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Too Nice To Fail: Can Moral Finance Save Your Bank?

Xignite

Forbes Fintech For 25 years in the ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan, a sprawling, week-long conference you’ve never heard of shaped your financial life. It was called the Securities Industry Association Technology Conference, (later renamed SIFMA Tech) and it was where the largest technology firms came to pitch the biggest banks on everything from how your 401k got traded to how your bank let you access your money online. Of course, ‘you’ were merely a notional statistic at this four-day financial love-fest. The real name of the game was to help the banks get more profitable and give institutional traders an edge over their – equally institutional – competition.

 

But then 2008 happened and the financial world went to hell in a hand basket, taking the majority of SIFMA Tech with it. Not only did the banks suffer but public trust in banks plummeted to somewhere just slightly north of used car dealers.

Bank Trust Fintech

Financial services didn’t just take a beating during the financial crisis, the fundamental nature of finance needed a makeover. EnterFinovate. Finovate is like TechCrunch Disrupt for Finance, showcasing the best new innovations in financial and banking technology via short, fast-paced demos (no slides allowed) and high-quality networking.

 

Its location? The ballroom of the Hilton Hotel in midtown Manhattan.

 

Finovate Fintech

 

The Finovate conference, like the SIFMA show before it, still brings together financial bigwigs and technologists but ‘you’ – meaning the consumer: your hopes, dreams and desires – are now most definitely the center of the action. Walking through the halls of Finovate has a somewhat Twilight Zone quality about it. It’s like a version of Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ in which the financial industry wakes up after a terrible nightmare and resolves to change its miserly ways before it’s too late.

 

As Stephane Dubois, CEO of financial data company and regular exhibitor, Xignite points out: “There is an incredible irony to seeing Finovate held at the Hilton, the traditional home of the SIFMA Tech show. The energy and innovation demonstrated by these new companies at Finovate easily offsets the luster lost over the years by SIFMA and its traditional contingent of legacy financial providers. It’s like watching a phoenix being born out the ashes of old finance.”

 

So just who are these financial philanthropists?

 

Well there’s SaveUp, an app on a mission to help consumers rebuild their finances after five years of recession. Describing themselves as ‘the gummy vitamin of personal finance’, SaveUp blends traditional balance updates with gamification, encouraging consumers to pay down debt with the opportunity to win prizes and merchant-funded rewards.

 

In the same vein, an app called ImpulseSave from True Potential enables users to make “impulse deposits,” in small increments on their cellphones, smart watch and even Google Glass. The ideas is to make saving habitual and even fun.

 

“Traditional banks could never have approached saving this way” says Jeff Burrow, COO and Co-founder of FlexScore, another Finovate exhibitor and presenter. “The reality is that old-school financial institutions make their money on debt. They are not really incentivized to help consumers become debt free.”

Then there’s EverSafe, a financial monitoring platform designed specifically to protect seniors from fraud. “Isn’t this what the banks and credit bureaus are supposed to be doing?’ I ask. “You would think so” says Howard L. Tischler, EverSafe’s founder and CEO, with a wry smile “but we’re definitely filling a gap in the market!”

 

SIFMA Tech didn’t exactly get replaced with a bunch of financialMother Theresas but this brand of financial capitalism certainly comes in a different flavor. Even the less overtly benevolent exhibitors promote a democratization of finance that was scarce before 2008; giving consumers access to instruments and models previously the preserve of the institutional market alone.

 

HedgeCoVest, one of the most popular exhibitors at the show, is a platform which enables investors to make allocations to hedge fund strategies in their own brokerage accounts, thus giving mom and pop a taste of alternative assets and the higher returns they typically deliver.

 

Evan Rapaport, CEO of HedgeCoVest notes: “The individual investor has been locked out of this part of the market for too long. We believe that the most attractive investment opportunities should be available to everyone and not just institutions and the ultra-wealthy”

 

Patch of Land, does the same thing in property, using a peer-to-peer model and enabling the mass affluent in becoming savvy real estate investors with investments as low as $5000.

