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Tracking fintech, banking & financial services innovations since 1994
It’s the first of February, which means that FinovateEurope is taking place this month on the 27th through the 28th at the O2 in London. If you haven’t registered yet, now is the time! The agenda is packed with fintech’s most relevant topics and features 36 companies that will demo their new technology on stage in Finovate’s signature 7-minute demo format.
In addition to the demos, there will be 86 speakers (and counting) at the event. We can’t wait to feature insights and discussions from the top European fintech thought leaders. Take a look at what to expect.
Nina Schick, Author, Generative AI Expert, Founder at Tamang Ventures
Schick is an author, advisor, and keynote speaker, specializing in how technology is transforming politics and society in the 21st century. She is an expert in synthetic media, deepfakes, disinformation, cybersecurity, and the geopolitics of technology. Schick helps organizations and businesses understand and navigate the geopolitical risks and opportunities posed by the exponential technological changes of our age.
Her keynote address, Will AI Be More Profound Than The Invention Of The Internet? What Do Financial Institutions Really Need To Understand About Generative AI?, will take a look at the use cases for generative AI in banking, the growth and future of conversational AI, potential use cases for augmented reality and virtual reality, the metaverse in banking, and new threats posed by deep fakes.
Jillian Godsil, Author and Broadcaster at Coin Telegraph
Godsil is an award winning journalist, author, and broadcaster in Web3. She changed the law in Ireland in 2014, allowing bankrupt candidates to run for public office, before running as an independent candidate in the European Parliamentary Elections in 2014, earning 13,500 votes – not enough to get elected but enough to make a difference.
In her keynote address, From Crypto Ice Age To Crypto Winter To Crypto Spring?, Godsil will examine the risks and opportunities of decentralized finance and a new crypto universe geared towards building a new internet native financial system. She’ll also offer her take on how regulators across the globe are currently viewing crypto.
Manas Chawla, CEO at London Politica
Chawla is a political risk expert and the Founder and CEO of London Politica, the world’s largest political risk advisory for social impact. He has specialist expertise in consulting on “technopolitics,” corporate diplomacy, and crisis management, and has advised the United Nations, Red Cross, and a range of C-suite executives at Fortune 500 companies, and tech unicorns.
Chawla will be giving a keynote titled, The Global Economic & Geo-Political Outlook – What Are The Five Things You Need To Know. His discussion will inform the audience on how the high interest rate environment will continue to impact banks, investors, and fintechs; offer his predictions on the potential of future bank failures; and share how geo-political issues will shape the future.
Analyst All Stars
Also worth showcasing are the analysts participating in our Analyst All Stars Session:
Philip Benton, Principal Analyst, Financial Services at Omdia
Suraya Randawa, Head of Omnichannel Experience at Curinos
Maria Adele Di Comite, Research Director at IDC Financial Insights
Investor All Stars
And don’t forget to stick around for our Investor All Stars panel, moderated by Claire Mongeau, Investor at Founders Factory, to find out where the smart money is investing in fintech:
Robin Scher, Head of Fintech Investment at Lloyds Banking Group
Sophie Winwood, Operator Partner at Foxe Capital
Asaf Horesh, Managing Partner at Vintage Investment Partners
Dinino is founder and President of KCD PR, one of the top ranked public relations and marketing firms with an emphasis on financial services, fintech, technology, and transportation. He manages the day-to-day business operations for the firm, and leads business development while providing strategic counsel to clients on high profile issues.
Dinino is also host of Cyber Insiders, an iHeartRadio podcast series that features industry leaders involved in the cybersecurity industry.
In his Finovate Podcast interview, Dinino talks with host Greg Palmer about the “wonders and blunders” from 2023. Dinino also shares his ideas about what to expect from the world of fintech and financial services in 2024.
Last year was really quite an eventful year in terms of fintech and banking. Look at the Super Bowl last year to kick of 2023. We had TV commercials with the amazing Larry David in it for FTX and, in the ad, the irony of the campaign was that it was called Don’t Miss Out. And his character was like, ‘Eh, maybe I don’t want to do that’.
So it’s hard not to lump in what happened with crypto in general last year. Various scandals, FTX, and everything that happened with SBF probably being among the bigger ones, for sure. There was plenty on the ‘blunder’ side with that.
Check out Episode 201 of the Finovate Podcast and the rest of the conversation featuring Greg Palmer and Kevin Dinino of KCD PR.
U.S. Bank’s innovation team recently attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week on what it called a “Future Safari.” After attending the show in 2023, the team was back on the lookout for emerging tech trends with the potential to impact the financial services industry, emphasizing AI, autonomy, embedded financial services, and the intersection of physical and digital realms.
