The second and final day of Finovate Europe saw 32 startups take the stage to try and impress a packed crowd of fintech VCs, journalists, bankers and experts. PFM, mobile payments and wealth management all made an appearance, often to a critical audience - while other firms attempted to push the boundaries of fintech, causing a huge buzz within Old Billingsgate and on social media.
The day began with a demo from Australia's Bendigo and Adelaide Bank which demoed a mobile-based payment system entitled 'Redy' which rewards its users with credits that can be put back into local community projects - the technology, while noble in its aims, was criticised for using the unpopular QR-code technology.
The first bitcoin-based project was showcased in the form of AlphaPoint, a white-label exchange platform for digital currencies. AlphaPoint, which has raised $1.5 million in funding, demonstrated how its proprietary platform served as a gateway connecting firms to digital currencies.
Credit score big hitter, Aire, showcased its re-scoring API which gives lenders the opportunity to re-score potential customers and onboard customers with thin credit files.
Watch Aire's founder, Aneesh Varma, explain why the industry needs his technology:
"We believe there's a large number of people who are looking for credit and want to move their life forward," closed Varma after the seven-minute presentation.
Much hyped KYC firm Trunomi, which has raised $2 million to date, impressed the crowd with TruCert, a technology which aims to simplify the incoming EU data protection regulations. TruMobile, its mobile app, gives financial institutions' customers the power to control their personal identification data. Watch Trunomi's CEO Stuart Lacey discuss the impact of data sovereignty law in the EU:
London-based Ixaris, which has raised $10 million to date, demonstrated a UI editor that banks can provide to a corporate customer to enable application customisation. Crucially, the platform provides an easy way for non-technical staff to make changes to an interface without compromising security.
London and Italy's Vipera demonstrated a card-control platform based on a mobile app. The app, Vipera Card Control, enabled banks' customers to control expenses, receive real-time transactions and monitor potential fraud. Social media users were quick to identify that Vipera is still locked to a physical, card-based system, despite card-virtualisation now becoming the preferred system of the industry.
Swiss software house, Crealogix, showcased a video-based method to complement financial advisory sessions. The product, which taps into a YouTube-generation's love for video content, aims to document client meetings in a more visually appealing way.
The first PFM tool came in the form of Norway's Evry. Evry presented Spendific, a tool targeted towards students to help them achieve personal financial goals. The impressive, sleek user interface received wide commendation on social media.
Misys, the global core-banking supplier, showcased its digital banking product, FusionBanking Essence Digital, and were one of the few companies who opted for a 'role-play' style presentation on stage. Crowd reception was generally positive towards the digital banking and PFM technology.
Quisk, a digital payment platform, showed off different types of transactions, using a merchant's existing POS, enabled via a customer's mobile phone number and secret PIN. Demoing a POS devoid of contactless technology was met by criticism from the audience.
Our first taste of capital-markets based technology came from German firm Next Markets. The tech demo connected trading coaches with private investors who want to learn active trading. Coaches have the ability to annotate charts and push the advice to clients.
Next up was Geneva-based digital payments firm Mobino that presented a smart-watch based payments system which integrates with existing POS technology, vending machines and tills.
The Mobino service is independent from all credit cards and telcos, offering an app for smartphones and a voice-activated system for older 'dumbphones'.
"We want to be an open platform for all the shops and chains," finished CEO Jean-Francois Groff.
After the lunch break came one of the most visually exciting demonstrations from Poland's fourth largest banking group mBank.
The mBank presentation quickly gathered momentum and excitement from the audience and on social media. MBank approached the divisive issue of branch banking by showcasing a high-tech bank branch featuring touch-screen displays and motion sensors, reminiscent of a modern art exhibition.
Finextra spoke to mBank's managing director, Jacek Iljin, about the future of branch banking:
New York and Helsinki-based Mistral Mobile, which is formed of ex-Nokia FS employees, demoed a mobile security app, m-Aegis. The technology is operator-agnostic and uses multi-factor authentication to ensure the security of payments. Praise was given for its ability to balance user experience with security.
Watch Mistral Mobile's CEO and ex-Nokia director Ludwig Schulze explain what makes his company stand out from the competition:
Perhaps the biggest source of entertainment on the day came from AdviceGames, a Dutch firm, which demoed a gamification-based platform for banks powered by artificial intelligence. A humorous presentation, which began with a juggling show, showed off the AI-based game which learns a user's playing style to display a financial health score, with the greater objective to educate users on how to better manage their finances.
Towards the end of the day Belgium-based KPAX took to the stage to tackle the issue of data reconciliation and data comparison on an institutional scale. Appealing to the data enthusiasts in the crowd - the automated regression testing and reconciliations across different silos, completed in minutes, as opposed to weeks, was an overall crowd pleaser.
As the event came to a close, 'best in show' winners were announced as Avoka, CoinJar, ebankit, eToro, Jumio, mBank & i3D and Meniga.