Online Lending Innovator SoFi Launches Robo Advisor

Less than a month after announcing its new $105 million SoFi Prime Income Fund to help raise funds to issue loans, online lending innovator SoFi is making headlines again with the launch of SoFi Wealth. The new initiative, the company’s first digital wealth management offering, will allow investors in the U.S. to invest as little as $500 (or a $100 monthly recurring deposit) in automated, low-cost, ETF portfolios. But unlike many roboadvisors, clients of SoFi Wealth will have phone and/or chat access to human financial advisors.

SoFi believes that keeping human advisors as part of the overall investment picture is a plus for investors, especially the younger professionals that are a significant part of the company’s user base. “People love the low fees and automation of robo-advisors, but they struggle with not having an actual human being to talk to when facing big financial questions,” SoFi Wealth general manager, John Gardner said. “That guidance from a live advisor can help give them the confidence they need to start planning for a lifetime of financial success.”

Pictured (left to right): SoFi Wealth Head of Strategy Stephen Sikes and Quovo CTO and co-founder Michael Del Monte during their FinDEVr 2017 New York presentation, How Quovo & SoFi Perfected Bank Authentication.

In addition to providing live human advisors, low investment minimums, and access to low-cost automated ETF-based portfolios, SoFi Wealth also charges no management fees for clients who are also SoFi loan borrowers. Others pay a modest management fee of 0.25%, with no charge on the first $10,000 invested. Clients can access their accounts online, as well as via the SoFi Wealth app. Both Android and iOS versions are available.

The company also announced that it is developing a broader range of personal finance and financial planning solutions geared toward first-time home buyers and young families. SoFi anticipates rolling out these products and services over the summer of 2017.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in San Francisco, California, SoFi made its FinDEVr debut earlier this year at FinDEVr 2017 New York. The company, in partnership with Quovo, discussed the challenge of managing consumer financial accounts in a presentation titled, How Quovo & SoFi Perfected Bank Authentication.The presentation focused on how Quovo developed a bank authentication API for SoFi that both improved security and streamlined UX. FinDEVr attendees gave the presentation a FinDEVr Favorites awards in the Favorite FinDEVr Alum category.

A member of CNBC Disruptor 50 for 2017, SoFi has raised more than $1.8 billion in funding – making the company one of fintech’s true “unicorns” – and includes Baseline Ventures, DCM Ventures, Discovery Capital, East West Bank and Morgan Stanley among its equity and debt investors. The company, which has origins in student loan financing, has since expanded significantly to include mortgage lending, personal loans, life insurance, and wealth management among the services it provides. Mike Cagney is CEO.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

Our first developers conference in the U.K. is just over a month away. If APIs and SDKs are just a few of your favorite fintech acronyms, then join us for two days of developer-focused presentations, demonstrations, and conversations at FinDEVr 2017 London, June 12 and 13. Stop by our registration page today and save your spot.

FinDEVr 2017 London is a part of London Tech Week, which runs from June 12 to June 16.

On FinDEVr.com

  • Symbiont Gains “Strong Partner in Asia” with Investment from Hundson Technologies.

Upcoming FinDEVr 2017 London alum news

  • Check Out Our Exclusive Interview with ISARA CEO, Scott Totzke.
  • Our latest FinDEVr Features Are Up. Meet Kontomatik and IdentityMind Global.

Alumni updates

  • Kontomatik earns top 50 spot in the 2017 Dutch FinTech Awards. Join Kontomatik in London for FinDEVr in June.
  • ACI Worldwide’s point-to-point encryption solution earns PCI P2PE compliance validation.
  • Thoma Bravo to Acquire Lexmark’s Kofax.
  • MapD partners with Continuum Analytics & H2O.ai, to form the GPU Open Analytics Initiative.
  • Thinking Capital to offer SMB financing options to TouchBistro POS clients.
  • Token Picks Up $18.5 Million to Help Banks Rise to Challenge of PSD2.
  • PayNearMe adds 8,000 CVS Pharmacy Stores to its network cash acceptance locations.
  • CardFlight unveils new line of mobile card readers to support secure EMV and NFC contactless payments.
  • Gartner recognizes OutSystems as a leader in enterprise high productivity application platform as a service technology.
  • Malauzai’s Vantiv Partnership to Leverage OnDot’s CardControl Tool.

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

 

Symbiont Gains “Strong Partner in Asia” with Investment from Hundson Technologies

The amount of the investment was undisclosed. But blockchain startup and smart contracts specialist, Symbiont has picked up funding from China-based Hundsun Technologies. The investment in Symbiont is the first in the U.S. for the financial services software provider and the company, which is partly-owned by Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, will also add an observer to Symbiont’s board of directors. Symbiont CEO Mark Smith referred to the investment as a “clear vote of confidence for Symbiont” and called Hundsun Technologies a “strong partner in Asia.”

