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FinovateSanJoseMapaResearch

Finovate Spring Day One – April 26 2017, San Jose

I was delighted to represent Mapa (and the UK!) at Finovate Spring in San Jose, where the key themes of the two-day event were big data, machine learning and bringing investment to the masses, and there was quite a lot on the digital mortgage experience.

We were welcomed by the usual pumping dance music and Erika Sanchez (Head of Events), who talked to the ‘whole new world’ of financial services – the blossoming of biometrics, virtual reality, AI and blockchain. She told us to expect presentations from 59 of the ‘hottest companies in fintech’ spanning the entire industry. (Read the day 2 write-up here.)

SESSION ONE Wed AM

Ephesoft (who we also saw at Finovate Europe) was presented by Alex (VP) and Ike (CTO, but also playing the role of criminal) who talked about how Ephesoft Insight can extract meaning from unstructured data (that is, document content). Through their content analytics platform, you can ‘accelerate meaningful transactions and reduce fraudulent ones’ or ‘use document content to catch bad guys.’ Using (supervised) MACHINE LEARNING and BIG DATA (first buzzword klaxon!) they have already helped the intelligence industry and now plan to help the financial services industry, especially trade finance as it is the perfect target: it is complex, there are many parties involved, and lots of documentation containing that juicy unstructured data.

But, as they demonstrated, their platform can not only ‘read’ these documents (like invoices), they can visualise unusual occurrences like over and under invoicing (deviation from a price index), where shipments are occurring to high risk destinations, or the activities of particular companies (with what they call a mind map and predictive analytics). Had drinks with these guys and they were excellent company!

John and Glenn from BancPass were up next, introducing the arguably slightly niche PToll App, ‘leveraging’ (sorry, I hate that word but it’s unbelievably common at events like this) their API to ‘transform the North American toll market’ and modernise toll system software. They claim access to their API will improve the customer experience and crucially reduce the marginal cost of toll transactions. Users can pay tolls from coast to coast (well, they’ll be able to by 2018) – an industry that apparently raises something like $15bn… or five time this amount in 2030.

The sign-up processes uses (or can use) Google login credentials; the user can then choose a payment provider e.g. PayPal; can then take a picture of their car’s licence plate to complete registration. Usefully, they can add additional vehicles such as a rental car and associate charges for this vehicle with a business account – something my American colleague could see the benefit of. Users can see all the transactions they make in a feed and click on them to find out more about them, and there is also a messaging system.

Harry, Miron and Max from SuperMoney talked about the growth in online lending and the ‘typical borrower experience’: the customer Googles ‘Personal Loans’, dozens of options appear, including loan aggregators. Most aggregators use a pingtree (?) model, offering a waterfall of options that really doesn’t take customer needs into account, they argue. Think about what Kayak is for airlines… they want to bring the ‘same great User Experience’ to Financial Service by guiding users to loan offers in their best interest. There is a really nice form-filling experience – tied up with some Google APIs to make it quick and easy. They do a soft credit check, I believe, and the example brings up 22 offers from 5 lenders where the applicant is pre-qualified and often pre-approved for a loan. They can sort by the obvious stuff like APR, payment etc. and click to get more information e.g. all fees. In a nice touch, they can also see user reviews of the brand to give a ‘qualitative dimension’ to the process.

In the example, the user clicks through and everything has pulled through to the loan provider in question, Prosper. So they just need to sign up and prove ID. These guys are pushing the customer-centric Google approach of Relevance rather than Highest Bidder. And ‘Guess what! Personal loans is just our first vertical!’ so watch this space.

Jumio, who we also saw at Finovate Europe, brought Robert (CRO) and Ervinna, the Head of Customer Success. They argued that ‘the only practical approach to KYC for fintech is a hybrid of machine learning, tech and IT experts’ saying that digital identity must connect to real-world identity (which is what they do.)

