How Businesses Can Leverage Resilience to Thrive in the COVID-19 Era

How Businesses Can Leverage Resilience to Thrive in the COVID-19 Era

How are businesses in financial services applying technologies like machine learning and AI? What obstacles and challenges remain for companies looking to deploy these technologies and how can these roadblocks be overcome? What does it mean for businesses to be “resilient” and why is “resilience” as important for businesses in today’s dynamic and uncertain times as “agility”?

We caught up with Jeff Fried, Director of Product Management for InterSystems, last week to address these and other critical questions for financial services companies in the COVID – and post-COVID – era. Fried was featured during our FinovateWest Digital conference last month, where he led a keynote address titled, “The 7 Steps to Using Machine Learning to Improve Your Business.”

For more insights from Jeff Fried into how businesses can make the most out of the current crisis, check out our feature Giving AI and Machine Learning the Business.


Photo by Jayden Burdick from Pexels

Rutger Responds: Key Take-aways from FinovateWest Digital

Rutger Responds: Key Take-aways from FinovateWest Digital

The following is a guest blog post by Rutger van Faassen, Head of Product & Market Strategy for FBX at Informa Financial Intelligence.

Like many of you, I am still getting used to the virtual conference format. We all miss the in-person networking and engagement with conference participants; however, the saved travel time is an excellent perk. With the platform open for two weeks, I was able to get a couple of additional sessions in that I would have most likely missed in the pre-Covid world. I did find it challenging to keep 100% focused on the conference as my day to day business would find its way into my field of attention. After watching all the demos and many of the other sessions, here are my overall observations and key take-aways from the conference…

As Greg Palmer kicked-off the conference and set the stage for the event in the current environment, he mentioned a couple of things that I thought were insightful as a jump-off point. First, banks can move quickly if they need to (especially in the case of PPP). Second, customers can be much more flexible (taking advice from Financial Institutions). Third, banks that invested in digital were in a better position to deal with pandemic.

Not surprising, many of the companies providing demos at Finovate had an angle that fit in well with the current pandemic environment where remote engagement and digital journeys are extremely important.

Facilitate digital transformation for those left behind

A premier example of this is Zeta, who provides an App Integrated banking platform facilitating the consumer’s digital journey. Two features jumped out to me from this platform. First is the option for point-of-purchase financing while in browser journey – so you can get a loan for a product you want to buy on Amazon as you are browsing on your mobile device. Second is the Family Hub – to manage family financials within the App with a 60-day implementation timeline makes it a perfect fit in the current environment.

Similarly, Dan Michaeli, CEO & Co-Founder from Glia showed us how to provide better digital customer service by identifying digital body language (a new term for me!). The two features he showed us, ‘Co-Browsing’ and ‘Video Chat in App’, are crucial features in this new abnormal time where circumstances push us to engage remotely through digital channels.

As our device time has increased dramatically, it is crucial that the experience is pleasant and helpful to keep us engaged with our financial institutions. Q2 showed us how to deliver Dynamic Personalization to make the content and offers provided as relevant and engaging as possible.

Productfy demonstrated its secure platform for any company to launch fintech applications, financial products, or services in as little as 3 weeks. Great news for financial institutions who find themselves hopelessly behind in their digital transformation in a time where a digital journey is essential.

With a strong shift to online shopping, GoPoints Loyalty Group provides a platform (currently operational in Russia) to help set up and manage reward’s programs. It is a turnkey solution with various integration options to help financial institutions that are behind in their digital transformation get up and running with a proven platform.

Finzly, one of the “Best in Show” winners, provides a customer engagement engine that helps financial institutions – through a drag and drop interface – to set up customer onboarding flows at “fintech speed”. Another solution to help financial institutions that find themselves struggling during the pandemic due to a lack of digital customer journeys.

Enhance engagement with SMBs leveraging online tools

Another key group that has been impacted during the pandemic is small businesses. Any solution to help financial institutions help this segment garnered lots of attention. Monit offers a platform that provides value for both bankers and small businesses with relevant and actionable contextual offers based on the data gathered from the small business cashflow projections. Anything that helps small businesses preserve their most valuable resource, time, is a good idea in my book.

Like Monit, the UpSwot is focused on changing the way banks serve SMBs by first, being the Mint for business and second, combining analytics from different Apps SMBs use on one screen. It then allows the platform to provide notifications and a forecast for future financial cash flows. Even if a lender is not comfortable providing a loan at this point (by analyzing the data), they will help the SMB understand when they could qualify.