Symbiont’s innovation is a smart contracts platform that enables FIs to develop applications based on distributed ledger technology. Current use cases enabling the issuance, trading, and processing of corporate bonds, syndicated loans, and other low-liquidity financial instruments. Guan Xiaolan, executive president of Hundsun highlighted the company’s “superior, mature, and highly differentiated DLT stack,” as well as the technology’s high level of security. “Its smart contracts have a proven ability to automate complex business logic, such as highly tailored employee compensation waterfalls for private companies,” he added.

Pictured: Symbiont CTO and co-founder Adam Krellenstein during his presentation at FinDEVr New York 2016.

It has been almost a year since the State of Delaware partnered with Symbiont in a project called The Delaware Block Initiative designed to make it easier for state government and businesses to leverage blockchain technology. In an update published as part of the Delaware law series last month, Andrea Tinianow of the Delaware Blockchain Initiative and Caitlin Long of Symbiont noted that the “first milestone of DBI’s roadmap” – deploying distributed ledger technology at the state’s public archives – had been achieved. Underscoring the relevance of this initial effort, the two wrote: “By being the first to adopt the technology, the State will maintain its leadership in corporate registry services.”

Also this spring, Symbiont added Yale University computer science professor, Dr. Zhong Shao, to its Technical Advisory Board, and partnered with commodity services specialist, Orebits, who will use Symbiont’s smart contract technology to further develop their eponymous commodity-backed digital assets. The first digital assets, called “orebits,” were made available on Symbiont’s platform in March.

Symbiont was founded in 2015 and is headquartered in New York. Adam Krellenstein, CTO and co-founder of the company, presented “Distributed Ledgers and Smart Contracts” at FinDEVr New York 2016.

FinDEVr Veteran OutsideIQ Acquired by Exiger

Originally published at Finovate.com.

The news last week that due diligence innovator OutsideIQ agreed to be acquired by compliance specialist, Exiger, is a sign that the RegTech revolution in fintech is real. OutsideIQ founder and CEO Dan Adamson said the acquisition was a “logical step in our shared view of the dominant role that cognitive computing solutions will play in compliance.” Business Insider reports that Exiger paid $22 million (C$30 million) for the Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based company.

OutsideIQ’s flagship technology DDIQ leverages automation and human analysis to detect potential regulatory risks that often go overlooked by currently-used methods. Geared toward financial institutions, investment firms, and large enterprises, the technology automatically scans publicly available information for any data on the subject and provides auditable reports on the findings. Exiger Analytics president Brandon Daniels noted that transaction alert monitoring, KYC/AML, onboarding, and counterparty/ third party risk at the enterprise level are among the challenges DDIQ will help Exiger address. “The acquisition … will augment our ability to deliver purpose-built, AI-based solutions that transform how global banks and multi-national corporations meet the evolving expectations of regulators looking for truly measurable and auditable solutions,” Daniels said.

Founded in 2010 and headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, OutsideIQ presented its technology at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016. In March, the company partnered with SAP Ariba, and teamed up with Genpact to provide better KYC and compliance solutions for FIs. We highlighted OutsideIQ last fall in our RegTech Reality Check. OutsideIQ first demonstrated its due diligence technology, DDIQ, to Finovate audiences at FinovateSpring 2016.

OutsideIQ is Exiger’s largest acquisition to date. Exiger was founded in 2013 to provide court-mandated oversight of HSBC, “the most comprehensive monitoring assignment ever awarded by the Department of Justice” according to the company. Additionally, Exiger serves clients worldwide through its offices in New York, Toronto, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Silver Spring, Maryland.

Finicity Inks Data Aggregation Partnership Deal with Wells Fargo

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Originally published at Finovate.com.

With Intuit Financial Data Services leaving the data aggregation scene last spring, we knew it would be only a matter of time before former rivals rose to take advantage of the new opportunity. Today we learn that one of those companies, Finicity, has inked a major data aggregation deal with Wells Fargo that will enable its customers’ data to be shared by financial apps and services from Finicity.

The partnership is the first of its type between Wells Fargo and a data aggregation provider and is believed to be a boon for fintech app developers who will be able to access Wells Fargo “customer-permissioned data” via Finicity’s APIs. Finicity CEO Steve Smith said the agreement is part of his company’s plan to “continually implement strategies that ensure the highest levels of data quality, speed, and uptime in our industry.”

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Pictured (left to right): Finicity’s Jessie Morris (Director, Software Development) and Nick Thomas (EVP, Co-Founder) demonstrating Finicity Data Services at FinovateSpring 2015.

