3 Takeaways From Day 2 Of Finovate Fall 2019

The last demo day turned up more innovations.

 
 

By the time the last presenter demoed on the main stage late Tuesday, the lucky company was the 75th company to present its newest product or solution at Finovate Fall. 

If you missed CreditUnions.com’s coverage of day one, click here. Otherwise, here are three takeaways from the second day of Finovate.

No. 1: Forget Loans, Pay With Your Salary

According to 2018 estimates, some 1.7 billion adults worldwide are unbanked — meaning they do not have a bank account. Without a bank account, these individuals often find accessing the mainstream financial ecosystem difficult, if not impossible.

Though they don’t have bank accounts, many of these individuals do have jobs and London-based SalaryFits has built its business on that being enough. Once a user’s employment status is verified, he or she can apply for loans from partner financial institutions, and which are funded from payroll deductions on a set term.

If that’s not enough, the company has piloted a new solution in Brazil aimed to curb payday lenders. By using their salary, users can make purchases through QR-code scans at accepting merchants, like grocery stores and gas stations. Forget payday loans, the solution is disrupting the utility of cash, cards, and accounts.

While interesting, the solution begs a number of questions unanswered on stage: What happens if they lose their job? Is it smart to empower employees to spend like this? 

No. 2: Systems Integration Helps Take Back Control

By lunch, it became clear the buzzword of the event was API. Many presenting companies were built with and upon the ability to connect with others, integrating functionalities and datasets without which they may not exist.

Within this larger theme of making connections, a sub-theme emerged: connecting with hard-to-use or confusing applications and increasing a user’s level of control. 

Consider the core processor. How easy is it to make systems upgrades? Is your enhancement even on your vendor’s roadmap? Charlotte, NC-based Finzly introduced its Bank Operating System to solve for this. The OS integrates with a given financial institution’s core though it effectively runs on top of it, creating an app store framework through which a bank or credit union can add functionality quickly. 

The OS is pre-populated with payments, lending, and account opening functionalities, but a financial institution can use APIs or software development kits (SDKs) to implement new offerings itself without waiting for its core provider to roll out new updates.

Speaking of the core system, Arlington, VA-based Adlumin introduced a native security and compliance automation platform it says can be easily integrated into a financial institution’s core. Through their demonstration, the company showed that putting compliance at this level of the operation can help financial institutions actively track and manage red flags before they turn into enterprisewide problems.

The core system wasn’t the only out-of-control infrastructure on the innovating block at Finovate. Toronto, ON-based Cinchy has its sights set on a different big and (possibly) unorganized piece: the data warehouse. 

Cinchy’s platform aims to create a private internet for an institution’s data, incorporating visualization capabilities with CRM-level granular detail. And unlike read-only data warehouses, the solution allows authorized users to edit and change information on the network to keep data up-to-date.

No. 3: Presenters Showcase Compounding Authentication

At one point, biometrics were the next big thing in banking. Well, they’re here now. In fact, thanks to the iPhone, many people today are familiar with fingerprint and facial recognition authentication; many banks and credit unions are experimenting with voice as an authenticator, if they haven’t implemented it already.

Today, companies are finding ways to string together two or more of these personal identifiers to increase security at the point of authentication. Fortress Identity may have coined the next industry buzzword when it introduced the idea of “compound biometrics” as it demoed its Biometric Identifier solution. The Miami, FL-based company supports six biometric modalities.

SECUVE is also working on biometrics, though in a slightly different vein. Understanding that the most common form of authentication, tending a signature, has not been the most effective, the South Korean company took a biometric bent to fixing it. Rather than grading the likeness, the company grades the behavior. Is the signature consistent in speed? Angle? Direction? For a form of authentication that’s never been best in class, this company is working to make it better.

These are only two companies, of course, and many hundreds more offer their own biometric abilities designed to quickly authenticate identities. Vancouver, BC-based Trulioo ambitiously aims to centralize this framework into the largest identification marketplace ever built. 

Through APIs with some 400 datasets — some biometric — the company claims it can verify the identities of five billion people worldwide. Soon, it will lend its network to roommate-search company WeStay, though it’s easy to see the potential benefits of such a framework to compliance departments at financial institutions. 

Let’s hope they think the same.

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Sept. 25, 2019


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