FinovateFall Digital 2020: The Future of Finance is Digital and Social

The goal of FinovateFall Digital was straightforward: combine the dynamism and excitement of a Finovate conference with the flexibility and scalability of an all-digital event.

And if the response from attendees is any indication, the result was a job well done by all parties: event planners, event participants, and event attendees.

FinovateFall took the idea that the future of finance is digital to heart. For five days, via a blend of live addresses and panels on the one hand, and pre-recorded, on-demand discussions and presentations on the other, FinovateFall Digital was built to bring not only the kind of insightful commentary and innovative technological demonstrations our attendees have come to know and expect, but also something more.

For example, we all know that Finovate VP Greg Palmer spends a great deal of time working with demoing companies to ensure that they are able to put their best foot forward when the lights come on and it is their time to shine on stage. This year, by adding an interview component to the fintech demos, we get to learn about more than just the demoing technology. With an engaged interviewer as part of the presentation, we get these insights not from a stranger, but from someone who has spent the time to get to know the innovators and their vision as well as their innovation. The end result is something that is in some ways quite different from what Finovate has ever provided before.

Our all-digital format also provided greater access to our conference speakers and panelists. The increased availability throughout the day and the ability to schedule meetups digitally helped us provide the kind of socially-active environment that has always been a key part of the Finovate experience. Features like Meet at the Cafe, sponsored by Google Cloud, gave attendees, speakers, and analysts the opportunity to hangout before the start of each conference day, chat about the top fintech news and trends of the day, and make new connections. And our Scavenger Hunt incentivized attendees to check out a wide variety of FinovateFall Digital’s of live and on-demand content.

With FinovateWest only a few months away, we’re already looking forward to coming back with a whole new slate of innovative fintech companies. We’re also thinking about a new bunch of clever ways to ensure you get the most out of our conference and accentuate “the social” part of finance’s digital future.

Learn more about our upcoming, all-digital, FinovateWest event! And for a recap of some of the themes and conversations of this month’s conference, check out our daily summaries, Best of Show announcement, and more below.

FinovateFall Digital Daily Summaries

  • Monday: Digital, Demos, and Reinventing Fintech
  • Tuesday: Delightful Experiences and Fair Deals for Consumers
  • Wednesday: Building Consumer Trust and Creating a More Open Ecosystem
  • Thursday: Open Finance, Black Swans, and the Return of SME Banking
  • Friday: Collaboration, Mobile Security, and Fintech’s Bright Future

FinovateFall Digital 2020 Best of Show Winners Announced

Digital Identity Specialist Alloy Raises $40 Million in Series B

In a round led by Canapi Ventures, digital identity management innovator Alloy raised $40 million in Series B funding last week. The round featured participation from Avid Ventures, Felicis Ventures, as well as a trio of existing investors: Bessemer Ventures, Primary Venture Partners, and Eniac Ventures. The investment takes the New York-based company’s total capital to more than $55 million.

“Our mission is to help our customers deploy safe and seamless digital customer experiences,” company CEO Tommy Nicholas wrote on the company blog. “This investment will help us continue to support our growing customer base, while expanding our product offerings and scaling marketing, sales, and customer efforts.”

More specifically, Nicholas noted that the investment will help the company bring new products to market in the areas of transaction and credit decisioning, as well as document verification. He added that Alloy will also continue to invest in its onboarding decisioning system and build a new learning portal to help users maximize their use of Alloy’s technology.

Alloy’s platform enables financial institutions to increase the number of customers they can safely and quickly onboard, automate manual processes to reduce error and manual review burden, and reduce fraud and financial risk. The technology allows FIs to access more than 60 KYC and identity vendors via API, and leverages data from a variety of sources in order to provide real-time risk decisioning. The company includes Ally Bank, Evolve Bank & Trust, and Brex among its partners.

In a blog post titled “Why Canapi is Leading Alloy’s $40M Series B Financing,” the Series B’s lead investor makes a strong case for investment not only in Alloy, but also for investment in digital identity innovation in general. The post discusses the challenge that financial services companies face in meeting compliance and regulatory standards that “were not designed for a digital-first world,” and points out that the arrival of the public health crisis has only made this challenge more acute. “What was costly and ineffective in the past has become unsustainable in the COVID-19 era,” the authors write.

