The Finovate conference, held twice each year in New York City, always seems to bring out the latest and greatest innovations in the finance world. This week’s FinovateFall didn’t disappoint, and MyBankTracker.com was there to get a glimpse at the best new consumer-centric web and mobile services.
The 56 companies to showcase their products at Finovate included industry-specific offerings as well as more consumer-facing innovations. A few of the more mainstream breakthroughs piqued our interest. Here are a few of our favorites:
Dynamics, Inc. — We had already written about Dynamics back in September when the company announced its Payments 2.0 card technology. Dynamics, led by young CEO Jeff Mullen, made a big splash at Finovate when it announced a partnership with Citi that will usher in the next generation of credit cards, starting this November. Dynamics could enhance many different aspects of the credit card experience, from security to reward redemption to multi-account functionality.
Betterment — Betterment (along with Plantly) is a tool that aims to simplify investing for its users. You sign up for Betterment and tell the site what you want to get out of investing (being more specific than “money,” of course). From there, the site uses its investing platform to analyze your needs and come up with an investment plan. The service charges a flat annual fee based on how much you invest. Plantly is a solid product, as well, but it is still an invite-only Beta site.
SecureKey Technologies — SecureKey could be grouped with Dynamics in the “really, really cool inventions” pile. With SecureKey, you can make online purchases or money transfers without stopping to enter your information every single time. Just plug in the SecureKey USB device and tap your credit card on top of the USB receiver. Tapping your card on the SecureKey makes it possible for you to move money around without inputting your information.
‘Best In Show‘
The conference holds a “Best In Show” competition, in which attendees are allowed to vote for their favorite of the 56 demos. The voters selected seven innovations that stood above the rest of the field.
Here are the top seven Best In Show companies, in alphabetical order:
- Betterment — A site that offers easy-to-follow investment advice based on a series of questionnaire-based advice on stock and bond purchases.
- BillShrink — A site that helps users cut costs on bills by offering alternative TV and cell phone packages, along with bank rates and credit card rates.
- Bundle — A Mint.com-like tool that aims to help consumers stick to a budget by comparing their spending and saving habits to others in the same demographic.
- Dynamics, Inc. — This product engineering company announced a partnership with Citi to release the “Second Generation” of credit cards, which include customizable features and embedded buttons.
- oFlows — This green banking firm gives banks ways to go paperless with “fully paperless originations platforms.”
- PayNearMe — A service that gives unbanked or underbanked consumers an opportunity to pay for online purchases with cash. The company has partnered with 7-Eleven.
- SecureKey Technologies —This new contactless card reading service allows consumers to shop online or make money transfers without inputting their card information in any online fields.