Ormsby Street selected to present at Finovate Spring

We’re heading off to San Jose next week, as we’ve been selected to present CreditHQ at the prestigious Finovate Spring event in San Jose.

Finovate Spring is a demo-based conference for innovative startups and established companies in the fields of banking and financial technology. Held in San Jose, California, the event offers an insight-packed glimpse into the future of money via a fast-paced, intimate, and unique format.

Finovate Spring

FinovateSpring is a conference on steroids and a great opportunity to see new technologies and upcoming companies changing the world of financial technology.  Victor Smilgys, Keypoint CU

Competition is fierce to appear at this event, with around 70 companies from the financial technology sector showcasing new products or technology over the course of two days – both on stage and on their company stands to an audience of over 1500; including investors, VCs, entrepreneurs, expert analysts and influential press.

Our CEO and co-founder, Martin Campbell, will be presenting some great new features of CreditHQ, including our new bookkeeping integration. Of the integration, Martin said:

When connected to Xero, CreditHQ, like a good financial controller, monitors every customer and every invoice the company has.  Unlike a financial controller, it has access to real-time credit scoring and payment performance information from multiple sources as well as insight into thousands of other small businesses using the product to chase invoices and recover debts.

Combining these data sources and feedback from tens of thousands of users using a patent-pending data-driven approach, the next generation Insight Engine is able to identify cash flow problems and credit risks for your business and highlight the most effective way to resolve them, and present a prioritized action plan to the business leader who can then simply approve the actions that the insight engine has planned.  

As well as highlighting actions for our own customers, our bank partners who provide the product to their SME customers, also gain insight to help them target the right products and support at small businesses customers they historically have very little data about.”

If you’re heading to Finovate, please come and say hi and let us show you how CreditHQ can help all small businesses combat the problem of late payments and focus on growth and success. For 20% off your ticket(s), use code: OrmsbyStreetCompFS16

We’ve been nominated for a Benzinga Award!

Ormsby Street have been chosen as a finalist for this year’s Benzinga Awards – in the ‘leveling the playing field’ category

bzawards-finalists-2016-official

The Benzinga Awards (BZ), is a competition to showcase the companies with the most impressive technology, who are paving the future in financial services and capital markets.

Last year’s winners include HedgecoVest who were the overall winner, with Estimize taking first place for best startup.

If you’d like to join in the celebrations in New York on May 24th, click here for full information and details of how to grab your ticket.

Good luck to all the other finalists!

Ormsby Street to showcase CreditHQ at Money2020 Europe

EuMoney2020 logo 2.jpg

This week we’re getting ready to head to Copenhagen to Money2020 Europe, where we’ll be showcasing CreditHQ in front of Europe’s leading banking and fintech experts.

The conference is expecting over 3,000 attendees  – including over 1,000 CEOs from 1,000 companies in 75 different countries and including over 400 speakers. In 2015, more than 150 announcements were made at Money20/20 US. These announcements provided a focal point of conversation and generated tremendous buzz for organisations with a product or business to announce, and Money2020’s European clone is hoping to shake up the finance world in a similar manner.

From Startup pitches, to keynotes from companies such as Worldpay, BBVA and Android Pay, Money2020 Europe is THE place to be this month!

If you’d like to attend, you can buy your tickets here with our fantastic €200 discount! Simply use the code ORMSBY200 when prompted.

We’ll be at Kiosk K23, so pop along and say hi, and we can show you how CreditHQ can help small businesses get paid on time, and if you’re a bank – we’d love to talk to you about how CreditHQ can help you engage with your small business customers.

An Egg-cellent offer this Easter week!

The long weekend might be over, but we’re extending our Easter special offer – Access CreditHQ FREE for one month!

Now we’ve hit the second quarter of the year, it’s a great chance to reflect on the first few months of the year and review the businesses with whom you’re trading.

Are your suppliers paying you on time? Might it be time to increase or reduce the amount of credit you’re extending to a particular business? Has your business’ credit and payment score improved and you’d like to show potential customers this?

