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Digit's Ethan Bloch on the future of personal finance

On this episode of Fintech Unfiltered, sponsored by Q2 {open}, we spoke to Digit founder and CEO Ethan Bloch on Digit's next steps and the future of personal finance. Bloch emphasized the goal is not to replace the bank but to help customers manage their money better through automation. This is an excerpt from a phone interview.

Varo's August de los Reyes talks inclusive design and finance

August de los Reyes, Varo's new chief design officer, brings a resume that includes head of design at Xbox, head of design at Pinterest and director of user experience at Google. We sat down with de los Reyes to learn more about his future plans for the banking startup's design.

Credit Sesame CEO Adrian Nazari on personal credit management

Credit Sesame, which raised $43 million last week, provides free credit scores and insights into how to improve those scores. The company also suggests loans and credit cards that could help. We interviewed Credit Sesame CEO Adrian Nazari for a story this week. This is an excerpt from that phone interview.

No hoodies or garages: Huddl’s Corliss on his move from big finance to startup

In this episode of Fintech Unfiltered, we sit down with Stephen Corliss, CEO of the social investment startup Huddl. Corliss climbed to senior management positions at big financial firms like UBS and Blackrock before pivoting into the startup world. Bank Innovation talked to Corliss about the transition and what he brings to the table coming from big finance. 

Why Use Scala Script to Build a Digital Platform

The key benefit of using programming language Scala to build a digital platform is a feature called Type Safety, which allows for better and faster testing because it allows detecting "errors while writing the code," before running it, according to Jason Brown, CEO and co-founder of fintech Tally. In this latest episode of Fintech Unfiltered podcast, Brown explained that Scala is an important, but underrated, layer to develop a cloud-based platform for financial services because of its ability to allow for "faster and better," testing, efficient code compiling and scalability. This "modern programming language," is designed to work within the Java script ecosystem, and although it is not meant to replace Java, it can enhance many features of programming and coding including accuracy and testing, he said.

Pagaya CEO Looks at the Market in 2019

The volatile markets in 2018 were hard for many investors to grasp. Gal Krubiner, CEO of Pagaya, discusses how his algorithms looked at the year that was and the year ahead on behalf of the company's institutional clients. Krubiner still spends much of his time evangelizing how AI is a better way for managing fixed income assets. How will the wealth management space handle the disruption heading its ways? And where will the smart money be in 2019? Listen to Krubiner's take here.

Interview with Financial Data Exchange

In this latest episode of Fintech Unfiltered, the podcast from Bank Innovation and its sister accelerator INV Fintech, newly appointment Financial Data Exchange managing director Don Cardinal talks about the group’s mission to set standards for data sharing and where it’s going to focus its attention, which includes the areas of data semantics and secure authentication.

Braintree's Innovation Plans For 2019

In the five years since payments company PayPal acquired Braintree, a comprehensive payment platform, it has seen a 54% YOY growth, according to Juan Benitez, general manager at Braintree. In 2019, Braintree wants to maintain that momentum but will also be undertaking three key innovation initiatives. In this latest episode of Fintech Unfiltered, Benitez explains those three areas of focus and much more.

Inside HSBC Bank USA's Innovation Strategy

In this latest episode of Fintech Unfiltered, Jeremy Balkin, the head of innovation at HSBC Bank USA talks to Bank Innovation about HSBC’s lofty innovation strategy for 2018, including everything from system upgrades to installing a real robot in the bank branch. Listen to Balkin talk about all this as well as HSBC’s other innovation milestones in 2018, what’s on the roadmap for 2019 as well as what the future of banking will look like, in his opinion.

Why JPMorgan Chase Built Finn, an Entirely New Digital Bank

JPMorgan Chase leads the U.S. in mobile banking with 32 million mobile banking users, the most for any U.S. bank. So why build Finn, an entirely new digital bank? Melissa Feldsher, managing director at JPMorgan Chase and head of Finn, discusses why (and how) the new bank was built, in this episode of Fintech Unfiltered.

N26 USA CEO Nick Kopp talks Challenger Banks in the U.S.

