Liquidnet Integrates bondIT’s Scorable Credit Analytics to Help Traders Anticipate Trends

Liquidnet Integrates bondIT’s Scorable Credit Analytics to Help Traders Anticipate Trends

Agency execution specialist Liquidnet has turned to investment technology company bondIT to give new tools to traders on its Fixed Income electronic trading platform. Liquidnet will leverage bondIT’s Scorable Credit Analytics to help traders better anticipate market trends. The technology will also help them mitigate credit risk and make more informed decisions quicker.

“With this integration, our goal is to give access to crucial information to investment firms of all sizes,” Liquidnet Global Head of Fixed Income Product and Partnership Programs Nicholas Stephan explained. “Our members will have seamless access to a wide range of credit data giving them an extra edge ahead of making their trading decisions.”

Scorable Credit Analytics leverages data science, Explainable AI, and machine learning to help fixed income investors anticipate changes in credit ratings and spreads. The solution predicts downgrade and upgrade probability for 3,000+ rated corporate and financial issuers worldwide. Using insights such as these, traders can spot investment opportunities earlier and outperform peers. Courtesy of explainable AI, Scorable ensures transparency and allows users to understand the reasons behind the predictions. The integration will benefit Liquidnet’s 700+ member firms that access the platform’s primary and secondary market trading protocols for corporate bonds.

“Bonds are back, but so is risk,” bondIT Head of Global Client Business Dr. David Curtis said. “Technology becomes an ever more important ally in this dynamic financial landscape. The synergy between bondIT’s AI-driven Scorable Credit Analytics and Liquidnet’s platform empowers traders with actionable insights, enabling them to stay ahead in today’s volatile markets.”

Founded in 1999, Liquidnet is an institutional trading network headquartered in New York. More than 1,000 institutional investors in 49 markets across six continents use Liquidnet’s technology. Interdealer broker TP ICAP acquired the company in 2021 for $700 million.

Note that Liquidnet is not the first company this year to deploy bondIT’s Scorable solution. Wealth management solution provider First Rate announced a strategic partnership with bondIT in June. The Arlington, Texas-based firm integrated Scorable Credit Analytics into its own AI-driven reporting tool.

bondIT made its Finovate debut at FinovateFall in 2016. In the years since, the Israel-based fintech has grown into a 50+ person team, and partnered with some of the world’s leading asset managers, banks, and technology firms. In addition to Scorable Credit Analytics, bondIT offers two other solutions: Frontier and Embedded. Frontier provides data-driven, personalized, fixed income portfolio management. Embedded is bondIT’s end-to-end, integrated portfolio construction, research, and trading solution.

The company began the year with news that Fundamentum Investment Management had begun using bondIT’s portfolio optimization and credit research solution. This partnership came in the wake of bondIT securing $14 million in funding in a round led by BNY Mellon. The investment gave bondIT total equity capital of more than $32 million, according to Crunchbase. Within months, the company’s relationship with BNY Mellon paid off. In September, BNY Mellon Pershings launched its fixed income research, management, and trading tool, BondWise, powered by bondIT.

bondIT was founded in 2012. Etai Ravid is founder and CEO.

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Ncontracts Acquires Quantivate for Undisclosed Amount

Ncontracts Acquires Quantivate for Undisclosed Amount

Risk management and compliance solutions provider Ncontracts has acquired Quantivate this week. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Quantivate, which provides governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) solutions for banks and credit unions, was founded in 2005. Quantivate’s flagship offering is its Business Continuity Software. Today, the company has a suite of governance, risk, and compliance management solutions, including ERM Intelligence, Compliance, Operational Resilience, IT Risk, Procurement, Audit, and more.

“Quantivate has always believed in the power of innovative technology and exceptional people to help banks and credit unions thrive,” said Quantivate Founder and CEO Andy Vanderhoff. “Ncontracts shares this mission, and I’m excited to watch as the strength and experience of our united teams take risk management solutions to the next level.”

With today’s acquisition, Ncontracts aims to position it as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) and knowledge-as-a-service (KaaS) leader. Quantivate’s GRC solutions and broader suite covering areas like ERM Intelligence, Compliance, IT Risk, and more, strengthen Ncontracts’ portfolio by enhancing its capabilities in addressing the complex needs of financial institutions.

This acquisition not only expands Ncontracts’ workforce to 350 employees and customer base to 4,000 financial services companies, but it also emphasizes the industry’s increasing reliance on sophisticated risk management solutions.