CreditHQ can help improve your cash-flow and credit management, and ensure you’re working with the companies that are best for your business. If you know you want to work with a particular business but know in advance that they’re not likely to pay you until 45 days, you can plan accordingly and make sure you’ve got enough cash in the meantime for other purposes.

So this Easter, we’re offering you access to CreditHQ’s Standard subscription free of charge for one month! Simply enter the code EASTERHQ16 in the voucher code box*.

You’ll need to enter your card details, but don’t worry –  we won’t charge you a penny for 30 days (and if you find you’re not using CreditHQ, simply cancel anytime within the first month to avoid the £25 monthly subscription fee).

So hop to www.credithq.co.uk and start checking out the best businesses you should be working with!

*voucher code valid until 30 April.

Just ask! Your customers know what you need to do

Feedback

I called a long standing customer of our of our software products the other day and the first thing he said was “Hi Rob, I’m amazed you called.  I haven’t ever heard from anyone in your business before.”

And it’s true, he hadn’t actually ever spoken to anyone in the organisation before.  He signed up to access our service via his bank, his access information was sent to him via email, and since then he’s been signing in to the service and using it himself in order to get the value he needs.  At no point in the 5 years+ that he has been a customer has he spoken to any person within our business.

We had a great conversation for an hour, where he told me all the good things about the service we offer, the areas that he hoped it would get better, and importantly he told me about the challenges he faces as being the Finance Director of a small to medium sized business.

All of this information is absolute gold for me in helping figure out how we can get better at making businesses get control of their money.

At one point in the conversation he said ‘would you mind if I email you when i have something I think you should know?’, to which I said ‘of course not’ and I proceeded to tell him how every customer who signs up toCreditHQ will get an email from me where I ask for them to give me some feedback.  

I give every customer the chance to email me with the answer to a specific question such as ‘tell me your biggest business challenge today’ or to complete a questionnaire that takes about 2 minutes to do. 

It’s amazing what you find out.  And it’s amazing how you can use this to make decisions in your business about what you can do next.  Sometimes it’s a little thing (we don’t care about feature X) but sometimes it’s a bigger thing (you should charge more than you do).

And all through just asking.

Many businesses are scared to ask their customers what they think because they worry that they think bad things about them.  But they’re your customers so you already do something they like or they wouldn’t have got that far.  Why not listen to them and get them to give you more of their custom, or get them to spread the word about how great you are because you listen. A colleague of mine who was recently at SXSW (where we were showcasing CreditHQ as part of the UKTI’s Tech Ambassador programme), was told by an Über driver that he much preferred driving for the competitor taxi firm over there, Lyft, purely because they get in touch with their drivers asking for feedback and how they can improve conditions for them. 

We can’t do everything we get told would help, but we might find out some things we can stop doing that frees us up to do more of the good stuff.

You never know! Just ask!

What UK FinTech can learn from SXSW 2016

I’ve recently been at this year’s South by South West (SXSW), or ‘south by’ as it is referred to by the locals.

Although popularly known as one of the world’s largest music and film festivals, it also brings together technologists, entrepreneurs, creatives and marketers at SXSW Interactive.

My company, FinTech startup Ormsby Street, was selected to attend SXSW by UKTI as one of its Tech Ambassadors.

London’s rise to its current position as one of the main global FinTech hubs over the past years or so, has been well-documented, yet for all the undoubted successes, there is still much to learn. The bigger FinTech startups still in the main originate from the US, so what is done differently in the US to the UK and what can UK FinTech startups learn from their US counterparts on show at SXSW?

FinTech at SXSW

This was the second year we have been at SXSW, and I noticed a small but dedicated focus on FinTech compared to 2015. FinTech was everywhere this year. I attended the ‘Payment and Fintech’ section of the SXSW Startup Accelerator, which saw Chroma, a ‘new stock market for the small business economy’ win and also a similar event focused on ‘Banking and Fintech’.

