Finovate2009 – Morning Session 1

by Bryan Derman on September 29, 2009

in Bryan Derman, Conferences & Meetings, Innovation, Technology

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I am live blogging Finovate2009 from NYC.


BrightScope – Ryan Alfred, President

  • Mission:  Help Americans retire in dignity
  • Website provides additional information on existing employer 401k plans
  • Provides ratings and does comparisons on plan performance
  • Can also upload plan documents for plans not already covered, no matter how small
  • Free to the employee

So, what’s the business model?

  • Provide tools for plan sponsors — benchmarking, etc.  Helps them improve their BrightScope rating
  • Also providing tools to plan advisers that will help them find plans that need their help

SmartyPig – Mike Ferrari, Co-Founder

  • Positions itself as the leader in “Banking 2.0”
  • Online piggy bank to help consumer save for specific major expenditures
  • $250MM in US deposits so far; now launching in Australia
  • Redemption options — Retail gift card, ACH transfer to bank account, SmartyPig debit card
  • New feature — connect your SmartyPig account to your Twitter and Facebook accounts.  SmartyPig lets you share your savings goals with friends and family who may wish to help out.  Each time you update your goals, your contacts get an update.
  • Also has widgets that can be posted on Facebook and other social networking sites

People Capital – Tom Shelton, Founder & CEO

  • Student loan platform for P2P lending
  • Human Capital Score (HCS) to measure the value of an education to an individual, which helps the lender make good underwriting decisions
  • All loans have at least interest-only monthly payments, providing quicker feedback on loan quality
  • Numerous parameters can be configured to target loan bids to particular underwriting criteria
  • HCS projects the student’s future income based on his profile, area of study, etc.

MShift – Scott Moeller, CEO and Jeff Chen, Sr. Sales Engineer

  • Mobile banking providers since 2000!
  • 200 live deployments with banks and credit unions, including a few large ones
  • Today, demoing a mobile remote deposit application.  Runs on any phone with a data plan and 2.o MP camera.  Today’s demo uses a Palm Pre.
  • Phone must be registered with MShift and the bank
  • Photo of check is sent to back-end processor who does the Check21 conversion/submission.
  • The system responds with a confirming text message.
  • They believe the bank will be able to charge for each item (~$1)
  • The key, they believe, is that they are bank-independent, handset-independent, and carrier-independent

Backbase – Jouk Pieter, CEO adn David Singh, VP Sales

  • Software companies helping financial instittutions communicate with customers through a next generation portal (similar to iGoogle)
  • Help the bank create a customized and unique web presence that leverages the knowledge banks already have about their customers
  • Portal mashes up various widgets with personalized analytics (e.g., “How am I spending my money?” “How can I improve my credit score?”)
  • The user can also configure his/her own widgets, so it’s not the bank’s website anymore; it’s the individuals portal into the bank
  • iGoogle for banking — I really like this one!

Firethorn (Qualcomm) – Cullen Talley and Fred Wallace

  • Working with Citicards, USAA and US Bank – the largest number of mobile apps for financial institutions
  • New Announcements today to focus on getting mobile banking sign ups:
    1. Mobile Enrollment — customer does not need to visit another channel to begin using mobile banking.  App is often pre-loaded and customer and can search for their bank and enroll directly on the phone (using credentials other than those required for online banking, thus non-online users can still easily become mobile banking users)
    2. Peer-to-Peer Payments — single location for mobile banking and P2P payments.
    3. Provider Payments — easier bill payment, I guess

Home Account — Mark Goldstein, CEO and Missy Cavin, Dir of Marketing

  • “The of mortgages”
  • Begins with lead generation and borrower qualification, then pulls credit score and income and home information
  • Software then determines the best kind of mortgage for this borrower
  • Then, like Kayak, it searches for the best deal on that type of mortgage (based on various factors that contribute to a TOTAL COST calculation)
  • Selected lender has 48 hours to approve the borrower
  • For individuals who can’t qualify, the software helps him identify the issues that need to be rectified (based on t the top five underwriting criteria)
  • Software costs $49 to the borrower, including 3 credit bureau reports (can also pay $10 a month)

Strange that the borrower is asked to pay.  Shouldn’t the lender’s commission cover their revenue?

TILE Financial – Amy Butte, CEO

  • First ever demo of TILE – will be in beta with a major FI in Q4
  • Hoping to educate the next generation of young investors
  • Parents and advisers transfer set amounts of money to their children earmarked for spending, investing, and donating
  • No ads — subscription-based model
  • Goal is to help FIs communicate with Gen Y
  • TILE will connect the user to his bank/broker to initiate transactions, but they are not a fiduciary
  • Help advisers maintain assets in their firm by creating a connection to the next generation

More of my Finovate2009 coverage:

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