We interviewed U.S. Bank’s innovation team to get a view of CES under a fintech lens, as well as to get a peek at U.S. Bank’s tech-forward initiatives in 2024 and beyond.
U.S. Bank’s innovation team attended the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week. What was the team looking for?
U.S. Bank Innovation Team: We look for several things. First and foremost, we are looking for emerging tech and trends that may have an impact on the financial services industry and/or our customers.
We also look at trends and activity across several technology verticals to see if there is technology that we need to get ahead of.
Another thing we look for is specific new tech we might be able to test and pilot. And, of course, it’s great to see what other industries are doing with the technology that is coming to market.
In general, what are some fintech trends U.S. Bank is currently exploring or excited about?
U.S. Bank Innovation Team: At U.S. Bank, we cover a broad range of technologies, domains, client segments, and industries as part of how we try to develop and deliver the future now. Some of the broad trends we’re exploring at the show include AI and autonomy, of course, and how these technologies can change peoples’ lives; the embedding of financial services into all manner of products, services, experiences; how devices are proliferating and what that means for how we help people optimize their financial lives; and how the physical and digital parts of life are changing thanks to new technologies. We’re exploring dozens of trends in many sectors, but those are a few at a high-level that our Future Safari to CES helps us to gauge.
As a large bank, how does U.S. Bank make the decision whether to build or buy new technologies?
U.S. Bank Innovation Team: As a large bank, we like to focus on our core competencies and make decisions that reduce risk. Particularly in tech areas outside of our expertise (technical or business), we will look first to partner.
For example, we aren’t going to try to build our own quantum computer any time soon. We did build our award-winning mobile app, and we do build the majority of our digital customer facing experiences. Some components of those experiences may be provided by fintechs that we partner with when there is a time to market/cost/economic advantage or they have expertise outside of the banking/financial services realm that will improve our customers’ experience. At the end of the day, it is all about the customer experience.
What are some tech-forward initiatives we can expect to see U.S. Bank come out with this year?
U.S. Bank Innovation Team: While I can’t preview any planned announcements for later this year, we use Future Safaris like these to inform insights that help us create amazing experiences for our clients.
One example of how we’ve used these Future Safari insights in the past is that we were able to be the first bank to integrate with all three virtual assistants – Siri, Google, and Alexa. That work later informed the launch of our own industry-leading virtual assistant, U.S. Bank Smart Assistant, which built the foundation for when we created our Spanish Smart Assistant – the nation’s first Spanish-language voice assistant for banking. All of these were informed by early innovations in voice technology that we were seeing at CES. It gave us early signals into what would be important to people and allowed us to envision how we might integrate these kinds of emerging technologies into how we serve our clients.
What was your favorite non-fintech innovation you saw at the show?
U.S. Bank Innovation Team: We really liked the Genesis Systems WaterCube 100. It is a cube about the size of an air conditioner that pulls water from the air. It runs on low enough power to operate on solar panels and can be dropped in to emergency areas in need of clean water, or it can be used for off-grid and remote applications for both commercial and consumers.
The Federation of International Drone Soccer League out of Korea was very cool! The drone soccer league had a big space where they were demonstrating drone soccer – for Harry Potter fans, it looks a lot like quidditch. We thought it was great as it turns a fun solo activity that kids are into these days into an in-person competitive event. Also, it looks like tons of fun!
We are always amazed by the advances in big farm technology. In the John Deere booth, we saw their latest line of tractors that can be operated manually, remotely, or autonomously. They showed their custom GPS, which can get the behemoth tractors to plow and deliver seeds within one-inch accuracy.
We also noticed a trend of high-end, battery powered campers from the super-luxury concept at LG with built-in bars and entertainment, to Jackery and Goal Zero camper concepts with built-in solar batteries and rooftop tents with low-power fridges and a plethora of glamping features. Going off-grid and connecting to nature may also have plurality creature comforts in the future.
Companies and innovators are raising the bar across all industries, and we continue to push ourselves to do the same.
Group photo left to right: Todder Moning, Head of Applied Foresights; Rosa Dunn, Assistant Vice President, Digital Innovation; Cynthia A. Jackson, Vice President, Digital Innovation; Andrew Cantrell, Sr. Applied Foresights Strategist; Don Relyea, Chief Innovation Officer
A U.S. presidential election with, essentially, two incumbent presidents running for office. An enduring war in Europe. A new war in the Middle East. Economic instability in China. Lingering inflationary concerns and interest rate volatility.
