Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, c. 1976 (Bloomberg News)
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To identify fintech startups deserving of special recognition this year as part of the FinTech Forward program, a team of American Banker editors, BAI staff and industry members debated the merits of self-nominees and companies we know.

We used three main criteria for the list: Does a company offer innovative technology? Does it solve a real business problem? Is it ready for prime time? We accepted self-nominations from startups and added other companies we learned about that we felt had great promise.

Who are we? A panel of judges that included American Banker's Penny Crosman, Mary Wisniewski, Robert Barba and Marc Hochstein; BAI's Holly Hughes and Andrew Scoggan; consultant Ray Graber; Heather Cox of Citi; Brad Leimer of Santander; and Alex Jimenez of Rockland Trust.