diebold (F2014) finalized its merger with German ATM maker Wincor Nixdorf last week, a deal that combined two of the largest three ATM companies. The deal closed for $1.8 billion and makes Diebold Nixdorf the world’s largest ATM company, claiming a third of the worldwide market.

Days after unveiling the newly formed entity, the ATM giant is facing an “in-depth merger investigation” from the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority. The agency said that it is concerned the deal will reduce the number of companies supplying ATMs in the U.K. The companies have until April 26, 2017, to “offer undertaking to address competition concerns.”

This further highlights the opportunity for disruption in the ATM space, a realm where companies such as Liqpay (F2013) have showed off solutions that allow cardholders to use their smartphones for a contact-less way to withdraw cash from ATMs.

Lending

Making Sense of Student Loan Debt—notwithstanding Bernie Sanders’ promises of free college tuition for all, the challenge of student loan debt isn’t going away anytime soon. Unfortunately, a recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) suggests that loan servicers are a part of the problem, at least when it comes to income-driven repayment plans.

As reported in PYMNTS.com, much of the problem is bureaucratic, with “delays and rejections” that can expose student borrowers to greater interest, penalties, or even lost eligibility. “Student Loan servicers continue to fall short when it comes to helping borrowers address $1.3 trillion in student debt,” CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. “It’s time servicers focus more effectively on processing applications for income-driven repayment plans properly.”

And the CPFB is focused on more than just the student loan servicers. Wells Fargo was slapped with a $3.6 million fine this week for “illegal fees … and [depriving] others of critical information needed to effectively manage their student loan accounts,” according to Cordray. Wells Fargo said that it has already made changes to the processes criticized by the CPFB in its consent order.

It’s impossible to read about student loan debt in the headlines and not think of Student Loan Genius (F2016), which made its Finovate debut this spring. The company empowers employers to help millennial workers in particular pay off their student loan debts faster. This not only helps reduce what is often an onerous debt load (especially relative to the income of the average recent college graduate), but also enables young workers to start saving better.

Development

Make Room for Dev—Google (FD2016 ; F2011) is the latest major technology company dedicating major square footage to support collaboration between “local and international developers and startups.” Writing in the Google Developers Blog, Global Lead Roy Glasberg revealed that more than 14,000 square feet at 301 Howard Street would be the home of a variety of dev-friendly events ranging from Google Developer Group meetings to Tech Talks. The new facility will also host Google’s equity-free, three-month accelerator for emerging market startups, LaunchPad Accelerator.

Earlier this summer, IBM (F2016) announced the opening of its developer space, Bluemix Garage, in New York City. The New York garage, IBM’s sixth, will be hosted by developer networking and education organization, Galvanize. In the U.K., Allied London announced a new fintech co-work space called “The Vault” that will occupy 20,000 square feet in Manchester’s business neighborhood. Meanwhile in Germany, ING-DiBa announced its sponsorship of the latest fintech hub in Frankfurt.

Meanwhile in Asia, PayPal (FD2014; F2012) announced this week the opening of an innovation lab in Singapore, its first such lab outside the U.S. The lab joins PayPal’s other Indo-Asia Pacific innovation lab in Chennai, India, and will be focused on improving productivity among SMEs in the food and beverage industry. We also learned this week that the Monetary Authority of Singapore is setting up a fintech innovation lab, Looking Glass @ MAS1 in that country.

  • “Google Developers to open a startup space in San Francisco” – Google Developers Blog
  • “IBM Opens Bluemix Garage in New York City” – Finovate
  • Allied London unveils fintech startup “Vault” in Manchester – Manchester Evening News
  • ING-DiBa backs new Frankfurt fintech hub – Finextra
  • PayPal opens Innovation Lab in Singapore for next generation fintech – Deal Street Asia
  • Singapore’s MAS gets in on the fintech innovation lab game – Tech in Asia
  • Fintech Groups Will Unite into Global Hubs – Fortune

Life in the blockchain

Swiss-based UBS announced a year ago its work on a virtual currency—Utility Settlement Coin—to facilitate faster transaction settlement. This week, UBS announced it has joined forces with Deutsche Bank, Santander, BNY Mellon, and ICAP to convince central banks to agree to a commercial launch by 2018. Competition for this digital currency include Citigroup’s Citicoin, Goldman Sachs’ SETLcoin, and a similar, yet-unnamed, offering from JPMorgan.

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Fintech Trending: Look Who’s Chasing Venmo, Student Loan Servicing Falls Short
  • DriveWealth Adds Real-Time Margin

Around the web

  • The Times of India examines the role Ripple can play in reducing the costs of overseas remittances.
  • iSignthis integrates its digital KYC technology with Ixaris.
  • Axis Bank’s Tagit-powered app adds augmented reality.
  • Cortera announces 100th release of its Cortera Pulse product.
  • Quisk rolls out mobile-money platform at National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited.
  • Philadelphia Business Journal names eMoney Advisor one of the “Best Places to Work” in Philadelphia.

