CFSI Awards Fledging Fintech Firms at its Emerge Conference
Nine fledgling fintech companies have won $250,000 each from the Center for Financial Services Innovation, or CFSI. At least week’s Emerge Conference in New Orleans, CFSI announced the FinLab winners from more than 300 applicants. The winners will receive the capital plus access to the CFSI Network and to JPMorgan Chase expertise. “These organizations represent the most promising group of financial technology entrepreneurs and nonprofits helping Americans to weather financial shocks, the consumer challenge that FinLab seeks to address,” CFSI said.
The winners are:
Albert: a mobile app that improves financial health with practical financial advice and in-app actions related to insurance, loans and other products. Albert partners with handpicked financial institutions such as banks, lenders and insurers to integrate their services within Albert’s app experience.
Bee: the company offers mobile-first alternatives to checking and savings accounts, and uses pop-up kiosks and street teams to sign up customers in the neighborhoods where they live and work.
EARN: a national nonprofit and microsavings provider, the company “gives families the tools to achieve life-changing goals like saving for college, buying a first home, or starting a small business,” CFSI said.
EarnUP: the company offers a loan optimization platform that “intelligently syncs micropayments with income” and automates real-time savings based on the consumer’s personal lifestyle and finances.
eCreditHero: the company helps consumers repair credit report errors, 80 percent of which contain mistakes.
Everlance: the app “allows freelancers to automatically track their business miles and expenses.” More than 10,000 people use the app.
Remedy: the company “protects people from medical bill errors and overcharges, saving the average family over $1,000 per year” by intercepting bills and helping to resolve mistakes with medical services providers.
Scratch: a loan servicer that “delivers a borrower-first experience by leveraging technology to significantly improve consumers’ ability to understand, manage and repay their loans while helping transform the servicing ecosystem for both borrowers and lenders.”
WiseBanyan: the company builds and manages tailored investment plans to reach financial milestones such as retirement, creating a rainy day fund or purchasing a home. Clients link a bank account, and WiseBanyan’s end-to-end infrastructure automates the achievement of their financial goals.
This marks the second class of companies that have won prizes via FinLab.
In other news from the consumer financial health conference last week, regulators talked up the idea of operating a “sandbox environment” when it comes to regulating and testing fintech innovations. Philip Rowan, the international lead at the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority’s Project Innovate, described how the use of “restricted licenses” enables companies with innovative financial products to test them without waiting months or years—far too long for companies trying to quickly respond to new market opportunities, he said. Such a regime can help consumers, as a company is not likely to get such a license unless its offering is “titled toward consumers,” he said.