The Financial Services Club is one of the major media partners with Finovate Europe, which took place last week.
Last year I chaired the event, but my Ricky Gervais edginess proved too much for the American organisers at NetBanker, so this year was a slightly more dry affair, with a beauty parade of 35 companies demonstrating their wares:
Notably, the event was not as clearly focused on Personal Financial Management (PFM) and mobile this year as last, although these were represented in some abundance by firms such as IND, Meniga and Backbase.
There were also several themed presentations around social media and crowdsourcing, as illustrated by eToro and Kabbage.
Intriguingly, there was a lack of firms presenting much about anti-fraud solutions.
There were a couple of presentations focused upon card-based solutions, but this member of the audience is only thinking mobile contactless for payments innovations rather than last century card-based systems.
Having said that, I liked ETRONIKA and ValidSoft for bringing voice and gesture recognition to sign-on processes, ensuring a secure authentication. Although many are sceptical about such services, they do make sense to me as biometric authentication using natural sign-on is going to be a big focus for finance in the future.
Overall however, there did seem to be a slight lack of newness to this year’s Finovate, but that’s probably because it’s the third one I’ve attended in eighteen months and it’s hard for anything really new to be invented every six months to a year.
So I’ve seen many of these firms like Striata, miicard, Ixaris and others before, and even some of the new guys like Fenergo and Luup I know quite well through the Financial Services Club.
But there were some notable new entrants like Figlo, a consumer portal that “enables financial organizations to create customized offerings for Personal Finance Management, Financial Product Advice and Financial Planning based on widgets”.
Basically it allows anyone to create and configure their own, personalised bank look and feel on screen or on the phone, all with social integration. Brilliant!
The other service I hadn’t seen before was Liqpay, which shortens payment details into digital codes for SMS and e-mail possibilities. In other words, it’s a bit.ly for payments data. Excellent!
Anyways, about 550 people attended this year’s Finovate Europe, up about 25% on last year, and it builds on the over a thousand who show up for Finovate Spring and Finovate Fall in San Francisco and New York respectively.
Oh, and just in case you wondered, the “best in show” winners were:
- Cardlytics, which showed an in-statement ad platform and management tools;.
- Dynamics which launched its “Chip and Choice card for the Chip & Pin world”;
- eToro, which launched its crowd-sourced guru finder - a systems that helps locate successful traders to follow and copy; and
- Nutmeg, which launched an investment service focused around the needs of the everyday investor.
Interestingly, Cardlytics and eToro won best in show at Finovate Fall, so they must be on a roll.
Meanwhile, looking forward to the next European event so well done to Eric, Jim and the team at NetBanker for getting this off the ground.