Like every big conference, Finovate Europe 2016 left its 1,500 attendees with quite a lot to think about for the future of FinTech. As an array of promising startups took to the stage in London over 9 and 10 February to demo their technology, there were several things that soon became clear.
Startups versus emerging leaders
Finovate Europe 2016 was the second biggest event by Finovate, just beaten to the post by a conference they held in New York last year. However, is the sheer amount of demo-ers and attendees’ indicative of something a bit darker? It’s been said that practically anyone with a bright idea is jumping onto the FinTech bandwagon and starting a company. And while FinTech startups are being instigated on a regular basis, it seems harder for them to find financial backers as leaders emerge in the sector, receiving most of the venture capital.
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Robo advisors versus personalization
The financial technology conference by Finovate didn’t have an official theme as such, but one seemed to form anyway – ‘Robo-advice.’ Automated financial advisors are the big thing at the moment and took centre stage during the event. However, it seems to make way for the new big hit in FinTech, which is personalisation. In order to stand out from the rest of the quickly-increasing crowd, FinTech ventures are going to have to start implementing more personalisation features. This message has obviously been picked up on, with many of the exhibitors showcasing technologies such as predictive analytics, which will help in engaging customers in a relevant way.
One final thing that the event left many pondering over is the reliability of blockchain technology. Not many of the exhibitioners seemed to showcase any form of blockchain or bitcoin technology, bar Ledger’s hardware wallet. This shows blockchain still needs to come a long way to prove itself, and has left many of the attendees, and the FinTech industry in general, feeling like the bubble has burst slightly.