Founded in 2015, Alloy presented “KYC: The Customer Killer – Solved!” at our developer’s conference, FinDEVR Silicon Valley, later that same year. At the event, Nicholas and company CTO Charles Hearn showed how Alloy’s technology enabled businesses to create fully-customizable APIs for customer identification and compliance.


Photo by SHOCKPhoto by Szoka Sebastian from Pexels

Touchless UI in Insurance

This is a guest post written by KV Dipu, President & Head of Operations, Communities & Customer Service at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company.


COVID-19 has forced organizations to embark on new journeys in various customer facing domains and the fintech/financial services sector is no exception. Since it has become imperative for organizations to consider the health and safety of customers and employees, touchless technologies are gaining traction across the spectrum to avoid physical contact. While touchless technologies are not new – smart homes, smart health, augmented and virtual reality games, smart cars, etc. are all part of our lives – they have gained a new lease of life and are now being adopted at scale.

There are numerous ways in which human communication occurs; we connect with gestures, speech, and touch along with the choice to switch amongst them seamlessly. However, the human-computer interaction is different and complicated. Touchless UI is a classic approach to control and speak with your gadget without typing or touching the screen to carry out a task. In the “Home insurance” segment, where IoT devices are used for safety along with insurance to cover during theft or burglary, the gestures control becomes an essential tool to protect from intruders. The gesture recognition system can differentiate between people and can avoid unauthorized access. However, it relies on various lighting conditions as the cameras require a desirable ambience.

Gesture vs. voice commands

Gesture recognition uses computer vision; voice recognition uses natural language processing and does not depend on lights or cameras, which add to the cost. On the contrary, gesture recognition beats voice recognition because of its natural character. This is a key factor for the implementation of voice recognition technologies into several fintech products, making the process more efficient and inexpensive. Since users do not need to go through a steep learning curve, the need of change management is eliminated to a great extent.

Typically, the development of such innovations is not without challenges. Incorporation of such gestures requires deep study of human gestures and feature engineering them while developing deep learning algorithms. Error rates, false positives, and false negatives must be eliminated to attain six sigma status. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in insurance plays a major role in the third-party claims of commercial vehicles. The gestures are not restricted to hand or finger movements; eye gestures help in understanding driver behavior while driving. It helps in deriving a driver score based on the eye movements that helps data scientists analyze whether the driver is drowsy, drunk, or distracted. Consequently, the driver score is used by underwriters to arrive at a premium based on the driver score.

UI design principles

The standard design principles for touchless UI are classified into three categories: action, navigation, and transform gestures.

  • Action gestures: Action gestures involve those related to tapping, long press and swiping that help interact with elements of GUI and access additional functionality.
  • Navigation gestures: Navigation gestures involve actions related to scrolling, dragging, swiping, and pinching that enable users to flip through a product with ease.
  • Transform gestures: Transform gestures involve actions related to compound gestures, pick up and move, and double tap that enable users to zoom into and out of content, reorder content, rotate graphics et al.

Interaction principles are changing by the day as human gestures keep evolving to keep pace with the new behavior brought in by millennials. Data scientists need to consider these changes while doing feature engineering. They also need to curate data sets accordingly as these data sets will eventually lead to the training for ML/DL algorithms.

Whilst the technology evolves, two aspects of customer experience need to be taken into consideration:

  • Ease of understanding: Gestures must be in line with the ones widely known and address gaps in existing ones. Cultural nuances (for instance, a gesture in country A can mean something radically different from the same gesture in country B) need to be taken into account.
  • Realistic responses: Latency is annoying and people switch products/services if the responses are not real time. Traditional authentication with user IDs and passwords/OTPs is not something users expect in the new era of banking and insurance. Gestures and voice commands enhance the customer experience by quick logins and payments. However, for certain aspects of banking, an extra layer of security is applied and the value of transactions is restricted to avoid risk.

    By 2025, 72% of the people across the globe are expected to have smartphones. As touchless UI/UX gains traction, we are in for the new normal – M2M (man to machine) interactions, human communication morphing from voice into gestures, design at the core of customer experience, amongst others, and, most importantly, healthy and happy human beings!

KV Dipu is President & Head of Operations, Communities & Customer Service, spearheading digital transformation, leveraging start-ups from fintech/insuretech globally, at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company (a joint venture of Allianz, the world’s leading insurer, and Bajaj Finserv & ranked #8 amongst the global top 100 digital insurers).


