FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Ziggurat

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

Ziggurat is building an AI trading assistant for short term trading and execution for active investors in the stock market. The solution provides seamless, end-to-end, unlimited trades with real-time monitoring features.

Features

  • Search engine for finding the best opportunities
  • Future prediction for getting heads up for different stocks on the next trading day
  • Real-time position tracking for alerting and monitoring

Why it’s great
Ziggurat’s live AI trading assistant provides seamless, unlimited free trades.

Presenter

Sia Nazari, Founder and CEO
Nazari is formerly a scientist at UC Berkeley, and Berkeley Lab. He has experience as an investment advisor at Morgan Stanley, and a background in physics and finance. He is passionate about trading and financial markets.
LinkedIn

SoftBank’s Founder Loses $130M On Bitcoin Investments

Japanese billionaire and SoftBank Founder Masayoshi Son didn’t do well in his personal cryptocurrency investing, reportedly losing more than $130 million.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, Son made the investment in bitcoin, the leading cryptocurrency back in 2017 just as its price peaked. The executive reportedly made the purchase on the recommendation of a well-known bitcoin advocate. SoftBank bought the person’s investment firm in 2017, noted the report. The newspaper noted that while it’s not clear how much bitcoin Son purchased, he did sell at a loss early in 2018 after the price collapsed. When Son purchased bitcoin it was around $20,000 and now is trading above $5,000.

While Son is respected for his business sense, this isn’t the first time he made a risky investment. According to a CNBC report, Son is known as a person who will make multi-million dollar investments in companies after meeting with the founders or the CEO for a short period of time. SoftBank is currently valued at as much as $190 billion. Son’s investments in technology companies resulted in the launch of the $100 billion SoftBank Vision Fund.

SoftBank is eyeing technology investments around the globe, and in March it announced the launch of a $2 billion fund that will target technology companies in Latin America. SoftBank Chief Operating Officer Marcelo Claure will be in charge of the fund, with SoftBank committing an initial $2 billion and serving as the new fund’s general partner. “There is so much innovation and disruption taking place in the region and I believe the business opportunities have never been stronger,” said Claure in a statement at the time. Claure is the executive chairman of SoftBank’s Sprint Corp. The new fund plans to invest in technology companies across Latin America, going after the same industries and sectors in which SoftBank already invests, including eCommerce, FinTech and healthcare.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: doxo

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

doxo, the all-in-one web and mobile bill payment service, is partnering with Plaid to help prevent bank overdrafts when paying bills to over 45,000 billers.

Features

  • Consumers pay over $30 billion each year in overdraft fees
  • Seeing bank balance when paying bills results in fewer overdrafts
  • When information is transparent, consumers win

Why it’s great
Overdraft protection is another doxo feature reducing bill pay hassles for millions of users, and bringing these new benefits to the billers they pay.

Presenters

Steve Shivers, Co-founder and CEO
Shivers is co-founder and CEO of doxo, the all-in-one billpay service. Prior to founding doxo, Shivers held senior roles with OpenMarket, QPass, and Infospace.
LinkedIn

Jim Kreyenhagen, VP of Marketing and Consumer Services
Kreyenhagen is the VP of Marketing and Consumer Services at doxo, the all-in-one billpay service. He previously managed and grew web properties at Allrecipes, BookRags, and InfoSpace (HowStuffWorks).
LinkedIn

FinovateSpring Sneak Peek: Enigma

A look at the companies demoing live at FinovateSpring on May 8 through 10, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Register today and save your spot.

Enigma delivers trusted, linked SMB intelligence from over 100 data sources, enabling you to create products and optimize workflows that capture the small commercial market.

Features

By leveraging Enigma’s data you can:

  • Develop new products that meet SMB needs
  • Drive hyper-targeted, high-performing marketing campaigns
  • Verify and serve SMBs you previously couldn’t

Why it’s great
Enigma’s API injects trusted SMB data into key workflows, and lets you unlock the 30+ million U.S. SMBs that need your products, services, and financing.

Presenters

Craig Danton, VP, Data and Strategy
Danton oversees data and strategy at Enigma. A former BuroHappold engineer, he holds a Harvard Business School MBA and a BS from Columbia University.
LinkedIn

Chris Abiaad, Product Lead, Commercial Intelligence
Abiaad runs Enigma’s commercial intelligence product. He received an MBA from Cornell Tech, ran a startup, and worked in financial services technology strategy at Accenture.
LinkedIn

First Data, AIB Team Up To Acquire Stake In Payzone

Allied Irish Banks (AIB) and First Data have teamed up to buy a majority stake in card payment company Payzone for 100 million euros ($113 million), according to a news release.

Carlyle Cardinal Ireland sold the stake and Arma Partners served as an adviser.

“Payzone is one of Ireland’s largest providers of payment solutions, with its technology allowing both large and small Irish businesses to accept payments online, in store, on the road and over the phone,” Arma said in the release. “The company processes 125 million transactions annually for 100 plus client companies and operates Ireland’s largest retail payments network, with 11,500 plus points of sale throughout the country.”

In other First Data news, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has requested more information from First Data as well as Fiserv ahead of a proposed merger.

Filings by Fiserv with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revealed that on April 4, the two firms each received a request for “additional information and documentary materials” in what is known as a second request from the DOJ.

The request for the unspecified information was part of the ongoing review of the merger between the two companies, which was announced in January.

The effect of the second request, said the SEC filing, is to extend the waiting period that exists under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976.

The companies said they still expect to complete the merger in the second half of 2019. That timeframe had been disclosed upon the announcement of the merger.

As disclosed by materials provided by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the “Model Request for Additional Information and Documentary Material (Second Request),” the second request extends the waiting period for “a specified period, usually 30 days (10 days in the case of a cash tender offer or a bankruptcy sale), after all parties have complied with the request.”

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

Intellimize Raises $8M To Expand AI Platform To Offer Personalized Web Pages

Intellimize, a startup that relies on artificial intelligence (AI) to autonomously personalize web pages for visitors, raised $8 million in venture funding.

The Series A funding round was led by Amplify Partners, and included participation by Homebrew, Precursor Ventures and several angel investors, according to a report in VentureBeat, citing the company. To date the company has raised $10 million in venture funding.