NetVerify – their ‘trusted identity-as-a-service solution’ – has three pillars:

  1. ID verification (it can examine documents in any language)
  2. Identity verification (via selfies, to confirm a match as well as liveness) – not sure why he didn’t use different words to pillar one but you get the idea, and
  3. Document verification (bank statements for name and address; also matching other ID).

Jumio is a global leader in KYC, performing 150k verifications a day, they said. The very enthusiastic Ervinna tried to pretend to be Robert with a high-res print-out of his face and was of course foiled because they also ‘KNOW YOUR CHEATER.’ Jumio works with ‘most large financial services organisations’ already, apparently.

Sisco from Lleida.net and Alex from SATEC introduced Topayz, ‘A white label bank for merchant telcos and fintechs as a marketplace.’ It seems to be about accommodating the regulators’ demands for proof of remote identification – with a video stream of the onboarding journey? They describe it as a ‘Virtual banking enabler’ and the back end shows banks all the information about customers they could want, including the video of their enrolment. It was slow to load and I couldn’t see much during the demo but apparently it’s useful to create Certificates to show to the regulator – a PDF with all customer details and photos.

PayNearMe (Linda and I liked this one) was represented by John and Kunal. It is a cash transaction network, working with the 25% of US citizens who are unbanked and therefore use cash (and phone barcodes or something) to pay their bills at 7/11s and such. John then RIPPED HIS T-SHIRT OFF to reveal another tshirt with a new company name of HANDLE FINANCIAL – because they recently merged with Prism Financial, a company connecting to billers and financial institutions. The app is great for paying bills, says John. They take compliance and security very seriously, he says. Anyway, this new thing called Prism Platform Services offer real-time bill presentment and same-day bill payment options for their partners.

paynearme-prism

They claimed that the problem with banks is that bill reminders don’t really work and making same-day payments is rarely possible. In their new banking experience, the customer will find their bill provider, login with their online creds (for the bill provider) and then see the due date within bank app… they can then choose how to pay and submit payment, and can then view a receipt where possible. If I don’t have online login creds for that provider, I can opt to Add Bill Manually.

Christopher and Catriona from Tyro Payments, the first tech company in Australia to get a banking licence, were nice and pretty funny. Their mission, to delight customers (SME only) and help them take care of themselves, was evident in a neat mobile banking experience where businesses could see bills and invoices and daily takings (EFTPOS)… and they don’t have to ‘waste time’ talking to a bank rep about getting a loan… there is a pre-approved unsecured loan offer in the app. They talked about a ‘simple, transparent and fair process’ that is done ‘in a matter of seconds.’ Customers can configure their loan on one page, using the percentage of their EFTPOS taking as a payment plan, where a larger percentage means a lower fee.

They showed us how the app was integrated with Siri too, by sending money to Hugh Jackman.

Tyro-TSA-business-loan-offer

San Francisco-based Layer had roots in communications, and was presented with the assertion that email is basically rubbish and millennials and baby boomers want messaging via mobile. ‘We provide a unified communications platform for varied, personalised experience’ they said, which accelerates the sales cycle, is more scalable, and increases the lifetime value of customers. They work across investment, consumer banking, mortgages, credit cards and other verticals.

In the Dashboard, a user can see all different conversations and view a customer’s profile alongside the chat – which can be in a range of communications methods. These comms, we were shown, can be human or bot (manually entered or ‘pre-canned’). The message sent to a customer contains a link, which takes them from message to mobile browser. If a PDF is sent, we see, you get a ‘rich card’ within the platform.

The tech started to let them down, but they explained that you can send 2GB in each message, meaning you can also ‘send’ and share things like calendars and polls. It is ‘interactive and immediate’ and keeps customers and leads ‘in the decision funnel’ while you convince them to make a purchase.

