e-Magazine: Getting Practical With the Fintech Hype

Finovate has been perfecting fintech conferences and news content since 2007. This week, we’re thrilled to introduce our quarterly e-book.

In this edition, we’re pleased to share actionable insight about Open Banking, crafting a digital strategy, and low-hanging fruit in AI. We also take a look at the singular trend that dominated presentations across FinovateEurope and FinovateSpring. Finally, we celebrate International Women’s Day with some of fintech’s leading ladies.

Releasing our e-magazine series is, more than anything, humbling. It’s another reminder that we wouldn’t be here without conference attendees, blog readers, and fintech Tweeters. So thanks for your patronage as we continue our endeavor of supporting the fintech industry.

Enjoy!

Download the e-Magazine here >>

FinovateEurope Demo Videos Live

Did you miss out on all of the fun at FinovateEurope earlier this month? Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. We’ve just released all of the videos from the 68 companies that demoed their fintech on stage.

All of the 7-minute demos are available to stream and download for free at Finovate.com. And if you don’t know where to begin, we’ll get you started with the seven demos that won Best of Show at the event.

Backbase


Be-IQ


CREALOGIX


iProov


Meniga


Microblink


W.UP

Ready for more? Be sure to register for FinovateSpring, happening May 8 through 11 in Santa Clara, California.

Data or Die

Summarizing four days of fintech content can be done using a four-letter word: data. That simple term and its many uses was the overarching theme of FinovateEurope last week in London.

The use of data is not new to the industry, but advanced AI models have helped data evolve from the early days of “Big Data” in fintech. Leveraging large data sets for a variety of uses has become an industry standard, but players who make the most of their data will win.

Below, I’ve categorized a variety of data uses, all shown and discussed at FinovateEurope last week. Remember– it’s not how much data you have– it’s how you use it.

AI

When talking about data, artificial intelligence seems like a good place to start. It is AI, after all, that offers deep insight into data.

In his keynote presentation, futurist Rohit Talwar discussed the AI revolution and the road to superintelligence. In the speech, Talwar explained six types of AI:

  1. Domain specific: the AI knows a lot about the problem, but not about the world surrounding it
  2. Context-aware: the AI is able to retain information for later use
  3. Theory of mind: the AI has the capacity to reason like a human
  4. Self-aware: the AI has an understanding of human emotions
  5. Superintelligence: the AI is capable of out-thinking humans
  6. Singularity: the AI has achieved enlightenment and transcendence

Credit scoring and risk underwriting

Data has turned traditional credit scoring upside down– and that’s a good thing. During the demo sessions, ApPello showed how it is using data to transform credit scoring and risk underwriting. The company’s risk assessment technology helps underwrite business loans with thin credit files.

The topic was also breached during the panel discussions, when Hari Ramamurthy, CTO & Technical Architect of Kuflink and Jaidev Janadana, CEO of Zopa each talked about data’s importance in making lending decisions.

Banking the underbanked

This topic is tangential to leveraging non-traditional data sources for credit and scoring. Because unbanked and underbanked individuals have little-to-no credit history, data is the key to providing services to these individuals.

In Friday’s fireside chat with Bernadetta Arese Lucini, Oval Money CEO, Lucini discussed how Oval Money leverages the bank account data of underserved individuals to help them achieve savings goals. Additionally, Sheraz Dar, CEO of CreditLadder explained how CreditLadder uses monthly rental payment information to help users build their credit score by paying their rent on time.

Open your bank

Being in the EU, there was plenty of talk about PSD2. Throughout these discussions, many touted the benefits of consumer data-sharing through the use of APIs. Allowing third parties to leverage data ultimately offers the best experience and provides more options for your customers.

Specifically, Tesobe’s Open Bank Project demoed a portion of its large catalogue of APIs, along with its network of more than 8,000 fintech developers across the globe.

Secure your site

Data gathered about how consumers navigate a website or a mobile app can help flag fraudulent activity. Two demo companies exemplified this use case.

First, Fortytwo Data showed how data can help banks comply with anti-money laundering regulations and leverage behavioral analytics and transaction monitoring to meet compliance standards and keep the client’s account secure.

Next, HooYu demoed how it leverages customer data to help onboard customers and ultimately meet security and compliance needs.