Deal with downsides of our digital world

Solving a very different challenge caused by the pandemic, a lack of in person networking opportunities, Momentifi created continued education sessions that provide an opportunity to connect with industry participants.

The Finovate format using demonstrations does an excellent job at giving the audience a clear idea how the solution solves for a particular use case. Instnt not only showed how their solution uses AI for KYC analysis, they also will put their money where their mouth is and will indemnify the user for losses due to fraud. In these strange and uncertain times, that is a strong commitment to their solution.

Given all new data privacy regulations that have come online, and the increasing awareness of consumers of their right for their data to be removed, one thing that stood out to me in the Ninth Wave demo was their seamless process to address this through the instant creation of a Digital certificate to confirm that data has been removed.

Side effects of a digital revolution are more space for innovation and new solutions. IM and Chat Message has eclipsed emails and calls resulting in financial institutions needing a solution to capture, populate, encrypt, and archive historically inaccessible messaging data in real time. Nuri Otus, txtsmarter CEO & Founder demonstrated how his platform provides a solution for this digital journey challenge.

As we get more and more digital, the risk of data breaches increases exponentially. Breach Clarity, another “Best of Show” winner, showed how their solution helps customers of financial institutions deal with these breaches with a score that lets a customer know how meaningful the breach is and then what action to take.

Support existing digital journeys with additional tools

The constant challenge of security of information has been amplified as most communication now happens remote through digital channels. Arnexa provides one tap secure message delivery which removes the friction of having to take several steps to get a secure message. Reducing friction is certainly on everyone’s 2020 bingo-card! In the same vein, CoConet was showcasing how to turn SlowBoarding into QuickBoarding as most new clients get onboarded digitally.

DeepTarget also provides a digital experience platform that aims for better customer engagement and increased sales. It is leveraging practices from social media by providing real human stories to enhance customer engagement. The platform lets you treat people differently at scale.

A key part of the engagement in a digital world is how you communicate with customers through different channels. LinkLive Banking securely and seamlessly connects humans to their financial institutions through a full suite of communication services. Using different options like chatbots, the ability to transfer to the next available live agent and in-browser desktop sharing.

Tom Martin, CEO of Glance Networks, showed us how his platform helps deliver real human connections by allowing financial institution’s employees to join a customer within the App/Browser via video within the embedded securely of their own platform. With just one click, a video conference can be launched, and co-browsing can be established.

Financial health management

A theme that has come to the top of consumers priority list during the pandemic – in addition to their physical health – is their financial health. Planning for a financially healthy future is top of mind and having tools to provide consumers with insights certainly support this. Sheryl O’Connor, CEO of WealthConductor, showed us how their platform provides insight into future financials using a product agnostic approach (so not pushing any provider) with easy reports written at 8th grade level. The platform works both when planning for retirement as well as when entering retirement and will hopefully help to reduce the Bankruptcy rates which have recently doubled within retirees.

Facilitating easier shopping and payment journeys

In line with a key trend of making the payment and lending part of the sales cycle easier, Payever shared how its solution seamlessly integrates the process from shopping to payment and marketing to shipping.

VRAY offers an Omni-channel payment platform that provides simple and secure consumer experiences across different platforms. It lets consumers have subscriptions without giving out their credit card info… and the option to cancel any time. This shortens check out due to no need for client information (which makes them more comfortable) and reduces chargebacks.

Enhanced use of AI and ML

On day two of the conference, Deniz Kaya, Director of Product Management & Digital Channels at Fiserv, showed us how they are using conversational AI to power a Voice Assistant who still sounds a lot like a robot, but can understand complex questions and provide actionable insights and advice. During this pandemic where call center volumes are at record high, a voice assistant can reduce the pressure on the call center. Integration in a core platform will also give access to a wealth of data to help answer customer questions.

As the digital revolution is accelerating, financial institutions gather more and more data. DQLabs showed us a platform that manages data automatically using AI/ML to support a data strategy and improve customer experience. It helps profile and curate data and suggests ways to fix data errors like misspellings.

View into the future

One of the Keynotes by Strategic Futurist and TEDx Curator, Nancy Giordano, gave us an interesting perspective: that although we are going through lots of change, we are only one percent in. She discussed the four awakenings reshaping society and how we need to shift from Leadership to Leadering. One nugget of insight that made me smile (and which I am going to attempt) is the Harvard Business Review article about how telling an embarrassing story before doing a group brainstorm will result in a better outcome.

