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Empathic banking – day two at FinovateFall 2018

Jerry Young closes day two with a roundup of FinovateFall 2018 in New York, which brings to an end 79 product demonstrations over two days, with some interesting themes bubbling to the surface.

Jerry Young closes day two with a roundup of FinovateFall 2018 in New York, which brings to an end 79 product demonstrations over two days, with some interesting themes bubbling to the surface.

empathic banking finovatefall 2018



26th September 2018

man crossed armed smiling at the camera

Jerry Young

The format of Finovate’s innovation demos certainly makes for a fast pace, with seven-minute presentation and the all-important “bell of shame” arriving too soon for some. Just three presenters bumped up against the stops, which isn’t bad for 36 presentations, but a total of 10 over the two days must be a record high!

Of the many themes across the second day of FinovateFall 2018 in New York, two were particularly interesting, especially for ieDigital’s target market, credit unions.

My key theme from day two

Empathic banking – As Gartner put it, “where the use of digital technology to identify important moments in customers’ lives and trigger actions to support them. Bank CIOs can use their digital banking platforms as foundations for orchestrating these customer interactions and driving new revenue.”

We saw some fascinating presentations on this topic, such as:

  • Donate to charity (ieDigital, Tinkoff Bank, and Bucket Technologies). All three technology platforms demonstrated use cases where customers can donate to charity either via a non-coin cash transition (in the case of Bucket) – quite novel – and improved financial fitness (our very own Money Fitness), resulting in spare cash at the end of the month.
  • Use of AI for empathy (Bond.AI, Payjo, Enova, ecosystem.ai). Going beyond empathy, these engines integrate with Amazon Alexa, providing insight over and above the question being asked such as, “Am I using the right credit card?”, which, having checked the customer is a frequent traveller, produced some interesting advice about cards suitable for booking air travel.
  • Co-browsing (Unblu, SaleMove) – in-person browsing that makes conversational banking a reality.

While banks struggle to increase customer engagement – partly because they continue to offer little more than basic transactions by lines of business (LOBs), which makes them vulnerable to competition from non-banks and neobanks that are better positioned to capture and respond to customer needs – I firmly believe that empathic banking will begin to draw battle lines between new and traditional approaches to customer engagement.

What else caught my eye?

– Golden. For those with elderly parents who need help with their finances, paying the bills and relationships with utilities etc.

Golden is an interesting idea. Based in San Francisco and founded In May 2016, it’s basically a financial caregiving app and website that helps you take care of your parents’ finances. Golden’s financial caregiving app and family collaboration platform socializes wealth management across generations, to secure the financial health of our seniors.

FinovateFall 2018 has been a veritable extravaganza of technologies and platforms. Credit to the organizers for a seamless flow of presentations, and not forgetting the highly polished and amusing Greg Palmer for hosting and keeping us true to the clock. Next up is Hong Kong in October and Cape Town in November. Hope to see you there.

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