Artificial Intelligence, A Mobile-First Workplace, And The Death Of The Credit Card

Three takeaways from day two of Finovate Fall 2017.

 
 

After the second day of Finovate Fall 2017, 76 companies had live-demoed their products and services to the assembled crowd, nearly nine hours of content.

Not surprisingly, several trends have emerged.

For one, customer relationship management tools continue to inspire new fintech investment. Second, dual authenticating transactions and other financial decisions across devices will soon become table stakes for lenders. And third, fintech players really want to make the stock market easier to understand.

Here are three takeaways from the second day of Finovate Fall 2017.

No. 1: Artificial Intelligence Rules Everything Around Me

Sensory, the first company to demo on day two, asked a loaded question: “Why can’t we communicate with consumer financial electronic products like we do with others?”

One of the brass rings for financial service applications — apparent at Finovate — is the ability to incorporate natural language conversations within products and services.

Sensory demoed an in-app AI avatar it will release to the public in the first quarter of 2018. To initiate financial transactions, it requires face and voice authentication, however, housekeeping functions such as ordering checks and finding nearby ATMs do not require biometric authentication. Below, see a video of the avatar in action.

 

 

Another company demoing AI capabilities was Finn.ai, a personal banking and financial management assistant. The company aims to simplify banking by allowing consumers to interact with natural language conversations on the platforms they already use — including Facebook Messenger, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Home.

The program is pre-programmed to answer hundreds of questions without human agent interaction, but has the capacity to get smarter over time as agents field questions the program is not equipped to answer.

AI was also featured in Envestnet’s Yodlee Financial Wellness Solution, a tool that provides actionable financial guidance by leveraging the preferences of 23 million app users and 70 billion transactions to generate conclusions and advice.

The app focused on four categories of a user’s financial life: spending, saving, borrowing, and planning. It rates each on a scale from red to yellow to green. Users can see how other people with similar financial profiles are spending, saving, borrowing, and planning, and the app leverages AI to advise users itself how to make smarter financial decisions.

In addition to Finn.AI, Yodlee (and, below, Jiffee) were voted Finovate’s 2017 “Best of Show” winners. There were seven winners total.

No. 2: Are We Shifting To A Mobile-First Workplace?

Consider the mobile phone: in 2017, it’s become a deeply ingrained part of an individual’s personal life. Soon, it may become just as large a part of work life, too.

At least, that’s the potential power of Samsung’s DeX station, which allows users to turn their Samsung mobile phone into a PC-like experience.

The DeX itself is a docking station for a user’s Galaxy S8/S8+, or Note8, and about the size of a hockey puck. The use case is simple: some things are just more easily done on a desktop, like sending an email or copying and pasting between apps.

But while to DeX allows users a larger screen on which to complete tasks, it retains the mobile functionality and layout that clunky desktops fail to emulate. 

 

 

In addition, the DeX incorporates a level of biometric authentication to the desktop. If enabled, the mobile device recognizes a user’s eye, face, and fingerprint to ensure the only user of the desktop is indeed the true user and not a malicious party. Without this authentication, the desktop blurs so that sensitive information can’t be easily stolen.

No. 3: Cards Are Dead

Based on the demo from the Poland-based Jiffee, the payments card may well be dead.

Jiffee uses patent pending technology, leveraging Bluetooth proximity authentication (rather than NFC) to allow any Android or iPhone to send and receive payments. Retailers can also accept Jiffee mobile payments on legacy POS systems by hooking up a Bluetooth adapter.

Like, say, Apple Pay, consumers need to link an existing credit/debit card, bank account, or other payment source. Operating range is between 2-4 inches, and users confirm the payment. Transactions greater than $25 require Touch ID verification.

The app promises the ability to pay anyone, anywhere, with only a phone. Its potential may be significant, something Finovate attendees recognized as well, voting it “Best of Show” for 2017.

 

Sept. 12, 2017


Comments

 
 
 
  • Thanks for sharing a review. 1. AI is definitely the future, though animated avatars may not be. Think more the computer on the Enterprise. 2. Mobile first is essential for all decisions today. 3. However, the last part about payment cards being dead? It feels like the "iPhone killer" again. Even after reading about the tech on the company's website, I fail to see the appeal. Instead of requiring a 2014+ phone (which people who would use contactless payment will likely have), you require merchants to add a proprietary adapter? Ok. Also, this sentence has to be wrong: "Transactions greater than $25 require TouchID verification." I want *every* transaction protected, as it is today on all mobile payment systems. The future is seamless interconnectivity. That means everything works with everything. Easily. Plan with that in mind and you're on the right track.
    Joe Winn