Personalizatoin

Personalization is a huge use case for consumer data. By tailoring the user experience based on the client’s specific needs, banks and fintechs stand to gain more customers and sell more products, ultimately improving the user experience. Three companies exemplified this in their demos.

First, Efigence debuted EFI4 Analytics, which converts data into insights and automatically recommends banking products based on those insights in real time.

Next, DataSine showed how it uses psychology and machine learning to tailor the customer experience and segment the audience by personality type at scale.

Finally, W.UP takes a range of customer data– including photos on their camera roll, fitness data, and geolocation– analyzes it using AI, and leverages those insights to create a personalized user experience.

Regulation

With the GDPR deadline looming, data protection is on the minds of many banks and fintechs across the globe. This topic emanated in almost all discussions throughout the conference.

Analytics Marketing

Offering loyalty and rewards to consumers is a great way to differentiate a payments offering. This topic was quite popular in 2011 but faded after mobile wallets struggled to gain ground. With the advent of more powerful analytics thanks to AI, however, loyalty and rewards offerings are experiencing another surge in interest. Four companies in last week’s show demonstrated how consumer data can be analyzed to improve marketing efforts.

First, CASHOFF uses consumer transaction information to create a white-labeled, gamified loyalty rewards program that is tailored consumer preferences.

Second, Yoyo offers a payment and loyalty platform that leverages behavioral analytics and marketing tools to effectively reach consumers, increase their transactions, and offer them spending insight via receipt analysis.

Finally, Touche showed how it analyzes consumers’ historic activity and predicts behavior in order to offer merchants insights for loyalty programs and targeted marketing campaigns.

Investing

Robo advisory services stand to win big if they leverage data correctly. By analyzing large data sets about consumer confidence and market sentiment, algorithmic investing models can win over consumers. On the human side, financial advisors also benefit by gaining the ability to better manage more portfolios at scale. Two companies exemplified this during the demo session.

First, YUKKA Labs showcased its language intelligence capabilities that evaluate financial news to help advisors and individual investors make better investment decisions.

Second, aixigo demoed how it leverages data to help advisors scale their offerings and manage millions of portfolios.

EuroTweeting: Twitter Talk from FinovateEurope 2018

Our first, four-day conference in Europe is a wrap! And once again the Finovate twitter feed @Finovate was a great place for attendees and online onlookers alike to express their thoughts about our two days of live demos followed by another two days of deep dives and discussions on top fintech trends.

For those who missed it – and for those who’d love to relive the magic of #Finovate from the week that was – here’s a short sampler of the Twitter conversation from last week’s event.

We hope you have as much fun reading it as our Twitter followers  – now at more than 40,000 – had in tweeting it!

And remember to follow us on Twitter @Finovate to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, hot topics, and cool companies in fintech.

The Key to Building a Successful Digital Agenda

Harrie Vollaard_FinovateEurope 2018“Banks need to ask themselves whether they are flexible and sensitive enough to adapt to the rapidly changing context.” Harrie Vollaard, Head of FinTech Ventures at Rabobank, has established several partnerships with startups, manages the Fintech investments for the Rabobank, is involved in Fintech accelerator programs around the globe, and created several spinoffs. Speaking at FinovateEurope 2018 about Creating A Digital Investment Experience To Compete In A Zero Interest Rate Environment, we chat to him about his key tips for banks who strive to create a successful digital agenda.

Finovate: What does a bank need to focus on when building a digital agenda?

Vollaard: There are three key areas that banks need address to build their digital agenda:

1. A clear innovation thesis and establishing the areas you want to focus on. Here are four areas that we have defined: financial cruise control, platform banking, emerging technologies as business model enablers, and data for food.

2. Open infrastructure to collaborate. To facilitate in- and out-coming datastreams as well as delivering services to third parties and incorporating external services. I envision a satellite structure of the bank’s core assets surrounded by an ecosystem of third parties and startups where the bank is still the first point of contact.

3. A company-wide digital DNA. This is the key success factor and enabler of innovation. Innovation departments running innovation projects and proof of concepts are essential, but in order to be successful you need scale. Scale can only be accomplished through the business lines and marketing department. The bank needs to look beyond the existing products and that can only be accomplished via a customer-first approach, which means a full adoption of a lean startup methodology and product development processes that facilitate iterative learning. A more Darwinian approach is also preferable; it is not the best executed project but the most adaptable organisation who survives. Banks need to ask themselves whether they are flexible and sensitive enough to adapt to the rapidly changing context.

