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Finovate Fall 2015, Day One: Live Blog

FinovateFall 2015 has 72 presenting companies and over 1,500 attendees. We're here and ready to live blog!

Session One

8:58am: Flybits pulls from a range of data sources to give personalized mobile experiences to customers. It gives users access to a create contextual zones that help financial institutions appeal to consumers in real time, based on where they are and what they're doing. They demonstrate how the product can understand what to measure for people who are in New York attending Finovate. Flybit closes by saying they change the "app strategy into a concierge strategy."

9:06am: Empyr displays an online ad for a targeted promotion, and then customers link their card and go to the physical store to get cash back for acting on the promotion. They show an example of how San Diego Credit Union uses a cash-back program to help users get rewards from hundreds of merchants. They emphasize how effortless the process is, and how it helps merchants, account holders, and financial institutions.

9:13am: Northside built English conversation software while working on a video game called Bot Colony. They’re now using that voice-recognition software in the fintech space to enable conversation-based digital interactions. They aim to increase digital engagement by making the interaction process more human. They had a series of technical difficulties that snagged up the demo process, making it difficult to clearly see the value of their service.

9:22am: Travel Notes automatically notifies financial institutions when a user purchases flight tickets, so the institution expects the travel and doesn’t cancel the user’s card. Their demo was based on a London user, an odd choice for a NYC conference; however, their user interface is clean and simple. In addition, it can be branded as though it comes straight from the financial institution.

9:28am: Yseop (pronounced Easy-Op) uses artificial intelligence to help companies make sense of big data and reporting. They say that just as the rolodex and the fax machine are outdated, so is the choice to manually analyze data. Data sets are too complex and the human element is too problematic, according to Yseop, and so they made data interpretation automatic. Their demo showed how they can turn Excel data into a Word document, written in plain English, so anyone can understand it.

9:37am: InforcePRO helps automate the policyholder process. It re-prices the policy, makes suggestions on needs-analysis, and tracks users. It can manage the moving parts and help save the financial institution money in the process. Their demo was short, simple, and to the point.

9:43am: Xignite makes a suite of APIs for financial institutions. They showed their Cloud Streaming product, which enables financial institutions to make changes in minutes (as they showed by tweaking code right on stage). They also announced the fintech revolution ecosystem — a collection of APIs that financial institutions and partners can use to enhance their product offering.

9:50am: Gro Solutions helps financial institutions with the account opening process. They showed a product that enables users to take a picture of their credit card to sign up for a new checking account. They focus exclusively on reducing friction for opening a range of account types. Another concise demo.

9:55am: ID Mission pulls from a range of sources to help financial institutions properly identify customers. They demonstrated how they can scan an identification card (front and back), take a fingerprint, and do facial recognition. Basically, ID Mission is at the forefront of identification technologies.

10:03am: Jack Henry has three brands — Jack Henry Banking, Symitar, and ProfitStars. They demonstrated how their Banno system now allows users to search a dashboard to find information on account holders.

Session Two

10:51am: Transfer To demonstrated how someone can transfer money to someone in Kenya in an emergency. Their interface allows users to select the person's phone number and, if the person has linked their account, they can receive money directly in their local currency. Because it's based on a mobile phone number, it can be used by anyone who has a mobile phone and a bank account.

10:59am: CellTrust showed how their SecureLine product enables business people to separate their personal and business lives within the same phone, including housing two separate numbers on the same mobile device. It allows businesses to track how employees use their business line without having to buy a new phone.

11:12am: Blockstack.io develops a blockchain software platform that financial institutions can use to make interacting with the blockchain simpler. They demonstrated how transactions work, highlighting the real-time functionality and how users can easily track user history. They show how the blockchain allows payments to happen as they need to happen, rather than once a month (for bills and utilities) and twice a month (for pay day).

11:20am: Trade It aims to reduce friction in online trading by enabling brokers to access information from end users. They showed how they can use data to give a range of options to end users and then give users a range of options that can fit their specific needs.

11:34am: Urban FT offers their product to financial institutions and end users. They demonstrated a new PFM product that teams up with merchants to offer deals and rewards. In addition, they showed how they leverage local discovery and social features. Their demo included a direct view of the live app, which was a nice change of pace from a few presenters who showed a slide deck.

11:41am: Buzz Points uses gamification and rewards to bridge the gap between financial institutions and merchants. They demonstrated how a user can get select from local, national, and charity options to get the rewards they actually want. By earning Buzz Points, users stay more engaged and grow their products with the participating financial institutions.