Ncontracts was founded in 2009 and specializes in risk, vendor, and compliance management software for financial services companies. The company currently serves more than 4,000 financial services organizations, including Tinker Federal Credit Union, Columbia Bank, Security Bank of Kansas City, and more. Earlier this fall, Ncontracts teamed up with fellow Finovate alum True Digital to enhance banks’ vendor data.

Ncontracts most recently demoed at FinovateFall 2022 where the company debuted Nrisk, an online risk management solution that strengthens compliance controls in real time. Tools like these are especially imperative to financial services firms in today’s regulatory environment in which regulators have increased their scrutiny of enterprise risk management practices.

“We are thrilled to join forces with Quantivate,” said Ncontracts founder and CEO Michael Berman. “We are both mutually committed to helping financial institutions reduce risk, improve compliance, and control costs, so combining our resources empowers us to be an even better provider of software and services for our customers and the financial industry.”

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Climate Engagement Innovator ecolytiq and Visa Bring Carbon Emission Tracking to Qatar Islamic Bank

Climate Engagement Innovator ecolytiq and Visa Bring Carbon Emission Tracking to Qatar Islamic Bank

Qatar’s leading digital bank, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has teamed up with Visa and sustainability-as-a-service innovator ecolytiq to help customers better understand the environmental impact of their financial activity.

“This partnership marks a monumental shift in the market,” ecolytiq co-founder and Managing Director Davis Lais said. “Climate engagement in banking is coming to Qatar.”

Courtesy of the partnership, QIB will integrate a new Carbon Emission Tracker feature into its mobile app. The tracker will help foster environmental awareness among banking customers and encourage climate-friendly spending behavior and consumption habits. The technology will also enable QIB to determine the carbon footprint created from its retail banking customers spending activity and use that data to refine both specific transactions as well as customer profiles.

Lais added, “Our innovative work with QIB and Visa is giving banking customers in Qatar more transparency and choice to live sustainably. We are proud to have been chosen to help QIB guide their customers through the complexity of the environmental crisis by making this a fundamental part of QIB’s banking experience. QIB has decided to embrace the future of banking by being a part of it.”

The new partnership follows the release of QIB’s third sustainability report. The report articulated the bank’s sustainability initiatives, noting progress in steps taken to manage climate-related risks. This includes QIB’s adoption of the Equator Principles, making ESG concerns a part of the bank’s risk management process.

This month, QIB was named “2023 Bank of the Year in Qatar” by The Banker magazine, a Financial Times publication. In accepting the award, QIB Group CEO Bassel Gamal referenced the banks efforts toward greater sustainability. “We have assumed a substantial role in championing the shift towards a more sustainable economy, incorporating ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) factors in our credit assessment and risk management processes, thus promoting sustainable practices among our corporate borrowers.”

Established in 1982, Doha, Qatar-based, QIB reported total assets of more than $4.6 billion (QAR 187 billion) this year. The bank has 23 branches, more than 170 ATMs, and approximately 36% of the total assets of domestic Sharia-compliant banks.

ecolytiq’s partnership with QIB is the fintech’s second big win in MENA in as many months. In November, ecolytiq – along with Visa – worked with Dubai-based Mashreq to facilitate the launch of the bank’s climate banking platform. The platform overlays carbon emissions calculations onto transaction data, and leverages advanced carbon footprint analytics to personalize climate insights.

Founded in 2020 and headquartered in Berlin, Germany, ecolytiq introduced itself to Finovate audiences at our developers conference, FinDEVR 2021. In addition to its bank partnerships, ecolytiq also has teamed up with a number of fintechs. These include partnerships with fellow Finovate alums Mambu in July and Tink in June. Mambu will make ecolytiq’s sustainability-as-a-service solution available via its marketplace that serves more than 100 million end users. The Tink partnership will embed ecolytiq’s carbon tracking services and other sustainability features into its open banking platform.

“Pairing open banking with sustainable banking is good news for financial institutions looking to make a difference,” ecolytiq co-founder and Managing Director Ulrich Pietsch said.

Photo by Abdullah Ghatasheh

Abrigo Taps Mitek to Protect Bank Clients Against Check Fraud

Abrigo Taps Mitek to Protect Bank Clients Against Check Fraud

Digital identity verification company Mitek announced a new partner today. The California-based company has teamed up with compliance, credit risk, and lending solutions company Abrigo to help the firm’s bank clients access technology to help protect themselves against financial crime.

