UX on my mind: Finovate’s best of show winners point to industry trends

One of the fintech industry’s main launchpads, FinovateFall, ended last week. 72 companies, from early stage startups coming out of stealth to established companies launching a new offering, presented on stage in New York City.

The companies were rated by audience members on the basis of demo quality and innovation impact. The six companies that appeared on the most ballots were named Best of Show.

It’s clear the financial industry has UX on its mind. Three out of six companies, MX, Clinc and Backbase, offer different types of digital experiences to customers. The range of offerings is indicative of the varying levels of digital prowess within the industry. While some banks are ready to consider advanced, AI-based solutions like Clinc offers, others are still shopping around for an all-around digital interface to serve their customers.

The chosen companies also clearly show the move from competition to cooperation. None of the companies receiving awards are direct competitors to established financial institutions. Only two companies might be considered B2C companies, Swych and Autogravity, but they actually help drive business to established financial institutions.

Here are FinovateFall 2016’s best of show companies:

Trusona: Trusona is an enterprise authentication platform that enables web and mobile transactions. The company’s authentication and identity solution is insured by an A+ rated insurance carrier, up to $1 million coverage per transaction. The company’s advanced solutions can help protect everything from high-value wire transfers, health records, privileged accounts and remote access to critical infrastructure. The company raised an $8 million series A from KPCB.

MX:  MX offers banks and credit unions a data-driven personal finance manager. The company drives customer-centric banking relationships by gathering and providing data upon which online and mobile banking partners and financial institutions can create and deliver banking applications and solutions. MX currently partners with more than 650 financial institutions and more than 35 digital, online and mobile banking providers.

Clinc: Clinc offers a conversational AI personal financial assistant. With Clinc, bank customers can directly talk to their bank accounts and make smarter financial decisions based on their income, purchase history and financial behavior. It’s like adding Siri to your bank’s mobile app.

Backbase: Backspace offers multi-platform customer experience for banks. This enables banks to leapfrog competition with its turnkey solution.

Swych:  Swych is a mobile gifting platform where users send “Swychable” gifts from their mobile devices. These gifts can be instantly redeemed for electronic gift cards for more than 90 popular brands. Users can instantly buy, send, regift, upload, and redeem gift cards conveniently from their mobile devices.

Autogravity: Autogravity is a car financing mobile app. The app allows users to easily find and compare car-financing offerings.

Finovate 2016: A preview of fintech’s top launch event

Finovate Preview 2016

Finovate Fall 2016 kicks off this week on September 8th in New York City. The annual demo show for financial technology is celebrating its tenth anniversary. After attracting 1600 attendees to last year’s event, the show’s organizers have more in store this year. The two-day event uses the typical short-form product demonstration without the slides or pre-recorded videos made popular at tech shows like TechCrunch Disrupt. In addition to the general cast of startup characters launching at the event, larger fintech companies like Fiserv and FIS have also taken to Finovate events to introduce new products.

What does this year’s event mean for fintech? Below are four themes from investing, insurance, banking, and brokerage worth checking out at this year’s event.

Sales and marketing tools for financial institutions

There are quite a few companies presenting this year that aren’t fintech, per se. These firms have technologies that, in the hands of financial companies, boost sales and service levels. Econiq is one of these types of companies. The software and analytics company records front-line sales conversations, scores them, and then color codes them into actionable information. Managing financial documents is a major hassle and FutureVault wants to become banks’ electronic filing cabinet. For financial firms that want to deliver personalized, engaging experiences to customers, partners and employees, Liferay offers a digital platform.

New payments and paymentech

There are a few payments companies presenting at Finovate. Instead of letting gift cards expire worthless, Swych is a mobile gifting app that functions as a wallet for all your Amazon and Netflix credits. For firms selling internationally, Zooz smart routes card payments to the appropriate bank for processing that minimizes fraud and maximizes successful payments.

Digital payments players are presenting, too. Modo Payments is a digital payments hub that takes monetary value from just about any source, and can deliver it to just about any destination. So, think any value from loyalty programs, gift cards, debit credits can be transferred, through Modo’s COIN to digital wallets, merchants, and accounts.

Big data, analytics, and sundry other technologies

Plenty of companies are working on big data and analytics solutions as our social media footprints expand daily. MapD provides financial firms the ability to crank through huge datasets and turn them into visualizations at speed. MX is a six year old firm that works with digital banking providers and other financial institutions to enhance the account holder experience and increase user loyalty by leveraging data and insights.

Bots are coming to banking and Kore wants to lead the way. Banks and other financial institutions can use Kore’s platform to develop bots to deploy to customers and employees.

Mobile banking

As financial services move toward digital, it’s also getting more mobile. Users don’t want to wait until they get home or to the office to transact. Mobile banking is a big theme at Finovate this year. Bankjoy provides mobile banking services to credit unions. There are a handful of white label banking solutions presenting. Urban FT is one of them. The software company provides basic banking functionality like cards, account aggregation, and bill pay. But it also provides other features to increase mobile user engagement, like with PFM functionality and local venue and deal discovery.


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