The second and final day of Finovate Fall 2014 saw several strong presentations on the stage in the grand ballroom of New York’s Hilton Midtown. There was were no drones, no costumes or grunting, as there were in Day 1, but overall the 35 demos were stronger, and wrapped up the show on a high note.
Here are the demos that we thought flew a bit higher than the rest on Day 2:
Kabbage introduced a personal loan product called Karrot to challenge Lending Club. Its clean, simple interface made borrowing money look like a breeze. (Now all you have to do is pay it back.)
Sender.mobi from Ukraine’s Privatbank — the second Ukrainain presenter of the show — showed off a chat-based mobile account with a cool P2P tool. Chat is underutilized in banking apps.
CrowdFlower — one of the Best in Show winners* — uses an online workforce to train machines, or train an algorithm. For a little bit of money CrowdFlower had people read a lot of tweets to determine if people wanted to buy an Apple Watch. This glimpse of the future was cool and a little scary.
Yodlee and Stockpile showed off Yodlee’s new enterprise API solution, which helps big banks interface better with developers, and Stockpile’s Acorn-esque “invest your change in fractions of stocks” solution, which had attendees digitally drooling on Twitter.
Hoyos Labs did an impressive live demo of its facial recognition technology, currently being piloted on Bank of America ATMs, and which has great mobile potential. Realistic, high-resolution videos cannot fool the system, somehow, another example as if one was needed of how computers are smarter than people.
Zazma demoed Behalf, which offers small business cash advances in an unusual way: by paying the business’s bills on behalf of the company. Vendors like it since they get paid right away and the business owners have cash to run their business and pay Behalf later.
Rippleshot displayed a security solution showing breaches at merchants around Manhattan. It was not immediately clear where the data came from, but several analysts told Bank Innovation it was legitimate– and impressive. Fraud hurts merchants, and can even put small merchants out of business. Rippleshot can help prevent fraudulent transactions with stolen cards before it happens by drawing on its pool of card fraud data.
SAS Games demoed TiViTz, a games-based approach for saving for college. This is a serious issue for all but the very wealthy in the U.S. TiViTz allows friends and relatives to send money that students can unlock and enter into their savings account by solving math puzzles.
AnchorID displayed another password-killing app that allows users to choose their authentication method, using a variety of biometrics, to allow them access to the sites and apps they use — like PayPal for authentication.
Loyal3 demoed a brokerage account for the rest of us in which users can take part in IPOs for small amounts of money. This democratization of investing struck a chord with attendees.
Silanis demoed its e-signature solution on mobile devices, including smartphones. This was late in the day and the crowad was not wowed, but this promises to be a major improvement for mobile loan originations.
Here is a round-up of some of the news from the conference.
FinanceIt launched in the U.S. Now comes signing up lenders and merchants. The former are the challenge, according to COO Casper Wong. Merchants don’t take a lot of convincing, but banks are still learning to make money after cutting costs for so many years. FinanceIt offers them a new loan product, which is financing at the point of sale for big ticket purchases.
Malauzai launched an online banking platform with a mobile interface. “We’re a mobile-only company,” said CP Robb Gaynor. So why build an online banking product? “Because we could.” The online platform gives Malauzai a fuller product suite to offer its customers, and could potentially bring significant cost-savings, up to 30%, if banks can drop their current online solution and pick up Malauzai’s which is being offered at quite a low cost.
And finally MoneyDesktop rebranded as MX and broadened its product suite to offer PFM to even prospective customers of banks. The product, called WideNet, part of the new Helios suite, will be marketed locally — the example used by Craig Jaynes, director of marketing, was in movie theaters in ads before the main show — and ask users to download an app showing the benefits the bank or credit union can offer. MoneyDesktop’s UX is eye-popping and the best in the business, but it’s challeneging to get users to download apps and actually use them.
Congratulations to all the presenters and the Finovate team for another exciting show.
*The Best in Show winners as voted by Finovate attendees were AnchorID, Blooom, CrowdFlower, Loyal3, MX/MoneyDesktop, NICE, and Toopher
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