Day one of Finovate Fall 15 is in the books!
As usual for Finovate, the day was action-packed with 40 (!!!) companies demonstrating their solutions within a short 7 minutes each.
Some of the highlights included:
- Soundpays – A very cool technology that uses soundwaves to communicate transaction information. As a result, it can be used by consumers with any phone (ApplePay, Android Pay, etc.) and in multiple situations – POS, digital billboard, TV/radio. They will need to communicate how they keep these transactions secure, as I’m sure that will be on the mind of many consumers and SMBs.
- Buzzpoints – Buzzpoints partners with financial institutions to create local loyalty solutions. It seems like a nice way for community banks to attract and connect with small businesses, and the consumer gets to support local businesses while be rewarded. Great concept, although community banks and SMBs are both notoriously difficult audiences to organize and with which to work.
- Walletron – Walletron has developed a slick way for consumers to receive and pay bills through their Apple Wallet (Passbook) and Android Pay (Google Wallet). It’s a nice solution because the consumer already has and is likely familiar with Apple Wallet and Android Pay, so that tight integration could help carry them over the hurdle of gaining adoption.
- AcceptEmail – This solution allows users to receive and pay their bills via email. They simplify a problem that remains tedious to many consumers (reading and paying monthly bills) so there is a big opportunity here. However, there have been a number of companies that went down this road only to die an early death (RIP Zumbox). But AcceptEmail’s approach is a nice one.
- Avoka – Avoka is a customer acquisition solution for financial institutions and governments. Essentially, they help banks onboard customers with simple, quick application processes that greatly reduce abandonment. As long as it is easy enough for banks to manage and it can check off the KYC and compliance requirements for a bank’s risk department, they can really helps with what is a sore spot for most financial institutions.
Other interesting tidbits:
- Barring an interesting presentation from Blockstack.io, not much discussion of blockchain and almost no mention of Bitcoin except for Bitwage. I had expected more, and I’m convinced this will not be the case in coming years, especially regarding blockchain.
- More talk of APIs than I was expecting, with Xignite’s “API Ecosystem” probably being the most ambitious. These API-based approaches will open the door for a whole host of enables services, and will drive technical updates within the financial services stack from the ground up.
- Onboarding is a big issues for financial services firms, and the slew of presenting companies looking to ease that pain is a demonstration of that. I mentioned Avoka above, but there was also ebanKit, ID Analytics, and others today (and more tomorrow) that include easier onboarding elements.
Overall, a great start to an always fun and interesting event. Check back in tomorrow for more, or follow me on Twitter @rory_holland and @CSTMRinc for update.
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