Finovate is the celebration of finance and money from the Silicon Valley perspective. The geeks wear blazers and the bankers leave their ties at home.
This year’s trends were simplification, visualizing money to better manage it, and personalized offers for financial products.
In the simplification area, Expensify has a great tool to outsource business expenses, and the company yesterday announced a powerful analytics framework which allows the business manager to see which employee spends what compared to others. Also, oFlows offers a paperless platform for loan origination to reduce cost, timing and be ecofriendly to banks. Focused more on transparency of process, Smartcredit and Zendough from Transunion show how a personal credit score is built and consequently help people.
Adapting the motto “you can manage what you can measure” to finance, DebtGoal and Bobber interactive are designed to help people better manage their money. Debtgoal helps you control your debts and renegotiate them using the proper data. Dedicated to teenagers, Bobber Interactive and its “casino” UI help youths achieve their goals (like buying an Xbox), using a lot of social gaming incentives.
The personalization of offers is a strong Internet value. Jemstep proposes it for investment purposes with a patented ranking search engine to classify which funds better fit you, and Ideon performs similar services for retail banking clients with its “choice savings” product.
There were also some “out of the box” concepts like POWR or the well-known Blippy but their value proposition is not yet clear.
To conclude, this spring 2010 edition was good but not amazing. Lots of good ideas and interesting start-ups, but no revolution in their offerings. There is still too much focus on B2C offers while B2B could be a fantastic market, considering what Cortera and Kabbage are solving in the B2B payment and lending areas. There are tons of things that can be done, but because it’s not as appealing as fancy Personal Financial Management products, few take risk.
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