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Finovate Spring 2016 – Mike Giles Reviews Day One

Following a great day one at Finovate Spring 2016 in San Jose, Ignition Wealth CTO Mike Giles reviews the innovations and shares his choice of stand out presentations.

Author: Mike Giles, CTO, Ignition Wealth.

We had a great first day here at Finovate Spring 2016! Reviewing the 36, seven minute presentations I saw, it’s clear that there is plenty for the Australian fintech market to take away from day one’s sessions.

While many of the solutions are very USA-centric, one of the key international themes in fintech innovation is the rise of richer omni-channel interactions to deliver a truly seamless customer experience.

CallVu allows customers to engage simultaneously via multiple communication methods. A customer’s call to the service centre, the interactive voice response (IVR) technology and the smart app all simultaneously link.

Also in the omni-channel field are Empyr who are linking smartphone advertising apps with real in-store experiences and managing the customer experience right up to the checkout counter.

Meanwhile there is cool technology from companies like like Kore which has smart natural language bots answering queries on email, messenger and text, allowing the consumer to engage on their own terms via the channel of their own choice.

At an event where consumer first was a key theme, one of the standouts was SaleMove. The SaleMove technology aims to make the online experience just as friendly as being in store, with popup advisers ready to help via chat, video and screen sharing.

Day One of Finovate Spring 2016 was packed with really exciting innovation; some of the most impressive demos were from Moven, IBM and WorthFM. Moven, a fellow Australian fintech innovator, is now white labelling real time expense management to banks while IBM showcased clever predictive analytics leveraging. WorthFM a financial robo-advisor created by women with the avowed intent to financially empower women was also a particularly interesting offering.  

In just a few hours at Finovate we were hit with a wide variety of statistics, many of which were mind blowing. One of those stats came from Finova Financial, a car title lending app that aims to assist Americans in the short term lending market who have traditionally had to hand over their cars to access short term loans. Finova Financial stated that over 50 percent of Americans are unable to find $400 in an emergency!

The feel good app of the day had to be Banqu which provides a humanitarian solution to refugee poverty by using biometrics to create identities for displaced individuals who have left every part of their lives behind. The cool tech twist is that it’s built on blockchain!   

All in all, day one of Finovate Spring 2016 showcased a lot of cool apps and gave me plenty to think about. As I rode a crowded train to San Francisco on the night of a big baseball game I was excited for the next day and to see the fintech innovators taking the stage on Finovate Spring 2016 day two.

Read Mike’s review of Finovate Spring 2016 day two here, more about Finovate here and CEO Mark Fordree’s review of Finovate Europe 2016 here.