 

“The established principles of finance were overdue for a rethink” says Jeff Burrow of Flexscore. “For example, we created Flexscore because we believed that credit worthiness – the traditional gauge of a person’s financial wellbeing – was a useful but ultimately limited measure of overall fiscal responsibility. Students come out of college and the first thing they’re told to do is get a credit or store card and start establishing a credit history. If you think about it, that’s crazy: we’re telling kids who are probably already overloaded with college debt to go and start borrowing more money.” Flexscore, Financial Life Experience Score, by comparison, takes a more holistic view of the individual, gives them total financial clarity and helps them improve their financial standing.

 

This concept of clarity and accessibility permeates the halls of Finovate. Firms such as blooom (sic), for example, are attempting to make the complex world of 401ks more comprehensible for non-financial customers via neat, consumer-friendly visualizations.

 

Even in the most arcane areas of the institutional market, such as fixed income, new players like Algomi (which I heard referred to at the show as “Facebook for Bonds“) are borrowing tools pioneered in social media to bring an openness to the financial markets.

 

At the end of the first day I spoke to Mike Laven, CEO of Currency Cloud, another new financial provider and regular Finovate attendee. Unlike many of the presenters at the show, however, Mike is an industry veteran – having held multiple C-suite positions at financial technology firms since the early 90s. I asked him why, after all that time at the top of large, well-established providers he chose to launch a scrappy start-up. ‘Taking another CEO role at a major firm would certainly have been the easier choice” he concedes, “but there’s a financial technology revolution happening today and I want to be on the right side of history.”

 

Source: Forbes

RECENT NEWS

By Max Bowie - Waters Technology

NICE Actimize has fortified the datasets available for use in its Surveil-X trade surveillance tool, using exchange prices and other data from Swiss vendor SIX, delivered via Xignite’s new suite of microservices for content distribution and data management.

The vendor is preparing to go live with the joint solution “any day now,” after completing some final data validation, says Sam Sundera, head of future business at SIX, who is based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is responsible for dealing with partners, new technology data and initiatives, and with banks’ innovation labs.

A subscription to Waters Technology is required to read this article.

07/23/2020

The Two Companies Deliver Industry’s Largest Global Coverage Sourced from 1,800+ Trading Venues Via Hyper-Scalable Cloud APIs

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, and SIX, today announced a strategic partnership. Xignite and SIX are now offering real-time data from the catalog of SIX which includes 1,800+ global exchanges and trading venues via Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a suite of cloud-native market data management services built to transform how firms store, distribute, manage, and control market data in the cloud. The partnership accelerates the transition of large financial institutions and fintechs to the cloud. This is the first time such a comprehensive set of market data has been offered to the market via a native cloud solution.

Xignite’s battle-tested cloud-native solution currently serves more than 12 billion API calls per day to 750 clients around the world--making it the largest cloud API platform in capital markets. Xignite recently introduced Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a suite of vendor-agnostic services large firms can deploy to migrate their market data infrastructure and any of their existing data sources to the cloud.

“Large financial institutions have been looking for cloud-native market data solutions capable of handling their broad coverage requirements and offering a state-of-the-art customer experience.” says Stephane Dubois, CEO and founder of Xignite. “The pandemic has worsened the situation as firms want to get away from maintaining complex and expensive on-premise infrastructures that are overkill for most of their needs,” added Dubois. “We had the enterprise technology but not the coverage, so partnering with SIX made sense. We are thrilled to partner with SIX and be first to market with a true global enterprise solution.” 

SIX is one of the few market data vendors offering full coverage of the global capital markets. The Market Data Feed (MDF) from SIX delivers a steady stream of global market information that is consolidated, standardized and in real time. With MDF clients get access to over 30 million instruments across all asset classes and from more than 1,800 exchanges, OTC markets, and other trading venues. The combined solution integrates the MDF feed from SIX delivered from hosted collocation facilities to Xignite Enterprise Microservices deployed in the client’s own cloud account. The Xignite Real-Time Microservice is used to distribute real-time data internally or externally from the cloud via scalable APIs while the Xignite Entitlements and Usage Microservice provides control and transparency of data consumption and usage.

