Highlights from FinovateEurope 2018: Day one
Mapa is back at FinovateEurope and the first day of the 2018 event was full of interesting demos. Here are some of the highlights from day one…
Demo session one highlights
Product demo: SME-Pay by Vipera and Mastercard
Vipera and Mastercard are the first to take the stage. Simon Pearce, COO of Vipera, and Dick Paul, VP Small Business Products EU at Mastercard, start by noting how important it is for SMEs to be able to control their cards. The product they’re demoing is called SME-Pay and it allows business owners to manage how and where employees use their cards.
The team runs through the application process for a new employee card – the new cardholder can start using the virtual card instantly after approval. They show the audience some of the card management features within the app, such as the option to enable/disable cards, add individual card limits for payments online and maximum cash withdrawals. One of our favourite features was the option group cardholders into categories e.g. Sales, Marketing, Operations.
With this technology, the presenters show how businesses can also take direct payments from customers. The payment takes a couple of attempts to go through. Oh, the beauty of live demos!
Product demo: Progress NativeChat
The team at Progress, a company that ‘builds and delivers cognitive-first applications’, are bringing some much-needed developments to the world of chatbots. The demo for Progress NativeChat goes past without a glitch showing how simple it can (and should) be to interact with an AI-driven chatbot.
Progress demonstrates how its chatbot can be used for debt collection. Saving call centre operators time on laborious tasks that can easily be automated. The technology behind it is impressive. The audience gets to follow the process from when a customer is prompted to pay an overdue debt, to when they choose to pay it off in full or through a payment plan. The best part of the demo was when the presenters proved that the chatbot could tell the difference between a picture of a cat and a picture of a billed amount. In response, the chatbot answered, ‘Even though I enjoy animal pictures, we will need a picture with the invoice of your billed amount.’ Fair enough.
The FinTech attributes the smooth interaction and experience to their ‘cognitive flow’ technology, which, is said to offer a superior experience to chatbots that are built on decision-trees. It is said to generate a normal conversational flow, much like any person. Additionally, it doesn’t require customers to start over if they decide to change information halfway through a journey. The company made $397.6million in revenue last year.
Product demo: Face Check with Video by Onfido
The CEO and Co-Founder of Onfido, Husayn Kassai, is showing the ID verification process for a new user sign-up. He takes a picture of his ID card with the OCR scanner. Next, he is asked to film himself. He’s prompted to move his head from side to side and then asked to repeat three numbers. The movements and numbers requested are randomised.
With $60m in investments, Onfido has created a machine learning solution that ‘can help boost conversions by as much as 40%.’ The technology verifies new user identities by comparing face biometrics with ID documents. What sets Onfido’s Face Check with Video apart from other authentication technology, according to Kassai, is that it ‘can detect if it’s a picture or an alive person’ making it more secure than the Face ID technology we’ve seen hacked with masks in the past.
Product demo: CustomerOS by Backbase (Best of Show winner)
One of our favourite demos of the day was delivered by Backbase. Jouk Pleiter, CEO & Co-founder, walks out on stage dressed in a black suit and bowtie. He makes the case for ‘Smart Banking’ and bringing a white glove service to financial services. The next generation of Backbase’s Digital Banking Platform is packed with interesting features. It was impressive how much they managed to show in 7 minutes.
This white-label solution combines omnichannel, agile, open and smart banking into one comprehensive platform. The presenters show smart actions, automated actions, pro-active help and recommendations, e-commerce and lifestyle services. It is not surprising that they were one of the three winners of ‘Best in Show’. Well deserved!
Much like the discussions Mapa’s analysts had in our recent webinar, the platform shows how future banking apps need to go beyond products and integrate customers’ financial lives with their social lives.
Product demo: OpenPay for Business by Opentech
OpenPay for Business is another solution tailored for the SME market. Opentech’s white-labelled digital wallet allows businesses to manage their company cards and cardholders to manage expenses, both on desktop and mobile.
The platform has got some clever features such as the ability for cardholders to request a credit limit increase within the app. Playing the role of the employee cardholder who is about to go on an important business trip, Lisa Ann Caringi (External Relations & Communications) requests a credit limit increase through the app. The request goes directly to her manager, played by Stefano Andreani (CEO), who approves it with Fingerprint ID.