If the fintech industry doesn’t have enough to worry about on its own, the prospect of macro economic and geopolitical events making life even tougher for fintech and financial services is enough to make your head spin. What do banks and fintechs need to know – and do – to effectively manage the current and evolving geopolitical landscape?
With the theme, The Global Economic & Geopolitical Outlook – What Are the Five Things You Need to Know? Chawla will outline how many of our current challenges could impact the financial services industry – and what they can do about it.
We last caught up with Manas Chawla at FinovateSpring last May. Then, concerns over the impact of inflation and rising interest rates on banks were top of mind. In this interview from the conference, Chawla explained the challenges and opportunities for banks and fintechs that lie not just in black swan events, but in what he called “grey rhino” risks, as well.
Join us next month at FinovateEurope to hear more from Chawla and other insightful analysts and observers on the impact of macro trends on fintech and financial services.
Much of our behind-the-scenes work at Finovate is determining what’s hot and what’s not in fintech and banking. But given the ever-evolving regulatory landscape, volatile consumer preferences, and fast-changing enabling technologies, it can be hard to keep up on current trends.
And while we like to consider ourselves experts on the fintech landscape, it is always important to consult external thought leaders to gauge their thoughts on industry themes. That’s exactly what we’ve done in our recent Hot or Cold Video Series. We talked with eight experts to glean their insights on a range of current industry trends. Check out the videos below to delve into topics such as embedded finance, BNPL, regtech, automation, decentralized finance, generative AI, the metaverse, and open banking.
Jonathan Alloy, VP Design Thinking at Credit Suisse
Barry D’Souza, VP Digital Strategy at Inerra Credit Union
CJ Conrad, SVP Innovation & Operations at Middlesex Federal
Eric Sorensen, Director Digital Services
Catherine Porter, Chief Business Officer at Tillia
Rachel Muench, Security and Biometrics Lead at Nuance
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, Author of I, Human: AI, Automation, and the Quest to Reclaim What Makes Us Unique
Luke Williams, Professor of Innovation at NYU’s Stern School of Business
Tomorrow marks the final month of 2023. And while it is a good time for organizations to reflect on their progress from the past year, it is also an opportunity to plan for success in 2024.
To jump start some new ideas for 2024, check out our conversations with industry experts. Earlier this year, we gathered a range of insights from thought leaders in attendance at FinovateFall in New York. Among the topics we discussed were:
Using AI to create better customer experiences
AI in authentication
How can banks and fintechs work together better?
Top industry trends
How can fintechs face new challenges in today’s economic environment?
With more than 100 new loans in Q2 and over a billion dollars in new loan commitments, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) is “doing the same thing we’ve been doing for over 40 years,” according to SVB’s Head of National Fintech and Specialty Finance Nick Christian. Now a division of First Citizens Bank, Silicon Valley Bank has been a key component of the innovation economy since 1983, providing critical financial services to Bay Area technology entrepreneurs and their companies.
Nick sat down with Finovate Vice President and host of the Finovate Podcast Greg Palmer earlier this month in the wake of SVB’s recently released Future of Fintech report. The report looks at the outlook for innovation in the fintech sector based on SVB’s unique sector knowledge and proprietary data. How are cash reserves holding up for fintechs? Which direction are valuations going? What can we expect from funding growth heading into 2024? Nick and Greg discussed these issues and more including:
The resilience of early-stage companies in the face of the funding slowdown
The importance of becoming cash-flow positive
How embedded finance is revolutionizing payments and putting new emphasis on monitoring and compliance
The life insurance industry is anything but static. Technology has changed what is possible, consumer expectations have evolved, and financial habits have changed. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is that people don’t like thinking about their own mortality.
Wysh is tackling these challenges with its embedded insurance product, a high-yield savings account that currently pays 4% APY and includes an additional life insurance payout of up to $10,000. I spoke with Wysh Founder Alex Matjanec at FinovateFall last month on his Best of Show-winning demo at the show, how Wysh works for customers in today’s interest rate environment, and how he views the future of the insurance industry. Check out our conversation below.
Artificial intelligence has taken the technology world by storm – and fintech is no exception. But questions remain as to how AI can be best applied in the world of fintech and financial services.
I talked with Anu Sachdeva, Global Service Line & Solutions Leader at Genpact, during the FinovateFall conference last month to discuss the role of generative AI in particular in financial services. Among the topics covered were:
How banks can realize the true value of generative AI.
What use cases banks and other financial services organizations have found for generative AI.
What are the most important considerations for financial services organizations when adopting generative AI.