“Partnering with Xignite is a great leap for SIX in making its market data easily available to all buy-side and sell-side professionals. While making the richness, depth and wide coverage of our Market Data Feed available via Xignite’s cloud-based solution, we offer clients streamlined access to the highest quality data without a complicated acquisition process, burdensome integration or costly development,” commented John McManus, Head Sales, Financial Information, SIX.

About Xignite

Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed, and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

About SIX

SIX operates and develops infrastructure services in the Securities & Exchanges, Banking Services and Financial Information business units with the aim of raising efficiency, quality, and innovative capacity across the entire value chain of the Swiss financial center. The company is owned by its users (122 banks). With a workforce of some 2,600 employees and a presence in 20 countries, it generated operating income of CHF 1.13 billion and Group net profit of CHF 120.5 million in 2019.
 www.six-group.com

07/23/2020

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, announced today it has created a new program to assist early stage and start-up financial technology companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply for this program visit https://www.xignite.com/fintech-development-program/

The costs associated with developing and launching fintech products and apps can be daunting, even in the best of times. A particularly challenging aspect can be the procurement of quality financial and market data. Hidden fees, restrictions on the use of data, poorly written APIs and exchange requirements are just some of the factors, in addition to costs, that can make it difficult for new or small fintechs to survive.

To assist early stage fintech companies, Xignite is inviting these disruptors to leverage the same technology and data APIs that have helped move the industry forward over the last decade. Through this program, companies can continue to develop their ideas and products without a significant capital commitment. Participants will be able to take advantage of development access for 60 days on Xignite’s most popular financial data APIs and enjoy significant discounts on fees for the first year. Also included in the program is access to real-time, 15-minute delayed and end-of-day stock prices, company data, currency exchange rates, indices, corporate actions and master data.

“Not only are we offering a compelling financial incentive, but companies will have access to the experts on our Product and Engineering team who not only first brought financial market data to the cloud, but also helped support and power some of the biggest disruptors in the industry such as SoFi, Robinhood and Betterment,” said Ryan Burdick, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Sales at Xignite. “By introducing this program, Xignite is able to support the next wave of entrepreneurs by helping to keep their visions moving forward as seamlessly as possible during this unprecedented time.”

About Xignite

Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud Platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

07/14/2020

NICE Actimize Gains Agility and Scalability Bringing its Real-time Market Data Infrastructure to the Cloud

Xignite, Inc., a provider of market data distribution and management solutions for financial services and technology companies, today announced the launch of Xignite Enterprise Microservices, a powerful suite of cloud-native market data management services built to transform how firms store, distribute, manage and control market and financial data in the cloud. NICE Actimize, the leading global provider of financial crime, risk and compliance solutions is the first user of the new Real-time Microservice solution.

Microservices are an architectural approach in which core functionality is handled by loosely coupled, independently deployable components that can work together or separately. Because you can deploy microservices as separate functional units, you can pick and choose the functionality you want and scale them massively at the lowest possible cost. Microservices stand in stark contrast with monolithic platforms that require many dedicated on-premise servers which are expensive to manage, often under-utilized, can’t scale on-demand and require frequent updates and upgrades for even minor changes. Most enterprise platforms also require firms to pay for capabilities that are not needed.

The Xignite Enterprise Microservices run on Xignite’s battle-tested cloud-based architecture that currently supports more than 250 different data sources and 12 billion API calls per day for over 750 fintech and financial services clients. Financial institutions can now leverage the same cloud technology Xignite has been refining and scaling for more than 10 years to move their own financial and market data to the cloud. Xignite’s microservices are built from the ground up for the cloud, in contrast with legacy data providers that are attempting to “lift and shift” their monolithic platforms for that purpose.       