Specifically, Abrigo is seeking to mitigate check fraud, which is not only prevalent among banks, but is also costly. While the technology behind paper checks seems antiquated, fraud techniques for the payment method are not. According to FinCEN, check fraud suspicious activity report (SAR) filings increased 94% over the course of 2021. Last year, the number of SAR filings exceeded 680,000. “The sophistication of fraud and synthetic checks has never been more concerning,” explained Mitek SVP and GM Michael Diamond. 

Abrigo will offer its bank customers access to Mitek’s Check Fraud Defender to help them stop fraudulent activities around checks. Mitek’s Check Fraud Defender uses imaging science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to analyze the images of the checks and verify authenticity to reduce fraud losses.

“By combining Mitek’s cutting-edge technology with Abrigo’s industry-leading platform, we can provide our 2,400 customers with a powerful solution to help protect their institutions and customers from financial crimes,” said Abrigo CEO Jay Blandford.

Mitek was founded in 1986 and offers technology for mobile check deposit, new account opening, identity verification, and more. The company’s solutions are used by more than 7,900 organizations and its mobile check deposit and account opening tools reach more than 80 million consumers. Mitek is publicly listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker MITK and has a current market capitalization of $517 million.

Earlier this fall, Mitek partnered with Equifax to advance the company’s biometric authentication and liveness detection capabilities.

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Zafin’s Charbel Safadi on the Importance of Adaptability and Innovation in Banking

Zafin’s Charbel Safadi on the Importance of Adaptability and Innovation in Banking

What are the biggest challenges facing banks when it comes to modernization and digital transformation? We checked in with Charbel Safadi, President, Modernization and Transformation, with Zafin, to hear his thoughts on what banks and other financial institutions are doing to future-proof their businesses and better serve their customers.

Zafin made its Finovate debut in 2017 at FinovateFall. The company offers a cloud-based product and pricing platform that simplifies core modernization for the world’s biggest banks. Zafin’s platform enables business teams to collaborate in the design and management of pricing, products, and packages. At the same time, the platform empowers technology teams to streamline core banking systems.

Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, and founded in 2002, Zafin includes Wells Fargo, HSBC, and CIBC among its customers.

When you look at the current landscape for banks, what is their biggest technological challenge right now?

Charbel Safadi: The predominant technological challenge facing banks in the current landscape is the accumulation of legacy technology platforms that impede adaptability and innovation. These platforms, built over several decades, create a significant tech debt, hindering banks from promptly responding to changing market demands. This stands in contrast to agile fintech startups, unburdened by such legacy systems.

For banks, the challenge lies in modernizing these deeply entrenched platforms to enable transformative experiences and stay competitive in the rapidly evolving financial landscape. Despite significant time and financial investments, the traditional “rip and replace” approach has proven unsuccessful. This tech debt, rather than a lack of inherent competitiveness, is the primary obstacle for banks in delivering compelling value propositions, necessitating a forward-looking, progressive modernization strategy.

You just recently joined Zafin and are part of the company’s new transformation and modernization division. Tell us about why you joined the company and what this new division is all about.

Safadi: Zafin’s mission is to empower banks in reshaping their business models and updating technology platforms. As a leader in our organization, my role is to align our vision with clients’ business goals, fostering a cohesive team that mirrors banks’ transformation strategies. With a background in financial services consulting and experience with global banks, I recognize the market’s strong focus for the next decade and Zafin’s potential impact.

Being part of Zafin’s journey excites me, given its pivotal role in contributing to clients’ transformation agendas. Zafin’s strategic position emphasizes technology and business platforms, distinguishing it in the market. This allows us to provide significant value, aiding clients in kickstarting technology modernization while transforming their business models.

I am confident in our ability to guide clients through this journey, making a substantial impact and offering the necessary tools for success. Zafin’s forward-thinking strategy, coupled with our cohesive team and inclusive culture, solidified my decision to be part of this transformative organization.

Tell us about the launch of Zafin Studio. What challenge will it help Zafin customers resolve?

Safadi: Zafin Studio represents a significant advancement in the modernization of technology platforms, specifically addressing the challenge of crafting forward-looking propositions tailored to each client’s unique values and needs. Unlike existing solutions in the market, Zafin Studio adopts a comprehensive approach to banking propositions. Leveraging the Product and Pricing Index (PPI) tool, it rapidly gathers, filters, and segments data and insights for analysis from leading global banks, bridging a crucial market gap. This empowers various stakeholders within a bank, from business users to product managers and department heads.

