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Finovate Fall 2017, Live Blog Day 3

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MX offers a range of products for financial institutions and fintech companies. See our banking API here and see our fintech API here.


Today we'll be covering select presentations from the thought leadership panels at Finovate starting with an analyst all star panel.


9:45am Analyst All Stars 

Dan Latimore, Celent

  • The latest research from Celent found shows that customer satisfaction is the #1 priority for financial institutions
  • AI was a lower priority, perhaps because it's difficult for many smaller financial institutions to do anything about
  • "Customer experience is the differentiating product."
  • It's critical to stay human and to think about the human element of this work


Alyson Clarke, Forrester

  • Over the next ten years, change will happen at a faster pace than ever before
  • Financial institutions have a fear of missing out, so much that they often miss out on building strong foundations
  • Need to spend more time on process and culture gaps
  • Move from being data rich to being insight driven
  • Turn data into insights in real time
  • Move from siloed to connected
  • Embrace APIs


Jacob Jegher, Javelin Research

  • Don't overlook the importance of Baby Boomers
  • Baby Boomers are quickly adopting mobile banking, and they overwhelmingly like to bank online
  • "Deliver meaningful and tailored insights and advice"
  • "Reorient the branch experience"


Jim Marous, The Financial Brand

  • Last year 26 million devices were sold by Amazon
  • People are getting used to using voice commands to do business
  • "Fueled by big data and advanced analytics"
  • This will help us proactively provide advice
  • Singular goal should be to make banking simple
  • "Voice recognition accuracy has rapidly surpassed 90%" - Mary Meeker
  • 51% of consumers use voice assistants in a car


Ron Shevlin, Cornerstone Advisors

  • A few years ago pundits said that banks were going to go away
  • Institutions should embrace a platformication model, by which Shevlin means B2B2C commerce platforms
  • Banks are starting to buy toolkit capabilities such as developer portals
  • Marketplace lenders like Akouba, Kabbage, and LendKey are transforming the platform space


Kevin Morrison, Aite Group

  • In the past year, Millennials have increased the amount they check their mobile bank account by 25%
  • What's missing is the human factor and personal interaction
  • Integrate the digital experience with personalization
  • Example: Kevin was looking at products at his bank and later got a call from a customer service rep down the street


Stessa Cohen, Gartner

  • When people wrestle with large bills, they can feel overwhelmed
  • There are lots of options, but there a problems with all of them
  • "The fintechs and banks that transform banking will enable digital empathy"
  • Ideally, a bank's app would be attentive to the real-time needs of customers and offer solutions (payment plans, financial management help, etc.) as needs arise
  • Build empathetic products and services


James Wester, IDC

  • Digital transformation is all about process and strategy rather than adopting a particular technology
  • Bank spending on technology is growing rapidly, particularly on the digital experience
  • Spending on backend technology is set to grow rapidly
  • Focus on overall digital strategy

Banker's Guide to Big Data

11:30am The future of fintech regulation

Keith Noreika — Acting Comptroller of the Currency
Anna Irrera — Journalist, Reuters

  • Two perspectives to reg tech — regulators and banks
  • The trick is to balance both perspectives, which generally proves quite difficult
  • Banks are regulated differently than any other industry because a collapse could bring down the entire economy
  • Bank regulators must track the banks in real time because if they're wrong there might not be time to correct the problem
  • The question is how to harness the dramatic increase in new technology to make bank regulation more efficient
  • Regulators have to weigh the benefits of technology with the possible additional risks that come from these new technologies
  • The number one worry for regulators is cybersecurity, and regulators need to do a better job of co-ordinating to fight cyber fraud.


12:10pm Interview with a founder

Bradley Leimer — Managing Director and Head of Fintech Strategy, Explorer Advisory & Capital

Jon Stein — CEO and founder, Betterment

*On a personal note, we at MX consistently appreciate Bradley Leimer's work. Not only is he one of the smartest and most innovative minds in fintech, but he is easily among the most ethical — genuinely focused on making banking better for actual people. You probably already follow him on Twitter (@leimer), but if you don't, what are you thinking? Get on it. :)

  • Jon Stein opened with a story from his launch at TechCrunch, wherein he thought everything would be easy afterward but was quickly surprised to learn that wasn't so. His launch was just the beginning of the work.
  • Stein started his career by consulting to banks, thinking about ways to make the process better.
  • He's driven by a single question: "How do we make customer's lives better?"
  • Stein eventually wants to take Betterment public when the time is right
  • It took two and a half years to get to $50 million in assets under management, another two and a half to get to $1 billion, and another two and a half to get to $10 billion.
  • Betterment is focused on personalizing the experience with messaging advice in the product
  • They've launched bots to answer all the most common financial questions such as "Should I buy or should I rent?" 
  • Leimer says that his experience at smaller companies consistently tends to be better than his experience at mega companies
  • There's a lot of competition in this digital management space
  • Betterment's belief is that it's all about focusing on what customers actually want and what will delight them. Customers want convenience and peace of mind. This focus will lead Betterment to stand out in the market.
  • "Ultimately, financial services should be about providing advice."
  • Stein believes that tech startups have an advantage for three reasons: 1. More empathy for the customer 2. More agile 3. More able to hire better tech employees
  • Stein believes Betterment is different from companies like Vanguard because Vanguard is not as focused on investing in what's best for the customer.
  • Stein supports the fiduciary rule, but he's interested in being on the right side of the issue (i.e., the side that puts customers first) regardless of what happens
  • Leimer believes that every aspect of the financial industry should echo the fiduciary rule and put the customer first. Stein strongly agrees.
  • Stein says that Betterment wants to be the Amazon of financial services by driving price down and improving the digital customer experience.