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FinovateSpring 2018 Preview

Next week will be my seventh time at the FinovateSpring event in Silicon Valley and the first one I’ll attend in the new four-day format. As always, I expect excellent industry networking and first-class demos of the latest technology solutions for financial services. But this year, there will be greater depth and discussion in the way of one-on-one “fireside” conversations and expert panels. Notably on Thursday, May 10th, a fintech-focused analyst expert panel will feature my fellow Aite Group retail banking analyst Tiffani Montez

What’s uniquely interesting about this year’s FinovateSpring agenda is the incorporation of practical use cases for artificial intelligence and its subset, machine learning, in retail banking and other financial services. There’s also a spotlight on regtech and cybersecurity this year that we haven’t seen before. It’s fascinating to see the virtual currency and blockchain-related companies growing in richness in their solutions, reflecting the crypto sector’s hard-earned seat at the financial services table. In fact, the virtual currency boom has fueled the rise of a new generation of inventive companies such as IdentityMind Global, which provides companies with the ability to perform required Know Your Customer and anti-money laundering checks on initial coin offering participants.

Overall, the non-demo content portion of the event has been organized into six focused tracks: 

Notably, the expanded FinovateSpring agenda complements its startup roster with over 100 A-class speakers from innovation leaders, including Carolyn Criscitiello, head of digital payments for HSBC; Mahima Chawla of Square; Suresh Ramamurthi, chairman of CBW Bank; and others representing leading financial brands such as Banco Santander, TD Ameritrade, Coinbase, USAA, and Visa. These speakers, coming from established financial services companies ranging from Tier-1 banks to unicorn fintech firms, add a wonderful contrast to the early-stage companies scheduled to demo.

If the new expanded four-day FinovateSpring is an indication of the health of financial services innovation, then clearly we are in a renaissance period. I am truly looking forward to meeting old colleagues and making new connections in Santa Clara next week.