Finovate Alumni News


  • “Finovate Debuts: Whodini Takes KYC to the Bluetooth Level”
  • “DriveWealth Hires Harry Temkin as New Chief Information Officer”

Around the web

  • PYMNTS chats with Morgan Beard, strategic marketing director at TSYS about how “Bring Your Own Persona” applies to banking.
  • Akamai Technologies partners with CU Cloud, China Unicom’s cloud business, to offer web performance, media delivery, and cloud security services.
  • TransferWise surpasses £500 million transferred worldwide every month, representing 2% of the U.K.’s global remittance market.
  •’s column on the secrets of crowdfunding success highlights Realty Mogul.
  • Financial Times profiles European payments innovator, Klarna.
  • GAINSCO Auto Insurance to provide agents with e-signature technology from Silanis Technology.
  • Wealth Management looks at the “new breed” of fintech companies specializing in alternative investments such as HedgeCoVest and Hedgeable.
  • Benzinga’s Jim Probasco interviews Sang Lee, CEO and co-founder of DarcMatter.
  • Edenred Mexico to deploy real-time transaction-monitoring and customer-analytics technology from INETCO Systems.
  • Market Prophit and TickerTags are featured in a Waters Technology column on the changing nature of market data.
  • HuffPo Business interviews TrueAccord COO Sofya Pogreb as part of its series on women in business.
  • Coin Telegraph lists Bitbond, Wealthfront, and TrueAccord in its roundup of “rising fintech startups.”
  • looks at how Trulioo defends startups against credit card fraud.
  • How Motif CEO Hardeep Walia and Personal Capital CEO Bill Harris feel about the term “robo-advisor”.

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 Debuts: Whodini Takes KYC to the Bluetooth Level

Finovate Debuts: Whodini Takes KYC to the Bluetooth Level


Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures have long been in place to help firms comply with Anti Money Laundering (AML) regulations. Whodini takes KYC to the next level by helping small businesses and bank branches know and engage with their customers on a personal level.

Using rewards, Whodini incentivizes users to disclose personal information, such as how they like their coffee. When customers walk past strategically placed Bluetooth low-energy (BLE) beacons inside a brick-and-mortar store or bank branch, merchants and branch managers are offered an enhanced view of their customers’ behavior and preferences.

Company facts:

  • Tripled its employee base within the last year
  • Raised over $500k
  • Has a goal to install one million beacons at one million merchants around the world

Merchant implementation

To improve the customer experience, Whodini works as both a marketing and customer-service tool by helping businesses’ employees discover personal details about their customers. Whodini sends the merchant a peel-and-stick beacon which is placed inside the store. After a five-minute set-up process, the business is ready to gather more information about its customers’ behavior and thereby enhance marketing efforts.

Customers download the Whodini app and add basic personal data, as well as a profile picture. Once Whodini has a clients’ basic information, the app reaches out to them via push notifications to supplement details about their preferences.

The screenshot below shows a sample push notification in which a burger joint asks a customer about a food preference.


To increase customer participation, Whodini enables merchants to offer customers small incentives in exchange for answering questions about their preferences.

The screenshot below shows the Whodini app from a customer’s point of view. They see the question, the reward, and an easy way to opt-out if they are not interested.


When participating customers walk past a beacon in the merchant’s store, the customer’s profile appears on the merchant’s device, which can be a tablet at the counter or even their smartphone. The profile picture helps the employee identify the customer, their preferences, and how frequently they visit the store.

The screenshot shows the merchant’s view of their tablet when a customer walks into their store and past a beacon.


Whodini not only helps employees learn more about customers and their habits, but also enables merchants to send offers to specific customer segments. As a marketing tool, it lets customers send feedback directly to merchants about their experience.

The app does not require added skill, and the rewards can be applied to any POS system; the only extra hardware that merchants need is the beacon.

Bank implementation

Banks can work with Whodini in two ways:

1) Partnership:
Banks with small business (SMB) customers can offer Whodini as a value-added service to their SMBs with merchant accounts.

2) Inside brick-and-mortar bank branches:
This works similarly to the brick-and-mortar merchant application described above.

When participating bank customers walk into a branch, employees will see the customer’s name, picture, and profile information, such as:

  • How long they’ve been with the bank
  • Date of their last branch visit
  • Frequency of branch visits
  • Account types they hold with the bank

When banks’ clients add information such as their interest level in loans and mortgages, or their saving plans for retirement, they receive a reward for each answer. While each bank is given the discretion to decide what that reward is, Whodini suggests offering a bank product, such as free checking, or increased basis points on a savings account.

What’s next?

When I met with Whodini CEO Brian Lawe last month, he told me that the company has big plans for the future, but is not disclosing them quite yet. For now, Lawe has stated, Whodini will first scale its merchant base, then work on building its customer base.

If you missed Whodini’s demo at FinovateSpring 2015 in San Jose, check out the demo video here.

Whodini Uses Beacons to Help Merchants Engage with Customers

Whodini Uses Beacons to Help Merchants Engage with Customers

This post is part of our live coverage of FinovateSpring 2015.