Our goal is to equip them with the tools to comprehend market dynamics, enabling swift research on top banks worldwide and insights into their product designs and rate structures. The collected information is entirely external and does not involve customer data. Through Product Explorer, Zafin Studio unravels the intricacies of product offerings, merging external market research with an internal product explorer. The drag-and-drop feature of Proposition Canvas in turn empowers banks to seamlessly design and implement cutting-edge functionalities. Essentially, Zafin Studio acts as a governing methodology and framework, revolutionizing banks’ transformation approaches. We eagerly anticipate our clients utilizing Zafin Studio to elevate co-created value propositions to new heights.

Zafin is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. What are some of the top concerns for Canadian banks that might differ from those of banks in the U.S., the U.K., or Europe?

Safadi: In Canada, the banking landscape differs significantly from the U.S., U.K. and Europe due to population size and the number of institutions. Canadian banks are primarily concerned with population dynamics, competition, and the regulatory framework. The evolving regulatory landscape indicates that open banking is on the horizon in Canada. This, combined with the rise of innovative fintech firms free from legacy technology constraints, compels banks to prepare for the coming years.

While fintech companies lack the technological burdens of traditional institutions, they also lack the established customer base of incumbents. To capitalize on this, banks must pivot towards a more horizontally aligned approach to product development and proposition modeling. This involves adopting a holistic view of the Canadian customer, encompassing their entire financial journey and value chain. By consolidating data from diverse systems, including mortgages, lending, and deposits, banks can craft compelling value propositions that genuinely resonate with consumers. Prioritizing strong relationships over sheer customer volume is crucial. This means tailoring pricing, offers, and incentives to match the customer’s entire banking journey. This forward-thinking approach ensures sustained delivery of substantial value and the preservation of loyalty within the existing client base, thereby upholding a competitive edge rooted in customer trust.

Speaking of international activity, Zafin recently announced a new operational center in Dubai and the upcoming release of various AI-based solutions for the Middle Eastern market. Tell us about some of the top trends in fintech in the Middle East?

Safadi: Zafin is making significant investments in Generative AI, with Zafin Copilot serving as a central component in our technology portfolio. This tool is pivotal for both external client interactions and internal team processes. We’ve dedicated significant efforts to explore how AI can enhance product and pricing modeling, effectively harnessing continuously generated data, including customer details, transactions, and relationship data. We’ve made it a priority to equip our clients with the technological capabilities needed for full access to the rich data set within our platform.

Globally, AI forms a fundamental part of our strategy, with a notable emphasis on the Middle Eastern marketplace. This region’s substantial investments in AI makes it an ideal ground to explore dynamic pricing, especially in comparison to markets with stricter pricing regulations.

Our core principles of trust, transparency, and fairness in banking guide all AI development initiatives. We ensure strict adherence to regulatory frameworks across global markets. AI is viewed as an intrinsic element of our entire platform, offering benefits to our customers, end consumers, and internal teams while aligning with our commitment to ethical and regulatory standards.

What trends in fintech and financial services are currently being underestimated in terms of their potential impact in the next few years?

Safadi: Many organizations are considering the adoption of Generative AI technologies. The central question revolves around how AI can effectively be utilized to reassess and improve product design, customizing offerings for each individual. This transition not only poses a challenge but also presents an opportunity. AI has the potential to centralize and grant access to the everyday data encountered by most organizations. The focus should now pivot towards creating dynamic product offerings that align with the unique value of each individual, taking into account the customer’s current life stage, priorities, and preferences.

In addition to well-explored areas like AI, another crucial emphasis lies in the design of the next-generation product architecture. Through global discussions and collaborations with banking clients, trailblazing organizations such as Zafin are actively shaping a horizontal model for the next generation of product architecture in financial institutions. This architecture should span the entire spectrum of banking, delivering a tailored and dynamic experience precisely meeting the customer’s needs at any given moment. Banks should persist in prioritizing depth and loyalty in customer relationships, recognizing their significance in the forthcoming years.

What can we expect from Zafin over the balance of 2023 and into 2024?

Safadi: Zafin is firmly dedicated to executing its strategy, aiming to provide substantial value to our clients. This dedication empowers them to not only modernize their technology platforms but also to transform their business models. Our intense focus revolves around delivering the essential technology, capabilities, and skills required for both these endeavors. Through robust partnerships within our deep ecosystem, our goal is to offer comprehensive customer modernization journeys.

