We summarise our journey to demo at Finovate and what we learned from other speakers, as well as what is next for mmob.


Last week, mmob had the pleasure of attending Finovate Europe 2022. We had spent weeks planning and perfecting our demo, finalising our stand and pitch, and scheduling meetings with attendees.

Irfan Khan, mmob’s CEO, summarised his thoughts: “Face to face meetings are back and Finovate was a great example of how productive networking and knowledge-sharing is when in person. I loved seeing new innovative products mmob can learn from and we will continue to thrive to improve further”.

Here’s a summary of our time at Finovate.

Demoing

That 7-minute slot on stage was the event the team had been anticipating most. Irfan and Jake (CEO and Product Manager respectively) had been planning, rehearsing and learning their cues for weeks. Having demoed to the rest of the company and friendly partners, we were confident the demo would go smoothly (and finish before the dreaded bell of 7 minutes).

Not only did the demo run smoothly, it was perfect! APIs ran quicker than they had usually, there were no blank pauses or missed cues, delivered seamlessly by two confident presenters. We received very positive feedback throughout the day from attendees and those that tuned in online. At the end of the day, we were honoured to receive a coveted Best of Show award, alongside Dreams, Finshape, SESAMm and Trulioo. This was voted for by attendees and confirmed the team’s pride in the demo that had been delivered. Stay tuned if you missed the demo, we will be using it a lot in the future!

Learning

One of the greatest things about attending industry events is the opportunity to listen and learn about all sorts of industry topics. Below are just a few of the highlights:

David Brear (11:FS): The Biggest Trends in Fintech in 2022

One aspect of this keynote that stuck out and is repeated by 11:FS is the difference between digitised (putting analogue products online), and truly digital (designing products for a digital space). One example is the difference between traditional banks allowing users to view their transactions through an online portal, and accounts designed by challenger banks that allow immediate set up with minimal clicks and any customer service requirements are available in the app. The stepping stones of analogue –> digitised –> digital have been a natural progression for the industry, and it is in this digital stage that new, innovative financial solutions will emerge.

David pulled up a list of trends that sit within the ‘truly digital’ camp, and naturally we were very pleased to see ‘embedded journeys’. The opportunities for innovation using embedded finance is particularly appealing to the industry, and is something we are very passionate about at mmob.

Panel: Financial Inclusion

This panel featured Natalie Ledward (Monzo), Sanghamitra Karra (Morgan Stanley) and Birce Ciravoglu (Papara), chaired by Anette Broloes (Broloes Consult).

Financial inclusion should reach into all aspects of a company, whether designing the product to be as inclusive as possible or in customer service conversations. There are lots of ways to identify vulnerable, underrepresented users, or those not traditionally supported by financial services.

One interesting tip was to think about what information is needed and be selective with how that data is used – for example, does a bank need to know a customer’s gender to set up a bank account? Not necessarily, but that data might help a bank to personalise products or offer additional support. Another point looked at how a lot of innovation within financial services focus on seamless, digital experiences, which has the potential to isolate groups such as the elderly or users with additional needs. There is no ‘correct’ way to implement inclusion within financial services, but to continue to test and learn from your users.

Panel: From Competition to Collaboration & Cooperation

This panel featured Thea Loch (Lloyds Banking Group), Carlos Rodrigues (Match-Maker Ventures), and Kathy Chang (DNB), chaired by Hayley Bromilow (Innovate Finance).

This is a topic we’ve explored in our blog before, and an industry shift we owe a large part of our proposition to! It was interesting to hear from representatives of large financial institutions on how incumbents should alter their partnerships process to accommodate fintechs that cannot wait months for decisions to be made via legacy processes. The panel also discussed opportunities for fintechs to better prepare for partnership discussions through personalisation, addressing pain-points and foreseeing potential obstacles. A question that was left unanswered, was why the panellists think there has been a shift away from competition towards collaboration – a question for another day!

Chris Skinner (The Finanser): How COVID has transformed Global eCommerce and Omni-Channel Payments

A favourite one-liner from Chris was that he dislikes the term ‘embedded finance’. Instead, he thinks it should be termed ‘invisible finance’. After all, a large purpose of embedded finance is to create onward journeys that incorporate finance seamlessly into the process, rather than being an additional burden to the user.

Fireside chat on Embedded Finance

This chat featured Paul Higgins (Mendix) and Ville Sointu (Nordea).

Ville raised the point that it has taken a bit of time for incumbents to adopt open banking and embedded finance, as these sectors were initially viewed as a threat. Instead, banks should embrace the opportunity to act as a ‘pipe’ between the users and financial products as a means to serve users in a number of new ways. It was also recommended that using APIs without designing personalisation processes greatly limits the opportunity of embedded finance. Personalisation is the ‘secret sauce’ of embedded finance and should not be overlooked if the sector is to be a success.

What’s next for mmob

Finovate was just the first of many events we will be attending this year. Next up, we have Innovate Finance’s Global Summit as part of UK Fintech Week. mmob will be exhibiting in the Tech Tunnel, once again showcasing our tech to the financial services community.

Please get in touch below if you are attending IFGS, we would love to speak to you!

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