Part one of my Finovate recap focused on a pair of big ideas intent on upending conventional fintech wisdom.
Innovation in banking often is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, however, and more of this year’s showcase tilted toward market-ready solutions offering incremental improvements to existing models, including several with particular relevance for credit unions.
Much attention was devoted to the monetization (and de-papering) of the mortgage process:
• AI Foundry suggests that while it’s fairly easy to get to “yes” online, conversion issues emerge during the follow-up paperwork.
The firm’s Agile Mortgage product applies machine learning to provide greater insight to application status—for both the applicant and loan officer—during the remainder of the trail.
• Experian demonstrated Text for Credit, a mobile lending app that I found to be in the same ballpark as Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage but with a few key differentiators.
It leverages SMS text messaging capabilities and mobile data to automate more data entry, applies to lending products beyond mortgages, and, perhaps most importantly, is designed to be financial institution branded.
• Mortgage Cadence, an Accenture subsidiary, argues that too much of mortgage data collection is transmitted through insecure email channels. Its Collaboration Center aims to balance access with scale by running such communications through a private network.
One of the most active areas at Finovate Fall involved the “democratization” of investing for millennials and those who are getting serious about retirement planning:
• Voleo enables “investment clubs” of two to 99 participants. It’s about to launch a university investing competition in partnership with NASDAQ.
• Envestnet/Yodlee also takes a “support group” approach to help people meet their financial goals, including robo-advice. It collaborated with the Center for Financial Services Innovation on this latest product, Financial Health Check.
• Stash Retire touts that 86% of its 1.1 million users are first-time investors, thanks to an intuitive interface, $100 minimum opening balance, and the ability to invest in $5 increments.
• Nvstr is currently in private beta. It looks to harness “collective human experience combined with machine intelligence” by allowing users to drag and drop individual stocks into different categories, such as like, dislike, dismiss, and short. It then crunches this info to recommend other securities.
• United Income offers planning for those who have already retired or are nearing retirement. It runs simulations for various market conditions and life events, and recommends the best sources of funds under different circumstances.
Part three of my Finovate Fall recap will examine digital tools credit unions can use to drive online interaction with members.
GLEN SARVADY is managing partner at 154 Advisors and senior payments expert with Best Innovation Group, a CUNA consulting partner. Follow him on Twitter via @154Advisors. His views do not necessarily reflect those of Credit Union National Association.