FinovateFall 2018 takeaways: CX, culture shifts and cool socks
Last week I was in New York for my first Finovate event: FinovateFall. As a first-time “finovater”, I was taken aback by the sheer number of people at the event — and pleasantly surprised at how excited attendees were to be there. Everyone seemed genuinely interested in talking about innovation. It was easy to strike up a conversation — something I’m sure I did with borderline annoying frequency.
Here are a few of the key trends I noticed:
- There is a ton of cool new tech focussed on the customer experience (shoutout to some of my favourite demos from last week — Banzai, BillShark and Meniga)
- Maybe it’s just because I deal with digital adoption every day, but I also noticed a lack of focus on how to get customers to actually use all the cool new tech.
- After listening to the Breaking Banks Power Hour roundtable, it seems like what’s also still missing is the big picture look at how to implement all this cool tech as part of a customer experience (CX) strategy — and how financial institutions can develop a culture of innovation that supports that strategy.
But enough about what I thought! Here’s what eight industry experts had to say about the event.
The good: innovative tech and networking
A platform for fintechs and financial institutions to gather and collaborate
“Fintech and traditional institutions can leverage each other in many ways, they both face challenges their counterparts don’t and more so than ever mentorships, partnerships, and learnings are the new way to do business. Finovate provides the platform for these groups to gather, discuss candidly with one another in a collaborative manner.”
Rod Sayegh, SVP wealth digital, desktop, and innovation at Wells Fargo
I saw it all coming together at Finovate
“I saw it all coming together at Finovate. Innovative solutions that process ‘data’ and ‘behavioural patterns’ to provide actionable insights to artificial intelligence (AI) solutions that automate customer service to advanced underwriting models to Open API platforms enabling banks to quickly test new banking experiences that will transform banking from a boring activity to an enjoyable experience!”
Safwan Zaheer, head of fintech, digital banking at KPMG US
Lots of opportunity to network amongst the fintechs, techs, and bankers
Despite its impressive size, Finovate remains an almost intimate conference relative to the likes of Money 2020. Lots of opportunity to network amongst the fintechs, techs and bankers in attendance.
Always amazing when you can get to listen to the likes of Brett King, Jim Marous, Sonia Wedrychowicz and Alex Tapscott discussing digital transformation, banks vs. and partnering with fintechs, the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies and so much more.
Some things that really resonated with me:
Forrester’s Alyson Clarke:
“Financial institutions need to focus on emotion… far more important than ease and effectiveness.”
Aite Group’s Thad Peterson:
- “Faster payments in 39 countries and none are driven by payment networks” and “network payments will fall behind in five to ten years”;
- “Adopt a global, agnostic vision of payments”;
- “Assume that multiple payment networks will co-exist in nearly every market… at scale”;
- “Friction is failure.”
Lastly, “did anyone notice that socks are now the big thing in tech/fintech conference giveaways?”
Seth M Marlowe, SVP, strategist, insights consulting group, treasury, merchant and payment solutions, Wells Fargo
Under-the-radar fintech trends come to light
“One of the ‘under-the-radar’ trends going on in fintech right now is something I call implementation as innovation. This is where we see companies innovating on making fintech solutions more accessible for banks by helping them add new tech to their existing technology stacks. There is still a lot of work to be done in this area, but it’s great to see companies starting to tackle that challenge head-on.”
Greg Palmer, VP and host of Finovate
Big shift this year to focus on great customer experience
“This is the third Finovate I’ve attended, and there’s a big shift from the previous focus on payments as a differentiator, to using data from all interactions to provide the best digital experiences. Fintechs are looking at all aspects of the journey, and not just direct customer/member facing technology. I noticed a number of solutions like Tala and SecuredTouch aimed at removing friction in authentication and security, and others like Launchfire on improving the training of front-line staff so they can recommend and educate members on how to use digital services.
“As a credit union, we have a strong focus on improving the financial well-being of our members, and I was particularly impressed with solutions from BillShark that helps reduce the expense of regular bills, and Meniga that provides better visibility and context into everyday transactions and encourages better financial choices.
“This continued focus on member journeys in all financial interactions will ultimately benefit not only financial institutions, as it will also have larger societal benefits by improving the financial health of all consumers.”
Joel Swanson, chief digital officer, VyStar Credit Union
The missing: big picture application and culture change
Missing the big picture of customer experience
“So many of the applications and capabilities that I saw at Finovate are focused on pieces of the system of customer obsession but are not considering the entire picture. It’s like we are seeing multiple pieces of the puzzle but don’t have the picture on the box so we aren’t sure how to put it all together. I would challenge the participants to challenge themselves even further — asking what problems are they truly solving and how does this seamlessly integrate into legacy organisations as a true part of the bigger picture.”
Tevi Legge, MD, everyday entrepreneurs banking and agriculture, customer obsession team, ATB Financial
Bank culture is holding back opportunities for real collaboration
“It was apparent at FinovateFall this year that the market has shifted away from bright, shiny gimmicks to the real work required to reform customer experiences. There was a lot of speed dating between fintechs and banks at Finovate, but bank culture is still holding back too many opportunities for real collaboration.”
Brett King, CEO and founder, Moven
Gap between desire to provide a better CX and the reality of deployment
“This year’s event illustrated the increasing importance of delivering a better customer experience, with many of the innovations focused on simplifying the customer journey. This trend is welcome, but the real test is how many of these innovations actually get deployed for the customer’s benefit. As I mentioned in our Breaking Banks Power Hour roundtable with Brett King and JP Nicols, there is still a major gap between the desire to provide a better customer experience and the reality of deployment. Most of this gap is caused by organizations who do not have the culture required to bring innovative solutions to consumers.”
Jim Marous, co-publisher, Financial Brand, and owner/publisher, Digital Banking Report
By Tarique Khan, Launchfire
This post was originally published on LinkedIn