By Anthony Voigt on Tuesday, 24 May 2016

I’ve just returned from Finovate’s May 2016 Conference in San Jose, where a clear theme emerged: a combination of digital self service + human interaction + artificial intelligence.

From an enormous range of 71 presenters (I think one dropped out) here are a few personal highlights from Day 1.

Payment Data Systems | Akimbo

Payment Data Systems offers the Akimbo Card, a prepaid or gift MasterCard.  The card can be either physical or virtual.   Traditionally a virtual card has been primarily used to support online payments (eg where you might not want to input the details of your regular credit card through a website).

What’s interesting now is that Payment Data Systems has linked the virtual Akimbo Card to Apple Pay:  ie you can provision the virtual card to the Apple Pay wallet.

Akimbo

So how’s this for a possible scenario?

  • apply for a credit card via your mobile phone
  • work through a simple account opening procedure
  • complete electronic ID verification and credit checks
  • have the card approved
  • receive the virtual card details to your phone
  • provision the card direct to Apple Pay
  • be up and spending within 5 minutes

Now I think that’s pretty cool.

Moven

Brett King from Moven took the stage with TD Bank to demonstrate the use of Moven’s personal financial management solution at TD Bank (Moven is now licensing the use of its PFM tools to banks).

Moven’s suite of PFM tools continues to expand.  It’s increasing attuned to the day-to-day circumstances of how a person spends and manages their money.

Moven

PS:  If needed, here’s evidence of Brett King’s ‘Fintech Rock Star’ status:  the queue to get a signed copy of his new book:

Brett King

BanQu

Probably the most motivating presentation at Finovate was from BanQu.

BanQu is an organisation with an unusual objective within the fintech industry:  ameliorating world poverty.

BanQu

It’s trying to achieve this by focusing on helping people in the most disadvantaged circumstances to move out of their situation with the help of BanQu’s digital identity solution.

The scenario presented was that of a refugee.  BanQu allows people to rebuild their identity when all of a person’s documents have been lost.  They can create a selfie-based ID with personal details, a photo, an iris scan, etc.  And over time they can leverage this to expand and deepen their identity record.

BanQu uses blockchain technology to store details of each person’s ID in a distributed ledger, so the record remains and cannot be expunged.

Off the back of the BanQu ID, people can rebuild or enhance their lives through email communication (linked to the ID), interacting with government agencies, receiving money etc.

Savedroid

Savedroid is a German startup with an interesting slant on saving money.

Most ‘auto-saving’ systems focus on simple savings mechanisms such as:

  • automatically putting aside $5 a week
  • taking a predetermined amount out of your pay and saving it
  • ’rounding up’ shop purchases to the nearest whole dollar and adding the difference to your savings (eg if an item costs $2.99, the system will debit $3.00 to your account, depositing $0.01 to your savings)
  • etc

Savedroid focuses on smart savings moves:  what it calls ‘smooves’.  The system allows the user to create a savings activity linked to (I imagine) pretty-much anything that can be tracked on your phone.  For instance:

  • walk into that high-end shoe store?  $10 gets put into your savings account
  • eat out at McDonald’s for the 3rd time in a week?  Set aside 5% of the purchase
  • spend more than 1 hour per day on Facebook?  Get hit with a $50 ‘savings fine’
  • go for a run?  Save $5

The options are limited only by your imagination…

Savedroid

WealthForge

The WealthForge Advisor Now platform is one of a number of investment management platforms targeting both investors and financial planners/brokers.

Through the platform the investor can undertake all the standard activities now delivered through these platforms such as:

  • creating an account
  • establishing an investment profile
  • setting up an investment plan and portfolio via roboadvice AI
  • including details of deposits held in a variety of banks, etc
  • overseeing and managing the portfolio through planning and budgeting tools
  • etc

The platform includes all the sorts of questions an advisor would ask the investor face-to-face.

It also provides the advisor with the ability to ‘get involved’ with the investor (if required) and engage… through the same tool.  The planner can see the investor’s portfolio and work with him/her interactively, thus combining digital and face to face service.

WealthForge