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!

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.

Play our Business Match game this Valentine’s Day!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, do you know who’s your perfect match when it comes to running your business?

Pawsforthought
Could Paws for Thought be your perfect business match?

Check out our new Business Match game and sign up to CreditHQ this February for only £15 per month PLUS, we’re giving all new Standard subscribers a box of chocolates plus entering all new subscribers into a draw to win a meal for two at the fabulous Resident of Paradise Row in east London (or if you can’t make it to the big smoke, we’ll give you the equivalent in vouchers for a great national restaurant).

So head over to www.credithq.co.uk/businessmatch  to take advantage of this great offer and make sure you’ve found the perfect business to trade with. And good luck!

It’s events and awards season in the Fintech world…here’s what we’ve been up to!

FInovate Trophy

September has been a very busy month so far here at Ormsby Street– we’ve just returned from New York’s Finovate Fall where Martin demoed CreditHQ to an audience of around 2000; ranging from directors of international banks to startup leaders in the Fintech world.

newyork from ferry

The next stop on our whistle-stop tour of Fintech events this month was Barcelona, where Ormsby Street was chosen from over 900 companies as a finalist in the BBVA Open Talent Finals. Here, we were able to talk to over one hundred attendees from BBVA bank, hear some fantastic keynotes about the future of banking, and meet the other sixteen companies who were lucky enough to be shortlisted. Unfortunately, we didn’t win this time (huge congratulations to both Everledger and Origin Markets who delivered great pitches and won) but we made some great connections and learned a lot about how Fintech’s innovations can work alongside traditional banking methods to improve banking practices for everyone.

Martin BBVA

We’re now gearing up for our next set of nominations as the award and event season marches on. We’re thrilled to have been shortlisted for The Growing Business Awards (Young Company of the Year), 2015 UKIT Industry Awards (UK Innovation and Entrepreneurship), The Credit Excellence Awards (Newcomer to the Industry) and the Great British Entrepreneur Awards. Hopefully we’ll be adding some more awards to the shelf here at Ormsby Street HQ. Wish us luck!

CreditHQ at Finovate Fall!

We’re thrilled to now announce that we’re going to be demoing CreditHQ at this year’s Finovate Fall in New York!

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

“For online personal finance nerds – like your humble correspondent – Finovate is the Super Bowl and World’s Fair rolled into one.” – MARY PILON, WALL STREET JOURNAL THE WALLET

Finovate

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.

If you’re attending, 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.

FinovateFall is organized by The Finovate Group. For more information on the event or to view videos of previous demos, please visit finovate.com