This year’s Finovate Europe event in London showcased a healthy amount of vendors targeting the wealth space. But have fintech players opted to court the wealth industry’s traditional incumbents over going directly to the clients? John Schaffer highlights the three key takeaways that you need to know
The Finovate Europe event, which took place on February 7 and 8 in London, allowed fintech players to showcase their offerings through seven minute presentations to a room full of financial services industry players, analysts and journalists. Technology tailored to the wealth industry was a dominant theme during the 2016 event and it certainly caused a buzz. However, this year’s wealth offerings seemed to be monotonous in contrast.
Here are the three key takeaways that stuck out:
Fintechs are looking to collaborate with traditional players
At this year’s Finovate, the fintechs were notably less ambitious in their aims to disrupt banking market.
Collaboration through APIs and white label solutions appeared to be the strategy for WealthTech providers. This is perhaps reflective of the performance of the overly hyped robo-advisors. Most have yet to release their assets under management (AuM) figures, and the attractiveness of collaborating with traditional incumbents, who have large amounts of capital on their books, must be apparent.
Even robo advisors who are well established, such as Wealithfy, were keen to share their architecture with traditional incumbents. The robo advisors mainly presented the usual selection of passive portfolios.
Collaborations do seem to be the best way forward for the industry and is most beneficial to the end client.
Wealth management APIs are on the rise
Wealth focussed application programming interfaces (APIs) were far more prevalent at this year’s Finovate.
APIs allow for fairly seamless integration between fintechs and traditional players. An API provides a modular way to add new functionality to a pre-existing system.
Notable APIs included Comarch’s in-car portfolio management tool and a digital security box service from DSwiss.
Amazon Alexa is this year’s key gimmick in customer interaction
Amazon’s Alexa product was featured in numerous presentations at this year’s Finovate.
Most notable was Aixigo’s showcase of Alexa’s functionality into its wealth management API, which was using artificial intelligence (AI) to interact with clients via voice activation.
AI made an apperance several times over the two day event.
(For more details and highlights on the companies that presented check out our Special Reports section)