#PFM #AI / Snoop on track to raise more than £5.7m through Seedrs

The app, launched earlier in April, believes it can save an average household £1,500 annually on bills and subscriptions. Be that with personal banking, insurance, energy, mortgage or telecom providers.

The fintech uses artificial intelligence (AI) to scour the internet on behalf of users to find the best deals. All the while, it uses OpenWrk’s open banking technology to keep an eye on users’ bills to make sure they aren’t being overcharged by their providers.


#PropTech / Built, nCino team up to digitize construction lending

Fintechs partner to offer an integrated solution that provides real-time visibility into construction projects

Built Technologies, which has developed construction finance software, announced Tuesday that it has integrated its platform into the nCino Bank Operating System.

… nCino has developed a cloud-based operating system for financial institutions and recently went public in an impressive debut. A team of bankers and entrepreneurs who found the commercial lending process to be inefficient and time-consuming formed the company in 2012.

[Built Technologies]… Tennessee-based startup – also a SaaS operator – is exclusively focused on construction finance technology. Built’s goal is to connect all key stakeholders involved in the construction financing process in real-time with the goals of: mitigating risk; allowing for faster draws and payments; and ensuring compliance.

[Built CEO:] “The company was born out of our firsthand frustration with the construction problem… We felt like there was a real opportunity to use technology to improve the way money moves in and throughout the construction ecosystem… “We realized construction is different… Unlike certain lending products – like mortgage or auto lending – which are more commoditized. There’s a lack of standardization. Every construction loan is unique…”

So rather than try to be a lender, Built set out to build software products to help construction lenders of all types… It was designed to compliment other technology the lenders are using for loan origination or servicing.


#PropTech / Procore acquires Esticom ‘to invest in the future of preconstruction’

… construction tech unicorn Procore Technologies announced Tuesday morning that it has bought Esticom … [which] has developed cloud-based estimating and takeoff software focused on preconstruction…

Procore said the acquisition will add “powerful estimating functionality” to its platform, complementing its preconstruction offering by “enabling greater accuracy in cost estimates, helping general contractors and specialty contractors win more bids, increasing productivity, and reducing risk throughout the lifecycle of a project.”

During preconstruction, project planning takes place to define the project details, identify potential issues, finalize designs and drawings, define project budget, scope and schedule. Esticom aims to help the construction industry streamline the traditionally “cumbersome” process of takeoff and estimation. It does this by giving contractors a way to quickly determine the quantities of materials needed on a job using project drawings and specifications, and then calculating labor and material cost estimates using a built in catalogue of materials and assemblies.


#CryptoCurrency / Bitcoin Daily: Bahamas Takes Digital Sand Dollar Nationwide

The Sand Dollar state-backed cryptocurrency is now available to each of Bahamas’ nearly 400,000 inhabitants… the Sand Dollar was rolled out with the help of decentralized, wireless payments system NZIA, which served as the technology solutions provider for the cryptocurrency’s launch.

The cryptocurrency, which can be mailed and received through a mobile phone app, is meant to foster financial inclusion across a region composed of over 700 islands. The news comes as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) rolled out its own cryptocurrency initiative in 2019.


#BigTech / Ant Group unveils blockchain-based copyright protection network

Utilising the group’s AntChain network, the digital copyright platform enables content creators to authenticate and verify a variety of original works, from music scores to videos, images, and articles and essays.

When a creator uploads his or her work onto the platform, the platform will first verify whether the content is the only one that exists within its database. It will then generate a unique digital copyright certification containing basic information about the work, as well as a notary stamp. These tamper-proof certifications can also be submitted as evidence in copyright infringement and tort cases.

Ant Group says the platform cuts the typically tedious and costly process of registering a copyright to just one minute while saving up to 95% in related expenditure.


#Platforms / Succeeding In The Platform Age Of Digital Technology In Insurance

Insurance technology has evolved from its humble beginnings nearly 40 years ago, as Oxbow Partners explained. The role of technology has shifted from a simple record-keeping tool into the very core of the business.

The digital age is already behind us. We are now entering the next exciting stage: the platform age.

The Four Ages Of Digital Insurance Technology

According to the Oxbow Partners analysis, insurance technology has undergone three major paradigm shifts since the 1980s. We are now on the verge of the third technological revolution — a shift from the digital age into the platform age… Let’s look at a short overview of the stages, as Oxbow Partners describes them, and the role of technology in each one.

Processing Age

As personal computing took off in the workplace, technology started to shift beyond being a data repository and managing core processes. The link between technology investment and business results became clearer.

Digital Age

We entered the digital age with the new millennium as technology underwent another fundamental shift. Technology moved even closer to the front and center of the business, providing immediate business value. Brokers and insurers became increasingly reliant on technology to generate new business.

