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Top takeaways from Finovate Fall: Digital interactions

Top takeaways from Finovate Fall: Digital interactions

Fintech companies address digital activation and sales.

October 11, 2017

Parts one and two of my Finovate Fall recaps focused on ideas intent on upending conventional fintech wisdom, monetizing and digitizing the mortgage process, and helping millennials with investments.

Another key focus at the New York convention was on using tools to increase engagement with members in the digital space.

Digital activation

Digital Onboarding’s company’s name is self-explanatory, although its mission might better be described as digital activation.

The Boston startup aims to create active engagement within 60 days of account opening. If there isn’t active engagement within that timeframe, Digital Onboarding claims there’s a high likelihood the account will be unprofitable permanently.

Already working with $8.1 billion asset Digital Federal Credit Union in Marlborough, Mass., the firm digitizes the printed welcome kit, which generates engagement stats and triggers prompts at various “moments of truth.”

Financial aid assistance

EFC PLUS derives its name from “expected family contribution,” an output well known to families who are familiar with the federal college financial aid process.

The online tool strives to demystify this daunting exercise. It offers planning tools that can be used before, during, and after college attendance, and it integrates non-financial data to aid in the school selection process.

It’s a savvy way for credit unions to boost site traffic if it’s woven into a credit union’s banking site.

This struck me as an appealing proposition for credit unions, as it both addresses one of members’ greatest areas of financial concern while also creating an avenue for additional lending.

Digital sales

Gro Solutions rolled out Gro Funnel, an extension of its digital sales platform.

Founder David Eads says fintech solutions have done a great job of making omni-channel banking more convenient, moving traffic out of the branch in the process.

At the same time, financial institutions haven’t been as nimble at replacing the sales leads that came from in-person interactions with those branch visitors.

Gro’s mission is to eradicate the “spray and pray” approach to marketing, and improve targeting techniques to generate more sales from the same marketing dollars.

Given the seemingly inevitable member migration to remote channels, it’s hard to think of a more important credit union objective than ensuring effective engagement in these models.

These three young companies presented some of the most compelling and market-ready products toward that end across a refreshingly pragmatic Finovate Fall roster.

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.