In this latest episode of Fintech Unfiltered, N26 USA CEO Nicolas Kopp talks about what goes into setting up a challenger bank in the U.S., why he thinks the U.S. market is ready for a mobile-first bank and why N26 USA decided against a banking license in the U.S.A., the opposite decision it made in Europe.

Dwolla's Jordan Lampe on Monetizing Realtime Payments

Payment platform Dwolla's head of strategic projects, Jordan Lampe, talks about realtime payments in this episode of Fintech Unfiltered podcast. Lampe explains how banks can use this transactional data to tailor exiting products and services, but also create new ones based on the realtime information exchange taking place during the transaction.

Chris Skinner on Ant Financial and the Global Payments Landscape

This month's edition of INV Unfiltered features fintech expert Chris Skinner, who is speaking about the global impact of Chinese digital payment companies like Alipay.

Wells Fargo's API Gateway Allows It to Meet Customers Where They Are

Secil Watson, executive vice president and head of wholesale internet solutions at Wells Fargo, talks about the bank's API strategy, which allows Wells Fargo to serve customers in environments outside the bank walls. Opened in 2016, Wells's API gateway allows customers and partners to access bank services and data, within strictly secure parameters, naturally. This allows both Wells Fargo to offer additional services, as well as serve customers that want to access their accounts from within third-party solutions.

How Green Dot's 'Banking-as-a-Service' Helps It Partner with the Biggest Names in Tech

Many banks say, "We're really a technology company," but Green Dot is an actual tech company that bought a bank, and its banking-as-a-service philosophy proves it. On this podcast, Green Dot Chief Revenue Officer Brett Narlinger says his bank is building solutions to be embedded in apps that don't even exist yet. And Green Dot is not worried about being a "dumb pipe" -- Narlinger said the bank doesn't insist on its brand being in the forefront of all the services it provides. Green Dot has several high-profile partnerships, such as GoBank account for Uber drivers with realtime payouts, and the bank is built to deploy more such innovations. "If we weren't doing things with the icons of the [tech] industry, I'd be very nervous," Narlinger said. He also discusses how P2P's popularity may organically lead to more mobile payments volume at the point of sale.

How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Banking (and Everything Else)

Artificial intelligence is not just a buzzword — it is already operating in banking, even if customers don’t recognize it. From chatbots giving budgeting tips to fraud monitoring systems noticing anomalous activity on your debit card, AI is all around us in financial services, and it’s getting better and smarter. Raghu Rajah, VP of digital banking — engineering & product management at NCR’s Digital Insight unit, has been on the forefront of AI for years. He joined INV Unfiltered to tell us where he sees the industry now, and where it is headed. Rajah notes that while AI will make some jobs redundant, it will create many more new jobs, and enhance existing jobs.

ICOs and Token Sales Explained by the 'Queen of Bitcoin'

If you're not sure what an ICO is, well, join the club -- but you're in the right place. Margaux Avedisian of Transform Group explains it all for you. She is in the business of getting attention to initial coin offerings and token sales, and has been steeped in bitcoin longer than the Winklevii. Avedisian discusses the pitfalls many companies face in the ICO world, which can even include going to jail for securities fraud (yikes!) But she also discusses the transformative potential ICOs have to deliver value to companies that might otherwise have a hard time even securing a bank account. She also talks about a new opportunity called a pre-ICO pool for accredited investors and select ICOs. How do you get in on that? If you're in this space at all and you don't know Margaux yet, c'mon, man. (Ok, she gives her email address at the end.)

How Mastercard Takes on Payments Startups

How does a global payments company view startups, the various mobile payment platforms, and blockchain? Debbie Barta, Mastercard’s senior vice president of innovation, intrapreneurship, and partnerships, takes on these questions in the latest episode of INV Unfiltered. Barta is responsible for managing Mastercard Labs’s global network of startup competitions, as well as its developer portal and APIs. In this episode, she also describes the challenges in securing customer payment data in the post-Equifax-breach world, and in the emerging Internet of Things. Barta has been at Mastercard since 2007 in a variety of capacities including fraud management and startup engagement, and has degrees from Washington University, Webster University, and Stanford.