Photo by Laura Barbato on Unsplash

FinovateFall 2020’s Final Day: Collaboration, Mobile Security, and Fintech’s Bright Future

The morning’s first panel, Strategic Partnerships and Collaboration Between Banks and Fintechs, brought insight into what large banks look for when it comes to partnering with a fintech. The top suggestions for fintechs looking to make themselves more appealing to banks included offering scalability and using industry standards for things like data sharing.

Google’s Mike Burr took the stage next to deliver the keynote: Redefining the Approach to Mobile Security in FinTech (and why it works). Burr considered the root concern that banks struggle with when it comes to protecting Android devices. He examined the top ways data becomes exposed and how to get the tools to ensure data security for compliance needs.

The afternoon breakout stages tackled issues on topics across payments, future technology, wealthtech, and banking. These recorded panels, along with all of the content on the main stage, are available in the On Demand section of the event platform through next week so be sure to catch what you may have missed there.

Our afternoon panel, Latin America – The Future of Fintech, and the Dawn of a New Opportunity, considered the range of opportunities in Latin American markets. The group discussed that the region’s diversity makes it ripe for investors and explained how entrepreneurs are reinventing financial services at a local level.

Closing out FinovateFall 2020 was Neri Tollardo, Head of International Relations and Partnerships at Tinkoff, who spoke on how fintechs can remain profitable in a COVID-19 era. Tollardo’s address offered a ray of hope for banks and fintechs. He expressed that the path to profitability is not mutually exclusive of growth. His points of advice included embedding profitability in the culture and the organizational structure, understanding their business, investing in good talent, and searching out verticals that generate returns.

I’d like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the event, from our demo companies, to our speakers, panelists, and–of course– to our audience. We wouldn’t be here without you!


Photo by McKayla Crump on Unsplash

More Fuel for the BNPL Fire: Affirm Raises $500 Million

In a series G round, buy-now, pay-later company (BNPL) Affirm brought in $500 million, bringing the company’s total raised to $1.3 billion.

Leading the round were Durable Capital Partners LP and existing investor GIC. Other returning investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Wellington Management Company, Baillie Gifford, Spark Capital, Founders Fund, and Fidelity Management & Research Company LLC also contributed.

Affirm Founder and CEO Max Levchin referred to the new round as a “vote of confidence” that will help the company advance its mission “to build honest financial products that improve lives.”

Along with the funding announcement, Affirm also unveiled an interest-free and fee-free bi-weekly payment product for transactions over $50. The new product aims to help Affirm’s tools compete with credit cards. “Affirm is now an even more attractive payment option for everyday wants and needs,” Levchin added. “We can also now better support merchants who offer smaller ticket items and bring their customers a more transparent, flexible way to pay.”

Affirm’s BNPL tools reach 6.5 million shoppers across the U.S. and Canada. The company has 6,000+ merchant partners in the U.S., including brands such as Walmart, Peloton, Oscar de la Renta, Audi, and Expedia.

Affirm’s funding comes days after Klarna unveiled its $650 million raise, which brought its total funding to $1.4 billion and boosted its valuation to $10.6 billion.


Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash

The Future of Fintech in Latin America; Turkey Crowned a Crypto King

Day Five of FinovateFall Digital featured our Power Panel: Latin America – The Future of Fintech and the Dawn of a New Opportunity. Participating in the conversation were Christopher Carmine, Director of Development, FinTech Connector; Laura González-Estéfani, founder and CEO of TheVentureCity; and Manuel Silva, Partner and Head of Investments for Santander InnoVentures.

The panelists, led by moderator Greg Palmer, discussed the biggest opportunities in Latin America presently, emphasizing that fintechs should focus on local issues rather than on big technology themes. They noted that Latin America has a great deal of variation and that it is problematic to discuss the region without focusing on the differences between nations as well as within nations. They also pointed to the low number of “banked” Latin Americans (approximately 30%) and examined ways to bring this number up.

Among the areas of opportunity, the panelists underscored remittances – noting that the corridor between the U.S. and Mexico is one of the biggest in the world. Helping small businesses get their operations running with sound basic business management services was also talked about, as was the challenge of overcoming outdated financial infrastructure. “If you understand the particularities of the market, and understand that it is a work in progress,” González-Estéfani said, “it is a land of opportunity, indeed.”