Xignite Enterprise Microservices are vendor-agnostic and can bring transformative results to any data set a firm may license or collect from vendors such Bloomberg, FactSet, ICE Data Services, SIX Financial, Vela Trading, QuantHouse and many others, as well as in-house proprietary data.

“We are incredibly excited to launch Xignite Enterprise Microservices, which we believe will truly revolutionize market data management,” said Stephane Dubois, Founder and CEO of Xignite. “The culmination of over 10 years of nonstop innovation, we have taken the cloud-native architecture that has powered some of world’s most prominent fintechs and scaled it to meet the unique requirements of institutional players that consume huge amounts of data but often have no way of integrating and optimizing it in an efficient and cost-effective way. Firms are no longer required to hitch their wagon to a single provider – instead, they can use a combination of our microservices to secure all the benefits they would get from a rigid legacy offering. We are the only vendor offering a suite of market data management microservices that clients can mix and match to create a comprehensive, infinitely scalable cloud-based solution that meets their exact needs. We firmly believe that offerings like these are the future of market data, and we are thrilled to once again take a leading role in the financial services industry’s continued digital transformation.”

The suite includes seven cloud-native microservices targeted to buy-side, sell-side and fintech firms, as well as exchanges:

  • Xignite Data Lake Microservice is a cloud-native data management and distribution solution that centralizes existing data and enables financial services firms to provide easy access to the data via highly scalable cloud APIs, reducing costs and improving efficiency by eliminating legacy infrastructure.
  • Xignite Optimization Microservice is a cloud-native pricing and reference data cost optimization solution that enables the control of large reference data sets, such as Bloomberg Data License, via intelligent caching, sophisticated entitlements and advanced analytics and reporting.
  • Xignite Entitlements and Usage Microservice is a cloud-native market data access control and reporting solution that enables financial services firms to have complete control and transparency of data consumption and usage, and provides reports of data usage across various data sets, users and applications to ensure vendor compliance.
  • Xignite Reference Microservice is a cloud-native solution that aggregates, normalizes, stores and indexes reference data from multiple vendors across all asset classes into a centralized repository and access layer, enabling centralized access across the entire enterprise and improving data consistency, completeness and timeliness.
  • Xignite Historical Microservice is a cloud-native time-series data management solution that enables financial services firms to capture historical data from different sources and integrate with security master and corporate actions data to provide a fully normalized, stitched and adjusted historical data view via highly scalable cloud APIs.
  • Xignite Real-Time Microservice is a cloud-native real-time data distribution solution that enables financial services firms to distribute real-time data internally and externally via highly scalable and flexible cloud APIs, eliminating on-premise infrastructure.
  • Xignite Fundamentals Microservice is a cloud-native data management solution that enables financial services firms to capture simple or complex time-series data structures associated with an entity such as a regional level security or issuer, and make them available via specialized and highly scalable cloud APIs.

These microservices are already transforming how the industry manages data. NICE Actimize, a leading provider of financial crime management solutions, has replaced its legacy solution with the Xignite Real-Time Microservice to onboard and manage multi-asset class, level 1 and 2 co-located feeds from multiple sources.

The launch of Xignite Enterprise Microservices is the latest highlight in what has been a hugely successful year for the firm. Last month, Xignite received a patent for its alerts technology and the company was named a SIIA CODiE Awards finalist and added to the WealthTech 100 list.

About Xignite
Xignite Makes Market Data Easy. Xignite is leading the disruption of the market data industry with its AWS-based financial data distribution and market data management solutions. Xignite’s Market Data Cloud platform provides market data managers full transparency on the usage of a firm's first-level real-time and reference data - making it easy for data owners to entitle, control consumption, comply with licensing requirements, allocate costs, and resolve vendor audits or invoice discrepancies. Xignite also powers financial data-driven robo-advisors, online brokerages, and investing apps with its real-time, delayed and historical pricing data offered via 500+ REST Cloud APIs. Visit http://www.xignite.com or follow on Twitter @xignite.

07/08/2020