Conclusion

There were several other interesting panels and keynotes, but this is my quick summary of the conference. Overall, we had a great display of solutions that align very well with the challenges and opportunities we are facing during the pandemic. Lots of solutions for financial institutions who find themselves left behind in the digital acceleration and need help catching up. Additional tools for those who have already established a digital journey for their customers but want to enhance it and make life a little easier for everyone. Great news for Small Businesses, who have been hit the hardest during this pandemic, with support through new technology driven solutions. And how cool that technology can provide insights into our financial health and how to manage it! One way of doing that is using AI and ML to make all solutions better, faster, and more intuitive. In this new abnormal where we search for the best ways to adapt, I am pleased to conclude that doing Finovate virtually was a pleasant digital customer journey.


Rutger van Faassen brings more than two decades of experience in international retail lending to FBX and its clients. He has previously held roles at Nomis Solutions and ABN AMRO Bank.


Photo by Aditya Wardhana on Unsplash

Enlightenment from a Conversation with a Futurist

Enlightenment from a Conversation with a Futurist

Most of us probably don’t spend our entire workday thinking about what the future holds. Fortunately, there are a handful of people who specialize as futurists, studying what’s next for humanity.

I had the opportunity to pick the brain of one such person, Nancy Giordano, last week after watching her keynote presentation at FinovateWest.

In our conversation, Giordano explains the four awakenings shaping our future, describes the productivity revolution, and examines the meaning of leadership vs. what she calls leadering. She also takes a look at COVID’s impact on the future and offers up practical next-steps for both companies and individuals.

Check out our conversation below to hear her thoughts:


Photo by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash

Top Takeaways on the Future of Fintech from FinovateWest Digital

Top Takeaways on the Future of Fintech from FinovateWest Digital

FinovateWest Digital is a wrap. And with our second, all-digital fintech conference now in the books, what have we learned about the state – and future – of fintech after three days of live demos, keynote addresses, and expert discussions?


Every Year is the Year of the Customer

The COVID-19 crisis has sensitized businesses to the speed at which consumer behaviors can shift. These shifts can both accelerate existing trends as well as to create new trends that had not been broadly anticipated. Whether this has meant embrace of digital technologies or improving the efficiency and security of incumbent solutions, businesses in have learned to listen more and move faster when it comes to responding to customer needs.

Maybe “The Era of the Customer” is a better way to describe the New Normal between businesses and consumers. With Big Tech, Big Banks, and a host of other financial and fintech providers increasingly competing over the same financial services turf, the most obvious and potentially enduring winners of this contest are most likely to be the consumers those firms are battling ferociously to serve.

Find a Friend!

There was a moment on the final day of FinovateWest when the moderator of a panel on challenger banking turned to his panelists and asked: “we hear a great deal about partnerships with incumbent financial institutions? What value do partnerships have for upstart institutions like challenger banks?”

The question took the neobanking innovators a bit by surprise, at first. But the idea of the innovators turning to innovators to help them add key elements to their offering, or to ensure that their solution is safe and secure is as much a part of the promise of fintech as is “disrupting” incumbents – if not more so. In the same way that our developers conferences helped shine a light on those professionals whose skills make everything from UX to back office operations that much better, so to do events like FinovateWest Digital provide a valuable space for all the players in the fintech ecosystem to meet and do business together.

Partnership is the fastest way to add competencies. You can’t innovate faster than someone who has already figured it out.

Live/Digital is Our Destiny

For those who fear a future of AI-powered robot overlords, the growing consensus among technologists is that AI will most likely and effectively be used in coordination with and support of human activity. In other words, rather than be replaced, human beings are more likely to be merely “enhanced”.

Similarly, even as news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine becomes more common and optimistic, we see a role for both digital-only and live-with -digital fintech conferences for the forseeable future. That’s not just for our upcoming Finovate Fintech Fulltime Review, December 7 through 11, but for our big events in 2021, as well.

For now, our upcoming events for European and West coast audiences are still slated to be digital-only affairs in March and May of 2021, respectively. But like those increasingly agile banks, financial services companies, and fintechs we praised above, we’re looking forward to engaging our audiences – live in-person or online and digital – wherever they are and every way we can.


FinovateWest Digital is still available On Demand for registered attendees. Check out live demos from our Best of Show winning companies, videos of our keynotes and panels, and more!

