Four key takeaways from FinovateSpring 2018
FinovateSpring is always one of our most fun events every year, and this year’s Silicon Valley event didn’t disappoint. The first two days focused on live demos of innovative fintech solutions, and the third and fourth days featured insights and key takeaways from analysts, innovators, and thought leaders. There was too much to properly cover here, and I’d encourage everyone to view the demos for themselves, but it’s worth noting a few key takeaways from our first US event of the year:
Integration is key
A common theme among our demoers this time around revolved around making it easy for banks to incorporate their innovations into their existing technology stacks. API and SDK technology is nothing new, but ease of implementation is transitioning from something that can set an enterprising company apart to something that is going to be expected of fintech innovators who want to partner with financial institutions. A third of the presenters at FinovateSpring this year were offering API or SDK integration, and many more were touting the simplicity and ease with which banks could engage with them. The message is clear: if you want to sell to banks, make it easy for them to buy from you.
AI has arrived
There’s been a lot of talk about AI at previous Finovates, but this year at FinovateSpring, the conversation seems to have shifted. It’s clear that AI as a technology is here to stay, and now the question that matters is what are you going to do with it? AI wasn’t a dominant theme among what was said on stage, but we saw applications using AI in security, compliance, marketing, and payments among others. We can expect to see that trend continue as more and more innovators recognize its value and become comfortable using it.
Credit cards aren’t dead yet
Dynamics won its 8th Finovate Best of Show award (the most ever by any company at Finovate; second place belongs to MX/MoneyDesktop with 6) for its “connected” payment card, which features a telecommunications chip facilitating wireless data downloads and customer notifications. The industry has made a lot of noise over recent years about moving away from credit cards, and that trend may very well continue, but Dynamics proved that new card hardware (cardware?) can still be very attractive to the industry.
It’s not just big themes that make Finovate events so intriguing. Here are some quick hits that you may have missed last week:
- There are always a lot of fun demos at Finovate, but Trusona’s demo of their multifactor authentication solution won them Best of Show, and Ori Eisen’s humorous presentation clearly resonated with the crowd.
- You’ve gotta have heart! Mawi’s demo of their ECG biometrics solution broke new ground on the Finovate stage, both for being the first to use a person’s heartbeat as an identifying characteristic, and also for being the first demo ever to incorporate vigorous calisthenics.
- This was a good show for returning winners. Of the five FinovateSpring Best of Show winners (Alpharank, ConversationOne, Dynamics, Kasasa, and Trusona), only ConversationOne was a first-time winner. It’s also interesting to note that Kasasa’s first win came way back in 2007, making them the first company ever to win Best of Show awards more than 10 years apart.
- South America makes its Finovate debut! We’ve had a lot of South American attendees, but TENO (out of Venezuela) became the first South American company to demo on the Finovate stage. That means Finovate has now seen innovative demos from every continent except Antarctica.