Shahar and Amir (rocking a Hawaiian shirt, for some reason to do with saving so much time on investment strategies that he could go on holiday?) said that Capitalise allows you to ‘invest through words.’ It’s basically a virtual investment assistant – you can tell capitalise to buy 500 shares if, for example, United Airlines social sentiment is positive and stock daily price increase is below 1% – just using human language. You can add an EXIT STRATEGY in the same way (Close position if profit is at 5% or the VIX is higher than 20 points) and can then click OPTIMISE and it will work out what you would get (based on historic data), analyses the strategy and suggests better one. You can ‘fully automate your trading.’

As as user I can also see all MY STRATEGIES in a home feed, run strategies simultaneously and pick them up from bank advisors. It’s quite a lovely UI – a nice honeycomb design for the range of strategies within a category. You just need to select an amount to invest then go for it. You can even use the tech to create roboadvisors – eToro, who we saw at Finovate Europe, seemingly uses the platform.

CAPITALISE-optimize

Synapse Financial Technologies offers back office automation and APIs to fintechs – they do ‘banking for developers’ all from one API. Users can create FDIC insured accounts, send payments, manage compliance and mitigate risk.

New customers (the underbanked, or those new to the country) can’t open accounts because banks (like Bank of America, they claim) don’t hold enough historic data on those people. Using OCR and computer vision for end-to-end onboarding, they presented Insto, a new product for banks. The demo (done on desktop) showed how a customer could supply basic info, give their social security number (SSN) and a picture of a Government-issued ID (which the solution strips out data from in real time, and matches to metadata from the SSN), and record a short video (which replaces someone having to call you e.g. the BBVA example) for facial recognition (to match to the ID) and speech to text (authorisation) with lip-reading! All this combines to verify you – ‘enhanced due diligence’ they call it.

Not clear how the video is taken – a file was uploaded in the demo but don’t think it works like that in real life.

SESSION TWO Wed AM

IBM Trusteer helps financial institutions protect customers from fraud and cybercrime, leveraging (there’s that word again) a cognitive approach and machine learning (another klaxon!). Ayelet shows us how it can understand and detect phishing attempts (even where a user would think it’s real). Getting the data is easy, she says, but understanding it is hard and requires the aforementioned cognitive approach.

The demo shows the end user perspective: I get an email from what looks like my bank, click through and – when I go to log in – IBM Trusteer pops up and says this is a phishing attempt. Apparently 70% of users will give away login details within an hour so it’s important that this is quick approach.

Criminals can also gain access to my credentials via mobile malware or any type of data breach. That’s why Trusteer takes a ‘layered approach’ that identifies these attacks in ‘real time’.

Yet another presenter (oh look it’s Shaked in a sparkly hat) played a cybercriminal who is being foiled as he tries to log in to Bank e Moon (LOL) as someone else. It was detected, I believe, due to things like mouse movements. But then we see that Ayelet can still log in and pay her bills (the account isn’t totally locked down). Phew.

Nick (the co-founder) and Jessie (the software development director) from Finicity (the consumer reporting agency) got us all on side by slagging off the manual process of submitting documents for e.g. a mortgage. It hasn’t changed (it is still a painful process) since our parents applied for loans, they claim, and say they are transforming the mortgage lending process.

The demo involves Nick going to Acme Lending on desktop (which integrates Finicity, tech that lets users give permission to third parties to access their account details). The bank can verify my income and assets as part of their ‘institution certification program’ – offering stable and reliable sources of data for verification with all the data elements they need.

Jessie shows that the user can select a financial institution (knowing it will work) and then give their credentials (still in a lightbox), and add it to their prequalification request. This creates an income verification report.  Consumers can see all reports generated (as Finicity’s VoA and VoI services are delivered under Finicity’s Consumer Reporting Agency (CRA) framework) and dispute them if they need to. Historical and projected data on income is included, and it can be sent as a JSON, XML or PDF.

The solution is live in the US with Fannie Mae and they are also partnering with Experian. They are working on more insights from AGGREGATED BANK DATA for ‘credit decisioning’ products, which will allow more consumers to access loans and more businesses to dish them out. Boom.

