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6 Fintechs Disrupting The Industry

Xignite

Article by Jeff Pruitt

These six ventures are reshaping the infrastructure in the financial services sector. Find out how.

Financial technology is no longer a complicated, boring niche reserved to a small group of tech titans in Silicon Valley. It has become a rapid-growth sector in the tech industry - one that isn't losing steam.

Now popularly known as fintech, it generally refers to new ventures that are applying technology to solve a problem in the financial industry. The problems these innovators are solving have trended around creating a better customer experience whether in budgeting and banking, lending, purchasing, wealth management, or funds transfer.

While many companies in this sector flew under the radar for several years, they're now starting to gain mass appeal in the mainstream. The industry has leveled up in a sense with some savvy fintechs developing APIs (application programming interfaces) that are connecting the dots between various players in the financial services ecosystem, allowing them to collaborate in ways that previously didn't seem possible.

Here is a look at six making waves in the industry and reshaping the relationship and experience consumers and businesses have with the financial services sector.

Apex

Robo-advisor might sound like a villain out of Terminator, but it's actually an online wealth-management service that applies automation and algorithm-based technology to portfolio management advice. One fintech making a name for itself in robo-advisory is Apex Clearing, an online clearing firm. Other fintechs have glommed onto the company's suite of APIs to enable their users to enter, review, and settle account transfers between financial institutions.

Apex's API is now being used by other notable fintechs like Wealthfront, Betterment, Robinhood, Stash, and Personal Capital. And it has enabled them to give their users a complete online and paperless experience, standardize transfer procedures, reduce operating costs, and speed transaction settlements. This fintech made a name for itself early on by adapting quickly to the evolving needs in the digital advice space.

Fidor Bank

Fidor Bank is an all-digital bank based in Germany that launched in 2009 in an effort to re-establish the lost confidence consumers had in banking. The founders did so with customer-focused services and by empowering customers to have a voice in the bank's decision-making processes. As a result, it's since been labeled as one of the most innovative banks and has received numerous awards for its disruptive, transparent approach to banking and its fintech activity.

They further clinched their place in the industry with fidorOS, their suite of white-label, API-enabled application modules for digital banking. Through their database of more than 40 APIs, they're allowing banks and fintechs to build apps on top of their systems.

Developing this infrastructure has helped secure Fidor's longevity in the industry. Countless fintechs and banks are now relying on Fidor APIs for things like banking, payment processing, card and user management, sign-on and identification, loyalty and rewards management, money transfer, lending, and the list goes on.

Xignite

Xignite was created for sourcing and integrating real-time market data into apps and devices geared towards wealth management. This Silicon Valley startup has helped ignite fintech innovation by enabling its more than 1,000 financial services clients to provide trade data - pricing and volume on stocks, bonds, options, or futures - and corporate earnings information to the end user.

Xignite currently has more than 43 APIs used by notable fintechs like Betterment, Wealthfront, Yodlee and Personal Capital. Major financial institutions and exchanges such as NASDAQ, NYSE Technologies, and Direct Edge are also using the company's private data distribution solution.

Plaid

In a nutshell, Plaid enables applications to sync with their users' bank accounts to track and manage their budgets, and transfer funds. Plaid's API essentially serves as the connecter between banks and fintechs, and it's currently being used by several popular brands like Venmo, Gusto, TransferWise, Charity Water, Venmo, Gusto, TransferWise, Charity Water, Robinhood, and Level Money.

For example, Robinhood, a stock-trading app, uses Plaid's ACH (automated clearing house) authentication to verify a user's account ownership, check balances, and facilitate the funds transfer. Similarly, Gusto uses Plaid's ACH functionality to power its payroll direct deposit service. Beyond ACH, other fintechs like Level Money are using Plaid to aggregate and clean data from the user's various bank accounts and adding helpful context to help them budget and manage their money.