In addition to speed, quality, and uptime, enhanced security is another benefit of the agreement. By using direct authorization via Wells Fargo and tokenized access for any additional authentication, the user does not have to provide verification credentials through third-party apps. In the words of Head of Digital for Wells Fargo Virtual Channels, Brett Pitts, “(this) creates a much better experience for our customers … (allowing them) to choose where and how to use their financial data, while also maintaining the privacy of their user credentials.” Finicity says that the technology is expected to be in place over the summer.

American Banker’s Penny Crosman referred to the deal as part of a “data detente” in which banks and fintech companies are increasingly seeing each other more as potential partners than rivals to be disrupted. She noted that the current deal between Wells Fargo and Finicity “is the latest, but is likely not the last” for either firm. Finicity will access Wells Fargo’s data exchange API via the company’s Gateway Channel developer portal unveiled last year.

Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Finicity demonstrated its Data Services at FinovateSpring 2015. The company is also fresh off its latest FinDEVr appearance where EVP and co-founder Nick Thomas and Software Development Director Jessie Morris presented “The Frictionless Aggregation Experience” highlighting the new Finicity Connect drop-in UI widget. In December, Finicity scored a $42 million Series B led by Experian.

WiseBanyan Unveils New Tax Protection Toos

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Free financial advisory platform WiseBanyan released its first premium package this week, Tax Protection. The new services – WiseHarvesting, Selective Trading, and IRA Conversions – enable investors and savers to manage the way their investments impact their taxes. The WiseHarvesting feature helps balance out investment gains with harvested investment losses. Selective Trading keeps investors from owning the same ETFs in multiple accounts. And IRA Conversions enable investors to switch from traditional to Roth IRAs.

The Tax Protection also comes at a low cost. Investors can take advantage of any one of the services for 0.02% of their average account value, with a maximum charge of $20 a month. WiseHarvesting, the company’s first premium service, is already available to WiseBanyan clients. Those currently using WiseHarvesting will be use to add the new services without additional cost.

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Pictured (left to right): Wise Banyan Co-CEO and Co-Founder Herbert Moore and Chief Science Officer Jennifer Chin during their presentation, “Data as an Advantage: Building a Data Warehouse with Open Source Tools” at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016.

In a blog post announcing the new service, WiseBanyan Manager of Content Strategy Aliza Kellerman added that the company has “a ton of other packages in the works, all designed to provide additional value to your WiseBanyan experience,” and credited feedback from its “fantastic, passionate, vocal clients” for inspiring new features like Tax Protection.

Pledging to help investors make their first $100,000, WiseBanyan is a free platform that provides automated, goal-based investing and financial planning. With a $1 minimum, investors can provide their investment time horizon, risk aversion, and amount saved, and WiseBanyan builds a portfolio designed to maximize real investment returns on an after-tax basis.  Customer funds are invested in liquid, equity and bond exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and WiseBanyan monitors the portfolios continuously, reinvesting dividends and tracking progress toward the pre-set goal.

Founded in 2013, WiseBanyan discussed its technology at FinDEVr Silicon Valley 2016 last fall, winning “Best Debut Company.” The company’s presentation, “Data as an Advantage: Building a Data Warehouse with Open Source Tools,” was led by co-CEO and co-founder Herbert Moore and Chief Science Officer Jennifer Chin. In March, WiseBanyan won the Startup Pitch competition at SXSW and was also named “judge’s favorite” – earning a $1,000 prize from LaunchKC. The company was featured in Business Insider’s 2017 roster of the 15 Best Roboadvisors and also earned a spot on Nerdwallet’s Best Robo-Advisors: 2017 Top Picks list.

FinDEVr APIntelligence

FDLD17_EventLogoV3_wdate(large)With the presentation videos from FinDEVr 2017 New York now available, be sure to check out all of the great presentations and discussions from the event in our FinDEVr video archives.

And if you’ll be in the U.K. this June (0r want to be), stop by our FinDEVr 2017 London page to learn more about the companies that will be joining us as we take our developer’s conference across the pond for the first time.

Tickets are available now so register today to save your spot.

On FinDEVr.com

  • WiseBanyan Unveils New Tax Protection Tools.
  • Wells Fargo and Finicity Sign Data Aggregation Partnership

Alumni Updates

  • 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.
  • Payment solutions provider Buckaroo chooses AML solution from Fiserv.
  • Visa Checkout achieves 20 million enrolled accounts milestone.
  • Kofax launches cloud-based document capture and invoicing solution, ReadSoft Online R9.
  • OutSystems picks up SOC 2 Type 1 attestation report affirming quality of company’s internal controls and processes.
  • FICO unveils FICO Origination Manager Essentials to accelerate loan decisioning.
  • Datanami interviews MapD CEO and co-founder Todd Mostar.
  • Finland-based OP Financial Group partners with Token to develop new fintech solutions.