Next, founder Ashish Garg introduced Eltropy, saying he would play three personas:

  1. As a marketing manager, he can log in to Eltropy platform and see folders on different products. For example, training and sales documents around certain products.
  1. As a relationship manager, he can speak to a client about these same products – using the Eltropy app – and find the information he needs on Fixed Indexed Annuity product. He can send this via numerous means e.g. text message.
  1. As a client, he can then view the content around the product and schedule a meeting. The relationship manager gets a notification about (and sees in analytics) what the client is doing. He can then decide when and how to speak to the client about the product in question.

In Salesforce, on the client contact file, users can see the Eltropy Sales Analyzer and understand what the client is interested in and how engaged he is. Algorithms are deployed to say how likely he and his family is to take the bank’s products. This means your bank can make ‘better business decisions.’ Ashish poses three questions: ‘Are your clients and sales teams spending more time on mobile? As text messaging becomes more prevalent, how will you make it compliant and secure? If you could digitize these interactions and move this data to corporate, could you use the data to learn and grow faster?’ If yes to any, you need Eltropy, which is already deployed in more than 23 countries… where client engagement with client banks has improved.

Sean Cassidy, CTO of DefenseStorm, has built a company for financial services providers that collects security information and finds malicious activity by combining data sources, and can prove to regulators and your board that you are secure and any investments in you are worthwhile.

This is a (WAIT FOR IT) ‘cloud-native big data solution’ (KLAXONS A-GO-GO) that can support 100s of GB of data at a time. It can find ALL failed logins and ALL traffic going to Russia, and so on, to gather intelligence then fire alerts out to say something needs to be done. You can escalate alerts to incidents; you can dismiss them as false positives (it will learn from this); or simply dismiss them altogether.

PatternScout will model how your network operates and then base alerts on this i.e. deviations from the norm. Outside of your own data, it can bring in other sources from e.g. intelligence companies to give you things like criminal IP addresses aka ‘known threats’. So you can prove that you have or, importantly and often more difficult to show, HAVE NOT been affected by a known threat.

Incidents are all kept in one place, which is useful for auditors and regulators. You can link a bunch of alerts and activities to an ‘incident’ and show what policy has been impacted/enacted to address them, and the platform also has policy integration. It’s already been deployed with many banks and credit unions, and detected several serious breaches that existing vendors did not, thanks to its unique reporting capability.

Laurence Cook from Nanopay talked once again about how they are digitising cash to develop a real-time payments ecosystem that allows secure transactions with banks. They are part of the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments taskforce and work across:

  1. B2B
  2. Cross-border
  3. Replacement of cash
  4. Settlements and capital markets

Their solution integrates with existing invoicing software or you can perform invoicing tasks manually through their own platform. Send and pay invoices instantly (or schedule them), with all the data around the transaction visible to both parties. Exchange rates are calculated, and a Wire costs $3 not $40; it takes ‘no time’ not ten days and it’s cheaper for banks too. In fact, apparently McKinsey says we can strip out 70% of our current costs.

‘We are driven by a passion to transform the way the world moves money by creating a global payment network to transfer value as easily as sending a text.’

– Nanopay

Stefan and Harsha from MedPut had a few sound issues to start with and created lots of suspense. The screen said MedPut ‘relieved the financial stress of unplanned medical expense’. They offered 0% financing for employees’ medical bills, and creates value at every link of the chain: healthcare providers, employers and employees. How?

We see as Stefan, posing as an employee, gets an introductory email, which pre-approves him for credit at 0% interest (and no impact to his credit score). He enters basic details to sign up, and enters his previous employment history to see his max borrowing limit and payroll deductions.

Fast forward a couple of months and he has a medical bill. He can scan it and upload it to MedPut and they pay it in full (after negotiating it, somehow). Medical information is always secure and it ‘plugs seamlessly into payroll’, scheduling small reductions from Stefan’s pay until loan is repaid. Once paid off he can use the tool again to pay another bill. A uniquely American proposition, je pense.