In an interview with the publication, Intellimize Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Guy Yalif said the company has enjoyed fast growth with revenue up 1,338 percent in the past two years. “Last year, marketers spent $100 billion in paid media to drive traffic to websites, yet 98 percent of those visitors left without becoming customers,” Yalif said in the report. “Traditional website optimization approaches like A/B testing try to solve this problem, but treat everyone the same forever and significantly limit test speed. We addressed these frustrations and more by dynamically personalizing for each unique visitor in real time.”

According to the executive, the startup has helped test nearly 200 different ideas and 78 million web pages with a handful of customers seeing a 46 percent increase in conversions. What’s more, Yalif said 88 percent of campaigns saw positive results. Funding from the round of venture capital will go to accelerate the development of its AI platform and expand the team across all of the functions of the company. As part of the investment, Amplify Partners General Partner Mike Dauber will get a seat on the board, noted the report.

The report highlighted one happy customer, Looker. Jen Grant, chief marketing officer at Looker, said the platform increased the return on investment five times by getting customers to view content and fill out online web firms. “We completed years of testing in just a few quarters, and then applied those insights across our marketing channels to better engage prospects with more targeted messaging,” said Grant in the report. “Intellimize’s AI provided my team with leverage and a great financial return while giving my team to focus on what matters most: the customer experience.”

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

Fifth Third Bank to Add 100+ Branches to Improve Customer Experience

For Fifth Third Bank, customer service is not just about digital transformation. The bank also wants to expand its physical retail branch footprint, according to its president and CEO, Greg Carmichael. As a result of the bank’s $4.7 billion acquisition of Chicago-based MB Financial Inc., which closed last month, Carmichael noted in the Q1 earnings …Read More

SoFi Goes InsurTech with Lemonade and Root

Financial services startup SoFi is building out its insurance offerings with the help of two insurtech startups.

The San Francisco-based company teamed up with Lemonade and Root, adding three types of insurance to the company’s existing portfolio. An integration with New York-based Lemonade will provide home and renters insurance, while Ohio-based Root will offer an auto insurance option.

Until this month, SoFi’s insurance offering was limited to life insurance, a product made possible through a partnership the company initiated in 2018 with California-based Ladder.

“Protecting yourself and your assets is a critical and often overlooked piece of your overall financial well-being,” said Anthony Noto, SoFi CEO. “People come to SoFi to get their money right, and we’re pleased to now provide them with more tools to be able to do so by partnering with companies that share our values in ease of use, transparency, and efficiency.”

The new insurance offerings aim to be simple to understand and transparent about pricing and benefits, without agents, middlemen, or phone calls. SoFi said that its client base requested more affordable insurance offerings. Over the past year, the company counted 8,000 conversations between financial planners and under-insured or uninsured clients.

Lemonade uses AI to craft an insurance policy tailored to each customer. With the company’s chatbot interface, users can select and start their coverage in 90 seconds. The charge is structured as a flat fee– homeowners insurance starts at $25 per month and renters insurance starts at $5 per month– and claims are paid in three minutes.

With Root’s auto insurance, drivers can potentially save up to 52% over their current coverage. The company uses data from clients’ smartphones to measure driving behavior and habits, offering better rates to better drivers. “Our priority at Root is to put the power back into consumers’ hands by making auto insurance clear and understandable,” said Alex Timm, Root Insurance co-founder and CEO. “We’re excited to partner with the SoFi team as a means for members to have access to more affordable, accurate and fair auto insurance.”

To boost interest in its existing life insurance product, SoFi announced it is offering $25 for life insurance applicants to invest in stocks, ETFs, or SoFi’s roboadvising. This comes as a response to research findings that indicate that millennials are misinformed about the costs and benefits of life insurance.

Founded in 2011, SoFi offers a range of millennial-focused financial products and resources. SoFi’s addition of the new insurance offerings “fulfills its ability to offer members every financial product they may need at any stage of life.”

At FinDEVr New York 2017, the company gave a presentation in combination with Quovo titled How Quovo and SoFi Perfected Bank Authentication. SoFi has raised $2 billion from 29 investors across 11 rounds of funding.

LendingClub Teams With Opportunity Fund, Funding Circle To Expand SMB Loans

LendingClub, Opportunity Fund and Funding Circle announced on Tuesday (April 23) a collaboration aimed at providing small businesses with more affordable credit.

In a press release, the online lending marketplace LendingClub said that starting in April, it will connect applicants looking for a small business loan to the Opportunity Fund (a nonprofit small business lender) and Funding Circle (a small business lending platform). Opportunity Fund will use LendingClub’s technology to provide online applications for prequalified offers to underserved small business owners, while Funding Circle will use its credit assessment process to fund fast and affordable loans. The aim is to expand efficient access to affordable credit for more small business owners.

“With partners like Opportunity Fund and Funding Circle, we’re creating an ecosystem where LendingClub’s members can take advantage of additional services from trusted providers that can help them generate more savings,” said Scott Sanborn, CEO of LendingClub, in the press release. “This enables us to both deliver greater value to our applicants and capture a new revenue stream for LendingClub, while further simplifying our business and setting the stage for more partnerships and innovations for Club Members.”

Luz Urrutia, CEO of Opportunity Fund, said the partnership with LendingClub is an important part of its plan to grow lending from 13 to 45 states and to lend $1.2 billion by 2023. The loans are intended for women, people of color, immigrants and other underserved entrepreneurs.

“By combining LendingClub’s leading credit technology with Opportunity Fund’s mission-based, high-touch lending model, we hope to dramatically expand access to affordable and responsible capital to underserved small business owners across the country,” Urrutia said in the press release.

LendingClub has been in the process of opening its platform to include integrated offers from its partners. According to the press release, last year the company received more than 14 million applications, but facilitated loans to only a small fraction of them. The integration with Opportunity Fund increases accessibility and fairness for harder-to-underwrite small businesses. The relationship with Funding Circle expands access to low-cost credit for more businesses.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

Alt Thirty Six Raises $10M To Bring Digital Payments To The Pot Industry

Alt Thirty Six, a digital payment and compliance platform designed to help the cannabis industry go cashless, announced Tuesday (April 23) it raised $10 million in venture funding.