Turkey is the King of Cryptocurrencies in the Middle East according to a report from Chainalysis. The 2020 Geography of Cryptocurrency Report, published this month, noted that Turkey has the highest total transaction volume in cryptocurrencies in the MENA region. The report cites volatility in the country’s currency, the lira, as helping encourage more savers to adopt cryptocurrencies as an option to maintain their wealth.

The cryptocurrency market in the Middle East is not large. In fact, it is the smallest in the world second only to Africa’s. And while Turkey tops the list in MENA, it ranks 29th out of 154 countries in the Global Crypto Adoption Index. The report notes that Turkey currently has no cryptocurrency regulations, although the country’s Capital Markets Board is developing a framework.

Read the report.


Here is our look at fintech around the world.

Central and Southern Asia

  • Pakistan introduces online banking solution for expatriates, the Rohsan Digital Account.
  • Indian e-commerce deals website CashKaro raises $10 million in Series B.
  • Dialog Axiata, a mobile operator based in Sri Lanka, adopts the country’s national QR code to enable payments at more than 50,000 merchants.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Digital identity leader Jumio brings its identity verification technology to Latin American delivery startup Rappi.
  • Oyster founder and CEO Vilash Poovala makes the case for a fintech operating system for Mexican SMEs. The company raised $14 million in seed funding this week.
  • dlocal, a cross-border payment solutions provider based in Uruguay, becomes the region’s latest unicorn courtesy of an $200 million investment round led by General Atlantic.

Asia-Pacific

  • U.S. and Vietnam-based fintech Fvndit raises $30 million in debt financing to support its P2P lending company, eLoan.
  • Malaysia’s Merchanttrade acquires digital remittance service provider Valyou.
  • Philippines-based fintech JazzyPay secures $500,000 in seed funding.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigeria’s OPay partners with WorldRemit to offer mobile money transfers.
  • TechCabal looks at the relationship between the growing influence of China on sub-Saharan Africa’s fintech industry.
  • Disrupt Africa profiles Kenyan fintech startup Zagace, which offers business management solutions via API to micro-businesses.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Polish e-commerce platform Allegro readies for the country’s – and the region’s – biggest IPO.
  • German microlender Monedo files for bankruptcy.
  • Polish fintech Kontomatik announces new investors: Runa Capital and Amadeus Capital Partners.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Wallet Factory and areeba team up to launch mobile wallet Zaky in Lebanon.
  • Israel-based cybersecurity startup Team8 unveils parallel platform, Team8 Fintech, to invest in early stage companies.
  • Dubai-based Buy Now Pay Later company Spotii goes live on Microsoft AppSource.

Photo by Alisha Lubben from Pexels

You Had the Questions, We Have the Answers

While FinovateFall Digital attendees hunted for services and solutions to meet the needs of their firms’ biggest challenges, they tracked down Scavenger Hunt clues at the event, too! 

Attendees earned points by watching content, meeting with other attendees, exploring the platform, and finding buried easter eggs in the event map.

Without further ado, here are the winners and hunt answers.

#FINOVATEHUNT WINNERS

  • Grand Prize: Om Neelay, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Raffle: Andrew Chalas, Silicon Valley Bank
  • Raffle: Tim Boon, Mostly AI
  • Raffle: Lizette Epps, Vision

#FINOVATEHUNT ANSWERS

Speaker Questions:

  • When Greg Palmer said “Yip yip!” in his MC remarks, what kids’ show was he referencing? Avatar the Last Airbender
  • During his keynote, what did Jeremy Balkin mention as his favorite book? Millennialization of Everything: How to Win When Millennials Rule the World by Jeremy K. Balkin
  • Sarika Sangwan mentioned her favorite business book as part of her keynote. What is it? Conscious Capitalism by Raj Sisodia
  • What is Steven Ramirez’s favorite tech gadget? iPhone
  • What podcast did the Future Payments Stage chair, Louise Beaumont, say she’s listening to in her opening remarks? Breaking Brand by Message Heard

Cafe Question: In the Google Cloud Cafe, what was the main topic for the first poll from the Finovate analysts? APIs

Easter Egg locations on Central Park Map:

  • Juggler
  • Dinosaur skeleton next to Museum of Natural History
  • Carousel
  • ATM
  • Woman sitting alone on the bench
  • The Dakota
  • Grandma walking her dog
  • Dad playing frisbee with his son
  • Woman walking with stroller

Broker Barry Riddles:

