In March 2015 at Innovation Project, MPD CEO Karen Webster shared — backed by myriad examples from payments leaders — that the payments, commerce and tech industries were converging like never before.
And there was one device leading the charge.
“More than any other, mobile is the ecosystem that has given rise to the sea change taking place in payments today,” Webster said at the time.
The same could be said about the FinTech industry — a sector where financial services, technology and payments are crossing wires faster than most consumers, and companies, can keep up with. You can't talk FinTech without talking payments, and you can't talk payments without talking FinTech. They're an inseparable marriage — even when there's friction on either side of the spectrum.
Removing consumer and merchant friction, of course, was a major theme during Day 1 (Sept. 16) of Finovate Fall 2015 — the FinTech industry event of the season, which showcased more than 70 companies that presented their best and brightest products and concepts to a group of like-minded FinTech-savvy enthusiasts from across the financial ecosystem.
The other buzzwords that flood the headlines in the payments and commerce newswires were also prevalent at Finovate, which encompassed concepts such as: checkout abandonment, customer acquisition, security and fraud, cloud-based software, online-to-offline, contextual commerce, mobile transactions, artificial intelligence, real time, mobile money, digital innovation, omnichannel banking, biometrics tech, analytics data, white-label API, SMB solutions and blockchain tech.
Leading into Day 2 of the conference, millennials made their way into the conversation, with the crew at Dyme reminding the audience that "we have to engage millennials." The rest of the day concentrated on removing the friction from product and company silos, improving the customer experience, innovative financial apps that reward consumers for saving and paying off bills, how FinTech apps can help lenders use analytics to harness data to assess risk, BLE mobile payments systems, and how FinTech and traditional banking can work in tandem with each other's missions of upgrading legacy systems to the forward-thinking, innovative tech seen on the stage at Finovate.
Biometrics were thrown into the mix, including facial and voice recognition and so was a new way to verify digital identities. Moving security from devices and onto the loud and single-platform apps that work across channels were discussed at length by many companies that set foot on stage.
[bctt tweet="Removing consumer and merchant friction was a major theme during Day 1 of Finovate Fall 2015."]
Just to name a few of the topics. Topics inspired by product announcements and company news that sparked plenty of buzz on Twitter (check out #Finovate for some light reading), including a healthy dose of praise, along with criticism, from the audience members that weren't shy about saying which were the most innovative pitches (and which might need some tweaks). After all, in FinTech, the stakes are high, and the competition is fierce.
Curious about who presented at Finovate Day 1?
- Demo Session 1: Flybits, Empyr, North Side, Travel Notes, Yseop, InforcePRO, Xignite, Gro Solutions, ID Mission, Jack Henry & Associates
- Demo Session 2: TransferTo, CellTrust, additiv, Blockstack.io, Trade It, ID Analytics, Urban FT, Buzz Points, Soundpays, ebankIT
- Demo Session 3: Adobe, Walletron, Advisor Software, BehavioSec, Capriza, Alpine Data, Crowdability, Authy, MX, CreditHQ
- Demo Session 4: Alfa-Bank, Davo Technologies, AcceptEmail, Euronovate, HelloWallet, Fern Software, Dealflow, Auvenir, Avoka, Trulioo
And Day 2:
- Demo Session 5: Bizfi, Sale Move, Sliced, New Kapitall Holdings, Big Data Scoring, bleu, dyme, D3 Banking, Eco-Mail, Finanteq
- Demo Session 6: Fiserv, RMS, Encap, Lexmark, LiquidLandscape, Novabase, Tranwall, LiftForward, ThetaRay, Quisk
- Demo Session 7: Hedgeable, PaySwag, Ethoca, Hypori, Socure, Structured Finance 2.0, RedCloud, Knox Payments, Voitrax, Ephesoft, Dynamics Inc., ArcBit
As Finovate's conferences promise, a mix of young startups and established industry leaders made their names heard (and seen) at this year's NYC conference.
While some companies used the seven-minute pitch time to simply explain their company's mission and core product, others used it to pitch the brand and why investors, merchants and developers should be interested. For companies like Urban FT, a provider of white-label banking applications for banks (and non-bank issuers), the day was about breaking big news — its new partnership with Sprint.
Going forward, Urban FT’s platform will be the power behind Sprint Money Express — a joint initiative between the tech firm and the telco. Set to launch in January 2016, Sprint Money Express is designed to give Sprint customers access to banking functions, social features and specifically targeted loyalty offers.
Sprint Money Express will additionally allow Sprint customers access to a Sprint-branded prepaid MasterCard, the ability to aggregate other cards and accounts into a single digital wallet and a superior ability to use their mobile phone as a tool to manage finances and budgets.
Or there were companies like Socure, a provider of real-time online identity verification solutions, that yesterday (Sept. 17) introduced Perceive, which, according to the company, is "designed to further slash the potential for online financial fraud by using facial recognition to confirm a person’s identity almost instantly."
And that last part about sums up Finovate and the buzzwords people were pitching: instant, recognition, fraud, security and online finance.