Beyond the Arc and William Mills Agency will be live blogging at Finovate Fall. Finovate is the showcase for the biggest innovations in financial technology. Over a 2-day period, almost 70 companies will be demonstrating their latest offerings. This year we’re looking forward to developments in data analytics, personal financial management, payments, consumer lending, and more. Check back for new updates throughout the day.

William Mills III, Chief Executive Officer of William Mills Agency is live blogging today at FinovateFall 2014. He has more than 30 years of experience in financial technology and is a recognized leader in financial and technology marketing. He has personally advised more than 300 chief executives on marketing strategy, business development, mergers and acquisitions, company branding and public relations.

Steven J. Ramirez is CEO of Beyond the Arc, Inc. We help clients to strengthen customer experience and to deploy data science and Big Data analytics to make marketing and operations more effective. Our social media data mining helps clients improve customer experience across products, channels and touchpoints.

As we wait for the start of Finovate Fall, I wanted to share some of the things that I am hoping to hear over the next two days. While this is a conference that showcases technology, I am curious to see how much of the conversation is about the customer. While it is easy to get excited about developments in mobile, enhanced tools for managing accounts, and opportunities to leverage analytics, we shouldn’t lose sight of why these innovations matter. Ultimately, banks and other financial institutions are harnessing this technology to make the lives of consumers (and other customer segments) better. ^SR

Folks, welcome to Finovate Fall 2014 NYC. We are here at the New York Hilton, I believe a new location for this event.  If you would like to meet with me here at the event today or tomorrow please stop by, I’m on the front row or email me at ^WM

Top Image Systems    – Jim Charanis (Director, Mobile & Banking Solutions) and Avi Mileguir (EVP & General Manager, Americas)”  Finovate Fall kicking off. The first presenters from Top Image Systems, and the first appearance of Google Glass at Finovate. Wondering if this will be a trend this year? Using Glass to scan a driver’s license for image capture. Cloud-based image storage and image processing. ^SR

Now showing a Google glass to help open a new account asking for drivers license, SSN and payment info. “OK Glass, Scan driver’s license.” Seems to be working well. They are integrated into several core banking vendors.

From Bank Innovations Council: Next-generation mobile image capture and processing solutions, like GlassCapture, are designed to make account opening, bill payment and other mobile-initiated process simple and fun.

I like that they are showing cross platforms – Google Glass, Windows and tablet. “It’s about the API”   ^WM

NICE Systems -Matthew Storm (Director, Innovation & Solutions) and Jade Kahn (Solutions Marketing Manager). Nice is leveraging their long experience in call center technology to create the ability to authenticate customers by voice print, in 10 seconds or less. This is huge, because authentication can be an inconvenience– if not a major pain point.  With voice prints, they can recognize when a fraudster calls. Call can be automatically routed to the Fraud department. This is part of their fraud protection suite, with multi-layer fraud detection. I’m seriously impressed by this application of voice biometrics. ^SR

Revolutionizing how your bank authenticates your customers.” Real time.  ID’d customer in the first 10 seconds of the customer call. Pretty cool. I’m really tired of answering all kinds of questions about my mother’s maiden name, address, name of pet, etc.

From Bank Innovations Council: NICE Systems (NASDAQ: NICE), is the worldwide leader of intent-based solutions that capture and analyze interactions and transactions, realize intent, and extract and leverage insights to deliver impact in real time. Driven by cross-channel and multi-sensor analytics, NICE solutions enable organizations to improve business performance, increase operational efficiency, prevent financial crime, ensure compliance, and enhance safety and security. NICE serves over 25,000 organizations in the enterprise and security sectors, representing a variety of sizes and industries in more than 150 countries, and including over 80 of the Fortune 100 companies. NICE’s offerings for the enterprise and security sectors serve three main needs: improving business performance, decreasing financial risk, and enhancing safety and security.

