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Innovating Your Wallet in 2017: Wave, Sensibill, League, Bench

The Canadian Innovation Financial Servies Award is presented by Interac.

Few know their customers better than the financial institutes that help fund their ideas, offer advice, and support them throughout their journey. Every company begins with a conversation about funds and purpose, so these institutes are crucial to the development of the tech industry.

Anyone that has ever had a conversation involving bank accounts, financial backing, or even the current standing of your savings knows that it’s not a particularly comfortable chat to have. Financial Institutes (or FIs) across Canada strive to make life as we know it, smoother.

Startups and traditional FIs alike are innovating user experiences, investment models, customer interaction, and even their own internal transformations.

The Canadian Innovation Awards’ Financial Services Award aims to celebrate Canadian institutes that are changing the game. This award category—new in 2017—acknowledges outstanding innovation in Financial Services.

Bench

Most companies, regardless of size, do not employ their own full-time bookkeepers, and most software available these days is void of crucial elements or human interaction. Bench—founded in 2012, with a brand new sleek space in downtown Vancouver—have rested their success on the idea that having both flawless software and reliable people can adjust an expectation from Tax and Bookkeeping institutes.

“By supplementing our product with a service, we’re able to deliver a solution that’s not only hands-off but cost-effective, fast, and tax-ready. It’s what bookkeeping should be, and empowers small business owners to focus their time on the parts of their business that actually generate revenue.”

They are, in just a brief time, the largest bookkeeping service in the U.S., combining their automated systems with human-powered services. Bench offers a magnitude of services like reliable software (with interactive financial statements, visual reports, and year-end financial packages) and dedicated bookkeepers with expert experience at the drop of a dime.

League

One of the biggest pain-points in startup culture or indie studios are benefits and health insurance. Over the years, it has grown into a bureaucratic system that often times does little to support the end-user.

Co-founded in 2014, League Inc. (sometimes referred to as The League) locked their sights on creating a far friendlier experience when dealing with your company’s health insurance. “No industry is too big to shake up” reads their about us page, and they are taking on one of the biggest global markets today—health insurance.

“League is ushering in a new era of health benefits for the modern workforce, improving and simplifying health benefits for employees, employers, administrators and providers. League is a destination for today’s employee to prioritize their health in the personalized and digital way we’ve come to expect from every aspect of our lives. The quality and depth of the Financial Services ecosystem is beyond measure, we are honored to be recognized as one that stands out among the rest.”

Offering League clients “truly individualized health plans,” their brokerage services are unparalleled in health insurance today. Fitting all sorts of budgets and all sorts of people, packaged together with outstanding user experience—which translates to a nearly flawless mobile app—and superb admin controls, League is setting new standards.

Beside other nominees, like Sensibill and Wave, League was named in KPMG Fintech and H2 Ventures’ 2017 FINTECH100

Sensibill

Receipts are the bane of everyone’s existence. Whether crumpled up in your back pocket—destined to die during the washing machine spin cycle—or filed away painstakingly ready for tax season, no one likes the analog experience of dealing with them.

So many products have tried to simplify the process, but one stands far above the others: Sensibill.

Easy to use, intuitive software mixed with deep learning AI, and a beautiful solution to a painful process makes Sensibill an absolute must for anyone, or any business, that deals will physical receipts. With a $17.3 million Series A funding, the future looks bright for Sensibill, as plans to expand and advance their AI technology will keep the company busy for the next few years.

“Unlike most fintechs that want to disrupt financial services, we represent the other side of the coin. We’ve made a name for ourselves as bank enablers – we help incumbents serve their customers better. We’ve had success partnering with some of the most trusted financial institutions in the world, and as we expand into more markets, our mission is to make receipt management a core part of the digital banking experience.“

More than just a receipt storage application, Sensibill strives to offer clients a deep understanding of their spending trends. In addition to displaying meaningful information from receipts without the clutter that is common, their deep learning AI will even promote digital offers personalized via customer insights. Their product is intuitive, reliably secure, and completely customizable—with their SDK available for iOS and Android.

Wave

Financial situations sink small businesses. But innovators like Wave are doing amazing things—offering full-blown financial services—focusing solely on “small- and micro-businesses around the world.”

With three million customers, Wave provides capital (lending), cash flow (payments), employee money (payroll), business payments (invoices), tax and insight (accounting). Founded in 2010, the “scrappy bootstrapped start-up” Wave burst onto the scene with free, and easy accounting software. Since then, they’ve launched an impressive suite of tools and services, grown their staff of experts to roughly 170 people, secured $24 million in new funding, signed gigantic partnership deals with the likes of RBC, and received numerous accolades along the way.

“Picture an entrepreneur or small business owner. It takes guts to forego the security of a paycheque and go into business for yourself. On top of all the expected challenges of getting customers and delivering your product or service, there’s a world of financial complexity and complication that can make or break a business.” 

Those are the kinds of clients Wave attracts. Truly, catering world-class financial services to a universe of small businesses and freelancers—people and companies that are in a state of flux naturally—is an admirable task to tackle. To do so with sincerity, and service like Wave is, makes it monumental.

Along with League and Sensibill, Wave was also named to the 2017 FINTECH100 List.

Vote for your Favourite             

Which of these deserving, fiscally supportive companies do you believe should win the 2017 Canadian Innovation Awards’ Financial Services category? Make sure you vote for your favorites before February 2 at midnight to have your say in which companies should win in their respective categories.

The winners will be announced at a live gala on February 22 at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

The Canadian Innovation Financial Servies Award is presented by Interac.

interac-logo-815

For more than 30 years, Interac has facilitated secure financial transactions through the development of innovative and convenient digital debit and money transfer solutions. They are Canada’s leading payments brand and are chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money.

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