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What a Day!

What a day!  So much great technology and innovation was presented throughout the day.  I admire everyone who gets up there to present.  It’s tough.  Being up on stage is much different than rehearsing in the mirror or in front of your colleagues in a conference room.   I have empathy for those that have to present in the final session of the day…yet alone the final session of the last day.  If I ever have to present during the final session of the last day I will be maximizing the entertainment factor replete with fireworks and maybe even a FinTech inspired musical number as a nod to Broadway. 

Wow!  There continues to be a lot of focus on consumer lending and loan origination.  Sigh. I have to admit that in my end-of-the-day brain presenting companies in this space are starting to sound the same. Verdi International and Defi Solutions presented technology designed to help lenders make better risk assessments and lending decisions using algorithms and decision models. Given the continual innovation focus in this area, the lending space must be really thirsty for innovation.  

I was intrigued by what Crealogix presented and how the technology mixes online learning with online banking.  I’ve come across banks that attempt to do this, but none do it well. Crealogix is touching on the “gamification” of this process which could be compelling if done right.  Crealogix is gaining momentum in Europe and hopefully there are opportunities for them here in the mid to lower tier banking market.  I can see a community bank having fun with this concept by creating a very local look and feel to the questions. 

OnDot really impressed me with its remote control for credit cards concept. At first I was thinking OnDot was very Coin.  However, the more I listened the more I realized the value of being able to turn on and off a credit card or to designate a specific spend category for a credit card.  That is cool and has huge implications for preventing fraudulent purchases.  For example, if a credit card is used to make online purchases it can be turned on to buy things…and then promptly turned off preventing any credit card number skimming that may happen on less secure sites. Secondly, a spendy college student can be shut down by turning off a credit card once a monthly budget is achieved.   

The other wow factor is around geo-fencing and the ability to tether the card to a location of a mobile device.  This feature will help consumers who lose a wallet or purse.  Banks will find this intriguing for it’s a point of differentiation for their bank’s cards.  I am not aware of any bank who offers this feature.   A regional or local community bank can really build up a user base with this unique service.  Well done.

Stock Pile was the one presentation that shared innovation not falling within the standard categories I’ve identified.  It was new. It was fresh.  It was also presented by someone who comes from my alma matter, eBay/PayPal.  It was also a little strange.  Stock Pile is the FinTech version of the savings bond your aunt and uncle gave you upon high school graduation.  For example, consumers can buy a share of stock for someone and provide it to the recipient through a gift card.  Hey, if your son or daughter is a Facebook addict, a share of Facebook stock may be fitting.  I struggle with if this is something consumers will actually do.  Conceptually it’s cool….but does your nephew really want a share of stock represented by a gift card?  The card will be thrown in the drawer with all the other gift cards he has. Hey, can the Kofax technology read the value of the stock on these cards!!? He he.  I’m sure their product and business model will evolve given the experience of two presenters.  It will be interesting to follow them.

OK… it’s the end of the day.  It’s time for an adult beverage, a few finger foods and riveting conversation.  I hope you have enjoyed my thoughts and commentary. 

Oh one last comment.  The San Jose Sharks are in a heated divisional play off set with the LA Kings.  The series is going into game 7 on Wednesday night at the SAP Center here in San Jose.  Sharks fans will be all over the place packing the SAP Center and all available bars and restaurants showing the game.  It will get crazy down here and the San Jose/ LA rivalry is high.  Punches will be thrown. Be careful out there (please hum the theme from “Wall Street Blues”).  Seriously.

Topics: Technology