Finovate: How does the fintech sector offer a growth opportunity for banks?

Vollaard: It offers growth in three key areas:

1. Delivering better, more transparant and cheaper services to our clients (challenger banks, personal finance management, market place lending), streamline business processes (by use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain), taking out risk (RegTech). The bottom line it the business model optimization; to improve cost/income ration and to increase customer satisfaction.

2. Adding additional services on top of existing banking infrastructure; services more embedded in the real life/business of the clients. A shift from product oriented to service oriented, related to the real customers needs/pains. E.g. in the value added services on top of payments. Bottom line it is business model extension fulfilling customer/client needs embedded in real life events.

3. Exploring new innovation areas; reinvent the business model of the bank. E.g.  transforming your assets in to new service offerings to your clients (e.g. delivering trust services (secure login, authentication, signing services to our clients). In general it means cross industry innovations. Example: We developed an FX platform for ourselves which now can be solved as a B2B solution to other financial institutions. Bottom line it is business model innovation.

Finovate: How has Rabobank collaborated with fintechs to expand products and services for customers?

Vollaard: 90% of the collaboration with fintechs are focused incorporating their services in the service offerings of the bank or in the business processes of the banks.. E.g. Sparkholder with loanstreet; a pre-approved finance tool for SMEs.

9% of Rabobank is an extension of our services, such as Rabo&Co with FinTech Cloud Lending solutions, which is a market place lending solution for SME clients.

1% of the collaboration is related to business model innovation, such as working together with fintech Signicat delivering e-business services iDin (secure login, authentication, signing services to our clients). With our corporate investment arm Rabo Frontier Ventures we are focusing on this category.

Finovate: What are the drivers for change in digital investing?

Vollaard: The most obvious one is the customer and business need. Although this seems like a no-brainer, for the incumbents it means a transformation from a portfolio of financial products (which served the customers of the past) to financial services that fit the customer needs of today.

Another driver is the technologies that offer us opportunities we have never seen before, such as risk models/predictions based on different data sources, optimizing business processes, and new revenue streams.

Finally, there is the regulatory motivation and the harmonization of legislation across Europe to stimulate innovation and lower the thresholds to then expand.

Finovate: How can you compete in a zero interest rate environment?

Vollaard: By making investment more accessible; a mobile only investment app focused on millennials whereby the roundups from transactions are invested in ETFs. The threshold is very low to invest in and a small amount being invested on very regular bases counts up without the customer even noticing. It is completely chat-based, user friendly, design-focused and automated with low cost operation. It is a new and engaged target group.

We know the success that Betterment, Wealthfront, Nutmeg have had serving customers via insightful and user-friendly websites. Inspired by them, we introduced last year Rabo Beheerd Beleggen, which has been accepted with huge success.

Finovate: What will new technologies – like artificial intelligence and blockchain – mean for investment management?

Vollaard: The second wave of technologies impacting the financial industry will offer substantial investment opportunities and reduce costs significantly.

AI can slash down costs by 30% by reducing manual work, and blockchain/smart contracts will eliminate steps in the value chain.

Beyond the Hype: AI in Financial Services Gets Serious

Rohit Talwar_FinovateEurope 2018_AISpeaking at FinovateEurope 2018, Rohit Talwar – global futurist, author, and the CEO of Fast Future – discussed The Rise Of The Machines – The AI Revolution And The Road To Superintelligence. He specialises in the future of financial services and the challenges of preparing society for the disruptive impacts of exponential technologies.

Clear away the vendor hype and desperate “me too” announcements from across the sector, and the evidence is starting to mount that financial services is exploring serious applications of artificial intelligence (AI). The technology is being deployed in everything from complex internal reconciliations, risk identification, and fraud detection through to customer service chatbots, robo trading, and targeted marketing based on deep customer profiling. Furthermore, in the fast-paced world of fintech start-ups, we are seeing AI-powered hedge funds and advisory firms, personal finance managers, and a host of sites that offer us the potential to streamline traditionally slow and expensive processes for everything from invoice financing to personal insurance.

