The 64 companies delivering seven-minute product demos at last week’s Finovate Fall event in New York City offered a decidedly fresh flavor.
Roughly 60% of these presenting firms made their debut appearance at the semi-annual conference, which offers a concentrated view over two days demoing the latest financial technology advancements for investors, potential partners, and financial institutions.
Despite widely reported headwinds challenging fintech company valuations, a record crowd seemed undeterred from exploring the possibilities of new technology. The roster was impressively broad-based, spanning solutions addressing artificial intelligence (AI), loan production, small business relationships, customer onboarding, regulatory compliance, and other key pain points.
Here’s an overview of some products that stood out for me, with an emphasis on those particularly suited to credit unions.
Consumer debt-deduction app Debbie draws from behavioral psychology in helping users set achievable incremental goals, providing “nudges,” rewarding successes—as Noom does to encourage weight loss. Still in beta stage, its founders have built a waitlist of more than 15,000 for Debbie’s direct-to-consumer version and are now pursuing financial institution partnerships.
Quilo, which also participated in NACUSO’s Next Big Idea competition earlier this year, offers a real-time personal loan syndication platform for credit unions and community banks with a goal of growing loan portfolios, increasing approval rates, and reducing credit risk. Since going live in January, the management team (which includes a co-founder of Kasasa) has signed 36 banks and four credit unions to its network.
Lemonade LXP bills itself as “a digital growth platform that helps turn frontline staff into digital experts.” Its gamification of training includes role-playing scenarios and virtual interactions, and keeps score in terms of hypothetical customers won/lost for the leader board. Lemonade recently added a nonauthenticated module allowing credit unions to educate members as well.
Debbie, Quilo, and Lemonade LXP were among Finovate’s six Best of Show winners, as voted by the audience of more than 2,000 attendees.
In a textbook example of credit union collaboration, credit union service organizations Illuma and Posh Technologies presented with a credit union client joining them on stage. The Illuma Shield passive voice authentication system has been integrated with Posh’s conversational AI, enabling frictionless 24/7 contact center access for members.
Some clients enrolled in Illuma’s solution report reduced member call wait times of 78 seconds.
Not to be outdone, Visions Federal Credit Union Chief Digital Officer Tom Novak joined Finalytics.ai on stage. He reports that Finalytics’ “personalization at scale” marketing platform enables the $5.3 billion asset credit union in Endicott, N.Y., to get the right message to the right segment at the right time” to members, more than tripling conversion rates in some instances.
Other Best of Show winners were Horizn (self-service customer hub), Themis (collaboration-based regtech software for governance, risk, and compliance) and Stratyfy (AI-based toolset to uncover and undo bias in financial decision making).
GLEN SARVADY is managing principal at 154 Advisors.