  • If money really did grow on trees, what would be everyone’s favorite season? Fall
  • Why can’t the bank keep a secret? Too many tellers
  • A man pushes his car and stops in front of a hotel and immediately goes bankrupt. What is he doing? Playing Monopoly

Fintech Francesca Riddles

  • What word becomes shorter when you add two letters to it? Short
  • What object has keys that open no locks, space but no room, and you can enter but not go in? Keyboard
  • A man buys a horse for $60. He sells the horse for $70. He then buys back the horse for $80. And he sells the horse again for $90. In the end, how much did the man make or lose? Or did he break even? Made $20

Retired Rosetta Riddles:

  • Mary has four daughters, and each of her daughters has one brother. How many children does Mary have? 5 (each daughter has the same brother)
  • Dracula’s going to the bank to keep his money, but he seems a little more pale than usual. Which bank did he go to? Blood bank
  • A chicken was given $7, an ant was given $21, a spider was given $28. How much money was the dog given? $14 ($3.50 per leg)

Thank you to everyone who played and joined us for FinovateFall Digital!

5 Questions with Mary Kate Loftus, Senior VP and Director of Digital for M&T Bank

Partnerships between nimble fintechs and trusted banks are essential as we look to build back our economy. Mary Kate Loftus, a panelist in our FinovateFall Strategic Partnerships session, knows this well. As head SVP, Director of Digital for M&T Bank, she fields potential partnerships each month. We sat down with her to discuss what M&T looks for in a partner and where she sees the industry going.

How do you determine your needs for a fintech partner?

Mary Kate Loftus: With all things, we start with our customer. Our teams dive deep into the customer experience through journey mapping, and from this, we can see the pain points and what we need to create. Going about our innovation and partnerships from this perspective, rather than looking at our competitors and building to parity, allows us to create a truly differentiated experience.

When it comes to partnerships, we consider if we are best suited to meet the needs of the client or if we need to turn to an outside source that’s already focusing on these needs very deeply. Banks, like M&T, are able to work closely with their clients in a way that many fintech organizations are not able to do. But often fintechs, free of a complex organizational structure or process, are able to innovate in a very focused way. This ying and yang – the bank’s customer expertise and the fintech’s area expertise – allows for a truly meaningful partnership.

Once we identify a partnership need, we see if we’re aligned in our corporate purpose. This step is critical – it ensures that our approach will be both effective and long-term. Our purpose is to improve the lives of our customers in a meaningful way, and we look for partners looking to achieve the same.

What makes you take a meeting with a potential fintech partner?

Mary Kate: Referrals from existing clients, friends, connections, or colleagues are always a great way to start a potential partnership. Beyond that, I get excited to meet those who come with a clear vision of the problem they’re able to address and a strong understanding of our corporate promise. For us, it’s not enough to simply have a capability, but rather, we build for measurable results and long-term partnership.

Once we’re in the meeting, it all comes down to talent. We want to work with creative, imaginative, curious people, and we’re looking to see those qualities on day one. Together we want there to be a good energy in the room and, equally as important, great ideas.

Lastly, we’re looking to learn from our partners. What can you teach us about what we’re not yet doing?

Can you discuss the PPP rollout and how you overcame the challenge?

Mary Kate: M&T’s successful PPP rollout was thanks to a strong set of existing partnerships and a creative team that was ready to scale nearly overnight.

Before the pandemic, we were working with Blend for our mortgage digital originations so we were already aligned in our purpose. The leadership teams from both organizations were just starting conversations on how we could work together more when the PPP program was announced, and so we knew they were the partner to tap. A cross-functional team brought in Salesforce and Docusign – two other existing partners – to complete the experience.

Within minutes of the program launching, we had thousands of applications. Together, we were able to lead the country in loan fulfillment– 96% of first round loans went through within days — giving $7 billion in funds to small businesses. More importantly, our partnership allowed us to still meaningfully vet the applications, and we’re proud to say that two thirds of the loans issued went to businesses with less than 10 employees.

Our PPP response was led by Eric Feldstein, M&T’s SVP who oversees Business Banking. It’s a success story about the importance of having strong leaders with digital expertise leading a line of business. I believe this successful rollout in a time of real crisis for many will create lasting loyalty in our customer base.

What near-horizon banking technology are you most excited about?

Mary Kate: I’m a big believer in the science behind behavioral analytics and how you motivate customers by understanding how people think.

