Finovate Fall assembled perhaps my favorite batch yet of product pitches for last week’s event in New York City.
This may be because the balance of ideas tilted toward the pragmatic. There were a few moonshots, but I could envision most of these solutions winding up among a financial institution’s offerings and/or on an end-user’s mobile device in the not-too-distant future.
For those unfamiliar with the drill, Finovate convenes a rapid-fire showcase of the latest fintech ideas. There’s a clear startup flavor to the lineup, but new product launches by established firms are fair game (Experian and Fiserv were on this agenda, for instance).
Two key characteristics are that segments are strictly limited to seven minutes, and must consist of live demos—no slideware.
Some recurring themes inevitably emerge over the course of two days of presentations (76 of them this time around), offering a handy barometer of insider sentiment.
Security/authentication products led the pack, continuing a recent trend and dovetailing with real-time headlines—even if the agenda was set well before Equifax’s news broke.
Voice recognition (“conversational commerce” seems to be the new buzzword) is a hot and growing topic, and omni-channel CRM (customer relationship management) solutions continue to draw attention and investment.
A fair bit of bandwidth dealt with “democratizing” the investment process for the mass market.
A surprise for me was the heavy focus on the mortgage process, both monetizing and de-papering it in the name of cost savings and reduced friction.
Part two of this recap will highlight the nuts and bolts innovations that resonated with me. First let’s look at a couple of “outside the box” ideas that set my mind in motion.
NEXT: Receipt management on steroids