Insights from FinovateSpring 2018

Insights from FinovateSpring 2018

I love the month of May! You get the outlandish hat designs of the Kentucky Derby, the speed of the Indianapolis 500, and that innovative design and speed all come together at FinovateSpring! Baker Hill was selected again to present at Spring 2018, where we demonstrated our new Online Loan Application and our Business Origination solutions (you can click here to see our FinovateSpring 2017 video).

Finovate is one of the best locations to be able to connect with the best thinkers in FinTech. It is always great to connect with folks like William Mills from the William Mills Agency (yes, they are our PR partner), Aite, Javelin, Cornerstone, and old friends like JP Nicols. So, what are the key points I think you need to know from Finovate?

Don’t Just Put Digital Lipstick on the Analog Pig.

I have to give JP credit for that quote, but there are plenty of folks who are simply making their current process have a flashy digital look and feel. That’s like wearing a derby hat to a Chicago Cubs game…it just does not work!

Financial Inclusion Is the New Marketing Call.

This is clearly the rallying cry for financial institutions today, and you have to have a strategy for this. I was amazed how many sessions were dedicated to the topic of financial inclusion, and I think most people would think this is targeted just for the classically “underbanked”. Not so—financial inclusion is about how I can utilize the power of alternative data for millennials who are going to have millions of dollars in funds willed to them but do not even have a credit card. How are you going to leverage alternative data to make credit decisions for those thin-file yet big-potential prospective customers?

Hoodies, Beanbags, and Ping-Pong Tables Do Not Make You the Next Google or Apple.

You really need insight, experimentation, and pragmatic insights into our highly-regulated industry to be successful. I love the innovation I see here, but I spoke with one vendor that offers scoring adjustments and asked them if they could address FICO® SBSS. The answer was that they had never heard of it…but they are the leader in automated small business lending–really?

Look Beyond Your Normal Partners for Innovation.

I was amazed by one vendor that was doing a demo, about sending gift cards, simulcast from Bangalore, India. First of all, a gutsy move with a demo, but in talking with them afterwards I saw a great service opportunity for all lenders. Why not send a small gift card as a thank-you to any borrower who has paid on time, met the terms, etc. This simple act is something that could have a huge impact on customer retention.

So, enjoy the month of May! Place your bets, start your engines, and innovate!