Every customer is going through a different experience. If one client is going through a life change like having a child or going through a divorce, it’s important to be able to anticipate financially what that journey might look like for them. As we are able to embed more artificial intelligence and meaningful insights, we’ll be able to guide customers toward better decisions that then will improve the quality of their life.

This is why we’re so focused on experience mapping to identify customer journeys — from there we’re able to understand what the moments that matter most are for different segments of customers. When you apply data and insights against those experiences, you’re then able to build a personalized micro-experience. What we’re doing today is lightyears ahead of what we were doing in the past, and I can’t wait to see how much more we can do in this space.

The pandemic is only going to accelerate this. We’re seeing a blend of work and personal lives, and with this, I think the financial services industry will play an even bigger role in making a difference in people’s lives.

What role does the need for diversity play in banking partnerships?

Mary Kate: Diversity plays an absolutely critical role in these partnerships.

At M&T, we know the more diverse voices we have in the room the better decisions and outcomes you can drive for customers. As an institution, you must reflect your community and customers, so you need to draw from a broad range of experiences in order to drive the best business performance and outcome.

When choosing a partner, we look at who we’re working with. We look at what systems are in place and watch out for those that could create outcomes that we don’t want to drive, and, conversely, for those that will drive us further.

This goes back to what I was saying earlier about learning from a partner. Yes, we want cutting-edge technology that will solve customer pain points, but sometimes these pain points are solved through systems, processes, or approaches. We’ve found that by working with a diverse set of partners, we’re able to think in more comprehensive, customer-centric ways.


Mary Kate Loftus is the Senior Vice President, Director of Digital for M&T. She joined the Bank in 2018 as the Head of Strategic Planning for the Consumer & Business Bank. Mary Kate is a career banker with over 20 years in financial services with experience in Digital, Branch Management and Contact Center. Mary Kate holds an MBA from Canisius College, is a 2013 graduate of the Consumer Banker’s Association Executive Banking School and is a member of their Digital Channels Committee in addition to other industry forums


Photo by Photos Hobby on Unsplash

Webinar: Technology as a business strategy in financial services

Webinar: Technology as a business strategy in financial services

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | Time: 10:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

Register now >>

When development and compliance are handled separately financial services organizations often run into challenges. These challenges can be remediated with solid IT Automation practices.

Without IT Automation a lot of time and money must be used to remain up-to-date, compliant, and secure. A robust automation strategy is an answer, and 89% of FIs agree: it is one of their top priorities. But only around 18% of the industry is doing this effectively. 

Join the latest #FinovateWebinar, where we explore the focus areas that can be streamlined while deploying IT automation resulting inteams that are more productive, reduced errors, improved collaboration, and more time spent on more meaningful, thoughtful work. 

The session will look at:

  • Identifying, preempting, and overcoming internal resistance challenges like a lack of dedicated resources and a lack of executive buy-in 
  • Assessing where you are on the automation journey and how to get started 
  • Overcoming complex use cases and lack of visibility to benefits 

Featuring Jamil Mina, Chief Architect for Financial Services, Red Hat and David Penn, Finovate Research Analyst.

Find out more and register for free >>

FinovateFall Digital 2020 Best of Show Winners Announced

Digitally or in-person, the live fintech demos continue to be one of the most popular and worthwhile features of our fintech conferences. This year was no different. FinovateFall Digital featured fewer demoing companies than in years past to better accommodate our COVID-induced, all-digital format. But, as always, the quality of demos was absolutely on point.

With that, let’s take a look at the companies that our attendees have awarded with Best of Show trophies at this year’s event.


Finzly with its BankOS open banking platform that helps banks innovate at speed by transitioning away from legacy technology.

Horizn for its ability to help financial institutions accelerate digital adoption with customers and employees.

Lendsmart for its AI-driven technology that solves for the lack of automation, transparency, and communication in the lending process.

Monit for its finance application that gives small business leaders the insights and personalized guidance they need to manage their businesses successfully.

Q2 for its online digital marketplace that makes collaboration between fintechs and financial institutions easier and more efficient.


Thanks to all the companies that participated in FinovateFall Digital! And thank you, our FinovateFall Digital attendees, for making your voices heard and for being part of a very special event this year. We look forward to seeing many of you in a few months for FinovateWest!