Carigni checks the options for blocking her card. She can choose to block it for particular countries but seeing as her character travels a lot, she activates a ‘follow my phone feature.’ We assume that it blocks the card from any other countries than the one her geolocation says she’s in.
Lastly, Carigni decides to go on a personal shopping spree using the company card – as some employees might do… She only needs to swipe a toggle in the transaction feed of the app to show that it is a personal expense, excluding it from the report, which is automatically produced for payroll.
While we would’ve loved a bit more background and depth to the characters in this roleplay, the platform has some exciting new features. Bank Austria, BNL (BNP Paribas Group), Chebanca! and ING Bank are only a few of Opentech’s clients.
Product demo: Quadient Inspire and Quadient Mobile Advantage
Quadient’s AI technology turns Facebook Messenger into a new banking channel. The white-label solution gives social-savvy customers the option to view balances, transfer money between accounts and apply for a loan within the social app.
In the demo, they showed a user with two connected APIs from different banks, a current account and a credit card. The credit card balance was higher than the current account balance so the technology suggested a loan to the user. The API integrations allow the users personal data to be pulled into the application form speeding up the overall application process. This is a new way for users to interact with their financial data that, according to the company, ‘will increase lending originated revenue.’
Demo session 2 highlights
Product demo: The Richest Transactions by Meniga (Best of Show winner)
‘Banks are missing out on some of the key content they have: the transactions that make up our financial lives,’ says Finnur Magnússon, Chief Product Owner at Meniga. Using banks’ own transactional data to complement that of third-parties, the FinTech has created a new, sleek user experience for transaction pages.
The Meniga team shows an activity feed on stage. It uses icons to categorise transactions and has a weekly report on spending. It’s a nice experience but where the demo really gets interesting is when they show the individual transaction page. Meniga has included merchant mapping, category-spend and – saving the best for last – a peer comparison graph. Users can compare their own spending to the average spending of other users. ‘Monthly engagements on the individual transaction page have grown from 3% to 45%’, says Magnússon. We’re not surprised.
Next up is a recommendation feature they’ve named ‘Challenges’. It suggests how the user can save some money. Mapa is all for recommendations to support financial health but it is not always easy to get it right. The example demonstrated recommends that the user should evaluate its subscriptions to save on the monthly fee, Spotify pops up as a suggestion – music-lovers would not be happy.
The platform makes clever use of geo-location and transaction history to recommend restaurants that the user hasn’t been to yet, pulling in information from retailers and Google (presumably) to show when the busiest times are and user ratings. It’s even possible to book a table at a restaurant without ever leaving the app.
Overall, the team at Meniga have elevated the customer experience of transaction pages. It comes as no surprise that they brought home the title of Best in Show. They got one of our votes.
Product demo: Twisto account with a credit card
After a successful Beta test on 4000+ customers, Twisto has launched a credit card built on a pre-paid card scheme with WireCard and Mastercard. Customers receive a credit limit of 1 month’s wage with the option to pay off the full balance each month or extending the payment by one month.
Nikita, its risk engine, uses machine learning and non-traditional data sources to perform a credit assessment. It claims to ‘analyse 400 data points per transaction in milliseconds’.
A novel feature that the team demoed is called ‘Snap’ and gives users the option to approve bill payments by taking thumbs-up selfies.
Twisto is particularly excited by the power of wearables. With each new credit card, customers also receive a payment bracelet. Michal Smida, Founder and CEO, says that he can even ‘see a future where they offer skin implants’.
Demo session 3 highlights
Product demo: KBC Bank Ireland, Instant Account Opening, with Google Pay
In the first session after lunch, Google and KBC Bank Ireland showed the bank’s Instant Account Opening App that uses Google Pay Push Provisioning API. The onboarding process is said to ‘ensure secure and simple mobile payments to customers.’
The presenters went through the 5-minute process to open an account. The identity verification was done by taking a selfie and a photo of the user’s ID card. A nice addition to the user experience is that the details were scraped from the ID card, in this case a driver’s licence, to populate the fields in the application form that followed on.
