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.
Why it matters: Value proposition will only become more relevant as the Fed nudges the industry toward real-time payments.
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Why it matters: Led by CEO Garrett Gafke, IdentityMind Global offers an alternative to derisking the worldwide trend of banks shedding relationships with whole industries deemed high risks for money laundering.
Why it matters: Part of Trunomi's mission is "empowering consumers to manage their personal PII and monetize their own data."
Related Article: Rethink Identity So Personal Data Can Stay Personal
Why it matters: E-commerce fraud is expected to rise considerably as the U.S. migrates to EMV chip cards, rendering card counterfeiting difficult to impossible.
Why it matters: Banks are struggling to stay compliant with changing regulatory requirements. Fenergo says its tech handles some of the toughest rules, makes onboarding more efficient.
Why it matters: Banks continue to struggle to offer simple ways to sign up for their accounts online. Gro, led by CEO David Eads, aims to make the task easier and breezier so banks don't lose impatient customers.
Why it matters: Competition for commercial loans is fierce and low rates mean banks can't really compete on price anymore. nCino touts an average 34% decrease in closing time.
Why it matters: The nonprofit is working on a critical problem often ignored by fintech apps: teenagers and young adults who don't understand financial concepts.
Why it matters: Led by CEO Lisa Stanton, InAuth takes a multipronged approach to solving the ballooning problem of securely and quickly authenticating mobile and online customers.
Why it matters: Automates skip tracing, once the work of gumshoes.
Why it matters: Mobile banking and commerce fraud are a rapidly growing concern. The ability to look at device identity and behavior together could prove useful to detecting foul play.
Why it matters: Banks often complain their legacy core systems handcuff their ability to launch modern features for smartphones. Mambu, led by CEO Eugene Danilkis, offers an alternative as well as a way to quickly support entrants into new markets.
Why it matters: As banks continue to struggle to recruit top software developers, Untapt, led by CEO and cofounder Ed Donner, is helping to uncover promising hires.
Related Article: These Ex-Bankers Are Automating the Fintech Hiring Process
Why it matters: Banks are gradually warming to cloud computing and will have an increasing need for middleware that lets them quickly build their own apps.
Why it matters: As branch activity continues to dwindle, so does the number of employees who are on-hand. Leadfusion is looking to help a financial institution's existing staff properly assist banking customers with several products.
Why it matters: Takes a lot of the pain out of invoicing and paying bills, for both merchants and customers.
Why it matters: Frictionless yet secure authentication is a big, important goal for banks.
Why it matters: With consumers judging their digital experience with their financial institution against their overall digital experience, products that make banking easy are in high demand.
Why it matters: Say an investor wants to know their total exposure to the tech sector. Traditionally, that would be a tall order that could take several days to figure out. Addepar, led by CEO Eric Poirier, says its system helps advisers quickly know the exposure so they can give their clients the best guidance.
Why it matters: The edgy account, which avoids cash deposits, comes from Arkadi Kuhlmann, the man who pioneered the direct banking model at ING Direct. The app, which has yet to launch to the public, offers useful and often no-fee features for travelers.