#FinovateFall Preview: Inside look with 3 presenting firms
The rate of change brought on by innovation in the fintech arena is sending ripples throughout the financial services industry. The demand for next generation information security, digital client experience tools, alternative lending companies and big data powered analytics has been met by the outpouring of innovation brought forth by the dozens of companies who will be presenting their latest and greatest ideas at the Finovate Fall conference in New York City in early September.
To get our arms around what we might expect, we checked in with three thought leaders whose firms are taking the stage this year to show off what’s next from their company.
Below is what we gathered through interviews with BondIT (@BondIT_Global) Managing Director of Asia Adrian Gostick, EyeVerify (@EyeVerify) Director of Marketing Tinna Hung and Avoka (@AvokaTech) CMO Don Bergal.
Finovate is the top event for innovators in the fintech space with breakthrough ideas. As a presenter this year, your firm is rolling out something new. What is your goal for this presentation at Finovate?
Adrian: BondIT is a unique company that is bringing the fixed income world into the digital age by leveraging machine learning capabilities in the universe of fixed income pricing and reference data. We help our customers scale their businesses, increase profitability, comply with fiduciary responsibilities and understand their risk. Although we’ve started to gain traction with customers in Europe and Asia, we are only just at the start of entry into the U.S. market. Our aims at Finovate are twofold: First to raise awareness among key individuals at financial institutions that we provide an intuitive platform to help them construct, optimize and maintain fixed income portfolios, and at a price point that makes it viable to roll out across teams of financial advisers. Second, we want to expand our network and meet with decision makers from those institutions.
Tinna: We have three basic goals at this Finovate. We have had the opportunity to present at Finovate before, and the biggest difference between this show and our previous performances is our intent to show traction in the market by demonstrating the use of Eyeprint ID within some of our partners’ mobile applications today. Second, we want to talk about the progress we’ve made over the past year regarding spoof detection, which is an important topic in biometrics. We’re going to showcase some of our spoofing detection capabilities onstage. Finally, we want to talk about setting a “payment-grade” standard (an industry-wide uniform set of requirements) for biometrics in the financial services industry.
Don: At Finovate, Avoka is going to be demonstrating something called the Avoka Exchange, which is a catalog of fintech services pre-integrated with the Avoka Transact platform. What’s the impact? Let’s start with this: a bank that employs our platform would automatically get access to all of those services through a single interface and would not have to integrate them themselves. The big benefit is time to market. If you’re looking to bring digital customer acquisition to your product or your market so you can sign up your customers directly over mobile device or desktops, you want to roll that out in a matter of weeks. You also don’t want to spend time integrating identity and financial history, credit checks and the like into the application because that’s a very timely process. With Avoka Exchange, it’s already done.
What is important is that we’re delivering with Avoka Transact a platform to create a user experience for digital customer acquisition for banks, wealth managers and insurers. But behind the scenes, there are a lot of other services, things like identity management, financial history validation, electronic signature and imaging services that banks and wealth managers are typically already using and have incorporated into their manual processes. We want to make those part of the whole digital customer acquisition process and the value here is that all of those services have been pre-integrated into Avoka.
What areas of the financial industry are best helped by the innovations and disruptions brought by firms like yours?
Adrian: There are firms bringing out disruptive and innovative solutions that address almost all aspects of the financial industry, from regulation and compliance, through payments, cyber-security and investment advice. However, there tends to be a concentration of players in areas that are simple to service, such as robo-advisory in the equity or ETF space where data is plentiful and clean, and simple algorithms can be applied. But the real value is in targeting some of the more complex areas, which until now have been largely ignored, but thanks to technological advances can now be re-examined. The bond markets are one such area.
Tinna: We focus on offering security without sacrificing convenience. You can also flip that and say we focus on offering convenience without sacrificing the trust that customers have in their financial institution. Our technology and innovation directly benefits any financial institution that is building or evolving their mobile capabilities with their customers securely. Regional banking and payment companies are going to be that first tier, but business banking, investment companies and even insurance companies can benefit if they are seeking to provide a robust and secure mobile experience for their customers.
Don: Avoka is helping banks, wealth managers and insurers bring digital transformation to their customer interaction to acquire customers digitally. We are not a disruptor, we’re a collaborator. We collaborate with the banks to bring technology that help them compete with the disruptions and transform their business’ digital experience.
What company, other than your own, do you think Finovate attendees should be looking out for – and why?
Adrian: There’s so many companies innovating for the financial industry there’s no way I can pick just one to look at. But in terms of key ideas, I think companies that are addressing cybersecurity and identification challenges are very interesting … Another area to look at, which can help banks significantly reduce costs, something high on their agenda, are technologies that can help automate mid- and back-office processes. It will be interesting to see the use-cases coming out for distributed ledger technology in this area. And of course any companies addressing the challenges of the evolving fixed income landscape will be interesting to watch!
Tinna: Finovate does a good job selecting companies that address current issues. There are lots of companies that focus on core topics that you see a lot like sales enablement, mobile and digital banking, security and fraud detection like us and big data analysis. But the company that really sticks out for me is called Modo. I haven’t gone too deep into what they do, but at first pass it seems like they’re addressing a newer challenge of the fragmentation in the payments and loyalty solutions market. You have all these different payment solutions and all these different loyalty solutions. Some of them are integrated but it’s causing a lot of frustration along every level of the chain including merchants and particularly end users. It looks like Modo has an interesting way of addressing that problem and I’m very interested in seeing their demo.
Don: While you’re at Finovate, give a close listen to the Trulioo presentation. They market themselves as the identity bureau. They’re a great partner of ours. We’ve worked with them particularly in international markets because they have an outstanding database of identity information, and in my view, they do a great job of validating an identity based on identity documents in a lot of foreign countries.
What tips do you have for other companies like yours that want to earn attention for their new product or idea?
Adrian: I think the important things to be asking are what makes your company unique, and are you really addressing a problem facing the industry? Too often I see fintech companies with their heads in the clouds, thinking they will disrupt everything when there are important factors they’ve not even considered, such as coping with the tough regulatory environment.
Tinna: I definitely advocate demonstrating at one or more of the Finovate shows or shows like them. Anything that gives you the opportunity to be on stage and give a very practical look at your technology is going to give you a lot more leverage than simply putting up a booth at one of those big shows like Money20/20 where you’re just not going to get the same visibility.
Don: The most important thing is to make it entertaining. You have five minutes to capture people’s attention and it’s a long show. There are 70 different presenters. Make it entertaining, keep it really simple and leave the audience with one specific thing they can remember when they walk out because that’s what they’re going to take home with them. From our experience, and we’ve done several Finovates and won multiple best-in-show awards, we leave them with an image of something that is so different than what they have today and a way to envision what they can do for their financial institution.
This post is a collaboration between Joe and another member of the Gregory FCA team, Ben Cooper.