October 8, 2015
Let’s Talk Payments is where the new global FinTech is. And yet again, we followed it at FinDEVr 2015 on day two in San Francisco today. As we already summarized day one of the event, you now have an idea about what FinDEVr is. In one sentence, it is the best place for FinTech developers to be at and a great place for companies to promote their FinTech APIs. We not only summarized day one for our viewers but also put together the highlights of the presentations and our one-to-one conversations with presenting companies’ CTOs and software developers.
Day two of FinDEVr had a similar format as day one. There were dual-track presentations going on in two auditoriums in the same venue by different startups, mid-sized companies and banks like Capital One. Day two was full of companies around APIs, wealth management and robo-advisors, security in payments, financial data, blockchain and bitcoin. Unlike day one, which featured only one blockchain company (BlockCypher), day two began with a couple of blockchain companies.
One of them was Gem, which offers APIs that store, encrypt and backup bitcoins for merchants. By leveraging industry-leading security features such as multisignature wallets, multifactor authentication and hardware security modules, the Gem API provides an easy-to-use, comprehensive security solution for bitcoin apps without ever taking control over funds. Gem’s mission is to empower individuals to have control over their own assets.
Another company LTP paid attention to was Chain.com, a leading provider of blockchain solutions to financial institutions. Chain.com shared some interesting applications of blockchain in different markets. The company offers blockchain solutions that go beyond bitcoin and allow individuals to manage various types of assets.
We also had the pleasure of meeting Chester Ritchie, SVP and Head of Strategy at Worldpay, the largest international payments processing company offering services across multiple verticals, including petroleum, grocery, restaurants, retailers, small businesses and e-commerce. Worldpay shared that the company is going public and is finalizing the process in the next couple weeks. The company enables merchants to add secure payment systems to any website, app or mobile device with the single Worldpay SecureNet API. Superior technology and solutions are keeping clients with the company, instead of a contract-based partnerships. During the presentation, Worldpay shared a forecast that within a year, 59% of all electronic transactions will be made using alternative payment types. Innovation and investments allow Worldpay to be on the cutting edge of payments processing by offering it in more than 300 types.
The second day of the event had more presenters working with blockchain. Coinalytics was one of those presenters. The company launched a platform that brought real-time machine learning and graph analytics capabilities to the blockchain. One particularly interesting use case for the demo was the capability of tracking suspicious transactions. Coinalytics leverages the blockchain for compliance and operational intelligence.
Token, a payments security company that helps banks process payments faster and securely using state-of-the-art public-key cryptography and digital signatures shared interesting facts about traditional bank payments rails. A few factoids: payment methods like ACH transactions are 45 years old and paper checks are 2100 years old; Token is now helping banks fasten up these payment rails. Intuit also marked its presence at FinDEVr 2015 by launching their new API set called Intuit Identity API which helps set up ACH payments and easy verification around it. Currency Cloud, another payments company that we closely follow, has started investing its Series C 18 million funding that it received in June 2015 for expansion in the US. Presenting at FinDEVr 2015, they gave FinTech developers an insider’s view on how they have improved their international remittances APIs and demonstrated the latest version of their APIs and SDK. Authy, the best rated two-factor authorization (or 2FA) demonstrated how the coding under the hood enables security processes like 2FA and one-time password technologies.
Another interesting company was ModoPayments, which talked about how mobile payments are dead and digital payments are the new thing. They demonstrated how they are fusing bank cards, loyalty cards, gift cards and other payment sources in one digital card. They are using their coin transaction service for the same and launched it as an open transaction service for developers to use.
Checks went digital at FinDEVr 2015 too. Checkbook.io launched digital checks that allow you to send checks using an email address. Checkbook.io will solve problems associated with ACH payments. They introduced their APIs for integrating digital checks in payments systems via GitHub.
The LTP team had a great time meeting a lot more companies and live-tweeting during each of their presentations (follow @letstalkpaymnts to see the coverage about the insights they provided). The presentations were very engaging and truly interesting, with some sharing industry statistics and forecasts on the way the payments will evolve.
To sum up, FinDEVr 2015 San Francisco was a great financial technology and banking event. Unlike other FinTech events, it was the one where we met CTOs and not CMOs or CEOs. ACH was viewed as a problem by most FinTech companies. Security was the top concern and a major topic of discussion throughout the event. There were talks on blockchain at some corners of the venue while there were discussions about APIs at the lunch tables. Every presentation came with at least one coding slide and every company had a software developer with them. It was good to see few female coders on the stage and not surprising to see many Indian engineers at the event. We look forward to FinDEVr 2016 in San Francisco. Check out our Twitter news feed on the entire event @letstalkpaymnts and #FinDEVr2015.