Quantiacs was next. Martin the CEO and Eric the CTO think quants are the coolest. Quantiacs is the ‘first marketplace for quantitative trading programs.’

‘Code a trading algorithm, we connect it to capital, you profit.’ – Quantiacs

Their new tool the Quantiator lets them show the audience how they write 12 lines of Python code that follows trade trends to create a ‘simple’ trading strategy. They can then model its performance. They show us lots of graphs with different ratios and results and all sorts. Once they are happy with the strategy’s likely performance, they can submit it, and it goes into live testing for six months, then goes proper live if it’s successful. The creator benefits directly – there are no management fees, just a 20% performance fee shared with Quantiacs. There is also no risk, apparently. Anyway it’s a great (possibly the only?) free quant tool, whatever that means, and of course investors can access this massive awesome database of really good… strategy code things. Get it? Good.

Up next is Todd, co-founder and CEO MapD, ‘The world’s fastest SQL database and visual analytics platform.’

The problem they are solving is, ostensibly, a world of too much data. Companies can’t scale because of their old slow CPUs, so that’s where GPUs come in. Queries take less than a second, not minutes or hours, with ‘interactive processing power’ – and then visualise your massive amounts of data nicely. You could even feed it into machine learning algorithms if you like. Todd shows us some nice fast stuff about shipping.

Todd then shows us a credit card transaction data set (mined from email receipt records – 500m records) that he can very easily and quickly interrogate. He can dive in by e.g. merchant to create a very quick bar chart; NOT pre-aggregated but all happening on the fly. It can also get super granular. He does a search by product title (and price) to find trends around Go Pro sales. This could be a useful tool for investors. Actually can connect programmatically to other databases and make predictions and correlations and it’s so fancy.

Dan from SaleMove introduced Omnibrowse and Omnicore, just like at Finovate Europe. Omnibrowse integrates with Salesforce to let you see a customer’s browsing in real time WITHIN SALESFORCE – I can see you are halfway through an application and ask ‘Can I help?’. There are no downloads or installs for the customer.

Reduce average handle time by over 25% and avoid next issue avoidance. People are likely looking at your website.

Omnicore allows brands to engage with customers. It combines predictive analytics, multichannel interaction, and rich context (lots of good words there).

Say a customer is applying for a loan or insurance or whatever, an advisor can help via a pop-up – this starts a live chat then the advisor can say let’s have a call. The customer can accept or reject, and also set to ‘pyjama mode’ (or turn the webcam off). This works on phone as well as desktop, and SaleMove’s clients are ‘increasing through-put by over 150%’. Dan’s vision? An ‘effortless digital world where businesses anticipate your needs and cut costs.’

Bob the CEO introduces HEDG with some bad news: your robo advisor is treating you like a robot. Despite our differences and all the advances in tech, we’ve all got the same five ETFs. Do you even know what funds are in it? HEDG is ‘the most innovative and personalised’ investment platform, which lets users build their own investment portfolios but also connect with human advisors. You get automated stuff but can customize it (like remove certain items) or trust Hedg’s recommendation. Then you get relevant info filtered into a feed; there is also a social aspect and an element of discovery. See what people have and replicate it. There is a messaging section that can match you with relevant advisors in your area. Bob says Hedg is great if your company is interested in the ‘self-directing, digitally native, but concierge-desiring’ demographic.

hedg

SESSION THREE Wed PM

After lunch, Grant and Marcin from GoodData started by saying that 80% of analytics projects fail – after a long and expensive implementation cycle, they offer no discernible value to the business. They don’t transform a business process to create ompetitive advantage.

