If there was one key takeaway from FinovateEurope in London this February, it was that the vast majority of fintech firms have changed their approach toward working with financial institutions and, for that matter, larger incumbent vendors. The focus is now less on “disruption” (whatever that means) and more on partnership. The biggest buzzword/concept of the event therefore appeared to be “white labelling”—taking these startup vendors’ tech and putting your own brand on it. In this manner, the financial institution or incumbent vendor gains innovation, and the startup gains credibility (albeit behind closed doors) and income.
I had the opportunity to attend the National Retail Federation annual conference, the “Big Show,” last week, and my first observation is that it is indeed a big show. It fills every corner of the Javits Center in New York, and it took a full day just to wander through the exhibit space. Wandering around the hall, I saw a few consistent themes coming out of this year’s show:
Many large personal U.S. auto insurers made time in 2015 to refresh their policies and address the issue of ridesharing by offering ridesharing endorsements. Rolling those endorsements out nationwide and getting more insurers to offer them is still a work in progress, and insurers need to consider three pitfalls.
It is no secret that banks struggle to effectively serve small businesses. Internal battles to serve these clients have existed within financial institutions for quite a while: battles between commercial banking teams claiming to offer more of the functionality these customers need and the consumer teams promising greater solution ease of use. Unfortunately, in recent years, the size of the battlefield has grown. Banks are no longer just fighting internally and among themselves—a new set of players have set their sights on these customers, and their impact is growing.