These companies won't make it to the list if it weren't for their innovative business ideas.
Why? When it comes to charge on digital money, PayPal is undeniably the front-runner. It was in November 2009 that the company decided to open up its system to third party developers and permitted them to incorporate its payment system into their sites, mobile application, and devices, which gave way to all kinds of innovation last year. PayPal's 15,000 developers are coming up with applications to address needs entrepreneurs like the Bling Nation which is a tap to pay at offline merchandisers with an add-on sticker; IndieGoGo, which is a fundraiser for projects and concepts, and iConcessionStand which you can use to order food and trade from a mobile device at sporting events.
Why? This company came up with a new framework for retail banking, and engineered the technology to make it conceivable. Citi put their full attention on user experience and it lead to the development of multifunctional ATMs and interactive store displays that are meant to appeal to younger, and tech-savvy consumers and turn banks into a hip destination. The employment of these technologies at seven branches in Asia in 2010 doubled the amount of customers they appeal to.
Why? SecondMarket came up with the biggest "secondary market" where in it helps later-stage, rapid-growing companies set up their very own stocke exchanges, where they reign everything from disclosure regulations to pricing market hours. And did you know who their participants are? Facebook, Twitter, and Craigslist - no less.
#4 mPower Group
Why? mPower Group committed more than $100 million to put forward top-quality, affordable financial services to the masses with no bank accounts. Just last year, the company has unveiled a first-of-its-kind tap-to-pay system in Kosovo and a mobile payments enterprise in India. In the US, the company acquired the $106 billion alternative-finance industry with the Mango Store, an institution in Austin which goals include forging transparent, long-term relationships with the unbanked, rather than taking them as short-lived clients.
Why? Intuit got a Mint-y fresh revamp. Mint.com, a money-management website, was 2010's most talked about offering of Intuit, primarily for the sudden growth of its user base and exciting new features (a date aggregator that puts out spending reports in real-time). The launching of the mobile application SnapTax (users snap a photo of their W2s to streamline tax-fillings) and Nokia-powered Go Connect (A marketing system through SMS for small enterprises in India) lured younger and more international audience.