Category: ,  /  October 23rd 2014
Financial innovation- going global

I spoke in a previous blog about our experience at this year’s FinovateFall event that took place in New York, over 23-24th September 2014. Finovate events are like no other. The qualification criteria allow any financially related innovation to qualify, and those that do have a seven minute demo slot to showcase their innovation. Due to this you have a wide breadth of products demoing alongside each other; one minute a demo could be showing you a voice biometric tech development and the next you might be being shown a real estate crowd funding app. It is a conference with variety.

In addition to the tight time limit, slide presentations are not allowed. Presenters therefore have seven minutes to focus solely on demoing their service online, to show how it is distinct and what benefits it can offer to financial institutions. This is certainly a way to focus the mind when presenting to a room of nearly 1,500 people.

But the demo isn’t everything. FinovateFall provides insights into financial institutions, how they are currently working and where improvements can be made. So what did I learn about the state of global financial innovation?

Financial planning seems likely to be revolutionised by tech in the coming years

This year there were a huge number of demos focused on helping customers to invest their money better and plan for their retirement. I think if I was a traditional IFA, I would be thinking very hard about how I could embrace some of this cloud tech to support the way I look after my clients.

Innovations around ID&V and streamlined processing are a big deal

Lots of the presentations focused on trying to simplify lots of the customer’s processes that have become a bug bear in recent years. One example, Anchor ID, even want to do away with the password(!) which years ago would have been unimaginable. However to make them more than just a good idea they need distribution, and the question here is will they get it?

Small businesses are still the poor relation

Very few of the 71 demos at FinovateFall were really focused on solving small businesses issues, despite the fact that in most economies 50% of GDP is generated by SMBs. It amazes me that there is still precious little innovation that is aimed specifically at this segment.

The diverse demos were met with great interest by the financial institutions that were present, and its likely radical changes will start appearing in the financial industry once some of these demoed products get installed.

For BCSG, our platform got a great reception from bank attendees, bloggers and analysts – not least because our goal is to make life easier for small business owners. Building on from a blog I wrote earlier this year about the outcomes from the Efma small business banking conference, it is clear that banks will significantly change the way they look after and service their small business customers.


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sabbir ahmed

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