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Best of BAI Retail Delivery 2010

image For bank-tech geeks, it doesn’t get much better than the annual trade show in the desert, BAI Retail Delivery.

Although able to take in only a tiny fraction of the show’s offerings, I’m still jazzed to be offering my annual list of personal favorites from Tuesday and Wednesday’s lineup in Las Vegas (note 1):

The Netbanker Awards (note 2)

  • Best new product: Mitek mobile bill capture via scan-and-pay using iPhone camera (blog entry to follow) 
  • Best mobile innovation: See above
  • Biggest marketing opportunity: Marketing via Facebook
  • Best year-over-year gainer: Cardlytics going from 0 to 100+ bank deployments since its statement rewards programs launched a year ago
    Runner up: ClariMail was up sixfold in mobile-transaction volume and revenues (press release)
  • Best self-service idea: Customer service popup chat after customer incorrectly enters password several times, but BEFORE they are locked out (credit to Sykes VP Marketing, Mike Clarkin)
  • Best celebrity general session: Tom Kelley, GM IDEO, who made me laugh and made me think; the perfect keynote recipe 
    Biggest conundrum (from above): Tom Kelley pointed out that the top of the value pyramid is selling the “experience” (commodity >>> product >>> service >>> experience). Is this something that banking can aspire to or does the retail experience realistically stop at the “service” level?
  • Best presentation by an FI: BBVA Compass with SmartyPig
  • Best mobile evangelist: Drew Sievers, mFoundry CEO
  • Best place to hang out on the show floor: Yodlee’s booth (again)
  • Best schwag: Squeeze “ball” in the shape of an ATM from uGenius
  • Best tease: The “huge announcement” coming next week from PayPal
  • Missing in action: No espresso giveaways on the show floor

Things seen on the show floor that I want on my personal accounts now (in order of importance):

  • An automated phone call to authorize high-value transactions (see PhoneFactor)
  • PayPal integration within online banking
  • Mobile bill capture (see Mitek)
  • Contactless payment sticker for my phone (see Bling Nation)
  • In-statement offers (see Cardlytics and Billshrink)

Best stats:

  • 80% of Western Union payment customers have a bank account, it’s just too much of a hassle to use it for international remittances (per Dan Schatt, PayPal)
  • SMS messages have a 70% open rate (per Carl Tsukahara, CMO ClairMail)
  • $1.4 billion in savings goals have been established on SmartyPig’s platform
  • Active mobile banking users will grow fivefold in next four years, from 10 mil at YE 2009 to 53 mil at YE 2013 (per Tower Group in study commissioned by ClairMail)

Best quotes:

“Most major banks are doing something on Facebook. Most just got started (and aren’t live yet).”
         — Brad Smallwood, Facebook

“(PayPal) believes it can take risk out of the banking system”
          — Dan Schatt, PayPal

“(Users) are more likely to achieve financial goals that they have shared with friends”
         — Bob Weinschenk, SmartyPig



1. I jetted back last night, and missed today’s partial-day closing. So these observations are based on what I saw Tuesday and Wednesday. Again, I talked to only a couple dozen companies of the 200+ on the floor, and attended nine or ten sessions of the 100+. My apologies to all the companies with cool stuff that I either didn’t see or didn’t understand.
2. The “bests” excludes the 56 launches at Finovate 2010 two weeks ago
3. I’ll post the links from my presentation, “Six Big Ideas from Finovate 2010” in a separate entry.