2015 has certainly been a great year for the financial technology industry. A number of investments in fintech is growing, the number of developers that disturb the financial sector is as big as never before. Yet not every start-up is equally successful. Today we are presenting you our list of the most innovative fintech companies for the year 2015.
With 2015 gone by, we took a look back and picked five promising innovations that can disrupt the financial world in the nearest future.
Alpha Payments Cloud
When you run a website with products or services for sale, you have to choose providers of essential systems, such as payment processors or risk management tools. Usually, you can integrate and use only one solution from one vendor. But Alpha Payments Cloud has a better deal: a one-stop place for all solution providers from all over the world. It allows an institution to take advantage of many providers of a service at once instead of relying on just one. For example, you can use several payment service providers and orchestrate them in a control panel so that they can be serving only chosen areas (specific countries or regions) or competing in one.
The AlphaHub platform serves as a middleware that standardizes the communication between the client’s systems and a range of over 250 solution providers, enabling much faster deployment of a solution in the institution’s ecosystem.
Remember when you last filled any web form trying to obtain some service from a financial institution? Can you feel a chore of entering the same data you provided many times on other websites? Avoka wants to help you – and websites, too – in streamlining your experience when applying for credit cards, bank accounts or government services.
Avoka Transact relies on one simple principle: the user data are already there – on the Internet or in IDs, so it leverages different APIs – banking, social media, government – and techniques like imaging (photo of ID) to gather information from variety of sources, making the whole process effortless, fast and effective. For example, when applying for a credit card, you just take a photo of your ID, from which all necessary information will be extracted, and then allow the app to import your personal data from services such as LinkedIn or calculate your credit scoring based on your financial records obtained from your bank account through a bank API.
What’s important for the potential customers of this solution, Avoka Transact implementation takes days, not months, and modifications and updates can be done within hours.
This company specializes in ID imaging and provides robust, reliable data capturing from clients IDs using a camera on their mobile devices. Yes, this looks a lot like one of Avoka features mentioned earlier. But Jumo takes it a step further, as it not only automatizes form filling with the captured data, but also validates the ID and its owner through facial recognition and verification of the extracted data: it compares the ID photo with the photo of a user taken with a mobile device camera and checks if the data scanned from the document are correct (the process uses a range of technologies: algorithms, image forensics, and document experts to detect anomalies and ensure that an ID is legitimate and hasn’t been manipulated). It allows banks and other institutions to quickly verify its customers, saving effort, time and money and reducing fraud potential.
This is more of a technical innovation than a real breakthrough, although it can expand sales channels and allow for more payment options. Contactless payments such as NFC cards and NFC mobile devices with apps are here for some time now, but they all have one drawback: you can’t use them to pay remotely – on the Internet or for things shown on your TV. Soundpays has the solution that sounds perfect – literally. It incorporates inaudible sound waves as the carrier of payment information. You don’t need any special hardware to receive these signals: an ordinary speaker in, say, a TV, and a mic in your phone will do. All you have to do is run the app on your mobile device and let it listen to sounds coming from the speaker. Just like that. The big advantage? Works on old and new phones and doesn’t require a merchant to have any terminal. Any bank, payment provider or online shop can implement this payment method easily and customers don’t have to upgrade their hardware but install a Soundpays-enabled app instead.
Credit cards, debit cards, loyalty cards, membership cards – our wallets are stuffed with plastic. Wouldn’t it be great to have just one card to rule them all? This is exactly what Stratos Card is meant for. It’s a fully programmable card managed from a smartphone app. Stratos Card is compatible with existing terminals since it is equipped with magnetic stripes for swipe read, as well as NFC feature and EMV chip (from Q4 ‘15). Not only it replaces dozens of cards, but also enables accrual of new ones through Stratos Digital Card Issuance Platform: a user is notified when a special offer/rebate is available nearby (based on their location) and is given an option to instantly obtain a card in case he or she doesn’t have it yet. Of course, in a digital form to be copied to the Stratos card.
The only question is: will we need any card, even Stratos, in the near future, when we can already use our smartphones for making payments and redeeming rebates?