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03. 16. 2018

Finovate Europe 2018 roundup: What’s hot in digital banking?

FinovateEurope 2018

Customer data, artificial intelligence and machine learning were the words on everyone’s lips at Finovate Europe 2018. Here’s our lowdown on trends dominating this year’s event.

Looks like knowing customers better, creating relevant and personalized messages and perking up user experience have never been more important for financial institutions. This is no doubt one of the key takeaways from FinovateEurope 2018, the annual showcase of innovation in banking and fintech. Held on 6-9 March in London, the conference lined up more than 70 fintech start-ups strutting their stuff on stage during the first two days, and industry experts sharing their thoughts on the latest market trends at panel discussions.

Making the most of the wealth of banking data on customers and transactions was high on the agenda this year, with many of the fintech live demos revolving around new data tools and innovations for financial institutions. “The ability to leverage data to create more meaningful, more personalized, more secure experiences for consumers of financial services underlies much of the innovation that we see not just on the Finovate stage, but across fintech writ large, as well,” Finovate senior research analyst Julie Muhn said. “In this way, financial technology is turning the old adage – it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – on its head,” she pointed out.

Photos more and more in focus

This trend was quite obvious in the audience vote to select this year’s Best of Show favourites, with W.UP being one of the companies walking away with the trophy. We teamed up with MKB Bank’s deputy CEO Márk Hetényi on stage to show how financial institutions can boost digital sales and stop customers from switching to neo-banks or digital giants. Our Sales.UP tool helps predict the individual needs of customers by analyzing non-traditional information, such as location and mobile device data. We showcased the benefits of our pre-built customer insights, smart real-time interactions as well as AI and ML solutions for increased engagement.

One of Sales.UP’s functions, the Mobile Cheque Deposit, stirred great interest among the audience and industry players. This allows our ML algorithm to analyze photos stored on customers’ mobile phones – if they give access to their snaps, of course. We may find, for example, that they have been taking photos of houses, which can mean that they’re planning to buy one. Customers’ digital footprint can be paired with Sales.UP insights making it possible for financial institutions to send them real-time, relevant offers, for instance, on home loans or other assistance with buying a home.

Data makes the fintech world go around

Crealogix presented Gravity, its customer banking platform that gives a full picture of customer finances through user-friendly insights. Backbase introduced its Customer OS, the next generation of its digital banking platform, which provides customer-first journeys with features like account aggregation. Meniga showed how banks can better use transaction data to improve user experiences and how relevant reports can be drawn up based on each customer transaction.

Transaction data is also used by Microblink that demoed a retail receipt scanner for mobile apps along with a tool that can extract all purchase data from retail receipts in real time. Be-IQ presented their risk profile assessment tool, which can be integrated into banking services through an application programming interface (API). Aimed at better understanding customer behaviour, the solution provides a holistic approach and a report that helps customers understand their financial decision-making strengths and weaknesses.

AI, ML and onboarding remain hot

Artificial intelligence and machine learning were also on everyone’s mind, with most presenters zooming in on these areas in their live demos. Envestnet and ebankIT talked about integrating Alexa, Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, while others, including Quadient or Progress, introduced new uses of chatbots. The evolving applications of robo advisors were included in live demos by ti&m and clevercircles, while Onfido wowed with a video-based know-your-customer (KYC) tool.

Customer authentication and facial recognition used in digital onboarding also remained the talk of the town this year. iProov, one of the Best of Show winners, presented its facial biometric authentication technology, which is not only liveness-protected but fully automated for mobile and PC onboarding. Customer onboarding also came up in the presentation of Anorak and Ondot Systems.

“We’re going to move to a world where people will trade [value from things like air miles or store points] a lot more on  micro level and AI will really allow us to create products and services that fit around the way people lead their life and exchange value with each other,” award-winning global futurist Rohit Talwar said about what’s next for AI and financial services at the panel discussions. He also predicted that we are moving into an era where we can start “putting money behind the things that we value in a totally different way”.

A credit card on no-name terms

As for new financial services products, Twisto gave one of the most thought-provoking demos, where they unveiled their new fintech credit card. Having teamed up with Mastercard, Twisto delivers the new card to customers within just 24 hours. How, you wonder? They don’t print a name on the card because it’s simply not necessary. Instead, the card is linked to a Twisto account and offers a 2% cashback from each payment made outside the company’s domestic market in Czechia. The card comes with an added bonus: a contactless payment wristband.

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