I like it. If AMEX starting using it I would appreciate it. ^WM

Settle – Stas Matviyenko (CEO) and Anna Polishchuk (COO)  This is a mobile payment platform with the ability to manage customer profiles, helping to deepen customer loyalty. They offer a loyalty platform and have case studies that show their platform drives incremental revenue. Settle also includes peer-to-peer payments, which is very nice for a bank. Great to have multiple functions wrapped into an appealing mobile app. ^SR

Showing demo but something blanked out. Now showing an IOS device for a POS application. I’m not sure what they do exactly but their UI looks very nice. It has an “UBER” feel.  “Settle saves me time.”  Is this a new mobile wallet app? It’s not real clear but it seems like the more you spend the greater the discount the consumer receives from the merchant.  It looks like the company is from Ukraine. Last Spring there was an another innovative company from the Ukraine.  Here is a story I found on them from MobilePaymentsToday.     ^WM

Blooom – Chris Costello (Co-Founder & CFP) and Randy AufDerHeide (CTO & Co-Founder)

Trying to provide “simple, scalable advice” for 401k investors. I think there is definitely a gap in services in the marketplace;most consumers don’t have access to solid financial investment advice. Simple “thumbs up-thumbs down” visual shows you what is wrong with your portfolio. Algorithm helps to identify the problems with the portfolio. This is a strong example of data analytics powering new capabilities in financial services. $10/month service fee for investment advice. ^SR

Two of the three co-founders of bloom. Certified financial advisor background. Talking about the challenges of consumers NOT knowing where they need to invest. Announcing a way to provide simple, scalable advise for consumer 401K’s. The UI is VERY simple and I like it. I can’t tell if it’s web-based or an app, it’s that slick.  “401K agnostic” showing logging into a Fidelity 401 account.  Blooom takes the 401K data and shows a real time graphic of a flower that shows where the funds should be an ideal allocation. Very slick graphics. Now for the big questions: who do they sell this to and how do they make their money? OK, no I get it it; they charge a monthly fee and rebalances the account every quarter. I’m assuming they are targeting consumers and are partnering with “Connected Benefits”. If’s REALLY expensive to market this kind of product directly to consumers. I’d suggest they partner with vendors and associations (like AARP) or even employers as a free or value-add to an existing relationship. ^WM

Patch of Land – Brian Fritton (CTO & Co-Founder) Platform Peer-to-peer real estate crowfunding platform. Rules-based system operating in the background to crunch the originations data. ^SR

From BIC: Properties are secured by title and developer guarantee with LTV values that protect investors from unnecessary risk. Investors can diversify their portfolios by accessing high yielding, passive income streams through real estate deals without the hassle of property ownership or management. Patch of Land will handle the work, liability, day to day management and licensing while investors watch their portfolios grow.

Browser-based platform. I’m not sure what they do yet. Now showing data on a property score and and a market score for a property in Florida. This might be a good product but the demo is not very clear.   OK, it’s a P2RE crowd-sourcing for real estate. From our friends at Bank Innovations Council: Patch of Land is a peer to peer real estate crowdfinancing platform, offering accredited investors the opportunity to invest in high yield, asset-backed real estate debt deals with low minimum investments. Properties are secured by title and developer guarantee with LTV values that protect investors from unnecessary risk. Investors can diversify their portfolios by accessing high yielding, passive income streams through real estate deals without the hassle of property ownership or management. Patch of Land will handle the work, liability, day to day management and licensing while investors watch their portfolios grow. It looks fine but I believe these folks need to tighten up their pitch. I’d also like to see an app version.  ^WM

MasterCard  – Kyle Clark (VP Product Development) and Chris Guiney (VP Product Development)  This is a very cool offering, enables consumers to pay with rewards points. The consumer makes the choice, and it is transparent to the merchant. Mobile app and email confirms the transaction. Their competitors require that merchant upgrades the POS system.  Leveraging their network, to provide pay with rewards at any merchant that accepts Mastercard. ^SR

