January is a month of New Year’s resolutions for the masses, and it was no different for these startups, many of which have launched or announced new ventures and expansions in the new year. From fraud to fitness tracking, from cross-border to cryptocurrencies and from chargebacks to KYC, here’s how seven startups aim to change the game in 2018 (and how some of them already are).
After cementing its presence in Europe during 2017, Emailage turns its focus to the Asia-Pacific region for 2018 expansion. CRO Manoel Coelho told PYMNTS that the startup already has customers in the region despite its lack of a direct presence, so the opportunity for growth there is ripe.
Coelho explained that, while there’s no silver bullet in fraud prevention, a few factors make email a powerful tool the world over.
First, it’s a global variable (whereas identifiers like the Social Security number are more localized). Second, there are no duplicates, because the world wide web is, well, worldwide. Finally, email addresses (once viewed as disposable) are now more persistent than billing or shipping addresses, while phone numbers change about once every two years.
Many merchants simply accept chargebacks as part of the cost of doing business, but Chargehound believes they don’t have to be. It’s striving to change the conversation around chargebacks in the coming year.
The startup quietly monitors chargebacks in the background and while employees are offline — whether that’s overnight, over the weekend or over Christmas vacation. That saves companies from having to sift through a backlog of thousands of chargebacks upon return.
After the holidays, said Chargehound, at least one client came back to work to discover $100,000 in savings generated while everyone was home for the holidays.
This month, Tipalti launched its partner program for system integrators, procure-to-pay implementers, business processing outsourcing companies and banks with cross-border and invoice automation needs. The program’s focus is to enable financial experts and consultants to better help and serve their clients.
CMO Rob Israch said he’s observed increased adoption and momentum for these types of needs, and CFOs and executives are realizing that increasing data entry personnel is no longer enough to get the job done. They need an approach that can scale and protect them from risk.
Israch said these complex and time-consuming tasks are being completed faster and better than they could be manually, and the finance teams formerly responsible for them are now free to focus on higher-value activities like global expansion and reduction of audit, fraud and tax risk exposure.
The technology behind nanopay has a few potential use cases: primarily, the creation of “currencies” for merchants and retailers to use as rewards mechanisms.
The same technology could be used to create a cryptocurrency, in theory; but CEO Laurence Cooke says it’ll never happen. Cooke believes cryptocurrencies and blockchains don’t — and can’t — scale well in the payments space due to processing speed, liquidity issues and volatility in the market.
Instead, Cooke says it would be much more beneficial to use nanopay for digitizing existing currencies to create better access in regions that struggle with financial inclusion.
Startups FitPay and NXT-ID collaborated with Garmin on a new payments-enabled smartwatch, the Forerunner 645, which was unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show. This is the second device to feature the startup duo’s Garmin Pay platform.
The Forerunner holds up to 500 songs. With money and music neatly tucked into a wearable, along with fitness tracking, there’s no reason for athletes to carry their smartphones while working out. All they need is the watch and a pair of Bluetooth headphones.
NXT-ID is also working on a cryptocurrency capability for the FitPay platform, which would allow crypto holders to use the value of their cryptocurrency to fund a contactless payment through their device. The startups aim to launch the platform by mid-2018.
Today’s merchants don’t need a storefront; they can sell goods on platforms like Facebook and Instagram — provided they can get the backing of an acquiring bank. But such platforms have invited a proliferation of nontraditional merchants, and banks are hard-pressed to keep up with the influx.
As Jewel Paymentech launches its new KYC (Know Your Customer) module in Singapore, this is the pain point the startup hopes to relieve for acquiring banks. Through the module, banks don’t have to perform due diligence on every single applicant — as long as another bank has already done it, acquirers can borrow intel from other financial institutions in the Southeast Asia region.
To open a savings account, customers must walk into a branch, so there’s a high likelihood that anyone applying to become a merchant has already been vetted by one bank or another.
New products, partners and certifications will pave the path to growth for startup Amaryllis in 2018. CEO Mark Bishopp said it will be a “year of getting the word out” through tour stops, virtual CEO talks and collaborations with some of the biggest names in acquiring and business sponsorship.
The new products include a full-service underwriting management system and instant payout for rideshare and similar businesses. New acquiring partners white-labeling the solution will be formally announced in March. New certifications are being completed with Vantiv and First Data, two of the world leaders in connecting marketplaces with acquiring banks to sponsor their businesses.
Look for Amaryllis on the touring circuit through March, with stops at TRANSACT 2018, Venture Summit West and MRC Vegas — as well as on the startup’s popular CEO Chat series in the interim.