Dwolla

When Dwolla first came on the scene it was focused on getting customers to use its mobile app to pay businesses. They quickly realized it was their ACH API that was really making waves. Now fintechs are using Dwolla's API to enable peer-to-peer funds transfer between various banks. They took it a step further, white labeling their payment integration and now fintechs like Kill Bill deploying Dwolla into their native platforms to facilitate payments.

SPARROW

SPARROW started in the military space and has expanded into e-commerce, education, travel, medical, and other sectors with its payment technology. The company has since developed a series of open APIs for managing one-time and recurring ACH, automate tokenization, e-commerce, mobile payment processing, and secure redirect payments.

Of course, there are a handful of the long-time players like Square, PayPal, Google, and Apple that are continuing to revolutionize the financial services industry. Established banks like Deutsche Bank and Barclays have also embraced the API revolution, hosting hack-a-thons to encourage innovators to build new fintechs using their APIs.

The moral of the story? If you're looking to break into the fintech space, keep in mind there are two sides of the equation: those building the infrastructure and those leveraging it to reshape the user experience. And there's plenty of room for innovation in both.

Read the original article at Inc.com

RECENT NEWS

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, announced today it has enhanced the data coverage for its’ interbanks and interest rates APIs in preparation for the required transition from the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) benchmark interest rate at the end of 2021.

Used in financial products such as adjustable-rate mortgages, consumer loans, credit cards and derivatives, LIBOR has been the world's most widely used benchmark for short-term rates. But after the 2008 financial crisis the U.S. Federal Reserve recommended a new benchmark interest rate to replace the outdated and problematic LIBOR. In the U.S market the new benchmark is Secured Overnight Funding Rate (SOFR), which is based on transactions in the U.S. Treasury repurchase, or repo, market, where banks and investors borrow or lend Treasuries overnight. Other countries are introducing their own local-currency-denominated alternative reference rates for short-term lending.

Xignite banking, and Fintech customers that build apps for capital markets, investment management, financing, and foreign currency exchange purposes, require interbank and interest rates data to manage exchange and interest rate risk. Xignite enhanced its Interbanks and Rates APIs with SOFR earlier this year and has now added four of the alternative overnight risk-free rates (RFRs) recommended to replace LIBOR for currencies in respective markets. The new rates include Euro Short-Term Rate (ESTR), Swiss Reference Rates (SARON), Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA), and Tokyo Overnight Average Rate (TONAR). These additional rates are available now at no additional cost to customers.

“Our rates and InterBanks APIs were the first REST APIs ever released to serve the needs of the lending and banking industries. They uniquely aggregate rates that are used by dozens of firms globally in critical business processes,” said Vijay Choudhary, Vice President of Product Management for Xignite “Given the major shift the industry is experiencing regarding reference rates, it was critical for us to support those new rates to give our clients the data they need to run their businesses,” added Choudhary.

Xignite’s Interbanks API offers real-time and historical interbank and deposit rates for currencies in 40 countries. Xignite’s Interest Rates API provides interest rate data for over 600 global treasury, money market and private capital market instruments and benchmarks. The new alternative T+1 (24hr+ delayed) rates include:

  •         Europe: Euro Short-Term Rate (ESTR) is an interest rate benchmark that reflects the overnight borrowing costs of banks within the eurozone. The rate is calculated and published by the European Central Bank.
  •         Switzerland: Swiss Reference Rates (SARON) represents the overnight interest rate of the secured money market for Swiss francs (CHF). The rate is calculated and published by SIX.
  •         United Kingdom: Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) is the effective overnight interest rate paid by banks for unsecured transactions in the British sterling.
  •         Japan: Tokyo Overnight Average Rate (TONAR) is an unsecured interbank overnight interest rate and reference rate for the Japanese yen. The rate is calculated and published by the Bank of Japan.

About Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006, when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage a suite of specialized microservices to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

06/09/2021

Xignite, Inc., a provider of cloud-based market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today introduced XigniteGlobalCorporateActions, a new advanced API providing detailed corporate actions data for events such as stock splits, dividends, mergers, and spinoffs. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic increase in corporate actions, annual meetings canceled, dividend payouts suspensions, and an accelerated company mergers and acquisitions rate. Knowing when a company plans to offer a split or undertake an acquisition is critical for buy-side and sell-side firms.

Corporate action processing is one of the “last frontiers of pain” for investment management, and one of the most manual and complex parts of back-office operations. The lack of uniformity and standards makes it difficult to identify and interpret information correctly. Obtaining accurate and timely information is challenging, and errors can result in painful financial losses. The XigniteGlobalCorporateActions is the first cloud-based REST API to eliminate the pains and complexity caused by legacy data feed and files. The API provides a single-source data stream with consistent information gathered from more than 190 exchanges and over 30,000 U.S. mutual funds.

The recent split of TSLA and AAPL stock on the same day illustrates the complex and far-reaching impact of corporate actions. If a firm does not do this correctly, it will show on historical charts, and their customers will notice. Xignite’s Data Quality team cross-validates our corporate actions data across sources and proactively detects and fixes any missing information. This prevents missing issues such as the TSLA and AAPL splits.

“The industry is facing a ‘perfect storm’”, says Vijay Choudhary, Vice President of Product Management for Xignite. “On one hand you have a massive wave of corporate actions fueled by the pandemic and the rising markets, and on the other you have millions of new retail investors eyeballing their investment applications all day long. One bad corporate action can send your customer service department into a tailspin,” added Choudhary. Additional detail on the Corporate Actions API endpoints:

GetDistributions - Returns cash and stock dividends as declared by the company for a requested security and date range.

GetDistributionsByExchange - Returns cash and stock dividends as declared by the company for a requested exchange and date.

GetEventSummaries - Provides a high-level overview of events for a requested security and date range.

GetMergers - Returns merger events for a given identifier and date range.

GetSpinoffs - Returns spinoff events for a given identifier and date range.

GetSplits - Returns the stock split history for a security for a specified date range.

GetTakeovers - Returns takeover events for a given identifier and date range.

Xignite

Xignite has been disrupting the financial and market data industry from its Silicon Valley headquarters since 2006 when it introduced the first commercial REST API. Since then, Xignite has been continually refining its technology to help fintech and financial institutions get the most value from their data. Today, more than 700 clients access over 500 cloud-native APIs and leverage specialized microservices-delivered modules to build efficient and cost-effective enterprise data management solutions. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite

05/18/2021

In the foreign metal market and the world of international rates, currencies play the crucial role of acting as the medium of exchange in the transactions that take place.

Currencies like the United States dollar, the Euro, or the British Pound are commonly used around the world in order to get a metal rate. Some companies that offer precious metal live and historical rates have exposed their APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to allow developers to integrate current and historical metal rates, currency conversion, or other capabilities into their applications.

In order to know about precious metals live and historical rates, there’s a lot of APIs available online, and if you want to try one, Barchart is going to be one of your first options. But if you take a look at what else is in the market, you’ll find alternatives so many great alternatives:

Xignite Market Data Cloud Platform

Xignite Market Data as a Service was one of the first market data services built to run in AWS and they are one of the few vendors that is an AWS Advanced Technology Partner with a Financial Services Competency.

With more than a decade of cloud expertise in building, scaling and operating cloud-based market data technology, it is no surprise that leading financial services and capital markets firms rely on this company to empower their journey to the cloud. Their Metals API Service offers real-time prices and quotes for metals including Gold, Silver, Palladium, Platinum and other base metals. In addition to real-time precious metals prices, the service provides daily London Fixing prices as well as historical precious metal prices and metal news. 

Xignite Cloud APIs are sourced from leading providers such as FactSet and Morningstar as well as Xignite’s own curated, high-quality data.

Read the article Top 3 Alternatives for Barchart Precious Metals Rates

02/25/2021