FinovateWest Digital is a wrap. And with our second, all-digital fintech conference now in the books, what have we learned about the state – and future – of fintech after three days of live demos, keynote addresses, and expert discussions?
Every Year is the Year of the Customer
The COVID-19 crisis has sensitized businesses to the speed at which consumer behaviors can shift. These shifts can both accelerate existing trends as well as to create new trends that had not been broadly anticipated. Whether this has meant embrace of digital technologies or improving the efficiency and security of incumbent solutions, businesses in have learned to listen more and move faster when it comes to responding to customer needs.
Maybe “The Era of the Customer” is a better way to describe the New Normal between businesses and consumers. With Big Tech, Big Banks, and a host of other financial and fintech providers increasingly competing over the same financial services turf, the most obvious and potentially enduring winners of this contest are most likely to be the consumers those firms are battling ferociously to serve.
Find a Friend!
There was a moment on the final day of FinovateWest when the moderator of a panel on challenger banking turned to his panelists and asked: “we hear a great deal about partnerships with incumbent financial institutions? What value do partnerships have for upstart institutions like challenger banks?”
The question took the neobanking innovators a bit by surprise, at first. But the idea of the innovators turning to innovators to help them add key elements to their offering, or to ensure that their solution is safe and secure is as much a part of the promise of fintech as is “disrupting” incumbents – if not more so. In the same way that our developers conferences helped shine a light on those professionals whose skills make everything from UX to back office operations that much better, so to do events like FinovateWest Digital provide a valuable space for all the players in the fintech ecosystem to meet and do business together.
Partnership is the fastest way to add competencies. You can’t innovate faster than someone who has already figured it out.
Live/Digital is Our Destiny
For those who fear a future of AI-powered robot overlords, the growing consensus among technologists is that AI will most likely and effectively be used in coordination with and support of human activity. In other words, rather than be replaced, human beings are more likely to be merely “enhanced”.
Similarly, even as news of a potential COVID-19 vaccine becomes more common and optimistic, we see a role for both digital-only and live-with -digital fintech conferences for the forseeable future. That’s not just for our upcoming Finovate Fintech Fulltime Review, December 7 through 11, but for our big events in 2021, as well.
For now, our upcoming events for European and West coast audiences are still slated to be digital-only affairs in March and May of 2021, respectively. But like those increasingly agile banks, financial services companies, and fintechs we praised above, we’re looking forward to engaging our audiences – live in-person or online and digital – wherever they are and every way we can.
FinovateWest Digital is still available On Demand for registered attendees. Check out live demos from our Best of Show winning companies, videos of our keynotes and panels, and more!