Hard to believe that May is right around the corner already—time flies when you’re in the payments industry. While May showers or flowers are unlikely in draught-stricken California this year, one thing that May does bring to the Golden State is FinovateSpring, one of my favorite conferences. Not only does the timed-demo format keep things moving, but the sneak peek at innovations coming from bleeding-edge startups as well as more entrenched players is always engaging. And it’s fun to speculate on where some of the presenters will be one or two years from now. Some concepts may be a distant memory, but many will be enjoying great success.
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For many years, the U.S. insurance industry had settled on a very staid and well-understood method of receiving funds for premiums and deductibles. Consumers, policyholders, and claimants all knew that insurers could be paid by check via the postal service, or by cash or check at an agent’s office. Prior to smart devices’ rise in the last several years, a mobile payment meant that you had to remember to bring your premium check to the softball game to give to your agent. You knew that she would send you a receipt in the mail or give it to you the next time she saw you.