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Ian McKenna at Finovate: Home-grown fintech players making their mark in US

Companies involved in micro giving, data security and screen sharing impressed the crowd at this month’s Finovate show in New York

In the first part of my review of the recent Finovate show in New York, I focused on a couple of exceptional US businesses. But I was pleased to see some British businesses give outstanding performances on the international stage, too. The following companies in particular really caught my eye.


Run by an Edinburgh-based mother and daughter team, Sustainably has built a delightful micro giving solution, which enables people to round-up transactions to a certain amount (e.g. the nearest dollar or pound) and pass the difference to a charity of their choice. The company made such a big impression on the audience that it walked away with one of the highly coveted “best in show” awards.

Micro saving is beginning to take off significantly as a way of helping people save for both short- and long-term goals. Micro giving is an obvious extension and is well worth having a look at, especially if you are running an employee benefits portal.


I was also really impressed by Pushfor, a Wimbledon-based company that has built some impressive technology to protect sensitive documents.

Too many advice firms do not do anywhere near enough to keep their clients’ data safe. I am constantly appalled by stories about how firms send highly sensitive client information attached to insecure emails.

Pushfor’s technology not only allows documents to be transmitted in ways impossible to copy but also locks them down so that only designated users can open them, recording exactly when anyone does.

I plan to look at this technology in much more detail as I think it could be something very special.

Spy Cloud

Data security is becoming ever more important. Earlier this month Money Marketing reported the FCA had only received two data breach reports from advisers in the past four years. Either IFAs are the most security conscious businesses on the planet or there are a whole load of unreported data losses. I expect to see a major clampdown from the FCA on this subject soon, so it is time for advisers to start looking at it very closely.

Finovate was full of highly sophisticated security systems but the one that resonated most with me came from another “best in show” winner, Spy Cloud, which identifies how often firms’ emails and domain security have been compromised. To give yourself a really scary experience just go to and enter your email address.


Screen sharing is another technology becoming increasingly important for advisers. As I included in my summary of the Technology Tools for Today conference in February scientific research has found consumers find it less stressful to engage with advisers remotely than face-to-face. Using such technology can also increase productivity by reducing the need for travelling to and from meetings.

SaleMove’s Omnicore product offers a great deal more than just screen sharing and video conferencing capability. It is designed to make the online customer journey as effective as face-to-face meetings. Typically, online sites achieve a 3 per cent conversion rate compared to 54 per cent for face-to-face meetings.

Omnicore moves across channels using artificial intelligence, from live chat to co-browsing, then video. It is already being used to support Deutsche Bank’s robo-adviser WISE. From a commercial perspective, the results are impressive: financial services customers using the system are experiencing 400 per cent plus increases to conversion.

I have seen a lot of screen sharing/co-browsing services over the last year, as many vendors are proposing such systems to address the new Mifid recording rules. In my view, SaleMove is head and shoulders above any other player I have come across.

It is worth mentioning Intelliflo now embeds a single user licence for the SaleMove technology as part of Intelligent Office, so if you are one of its users you have the system to try already.

More detailed summaries of the great technology I saw at Finovate can be found here.

All the presentations from Finovate also appear on its website a few weeks after each show, so it is worth looking out for these. I will socialise my favourites via LinkedIn to anyone who is connected to me. Click here to connect to my profile if you would like to see these.

Ian McKenna is director at Finance & Technology Research Centre



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