by Dwain Hebda
VC Fintech, sponsored by Little Rock’s Venture Center, is a highly selective accelerator that attracts the best financial technology startups from around the world in partnership with FIS. The program is considered one of the most prestigious of its kind for companies operating in financial technology.
Headquartered in Switzerland, Sonect’s platform enables consumers to withdraw cash from a participating store where they are already doing business, such as a restaurant or coffee shop. Through the Sonect app, consumers can make withdrawals as easily as going to an ATM, receiving the cash directly from the store’s till.
The service is free, therefore eliminating the hassle finding an ATM owned by your bank. And as if that’s not revolutionary enough, imagine placing a to-go order from your favorite restaurant, making an online withdrawal through Sonect and having the money delivered to your door.
Inspired by the plodding pace by which most small businesses borrow money, Finvoice developers spent nearly two years perfecting an app that greatly streamlines the process. Based in San Francisco, Finvoice calls itself an enterprise SaaS startup, which seeks to create “lending as a service.”
The company’s product is three-pronged and tailored for each individual client. These include FV Originate, which identifies potential new borrowers; FV Underwrite which provides a variety of client analytics to help set optimal rates and asses risk; and FV Operate which automates many of the closing processes to get deals done faster.
User authentication, such as what is required to access your financial information, has always been limited in its effectiveness by the need to maintain simplicity for the user (think four-digit code).
With its groundbreaking N-Kōd system, users are presented a virtual keypad for entering their individualized code. Each key on the keypad contains alpha, numeric, character symbols as well as being color-coded and randomly shuffling with each use. As the user enters their code, a cypher algorithm assigns a series of tokenized values to each key in the code. The system deciphers the code, thus allowing access.
Helping banks manage the tidal wave of available client data is the aim of Verikai, a San Francisco-based company that’s developed leading edge technology for risk- and value-based marketing.
Verikai leverages its data as a service cloud, allowing companies to combine first- and third-party data across a range of pre-set and custom applications including fraud detection, accelerated underwriting, consumer receptivity, price elasticity, conversion rate and lifetime value. Clients can also maintain the integrity and validity of their data through Verikai’s machine learning platform that creates a custom library of models to identify, target and cross-sell against profitable customers.
The lone participant in the 2018 VC Fintech with Arkansas ties, Bucket creates a practical way to eliminate coins from regular circulation. The company, which maintains an office in Bentonville, created the technology to simplify commerce and reduce the carbon footprint that creating new coins incurs.
The process is simple: When the consumer makes a purchase, they simply swipe a QR code for coins to be virtually deposited (paper change is handed back at point of sale). Once the coins accumulate to $50, the account holder can request it be paid out via a gift card, prepaid card or donate it to their favorite charity.