In a press release, Alt Thirty Six said the funding round was led by a private equity firm. The proceeds will go to accelerate growth and enhance the development of its platform. Alt Thirty Six’s platform eliminates the need for cash in the pot industry by using blockchain technology and Dash, a decentralized digital asset, to facilitate the transfer of funds at dispensaries and cannabis businesses. The company said in the press release the funding will drive more expansion, advance the technical functions and abilities of the platform and get the proper licensing in states across the U.S. The goal is to use the funding to achieve mass consumer adoption in the cannabis industry, the company said in the press release.

“We are committed to revolutionizing the cannabis space by increasing access to compliant digital payments, making transactions easier and faster for all cannabis businesses,” said Ken Ramirez, co-founder and CEO of Alt Thirty Six in prepared remarks. “This new Series A funding round provides us access to the resources we need to help facilitate our vision for one of the fastest growing industries in the country.”

The unnamed private equity firm said it is “thrilled” to lead the funding round, adding a new payment-focused element to its portfolio. “We fully support Alt Thirty Six’s innovative payment technology and dedication to providing the cannabis industry with an alternative to cash,” said the private equity firm in the press release.

In recent months Alt Thirty Six announced a partnership with CannTrade, a provider of cannabis software technology, and hired Jason Breidis as chief architect. He’s a payments expert whose work led to the acceptance of electronic payments at McDonald’s restaurants, the company said in the press release.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

Mueller Report On Bitcoin’s Russian Role In US Election Hack

No, you still cannot easily buy a cup of coffee with bitcoin.

But it turns out you can use the cryptocurrency in an effort to sway an election.

Dotted along the dots to connect in the Mueller report lie several mentions of bitcoin, and how the virtual currency was used by Russian individuals and groups to try to impact the 2016 election.

The outcome, of course, is not news. Neither is the fact that the debate over collusion/obstruction (yes or no or maybe) is still ongoing – and may always be ongoing.

But within the 448 pages are several mentions of bitcoin and how the crypto was used to transact for all manner of activities that ultimately sought to help Donald Trump win the presidency.

Key among the disclosures was the fact that Russians with the Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU), through the use of stolen identities, set up accounts used to accumulate bitcoin and then use the bitcoin to buy technology and websites that were leveraged in attacks on the Democratic National Committee.

The Unit and the Cryptos

Per the findings: “Military Unit 26165 is a GRU cyber unit dedicated to targeting military, political, governmental and non-governmental organizations outside of Russia, including in the United States. The unit was sub-divided into departments with different specialties. One department, for example, developed specialized malicious software ‘malware,’ while another department conducted large-scale spearphishing campaigns… and a redacted portion points toward a bitcoin mining operation.”

“The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant,” wrote Mueller and his team, also noting that the Unit 26165 had targeted sites such as dnc.org and hillaryclinton.com and had “primary responsibility” for hacking the DNC and accounts of Clinton campaign staffers and affiliates. Elsewhere, the report details that the Russian agents had bought (with bitcoin) a VPN that was used to manage Twitter accounts that leaked information that had been hacked from those and other sites.

In another example, according to the report, “Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined” in order to establish dcleaks.com, where links to stolen documents were posted. Bitcoins were kept in an account on bitcoin platform CEX.io. It is the use of bitcoin via exchanges and the stolen/fabricated identities and wallets that helped point the way to how bitcoin was deployed by the Russians.

The final report from Mueller echoes findings from a 2018 indictment of 13 individuals who bought fake IDs and engaged in activities to influence the election (including establishing dcleaks.com as mentioned above), and where, per that earlier indictment, “the defendants conspired to launder the equivalent of more than $95,000 through a web of transactions structured to capitalize on the perceived anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

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Latest Insights: 

Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

Fintech AsiaCollect Seeks to Digitalize Debt Collection in Southeast Asia

With the majority of the region’s debt collection being handled by small, provincial agencies, the process in Southeast Asian markets is still mostly manual. Digital debt collector AsiaCollect is hoping to change that. Based in Singapore, AsiaCollect unveiled a standalone, AI-based platform called SmartAgent, which it plans to roll out in India in the coming …Read More

45 Top Funded German FinTech Companies on Investors’ Radar

Germany is one of the key FinTech geographies in Europe that has enjoyed steady funding flows along with some stellar FinTech players in the market to create global news. The year 2018 was exciting for Germany in terms of FinTech funding, which recorded over 55% of YoY growth. Celebrity FinTechs such as N26 and wefox have continued the momentum in the first quarter of 2019 as well by raising $300 million and $120 million respectively, and these are not the only two to cash-in large checks.

However, regulatory scrutiny has followed the rapid expansion of scale and importance for players like N26. In April 2019, Germany-based challenger bank N26 was again in the news, but this time not for good reasons. German regulator BaFin spotted the FinTech bank for its security vulnerabilities and increasing customer service complaints. BaFin has ordered N26 to address staffing, outsourcing, and technical issues. We believe this case will serve as a lesson for other FinTech players in this growing FinTech market. Here is a list of 45 well-funded FinTech players in Germany that are poised to scale-up and one should watch out for:

  • BATS Global Markets was founded in 2005 and has raised $45 million in total funding. It is an operator of exchanges and services for financial markets. The Chicago Board Options Exchange acquired BATS Global in September 2016.

  • Kreditech was founded in 2012 and has raised $281.6 million in total funding. Kreditech offers credit scoring and online financial services to users by leveraging big data. It fuses big data with complex machine-learning algorithms to underwrite and create digital banking services for the unscored worldwide. It further offers personalized financial products that are tailored to the customer’s needs.

  • N26 was founded in 2013 and has raised $515 million in total funding. N26 (formerly known as Number26) is a product of Papayer GmbH. It is a licensed German mobile-only bank that offers mobile banking services to consumers. The bank targets freelancers and self-employed people. It provides a free checking account along with Mastercard and a smartphone application that enables users to manage their finances in real time.

