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Highlights from BAI Retail Delivery 2008

image BAI’s Retail Delivery Conference is an annual rite for bank tech geeks from around the world. Although attendance was down 20% or so from last year, causing some grousing on the trade-show floor, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Here’s my personal list of highlights from the show (see note 1). 

The Netbanker awards:

  • Most audacious business plan: Alt-payment startups Moneta and sister company Acculynk which are looking to disrupt online payments at the point of sale
  • Most likely to succeed: mobile anything 
  • Biggest “wow” factor: Cardless ATMs by Wincor Nixdorf  
  • Best demo of something that actually exists: Bank of Montreal’s demo of its new branch locator using Microsoft Virtual Earth (shown at the Microsoft’s booth)
  • Coolest solution looking for a problem: Microsoft Surface
  • Product most likely to be used in our company: Bankserv remote deposit integrated with QuickBooks 
  • Product least likely to be used in our company: Wii banking from Wincor Nixdorf (but it’s very cool)
  • Best presentation: Don Tapscott, author of Wikinomics and Growing Up Digital 
  • Best buzzword comeback: Push banking (mobile apps, widgets, alerts)
  • Best trade floor freebie: Free espresso from ClairMail 
  • Best financial screenshot during a keynote: PayPal CEO Scott Thompson showed PayPal Mobile from Chase Bank, a pilot program running on several college campuses (Ohio State), where Paypal Mobile is bundled with banking services from Chase Bank
  • Worst financial screenshot during a keynote: Don Tapscott used Zopa USA as an example of a promising new Web 2.0 financial company (Zopa pulled out of the U.S. market last month)
  • Biggest jinx: Second Curve Capital CEO Tom Brown, who Tuesday afternoon explained why he is so bullish on bank stocks; the NASDAQ bank stock index proceeded to drop 200 points (10%) over the next two days (note 2)
  • Most amazing stat: In his keynote, CEO Arkadi Kuhlmann said ING Direct (USA) had originated more than 100,000 mortgages worth $36 billion, and initiated foreclosures only 15 times
  • Best time: Dinner with Trey Reeme and the gang from TDECU who are not only some of the nicest people you could ever meet, but also provided absolutely stimulating conversation and some great laughs

image Best of show: Drum roll please. After dozens of amazing conversations over three days, the company that most intrigued me is alt-payments startup Moneta (note 3). 

1. I visited with only a couple dozen of the 300 or so companies in Orlando, so comments here are not meant to be an overview, just the highlights of my experience. As usual, I spent most of my time looking for new ideas and ended up spending half my time talking to mobile providers.
2. To his credit, Mr. Brown did not say bank stocks had bottomed; in fact, he said they could very well go lower. But by this time next year, he expects a substantial turnaround. It was a great presentation.
3. Moneta didn’t have a booth, but board member and investor Ashish Bahl was in attendance and briefed me on his firm. We’ll provide more details on the company later.