We strive to spare our clients from spending excessive time — potentially three to four years or even longer — struggling to overhaul their technology landscape without having the capacity to contemplate new product architectures and business models. Everything we undertake is geared towards facilitating a low-risk approach to modernize their technology platforms, unlocking the potential to construct next-generation product architectures promptly.

Simultaneously, we remain committed to upholding trust, transparency, and fairness in how our clients deliver products and services to their client base.

Photo by Lukas Kloeppel

AlphaPoint Partners with Blockchain Protection Firm Coincover

AlphaPoint Partners with Blockchain Protection Firm Coincover
  • Digital asset infrastructure platform AlphaPoint announced a partnership with Coincover.
  • A blockchain protection firm, Coincover will provide enhanced security for AlphaPoint customers.
  • AlphaPoint made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2015 and returned to the Finovate stage two years later for FinovateFall.

AlphaPoint, a digital asset infrastructure platform, has turned to blockchain protection firm Coincover to provide its customers with enhanced security. Courtesy of the partnership, AlphaPoint customers will be able to access Coincover’s Asset Protection solution which helps mitigate a variety of security threats including hacking, human error, and scams.

Coincover secures its clients against hacking and theft by proactively screening and protecting transactions. The company’s crypto threat intelligence and machine learning models continuously monitor activity across millions of digital wallets and transactions, flagging potentially malicious behavior. Coincover’s technology delivers proactive alerts that enable users to take action when abnormal patterns are spotted. The company has more than 300 partners worldwide, protects five million crypto wallets, and has checked $30 billion in transactions. David Janczewski is co-founder and CEO.

“By collaborating with Coincover, a top innovator in asset protection, we’re providing our customers with leading-edge insurance to safeguard their assets,” AlphaPoint CEO and co-founder Igor Telyatnikov said. “This partnership demonstrates our commitment to delivering complete peace of mind through institutional-grade security and infrastructure.”

AlphaPoint made its Finovate debut at FinovateEurope in 2015. The company returned to the Finovate stage two years later for FinovateFall in New York. In the years since then, AlphaPoint has grown into leading digital asset infrastructure company with more than 150 customers in 35 countries. The company’s platform supports more than 10 million registered accounts, more than one trillion in trading volume, and billions in assets. AlphaPoint counts CME Group and XP Securites among its clients. El Salvador chose AlphaPoint to operate its Chivo Bitcoin wallet in 2022 as part of the country’s experiment in mass bitcoin adoption.

Earlier this month, AlphaPoint launched AlphaPoint Labs. The new entity provides advisory, development, and implementation services for FIs, exchanges, and businesses seeking to integrate digital assets and blockchain technology. This spring, the company forged a new partnership with cryptoasset risk management company Elliptic. Over the summer, AlphaPoint teamed up with verification platform Sumsub.

AlphaPoint is headquartered in New York. The company has raised more than $23 million in funding.

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Featurespace Launches GenAI-Powered Financial Crime Fighting Model, TallierLTM

Featurespace Launches GenAI-Powered Financial Crime Fighting Model, TallierLTM
  • Featurespace unveiled its generative AI-powered, Large Transaction Model (LTM), TallierLTM, this week.
  • The technology uncovers hidden transactional patterns typically undetected by current methods that may be indicative of criminal activity.
  • Featurespace made its Finovate debut in 2016, appearing at both FinovateEurope and FinovateFall that year.

Fraud and financial crime prevention company Featurespace unveiled its Large Transaction Model (LTM), TallierLTM, this week. A foundational technology for payments in specific and the financial services industry in general, TallierLTM is a large-scale, self-supervised, and pre-trained model built to power the next generation of AI apps to protect consumers from financial crime.

The technology marks the first time financial professionals in the fraud fighting space have been able to leverage a generative Large Transaction Model. Featurespace noted in a statement that TallierLTM has provided improvements of as much as 71% in fraud value detection compared to the industry standard.

“What OpenAI’s LLMs have done for language, TallierLTM will do for payments,” Featurespace founder David Excell said. “There is widespread concern about how deep-fakes and generative AI have been used to deceive consumers and our financial systems. We plan to reverse this trend by utilizing the power of generative AI algorithms to create solutions that protect consumers and make the world a safer place to transact.”