11:49am: Soundpays offers a mobile wallet that uses a sound wave to enable secure payments. To remain secure, they destroy their network every 30 seconds and are unidirectional. They demonstrated the ability to make payments directly from a digital video and showed how they work with any phone that has a microphone or speaker as well as Internet connection.

11:55am: ebankIT demonstrated their omnichannel solution — specifically how it helps users open accounts, interact with devices via voice, and make use of wearables. The key for ebankIT is that they are available any time on any device.

Session Three

1:12pm: Adobe started off session three with a look at what's possible with the latest updates to their marketing cloud. They showed how it's possible for users to start an application, leave, and pick up where they left off. In addition, they showed their latest in analytics reports for mobile interactions, which allows for customization and split testing based on data. They emphasize that everything is integrated and seamless.

1:18pm: Walletron focuses on automating the brand presence via the mobile wallet channel. They illustrated new functionality for Apple Wallet and Android Pay, showing a new range of versatility and ease of use.

1:24pm: Advisor Software, which builds custom software for the investment advisory channel, introduced its wealth management cloud platform. The company demonstrated a product for Salesforce's recently announced financial services cloud platform, a portfolio rebalancing engine that fits in an advisor's dashboard. The product enables advisors to drill down into accounts, initiate rebalancing and set constraints. Advisor Software also debuted a client portal that provides customers with analytics, allowing them to view their performance, risk tolerance and drill down into holdings.  

1:31pm: BehavioSec, a firm offering behavioral biometric solutions, monitors mouse movements, how hard you press and what you buttons you press to create a digital profile of a user. Financial institutions utilizing the tool can drill down into activity sessions with the purpose of both stopping fraud and maximizing conversions.

1:41pm: Capriza discussed how it simplifies critical workflows without APIs, coding or any infrastructure investment. The firm touted its ability to test as well as distribute in migrating legacy applications to mobile.

1:48pm: Alpine Data, a startup focused on advanced analytics and machine learning, discussed tools available to wealth advisors that would enable them to predict what products a client would desire and what investment strategies would suit them.

1:56pm: Crowdability provides investors with education, information and research on the crowdfunding market. At Finovate the company debuted Crowdability IQ, touted as the world’s first stock screener for private companies. The company built technology that aggregates deal information and filters out investments that are seen as risky, even allowing users to only pinpoint companies whose founders are college graduates (and seen as carrying a lower risk profile).

2:11pm: Ormsby Street addresses the problem of cash flow for small businesses, providing a tool that allows them to better understand the financial health/credit risk of their customers. Armed with Ormsby’s data, businesses can make a real time decision as to whether they’ll need an upfront payment before engaging with a customer. The tool also allows for scenario planning around key customers’ financial health and offers an automated approach to recover debts before a customer goes out of business.

Session Four

3:00pm: Alfa Bank kicked off session four by demonstrating Sense, which leverages behavioral analytics to personalize mobile interactions. The product predicts what a customer will need before they buy it.

3:07 pm: Davo Technologies strives to do for sales tax what ADP did for payroll, allowing for a daily impound of sales tax. Merchants have run into problems when they use sales tax revenue to pay liabilities. Davo enables small to mid-sized merchants, state governments and franchisors  to compress recurring payment cycles down to one day, instead of scrambling to address sales tax collections on a quarterly basis.

3:12pm: AcceptEmail makes bill pay simpler by letting users pay on the go from their email inbox. Their presentation had a mix of role play and baseball with beach balls. They also talked about the simplicity of their interface.

3:20pm: Euronovate lets users authenticate their digital device, replacing the need for signatures on paper. They demonstrated how the signature works; however, most of the demo consisted of a speech.

3:28pm: HelloWallet announced that they will now be partnering with banks and credit unions, offering a financial wellness program. Specifically, they showed Retirement Explorer, a product that shows simple graphs to answer questions that are common to retirement. It also lets users update their retirement strategy directly from the app.

3:39pm: Fern Solutions talked about BayTree, a modern financial CRM that lets financial institutions get into new markets. They showed an interface that leverages access to Dropbox and Gmail to enhance the user experience.

3:44pm: Dealflow, a deal portal for institutional investors and professional deal-makers, discussed a second iteration of its site which personalizes feeds. Companies raising capital would be shown potential investors, whereas other users would receive news regarding companies and industries that are relevant to them.

3:58pm: Avoka discussed a cross-selling engine, Transact Bundles, that enables three product applications - checking, card and loan - in three minutes. Avoka touted its development of business banking bundles that increase the number of products per customer. The company is in the midst of raising additional capital.    

That's the end of day one. We're looking forward to tomorrow!

Topics: Technology