A lot of FinTech solutions are focussing on moving money around – be that through novel payment systems using mobiles or the web, or international transfers. This is prime territory for innovation and an area where banks lag behind what technology can achieve because they’re using older systems.

The other area where banking is out of whack with society, is in that of trust – this was a major theme across SXSW. Trust is the real currency of banking, but the standards and the processes that banks use are very different from those that we use in the rest of our lives. For most purposes, your phone number or your social media account are enough to identify you, but for good reason this isn’t the case in banking and so innovators are trying to find a middle way on this debate between security and convenience.

Security vs Convenience

This debate was happening all across SXSW and was one of the one themes in Barack Obama’s keynote speech. I was lucky enough to get my name pulled out of the hat to attend this, and while the President didn’t comment on the current FBI and Apple case directly, he did put forward the argument that authorities need access to data on electronic devices because the ‘dangers are real’.

He outlined his commitment to strong encryption but also discussed how smartphones and other electronic devices are designed as such that data on them is permanently locked away. What are the implications if authorities are looking to catch child pornographers or disrupt terrorist plots? Weighty issues, but the challenge of balancing encryption, security and convenience is one that almost every FinTech startup must address at some stage in their development, and it’s no doubt out of concern for its own recent startup: “Apple Pay” that Apple is making a big deal of this issue.

Products, not companies

FinTech remains a really hot topic because the experience we all have with personal banking and with business finance – paper forms, signatures and face to face conversations – is all rooted in the age of paper and therefore ripe for innovation.

Yet much of the innovation at SXSW has been around product, not the companies behind them. Most of the big business here (and there is a lot) is looking for a product that will address a gap in their own offering, rather than looking to acquire a company which would remain in any way self contained.

What this means for the FinTech startups involved, is that they must make something that truly disrupts and they must be open to collaboration and partnerships with multiple big businesses at an early stage. If a new FinTech product is only of moderate convenience, then its days will be numbered before it’s snapped up by one bank or another, and while a acquisition may be the end goal for many FinTech startups, only those who can forge partnerships with multiple major banks are likely to find the route to longer term independent growth.

Finally, something that became clear from a number of sources across SXSW, is that FinTech startups face a tougher regulatory battle than those in other sectors. Every startup should plan to scale from the moment they launch, but anyone doing so in such a highly regulated market such as FinTech needs to be certain of what they doing – get it wrong and the entire business can stall.

Ormsby Street to showcase CreditHQ at SXSW

We’re very excited to announce that we’ve been chosen as one of the  UKTI’s 33 Tech Ambassadors  (https://www.events.ukti.gov.uk/sxsw-2016-12/) to go to South by South West in Austin this week to showcase CreditHQ at SXSW Interactive (http://www.sxsw.com/interactive).

SXSW

As we move closer to a US launch, this offers us a fantastic opportunity to spread the word about CreditHQ to a huge audience! Thanks again to the UKTI for this opportunity. 

We’ll be at the Great Britain House demoing CreditHQ on Saturday 12 March from 12pm onwards – come say hi! 

Location: Great Britain House @ Wanderlust Yoga Studio – 206 East 4th Street, Austin, TX 78701 

Ormsby Street: A Top 50 British Company!

Last night saw the Real Business Everline Future 50 Awards at London’s exclusive and über-trendy Bankside Vaults on the Southbank, and we were over the moon to be chosen as one of the 50 for CreditHQ

Everline Future 50

The competition saw entrants from hundreds of British companies, who are all triggering changes in their industry. The day began with a fantastic street food fiesta, followed by a programme of talks and interviews with former Future 50 winners – such as Ed Rex from Jukedeck and David Tuck from Chaser.

The evening’s programme kicked off with an unforgettable performance by singer/actress/comedienne Jess Robinson who took us through a bizarre yet hugely impressive world of impressions from Billie Holiday to Cheryl Cole (aka Tweedy, aka Fernandez-Versini, aka just Cheryl? I give up!)