Whodini LogoWhodini showed off its BLE Beacon and mobile app for customers and merchants:

It’s all about the “Who” in Whodini! Merchants open the Whodini box, peel and stick the Whodini beacon on a wall, set up their online and mobile accounts in five minutes, and they are live and operating. Whodini will demo the magical “Know Your Customer” service. Consumers download the Whodini app and create their customer profile, in return for a modest in-store reward. Afterwards, each time that a customer walks through the door, merchants and employees instantly see the customer’s unique profile. We do this all with BLE beacons, our merchant app, our consumer app, and our SaaS service.

Presenters: Brian Lawe, CEO; David Schachne, executive VP



Product Launch: May 2015

Metrics: Whodini has a solid history of running marketing services for 20,000+ SMB merchants. The new Whodini service is its biggest and most exciting service launch in 10 years. Whodini is in live pilot, in use by consumers, and provides three integrated-marketing services for merchants. Within the last year, the company tripled its employee base, added executive talent, raised over $500k and is now ready to expand Whodini across the U.S.

Product distribution strategy: Direct to Consumer (B2C), Direct to Business (B2B), through financial institutions, through other fintech companies and platforms

HQ: Westport, Connecticut
Founded: September 2004

FinovateSpring 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 8

FinovateSpring 2015 Sneak Peek: Part 8


Today marks our final Sneak Peek preview. We hope you’ve enjoyed the opportunity to get to know a little about the companies that will be taking the stage at FinovateSpring 2015.

Register today to see and meet these innovators in person on 12/13 May at our upcoming conference in San Jose, California.

If you’ve missed an edition, our complete Sneak Peek series for FinovateSpring 2015 is below:

And now let us introduce you to the final fourteen companies of FinovateSpring 2015. See you in San Jose!

FS2015_Finaeos_logoFinaeos automates the back office and capital-raising compliance.

Why it’s great
Serves the demand for new ways to invest, save, and generate income by investors across the globe.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

FS2015_Finicity_logoFinicity helps developers build powerful apps to drive financial software innovation.

Why it’s great
TXPUSH Interface to the Finicity API Platform.

  • Founded: 1999
  • HQ: Salt Lake City, Utah

FS2015_MoneyAmigo_logoMoney Amigo is a social money interaction platform that solves the lack of simple and clustered services for the unbanked and underbanked.

Why it’s great
Money Amigo makes managing money fast, fair, and friendly.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Las Vegas, Nevada

FS2015_Ondot_logoOndot Systems builds white-label solutions that enable financial institutions to provide security and convenience for their customers.

Why it’s great
Our platform brings innovation to mobile card services.

  • Founded: 2011
  • HQ: San Jose, California

FS2015_Onovative_logoOnovative’s powerfully simple marketing automation software helps financial institutions meet the challenge of cross-selling current customers.

Why it’s great
Onovative provides banks and credit unions with modern APIs and a simple UI to help them grow.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: Jeffersonville, Indiana

FS2015_Outski_logoOutski’s platform improves employee health and wellness, increases productivity, and reduces job-related stress.

Why it’s great
Outski helps companies improve margins and reduce costs by focusing on the health and well-being of their employees.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: Tucson, Arizona

FS2015_PrairieCloudware_logoPrairie Cloudware provides a comprehensive set of omnichannel, digital payment services to solve the need for more security, convenience, and control when purchasing goods and services online and in-store.

Why it’s great
We are a cloud-based, open platform that allows consumers to access and use their preferred payment mechanisms and accounts via the financial institution’s digital channels.

  • Founded: 2012
  • HQ: Omaha, Nebraska

FS2015_Slice_logoSlice’s technology provides item-level purchase-data across the largest base of online consumers (two million and counting).

Why it’s great
Slice’s one-of-a-kind Purchase Graph technology.

  • Founded: 2010
  • HQ: Palo Alto, California

FS2015_SmartAsset_logoSmartAsset provides a tools-and-content platform to give consumers personalized and actionable advice.

Why it’s great
Leverage our Automated Financial Modeling technology to make significant personal finance decisions.

  • Founded: 2011
  • HQ: New York City, New York

FS2015_Token_logo_snagToken is a new payment rail that solves the “faster payments” problem for banks, businesses, and consumers.

Why it’s great
A new open bank API, an unbreakable identity system, developer tools, and a wallet app for business and consumers.

  • Founded: 2015
  • HQ: Los Altos Hills, California

FS2015_TopImageSystems_logoTop Image Systems introduces the eFLOW mortgage, which eliminates the manual, time-consuming and expensive mortgage-origination process.

Why it’s great
Top Image Systems’ IQA (Image Quality Analysis) provides unparalleled accuracy, security, and ease of use.

  • Founded: 1991
  • HQ: Tel Aviv, Israel

FS2015_Vanguard_logoVanguard introduces the Funds Visualizer to rid investors of suboptimal portfolio construction.

Why it’s great
Our interactive, 3-D, data visualizations of diversification provide unique insights when it comes to building portfolios.

  • Founded: 1975
  • HQ: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

FS2015_Vouch_logo_414updateVouch is the first social network for credit, enabling consumers to connect and share creditworthiness so they get the financial products they deserve.

Why it’s great
Vouch is for anyone who believes they are more than their credit score.

  • Founded: 2013
  • HQ: San Francisco, California

FS2015_Whodini_logo_snagWhodini helps merchants engage customers using social media marketing, reaching loyal customers with targeted offers.

Why it’s great
At Whodini, we help local businesses know their customers better.

  • Founded: 2004
  • HQ: Westport, Connecticut