The demos at the second and last day of this year's Finovate Spring show skewed toward consumer-oriented rather than business-oriented technology. A few standouts:
Best Mobile App: Flint Mobile. Flint is taking on Square by offering mobile payments to small merchants who are anti-dongle (in other words, averse to the plug-in card-swiping gadgets of Square, Intuit and Verizon) and anti-POS terminal. How it works: using the Flint iPhone app, a merchant takes a photo of the portion of the customer's credit card number; Flint's proprietary optical character recognition converts the image snippet to machine-readable text. The image snipped and number are encrypted. The customer types in the card expiration date and CVV code. The customer can also type in their email address to receive an emailed receipt. The merchant can type in a special offer or a note about the transaction or customer for future reference. The transaction is processed by Vantiv; Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards are accepted. Debit card transactions, at 1.95% plus 20 cents, are cheaper than Square's flat 2.75% fee for all transactions. Flint credit card transactions are more costly at 2.95% plus 20. Flint also aims to help merchants attract customers through social media: the emailed receipt contains a link to a tool the customer can use to recommend the merchant on Facebook.
Coolest Technology: BehavioSec's security monitoring software. This behavior biometrics software, which the company says is used by all Scandinavian banks, continuously monitors customers' online and mobile behavior — keystrokes, mouse movements, swipes and the like — to keep track of what's customary and detect out-of-character activity. When it does spot aberrant behavior, it asks the user for more ID.
Most High-Calorie Snack: Waffles with ice cream and toppings at 2:30, just an hour and a half after lunch. Lots of discussion among the audience about weight gain.
Best Demo: moneydesktop won the Finovate audience's vote for Best of Show. This is a Mint-style personal financial management app that banks can integrate with their online banking sites; there's also a new iPad app and new merchant rewards tie-in. The app shows the customer's spending by category and helps them manage debt. About 250 banks use moneydesktop and Visa has chosen it to be the PFM provider for its prepaid programs. Many audience members praised moneydesktop for the attractive design of its user interface.
Most Practical Software for Banks: Keynote's DeviceAnywhere software for testing the HTML5 code used in mobile browsers. The demo showed a simple drag-and-drop format for testing chunks of mobile banking code used to carry out a specific transaction. A test script written for the iPhone can be repurposed for Android devices. It's geeky and it could save developers a lot of time.