Customer experience took centre stage at Finovate Europe 2019 in London, with data-based personalisation, real-time customer support and smoother user journeys dominating discussions. Here are some of the key takeaways.

On 12-14 February, 1,300 senior-level attendees, including bankers, entrepreneurs and investors, descended on London’s Tobacco Dock to talk technology and disruption in the financial services sector. This year’s Finovate Europe 2019 event was less about shiny new technologies and more about how to improve and make the most of existing ones.

Open Banking and PSD2 one year on

Last year’s introduction of Open Banking and PSD2, Europe’s new payments regulations, has started to have a slow ripple effect but there’s plenty of room for more action. The new laws have unlocked access to consumer data by basically forcing banks to share customer’s transaction information with fintech firms, including challenger banks.

“Open banking is the rubber stamp on disruption,” said Christophe Joyau, VP of Business Development at Swedish open banking platform Tink. And if anyone knows, it’s him. His company, which has recently raised a whopping €56 million in a new funding round, uses plug-and-play APIs and machine learning to boost customer experience and open new revenue streams for its partners, from big banks to fintechs. Its products include data enrichment,  account aggregation, payment initiation and personal finance management. Another active player, Munich-based NDGIT offers an API banking and insurance platform, allowing easy and flexible process innovations and new business models through fintech APIs. It’s already used by about 50 banks across the UK and Europe, with Portuguese Banco BNI Europa as their latest partner joining the ranks.

Keep it simple

As Benjamin Ensor, Vice President and Research Director at Forrester, pointed out, the biggest opportunities in the sector today are twofold: making corporate and retail customers’ lives easier by “making things simpler, easier, faster or better for them” and “taking processes out” by simplifying and speeding up existing workflows, typically through automating drawn-out paper-based processes.

Such advice rings particularly true as the race for customers continues at breakneck speed, with industry players across the board stepping on the gas. And with good reason. Customers “expect immediacy, availability and seamless shopper experiences,” explained Giulio Montemagno, Amazon Pay’s General Manager of Europe. This is no time to sit back and relax. “We need to disrupt ourselves by competing with ourselves,” Benoît Legrand, Chief Innovation Officer at ING advised. He emphasised the importance of changing the industry mindset, shifting the focus from the service provider’s problems to that of the customer’s, honing in on clients’ pain points throughout the lifecycle.

Finovate Europe 2019: Get personal

In the age of Netflix and Spotify, personalisation is becoming more and more of a must-have, and a growing number of industry players are experimenting with such solutions. Harnessing consumer data helps creating 100% tailored user journeys, improving customer experience and boosting customer loyalty. “This year is pretty much about retail banking, AI and personalisation – topics that resonate very well with our proposition, ” said József Nyíri, W.UP’s VP of Business Development, who was also part of our demo team that brought home the Best of Show Award, for the second time in a row.

In the presentation, our team illustrated how Sales.UP can help banks understand, enrich and analyse banking data like card transactions and demographics, combining it with non-traditional information such as leisure activities and shopping habits. Using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, the tool builds customer insights that enable interactions between banks and their clients in the right place, at the right time and through the right channel.


Take in on board

Looks like using biometrics for customer onboarding and security is still a hot trend. Swiss tap-ID showcased its digital identity platform, aiming to improve customer experience by providing easy and secure biometric verification. Their users are in full control of not only who has access to their identity but also how and when. Best of Show winner iProov demonstrated its newest cybersecurity solution, Palm Verifier, a contactless mobile palm solution offering a simple means of authentication without the need for any specialist hardware. Belgrade-based brought their multi-factor authentication system to London, built on blockchain, using fingerprint and facial recognition.

Another large group of startups seemed to be clustered around loans. Cantab PI demonstrated its Figure In solution, a real-time loan approval engine for non-bank, no-credit history customers, which uses data analytics and machine learning. Finovate first-timer Nordigen’s tool, Nordigen Report, provides banks and lenders with access to loan applicants’ account histories as well as offers income verification and risk behaviour identification, speeding up the approval process significantly.

Right here, right now

Real-time is the new norm. New York-based Glia, another Best of Show awardee, showcased their digital-first conversational AI solution that improves real-time customer communication and engagement across channels, enabling cobrowsing. demonstrated their virtual agent for contact centres that responds to customers in a smart and empathetic manner, using voice recognition. Hungarian Dorsum’s My Wealth app combines traditional and digital advisory processes into a hybrid model, providing a 360-degree portfolio overview to clients as well as a self-learning chatbot and human financial advisors if needed. FCASE’s fraud detection solution integrates different data platforms, collecting information from multiple fraud detection sources and manages fraudulent activity in real-time, using adaptive analytics.

What’s hot and what’s new? Our VP of Business Development József Nyíri gave his lowdown on Finovate Europe 2019, watch the interview here.



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