With over 1400 top tier FinTech professionals under one roof, FinovateFall 2017 cultivated a sophisticated audience of financial professionals looking for transformative and disruptive technologies.

We proudly took to the main stage and demo our personalized video tool, INDIVIDEO, which enhances the advisor experience by simplifying complex financial concepts and presenting a story that is custom-rendered for each viewer as if the best financial advisor was with you, by your side.

Our demo received excellent reviews and we’ve come back with a wealth of knowledge that we would like to share with you.  Here are some of the hot topics and insights gained:

BLUERUSH present AI enabled virtual assistant at Finovate 2017.

BLUERUSH presents our AI-enabled virtual assistant at Finovate 2017.

1. Artificial Intelligence & Chat Bots

Intelligent financial assistants are attempting to bring humanization to financial technology. Scrap that cold interface and replace it with an individualized, life-like, knowledgeable robo-advisor informed by real-time consumer-supplied data. The ability for this kind of personal service to strengthen the digital customer experience will be significant as the technology continues to evolve.

We received steady feedback that personalized video is an important tool in bringing scale and consistency to traditional sales processes while lending a more personal and human touch to AI-driven Digital Assistants.

AI chat bots attempt to bridge the gap between purely digitized wealth management, and purely human financial advisor services (but still fall short because of the polarizing nature of this spectrum). We’ve found video to be an integral tool in connecting humans and digital assistance together.

At this point in time, acceptance of AI chat bots is at 11% among consumers – that’s a relatively positive adoption rate considering Tim Urban posits that we are roughly 20 – 40 years away from artificial superintelligence.

2. Voice Banking and Biometrics

Mobile wallets corner the market. With a decidedly mobile-first mindset, a number of Finovate presenters demonstrated new accessibility and security standards for digital payments. In keeping with voice-instructed tech like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, FinTechs like Malauzai integrate voice into the processing of payments.

Further use of biodata (voice, fingerprint, face scan) to make digital transactions was expressed on Day 2. BioCredit spoke to facial recognition, Privakey uses the cloud to eliminate password authentication, Sensory pairs AI with biometrics to present users with a virtual bank teller, Uniken unveiled their identify confirmation system which spans multiple channels for verification. David Pinski from the Financial Innovation Lab at Hitachi tweeted: “#finovate – Trending – the “Alexa-fying” of #fintech. Voice is everywhere this year.”

3. APIs

This may sound like old news at this point but APIs are a still a FinTech necessity. Financial services, especially banks, LOVE APIs – they love integration and data mastery. Refined data architectures enable the metaphysical bank’s back, middle, and front offices. Fluidity of data opens up banking, allows FinTech to cross boarders, do more with their data and push boundaries for mobile access, philanthropy, investing, P2Ps and so much more. Frictionless payments and digital financial management are endgame; APIs are the key.

Open banking enabled by APIs offers customers an elevated experience, increases adoption of products, and connects transactional metrics across platforms. With the European Union’s Payment Services Directive 2 (PSD2) coming in to effect in January 2018, global banks will be forced to open up some of their customers’ account information to third parties – many of which are not traditionally seen as Financial Institutions (ie. Facebook and Amazon). It’s no wonder APIs were the talk of the town at Finovate as we draw closer to the PSD2 launch date.

4. Millennial vs. Boomer Tech

The millennial generation is still of critical interest. 33% of millennials say they won’t ever need to enter a physical bank. Millennials are maturing and pushing expectations for digital transactional experiences (P2P payments, investing, student loans, mortgages). They enjoy access to the most sophisticated technical infrastructures to date, and it is not at all shocking that they level that expectation right back onto their financial institutions.

Jacob Jegher, SVP of Banking and Head of strategy at Javelin, opened up in a discussion begging FinTech developers not to forget about his generation – baby boomers. Small businesses and boomers present a sustained stronghold in the financial sphere and it is best not to forget about these key players. Jegher’s comments stirred up quite a buzz at the conference and on Day 3, in a summit on banking innovation for older adults, Elizabeth Loewy of EverSafe concluded, “Technology and aging can be used in the same sentence.”

5. Simplification and Mortgage Tools

Mortgage Cadence was first to break the conference’s moratorium on mortgage talk. This received a resoundingly positive response as presenters and attendees alike agreed on social media that anything to simplify the mortgage process was of critical value to boomers and millennials alike. This subject was of specific interest to us at BLUERUSH, based in Toronto, where mortgaging is not only topical, but also unfailingly central to political and financial discussion and policy.

An overarching theme of Finovate is the desire to simplify through improved customer engagement and digitization. Mortgage came out on top as a main area where this ideology can be applied but this issue extends to investing, student loans, savings – fundamental wealth management activities that are misunderstood, convoluted, and improperly used by income earners.

BLUERUSH receives Presenter’s Plaque for live demo on humanized digital assistance.

Key Takeaway

Honorable mentions go to: cyber security, text banking, InsurTech and RegTech.

To wrap up the conference, Jim Marous of The Financial Brand said it best: “The path to winning is providing better customer experience.” Jon Stein of Betterment echoed this sentiment with, “You have to start with the customer and what the customer wants.” People will always need to exchange and transact finance. The deciding factor as to who they partner with: user experience. User experience is emphasized in every one of our top 5 FinTech Trends and we’re excited to see how these trends evolve in 2018.

About BLUERUSH

Since 2003, our tools have helped the top North American financial institutions, including wealth, banking, and insurance, to create empowering and competitive digital financial experiences. We’re revitalizing financial tools and services to help your customers make active financial decisions with absolute confidence in your products.

If you’d like our expert opinion, contact us.

About the Author:

A scientist by training and technology geek by day, Matt has played a major role in tackling operational challenges and drilling what matters most to customers. Value is relative, and so is data. Matt finds ways to get strategy working to bring to life value to customers. Give him a shout or read his blogs to get the lay-down and know-how of customer experience

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