Photo by Sebastian Voortman from Pexels

FinovateWest Best of Show Winners Announced

FinovateWest Best of Show Winners Announced

Here ye! Here ye! The votes have been cast and tallied. Here are the companies that have been awarded Best of Show trophies at this year’s FinovateWest Digital fintech conference.


Breach Clarity for its technology that identifies and diagnoses consumers’ unique breach histories to prescribe personalized actions to improve financial health for both financial institutions and consumers.

Finzly for its digital banking solution that improves banking services for any bank using novel UIs and a services-based architecture.

Glia for its digital customer service platform that connects financial institutions to their customers using chat, voice, video, cobrowsing, and AI.

Interface for its AI-powered call center technology that helps financial institutions automate 60% of their calls in 60 days.

Zeta for its full-stack, cloud-native, API-ready core banking and transaction processing platform for issuance of credit, debit, and prepaid products.


A huge, pre-Thanksgiving thanks to all the companies that participated in FinovateWest Digital – and to all those who attended our November conference, as well. Be sure to keep an eye out for our all-digital, year-end event, the Finovate Fulltime Review, coming up in December. In the meanwhile, have a wonderful holiday week!


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 2020

Trends Pulsing at FinovateWest

Trends Pulsing at FinovateWest

One of the most compelling aspects of Finovate conferences is that they help you keep up with the latest trends in the industry. And with changes happening at such a fast pace these days, there’s never been a more important time to stay informed.

Fortunately, we’ve done the hard work for you and picked out a few trends to keep your eye on at FinovateWest next week, November 23 through 25.

COVID aftermath

No, we’re not over the pandemic, but we are starting to see the effects of long-term economic consequences. You can expect to hear panelists and presenters discuss strategies to deal with the long term impacts of COVID across a range of subsectors.

Harnessing AI

Despite (or maybe because of) the turbulence brought on in 2020, AI remains a top trend. With companies more focused than ever on their digital strategy, it’s a good time to think about the benefits of incorporating AI into not only your core offering, but also your back office tools, customer experience, and more. At FinovateWest next week AI will be one of the top areas of discussion.

Customer experience

This is yet another trend heightened by the recent pandemic. With so much of the customer experience taking place in the digital realm, it can be difficult to craft the perfect offering for all users. Many of the conversations taking place at FinovateWest will center around the customer.


The discussion sessions will take place throughout the three-day event, which goes live at 9 am Pacific on November 23. The fully digital conference will host keynote speakers, expert panelists, and some of the hottest companies in fintech as they demo their newest technologies. We’ve also carved out plenty of time and space for you to network with your fellow attendees. There’s still time to book your ticket so don’t delay!

InterSystems on Navigating Data in the Fintech Landscape

InterSystems on Navigating Data in the Fintech Landscape

The topic of data is one that pulses throughout conversations in the fintech industry. No matter what sub-sector you’re working in, it’s likely you faced the challenge– or are facing the challenge– on how to manage, store, and interpret data of all types.

I recently spoke with Joe Lichtenberg, Director of Industry Marketing at InterSystems, one of our FinovateWest sponsors. During our conversation, Lichtenberg spoke about recent trends he is seeing within financial services, the technology that is driving those trends, and how data is playing a role.

Be sure to catch InterSystems’ keynote on Monday, November 23 at 2:15 pm Pacific time. In his discussion, Jeff Fried, Director of Product Management for InterSystems, will be detailing seven steps to implementing machine learning in financial services. Finovate Analyst David Penn highlighted Fried’s session earlier this fall in a post titled, Giving AI and Machine Learning the Business.

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Zeta

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Zeta

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring Digital on May 10 through 13, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Zeta‘s Tachyon is an integrated, modular, cloud-native stack with a white labeled mobile app. FIs can build next-gen digital banking and payment experiences for their customers.

Features

  • Mobile first onestack
  • Embeddable banking
  • Launch new products in weeks

Why it’s great
Disrupt the disruptors by fast forwarding your digital services with Zeta’s cloud native, vertically integrated platform to preserve and grow your customer base at higher efficiency ratios.

Presenter

Bhavin Turakhia, CEO & Co-Founder
Turakhia is driven by a passion for problem-solving and maximizing efficiency through tech-led innovations. Today, along with Zeta, he is also heading Radix and Flock.

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Boss Insights

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Boss Insights

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring Digital on May 10 through 13, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Boss Insights‘ single API captures real time business financial data (Quickbooks, Salesforce, Stripe, etc.). The data aggregation platform is proven and trusted by FIs globally.

