Jason O’Shaughnessy: How FinApps are driving FinTech Innovation

As an avid supporter of the Dutch FinTech Hackathon, our partners at Rabobank asked us to share our thoughts on the future of banking. Below is an expert interview with Jason O’Shaughnessy, VP of International at Yodlee Interactive.

1. What trends do you see in the future of banking?

With the growth in online banking tools and product choices, customers are taking more control of their financial relationships, and I believe this trend is unlikely to change. With this in mind, we see banks deepening their personal connections with customers through a more global view of customer’s finances. These Financial Applications (FinApps) and the way customers interact with them, will be seamless across multiple channels (mobile, web and wearable tech), providing a tailored service for customers.

2. Please describe how APIs and FinApps are driving FinTech innovation.

Accessing APIs is the way forward to driving real adoption of online banking. Through access to third party platforms like Yodlee, banks are taking advantage of financial innovation while staying in control of their user’s experience. For example, our API powers a wide range of banking services with a single view of user’s online accounts (all financial relationships regardless of where they reside), thereby improving processes from online loan applications to online accounting / expense management for SMEs.

3. How will the Dutch FinTech Hackathon support FinTech growth?

The Dutch FinTech Hackathon – launched by Rabobank, StartUpBootCamp, TNO, EBU and UtrechtInc – is the first ever FinTech Hackathon in the Netherlands. It aims to stimulate FinTech industry development in the Dutch economy. On July 4-6th, 2014, the inaugural hackathon will challenge participants to turn a FinTech concept into a demo application, such as a mobile app, website or platform, etc. Interested participants can register online to receive an information package with the Hackathon Challenges, access to available APIs and datasets. The theme of the Dutch FinTech Hackathon is ‘Next Generation Financing.’ Examples are new ways of financing such as crowdfunding or new payment methods like Ripple. In particular, there will be challenges for three domains – Health, Logistics and Sharing Economy. Prizes for winning teams include €5.000, iPads for all team members and entrance into an esteemed acceleration program – StartupBootCamp or UtrechtInc. We are thrilled to support the Dutch FinTech Hackathon and bring our experience from sponsoring global hackathons such as PayPal BattleHack, TechCrunch Disrupt, FinCapDev, FinTech Hack, Hack59 and Hackafin. For ideas about how to use Yodlee Interactive API to develop innovative FinApps, feel free to view our previous hackathon winning solutions.

4. Please describe how entrepreneurs can leverage Yodlee Interactive APIs.

Our Aggregation API is designed for entrepreneurs who need permission-based access and bank-level security to access their customer’s bank, credit card, investment, loan, rewards and billing accounts. Yodlee Interactive APIs (SOAP/REST) provide a great platform for entrepreneurs to address this gap and build innovation FinApps without compromise. Yodlee has successfully been supporting financial innovation with customers such as LearnVest, Lending Club, Hello Wallet, Ontrees and Manilla. Yodlee Interactive API is leveraged by numerous technology companies from the smallest startups (which we help bootstrap via our incubator program) all the way through tech giants like Google, Amazon and PayPal. Mint.com was launched on our platform and our developers have built solutions such as:
  1. Personal Finance Management (LearnVest, MoneyDesktop)
  2. Credit management (CreditKarma)
  3. Student Loan Management (Tuition.io)
  4. Pay Day Lending
  5. Account Verification for Risk Minimization
  6. Divorce Resolution Management
The opportunities are limitless with the power of financial data which includes banking, credit, investment, loan as well as insurance, bills and rewards programs.

Getting Started

  1. Register with us to gain access to our sandbox and samples
  2. Explore our API through our TestDrive tool - try out API calls and download snippets
Tip: use your credentials provided in registration and this url: https://rest.developer.yodlee.com/services/srest/restserver/v1.0/

5. What advice do you have for Dutch FinTech Hackathon participants?

Any solution you deliver should address a customer pain – instead of a “nice to have,” demonstrating a clear benefit for the bank (e.g. additional revenue, increased adoption or customer loyalty) while offering a clean and simple user interface. If you have any questions about how to leverage Yodlee Interactive APIs and grow your startup, feel free to contact Jason@Yodlee.com. Also, please connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for the latest FinDat news, innovations and events!

Jason O’Shaughnessy has more than 25 years of experience in business development, working with high-tech businesses that range from large corporations to innovative start-up ventures. Jason currently heads up Yodlee Inc’s Business Development team for its International markets. Jason established Yodlee’s International operations in 2003 and has since grown Yodlee¹s footprint in more than eight countries across Asia and EMEA. Working with start-ups and major financial institutions, Jason has been instrumental in establishing - and launching - the first Personal Finance Management (PFM), Aggregation and mobile PFM solutions in the United Kingdom, Australia, India, France and South Africa.