More than a month ago I found out about the excellent Finovate 2007, a one day event in New York, on Jim Bruene's NetBanker blog. Jim invited me to attend and added me to the list of bloggers.
On October 2nd, twenty of the most innovative companies in the financial space will demo their newest products in only 7 minutes each. It is a great opportunity to meet with the Founders and Senior Executives of those companies and network with the delegates, the press and some enthusiastic bloggers.
I look forward to meeting with Jim face-to-face and with my peers. And it is always a great pleasure to meet, and kick ideas, with founders and entrepreneurs who are usually passionate and motivational.
The presenters are all involved in hot topics such as Personal Finance, Social Lending (aka Peer-to-Peer Lending), mobile banking and online payments.
Web 2.0 and user-generated content in the banking industry
If you read Visible-Banking.com on regular basis, you know that I am interested in all kinds of web 2.0 initiatives in the Banking industry, especially any innovative services which improve customer satisfaction or help building an online community of active members.
It is good to see that more and more banks show interest, even though we need to remember that user-generated content is a big challenge for the regulated banking industry. Bad comments are potentially a threat and can damage a bank reputation (especially if the bank doesn't respond and address the concern...)
Reputation is critical and the risk slows down banks with their web 2.0 projects. At the same time, more and more people think their bank is letting them down. Customers are less and less faithful and they expect their bank to listen to them and demonstrate they care.
An event well attended by bankers
I am confident Jim's event will attract many bankers who need to better understand the impact of those twenty companies. Companies in the crowded Social Lending (Prosper or Zopa) or Personal Finance (Wesabe) spaces have very successfully managed to build strong online communities of committed and passionate users. They post on regular basis, share their ideas and concerns, and are happy to recommend their favourite platform. Could you find a better, more cost effective, and more efficient way to promote your service and grow your customer base?
Banks must watch out those companies and use them as a source of inspiration. How big the threat is? How could banks use the same approach to engage their clients? Could banks partner with those new players? (Money Management / Personal Finance is one of the key features desired by banking customers). Please check the excellent post of my ex-colleague James Gardner about Wesabe and Prosper.
Wells Fargo 2.0
I invite you to check my post on Wells Fargo 2.0. As far as I am concerned, Wells Fargo is the best example of how to use web 2.0 in the banking industry. Well done to Tim Collins, SVP - Experiential Marketing, Ed Terpening, VP Social Network Marketing, and their teams. In the last couple of months I had the pleasure to communicate with Ed and to meet Tim at the excellent Wells Fargo event organized in London by the Financial Services Club. Well done to Chris Skinner and Andy Coppell!
Mobile Banking offerings are blossoming all over the world. If you want a good overview of the US market, I invite you to check the excellent post by Brandon McGee, VP & Senior Product Manager (Mobile Banking), who is one of the guest bloggers on Jim's mobile money & banking blog.
List of presenters at Finovate 2007
Fraud & identity theft
* Identity Theft 911
Online Account Opening
* CheckFree /Corillian
* Digital Insight (an Intuit company)
* Billeo Inc
* iPay Technologies
* Online Resources
Social Lending and Online Loans
* Lending Club
* Prosper Marketplace
If you plan to attend as a delegate or a speaker and you want to share your interest or expertise in web 2.0, please do not hesitate to send me an email (cm_langlois[AT]yahoo[DOT]co[DOT]uk) to make sure we meet during the show.
Congratulations Jim, you have done an amazing job!
Ideally, I would have loved to meet with a few other companies such as Wesabe, BillMonk or Zopa...