  • Compeon was founded in 2012 and has raised $18.6 million in total funding. Compeon is a finance portal for the SMEs, which offers financing, investments, and leasing for companies and self-employed professionals.

  • Smava was founded in 2005 and has raised $133 million in total funding. Smava is a Germany-based online comparison site for personal loans, on which each participant receives an online credit loan with the best terms from a wide selection.

  • SolarisBank was founded in 2016 and has raised $111 million in total funding. SolarisBank is a tech company with a German banking license. The company has built an API-accessible banking platform for the needs of the digital economy. The Solaris platform enables digital companies to create custom solutions for their financial needs. It offers services such as payment services for marketplaces, issuing vouchers, e-money, and escrow solutions; banking services for a suite of banking services through RESTful APIs, including support for account creation & maintenance; transaction services; as well as deposit & credit business. Add-On Services: AML/KYC-compliant identification.

  • wefox, formerly known as FinanceFox, was founded in 2014 and has raised $158 million in total funding. It is an online platform that allows customers, brokers, and insurance companies to manage their insurance products digitally. The company focuses on customer value and optimizes the entire process from digitization through optimization to damage reporting.

  • Spotcap was founded in 2014 and has raised $92.3 million in total funding. Spotcap is an online platform that enables small-business owners to grow their business by providing flexible and accessible financing. The platform has developed a sophisticated and dynamic decision process assessing the real-time performance of businesses to grant short-term credit lines and loans. The company is backed by Rocket Internet.

  • Raisin was founded in 2013 and has raised $200 million in total funding. Raisin (formerly known as Saving Global) is an online marketplace for term deposits. It enables customers to conveniently access term deposit products from partner banks across Europe and secure better interest rates. The customer has to open an account with their partner bank Keytrade Bank. Once the account validation is completed, the customer can browse through different term deposit options.

  • simplesurance was founded in 2012 and has raised $60 million in total funding. The company is one of the largest e-commerce providers of insurance products and aims to continuously explore new ways to drive the digital revolution of the insurance industry. The company has a base of around 2,000+ partners, such as OnePlus, Huawei Technologies, Rakuten, and Revolut, which are using its solutions.

  • Payleven was founded in 2012 and has raised $51 million in total funding. Payleven was acquired by SumUp in April 2016. The company offers a mobile app and Bluetooth-enabled wireless card reader that connects with iOS or Android smartphones or tablets to accept credit and debit card payments. The device connects to the phone’s internet connection to complete the transaction over Payleven’s servers. In 2016, the company was announced to merge with SumUp.

  • ottonova was founded in 2014 and has raised $54.7 million in total funding. ottonova is developing a digital health insurance platform for people in Germany. Currently, the company is waiting for regulatory approval from the Financial Supervisory Authority. (June 2017)

  • finleap was founded in 2014 and has raised $112 million in total funding. finleap is a FinTech company builder based in Berlin. finleap is active in more than 10 countries. Together with their passionate co-founders, finleap launches several startups per year. finleap provides up to five million euros in seed funding, access to a strong investor network & top talent, an integrated development platform, and best practice processes.

  • Clark was founded in 2015 and has raised $45 million in total funding. Clark is an insurance platform providing transparent, cheap, and comprehensive insurance coverage. Clark offers users simple, fair, and customer-centric insurance advice.

  • Coya was founded in 2016 and has raised $40 million in total funding. Coya is developing digital property and accident insurance policies for individuals. Currently, it has filed an application with German financial regulator BaFin to become a licensed insurance provider.

  • FINANZCHECK.de was founded in 2010 and has raised $37.5 million in total funding. FINANZCHECK.de is an online portal that allows users to search and compare various financial products. It caters to inquiries about credit installment loans, auto loans, and refinancing loans are in addition to the online credit consultation on request. In July 2018, the company was acquired by Scout24.

  • orderbird was founded in 2011 and has raised $37.1 million in total funding. orderbird provides iPad POS systems that facilitate reporting functions. The iPad POS system is placed in bars, restaurants, and clubs. The cash register system can be individualized according to user needs.

  • relayr was founded in 2013, which makes sensors that monitor industrial equipment to gather data or predict when machines will need maintenance, along with software and consulting services to help enterprise customers use them. It provides a device, hardware, and sensor-agnostic enterprise middleware platform and simple-to-use tools which enable fast and cost-effective development of new solutions, equipment, and services for the Internet of Things. In 2018, the company was acquired by Munich Reinsurance.

  • Deposit Solutions was founded in 2011 and has raised $144 million in total funding. Deposit Solutions is a financial service firm. It is revolutionizing the value chain for savers and banks. It is an open architecture platform that allows banks to gather retail deposits onto the home balance sheet without requiring a proprietary local retail infrastructure.

  • auxmoney was founded in 2007 and has raised $28 million in total funding. auxmoney is an online peer-to-peer loan marketplace. It brings private borrowers and private investors together and, in cooperation with the credit-worthwhile SWK Bank, handles credit processing.

  • Stocard was founded in 2012 and has raised $25 million in total funding. Stocard offers a mobile app that enables users to store and manage all their loyalty cards in one place. It allows users to scan cards using their phone’s camera, thereby creating a digital wallet without the intervention of retailers.

  • eBillme was founded in 2004 and has raised $23 million in total funding. eBillme is an online payments solution which extends online banking to the merchant’s checkout process. The company was acquired by Western Union in 2011; Western Union launched WU Pay once the acquisition was complete. WU Pay allows consumers to pay for goods online by using consumer bank’s online bill pay service (similar to the way they pay a utility or credit card bill), or at a Western Union location in the US.

  • AEVI was founded in 2015 and has raised $45 million in total funding. AEVI provides a global gateway for secure payment transactions together with a marketplace for high-quality, value-added apps, and services (VAAS) providing new business opportunities beyond payments, which enables fast and effective innovation, in addition to enhanced control and flexibility. AEVI International GmbH operates as a subsidiary of Wincor Nixdorf Ag.

  • Lendico was founded in 2013 and has raised $22 million in total funding. The company offers an online P2P lending marketplace for individual borrowers & SMEs, which allows retail investors to invest on the platform. In 2017, the company was acquired by Arrowgrass Capital.