Notes on methodology:
1. Only audience members NOT associated with demoing companies were eligible to vote. Finovate employees did not vote.
2. Attendees were encouraged to note their favorites during each day. At the end of the last demo, they chose their five favorites.
3. The exact written instructions given to attendees: “Please rate (the companies) on the basis of demo quality and potential impact of the innovation demoed.”
4. The five companies appearing on the highest percentage of submitted ballots were named “Best of Show.”
5. Go here for a list of previous Best of Show winners through 2014. Best of Show winners from our 2015 through 2020 conferences are below:
FinovateEurope 2015
FinovateSpring 2015
FinovateFall 2015
FinovateEurope 2016
FinovateSpring 2016
FinovateFall 2016
FinovateAsia 2016
FinovateEurope 2017
FinovateSpring 2017
FinovateFall 2017
FinovateAsia 2017
FinovateMiddleEast 2018
FinovateEurope 2018
FinovateSpring 2018
FinovateFall 2018
FinovateAsia 2018
FinovateAfrica 2018
FinovateEurope 2019
FinovateSpring 2019
FinovateFall 2019
FinovateAsia 2019
FinovateMiddleEast 2019

FinovateEurope 2020

FinovateFall Digital Day 4: Open Finance, Black Swans, and the Return of SME Banking

We opened Day Four of FinovateFall Digital with a panel looking at the future of innovation in a post-COVID world. Among the highlights of the conversation was a discussion of the challenge in distinguishing between permanent and temporary shifts in customer behavior as a result of the pandemic. Our Deep Dive also discussed the positives, negatives, and uncertainties about the rise of platforms as players on the fintech scene. Lastly, the group emphasized how the rise of borderlessness creates new challenges and opportunities for companies looking for both new customers and new markets.

Our second panel on Day Four looked at the phenomenon of Open Banking. Here our panelists considered open banking as a subset of open finance, and noted that while open banking began in many ways as a regulatory initiative, progress increasingly has been driven by consumer behavior. This last point was especially relevant for fans of open banking in the United States, where any effort to encourage cooperation between banks and third party financial services and fintech providers is more likely to come about via customer demand rather than by legislation from Washington.

Day Four also marked the beginning of our Discussion Days content which offered a variety of special, themed tracks covering topics in banking, financial crime, payments and digitization, wealthtech, and futuretech. With an eye toward how technology is shaping innovation in these areas, our Discussion Days tracks looked at the rise of banking-as-a-service, the role of biometrics and identity in an increasingly digitized society, and the latest applications of cutting edge technologies like conversational AI and natural language processing in fintech and financial services.

The fourth day of FinovateFall Digital also featured our Best of Show awards. Our attendees selected five companies – Finzly, Horizn, Lendsmart, Monit, and Q2 – to receive Finovate’s highest honor. Read more about our FinovateFall Digital Best of Show winners in our announcement post.

And, of course, we started the day with our Meet in the Cafe interactive morning hangout – sponsored by Google Cloud. This morning featured a number of interesting insights and observations from cafe visitors including the idea of data itself as being as important as any enabling technology like AI or the blockchain when it comes to fintech. Those gathered also discussed the idea of the pandemic as a Black Swan event that has helped smaller financial institutions, such as credit unions, get back in the business banking game.

Sound interesting? Join us tomorrow morning at 9:30am Eastern for our final installment at Meet at the Cafe!

Striata Acquired by Doxim

Secure messaging company Striata announced this week it has been acquired by Doxim, a customer communications management (CCM) software company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Doxim will use Striata’s technology to expand its CCM platform and provide personalized digital interactive experiences in a secure manner. Doxim CEO Mike Rogalski expressed that the global pandemic has accelerated the need for communications technologies. “Especially with the impact of COVID-19, which has meant fewer face-to-face meetings,” noted Rogalski, “organizations need to find scalable ways to orchestrate and distribute multi-channel communications that are both personalized and legally compliant.”

“The joint strength of Striata and Doxim will power a world-class digital CCM platform and expert team for enterprises and small to mid-sized businesses,” said Striata CEO Michael Wright (pictured). “We look forward to working with Doxim to integrate our technology, systems and culture. The value proposition of the combined organization promises to be a formidable force in the market.”

Striata was founded in 1999 and, with a focus on security and compliance, has worked heavily in the financial services industry. The company’s services include message design, generation, security, delivery, and storage across multiple channels.

Striata is headquartered in New York City, with operations in London, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, and Sydney and partners in North and South America, Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific.


Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash