Finovate Europe 2017 : our first impressions

The Finovate Europe 2017 conference has just ended in London after 2 days where software editors, financial institutions and startups met to present their latest innovations. This year again, OCTO consultants were present to identify the latest trends. As we get off the Eurostar, here are our first impressions.

Svetlana’s review 

The demo sessions were a good illustration of all the current trends of the market :

  • A new topic, the RegTech covered through onboarding and KYC (Hooyu, Signicat)
  • Biometrics and customer authentification, not mainstream this year but some good demos (EyePrint ID, Veridium)
  • Overall, the Security appears as a hot topic (Token, Vasco)
  • Strong focus on APIs at many presentations
  • No surprise with the presence of Artificial Intelligence (Comarch, Backbase) and a few chatbots (Dorsum)
  • Many Big Data use cases (crowd process, Sentifi, EdgeLab)
  • Blockchain was missing, with only 2 companies (Caxton, Finacle)
  • Crealogix offered a demo of a Virtual Reality use case

The switch already mentioned last year from FinTech to TechFin is confirmed. So, we are wondering if the demo only format is still suitable for the Finovate show. Again, same trend as last year, with a strong part of software editors at demos.

Although, Finovate takes place at London, PSD 2 was in the spotlight. The “PSD2 compliance” was a pitch-lane used in many demos (with even one who promised to be “Brexit” compliant … as soon as we will get some details). Even Yodlee, the US star of PFM proposed its platform for the PSD2 use cases.

Through the Finovate sessions we see many clues to the coming switch towards a B2B trend for banking solutions. As a consequence, banks may be more opened to integrate ready-to-use components and benefit from good specialization and implementation. On the overall market we are more and more close to a real move toward modular or platform banking.

This year Finovate offered a good coverage of main trends for banking, however we may be disappointed by a “showroom” effect due to the presence of a lot of well known companies and few early-stage FinTech. The cost of  the entrance for demoing, may be dissuasive for small FinTech companies, probably an assumed choice by the event organization.

Bonus: A special mention to the Brett King’s show on stagewho presented Moven’s well-known solution and announced the launch of the neobank in the UK.

The big surprise was also the return on stage of Finovate dinosaurs: Dynamics Inc. And eToro (with one more best of show award).

My 3 favorites :

  • Token for its secure, innovating and easy-to-integrate authentification solution, very relevant according to the stakes of the market
  • HooYu for its KYC management solution with a great user experience
  • OpenTech has demonstrated its implementation of the MasterCard APIs, which illustrates some of the stakes of the PSD2

Samuel’s review

We particularly noticed the near absence of the Blockchain in the presentations. Indeed, only two companies have presented their offer, without really convincing on their innovative character.

CAXTON , for example, wants to make international payments faster and cheaper. This is probably a prospect that will find application in the not too distant future, but it remains to study more closely the foundations of this offer. Moreover, the realization of this experiment on an “overlay” of the Microsoft Blockchain left us perplexed.

My 3 favorites :

  • Memento payments and its social networking interface for making payments without interaction with a banking application
  • W.UP and its behavioral marketing solution
  • Dorsum for its chatbot which allows to choose a credit card offer and the associated monitoring interface

Adrien’s review

What has particularly marked me is the almost systematic evocation of the theme of onboarding in the presentations. This omnipresence is most certainly explained by the fact that with its ingenious process of onboarding guaranteed in less than 8 minutes, the neobank N26 has something to worry the banks.

To create an experience of the same quality, technological levers are numerous: intelligent document capture for the KYC process, biometrics for customer identification, use of APIs of competing establishments (PSD 2) to capture data and evaluate the financial health … Software editors did not hide their pleasure.

The other thing that struck me was that, contrary to my expectations, I did not see any genuine disruption . The conference allowed us to see beautiful performances of what we already knew, but not any great discovery that leaves you speechless and makes you want to say “Why had not we thought of it before?”. Nevertheless, it is quite normal as it reflects the fact that Fintech is at a certain level of maturity / productivity. Now that banks and Fintech have understood the value of working together, they are focusing more on process reliability and compliance.

My 3 favorites :

  • backbase which presented us an artificial intelligence engine which allows to detect key moments to propose new services to the client via a ChatBot
  • SaleMove for its solution coupling chat, video, voice and cobrowsing to guide the customer in an online process.
  • W.UP and its SalesUp solution to push relevant real-time offerings to customers according to their behavior