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

FinDEVrSV16-withdateOur FinDEVr New York developer showcase was a success! FinDEVr Silicon Valley will be held 18/19 October 2016 in Santa Clara. Register today and save.

On FinDEVr.com

  • From the Tech Side: Interview with Checkbook.io CTO PJ Gupta

The latest from FinDEVr New York 2016 presenters

  • Q2 Leverages MX Technology to Launch Contextual PFM
  • France’s Groupe BPCE Acquires Munich-based Fidor Bank
  • Venmo named a Breakthrough Brand on Interbrand’s 2016 report

Alumni updates

  • Pennsylvania State Employees CU implement account origination module from Temenos.
  • Envestnet | Yodlee Forges Strategic Partnership with United Capital
  • Token opens new London office.
  • Trulioo earns top honors for ID verification in 2016 Global RegTech report.
  • PC Magazine labels Xero the fastest accounting-software innovator.
  • Entersekt to bring its 2FA technology, Transakt, to Nigeria via partnership with First Authentication Services Ltd (FASL).

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

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Kantox Marks $100 Million Processed Since Launching API in Beta
  • France’s Groupe BPCE Acquires Munich-based Fidor Bank

On FinDEVr.com

Around the web

  • Check Point Launches Australia and New Zealand Technical Assistance Centre and Incident Response Services.
  • Kyte Consultants partners with Featurespace.
  • USE Federal Credit Union selects Kasasa.
  • Blackhawk Network Launches eCommerce Website for Gift Cards in Canada.
  • Venmo named a Breakthrough Brand on Interbrand’s 2016 report.
  • Betterment for Business Surpasses 200 Plan Sponsors.
  • Payment Data Systems launches iOS payment processing SDK.

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

FinDEVrSV16-withdateOur FinDEVr New York developer showcase was a success! FinDEVr Silicon Valley will be held October 18 & 19 in Santa Clara. Register today and save.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Venmo Enables Payments in Merchant Apps
  • Prevoty Wins 2016 Stratus Award for Best Small Company Cloud Security Service
  • Mexico’s Grupo Bursátil Deploys Messaging Tech from Solace Systems

The latest from FinDEVr New York 2016 presenters

  • A look at fintech in Berlin and London highlights Mambu.
  • Espresso Capital features Outside IQ’s creativity in raising capital.

Alumni updates

  • Kontomatik introduces Financial Health Indicator for smal-l and medium-sized lenders.
  • Kabbage turns to Marketo for new marketing solutions.
  • ITProPortal interviews Ben Robinson, chief strategy and marketing officer for Temenos.
  • Mastercard to Buy VocaLink for Up to $1.14 Billion After Masterpass Expansion to Retail
  • Cloud Lending Solutions adds new online modules to its Learning program.
  • Google Cloud Platform opens its first West Coast region.

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

Finovate Alumni News

On Finovate.com

  • Quantopian Receives Undisclosed Amount from Steve Cohen’s Point72

On FinDEVr.com

  • Venmo Enables Payments in Merchant Apps

Around the web

  • Kontomatik introduces Financial Health Indicator for small- and medium-sized lenders.
  • Venmo’s in-app payments technology emerges from beta.
  • Kantox processed $100 million in transactions in the six months since the debut of its API.
  • Kony launches MobileFabric, which features a model-driven approach to mobile app development using microservices.
  • American Banker’s Association features results from banks using Fiserv, Buzz Points and Larky for customer loyalty and rewards.

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

Around the web

  • Business Insider profiles the all-female management team of Betterment for Business.
  • The Des Moines Register reports on Dwolla and how its FiSync payments network could serve as a model for a nationwide effort.

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

  • “Cardlytics Launches Syndicated Audiences”

On FinDEVr.com

  • Chain Launches Open Source Blockchain Protocol.

Around the web

  • ReadWrite features Tyfone’s launch of a new challenge at MIT focused on Internet of Things (IoT) security.
  • “Lending Club CEO Renaud Laplanche Receives Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award”
  • Cointelegraph interviews Alexander Vityaz, founder of Corezoid and head of e-commerce at PrivatBank.
  • PayPal’s Venmo processed $3.2 billion in total payments volume in Q1 2016, an increase of 154% year-over-year.
  • Infosys Finacle teams up with Samsung SDS to give mobile banking customers better authentication technology.
  • A look at APIs in the robo-adviser industry by Bank Innovation underscores the role played by Xignite.
  • “Kasasa Wins Multiple Hermes Creative Awards”
  • Pendo Systems unveils version 3.1 of its data exploration, discovery, and analysis platform.

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.