Watchlist

Welcome to the Bank Innovation Watchlist!

The Watchlist monitors startups from around the world, highlighting those that could transform financial services. Here, you’ll find some of the freshest, most innovative startups in the industry today — from alternative lending, to payments, and virtual currencies.

Through INV Fintech, this site’s sister accelerator, we often hear about new startups (or new projects at “older” startups) first, and are eager to share that with our readers.

The Watchlist is updated regularly, through Bank Innovation listicles (like this one, or this one), so check back often. Each listing includes not just the company’s name and contact information, but a short description, website links, and links to all Bank Innovation published articles based on that company.

To be listed in the directory, please email gnoto@bankinnovation.net.

Brolly
heybrolly.com
London, England
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This startup uses artificial intelligence via mobile channels to provide insurance advice.

The company, which launched in 2016, uses AI technology to help users find out if they’re over-covered, under-covered, missing covers, or even if they can get a more convenient price for the coverage they want.
Clarity Money
New York, NY

PFM app that helps bring transparency to consumer finances.

A free personal finance app, Clarity Money, wants to give control of consumer finances back to the consumer.

By using transparent mobile financial tools, Clarity Money, launched in 2016, provides all of the data and insights consumers need to have a holistic view of their finances.

The app provides allows users to create savings accounts, and enables a clearer view into their spending habits.

Could this be the money managing tool of the future? We're going to find out.
Clearshift
Israel

Transparency pricing for cross-currency transactions.

Clearshift is looking to “close the gaps” in international trade by offering more transparent pricing for cross-currency transactions.

The company is targeting the traditionally opaque world of cross-border finance, providing a “unique” pricing model to businesses looking to transact across borders. The company currently has offices in Israel, the U.S., and the European Union.
Clinc
clinc.com
Michigan, USA

This startup provides a "banking assistant" using artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.

Clinc wants to combine deep learning, data analytics, and natural language processing to answer all of your financial questions. The startup has created an AI "banking assistant," which is trained in finance to answer questions posed to it by users.
Cnote
mycnote.com
Oakland, California
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Startup creating higher returns for impact investing.

This California-based fintech wants to upend the world of impact investing, or socially aware investing, by making sure its users get the maximum return possible. Through a combination of its “technology-first” approach and providing clients access to U.S. Treasury Department-certified financial institutions or CDFIs (Community Development Financial Institutions), the startup is able to give the majority of the interest generated back to the client.

This approach enables the company to give its users more than 40 times the rate of return of a traditional savings account, according to its website, citing a 2.5% rate of return. Returns are subject to the performance of CDFIs, though Cnotes’ rates are tied to prime.
Curve
London, England
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All-in-one card platform that allows users to pick a card to use for past financial transactions.

This London-based fintech wants to be the one to achieve that much-tried goal in fintech: building out a singular platform that aggregates multiple bank cards into one. The customer’s card are grouped together under the Curve card (powered by Mastercard), and that customer’s spending and money management habits are all laid out in the accompanying mobile app.

Notably, the fintech’s products also include a “time travel” feature, where users can choose which card to use for a transaction — after they’ve already made the transaction.
Cushion
cushion.ai
San Francisco, California

Startup using chatbots to fight bank fees on behalf of customers

Arguing with a bank over fees is one of the least popular past times on Earth, so why not get an AI to do it for you? That’s the theory behind the creation of Cushion, an AI fintech startup that wants to use bots to fight bank fees on behalf of customers.
The startup’s bot, “Fee Fighter,” will spar with banks of behalf of the user; once the bot has successfully argued its claims, that user will receive a text with the amount of their refund.
Currently, users can request a beta invite to the bot.
Debitize
debitize.com
New York City, U.S.

Personal finance tool aimed at allowing users to receive typical credit rewards while using debit-style products.

Without credit cards, it’s hard to build a credit score, and users miss out on credit card perks like reward points. Liran Amrany came up with a solution. He launched Debitize in 2014. It’s a personal finance tool that makes it easy to use credit cards responsibly.

Here’s how it works: when a user makes a purchase with a credit card, Debitize charges the user’s checking account and stores the funds in a Debitize reserve account. At the end of the month, Debitize automatically pays off the credit card bill.
Earnest
earnest.com
California, U.S.
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Alternative lender utilizing data analytics to match borrowers with better loan products.

This alternative lender wants to make sure that the opportunities of the financial world aren’t locked to all but a “privileged few.” Started out in 2013 with a focus on student loan refinancing, the lender uses data science and automation on its platform.

The company, which now also offers personal loans, looks over a user’s financial history, education, employment records, and credit score in order to match them with a new loan, or one with a better rate. For each loan applicant, Earnest analyzes between 80,000 and 100,000 data points to provide a personalized interest rate.
Elliptic
elliptic.com
England

Monitors for illicit activity on the bitcoin blockchain.

Launched in 2015, the firm monitors for illegal activity on the chain before providing that data to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies.

Monitoring the bitcoin blockchain for illicit activities might eventually translate into the monitoring of other cryptocurrencies--we will have to wait and see.

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