Finance and Techology Innovation Comes to Life

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I think that should be the tag line for Finovate, a conference focusing on the innovation in financial industry. Last week, I attended Finovate Spring 2011 to see what companies were up to this year. I owe a special thanks to Netbanker for the press pass. Similar to previous years, there are companies selling products to other financial institutions and there are companies that focus on products that are intended directly for the consumer. For the purposes of personal finance blog is seems best to focus on the companies and products that, well, can help you with your personal finances. With that in mind, I decided to round up some of the best products. I was going to do it David Letterman style, but there were a few extra companies that I thought were worth mentioning.

Top 13 Best Personal Finance Innovations from Finovate Spring 2011

13. Kiboo - They seem geared to putting Lazy Man and Money out of a job. In other words they help young people learn about money. They claim not to be an online bank... "Kiboo isn’t an online bank; it’s a place where you learn about your money and your money learns about you." However, they present themselves as one, "Kiboo is an alternative banking platform that is a fee-free, FDIC-insured online banking service developed for 15-22 year-olds and their parents." So I'm going to take that Kiboo tries to be more than an online bank with the value-add being the educational aspect.

12. BillFloat - This company is the nicotine patch for those addicted to payday loans. Essentially, you pay a fee to have them float this months bills for you when you can't pay them. The service isn't cheap at 36% APR and a fee of up to $14.99 per bill. However, it is a lot cheaper than a payday loan. Like the patch being in-between evil smoking and healthy smoke free, Bill Float sits in-between evil payday loans and healthy fiscal responsibility.

11. Wikinvest SigFig - The upcoming SigFig product looked interesting. It was a way to track various portfolios and combine them to see a total investing picture. It looked more advanced at least for investing than Mint. Their demo was impressive enough that I am very sure I'm going to sign up when it becomes available. It should help me keep track of my investments as they are in multiple accounts.

10. - showed off their Debt Coach product. It is always difficult for bloggers to send people to places to help them with their debt. There are just too many scammy debt consolidation and debt settlement companies out there. This is one of the few companies out there that I would stand behind as reputable. (Another tool that I like in this space is Credit Sesame.)

8. Balance Financial - This was probably one of the most polarizing companies when talking with SVB of The Digerati Life. Essentially the company aims to outsource your money management. They offer a "personal bookkeeper" who will receive and pay all your bills... a little like Earth Class Mail. They will also give you detailed reports of where you money is going. During the presentation, I thought this would be helpful for a lot of people. However, in retrospect, I'm having second thoughts. Most of my bills are paid through my credit card and as I explained in my Chase Sapphire Review, they will grab the right amount of money out of my bank account each month. This gives me automatic bill pay. I can register the card with Mint and get detailed spending reports. I'm not sure what value the "personal bookkeeper" would bring to the table.

8. TILE Financial - The Investing Learning Environment (TILE) is kind of a social network for children and their money. I can see people graduating to this from Money Island (mentioned below). I like the concept of a dashboard for kids to keep track of their finances. If I had a teenager, I think I'd better be able to give input on this one. It seems like they partner with banks, so you might not be able to get your teen on board.

7. Billshrink - They showed off a Chase account that had links to various deals. The idea is that as you are looking over your statement, they can pair your previous Best Buy purchase with a Groupon-style coupon. In this way, it is a very targeted advertisement that can likely lead to a sale. It is similar, but in my opinion not as good as what BankOns (mentioned below) is doing. Billshrink needs to partner with financial institutions to deliver this vision, which could slow adoption.

6. Bundle - This company does a lot of data mining of bank statements and trends. They aggregate data from 20 million households. One thing they showed off was their Discover Your City part of their website. You can see loyalty scores for merchants and figure out what similar people like. For example, I see that PinkBerry customers in San Ramon, CA like to shop at LuluLemon. In related news, I'm going to send a nastygram to Bundle for spying on my wife.

6. ChargeSmart - They showed off a system of where you can use your unused gift cards to pay off necessities like your mortgage or utilities bills. You'll only get "up to 92%" of the value of your gift card (hey the ChargeSmart people need to make money too), but it's a lot better than what your gift card is doing for you in a drawer at home.

