The banking industry has experienced accelerated change over the past several years. In response, traditional and non-traditional financial firms of every size have had to embrace digital banking transformation and continuous innovation. Some are succeeding at implementing new future-ready business models, while others are moving much more slowly than the marketplace demands.
Continuous innovation includes the introduction of new products, services and processes, as well as incremental changes to existing norms. The majority of banking innovation happens at the incremental level, driving financial institutions forward one project, change and idea at a time. When continuous innovation becomes part of an organization’s culture, it occurs across all levels and all functions within an organization.
The momentum of continuous learning and innovation can continuously push a company forward.
The key is to have a constant flow of large and small innovative ideas, allowing a bank, credit union, fintech firm or tech company to experiment and adjust products and processes to meet customers’ needs. In short, financial institutions need to outlearn their competition — discovering what customers want and finding solutions that will move market share, increase revenues, and/or reduce costs.
Banking events — returning in full after the pandemic hiatus — are a great way to stimulate learning through interactions with others in the industry.
Finovate: Launch Pad for Fintech Innovations
There were 10,755 fintech startups in the Americas as of November 2021, according to Statista, making it the region with the most fintech startups globally. In comparison, there were 9,323 fintech startups in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East, and Africa) and 6,268 in the Asia Pacific region. Each of these start-ups are looking for ways to grow.
One of the ways for a new start-up to gain exposure is at Finovate. The core of the event is the series of seven-minute demos of innovative new financial and banking technologies. Since 2007, more than 2,500 financial technology innovations have been showcased at Finovate events held at various locations globally. The most recent Finovate event occurred in New York City, with over 60 demos along with many speakers and exhibits.
Each fintech demo competes for the coveted “Best-in-Show” awards that are determined by a vote of the event’s attendees. In addition to the demos, there were networking opportunities as well several panel discussions. The result was a heavy dose of learning opportunities at the earliest stages of innovation.
Featured YouTube Podcast: Masterclass in Innovation, Transformation and the Future of Banking
Highlights of FinovateFall 2022
Each Finovate event has its own vibe and innovation theme that seems to emerge, and this year’s FinovateFall was no exception. The overwhelming impression was of people glad to again experience a banking event that felt “normal.” There was a greater balance of financial institutions in attendance than at other 2022 events, and everyone was seeking networking opportunities. Banking events are definintely back.
What was also apparent was that the demos spanned the gamut of digital banking transformation, including process innovation, product innovation, customer experience innovation, and delivery innovation. Dan Latimore from Celent created a great word cloud to illustrate the broad themes that he saw and heard at Finovate Fall.
The panel discussions expanded on these themes, providing overviews of where the banking industry is succeeding and where it is being challenged to respond to consumer and business needs better. Attendance was strong at the demos and break-out sessions, with attendees clearly wanting to absorb all of the learning opportunities available.
As with most events, the impressions vary by attendee, with the takeaways differing for every person. Fintech observer Alex Johnson, provides a great overview of FinovateFall in his event recap.
Free Download: Innovation in Retail Banking
5 Best of Show Fintechs
The highlight of Finovate events is the announcement of Best of Show winners. These winners represent those innovations that received the most votes among the attendees of the event. Here are brief descriptions of five winners.
Debbie was presented as the “Noom for debt reduction,” utilizing behavioral psychology and rewards to motivate and incentivize people to reduce outstanding debt. The features of Debbie include the use of a guided debt loss program to help users unwind destructive credit habits, time trended credit data to pre-qualify users for refinance and micro-reward offers for improved behavior.
Horizn allows financial institutions to maximize and accelerate the impact of digital transformation strategy by increasing user adoption of all digital investments with both customers and employees. The Horizn platform includes a self-service customer platform, assisted-serve hub for call centers and branches, digital display demos, and an employee platform.
LemonadeLXP helps financial institutions and fintechs turn staff into digital experts and support digital customers through ‘addictive micolearning’. The solution provides thorough technology walkthroughs, creating an optimized customer and employee experience that helps to support growth in the adoption of new digital banking solutions.
Quilo provides a guaranteed, on-demand fractional loan participation at the point of underwriting, in real time, so you can provide your customer with the financing they need while lowering your credit concentration risk. This solution is available for personal unsecured fixed installment loans up to $60,000, with payment terms up 72 months, supporting a variety of credit criteria settings at a granular level. This allows for loans to be offered to more people with diverse credit histories.
Stratyfy allows financial institutions and fintech firms to use next generation machine learning to uncover, understand, and undo bias in complex financial decisions that impact the lives of millions. Stratyfy helps organizations build, test, deploy and optimize precise underwriting and fraud models; providing detailed, interpretable diagnostics of all predictions to ensure they meet regulatory standards and detect any inherent bias, enabling immediate action.
Themis is the first compliance collaboration tool to help companies accelerate partnerships with vendors, banks and fintechs. The platform allow banks and credit unions to collaborate more efficiently across the organization on compliance matters so they can focus more time on product development and deployment. Themis is the first collaborative compliance tool built by the compliance industry.
An Upcoming Learning and Networking Opportunity
The Financial Brand Forum is an amazing event that brings together thousands of banking executives and solution providers. Bankers, credit unions executives, fintech firms and solution providers can network with thousands of senior executives at the biggest and best conference on CX, marketing, and digital growth strategies in the banking world.
This year, it begins on Sunday, Nov. 13 and ends on Wednesday, Nov. 16 in Las Vegas. Attendees can expect to network and learn from keynote speakers, how-to sessions, live product demonstrations, and case studies workshops.
The keynote lineup at the Forum 2022 banking conference includes Magic Johnson, Daymond John, Omar Johnson, Duncan Wardle and comedy legend Jay Leno.