Connecting to FIs via its enbedding API, TallierLTM analyzes billions of transactions, identifying hidden transactional patterns that current methods often cannot detect. The technology’s insights are based on time sequencing, discovering unusual spending patterns over a short period of time, for example, or between a consumer and a merchant. This increased ability to distinguish legitimate activity from potentially criminal behavior will not only enable data scientists to improve their model’s performance faster, Featurespace Chief Innovation Officer Dr. David Sutton said. It will also allow institutions to “realize the value of machine learning investments more quickly.”

“We know that smarter technology helps financial institutions better understand their consumers,” Sutton added. “We have taken this to the next level by pairing cutting-edge generative AI algorithms with huge volumes of data, enabling a machine to efficiently comprehend the relationships between different customer transactions.”

Founded in 2016 and headquartered in Cambridge, U.K., Featurespace made its Finovate debut in 2016, appearing at both FinovateEurope and FinovateFall. An innovator in adaptive behavioral analytics and automated deep behavioral networks for risk management, Featurespace serves more than 80 direct customers and 200,000 institutions. In recent months, the company announced partnerships with digital payment platform Clip and fellow Finovate alum Zeta. In August, Featurespace launched its ARIC Scam Detect solution to help protect financial services companies and their customers from scams – especially Authorized Push Payment (APP) scams – in real-time.

“As scammers become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics, with the use of Generative AI and machine learning, FIs need an adaptive solution that can protect from changing scam types in real time and monitor both inbound and outbound payments,” company Chief Product Officer Pat Hinchin said.

Featurespace has raised nearly $108 million in funding from investors including Chrysalis Investments, MissionOG, and Insight Partners.

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AI and Generating Alpha in Real Time with aisot

AI and Generating Alpha in Real Time with aisot

Is there a subsector of fintech that is more eager to adopt AI than the world of investing and asset management? From the burden of ever-growing amounts of potentially valuable data to the demands of managing risk to the challenge of generating alpha and producing above market returns, there are many ways that wealth management will benefit from innovations in AI – and the people involved in wealth management know it.

Founded by a team of former ETH Zurich researchers, aisot is one of the companies that is dedicated to helping asset and wealth managers make the most of the AI opportunity. The Swiss startup, launched in 2019 and headquartered in Zurich, leverages generative AI and access to market and alternative data sources, to deliver analytics, forecasts, and actionable insights to traders, business analysts, data scientists, and other financial services professionals.

“Information moves markets,” aisot co-founder and CEO Stefan Klauser said at the beginning of his Finovate demo in 2021. “At aisot we give you specialized market insights and full costs. (Our technology) reduces forecasting errors by up to 50%, and can enhance your returns. Whether you are a machine learning expert, a quant, or someone that has not had a systematic approach to data before, aisot’s services are always easy to use.”

aisot co-founder and CEO Stefan Klauser demoing his company’s technology at FinovateSpring 2021.

aisot launched its AI Insights Platform earlier this month. The cloud-based solution enables asset managers and wealth managers to offer their clients personalized investment portfolios at scale. The platform consists of three components: the AI Insights Dashboard, the Custom Feature Suite, and the Product Launch Pad. Via the Dashboard, users can investigate multiple market scenarios and fine-tune investment strategies. Dashboard features include an integrated portfolio builder, an optimizer to analyze historical data and market trends, and a statistical toolkit to enable users to review and evaluate portfolio performance. The platform’s Custom Features Suite allows users to vote on future platform enhancements and additions. The Product Launch Pad gives users the ability to launch structured notes, transforming investment strategies into tradable and liquid securities.

Klauser put the new offering in the context of the company’s overall philosophy as a “digital-first company.” He explained, “We conscientiously push technological boundaries while upholding core principles and stringent controls. Our relentless focus remains on our customer, shaping the platform based on their evolving needs in terms of performance, personalization, and scalability.”

The new product launch comes in the wake of aisot’s rebrand in July. In addition to a preview of the company’s AI Insights Platform and a new website, aisot also shared information about aisot Labs, the firm’s AI engine, as well as the company’s new investment products. These include aisot’s AI Balanced Digital Assets. An Actively Managed Certificate that enables investors to participate in the performance of an underlying investment strategy, AI Balanced Digital Assets is a long only, AI-driven, crypto portfolio built to match the volatility of a Bitcoin or Ethereum tracker while at the same time maximizing performance.

aisot has raised a total of $2.5 million (CHF 2.3 million) in funding, most recently securing $2 million (CHF 1.8 million) in seed capital this spring. The round was led by Haute Capital Partners, with angel investors, including members of the Swiss ICT Investor Club (SICTIC), also participating. The investment will enable aisot to add to its team, drive continued product development, and support the company’s growth projects.

