Three big trends on display at FinovateSpring 2018
FinovateSpring is a little less than a month away, and as we approach Finovate’s first US-based show of the year, it’s a good time to take stock of the high-level trends that will be on display.
Between presenters doing seven-minute demos of their innovative technology and thought-leaders sharing their visions of what’s in store for 2018, there are no shortage of trends to highlight. Here are three trends that are going to be big this year at FinovateSpring (and beyond):
1. Fintech integration
Companies who are innovating in a wide variety of areas within fintech are starting to focus on how to integrate those innovations seamlessly into back-end environments. Nearly a third of our presenters will be offering APIs or SDKs to help ease this pain point, and they come from across all areas of fintech innovation. APIs and SDKs are nothing new, of course, but to see so many companies looking to use those tools indicates that the market is shifting towards solutions that are easy to deploy and that play nicely with legacy systems.
2. Artificial intelligence and machine learning
It’s not exactly “new”, but artificial intelligence (AI) continues to permeate all aspects of fintech, to the point that soon we will no longer be able to call it its own category. We’re seeing AI solutions in security, payments, compliance, marketing, and more, and it’s difficult to imagine the trend reversing. In the past, AI was something of a curiosity. Now, however, it’s becoming a must-have.
3. Customer experience
Innovators are tackling all aspects of the customer journey, from the initial point of contact to the daily user interface that customers see as they engage with their finances. This focus on the customer continues a trend that we saw at FinovateEurope, where five of the seven companies who won Best of Show were working on projects that directly impact customer experience. As machines are able to take care of more and more basic customer interactions, financial institutions and innovators are working hard to make sure that customers are still getting individual attention and a positive user experience.
Finovate is a great place to see big trends play out, but it’s also a place to come get a glimpse of the trends of the future. Here are my predictions of the top three “iceberg” trends, where we’re just starting to see a piece of something big:
- Financial inclusion
There’s been noise in this space for a while, but there’s now a growing realisation that while financial inclusion certainly has a “social good” element, there are also massive opportunities to engage new groups of customers. Our West Coast show has always been a popular one for people coming from Latin America, and this year we’ll see two companies (Amigo and TENO) who are opening doors for financial institutions to engage with unbanked or underbanked people from Central and South America. These companies are taking financial inclusion out of the realm of “that would be nice” and into the realm of “why aren’t we doing this?”
- Open banking
This is a huge topic in European banking, and it’s starting to make its way into the American market. It’s still early days, but expect to hear a lot more about it in the coming months and years.
- Flexible loans
One company (Kasasa) will be launching a flexible loan solution, giving customers the ability to pay off their loan earlier to drive down their debt, or “take back” that money later on if they need it. This type of smart loan could be a game-changer, and while I don’t want to share too much before they demo, I believe the type of loan they’re pioneering will have a big impact on the lending space (and we’re excited to see them back on stage for the first time since 2011).
For more information on FinovateSpring 2018, including the full agenda, a complete list of presenting companies, and information on registering, visit www.finovatespring.com.