Former Future 50 companies include the likes of Crowd Cube, Pay as you gym, Funding Circle and Transfer Wise, so it’s safe to say we’re in great company!

Thanks again to Real Business and Everline for a great evening and for the win!

Future 50 winners

Taking ‘care’ to help entrepreneurs

In January, we wanted to make good on some new years resolutions and make a difference to entrepreneurs in developing countries.

For the whole of January, we “lent” our subscription revenue to Lend with Care to pass on as loans to entrepreneurs in less privileged countries.

Lend with Care is an innovative microfinance charity; pairing up entrepreneurs in developing countries with people in more fortunate parts of the world, who loan those entrepreneurs money in order for them to transform their lives through business.

To date over 25,000 lenders have made 251,510 loans and lent over £8m to 27,567 entrepreneurs in 11 countries providing 32,976 jobs – that’s a measurable difference!

It was a difficult decision to choose who to donate to on the Lendwithcare site, as we really wanted to choose them all. They all have great stories, and are looking to improve their businesses to help their families and are also trying to improve the environment they live in.

After much thought, we choose four different businesses to lend to:

Bui van Kien

Mr. Kien wants to diversify the sources of income and he chose to rear buffaloes because it is profitable in his region. He applied for a loan, which is to be used to buy a young buffalo.

Bui van Kien

 

Bui thi Ninh

Growing rice and rearing 2 buffalo help them to bring 120 USD per month on average.
Mrs. Ninh hopes to expand her breeding business by rearing one more buffalo.

Bui-thi-Ninh

 

Ra Siem

To increase their income and make it better Mrs. Ra wants a loan in order to purchase another small plot of land around 1,600 square meters to grow sugarcane.

Ra-Siem

 

Nguyen van Du

Mr. Du requested a loan to finance the installation of a household biogas plant. The biogas plants accepts mainly animal manure but also other organic waste. Then it converts them into biogas which is then piped into the home and used for cooking, lighting and even heating. This will help reduce electricity cost and save a lot of time spent travelling to collect firewood. Therefore, deforestation will be reduced and the living environment will be much healthier.

Nguyen-van-Du

A few days later, we learnt that Nguyen van Du is now fully funded, so he’s on his way to realising his dreams for his business, which without Lendwithcare, he probably wouldn’t have been able to do. We’re looking forward to Bui van Kien, Bui thi Ninh and Ra Siem reaching their funding target too, so that they can get going with their projects.

Lendwithcare, is such a great idea, as it makes a real difference to entrepreneurs in developing countries, and it’s a ‘loan’, so you will get the loan amount back – so please lend any amount you can, to make a real difference today.

Here in the UK, we can help you to check the financial health of the businesses you’re trading with. For less than 50p a day, you’ll be able to see how good or bad a credit risk they are, and what’s most important to many small businesses – when they are likely to pay you. Sign up to CreditHQ so that you can get paid on time, and with that extra cash, please think about lending some to other entrepreneurs in developing countries, to help them improve their lives.

Thank you

Please vote for us!

We’re thrilled to have been nominated for the European Fintech Awards, and now we need your help!

To vote for us to get to be one of the Top 100 Fintech companies, please click here

 

Fintech 100 Voting

55 per cent of smaller firms wait over 30 days to be paid, and latest Bacs research into the UKs late payment burden, shows that SMEs are racking up a collective £10.8 billion a year in their attempts to recover overdue payments. Our mission with CreditHQ is to change the face of credit management and ensure that all small businesses are carrying out simple, quick credit and payment checks of everyone they’re trading with

Our mission with CreditHQ is to change the face of credit management and ensure that all small businesses are carrying out simple, quick credit and payment checks of everyone they’re trading with so they can sleep easy at night and focus on growing their business.

Please vote today and help ensure more businesses are armed with the knowledge and tools they need to get paid on time!