Haute CEO and Chairman Thibault Leroy Bürki praised aisot as “a leading provider of AI solutions for asset and wealth management.” He added, “We chose aisot for their innovative approach to wealth management, advanced AI engine, and ability to generate alpha in real-time … aisot’s AI engine provides clients with the amazing ability to adjust customized portfolios to market trends in real-time while generating alpha.”

Photo by Fede Roveda

Thomson Reuters Launches E-Invoicing Tool

Thomson Reuters Launches E-Invoicing Tool

Content and technology company Thomson Reuters launched an e-invoicing product called ONESOURCE E-Invoicing this week, a tool that marries e-invoicing and tax compliance.

The new offering will be added to Thomson Reuters’ ONESOURCE software suite. It will not only help users manage global tax compliance– which is already available within the ONESOURCE software line– but will also bring in e-invoicing compliance by connecting financial systems and ERP systems.

Thomson Reuters has partnered with Pagero to leverage its Smart Business Network that connects buyers and sellers to exchange orders, invoices, payment instructions, and other business documents. Pagero will help automate the process and ensure compliance.

“Compliance with e-invoicing mandates is accelerating as a key priority, and historically it has not been an easy task, with regulations varying significantly across regions,” said Thomson Reuters Head of Product, Transactional Compliance Ray Grove. “We’re excited to be able to support businesses in overcoming these challenges with ONESOURCE E-Invoicing. This helps them accurately and efficiently meet compliance obligations – increasing confidence and peace of mind on what can be a daunting and ongoing task.”

ONESOURCE E-Invoicing offers a single location where customers can manage e-invoicing compliance across networks and borders with ERP and API integrations, and save time with automated e-invoice validation. In addition to e-invoicing and tax support, the ONESOURCE software suite also provides tax determination, indirect compliance, and a certificate manager.

The Canada-based firm, which is known for its news and media content as well as for its legal, tax, and compliance support, recently acquired Casetext, an AI-powered legal research technology company, for $650 million.

Thomson Reuters has demoed at two Finovate events– showcasing its App Store solution at FinovateFall 2012 and at FinovateSpring that same year. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol TRI and currently has a market capitalization of $57.33 billion.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio

Pidgin Brings Instant Payments to Exchange Bank

Pidgin Brings Instant Payments to Exchange Bank

Want to feel good about the spread of real-time payments? Alabama-based Exchange Bank, a financial institution that has been serving customers since 1909, has turned to Pidgin to bring instant payments to its account holders.

The partnership between Pidgin and Exchange Bank will give the bank’s customers the ability to access faster payments to transfer funds between accounts, as well as pay employees, vendors, and more. Direct payment routing from financial institution to financial institution means that funds are settled and available in the recipient’s account almost immediately as soon as the transaction is completed.

“Banking has changed drastically since 1909, but our long-standing history is a testament to our bank’s dedication to keeping up with our customer’s needs,” Exchange Bank chairman and CEO Ricky Ray said. Ray referred to the partnership with Pidgin as an example of the bank’s ability to evolve and offer new ways to help its customers “thrive financially.”

Added Pidgin founder and CEO Abhishek Veeraghanta: “Today’s customers are looking for instant payment options to gain more flexibility and control over their transactions. We look forward to empowering Exchange Bank and their customers with more efficient payment options.”

Pidgin leverages its status as a central connection point to the Federal Reserve’s FedNow Service as well as faster payment networks such as The Clearing House’s Real-Time Payment Network. Founded in 2022, the company made its Finovate debut last year at FinovateFall. At the conference, Pidgin demoed its faster payments ecosystem, which enables FIs to send and receive faster payments almost instantly, while providing greater security compared to virtual wallet alternatives.

Pidgin founder and CEO Abhishek Veeraghanta demoing the company’s faster payments technology at FinovateFall 2022.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Pidgin was among the first fintechs to secure certification for the FedNow instant payments service launched by the Federal Reserve earlier this year. Also this year, Pidgin announced a new partnership with U.S. Century Bank, a Miami-based institution with more than $2.1 billion in assets. The bank will leverage its new relationship with Pidgin to provide instant payments to its growing customer base of small business owners, professionals, and entrepreneurs based in south Florida.