Once approved, the virtual card was added to Google Pay ready to be used online and anywhere contactless payments are accepted. The Instant Account Opening App is used to open 1 in 5 of KBC’s Extra Current Accounts.
Product demo: Card Control by Ondot Systems
What interests us most about Ondot’s solution is its integration with Facebook Messenger and member get member/gift card scheme.
Vaduvur Bharghavan, CEO and Founder, demonstrates how an existing customer receives a notification with a pending reward for inviting new users. The customer can send the invitation to contacts on Facebook messenger. If a contact decides to apply for a card, the applicant can go through the ID verification within the messenger app by taking a photo of their ID and selfie. The card doesn’t need to fit into a frame unlike many other ID verification technologies.
Once the new user has downloaded the new app, they can choose to use their Facebook credentials to create the account if they want.
Product demo: Retail-specific bank card loyalty by Yoyo Wallet
Yoyo Wallet’s Simon Moran & Dave Nicholson demoed the integration with Starling Bank. Thanks to the integration, Yoyo customers can use their Starling card and collect loyalty points in real time within the Yoyo app.
A new feature in the Yoyo app is that it includes VAT receipts for all transactions, there are fully exportable. Customers can also share vouchers and stamp cards with friends, which is nice. Sharing is caring!
After 4 years, Yoyo Wallet has got 1m active consumers making 2million transactions per month.
Demo session 4 highlights
Product demo: Horizn Employee Knowledge Platform and Horizn Customer Knowledge Platform
‘Innovation is nothing without adoption,’ a powerful statement by Janice Diner, the CEO and Founder of Horizn. Offering white-labelled knowledge platforms for customer and employees, the presenters demo one of each.
The first platform, used by Nationwide, uses videos and simulators to train employees on new features. Using badges as rewards for learning. The second platform is used by RBC to help customers navigate their mobile and desktop banking channels.
The Horizon Knowledge Platform is currently available to 400,000 employees and 30 million bank customers.
Product demo: Jiffee by Braintri
Both of Braintri’s co-founders, Maciej Stepien and Wojciech Zatorski, are on stage ready to show Jiffee. With the same level of drama as Horizn, Stepien chucks a debit card off the stage announcing that ‘cards are dead’.
This patent-pending technology is all about enabling payments – without cards. On stage, the team shows how a transaction can be made between a retailer and customer using a dongle that only needs to be plugged into the till to start accepting payments. The two presenters go on to carry out a phone-to-phone payment. For the grand finale, the co-founders bring out a gumball machine that unlocks after a mobile payment is made. Out pops a bubble gum.
Product demo: BlinkReceipt by Microblink (Best of Show winner)
The third Best of Show winner of the day, Microblink is a self-funded R&D company that creates real-time text recognition solutions (OCR) for mobile. The technology is designed to improve UX by replacing text input with scanning for arduous tasks such as paying bills or keeping track of expenses.
On stage, Microblink’s Luka Slibar, Business Product Manager, and Chad Wood, Product Manager, scan a receipt and show the audience the level of detail that is captured. BlinkReceipt can drill down into each individual product that was bought, which brings with is some very interesting data for banks. Not only can they see if their customers made a purchase at Tesco, they can see what groceries they’ve bought.
The company was made famous by its Photomath app that can read handwriting and solve math equations in real-time.
Product demo: U-nique behavioural biometrics by Secured Touch
Secured Touch uses behavioural biometrics to authenticate users. Through interactions with the device, such as sweeping and writing, the technology can determine whether a user is the owner of the phone. It only takes a few seconds.
Mark Freeman, Head of Business Development, starts by asking ‘why does the burden of authentication fall on us when we’ve done nothing wrong?’ He argues that instead of authenticating customers at one crucial point, perhaps we should allow the authentication process to work continuously in the background. It makes sense.
Freeman gives his phone to his co-presenter. On the big screens around the conference room, the audience can follow the analysis of the unauthorised user. The result of the analysis is a score that concludes that is, in fact, not Freeman holding the phone.
The argument for using it as an additional level of security seems obvious. But, if it is secure enough to be used as a standalone measurement, it could also remove the need for PINs and passwords.
At the end of day one, we leave with lots of information to digest. It has been intense but interesting, as always.