Money 20/20 2016 has been a great reminder of the innovation that incumbents are driving. From payments to payments to payments (and some other things), banks are partnering, acquiring, and even going it solo to reach faster, simpler, and safer user experiences.
But one of the foremost payment and fintech events of the year has also served as a reminder of some of the great baby names that incumbents’ fintech innovation has offered up this year. Below is Tradestreaming’s top pick.
Erica: Bank of America is heading into the bank chatbot arena armed with Erica. The bank announced the launch of its virtual assistant, who will use a blend of AI, predictive analytics, and cognitive messaging to help customers manage their money, at Money 20/20 2016. For parents who want their daughters to be “smarter than a robot” and to “ha[ve] your back and [look] out for you” – to quote Michelle Moore, head of digital banking for Bank of America – Erica is a good choice.
Zelle: Big banks’ answer to Venmo was clearXchange. Launched in March 2016, clearXchange was supposed to change incumbents’ luck in the real-time P2P payment department. Maybe clearXchange wasn’t sexy enough a name? In any case, incumbents are looking to change their luck once more by rechristening clearXchange as Zelle. For parents that value speed, persistence, and couldn’t quite bring themselves to call their child ‘Elsa’, Zelle’s the way to go.
Marcus: In October 2016, Goldman Sachs launched Marcus, an online consumer lending platform for customers trying to pay down credit card debt. Named after one of the GS founders, the jury is still out as to whether this product is something to get excited about. Still, this is an offering from a powerful player, and online lending is on the rise.
Luvo: The Royal Bank of Scotland introduced AI chatbot Luvo in September 2016. Built using IBM’s cutting-edge Watson Conversation tool, the bot is meant to answer customer queries and connect them to the information they need. While Luvo may not be as advanced as Erica (yet), it does sound slightly more Italian.
ZEO: Launched by TCF Bank in May 2016, ZEO is a suite of financial services, which include cash checking, savings account, money transfer, bill payment, and money order. “ZEO ensures [that customers] can complete all of their transactions at a branch in a simple, quick way,” Geoff Thomas, managing director of customer segments and alternative channels for TCF, told Tradestreaming. Unlike other names on this list, ZEO has the added appeal of being all-caps. Also works as a girl’s name.
Some of the 2016 banktech names that did not make it onto the list:
Chase Pay, FastFlexSM, Thought Factory, IMT, clearXchange