Use points to pay for purchases.  Talking about redeeming points.  Now showing an IOS MasterCard App to use points for a purchase.  The phone now messages the phone showing the points being used. OK, HOW does the consumer USE the rewards at a merchant? I’m hoping to hear how now.  “Pay with Rewards” Mobile Application. The app has the MC card information and the sample bank. Screen 2 is showing settings for the app. I like the idea but am still waiting to see how the merchant uses this. I have a MC Rewards Card cobranded with a merchant that I NEVER shop at so I’ll be cutting this card soon so I see the benefit to the cardholders. They still haven’t shown how the IOS MC app will be used at a merchant. QR Code?  ^WM

True Potential – Daniel Harrison (Sr. Partner) and Paul Outterside (Head of Mobile Applications) Their offering, impulseSave, helps consumers to set goals and set a savings plan.  Well, most people are terrible savers, so the need is out there. But, why don’t people save?  I’m not sure that simpler tools make it more likely that people will change behavior. Cool functionality, with usability on mobile, but also wearables. Demoed the technology on a Google watch. ^SR

UK-based organization. I’m not sure what they do yet. Showing UK version of IOS app. I THINK it’s a PFM.  PFM apps are HOT. My question is what does this app/platform do that current PFM providers are NOT doing? It looks like it is for high net worth folks.  Showing a Google Watch version used in the UK. I believe he said there were 32,000 users in the UK. This is the FIRST app I’ve seen at Finovate that has a “watch” version. “Wearables will be big.” I agree with that statement. I’m assuming they will have an Apple Watch version in the future. Now speaking of a Google Glass version but has now come up yet on screen.   Waiting, but it may be WIFI overload. ^WM

HedgeCoVest  – Evan Rapoport (CEO) and Aaron Wormus (CTO)  Going live at Finovate with an online investment platform that mirrors hedge fund portfolios. They replicate the portfolio in milliseconds, pushing it to the portfolios of normal investors. This enables investors to get hedge fund returns, without having to meet all of the restrictions of hedge fund investing (like $1mil minimum investment!). The assets remain in the investor’s account, they are not purchasing a fund, they buy the underlying assets. I do have a concern about this offering. In good times, no problem. But if the market falls fast, these retail investors are going to be the last to get out.   ^SR

In New York, as opposed to San Francisco/Silicon Valley, there are more investment/brokerage fintech companies.

How can I make money during both up and down markets?” From our friends at Bank Innovations Council: Hedge Fund Investment Platform – The platform helps create an online marketplace for investors searching for transparent and secure options to allocate hedge fund strategies. Slick interface on browser-based demo. Flat fee-based platform. It LOOKS like they have figured out a way to monitor real-time hedge fund performance for investors to “mirror” hedge fund investments. Who will be using this? Brokers? Advisors? Individual investors? I’m going to have to meet these folks and learn more about their business model. ^WM

Fiserv – Andy Barnett (Sr. Technical Sales Consultant) and Mimi Joy (Mobile Account Specialist) and
David Carr (Innovations Manager)  Demo of a mobile chat with the bank. I love this. Customer is authenticated and the interaction is secure. In the course of the chat I can take a photo of a check/statement/receipt and share it with the representative. They can also push customized offers to the customer. On the agent side, the call center software provides access to customer profile, caller ID, etc. Customers can get alerts that pop-up on their ipad. Enterprise alerting platform with “actionable push”, the alert takes you to secure inbox. 3 separate types of digital interactions tightly integrated. ^SR

Fiserv is one of the BIG players in financial technology. Last spring they showed a Google Glass payment system. Today they are showing a “customer engagement solution.”  Now showing an IOS Mobile Banking/Credit Card app.  Is is mobile banking, PFM or some other combination? It looks nice but I know that most banks, whether Fiserv or other core provider, they have their customer’s DDA account but most of the time the customer has their credit card with a totally different bank (like Capitol One). I LIKE seeing mobile banking and credit card in one place; I’m not sure how it can be done with today’s technology UNLESS the DDA account and the credit card account are with the same bank (which will be managed by totally different systems). Perhaps it’s a combination mobile banking/PFM app that “scrapes” the card data from another bank’s web site. It’s a nice UI and now showing an iPad app version. ^WM