  • Traxpay was founded in 2012 and has raised $19 million in total funding. Traxpay offers a platform that facilitates 24/7 B2B payments and transactions in real time.

  • Fraugster was founded in 2014 and has raised $19 million in total funding. Fraugster offers an artificial intelligence & behavioral analytics platform for online payments. It helps its users to protect against fraud and increase customers profits.

  • Seerene was founded in 2011 and has raised $19 million in total funding. Seerene provides a SaaS-based platform designed to analyze real-time data already existing in the company for enterprises and IT services companies.

  • Payworks was founded in 2012 and has raised $19 million in total funding. Payworks develops a point-of-sale payment gateway technology. It offers a new gateway technology called Pulse, which can be integrated with POS readers and offer readymade mPOS solutions. With Pulse, developers of point-of-sale solutions merchants can quickly and cost-efficiently integrate card payment functionality into the applications, and securely process EMV, contactless, and mobile wallet transactions at the point-of-sale.

  • KONUX was founded in 2014 and has raised more than $50 million in total funding. KONUX provides industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions that integrate smart sensor systems and AI-based analytics. It enables customers to know their assets’ performance in real time and switch to predictive maintenance.

  • PAYMILL was founded in 2012 and has raised $18 million in total funding. PAYMILL is a payment solution platform that enables online businesses to accept payments on their websites within a very short time. The API gives you full control of checkout so it can deliver a user experience optimized for higher conversions. In 2016, the company was acquired by Klik & Pay.

  • Exporo was founded in 2014 and has raised $18.5 million in total funding. Exporo is a crowd investing platform that grants everyone access to professional and attractive real estate projects.

  • Klara was founded in 2013 and has raised $17 million in total funding. Klara offers a communication platform for healthcare providers. The HIPAA-compliant platform allows various departments of a particular healthcare provider to communicate securely about patient diagnosis and treatment. The medical professionals can directly communicate with a patient regarding treatments and appointments.

  • Zeitgold was founded in 2015 and has raised $27.5 million in total funding. Zeitgold provides AI-enabled services that automate bookkeeping, payroll, and other financial functions for businesses, local merchants, etc. It uses automation technology & optimized processes to capture all of the financial data and turn it into a complete, structured, high-quality, and up-to-date data set of the business.

  • FinCompare was founded in 2016 and has raised $15.5 million in total funding. FinCompare is a financing platform for small-and-medium-sized enterprises. It provides access to up-to-date financing products so that a user can compare and select the most suitable financing tool. It offers various types of financial solutions to SMEs like single account receivable, factoring, credit, leasing, inventory financing, and purchase financing.

  • CrossLend was founded in 2014 and has raised $16.3 million in total funding. CrossLend is a cross-border marketplace lending platform that facilitates investors to invest in consumer loans from different European countries via bonds and notes in euros. The company aims to connect investors from low-interest-rate countries with borrowers from high-interest-rate countries across Europe.

  • Friendsurance was founded in 2010 and has raised $15.3 million in total funding. Friendsurance is an online P2P insurance platform where people come together online and create their own risk pools. Friendsurance offers electronics, household, personal-liability, and legal expenses insurance.

  • Taxfix was founded in 2016 and has raised $43 million in total funding. Taxfix is a mobile application that lets users file their taxes. It has a chat platform to answer users’ questions.

  • Gastrofix was founded in 2011 and has raised $17 million in total funding. Gastrofix has developed a cloud-based, point-of-sale (POS) system for the Apple iPad and iPod. The cash register covers the whole hospitality industry from restaurants, cafes, bars, and bakeries to franchise chains.

  • The NAGA Group was founded in 2015 and has raised $14.6 million in total funding. The NAGA Group provides various financial services as well as develops and backs innovative solutions in the FinTech sector. It provides an app called SwipeStox, which is a social trading platform.

  • nextmarkets was founded in 2014 and has raised $13.9 million in total funding. nextmarkets offers a mobile app that enables users to follow stock market professionals and their analysis for various financial instruments like equities, indices, foreign exchange, bonds, and commodities. The platform analyzes over 1,000 markets offers real-time trading insights and ideas through a web or mobile platform.

  • Wirecard was founded in 1999 and is a software & IT specialist for outsourcing and white-label solutions for payment processing and issuing products. The Wirecard API is offered as an option for integration in its e-commerce payment processing service. Its products in the payment sector include checkout page, credit card processing, tokenization, POS terminals, etc. In mobile payments category, it provides mPOS card readers, API for in-app checkout, Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) smart payments, and an NFC-based mobile wallet.

  • Derivix was founded in 2005 and has raised $12.7 million in total funding. Derivix was acquired by FlexTrade Systems. Derivix is a financial services software company that provides options pricing, risk visualization, and analytics solutions to options traders, sales traders, and hedge funds.

  • Finanzchef24 was founded in 2012 and has raised $12.6 million in total funding. Finanzchef24 is a Munich, Germany-based online marketplace for comparing commercial insurance products. It provides online brokerage service and comparison portal for SMEs offering insurance & finance comparisons and policies underwritten by Allianz, AXA, ERGO, etc.

  • Treasury Intelligence Solutions was founded in 2010 and has raised $12 million in total funding. Treasury Intelligence Solutions is a cloud-based SaaS platform. It provides bank account management, payments, business discovery, cash flow, ERP integration & certification solutions for treasurers, CFOs, and firms in the accounting and the IT industry.

  • Correlix was founded in 2006 and was acquired by TS-Associates on July 30, 2012. Correlix offers real-time latency intelligence monitoring software to capital markets firms to identify and manage latency impediments to trade opportunities and discover ways to optimize their transaction infrastructure efficiently.

  • How Payments And Rewards Power Restaurant Innovation

    In the digital age of hospitality technology, restaurants have a trove of tools to help serve customers in their stores. Innovations run the gamut from promo codes to coupons and quick-response (QR) scans in addition to other features such as delivery tracking. Overall, merchants in the $1 trillion accommodation and food services market see digital innovation as key for staying competitive in the space.

