Barlow Research Associates Inc. announced the winners of its 11th annual Monarch Innovation Awards, naming fintech company Autobooks as the Most Innovative Industry Partner.
The Monarch Innovation Awards recognize B2B innovations within the financial services industry. Awards are presented to financial institutions and industry partners that provide the most innovative products to business customers as well as recognize risk takers who create/promote innovation within their organizations.
Autobooks helps financial institutions reimagine business-banking; providing a comprehensive set of tools specifically for small business owners. “Similar to how bill-pay provided an expense-management solution years ago, making it easy to move money OUT of the bank – Autobooks provides a bundled receivables platform to help bring money IN,” says Autobooks CEO Steve Robert. “We help financial institutions build stronger relationships with their business customers, while also working to grow deposits, increase non-interest income and identify new lending opportunities.”
Small business owners use several back-office tools to run their business, often from non-bank providers such as PayPal, Square and QuickBooks. These companies are building relationships with bank customers, monetizing their transactions and increasingly holding funds that greatly diminish the banks value with business customers. Until now, banks could not easily compete, as small businesses were often using products designed for consumers or retail customers. Now, with Autobooks, they can provide a seamless on-ramp for small, medium and even micro-businesses to get these important services from a provider they already know and trust – their bank. Autobooks brings treasury and cash-management services down-market to this important SMB audience, making it easy to send invoices, process payments and generate financial reports to forecast and optimize cashflow.
Speaking to why Autobooks was chosen to win the Most Innovative Industry Partner Award, Judge Nick Miller of Clarity Advantage said: “The wow factors here are the two-party value proposition, a simple and powerful user experience embedded directly into the bank. We’ve seen other accounting solutions before and, to us, this represented a significant step forward in terms of what this means to both the bank and the business end user.”
Autobooks wins the Monarch Award after a year of significant growth. The company followed a successful $5.5M Series A investment in 2017, with an additional $10 million investment in 2018, just nine months later. The company anticipates further growth, as it looks to expand its offices in Detroit, while also opening an office in Austin, TX where it already has several employees.
Autobooks is rapidly expanding partnerships with core and internet banking providers to help make it easy and affordable to deploy Autobooks into a banks’ existing infrastructure. The company is already deploying its solution into a new financial institution every month and the pace is accelerating. Banks find comfort partnering with a proven product and experienced team which has demonstrated an ability to drive both growth and demand – things that have historically been difficult for banks to do when launching new products.
Financial institutions provide the last-mile for small business and a compelling user experience is paramount to changing behaviors and adopting new services. Data shows most small businesses are still dependent on checks to get paid, using notepads and spreadsheets to track customer balances. Only now are businesses starting to realize the potential of digitizing the file cabinet, providing a unique opportunity for banks to reclaim their rightful role at the center of a business’s financial world.
“As the technology has become more sophisticated what's beautiful here is the user experience is actually becoming simpler,” said Mary Beth Sullivan of Capital Performance Group. Autobooks aims to be accessible to anyone, regardless of accounting or business experience. 60% of Autobooks’ users are using an accounting system for the first time - thereby reaching a huge market of people that have never accessed powerful financial management tools before, helping both banks and businesses grow.”