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

Twitter Talk from FinDEVr 2017 New York

FinDEVr New YorkTwitterLogo_blue_new may be done. But with FinDEVr London only a few months away, we’re already looking forward to seeing what the international developer community is doing to drive innovation in financial technology.

This year in New York, our two-day developers conference took user experience to new levels – and we’re not just talking about the state-of-the-art virtual reality sessions available for sampling at our FinDEVr Gaming Zone, either. Our partnership with Slido enabled us to bring the wisdom and curiousity of the crowd to life with a digital, Q&A display that kept everyone in the conversation. And, of course, Twitter continues to be one of our favorite ways to hear from our attending audience on what’s hot, what’s cool, and sometimes simply what’s what.

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To celebrate our appreciation for our Tweeting developer community at FinDEVr, we offered a pair of awards: Most Active Tweeter and Best Use of #FinDEVr. Our top tweeters were awarded one of a number of prizes such as a miniature drone or a Chromecast – as well as the admiration of their fellow FinDEVr fans on social media.

Now let’s relive a little of that social media magic from FinDEVr 2017 New York.

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We hope you had as much fun at FinDEVr New York as we did. And if our New York event only whetted your appetite for the tech side of fintech, remember that the debut of our developers conference in London is right around the corner in June. Visit our FinDEVr London page to get an early look at the growing line-up of presenting companies.

The Favorites of FinDEVr 2017 New York

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FinDEVr  2017 New York is in the books. Our second developers conference in New York was a great opportunity to take a look at some of the technologies that continue to drive fintech innovation forward. As always, we asked our attendees to tell us which companies and technologies were best positioned to make the greatest impact on the financial services industry in terms of providing greater security, increased efficiency, and a better user experience for consumers. Here is what our attendees had to say:

Favorite FinDEVr Debut

  • HackerOne for its bug bounty and vulnerability platform that leverages the talent of trusted hackers to improve the online security of organizations and institutions ranging from Twitter and Uber to Qualcomm  and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Favorite FinDEVr Alum

  • Quovo and SoFi for their partnership that shows how an easy-to-use authentication API provides security to accounts at more than 200+ FIs while improving and streamlining the user experience.

Day One Attendee Favorite

  • MapD for its database and visualization layer that transforms Big Data into immersive, instantaneous, and actionable analytics.

Day Two Attendee Favorite

  • Prevoty for its insight into the way embedded, runtime security enables cybersecurity professionals to provide an additional layer of defense against vulnerabilities and fraudulent behavior.

Favorite Established Company

  • BlueMetal for its virtual agents, natural language processing, and conversational UX that transforms the nature of customer engagement in financial services.

Favorite Startup Company

  • Modelshop for its analytic decision platform that enhances the loan origination, portfolio optimization, and fraud prevention processes for both FIs and consumers.

Media Favorite

  • Vantiv for its cloud-based payment app that removes the complexity from financial transactions for both developers and merchants.

Our thanks to our presenting companies, sponsors, partners, and all of you who attended our second developers conference in New York. The excitement and enthusiasm for our events only makes us that much more excited for our upcoming FinDEVr debut in London, England in June. If you’re in the U.K. and looking for more insight into the technological side of the fintech ecosystem, then FinDEVr London is the place to be June 12th and 13th. Visit our FinDEVr London 2017 page for more information.

FinDEVr New York 2017: Welcome to Day Two

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Day One of FinDEVr New York 2017 is in the books – and what a great start to our second developers conference! From APIs, bug bounties, and card-linking to payments, risk management, and smart contracts, the first day of FinDEVr New York was a testament to the technology that continues to drive fintech innovation forward.

And that makes us all the more excited for what we’ll see on Wednesday. Day Two will feature more than a dozen presentations from a diverse array of fintech companies. But we’ll also announce the winners of our FinDEVr Favorite Awards, including Crowd and Media Favorites, Favorite Debut, Startup, Established Company, and Alum. So be sure to join us Wednesday morning at the Metropolitan Pavilion to check out the presentations, meet the presenters, and make your preferences known.

Here’s the agenda for Wednesday.

Session 1: 9:30am – 10:35am

Networking and Coffee Break: 10:35am – 11:00am

Session 2: 11:00am – 12:20pm

Buffet Lunch: 12:20pm – 1:20pm

Session 3: 1:20pm – 2:40pm

Networking and Coffee Break: 2:40pm – 3:05pm

Session 4:  3:05pm – 4:45pm

Networking and Open Bar with Appetizers: 4:45pm – 6:00pm

We hope you had as much fun at Day One of FinDEVr New York as we did. So grab your badge and a handful of business cards and we’ll see you bright and early Wednesday morning for Day Two.