    Nearly 60 percent of players in the industry say innovation is critical to their survival, according to the PYMNTS Retail Innovation Readiness Index. Despite that acknowledgement, though, merchants in the space earned an average index score of 32.1 on a 100-point scale in the index, which indicates that “they have a long way to go in terms of improving their readiness.” But those who earn high marks for digital innovation harnessed the power of in-store payment methods as well as in-store features like rewards and coupons.

    From Chipotle Mexican Grill to Valyant AI, restaurants and solution providers are enabling innovation at physical points of sale and in the digital world. These are some of the ways that these companies — among others in the hospitality space — are bringing diners new ways to order, pay and experience their venues with the help of technology:

    Almost eight in 10 merchants — or 77.4 percent — innovated to remain competitive. Chipotle Mexican Grill, in one case, plans to open up to 155 new restaurants this year as part of a push to solve what CEO Brian Niccol has called the “No. 1 reason consumers eat elsewhere,” which is lack of convenient access to Chipotle locations. By comparison, the quick-service chain opened 137 new restaurants last year. In addition, Niccol also said the chain has installed digital “make-lines” in 1,000 of its stores and with all stores scheduled to have them by year’s end. The company has also installed digital pickup lines in 1,000 locations, with the full rollout said to happen by mid-2019.

    Three quarters — or 75 percent — of merchants innovated to increase sales. And solution providers are creating new ways for customers to place orders that could drive revenue: Valyant AI CEO and Founder Rob Carpenter, for instance, developed a proprietary conversational artificial intelligence (AI) platform that focuses on the drive-thru. With the convenience provided by the solution, Carpenter claims he has seen a 25 to 50 percent reduction in wait times for diners. Carpenter also pointed out a benefit for the entrepreneurs who own a restaurant: They can generate more revenue by serving more customers. Carpenter also said the technology integrates with a restaurant’s existing point of sale (POS) system and that it understands all the information that it needs to make an order.

    More than six in 10 merchants — or 62.2 percent — innovated to improve consumer loyalty. And quick-service restaurants (QSRs) are making changes to their rewards programs: Dunkin’, for instance, is revamping its own program with an experimental multi-tender system. Through the pilot program, DD Perks diners can earn points at over 1,000 stores regardless of how they pay. In the past, members of the chain’s DD Perks program could only earn points by making a payment with a gift card enrolled in the offering. Diners can now earn points even if they pay with credit, debit or cash at pilot locations with the multi-tender program. To earn points, customers can scan a new physical loyalty card or their DD Perks® loyalty ID quick-response (QR) code in a mobile app at participating restaurants.

    Over 45 percent — or 45.6 percent — of merchants innovated to meet consumer demand for new payment methods. And digital payment companies are working with QSRs to bring more options into their stores: AlipayHK, in one case, has teamed up with McDonald’s to offer payment on the McDonald’s app on smartphones. In another case, Apple announced in January that Taco Bell was among the merchants that now support Apple Pay. Jennifer Bailey, Apple’s vice president of internet services, said in a press release announcing the new partnerships, “Whether customers are buying everyday household items, groceries, snacks for a road trip or grabbing a quick meal, Apple Pay is the easiest way to pay in stores, while also being secure and faster than using a credit or debit card at the register.”

    Forty-seven percent of merchants innovated meet consumer demand for in-store shopping. Some QSRs are expanding their footprints in other countries: Domino’s, in one case, recently opened its 10,000th global location in Shenzhen, China’s Luohu District. The new 1,300 square-foot restaurant has an open-concept “pizza theater design” that lets diners observe the pizza-making, per an announcement. It also has indoor seating for diners along with a flat-screen television that shows order status “from the moment the order is placed to when it is out of the oven.” Frank Krasovec, chairman of Domino’s master China franchisee Dash Brands Ltd., said in the announcement, “Not only are we excited to open the 200th Domino’s location in mainland China, but we are thrilled that it marks the brand’s 10,000th store outside of the U.S.”

    From Domino’s to Valyant, restaurants and technology providers are suggesting that innovation is alive and well in the $1 trillion food and accommodation industry. And, as there is no one-size-fits-all approach in the space, innovative firms have the opportunity to meet the many needs of merchants as they reach new digital frontiers.

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

    Wells Fargo Sours On Apple’s iPhone Shipments

    Another Wall Street analyst is souring on Apple’s iPhone sales for the second quarter, with Wells Fargo lowering its forecast earlier Tuesday (April 23).

    According to a report in SeekingAlpha, Wells Fargo said in a research report it expects second-quarter iPhone shipments to come in at 40.4 million, down from its past target of 44 million iPhones shipped. The Wall Street firm said in the note that investors should adopt a “cautious stance” when it comes to Apple.

    Apple is slated to report quarterly earnings after the close of trading April 30. For the June quarter, Wells Fargo said it expects “weak implied iPhone shipment trends,” the report said.

    The call out of Wells Fargo comes as Apple struggles with lackluster demand for the iPhone in the U.S. and abroad. For its first quarter, Apple reported it shipped between 37 million and 42 million units, lower than the 40 million to 45 million units its was expected to ship. The Cupertino, California technology company blamed slow demand for its iPhone Xs and XR. Apple has been facing a mobile market that is becoming saturated, with longer life cycles for phones. Consumers are also reluctant to pay a lot for a mobile device these days, hurting Apple’s sales. It’s feeling the pain particularly in China where local competitors are churning out similar devices for a fraction of the price.

    In addition to iPhone shipments, analysts and investors will be paying close attention to what Apple has to say about its services business. With the iPhone losing some of its luster, Apple has been pouring more money into its services, which include iTunes, Apple Pay and iCloud. Its also gearing up to launch the Apple Card credit card this summer. Customers apply and are approved through the mobile wallet on the iPhone, and can use it via Apple Pay immediately. Cash back rewards are substantial, and Apple is touting zero fees with the card.

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

    UPS Automates Logistics With Rising eCommerce Deliveries

    To become more agile and squeeze out costs in the age of online shopping, shipping and logistics conglomerate UPS is turning to automation. The move comes as the firm is adjusting to the rise of deliveries for eCommerce, Bloomberg reported.

    UPS Network Planning Tools Initiative Program Manager Rob Papetti said, according to the outlet, “It’s not a typical one-time project. It’s a multi-year program to really take advantage of the automated network that we’re building out to dynamically move packages through it.”