Their business offers other businesses a platform (a browser-delivered dashboard) where agents can see their own performance metrics and those of their peers. Step two in the GoodData ‘evolution’ is embedding the insights to the point of decision – Salesforce as an example. They demonstrate injecting analytics into Tom’s daily routine; augmenting the workflow with ‘actionable insights’. If you offer customers a 90-day trial for a telematics device, you can look at the Salesforce campaign, then use the GoodData API (taking data from 12 sources in this instance) to assess campaign members (via three KPIs) and make a decision to approve or deny them. Basically, they create a single metric for a driver’s ability (and suitability for the product). They talk about ‘analytics as a natural part of the decision-making workflow’ and going ‘from data to outcomes.’ It can be used for lending, prospecting etc.

GOODDATA

Founder & CEO Blake Hall told us ID.me raised $90m in series B funding and has been named the most disruptive company in payments. What does a physical ID do for you? For example, his military ID card got Blake discounts, access, accounts etc. Digital is currently organised around enterprises rather than IDs – we all have 100s of online accounts each. He wants to provide an identity gateway, and ID.me is one of only four US companies that can do this (one login that’s federally approved). You can create your id.me account with something like Google (because, as it happens, the email and password you use for that will meet the standards). Lots of stuff happens in the background and then you have a legal ID.

Mark the Executive Charmain says Voleo is the only true social trading app – you can’t use it on your own. ‘Fantasy football meets gaming meets investing’ and makes it fun and profitable. Private groups buy and sell publicly traded stocks, rules are set down, and no one person can take control: the app takes over and ‘democracy rules’. They will increase equity participation, lowering the barriers to entry.

Tom the CEO says lack of money, knowledge and time, as well as fear, stops people investing. Voleo solves all of these issues.

My Clubs shows the groups you belong to. My Holdings gives an aggregated view of all your holdings from across your various Clubs.

Within a Club, you can select a security (a position) and propose it to the rest of the group. You can also share it on Facebook and Twitter. The team receives a notification and can vote on your proposal (or debate in a private discussion). The app saves rejected proposals and you can then see what would have happened had you invested in them, and follow the individuals who propose the most profitable ideas, whether they actually invest in them or not. Voleo lets you pool resources, do it quickly, share insights and all take the plunge at the same time, with a shared vested interest in success. I missed how they were making money.

Ellie Mae (as shown through Rosewood Lending, a sample site?) offers ‘all-in-one cloud-based solutions for the mortgage industry’, serving across a ‘vast financial network’.

Consumer Connect makes it easier for the homebuyer, offering a better application process that automates tasks during form-filling.

Borrower Portal is for post-application i.e. uploading documents. The average time to close is around 50 days; this can speed that up. The borrower can see informational forms and forms that require their (electronic, via DocuSign) signature. They can also select ‘finish later’, a good way to keep people in the process.

Lenders can create their own experience based on this tech. For example, the presenters show us an Alexa integration – an example of what’s possible by tapping into the Ellie Mae APIs.

Hossein, CEO and founder of Flybits, says they are addressing the pain point of data contextualisation. It is context-as-a-service for any bank, which lets them offer great personalised experiences. For example, if you have a wealthy customer who visits a branch 4 times a month – what should you send to their phone? If you know a customer is travelling and they don’t have travel insurance… what is the best time to target them? Build these experiences visually without much work.

The demo is for an investment bank. Someone has too much cash in their checking account and we want to send them a nudge to move cash to their ETF instrument – saying this will meet their financial goals. All customer data sits in the platform as context plugins e.g. device, social engagement, favourite Spotify genre, anything. It can find people who are e.g. walking, have calendar availability, have excessive cash AND have an ETF instrument. This is all coming from different sources but data is brought into one place.

You can then select a content template – e.g. offers – that Flybits creates; you can use them via SDK. The mode of delivery can be chatbot, push notification, message, whatever. In-app.

‘We are also capturing data for you – what users respond to which offers and how.’ You can use this for your next campaign.

ThreatMetrix calls itself ‘The Digital Identity Company’ and offers a ‘market-leading cloud solution for authenticating digital personas and transactions on the internet.’ It is apparently fed by over 5000 customers across the world.

Smart Authentication means using the right type at the right time, says CTO Andreas.