Platform Age

We are now entering the platform age of insurance technology. Technology and business are now becoming "fundamentally inseparable." Cloud computing and API-driven integrations ensure that technology is now permeating every single process within the organization. Technology teams are now inseparable from customer acquisition and customer retention efforts. Core infrastructure and even application development can be handed over to technology providers (such as AWS, Azure for infrastructure, and no-code platforms for application development).

Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that technology is the business, technology leadership has also evolved from a business enabler to a business driver, innovator and leader.

The CIO’s role is no longer just focused on technology, but also on the business value. Bringing in new customers is as much the technology’s task as it is the sales team’s task.

Platforms that help organizations take ownership of their data to improve business outcomes are becoming more and more crucial for success. The focus is now shifting from functionality toward enhanced customer experiences with technology.


#FinancialInclusion / JP Morgan Chase partners with Greenlight for kids account

The JP Morgan Chase app has around 39 million “active” customers – most of them adults… But its new account, called Chase First Banking, is fee-free and designed for both kids – as young as six – and teens to manage their money under their parents’ supervision.

JP Morgan’s new product allows users to complete and check off chores, manage allowances, monitor spending, and save towards goals. The user experience (UX) is split into three components: Spend, Save and Earn. Parents can set allowances and assign chores through the app. Kids are issued with their own debit card, which has pre-set spending limits and stores agreed on by their parents.

The bank spent two months piloting its newest account on employees. It said in a statement that one finding revealed kids logging in “almost every day” to check the progress of their savings goals.

The value proposition for kids
Banking services for kids are fast becoming a trend amid both challengers and incumbents alike. GoHenry dominates the challenger junior account space in the UK. Whilst Spriggy is a big fintech player with the offering in Australia. And since Revolut launched its under-18 junior accounts in March, a number of banks have jumped on the child-friendly banking bandwagon.

These include HSBC and its PayMe e-wallet for 16-year-olds and above in Hong Kong, Malaysia-based Hong Leong Bank’s (MLB) HLB Pocket Connect, and Irish postal service An Post’s Money Mate.

Roughly seven in ten parents give their children an allowance of around $67.80 per month. That’s according to a recent survey by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

[FinTech Futures:] “Banks that acquire customers at a young age, through pocket money, have a great opportunity to convert and build relationships early… “Banks also have an opportunity to pick up mum, dad, the grandparents, and the rest of the family if they get the value proposition right.”


#BNPL #eCommerce / GameStop partners with Klarna to offer gaming community a more innovative and flexible shopping experience online and in store

Klarna, the leading global payments provider and shopping service… announced that it has entered into an agreement with GameStop to provide the world’s largest retailer of video games and pop culture collectibles merchandise access to its … interest-free buy now, pay later payment service…

[Klarna:] "The esports business has grown tremendously in recent years with the rise of streaming services and other technologies tailored to this space… Recognizing the continued growth of the gaming community and its increasing influence in mainstream culture, we’re thrilled to introduce Klarna’s flexible payment options to GameStop customers…"

Klarna is the global leader in alternative payments and shopping, with more than 90 million customers and 200,000 merchant partners worldwide. The Klarna e-commerce platform and shopping app provide consumers with the flexibility and control they seek, while creating a smoother way to shop and pay.


#PayTech / JP Morgan launches QuickAccept smartphone card reader to take on Square

The launch is part of a new checking account service called Business Complete Banking… QuickAccept will allow businesses to process card payments swiftly and only be charged a flat pay-as-you-go rate. Vendors can take card payments through the Chase mobile app or QuickAccept’s contactless card reader.

The service will offer same-day deposits without any fee to those with Chase bank accounts (Square, for example, charges a 1.5% fee for instant transactions).

[JP Morgan:] “Our competition either doesn’t have same-day funding, or they charge for it … We think it’s a great differentiator for businesses…”


#PayTech / BBVA debuts “dynamic CVV” numberless card Aqua

BVA has rolled out a new line of numberless credit cards dubbed “Aqua”… These cards do not have card numbers (PAN), expiry dates and card verification value (CVV) printed on them. Customers must access BBVA’s mobile app and check the card number, CVV and expiration date when making purchases. The new Aqua cards feature a dynamic CVV code in order to provide security for online payments. Alternatively, they can also use the app to make in-store payments.

This functionality is based on cloud technology and advanced cryptographic algorithms to ensure the inviolability of the code generated for the end user.

The card will be issued in recycled plastic, which fulfils BBVA’s objective of reducing environmental impact.

[BBVA, Spain:] “This initiative goes beyond the launch of a card. It is a new experience for our clients”…