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Starting Off Strong on Day 2

Day Two at Finovate is here. 

Eric Dunstan did a great job yesterday covering some of the underlying themes from day one — evolving methods of verifying identity and authentication, reducing friction for traditional banking services like business and consumer credit, attempts to improve financial management through contextual assignments and geocoding, and a renewed focus on simplifying investment services to name a few. I’m looking to add some additional flavor to Eric’s coverage today. He will be adding comments throughout my posts using the tag "^ED".  Let’s dive in to the morning’s session.  

First demo of the day came from Market Prophit, which aims to connect financial market moving social content, and ranks influence of financial pundits and more. It looks like Klout for the investment community, but referencing the “Klout of” anything isn’t complimentary. Lucky for them, they look to have an impressive analytic engine that demonstrates the reaction to social sentiment in real time (and the longer term implications of market calls to performance). I like that they are looking at an aggregate of sentiment, and offer a drill down to each potential market influencer, covering more than just financial professionals. Influence for equity pricing comes from so much more than Jim Cramer. They leverage some good UI too. One to watch. 

Jumio spent some time providing a recap of day one and then shifted to how they can assist with some of the technology we saw yesterday. Their call for partnership is smart — I’ll talk a bit later in this post about that idea. Jumio focuses on reducing friction across mobile applications and making filling forms for identity, card activation, on-boading. Their solution is pretty quick and easy to use. I can see some issues down the road with Mitek and patents, but that’s part of the game too. Look at your financial on boarding process, your card activation process, and ask your partners or internal development teams how they can reduce friction through partnering with services like Jumio. 

^ED I really like where Jumio is going.  What they presented was not new for them, but it does indicate its emerging leadership position in the space.  I am excited to see where they go in taking this technology to support the development of a true handset mobile wallet.  Imagine scanning your ID, payments cards, loyalty cards and storing securely on your phone.  These cards can be accessed to pay at retail, track loyalty points, etc.  Very exciting. 

Lending Robot is looking to reduce the overall costs associated with traditional banking lending portfolios with investments in peer lending. They provide an automated rules engine to to project and building higher returns from peer lending opportunities.  I’m not sure who they are targeting — institutional investors or direct to consumer investing? “It just works” — I liked their demo and will have to explore this one a bit more. Peer lending is fascinating, and a growing force in alternative investments.

Pellucid platform for the investment banking market takes traditional pitch books automated and digitized — very impressive if you have to do pitch books. I like the focus of customization in the interface to the investment institution’s branding and the fact that they can reduce 40% or more of the work associated with producing pitch books.  

Radius built a database of 42 million businesses that syncs your CRM system to segment the marketplace to focus your merchant services, business lending, or other activity a bank may offer like POS or other transactional services. This creates a match between your existing sales pipeline (like from Salesforce) and the larger segment to match the proper targeting. Leverages simple, intuitive filtering. Stop buying marketing lists, start buying software. Having leveraged a lot of these business databases in the past, they have a great point. 

OnBudget provides a budgeting app tied to a branded debit card. They showed a 30 second goal setting process. While that’s nice and all, budgets should probably take more than 30 seconds of thought. I like the concept of a tied in debit card, but I think they need to work on the demo. The twittersphere was a little rough on them. It’s tough to present on stage at Finovate. Go see them at the booth and give them a look.  

^ED Yes it is tough to present!  I think leveraging the debit card to track expenses and set budgets makes sense. However, there is a lot of similar innovation by other FinTech companies and online banks including Moven and GoBank.  I'm excited to see where OnBudget goes to differentiate themselves. 

CoinBase now supports 29,000 merchants. Their product Instant Exchange used to demo a live Overstock transaction (what is with stocks and fintech, but I digress) with 10-minute locked exchange rate with complete transparency. Overstock has already done over a million dollars in BTC sales. Average basket size is 30% larger using BTC than with credit card transactions. Showing off merchant side of Coinbase - very simple dashboard. Nicely done.

^ED CoinBase, I believe, is one of very few companies to touch on BTC currency, which seems strange to me given all the press around this.  Even Amazon is addressing BTC payment options. 

Tactile Finance launches Tacfi focused on speeding up mortgage process and providing additional transparency to consumer financing options. It's a benefit to mortgage shoppers but also to financial service providers to reduce the complexity of the mortgage process. 

ID.me is a consumer controlled identity bank connecting merchants through group associations online. The example they showed was how they can connect identity to merchants offering discounts serving the military services. I’ll have to look at this one some more.  Credit unions may consider this type of solution to offer benefits to their base and select employee groups. 

This morning’s session was strong. Good to see Coinbase present — whether you're a believer in Bitcoin or not, it isn’t going away. I really like the focus on simplifying business targeting from Radius, the added transparency around the mortgage process and building applications for defined consumer groups. Nothing earth shattering, but I did like Jumio and Radius. More to follow. 

Topics: Technology