Next up on my conference circuit is the Underbanked Financial Services Forum, this year in New Orleans. Its one of the few conferences I go to where I have trouble choosing which session to go to - everything is relevant, interesting and timely. And the attendee list is so diverse: “everyone from missionaries to mercenaries” to quote Arjan Schutte’s intro.

As I sit here watching demos of the finalists from the Core Underbanked Innovators Challenge, I am struck by how much the content and format of these demos differs from the traditional demos at a Finnovate, for example. It’s the reason why I’m so excited by innovation in this space.

These products are not innovative in their technology - they’re innovative in their customer centric approach. GoalMine (which is getting my vote, btw) elicited uuuuus and aaaahs for their feature which allows people to move money from their prepaid card to a savings vehicle in 30 seconds. There are probably a dozen companies who COULD have this functionality but only one (as far as I know) which does. While a savings feature for the LMI segment could seem like a stretch to a tradItional financial services company, GoalMine manages to package it as an obvious extension to GPR. And I bet that has to do with a customer centric approach to innovation.

Note: Stay tuned for more updates from Arlyn from the conference here on the PayPerks blog or follow us on Twitter@PayPerksB2B.