    Parcels in Salt Lake City, for instance, move at a speed of roughly six miles an hour on conveyor belts, 10 times quicker than if they were handled by hand. At the same time, gadgets such as dimensioners and scanners improve sorting accuracy, as opposed to when workers had to send the parcels to the correct chutes. The company can also use the flexibility automation to program computers with delivery routes that entail “less miles, less fuel and less equipment,” according to Papetti.

    The news comes as UPS has teamed up with Inxeption, an eCommerce technology firm, to enable businesses to market and distribute items from one secure place on multiple online channels. Through the Inxeption integration, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors will be able to set up a branded website. These companies then can list, market and sell their products as blockchain-assisted technology maintains the security of sensitive information.

    UPS Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Warren said at the time, according to the report, “The growth of eCommerce is driving B2B buyers to expect the same fast, convenient shopping experiences that consumers enjoy. Working with Inxeption is another way we’re creating innovative solutions that help small businesses deliver quality service for their customers and succeed in eCommerce.”

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

    Velocity Black And Selling Exotic, Exclusive Digital Concierge Services

    There are any number of digital travel portals that offer consumers some variation of a luxurious vacation. Hotel suites, yachts, private islands — if money is no object the sky is pretty much the limit in terms of what one can hope to reasonably purchase.

    But what if one feels the sky itself is too unreasonable a limit? For the extraordinarily wealthy there is always the Bezos/Musk/Branson approach of building your own spaceship for fun and profit. But the DIY approach to space travel is time-consuming, expensive and laden with liability — not to mention it requires a pretty extreme level of wealth.

    But as it turns out, if a 10-day trip to the International Space Station is really what someone wants to do with their summer vacation, there are easier ways to get there. In fact, with sufficient wealth and prestige, it is actually a simple as tapping an app.

    The app is called Velocity Black, and its tagline is “live a limitless life” — with a rather heavy emphasis on the limitless part of that. If being shot into space isn’t quite one’s speed there are other rare opportunities up for grabs on the rarified travel site. Tracking snow leopards in the Himalayas with a BBC Planet Earth team is on the menu, as is training with ninjas in Japan, flying fighter jets or having a gourmet meal served up in a historical site like the pyramids.

    To book those experiences, membership is required and membership is not inexpensive, though given the grandiosity of the trips themselves membership is less expensive than one might naturally expect. Membership costs $2,800 a year — and the ability to pay won’t alone gain a person access to the app. Members must be approved and invited.

    The trips themselves be paid for out of pocket. Velocity Black can get you into space — but a trip into low earth orbit starts at $55 million. Taking that dream vacation to the ISS costs more — and requires a 15-week training program divided into weeklong sessions in the same facilities NASA astronauts train in.

    What Velocity Black says it is truly specializes in is service — extremely fast service. It guarantees an initial response time of within one minute, 365 days a year, via the app, which is powered by both artificial intelligence (AI) and humans. And, a brief test of that run by PYMNTS indicates the service is not kidding — the response time was well under 30 seconds.

    Which is why, notably, though mainly known for the travel experiences to which it connects rarified customers, Velocity Black is more broadly a concierge service that caters to a wider set of needs.

    Which means if a customer wants to catch a ride to the space shuttle they can do that. If they want to wear a pair of limited-edition Air Jordans while they train for the mission, Velocity Black will also delivery those up. Need a reservation at solidly-booked Michelin-star restaurant to celebrate conquering the final frontier? Also not a problem. The service specializes in connecting its wealthy clients to what they want, where they want it — whether that is travel, consumer goods, concert tickets or dining reservations.

    The app also effectively leverages the power of celebrity and exclusivity. The particularly rich, famous and influential on social media have historically had their membership fees waived, as their tendency to attract people to the platform is more valuable than their money. And by making the app invite only, it has managed to create a fair amount of buzzy interest. There is currently a waiting list to join Velocity Black, though the company would no disclose how long the list is, or how long it typically takes to join the service from the waiting list.

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

    CBD-Infused Burger Signals Higher Level Of Fast Food Innovation

    Selling fast food these days is not exactly for the faint of heart, given how the industry faces extreme — and increasingly online — competition for the consumer dollar. Those competitive pressures have led to a host of new tools, features and offerings.

    The latest?

    Combining cannabis culture with hamburgers.

    You might say such a marriage has already happened, given how the stoner stereotype involves massive amounts of munchies. But this is something different. On Saturday (April 20 — not only the day before Easter, but the unofficial stoner holiday known as 4/20), fast food chain Carl’s Jr. reportedly sold out of a burger whose “Santa Fe Sauce” contained cannabidiol (CBD). To drive home the marketing message, the burger was priced at $4.20.

    Denver CBD Burger

    The promotion took place in Denver, capital of a state where marijuana is legal for recreational purposes. According to reports, consumers eager to buy the burger — specifically, the Carl’s Jr. “Rocky Mountain High CheeseBurger Delight” — were lining up in parking lots before the 6 a.m. opening time at some locations, with burgers selling out by early afternoon.

    This is hardly the only recent appearance of CBD in the wider world of food.

    Recess, a CBD-infused sparkling water company, has announced that it will be available on Uber Eats for delivery to customers in New York City. The announcement was made on Instagram by the drink company with a post that named Uber Eats as an “app someone made to deliver Recess and McDonald’s.” Recess sees itself as more than just a beverage company, though. It said its mission is centered around relaxation in general. The drinks are infused with hemp oil, and contain ginseng, among other ingredients.

    But the larger story here is how fast food operations are striving to stand out in a crowded field and with consumers who are increasingly becoming digital- and mobile-centric. The Carl’s Jr. CBD burger promotion had no direct digital aspect to it, but it is designed not only to win attention but to boost foot traffic — and on a major holiday weekend during which many people eat with family or eat in fancier restaurants then the typical fast-food location.

    Coffee Push

    Coffee, too, is becoming a more important battleground for fast-food chains — especially as more consumers are able to make purchases from their vehicles as the connected car ecosystem expands.

    Take Burger King as a recent example of that.

