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On Monday, fintech startups from across the country and as far away as the Netherlands and Ireland gathered at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock for the first-ever VenCent Fintech Summit.
Hosted by the Venture Center in Little Rock, the summit is designed to connect fintechs with potential customers – mostly banks – but another benefit cited by many exhibitors was the connections they have now made with fintechs performing complementary work to theirs.
The Simmons Bank, Arvest Bank and Discover booths were among those set up by established companies, along with the Acxiom and Euronet lounges in the middle of the show on the first day of the three-day event.
Euronet, a global company, has a software development branch in Little Rock employing 130 people and a new product that Matt Niles, dCustomer Solutions & Products Director, will be claimed in a breakout session on Tuesday afternoon.
Small companies exposed that are either headquartered in Arkansas or have an office here were eGiftify, Data Driven Partners and BOND.AI.
Egiftify offers white-label digital gifts, marketing, rewards and payments technology to businesses of all sizes and got its start helping The Terrace restaurant in Little Rock, which is owned by the fintech founder’s family, Susi Barakat.
Data Driven Partners, a two-woman operation led by Mallory Van Dover and Jennifer Carlisle, focuses on providing the actionable data banks and credit unions need to be efficient and competitive, launch and measure the success of their initiatives Community Reinvestment Act and mitigating loan risk.
Bond.ai recently launched a first-of-its-kind network of financial institutions and employers that provides tools to help both grow. It is designed to connect banks, credit unions, fintechs and enterprises with each other without integration to increase profitability and generate a strong customer acquisition pipeline.
Additionally, a few signs on the show floor directed summit attendees to a row of out-of-state startups currently enrolled in this year’s FIS Fintech Accelerator program, which is hosted by the Venture Center and sponsored by fintech giant FIS of Jacksonville, Florida, as well as the state.
Left to right: Arcanum Technology executives Brian Finnan, Frank Brice and Brooks Brown on the floor of the VenCent Fintech Summit in Little Rock. The company introduced a secure four-character password that should never be changed by the end user.
Among these was Tapcheck, with its technology for businesses that gives employees faster access to their paychecks, avoiding predatory payday lending. Next to his stand were fraudulent transaction monitor Sygno and risk management firm Sardine.
Redactable, as the name suggests, aims to help banks properly redact documents so that they meet compliance requirements. Neural Payments’ technology aims to allow customers of different banks to transfer money between each other without having to sign up for the same app, such as CashApp.
Many other startups with booths were graduates of the fintech accelerator or the ICBA ThinkTECH accelerator hosted by the Venture Center. They included sales and marketing-focused Fi Works and Plinqit, which aim to automate consumer savings.
One of the most notable technologies was nKode from Arcanum Technology of Athens, Georgia. He demonstrated a secure four-character password that should never be changed by the end user.
There were over 70 fintechs at the show, far too many to name each one and what they do. But their business goals ranged from automating time-consuming functions to collaboration to simplifying processes as complex as applying for a mortgage.