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Essential Fintech Reading: May 9 - 15

FinovateSpring 2015 Best of Show Winners Announced
Attendees at FinovateSpring this week witnessed the latest in the world of fintech. By showcasing smart credit cards, money management, data storage solutions and more, Finovate once again upheld its standard of being the best place to be to learn more about financial technology.

Here are the winners of the coveted "Best of Show" award, with a video that highlights each:

Alpha Payments Cloud — Alpha Payments helps financial institutions streamline and unify fractured back-end technologies.

Avoka — Avoka gives financial institutions the ability to let account holders apply for a loan in three minutes. They also won an award at FinovateEurope in February:

Money Amigo — Money Amigo is a neobank that targets a Spanish-speaking demographic. Their product lets users transfer money, access ATMs, check balances, and more.

Moven — Moven introduced their impulse saving product, showcasing the ability to interact with finances directly on Apple Watch. You can also see how Moven partners with MX here.

NAMU Systems — NAMU demonstrated an app that lets end users track the experiences they have with their spending.

Shoeboxed — Shoeboxed demonstrated receipt tracking from banks. Here's a video that introduces their mobile app.

Stratos — Stratos offers a smart credit card that can aggregate all of a user's cards in one.

Again, altogether it was another great Finovate event.

Now back to this week's essential fintech reading... 

Why Banks Need to Stop Being Boring
Gren Blackall, the retail practice director of CCG Catalyst Consulting, spells out the reasons why banks should make the full experience more exciting for account holders.

"All banks must manage risk. But this needn't be their sole focus any more than a restaurateur's sole purpose should be to prevent contaminants from getting into food. Of course this is important. But the restaurant won't survive if it neglects to create dishes, service and décor that keep people coming back for more."

Banking Shaped by the Customer: Accenture Report
Accenture released their survey of 4,000 US consumers this week, and it's full of data banks and credit unions should pay attention to. For instance, they found that there has been a big shift toward online banking services: "For the first time in our research, consumers rank good online banking services (38 percent) as the number one reason that they stay with their bank, ahead of branch locations and low fees, both at 28 percent."

In addition, Accenture found that nearly 20% of Millennials switched from their primary bank in the past 12 months, with many choosing online-only banks.

 The Simplicity Revolution in Banking

Jeffry Pilcher, the CEO/President and Founder of The Financial Brand, talks through the importance of making banking simpler and more engaging.

In one section he says that banks could pattern after Apple. "Do you know why Apple is one of the most valuable companies in the world?" he asks. "It’s not because they invented personal computers. They didn’t invent the graphical user interface, smartphones, tablets, or MP3 players either. ... They just perfect the presentation of other people’s ideas. They simplify the delivery and execution of ideas that are already out there."

Also check out the Money Summit piece, "Does Your Bank Have an Unfair Advantage?," published this week on The Financial Brand, as well as our interview with Chris Skinner and our interview with Mark Schwanhausser.