    It added an additional sweetener to its breakfast offerings. Instead of paying a dollar or two a day for coffee on the ride to work — netting over $20 a month — Burger King customers can get their morning Java on subscription for $5 a month. The consumer then has a reason to see everything else on the BK breakfast menu in this effort, which combines subscription eCommerce, loyalty and the potential of retail conducted via connected vehicles. As PYMNTS has documented in-depth, every weekday, 135 million people in the U.S. get behind the wheel and drive 51 minutes, round trip, to and from work. Those commuters, according to the PYMNTS Digital Drive Report, spend about $230 billion a year in commuter-inspired purchases.

    QSR Innovation

    But don’t think CBD-infused products, or coffee subscriptions, or even more robust mobile offerings are a sure path to success for fast food operations in 2019 and beyond.

    As PYMNTS research has also documented, the quick-service restaurant (QSR) industry is on track to continue a decade and a half’s worth of growth this year, with consumers projected to spend more than $256 billion at burger joints, sandwich shops, pizza parlors and other QSRs by the end of this year. And QSRs, for their part, are looking to stay ahead in a fiercely competitive space by working to satisfy consumers’ demand for faster mobile offerings. Industry giants and small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) alike, from Starbucks to local pizzerias, are investing in mobile and connected solutions — and reaping the rewards.

    But there is more than mobile when it comes to reaching and retaining connected consumers. On the East Coast, for example, consumers seem to be especially fond of order-ahead solutions, with New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the South each seeing growth that outpaced the national average. In regions like the Midwest, Southwest and West, meanwhile, growth lags behind the country’s mean.

    As marijuana and cannabis-infused products become more mainstream, it’s not unreasonable to expect more promotions like the one this weekend. But don’t expect that to be the end of it when it comes to fast-food competition, of course.

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report. 

    Taking New Approaches To Onboarding Security

    Businesses are facing greater pressure to provide robust, digital know your customer (KYC) checks and other security measures amid increased interest in mobile onboarding. In banking, credit unions (CUs) are embracing digital services without losing sight of their roots. And in retail, Dunkin’ and Starbucks are revamping their reward programs. In addition, the partnership between Kohl’s and ALDI might make sense by the numbers. All this, Today In Data.

    Data: 

    68 percent: Share of consumers who said they would likely shop both sides of a combined ALDI-Kohl’s store in the same trip.

    50 percent: Share of surveyed financial institutions (FIs) that say controlling costs is an issue during the onboarding process.

    41 percent: Approximate share of new account openings for Consumers Credit Union that stem from digital channels.

    25: Number of stars consumers can redeem for a dairy substitute, additional flavor or espresso shot under Starbucks’ revamped rewards.

    $23 billion: Expected value of the identity and access management technologies market by 2025.

    Retailers Up Their Game To Win Over Gen Z

    Part of the trick in retail is knowing when to pass the torch, so to speak – in other words, focusing more effort on reaching younger consumers and meeting their desires. Target stands as one of the latest examples.

    To reach consumers on the hunt for offerings that are “clean and natural,” Target has rolled out its Everspring household brand. The line includes products such as dish soap, paper towels and laundry detergent. The selections are made from recycled and bio-based materials as well as natural fibers. They will also come with a new “Target Clean” symbol, which indicates an item is not made with chemicals like propylparaben or sodium laureth sulfate.

    The items are sold in small quantities to catch the interest of Generation Z and millennial consumers who are just starting out and aren’t interested in buying in bulk. According to the report, Target research has shown these consumers aren’t as loyal to specific brands as older shoppers.

    Christina Hennington, a senior vice president and general merchandise manager at the retailer, said it had taken over a year to bring the household brand to fruition. “From the sourcing to the packaging … we had to do it right,” she said. “We hired the right expertise to make sure the chemical quality was up to expectations.”

    Gen Z Focus

    The Target move underscores the growing appeal of offering sustainable products in hopes of becoming more attractive to younger consumers – and not just millennials. Indeed, retailers, including Target, are upping their innovation game when it comes to the so-called Generation Z. Not only is the chain rolling out more brands that target the consumer segment, but it has also launched a startup incubator and retail lab in hopes of connecting with those shoppers.

    Larger retail trends support such a move.

    Gen Z – generally defined as people born after 1996 – are expected to become the largest consumer segment within a year, when they will account for 32 percent of the global population. Those consumers have never known a non-digital, web-free world. They were youthful members of The Great Recession. And in the U.S. and certain other countries, they have never known a world without war.

    Early signs indicate that Gen Z, despite digital habits honed since birth, will not reject the brick-and-mortar experience. One study that mirrors the findings of others – this one from Euclid Analytics – found that 66 percent of Gen Zers prefer in-store shopping, while 28 percent want to interact with store associates. That said, Gen Z, commonly considered a mobile-first generation, uses digital channels to research products, but then prefers to go to the store to touch and try out those products prior to making their purchases.

    The consumer power of Gen Z also extends to influence: A report by IBM and the National Retail Federation said that 70 percent of the average family’s spending is influenced by these post-millennial consumers.

    Much of what retailers are doing today to appeal to millennials – offering new products and services, and trying new ways to reach them – will likely spill over and influence efforts to reach more consumers from Generation Z.

    Battle in the Cities

    Take Jet.com, owned by Walmart. It is battling with Amazon for the coveted upscale, younger, city-dwelling consumer. Jet.com has broadened its selection and is rolling out same-day delivery in New York City for the kinds of items millennials purportedly crave, like craft beer and local foods. To assist in those efforts, Walmart has tapped another company that it acquired – logistics company Parcel – to bring grocery delivery to New York City customers within a three-hour window. That service option ups the ante for speed and flexibility through Jet.com, as the retailer previously had a relatively early 9 a.m. cutoff for same-day deliveries. To help meet its new delivery window, Jet.com plans to use its Bronx fulfillment center.

    It’s a retail battle that never ends: the competition for younger consumers, and for those consumers who are steadily gaining more purchase power. The battle is likely to take place both inside stores and online, and will no doubt bring more experimentation and innovation.

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    Latest Insights: 

    Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. Check out our April 2019 Unattended Retail Report.