Last week, Finovate Spring 2019 took place in San Francisco in which over 270 banks watched more than 60 companies each have seven minutes to impress you with a demo of their technology. This is speed dating for financial technology, and it is a fantastic way not only to look for new partners but to help your bank hone what is important to its vision. In this article, we recap the trends and highlight some companies that should be worth consideration by all banks.
You can always tell what is essential to investors by the trends at Finovate. This year identity authentication and verification dominated followed by consumer-driven engagement platforms. Payments and core banking technology were still hot and, no surprise, the real winner was data/artificial intelligence (AI) as almost every application had some angle on how they leverage their data and use AI to drive banking.
For us, we were still perplexed why there are not more enterprise applications that solve larger problems for banks such as regulation, compliance, treasury management, and credit portfolio management but we keep hoping its coming. We are also always floored by the lack of technology around the commercial customer. While small business was more represented than in years past, there is still a considerable void in credit, data, cash flow optimization and real estate tech for the commercial customer.
Despite our lament, there was some eye-opening tech that caught our imagination. We are still floored how long it took us to figure out that the voice-driven by Voca.ai was a robot and not a caring and educated banker. Similarly, Blue Rush, with their Individeo product was able to pull together client data and inputs into an on-the-fly video story that can serve any bank when it comes to marketing or education. As we tested it, we realized that customized video could solve a rash of customer and employee challenges in a way that is engaging and relatively inexpensive.
We mapped out all the products that were demoed in 16 categories and highlighted those that won the Best in Show Award and those companies that we liked that merit further consideration.
Aside from some great new products to consider, Finovate made us think deeply about our framework for choosing great technology. For example, most of the chat, identity and data companies we spoke with at Finovate was extremely impressive. We realized that we might not be smart enough to choose. Each chat and identity company, for instance, had a slightly different approach that we could see working. For verification, does the customer want to use their palm, eyes, voice, behavior, device, fingerprints, history or some combination of all to verify themselves?
The easy answer is to test the technology but to do multiple pilot programs are resource intensive and almost cost prohibitive. Waiting might be the answer, but that may come with more risk.
Stay tuned as we come up with a solution on how to solve this problem plus publish some helpful lessons we learned at Finovate that pertain to every bank’s quest for technology improvement. We also look to cross-post some of our favorite demos and keep you updated on the technology that we choose.
Submitted by Chris Nichols on May 15, 2019