Features

  • Cut costs with one minute automation
  • Reduce portfolio risk with the broadest data coverage
  • Delight business customers with a best in class process

Why it’s great
Easy access to 3rd party verified information to delight business lenders and borrowers. Leads to 50% more loans processed, 80% faster decisioning and servicing, and 90% digitization.

Presenter

Keren Moynihan, CEO
Moynihan is a former banker and second time founder. She was awarded 2020 Unicorn Challenge and 2019 Top Leader in Lending. Moynihan is also featured in Forbes, ABA, and Financial Brand saying APIs are key to lending.
LinkedIn

FinovateWest’s Investor All Star Panel on Tomorrow’s Fintech Trends

FinovateWest’s Investor All Star Panel on Tomorrow’s Fintech Trends

What trends are likely to drive fintech funding in 2021? Which sectors in fintech are most likely to produce the next fintech unicorn or the next big fintech IPO? What are the key factors that startups and entrepreneurs need to keep in mind when it comes to securing investment, driving growth, and developing constructive partnerships with fellow fintechs and industry incumbents?

In less than two weeks our Investor All Star Showcase at FinovateWest Digital will answer all these questions and more. Featuring five professionals involved in helping fintech startups get the capital they need, our Investor All Star Showcase is a must-attend event at a conference you won’t want to miss.

Check out our All Star Quintet below.

Joel Brightfield, Principal, SixThirty. Brightfield leads the investment activities of SixThirty, a global early stage venture capital fund and go-to-market program.

Andrew Casey, Director of Corporate Development, Fidelity Investments. Casey is involved with organic growth opportunities focused on investments and acquisitions.

Isabelle Freidheim, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Starwood VC. Freidheim is a fintech venture capital investor and repeat fintech entrepreneur. She invests in high growth fintechs in the U.S. and, previously, in Europe.

Arvind Purushotham, Global Head, Venture Investing, Citi Ventures. Purushotham leads Citi’s efforts to invest in and partner with startups as a way to bring technology-based innovation to Citi’s businesses.

Greg Shepard, Founder and CEO, BOSS Capital Partners. Shepard is an upcoming author and angel investor with a legacy of building and running sustainable growth businesses.

Moderated by Ansaf Kareem of Lightspeed Venture Partners, our Investor All Star panel at FinovateWest Digital will give you a 30,000 foot view of the critical trends in fintech going forward, as well as a look at the availability of capital in a post-COVID world.

To save your spot at our upcoming, all-digital event, November 23 through November 25, visit our FinovateWest Digital hub today. Take advantage of big savings if your register this week!


Photo by Designecologist from Pexels

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Facepoint

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Facepoint

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring Digital on May 10 through 13, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Facepoint‘s Biometric ID is used for the special case of sanctions, high risk, and anti-money laundering.

Features

  • Drastically cuts false positives, speeding onboarding and saving money
  • Overcomes false identification, lowering risk to the bank
  • Identifies unnamed sanctioned criminals

Why it’s great
While traditional KYC methods create 99% false positives, Biometric ID resolves most of these instantly and with near-100% certainty.

Presenters

James Barringer, Regional Director of North America
A former US Navy Officer, Barringer is a 25-year veteran of financial data and a 10-year veteran of AML/KYC/CDD. Jim represents Facepoint to financial institutions in the Americas.
LinkedIn

John Lloyd, Senior Consultant SME AML/CTF Systems
A former US Army Officer, Lloyd did a full career in the NYPD as a financial crime detective and identity technologist. John represents Facepoint to law enforcement, intelligence, and government.
LinkedIn

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Mall IQ

FinovateWest Digital 2020 Sneak Peek: Mall IQ

A look at the companies demoing at FinovateSpring Digital on May 10 through 13, 2021. Register today and save your spot.

Mall IQ is a privacy-first location intelligence and AI platform, empowering financial institutions to deliver real-time, personalized mobile engagements for improving share-of-wallet, frequency of usage, and retention.

Features

  • Store-level accurate location data to engage customers in real-time
  • Segment customers based on unique store-visit and purchase data
  • Use customer behavior (visit and click and purchase) to optimize

Why it’s great
Proprietary technology to discover where customers shop, what they want to buy, when they are about to pay even before the purchase, predicting the next purchase decision with real-time data.

Presenter

Batu Sat, CEO & Co-Founder
Sat earned his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is an expert in machine learning and AI, and worked at Cisco and Microsoft in Silicon Valley.
LinkedIn