We held our London Finance Forum last month, during which we were joined by guest speakers from Google and Mintel. The final session was delivered by Debbie Osguthorpe from Mintel, where she focused on recent FinTech innovations from the Financial Services sector, including open banking, AI, personal finance managers, mobile payments, ID, security… the list goes on!

In this round-up we discuss the innovations spotted by Debbie, along with some of our own.

Aviva launches Alexa Skill for Amazon Echo

Aviva launches an insurance jargon buster on the voice-activated device

Aviva is the first UK insurer to launch a skill for the Alexa, which provides Aviva’s customers with a new way to interact with the brand. The skill gives them instant, voice-controlled access to a glossary of over 300 insurance terms and definitions. We can’t help but wonder if this will actually be used by their customers, but in the meantime, they have now opened up a new communications channel which may be more closely linked with individual policy detail in the future.

Watch the video from Aviva here

TransferWise Bot – Currency transfers via messenger app

Users can now arrange foreign money transfers without leaving Messenger

TransferWise has made it even easier for users to send foreign money exchanges, launching a bot that integrates TransferWise with Facebook Messenger. Users can also be made aware of exchange rate alerts and there will be a step-by-step guide to help users with any issues.

Read the full release from TransferWise here

Biometric payments – FingoPay

Sthaler launches first finger vein biometrics reader at London bar

Removing the need for cash, smartphones or card, the biometric company are hopeful the technology will transform customer experience in bars and entertainment venues. Whilst this might help to cut down queues we think this could potentially be dangerous for people who have had a little too much to drink and get ‘finger-happy’!


Photo courtesy of Sthaler

Visit their website here

Pay-as-you-go car insurance from Cuvva

The Scottish startup Cuvva is the first to offer hourly car insurance sold through a mobile app

So recent that it hasn’t actually launched yet, Cuvva’s new product will be available in April and is targeted towards infrequent drivers who are paying the same for their insurance as drivers who are on the road every day. Drivers are required to pay a low monthly subscription, the cost of which is dependent on where they live and the car they drive, and enables them to simply ‘top up’ by the hour when they need cover.

Read the full article in the Guardian here

Starling Bank app launched in beta

Starling Bank launches a beta of its current account app, and is prepared for the onset of open banking

Starling Bank, one of the many ‘challenger’ banks emerging in the UK, is launching a beta of the app that powers its current account. In addition to what’s on offer from legacy bank apps, the “Starling Pulse” provides a real-time feed of all your banking activity.

The challenger bank is also embracing ‘open banking,’ another topic which was discussed at our Finance Forum and is something all banks will be forced to administer at some point – it is even holding a hackathon this month during which hackers can tap into its current account open API.

Photo courtesy of Starling Bank

Read more about Starling Bank here, as well as Atom Bank, Monzo Bank and Tandem Bank.

Consumer Attitudes

While 35% of internet users are interested in newer services such as biometric log-ins, spending analytics and account aggregation apps, they haven’t yet embraced services that have now been around for a while, e.g. contactless mobile payments (9%) or mobile payment systems (6%). The overall message from Mintel is that the Financial Services landscape will change over the next few years as new innovative services become more widespread. Currently most consumers aren’t financially or tech savvy enough to be engaged in many of the developments. However, Millennials are primed to drive the change providing they are given tangible benefits to opt in.

If you would like to read our other key takeaways from the day head over to Tiffany’s blog post.

Mintel Source: Consumer Attitudes towards Financial Innovation – February 2017

About Kathryn

Kathryn is our Digital Operations Director. Her primary role is to safeguard excellent working practices from planning through to delivery and analysis. In her spare time she is kept busy looking after her two young children and her fitness interests.