Active v. Passive in Investment Fintech

Two distinct streams have surfaced in fintech: passive and active investment. Betterment is the posterchild for passive investment, just recently booking $70 million of venture funding and has continued to enhance its services bankinnovation.net/2017/07/betterm…he-human-touch/. But the active investment strategy for investors is long from dead in fintech. We talked with Pierce Crosby of StockTwits, which is firmly in the active camp, about trends in investment fintech, as well as StockTwits’s future plans. Crosby has been with StockTwits since 2014, where he runs partnerships and business development. He is also an INV Fintech mentor. Previously, he was the Head of Research for Reuters.

VC Trendspotting

On this episode JJ chats with Benjamin Savage the co-founder of Clocktower Technology Ventures and Managing Director at Drobny Capital. At Drobny Ben spearheads new business initiatives across the firm and is responsible for private market activities, including leadership of Clocktower’s investments. Ben was previously Director, Investment Associate Program for Bridgewater Associates, where he worked with the firm’s CIOs on strategic priorities, talent development and research. Ben began his career as a venture capital and private equity investor with Wasserstein Perella, and also co-founded Artivest and Waterfall Mobile. Ben holds a BA in philosophy from Yale University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Banking on Open APIs and Data Sharing

APIS and open banking – however that term is defined – are set to transform financial services by empowering consumers to share data with third parties. This means new businesses will develop that will orbit banks, and the consumer experience may be forever changed. Furthermore, APIs allow banks a measure of control and security screen-scraping did not – so why aren’t more banks embracing this new reality? Silicon Valley Bank is, and Head of APIs and Open Banking, Dan Kimerling explains how his bank is doing things today. Kimerling founded two startups, and now works at a bank and co-runs a venture capital firm, so it’s not an exaggeration to see he’s done it all and seen just about everything there is to see in fintech. He also shared some views on blockchain and mobile payments in this episode.

111 Million Reasons to Ignore Millennials

Talk about financial innovation has centered around millennials for years now -- so much so that Ron Shevlin, the industry consultant, recently called Baby Boomers the "emerging" sector in fintech. That sector of people older than 50 now numbers 111 million -- and rapidly growing -- in America today. Older people have different, more-complex digital needs than millennials. Additionally, often those needs touch on their children, as well. To what degree is fintech addressing these needs? Which startups are targeting this untapped fintech market? Does fintech need to adjust to serve older people, just as banking needs to adjust to serve millennials? These are some of the questions we pose to Theodora Lau, Director, Market Innovation at AARP, the giant not-for-profit for older Americans. In this engaging episode, Lau offers a fascinating tour of the “other” fintech.

Inside Big-Bank Innovation

How does a super-regional bank go about its innovation? In this episode of INV Unfiltered, Fazir Ali, Senior Vice President of Digital Strategy & Innovation at KeyBank, shares his bank’s “journey” to digital-first orientation. KeyBank, which has nearly 19,000 employees, has reconstituted its digital operations since 2013, when Ali joined the bank, and continues to push hard on innovation to help Key become “the nation’s best super-regional bank.” That push has led to some tough decisions, such as killing its PFM service in favor of other technology deliverables. Ali explains why Key did so, as well as offers a peek at what innovation is to come at the $137 billion-asset bank.

Is B2B2C the Future of Fintech?

Finding customers quickly has become an overwhelming challenge for fintech startups. At the start of the fintech revolution, startups could mine social media to create customer relationships with an ever-expanding group of disaffected banking consumers. But competition -- from banks, as well -- has made that strategy more challenging. The new method of securing a customer base, ever-important in the fundraising game, is to find large corporates that offer large swaths of potential customers, without the hand-to-hand marketing combat of direct-to-consumer retail. In this podcast, we explore the B2B2C model of customer acquisition with Mark Zmarzly, founder of startup Hip Pocket, who is using B2B2C to catapult the company’s newly launched Hip Money app.

Where Fintech Meets World

This inaugural episode of INV Unfiltered features Leo Cherman, head of Banco Sofisa Direto, the direct bank of Sao Paulo, Brazil-based Banco Sofisa, which is a FI partner to INV Fintech. Leo brings a unique perspective to us today, because he is both enmeshed in the Brazilian market, but also keenly in tune with global fintech.

Fintech Unfiltered