We see a mobile app. The user details + fingerprint is collected. In the background, it is looking at location, environment (connection), device, integrity, HW Crypto, biometrics, behaviour… which means if I try to go to another area of the app, it will log me in again automatically, as the background data won’t have changed.

In a similar scenario on a jailbroken phone, an OTP is required, and a tag is made in the backend to increase the customer’s risk level. When it comes to a phone emulator on desktop, the solution doesn’t ‘trust’ this at all (although you can maybe set it to show a balance snapshot in this instance) – it can be tweaked in the back-end. Lloyds, Netflix and Visa are customers.

CEO Laura (with the lovely voice) from Spacequant talked about ‘Dave’ the small business owner, who wanted to expand and applied for mortgages. One private lender was able to respond in three days rather than two weeks and that’s the one who he chose – the one who moved fast. Could your bank respond in the same day? they ask. Well, their tech can underwrite a small property in minutes instead of weeks.

How does it work? The customer provides all the details and Spacequant’s software:

  1. Automatically Extracts, reconciles and benchmarks data in property financials
  2. Aggregates multiple sources of third party data about the property and market
  3. Analyses this date for real time assessment of property value and risk.

Currently, the process behind the scene is 100% manual, taking days to insert data.

Spacequant can accept property details in any format, including PDF or Excel. The data is found and standardised, and all the analyst has to do is review and confirm – that’s all. ‘Human and machine working together.’ The system does cross-checks with other property and market data sources, including public data, to make sure everything comes together e.g. that the revenue of business makes sense. It highlights amounts above or below expected (expenses outside a range) and the key metrics are visualised so users can quickly see trends and risks. It uses up-to-date and hyperlocal data, e.g. footfall and job openings, that would traditionally only be available to local brokers on the ground; this is now available on your desktop. Bank analysts can review, select different scenarios, and export to internal bank systems, making it ‘powerful standalone technology’.
SESSION FOUR Wed PM

The final session of day one kicked off with Leondrino Exchange – an issuer and administrator of private branded currencies for ‘companies with strong brands’.

The CEO introduced this fintech startup, which does ‘currency-management-as-service’ for startups or established businesses.

The demo of Leondrino Wallet shows (trusted) brands who customers would potentially want to offer them private currencies, and eventually instead of just voting for your favourite, which seems to have been the shtick up til now, you can add brand currencies to the wallet. Behind the scenes blockchain is being used (for security and response time). Users see a total, for now, in LEO – a made-up currency.

Two brand currencies will launch in June, in the eMobility space – ChargePartner Network and Leaf Systems. Every currency has a Token Class (lifecycle from highly speculative to not) and a Risk Score. Customers can see their own personal brand experience and loyalty status.

Apparently over 70% of customers still prefer calling for basic banking activities. CallVU ‘transforms a simple call into a digital journey’. The ‘customer’ in the demo places a call because he is about to travel and wants to check his balance, but it’s interrupted and he’s asked to look at his phone, sign in and say his PIN code out loud. The account balance is displayed for him, in what is basically a blend of app, call and web – and an offer for a relevant credit card or something also appears. When clicked, a second factor is required (fingerprint authentication) and then can the customer can confirm he wants the card.

Another example sees the customer place a call about an ongoing loan application. Here, the advisor can share screens and talk the customer through the process to complete it. The ‘customer’ takes a selfie (with the whole Finovate audience like a total joker) and is then sent a form to finalise with his missing data (a postcode and digital signature). ‘Break the glass ceiling of digital adoption’ – or convert smartphone callers to app users, basically.

Emma and Joe from AccountScore seem to be English. They are launching in the US – right now today at Finovate! They work with ‘beautifully categorised’ transaction data that can be used in place of credit scores, spun out from Safetynet credit. ‘This data (after deep analysis, pattern recognition and categorisation) offers a holistic and up-to-date picture of each customer’s financial position, lifestyle and existing commitments – enabling you to make smarter lending decisions and gain the competitive edge.’

