Face-ing The Facts At Finovate

Authentication advancements that empower mobile lending were among the highlights during the annual fall financial innnovations event.
Gene Kehoe

Taking in 70 or so presentations in two days sounds like a lot, and it was, but there’s a reason the Finovate conferences are such a must-do for folks in financial services. Every forward-thinking firm should consider sending someone. The take-homes are considerable.

For us at Credit Union Student Choice, FinovateFall 2015 in New York City showed us some solid solutions now or soon available that our industry can use to make member lending so much more friction-less, especially on mobile devices.

Gene Kehoe, Manager of Vendor Relations, Credit Union Student Choice

For example, how about an app that lets you take a picture of a driver’s license and then compares it against you to verify identify? That was there. There also were other solutions that use sophisticated algorithms to recognize keystroke behavior and other personal characteristics to make sure there’s no identify fraud going on.

Another presenter showed off software that enables users to talk into a smartphone to verbally fill out a loan application, further minimizing the need to use tiny keyboards to enter data.

A number of other new products were about alternative ways to move money around, using methods that could certainly help credit unions reach out more effectively to the underbanked and the non-banked.

Rewards also were a big deal. Multiple ways to reward users especially attractive to millennials were demonstrated. Here’s a big takeaway for me: It seems even a $5 Starbucks card is enough to entice someone to complete a $20,000 transaction.

And no financial technology show would be complete without some talk around big data. There’s so much consumer data out there, how to best use it has become a brass ring for so many in our industry. A lot of the solutions I’ve mentioned use big data, slicing and dicing public and proprietary information to ease banking processes from end to end. There were a couple that act like Outlook that allow users to pay bills by smartphone.

Some of these solutions seemed esoteric and even theoretical, but we all know how quickly things change. Remember when online banking was a concept, and then just a niche? That didn’t last long. And it wouldn’t surprise me to see a lot of what we saw at Finovate become mainstream in just a few short years.

Want to learn more? I’ll be happy to share more details about what we saw, including the specific innovative products and their developers.

Gene Kehoe is manager of vendor relations for Credit Union Student Choice. He can be reached at (202) 552-8258 or gkehoe@studentchoice.org.

Credit Union Student Choiceis a multi-owned CUSO developed to position credit unions as leaders in education financing. Callahan & Associates is a partner in CU Student Choice.

October 6, 2015

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