So, now the game is on, where can we see it evolving to in the coming years? One area is in real-time fraud detection for banking and credit card transactions – spotting and preventing situations that might otherwise take us weeks to resolve. At another level, investors and regulators could eventually be able to monitor the behaviour of fund managers and personal advisors. These systems would examine transactional behaviour, personal spending patterns, and social media activity to detect the potential for insider trading, market manipulation, and misuse of client funds.

For individuals, the aggregation of our personal data with that of millions of other people will allow our intelligent finance advisors to recommend cheaper alternatives for goods and services we buy regularly. The next step would be to aggregate our purchasing to secure discounts from key suppliers. Indeed, we might authorize these advanced comparison tools to switch our purchases, insurances, and even savings on a continuous basis to whoever is offering us the best deal.

Taking this a stage further, new opportunities might arise for those who have a detailed understanding of our lifestyles from travel, to dining, and clothing purchases and link this to our personal financial management. Such sites might be authorised to trade unused airmiles and store loyalty points on our behalf, negotiate entertainment discounts for us, accept paid adverts to our social networks, and rent out our driveway as a parking space. Such systems would then invest any cash surpluses earned on a moment by moment basis using our preferred risk profile as a guide.

The next evolution might to employ a personal AI clone or “digital twin”. These applications would build a detailed understanding of our lifestyles and be authorized to buy, save, sell, or trade on our behalf. Depending on the level of authorization, they might undertake credit card purchases, bank transactions, and bill payments, complete loan or mortgage applications, and even make impulse buys. The system might report back on every transaction or simply deliver an end of day voice or video mail to update on the day’s activities.

The list of potential applications is literally limitless. From streamlining and reducing the cost of activities that are currently an expensive hassle, through to finding new ways of making our finances go further, AI seems increasingly likely to become a vital part of the financial ecosystem. While many of the new AI ventures will go the way of most start-ups and fade away, some will survive. Furthermore, the best ideas are likely to be adopted by more established players as they seek to transform themselves into more customer centric enterprises. The hope is that successive waves of AI innovation will help us make far better use of all the assets at our disposal – not just our cash.

www.fastfuture.com

 

Welcome to Day Four of FinovateEurope

The days have flown by and it’s hard to believe we’ve arrived at the final day of FinovateEurope! We have a lot of content in store today and can’t wait to get started.

We’re at ExCel London and tickets are still available at the registration desk. If you missed the first part of the show, catch up by searching #Finovate on Twitter.

Here’s an overview of today’s agenda. For a detailed look, check out the event website.

From 10:10 to 12:00 our four-track summit panel discussions and fireside chats will cover four topics:

  • Payments
  • Digital Lending
  • New Tech
  • Special Interest

And that’s a wrap! Thanks to all of the presenters for braving the stage with their live demos, to all of the speakers and panel hosts, and of course to our audience– we couldn’t do this without you.

Demo videos will be available on Finovate.com in a couple of weeks and you can find panel discussions as well as bonus content and interviews on our YouTube channel. Until we see you again next year, tune into the Finovate blog for the latest in fintech news.

Women in Fintech: What the Industry Can Do to Promote Gender Diversity

As the number of women representing start-ups at FinovateEurope 2018 is at its highest since conception, we gather some of the leading ladies in fintech to discuss how the industry has evolved, what practical steps can be taken to move keep moving forward and why male colleagues and peers need to get involved too.

The panel:

  • Julie Muhn, Senior Research Analyst, Finovate
  • Magdalena Kron, Head of Rise London & VP Open Innovation, Barclays Bank
  • Janice Diner, Founding Partner & CEO, Horizn
  • Benedetta Arese Lucini, Co-Founder, Oval Money

Celebrating International Women’s Day at FinovateEurope

The midway point of FinovateEurope falls on a notable holiday– International Women’s Day. This combination makes it the perfect time to celebrate all of the women who have graced the Finovate stage over the past two days.

Out of our 68 demoing companies, 21 were represented by women presenters– that’s 31%. This figure is 35% higher than at FinovateEurope last year, when 23% of the presenting companies were represented by a woman on stage. And it’s 55% higher than at FinovateEurope 2016, when 20% of the companies featured a woman on stage; more than 2x higher than FinovateEurope 2015, where 15% of the companies had female speakers; and a huge leap from our first event in 2007 with zero (see note 1).