The demo shows a customer signing up (white labelled URL or embedded iframe).  He enters his banking credentials and data is passed from Yodlee and is then normalised and categorised and presented in the dashboard or via API. Credit companies can see incomings, outgoings, missed payments, returned payment, and work out expected incoming money and outgoings and salary and so on. The headlines appear in an event feed and part of a ‘recurrence engine’ that helps you build a score and identify disposable, defensible income. Lenders also see an audit trail with PDFs of a customer’s Account Score at certain points in time.

‘Unlock value and certainty from transaction data. A new alternative to traditional credit scores.’ – AccountScore

The chaps from cyberProductivity talk about their story of ‘Beauty and the Beast – accounting and the bank.’ (Which is which?) They have the head of small business at mBank on stage with them to help present their solution, combining the two areas.

Looking at the mBank example, business users log in to a main page for entrepreneurs – showing payments and so on as normal – but one click takes them to ACCOUNTING, an area powered by cyberProductivity but with the same look and feel as the bank. Customers can issue invoices really quickly (probably the fastest in the world at this). We watch Tom from mBank pay it on his phone on the stage (without seeing what he’s doing). But then boom the payment is there! In the bank account and in the accounting tab, marked as paid. Apparently this saves (presumably their business customers) 6 hours per week.

It can also help businesses deal with late paying customers (they note that liquidity causes 8/10 bankruptcies). When there is danger ahead, ‘we know it, because we have banking and accounting data together.’ We send you an alert. If you don’t have enough money to pay outstanding bills, cyberProductivity lets businesses use invoicing data for Factoring. They also offer a very personalised approach with Anna the PFM tool – she is sassy.

HotDocs presented the same solution as at Finovate Europe – fancy mail merge tech for smarter, quicker document creation – noting that they currently serve 29 countries and 11 languages.

RFM calls itself a ‘powerful, cost-effective, modular risk framework that makes any sized bank agile, resilient and anti-fragile while simplifying regulator compliance.’

Managing Director Nick Stavrou has been a corporate banker for 20 years and had 2 main pain points:

  • I have a portfolio that is deteriorating
  • All the investment is to appease regulatory compliance (not to make things better for customers).

He gives a demo of RFM Commercial Credit Interface, a new stress testing module, which reduces the time taken to assess risk from 6-18months to just minutes. Calculate rating for customers – the current system doesn’t produce a useful rating – by taking into account data about the quality of the company you are giving loans to.

Launched last year, INSTO brings instalment payments to all. Bruce Chen is the founder and CEO of ‘the world’s first person-to-person instalment/scheduled/one-off payment app’. It connects directly to your bank account as the goal is to be ‘payment-agnostic’ and it lets you send and pay bills by sending pictures of them. The seller and buyer can then customise and negotiate payment plans between them. The first bank partnership launches in May and eight other banks are talking to them.

Onist Technologies is sort of a very fancy aggregator, and they call themselves ‘the world’s first consumer-centric virtual office platform’, aiming for ‘easier, smarter and more collaborative financial management.’ Harry and Brad the co-founders said they were thrilled to introduce the platform for the very first time.

They say it is easy for families to set up a platform for sharing information, which starts with setting up your ‘Wealth network’ (dependents, spouse, businesses, trust funds etc.), adding bank and credit accounts (from 15,000 institutions) and liabilities, then share it with your network based on granular permission settings.

onist

One benefit is that you can get integrated and highly personalised financial advice (automatically and through sharing the information with real advisors). You can receive alerts e.g. your income has increased and you can reduce the risk in your pension portfolio. There is a ‘vault’ (a secured document portal) for you to upload policies and tie to particular assets, and this information is then reflected in your total calculated net worth. You can also have chats within the platform and let other professionals see bits or all of the platform.

They want to be your ‘trusted financial quarterback’, and on that very American note we were able to go and have wine and network.

Read our blog on Day 2 here! 

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