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Fintech focus: BofA upgrades mobile app; Morningstar partners with Mercer

Several players within the financial technology arena introduced new products and entered into various agreements in recent days. Please send news tips and feedback to news@snl.com. For other recent financial technology news, click here.

Payments

ACI Worldwide Inc., a global provider of real-time electronic payment and banking solutions, launched a new solution capability to help banks and payment service providers connect to new pan-European TARGET Instant Payments Scheme with minimal cost, disruption and fast time to market. The scheme is scheduled to go live Nov. 30 and will enable payment service providers to offer fund transfers in real time and anytime during a year.

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Net Element Inc. entered into a memorandum of understanding with Bank Sputnik to launch a technology platform expected to provide a suite of payment acceptance services for financial institutions and value-added providers.

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AscendantFX Capital Inc., a technology-based payment provider, will facilitate the smooth processing and precise execution of international payments enhanced by a new integration with Fiserv Inc.'s WireXchange wire transfer solution.

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Visa Inc. announced an agreement with on-demand delivery network Postmates Inc. to enable real-time funds disbursement to their entire fleet. The new feature, called Postmates "Instant Deposits," is facilitated by Stripe's Instant Payouts feature, running on Visa Direct, Visa's real-time push payments platform, and is now live and available to the Postmates fleet of more than 200,000 in the U.S.

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Net 1 UEPS Technologies Inc. entered into a strategic relationship with South African QR payments technology company Zapper to launch ZappGroup Africa, a company focused on deploying a universal white-label QR payment solution.

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American Express Co. announced a new version of its Premier Rewards Gold Card, which will now be called the American Express Gold Card.

Banking and lending

Fidelity National Information Services Inc., a financial services technology provider, signed an agreement to unwind its joint venture and enter into a significant long term commercial agreement to provide current and new solutions and services to Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA. The new services to be provided to Banco Bradesco under the agreement include software application licensing and management, card portfolio migration, business process outsourcing, fraud management and professional services.

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Bank of America Corp. is introducing a new app-linking feature to allow clients to move seamlessly between the Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Merrill Edge and U.S. Trust mobile apps without having to re-authenticate. The new feature is aimed at making it easier for clients to manage their banking and investing activities in one place.

Insurance and healthcare

Symbility Solutions Inc., an insurance-focused software company, announced a full product integration with HOVER, a platform that provides interactive 3D model of any property. The integration enables insurance adjusters using Symbility's cloud-based claims management system to pull in HOVER's data package, including exterior and roof diagrams, photos and detailed exterior measurements, to process claims quickly and with high accuracy.

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Canal Insurance Co. implemented Valen Analytics' InsureRight Platform to host predictive analytics initiatives built by the insurer's product team.

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Credit Karma Inc. launched a new tool in California and Texas that will allow its members to see what they could be paying for auto insurance based on what members like them are paying for the same coverage.

Marketing and analytics

Ackroo Inc., a gift card and loyalty marketing technology and services provider, announced that its gift card, loyalty and promotional currency application will be one of the first third-party applications released on First Data Canada Ltd.'s new Clover Flex app market. This integration will allow any First Data Canada merchant who chooses to select or switch to Clover, the ability to download the Ackroo gift card, loyalty and promotional currency application at the click of a few buttons.

Trading and investing

TradingScreen Inc., an all-asset class order and execution management system, partnered with Investment Technology Group Inc. over an integrated solution that allows TradingScreen customers to access ITG real-time analytics at the single-order and portfolio levels.

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Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. unit Mercer, a consulting firm, and Morningstar Inc. announced an alliance to provide investors and advisers with a single global digital platform for institutional investment manager data, performance analytics and qualitative research.

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Northern Trust Corp. will invest in Parilux Investment Technology LLC as part of its plan to develop its Front Office Solutions business that is designed to meet the operational and technology needs of in-house investment teams managing complex, global multi-asset class portfolios.

Data and information management

Boston-based nonprofit FinTech Sandbox partnered with TransUnion to help early stage financial technology firms launch in the marketplace. As part of the partnership, TransUnion's Startup Credit Kit will enable startups to test business model concepts and refine their go-to-market strategies.

Administration and security

BITS, a managed private cloud provider for hosted IP Telephony, Call Center and WAN services, entered into an agreement with Jack Henry & Associates Inc. unit ProfitStars that will strengthen both companies' outsourced IT offerings, with ProfitStars providing Gladiator outsourced IT infrastructure and security-related solutions, and BITS providing hosted IP telephony and call center services.

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