Other partnerships forged this year by Pidgin include the company’s work with fraud and compliance platform Effectiv (also a Finovate alum) and Community Bankers’ Bank.

Photo by Richard Solano

Ocrolus Enhances its Mortgagetech

Ocrolus Enhances its Mortgagetech

Financial document automation platform Ocrolus has proven its technology as a useful tool in the mortgage industry. The New York-based company is augmenting its reputation today, after announcing this morning it has enhanced its dashboard for mortgage lenders.

The new capability enables both wholesale and direct mortgage lenders to enhance their loan origination workflow. It also automates complex income calculations for both traditional and self-employed borrowers, including those with non-traditional employment, multiple borrowers, or several employers. 

“Manual document processing and income analysis create a bottle neck in the origination process,” said Ocrolus COO Vik Dua. “With Ocrolus’ enhanced mortgage offering, we’re empowering lenders with accurate document analysis to help reduce processing time, mitigate risk, and maximize profit margin on every single loan. We provide lenders with a highly flexible and scalable back office so they can focus on their core business.”

Significant to the enhancement is the combination of three of Ocrolus’ tools: Classify, which enables lenders to speed up processing time with automated document indexing; Capture, which combines AI computer vision and human validation to extract key information from documents with over 99% accuracy; and Analyze, which enables lenders to streamline income calculation for both traditionally and self-employed borrowers with automated, transparent and flexible worksheets.

The technology also has positive implications for borrowers as it offers an objective and standardized approach to evaluating income and supports streamlined communication channels between the borrower and the lender.

Ocrolus was founded in 2014 and has gone on to raise $127 million for its AI-powered document automation platform. The company, which demoed its technology earlier this month at FinovateFall 2023 and won Best of Show honors at FinovateFall 2021, counts PayPal, Brex, SoFi, and Plaid among its clients.

Photo by RDNE Stock project

Embedded Finance Platform FutureBank Teams Up with Digital ID Verification Firm IDVerse

Embedded Finance Platform FutureBank Teams Up with Digital ID Verification Firm IDVerse

Digital ID verification company IDVerse will help embedded finance platform FutureBank enhance its onboarding processes with fast and secure digital identity verification (IDV). The new partnership will let FutureBank customers to use IDVerse software and also allow IDVerse customers looking for a middleware platform to connect their API credentials take advantage of FutureBank’s technology.

An integration platform for core banking providers that features embedded financial services, FutureBank operates as a middle layer between banks and third-party providers. As such, the company helps banks and fintechs launch new solutions faster, more efficiently, and more securely. IDVerse brings not only its Identity Service Provider status to FutureBank – status that comes with 20 certifications from the U.K.’s Digital Identity & Attributes Trust Framework (DIATF). The identity verification specialist also offers technology to help businesses combat the problem of deepfake accounts, a problem made all the more challenging by the way fraudsters are exploiting tools like generativeAI.

“Generative AI is breeding many different fraud types,” FutureBank CEO Sergio Barbosa said. “With ChatGPT, fraudsters can create very authentic documents and profiles for people at a low cost.” Barbosa called cybercrime “the third biggest economy in the world.”

Adding to Barbosa’s sentiments, IDVerse General Manager EMEA Russ Cohn underscored the challenge of deepfakes. Cohn agreed that “synthetic media is becoming the new tool of choice for fraudsters looking to make money” and added: “Our fully automated identity verification system can offer FutureBank customers a reliable solution to spot deepfake accounts that fraudsters are increasingly trying to create.” Cohn explained that IDVerse’s technology can detect subtle shifts and patterns in a person’s face that the unaided human eye cannot see, such as the way a person’s heartbeat slightly changes the color of their skin. These “natural yet invisible patterns,” Cohn said, enable IDVerse’s technology to distinguish real human images from deepfakes.

IDVerse’s platform also features Zero Bias AI-tested technology that leverages generative AI to train deep neutral networks to resist race, age, and gender-based discrimination.

Introducing itself to Finovate audiences in 2016 as OCR Labs Global, the company rebranded as IDVerse earlier this year. Founded in Australia in 2018, IDVerse is headquartered in London, and maintains offices in North America, Asia, and Europe. The company provides identity verification services in more than 220 countries and territories.

IDVerse has raised $45 million in funding from investors including Equable Capital and OYAK. This year, the company has forged partnerships with fellow Finovate alum Experian, bank verified digital identity service provider OneID, and cryptocurrency platform Coinmetro. John Myers is CEO.

Photo by Mike Bird