These numbers spell out definitive progress. And with this in mind let’s celebrate women in fintech today– and every day, recognize how far we’ve come, and make an effort to foster a more inclusive environment within our industry.

The companies appear in demo order:

ApPello

Bernadett Nagy and Agnes Magyar

 

Opentech

Lisa Ann Caringi

 

ebankIT

Diana Winstanley

 

Google & KBC Bank

Petrina Grady and Deniz Oran

 

Avaloq

Esther Kaufmann

 

Salt Edge

Lisa Terziman-Gutu

 

CASHOFF

Yulia Clarke and Lina Perez

 

Horizn

Janice Diner

 

Fintech OS

Paula Costea

 

Electronic IDentification

Patricia Diez Diez

 

3rd-eyes

Stephanie Feight

 

Exate Technology

Sonal Rattan

 

IBM Trusteer

Eileen Turner and Sarit Kozokin

 

ING

Iwona Ziolkowska and Ewa Szerszen

 

CREALOGIX

Jo Howes and Eszter Vass

 

Solna

Inna Kaushan and Fatima Ayoub

 

Sensibill and NatWest

Wincie Wong

 

Smart Valley

Dr. Anna Elmirayeva

 

Partner HUB

Katalin Kauzli

 

SMART VALOR

Olga Feldmeier

 

ITSector

Luisa Silva


Editor’s Note: While sadly it’s true that no women were on stage during the 20 demos of the first Finovate. One company, iPay Technologies, was founded by Dana Bowers, but she chose not to speak that day. And Finovate might not even exist if it wasn’t for Melanie Flanagan, then Marketing Manager at Yodlee (also co-founded by a woman), who was the first person to agree to demo. Finally, Susan Hawkins, then SVP at Metavante,was instrumental in getting both her company and Monitise on stage. So there you have it, woman called the shots for at least 20% of Finovate v1.0’s content, even if they ended up delegating the on-stage pitching to men. Thanks Melanie, Dana and Susan! — Jim Bruene, Founder

FinovateEurope 2018 Best of Show Winners Announced

If there is one theme that unites all of our FinovateEurope Best of Show winners this year, that theme may be summed up in one word: data. As Finovate senior research analyst Julie Muhn pointed out during a recent conversation, the ability to leverage data to create more meaningful, more personalized, more secure experiences for consumers of financial services underlies much of the innovation that we see not just on the Finovate stage, but across fintech writ large, as well.

In this way, financial technology is turning the old adage – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – on its head. The connections between us and the things we do, the places we go, the transactions we make, are in many ways the Holy Grail for companies that are constantly seeking out better ways to serve us. And for those companies that do win our trust and gain access to what we know and do, the rewards could not be greater.

With this in mind, we present to you a small sample of those companies that may be best positioned to take advantage of this Golden Age of Data: the Best of Show winners of FinovateEurope 2018.

Backbase for its Customer OS, the next generation of the Backbase Digital Banking Platform, which is laser-focused on providing customer-first journeys. Video.

 

Be-IQ for its holistic and gamified approach to risk profiling and financial well-being that accounts for the very contradictions that make us human: our behaviors. Video.

 

CREALOGIX for its customer banking platform, Gravity, which is breaking new ground with its intuitive and user-friendly, self-service insights application. Video.

 

iProov for its liveness-protected, facial biometric authentication technology which is fully-automated for fast, easy and ultra-secure mobile and PC on-boarding. Video.

 

 

Meniga for its digital banking solution that helps banks around the world use data to personalize digital channels and drive customer engagement. Video.

 

Microblink for BlinkReceipt, its SDK for real-time extraction of all purchase data from retail receipts and OCR technology which eliminates typing from mobile apps. Video.

 

 

W.UP for its digital banking sales and engagement solution that uses pre-built customer insights to build relevant, personalized, and timely interactions with clients. Video.

 

Please join us in thanking our sponsors and partners who help us make FinovateEurope a huge success year in and year out. And be sure to stay tuned for coverage of our new extended format on Thursday and Friday as we take deep dives into some of the most pressing issues and fascinating trends in fintech today. For more information about the keynote addresses, panel discussions, and fireside chats coming up on Days Three and Four, our full agenda is available on our FinovateEurope 2018 page.


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 three 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 seven 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 2018 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