5. Currensee - This company opens up the world of currency trading to the "average Joe." Currency trading isn't designed for the average Joe, so this company allows you follow the trades of "leaders" and build a portfolio around them. This would seem to mitigate a lot of the risk in my mind. Of course "seem" and "does" are two different things. I would love for this company to give me a $1000 to play with. Okay that isn't likely to happen. How about some fake money so I can see how I would have done?

4. Free Monee - This companies goal is to give you free money. That alone should push it near the top. The idea is that nothing brings customers into a store like a gift card. So why not give people free gift cards to spend at a store instead of spending money advertising? I'm hoping there's a way to manipulate the system to get lots of free goods and services.

3. Hello Wallet - This company's goal seems to be a better Mint. How do they plan to be better? They are going to use behavioral science from a bunch of smart researchers from top universities. They started by offering their product only through partnerships with other companies. However, it seems like people can sign up and use it today. When I talked with them, they mentioned that it is not free like Mint. However, I can't see pricing information on the website.

2. BankOns - I love the potential of this company. They aim to bring the long-awaited innovation of location-based coupons, using your cell phone, to reality. Instead of just walking down the street and getting buzzed by any company offering a coupon, it combines data from your bank statements to offer you coupons that you would be reasonably interested in. So my wife wouldn't get an alert about Baby Gap (we don't have children), but the phone might literally explode at a Pinkberry (I will pay for laying this Pinkberry thing a little thick). Anyway, I love it... I want it... just get it to HP WebOS instead of iPhone and Android.

1. BancVue's Money Island - This is a game geared towards teaching kids about money. I compare it to Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego except that it's based on money instead of geography. I'm the first to admit that I'm a child at heart, but I just lost a half hour of my life playing the game. It's really quite good. There are some parts that have nothing to do with money like an arcade game like Kaboom. However, there was a great budgeting primer from a Paris chef. After learning a bit, you answer questions to earn rewards (i.e. money) and then use that money to save it, invest it, spend it, or donate it to charity. The investing game can be seen similar to Drug Wars... though instead of investing in drugs to sell at higher prices, you invest in gems. The game also has emergencies that pop up and cost you money.

There are a couple more notable companies and products out there. I feel they are worth mentioning.

Intellaegis MasterQueue - This company billed itself as trying to be the next Big Brother - spying on people's online activities and essentially trying to destroy all privacy. The point of the company is to help debt collectors, but I don't like the premise, especially as I'm an anonymous blogger. In this day and age, we need more tools to protect our privacy not destroy it.

Hoyos - This company came out with an iris scanning device that will manage your passwords for you. Just put the device up to your eye and log into Facebook. CNET decided to profile them which is usually a sign of an interesting company.

It may seem like highlighting 15 companies is a lot. It sure felt like a lot when I was compiling this list. However, to put it in perspective, there were 64 companies presenting in a two day span. At least I was able to trim more than 75% of the fat.

What companies and products sound most intriguing to you? Let me know in the comments.

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Last updated on May 20, 2011.

Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 8)

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This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2, Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3), Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 4, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 5, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 6, and Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 7. As with all other parts, these presentations go extremely quickly, so please ignore any typos and grammar issues. I hope to provide a more polished review of the best and worst from Finovate after the event is over.

  • Enloop - Help entrepenuers with their business plans. They have predictive scoring algorithm that takes in a lot of financial information about a company. This isn't something that I would thought could be automated. The fact that they are doing it is interesting.
  • Aptys Solutions - Seems like oFlows that I wrote about yesterday. They are demoing an invoicing solution with an Android tablet that can take payment in any number of ways. For example, I could write a check, they would take a picture of it with the tablet, and the payment would be completed.
  • MyBankTracker - They are shoing off their Plentifi product today. The company is mostly a financial community where people can rate their banks.
  • Ideon - This is a company that banks can partner with to create customized saving products. Unless you are a bank, you probably don't want to clog your brain up with any other information about Ideon.
  • OpenCuro - Allows you to create a CuroCode that encapsulates all the information about a payment. I can use a code that I create to buy a product online (if they support CuroCodes) without giving them any of my personal information (such as my name or billing address). In a lot of ways it is similar to Paypal.
  • Corduro - They are mobile digital wallets. For example, people participating in a fundraiser can use their phones to accept payments (via credit cards for example) from potential donors. There's a focus on charities.
  • PayNearMe - Allows you to pay your loan bills locally with cash at 7-Elevens. It seems for people that don't like to deal with checks or credit cards. I have difficulty wrapping my head around why I might want to do this. I'm guessing it is for someone that isn't like me.
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Posted on May 11, 2011.

Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 7)

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This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2, Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3), Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 4, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 5 and Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 6. As with all other parts, these presentations go extremely quickly, so please ignore any typos and grammar issues. I hope to provide a more polished review of the best and worst from Finovate after the event is over.

  • Expensify - They are showig their receipt-scanning that won them raves at Finovate two years ago. It's not so much a receipt-scanning as it is a store of pictures of your receipt. You can train expenses to be automaticallly categorized smartly. They used an example of the Tadich Grill, which is one of the few restaurants in San Francisco I've been to.
  • Openfinance - Tools for financial advisors to share data their clients. For a tool focused around reporting it is very plain and boring looking. One the plus side, they are based in Spain and the female presenter has a sexy accent.
  • Adobe - Adobe? At a financial conference? Yes. Adobe is showing off their Customer Experience Management (CEM). The idea here is that they can help financial institutions create better customer experiences. They can do this by pulling a picture from your Facebook (for example) and putting it on a credit card with your name right on it. That's just one example of 4-5 similar things they are showing off here geared towards banks.
  • ChargeSmart - They have a product called Plastic Jungle. The aim is to unlock the value of gift cards. You can actually pay your electricity bill. Plastic Jungle will offer "up to" 92% of the value on your gift card. This is pretty interesting.
  • Kony - There tagline is "empowering everywhere." So Kony is empowering my hats at home, I guess. They showed a screen that looks like the computer coding environment, Eclipse. If you look at it for more than a few minutes, I'm sure your eyes would bleed.

    Okay, I couldn't resist typing that. It turns out that they actually provide a very useful service for developers of mobile applications. Developers can write code for Kony and create applications iOS, Android, Blackberry, etc. That explains why they were demoing something that looked like Eclipse. I was caught off-guard and not expecting that here. The reason why they are here, is that they have a mobile banking component to their software.

  • PayDivvy - It is a social bill paying tool. The classic use case is a group of roommate paying their electric bill. I could have used this in the past. It looks like a real winner.
  • edo Interactive - They are showing off their Prewards product. Seems like Bankons and Billshrink where they make offers tied with your financial institution. The offers are similar to Groupon. When you take advantage of an offer you get the credit instantly.
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Posted on May 11, 2011.

Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 6)

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This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2, Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3), Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 4 and Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 5. As with all other parts, these presentations go extremely quickly, so please ignore any typos and grammar issues. I hope to provide a more polished review of the best and worst from Finovate after the event is over.

  • Paypal and Discover - Combines Paypal mobile with Discover. Allows people with a mobile phone or an email address (that's casting a pretty wide net) to accept Discover paymets. For a small business, this is seems like a nice way to set up a merchant account.
  • Q2ebanking - It seems like the domain K4ebanking was taken. Like Silver Tail that was mentioned in Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 5 the focus of this company is provide security and fraud detection for banking software. As with Silver Tail, if you don't run a bank, you probably don't care.
  • Robot Dough - This is a stock screener. SVB of The Digerati Life, chimed in "but it's fancy." They do international stock screening too, which is new to me (and maybe the world). In addition, you can backtest a strategy. You can save these strategies and get daily alerts on how they perform.
  • Billshrink - Like Free Monee mentioned earlier they are looking to partner with banks and merchants and offer discounts based on past spending. One of the example offers looked like a Groupon. In this case, the person logged into their Chase account and their Toys R Us transaction was highlighted. They click on the highlight and receive an offer for $50 of Toys R Us value for $35. Good stuff!
  • eWise - Turns your bank into Paypal. If you are buying from a merchant, you can select your bank, log into your bank's website and send the payment. This reduces risks for merchants. It seems like more work for people as logging into their bank is usually fairly difficult with all the security questions they require. The company also showed off a mobile application that looked interesting. Allowed for transactions from QR codes is just a few seconds.
  • Currensee - Their aim is to bring currency trading to the masses. This would be a new asset class for consumers to access. Since most people don't know much about currency trading, they allow you to follow the trades of experts. In this way you can piggyback on their performance. You can follow multiple experts and thus diversify your investment. This is something that I will likely keep an eye on.
  • Liqpay - This company was based in Ukraine and it showed. They have a "pay to face" money transfer. It seems to be a Facebook application that allows you transfer money to people in Facebook. I give them some credit for putting on a San Francisco Giants hat and trying to blend in with the culture.
  • TILE Financial - The Investing Learning Environment (TILE) aims to help 15-25 year olds be financially literate. The idea is to create a profile for each person. TILE has game strategy involved where people can earn badges for reaching milestones. I've been a fan of promoting personal finance as a game. Unfortunately, they aren't offering their services straight to consumers - they are partnering with banks.
  • BancVue - They presented a game called Money Island designed to teach children (ages 8-14) financial skills. It's to money what Where in the World is Carmen Sandeigo is to geography... or at least that it what it seems to me. "Winning" Money Island will give the kids a real world reward. I thought this was pretty exciting.
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Posted on May 11, 2011.

Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 5)

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It is day 2 of FinoVate and I'm here again live blogging. I was a little late in getting here, so I'm going to use the company summary for the first two companies that presented which I missed.

This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2, Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3), and Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 4. As with all other parts, these presentations go extremely quickly, so please ignore any typos and grammar issues. I hope to provide a more polished review of the best and worst from Finovate after the event is over.

  • Free Monee - I missed this presentation, but I did get to talk with their Chief Strategy Officer at the break. Free Monee wants to give you free money. The idea is to partner with banks and retailers and offer people gift cards for free. Why? It's much more effective than advertising. Pretty smart. This is something to keep an eye out for.
  • Experian Business Information Services - This is a B2B service (you probably don't care) that provides businesses with data on other businesses.
  • Mitek Systems - You know those commercials for Chase, where they take a picture of a check with their Android phone and it puts the money into their account. That's what this company does.
  • Wipro Technologies - Does payroll, expenses, and employee management for small and medium companies. They showed a pretty cool iPhone application that allows employees to easily enter expenses.
  • Hello Wallet - This looks like one of the most useful applications for Lazy Man and Money readers. The application focuses on behavoral personal finance and helping people make better decisions through budgeting and goal setting. It looks like they've put a lot artificial intelligence into this. It seems like you might only be able to sign up if your company has partnered with them. I aim to get more details on this at the break, because it seems like it should be a straight consumer tool like Mint.
  • Trusted ID - They are releasing a free identity product today - IDSafe. Sounds good, but you can't just up for it. They partner with companies such as Lenovo laptops. Lenovo can promote IDSafe as a way to provide more value for its customers.
  • Silver Tail System - Security software for banking systems. If you run a bank, you may care. If you own a big bank, you probably have more important things to do than read this.
  • Goalmine - They showed off a cool mobile application where people can invest and move money immediately. The idea is to do it in small increments. If you are at Starbucks and you say, "Hey, rather than buy a latte, I'll put $5 in my kid's college fund." You press a couple of buttons and it does it. You can also share this moment with your friends on Facebook. The company suggested that your friends may also chip in with your kid's college fund since they make it easy to do with a gift card through Facebook. Note to self: Get friends like Goalmine's.
  • - Has launched a product called Debt Coach. It's a bit like Clippy, but instead of helping you with Microsoft Office, he's going to help you with your debt. Includes things like debt consolidation and debt settlement.
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    Posted on May 11, 2011.

    Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 4)

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    This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1, Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2, and Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3)

  • Lendio - Matches lenders and people looking for business loans. The Digerati Life points out that this Lending Tree for business loans rather than mortgages.
  • oFlows - Aim is to eliminate paper in loan documents. oFlows Mobilize makes anywhere a point of sale.
  • ID Analytics - Identity theft software for companies and government organizations.
  • Fiserv - They weren't ready to present their innovation today. Fail.
  • Balance Financial - Interesting concept that allows people to automate their financial life. How does it work? It pairs people with a Personal Bookkeeper. This person is trained to use Balance's financial tools, which helps the company scale.
  • Lend Street Financial - Looks like a Lending Club or Prosper clone. It seems to allow people to buy existing debt from distressed debtors. Their goal seems to help these people out. However, I don't know why a lender would want to take on these debts with a high risk of default.
  • Backbase - Provides the back-end for financial institutions... encourages greater customer activity.
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    Posted on May 10, 2011.

    Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 3)

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    This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1 and Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 2.

  • Afiniate - This company seeks to augment banking smart phone applications by analyzing the data and presenting people with opportunities tailored to that data.
  • Ready Receipts - Allow consumers to own their data and manage it securely. By data I mean receipts - naturally. Seems a little like Shoeboxed or Neat Receipts.
  • Kiboo - This company is focused on the youth segment. They help educate consumers about financial information relevant to them via their social network. In addition, they are merging NFC and GPS to allow people to make touch payments with their smart phones.
  • Braintree - Powers the checkout process for a company like Living Social. Consumers don't even realize that they are using Braintree's servers and checkout process. That's good for companies like Living Social, because they can outsource this service and not deal with storing credit cards. It is a little like Paypal, except that you know you are going to Paypal.
  • Figlo - This is another website that analyzes financial data with the purpose of making recommendations for them. Their focus seems to be geared more towards financial advisors
  • Dwolla - It's Paypal blending with social networking like Twitter and Facebook. One thing that's worth noting is that only charge 25 cents a transaction no matter how much the transfer is.
  • Bankons - Geo-located offers with Geo-located transactions. The can use banking data as well as location to give coupons and make sales. Here's an example, I'm walking by a Starbucks. My phone realizes this because of the GPS. The application knows that I like Starbucks because of the my credit card history. I like this a lot.
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    Posted on May 10, 2011.

    Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 2)

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    This is a continuation of my Finovate Sprint 2011 Part 1

    • Doxo - "Digital file cabinet online." The aim is to allow consumers to go paperless. Makes it easy for consumers to pay their bills online. This could be interesting, but I think they've got a chicken and the egg problem. They need businesses and customers to use it.
    • Arroweye Solutions - Allows consumers to personalize their credit cards. You can upload your own photos. They show a picture of a dog for example. What makes them different from other "upload your photo" systems is that they have the factory that prints these cards. I don't know why anyone would want a personalize credit card. The only purpose I can see is to put some kind of offensive image so that you can shock the cashier at the Gap. That could be fun.
    • Billeo - Hey, they've got an iPad app. I should sleep for the next 6 minutes and wake up at the next presentation. Their Shop Smart application brings in offers and rewards from partners such as Groupon and Living Social. They integrate social media like Facebook. From a merchant website (like Walmart), you can post a question to Facebook such as "what do you think of this barbeque?" That's somewhat interesting, I suppose.
    • ProfitStars - They create a tool called Margin Maximizer that allows financial institutions understand financial information to maximize margins. If you just said, "huh?" I'm with you on that one. If you are a CFO this may mean something to you.
    • BillFloat - Pays bills for people. Sounds great right? Well it's like a short-term loan. And you pay a fee for the service around $10 a bill. It's better than a payday loan, but not as good as simply being financially responsible for your bills.
    • WikiInvest - They are here to demo SigFig - which will be their new name in a few months. It can examine your portofolio and make some suggestions. It may see a mutual fund that has high fees and poor performance and suggest something similar that is better. They show an example of a person who is paying a $250 commission for stock trades. I didn't think that people still paid that. This is one of the more interesting companies I've seen to present today.
    • peerTransfer - Allows international students to pay their tuition. Also allows them to easily transfer money. This saves international students money. If this profile fits you, look up peerTransfer.
    • - Not to be confused with which will present later in the conference. Allows companies to pay their bills online as well as streamline their paperwork. A good example is them setting up a system for Acme who sells products to Wile E. Coyote. They can do all the invoicing and handle the details for both Acme and Wile E. Coyote.
    • Mint - They are showing off apps for iPhone and Android. I'm going to rant a bit here. Why not just create a mobile website? There is nothing in the app that couldn't be in a website.
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    Posted on May 10, 2011.

    Finovate Spring 2011 Live Blog (Part 1)

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    I am here at the annual Finovate conference in San Francisco. It has really grown from 4-5 years when I started going to Finovate. It is so large that the presenters are a football field away. I don't remember a structure this large since the Ann & Hope in Watertown. I'm watching on some big screens which is a change of pace from the past. I'm also here with SVB from The Digerati Life and Cap from Stop Buying Crap. Things move extremely fast here (each presentation is 7 minutes), so give me a break with spelling and grammar.

    • Clovr Media - Card Link Offer... - Shopping. Has some management of an account that seems tedious. I'll be honest I was a little asleep during this presentation.
    • Bundle - Aggregated anonymous data on 20 million households. Everybody's Money is the key website. You can look for restaurants that fit your profile. You can then see what people (in general) do
    • Intellaegis - MasterQueue - Web based monetary risk management data collection system... I'm copying that from SVB's laptop. The website can search for information about anyone. They gave examples on how they'll pull in information about "ex-wives", "blogs", etc. One thing they showed as gathering GPS coordinates that are in a photo's metadata. Findex score tells you how certain they are. Their audience seems to be debt collectioners... or bring Orwell's 1984 to reality. When these presentations are over, I'm going to head to their booth and punch them in the pancreas. This may be a quick Finovate conference for me.
    • Xero - Global online accounting system based in New Zealand. As a consumer, I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that you don't care. If you are a business, perhaps it is an interesting alternative to Quickbooks.
    • Gold Bullion International - Allows you to buy gold. You buy the amount you want. Sounds simple, but you can pick where it is stored (to some degree) as well as having it accounted for. They create a gold exchange where you can buy from multiple dealers. They work with bigger clients such as hedge funds and such.
    • Kabbage - Provides working capital for online merchants. Has support for Amazon merchants. They can see that a merchant does $20,000 in sales a month and approve them for money in minutes. Interesting quote: "This is not your mom's profile building" Mom, you are building profiles?
    • RateCash - Provides widgets for websites. Website owners, such as myself, can add an auto loan calculator and it will give you a rates from various sources. You can manage the information from their website and your website will update immediately. Looking to work advertisers to integrate their technology - not for consumers
    • BancBox - Provides an API for "fintech" startups. Seems like they are here to help the other companies here.

      Seems very similar to Yodlee in that they power a lot of companies. Allows people to open a FDIC insured bank account and move money through an API. While it might not be practical for you or me, I think it is kind of cool. Then again, I'm a dork.

    • Hoyos - Software that allows you to log in to your online accounts with your eyes. Presenter holds a CueCat-like device to their eyes. The device is only $99. Why not fingerprints? They probably addressed this and I missed it.
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      Last updated on August 1, 2011.

    Live from Finovate Startup – Fourth Demo Session

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    Okay this isn't so live... it's a day after recap of the fourth session... nonetheless, here it is:

    • HomeATM - Hardware prevents keystroke spying and other hacks - useful for processing transactions even more securely. I like Paypal so I don't see the value in extra hardware. Maybe if the system was broken I'd want a fix.
    • Green Sherpa - Management like Mint, Wesabe, etc. However, it focuses on cashflow, which is nice. I like that I can set a plan a future mattress purchase. You can also share your financials with your family and financial planners. Good twists, I think.
    • Silver Tail Systems - Monitors websites for security risks. It's not only financial, but could be used for anything. Intersting if you are running an eCommerce or banking site.
    • SimpliFi - Opened with (paraphrased), "Less than 5% of people have a written financial plan... Those who do are 250% more likely to succeed in their goal." Free Personal Finance advice (legally authorized by SEC), I can't wait to try this out...
    • SmartHippo - Gives more transparency for complex financial products (like mortgages). Uses power of the community like Wesabe? I'm not sure if I'd use it or not...
    • DebtGoal - Helps people plan to get out of debt. Reminds me a bit of NCN Network. It helps shape people's behavior in a positive way.
    • Rudder - YAPFM (Yet Another Personal Finance Management) tool... Looks forward at your financial obligations (rather than at your past like other PFM tools). This helps you budget for those future expenses to keep you in the clear going forward.
    • Prosper - Prosper: Back from the quiet period; CA lenders only; borrowers from everywhere; new ratings; other financial institutions can list loans on Prosper, secondary trading market "shown today" - "available soon"
    • Credit Karma - Free access to credit scores, track your history over time; educate people on credit; new debt manangement tools

    Simplifi really stood out here... They could put me out of business as a personal finance writer. DebtGoal's tool seems pretty unique, even if I don't deal with debt that much

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    Last updated on August 1, 2011.

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