I recently attended my first Finovate conference, which also happened to be their first in Europe. The venue was the Business Design Centre in the Islington section of London. It’s a great format – 35 different vendors, each with a 7 minute demonstration, and some networking slots mixed in. It covered a lot of ground in a short period of time, while still affording one the luxury of walking away with some salient points still in mind. That’s about the right amount of time, at least for those of us in the US, as we’re conditioned to a commercial break every 6-8 minutes.
It appears as though 2011 is the year of the online PFM in Europe as there were 6 PFM providers. The next major topic was social network oriented services such as LiqPay’s Facebook payment solution, Fidor Bank’s “Bank 2.0,” and a number of investment related applications from eToro, Hopee (BNP Paribas), StockTwits and Uniience, some of which are mobile enabled. It’s certainly worth taking a look at some of these or onles like them if you’re contemplating a refresh of your online presence.
This being the Mobile Manifesto, however, my primary interest was looking at the mobile solutions, which there were a few. Even some of the aforementioned products included mobile access/support as that increasingly becomes a baseline channel for any customer facing product, and more than ever, employee facing as well.
The product that caught my attention the most, even before I got there from the obligatory, pre-conference vendor solicitations, was an iPad based Financial Advisor tool from Finantix. Granted, products tend to show well on the iPad, but this one particularly resonated with me because of recent client inquiries. It was also one of four participants to be voted Best in Show. The Finantix product really allows an Advisor to interact not only with the application, but their client as well. Imagine sitting down with your Financial Advisor, having an interactive discussion, passing the tablet back and forth as you walk through an assessment. The FA can prepackage content to include video presentations to share with their client in a face-to-face meeting, and even let them manipulate criteria to see what the long term effects would be of certain decisions. It has the potential to make the whole process much more personal and engaging.
Other mobile oriented companies who showed included:
- Tagit, a “Configure Once, Run Many” mobile platform provider demonstrated their mobile banking solution
- IND Group with their online and mobile banking solutions
- eWise (Secure Vault Payments) demonstrated their mobile and online payments capability
- mPower with their mobile POS solution
- VoiceCommerce with their KYC Secure and VoicePay offerings, using voice biometrics
- SolidPass showed their token based authentication solution using a mobile device in lieu of a key fob.
In any event, I look forward to seeing more creativity and ingenuity at FinovateSpring 2011!