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FINOVATE SPRING 2016 – MIKE GILES REVIEWS DAY TWO

Mike Giles reviews day two of San Jose’s Finovate Spring 2016 event. Congratulations to the best of show winners and all of the finovators who took part in two exceptional days of fintech innovation. 

Author: Mike Giles, CTO, Ignition Wealth.

After the high-octane demos of day one, Finovate Spring 2016 day two hit the ground running as Finovate Event Director Greg Palmer kicked off the day.

While the majority of the presenters were American, there was a small delegation from Europe, and a scattering of finovators from around the world. It left me curious to know more about the innovation happening in the rest of the world, especially in the rapidly evolving Asian fintech hubs.

When I attended Findevr in New York earlier this year I could see that the majority of US fintechs typically have access to greater funding than early stage Australian businesses. My guess is that most of the fintechs we saw would have already secured at least US$5 million in capital. At Finovate Spring 2016 the benefits of a secure cash flow runway were again apparent in the confident style of their development and their ability to commit to a bigger push.

Ignition Wealth is comparatively well funded in the Australian fintech field both through our capital raises and through existing customer revenue, I realised how much more flexibility that gives our own development team to push for innovation.

That said it was great to see fellow Sydneysiders Vix Verify taking the stage with their end to end green id solution which uses multi-factor biometric verification to automate the traditional verification process. Their consumer first consent driven product deals nicely with both security and privacy compliance.

All the way from Krakow in Poland, Comarch brought a sci-fi flavour to their demo as their tool adds virtual reality to wealth. With a virtual reality headset and spacey visualisations the tool looks like a Star Wars fighter pilot’s headset dashboard!

LendingRobot, a fully automated platform is advancing the popular peer-to-peer lending industry by combining cloud technology and machine learning algorithms, with the aim of reducing the lending risk. While the technology was impressive the people around me were all wondering about the compliance issues that could come with the tool.

Silver6 brought the audience a truly new experience, unique, personalised video content created on a mass scale. Customised infographics and video, generated automatically from data to deliver easy to understand video content for every client. I’m imagining compliant, unique statements of advice in a clear and concise video format that is really consumer first.

PayActiv delivered one of the many mind blowing statistics that filled both days, telling us that two out of every three families in America is currently living with financial stress, while 90 million Americans live pay cheque to pay cheque with less than $400 in savings. PayActiv aims to disrupt the destructive cycle of payday loans by giving workers access to wages they have already earned but have not yet been paid. PayActiv also offers a simple mechanism for savings and very comprehensive end to end tech. A great mission backed up by user friendly technology.

Finovate announced their best in show tools, BanQu, LendingRobot, PayActiv, Quid, SaleMove and Silver6 all of which were exceptional fintech innovations. For me, SaleMove and Silver6 were undoubtedly the standout offerings of the two days while Banqu is remarkable because it is groundbreaking, humanitarian and solves a huge, audacious goal. Fintech at its best.

Read Mike’s review of Finovate Spring 2016 day one here, CEO Mark Fordree’s review of Finovate Europe here and find out more about the history of Finovate here.