Finivation Blog

As FinTech geeks we read a fair amount and play with many technolgies and apps.  In this blog we will include articles, research and occasional company news.  Either way, we hope the content and curation adds value in this age of information overload.   

Deep Learning & Transparency

Posted by Brian Bodell

April 16, 2017 at 11:59 AM

I know most are a bit tired of articles on AI (and many other technology trends for that matter), but thought I would provide a link to an insightful post from MIT Technology Review on deep learning, its complexity, and considerations on what is a reasonable level of transparency.   Of course, the level of transparency should be different based on the application.  Personally I don't mind fraud detection being more opaque, but applications in medicine and military should certainly have a greater level of transparency.   Anyway, here is the link to the article.  Enjoy.

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence

Diversity leads to better code

Posted by Brian Bodell

February 3, 2017 at 4:36 PM

Finivation knows first hand that diversity and transparency lead to better code.  Diversity in thought, training, gender, national origin, ethnicity, religion, perspectives, orientation, experience, etc. all mix well to build the best architectures and deliver the best software.  Like democracy it may not always be the most efficient, but it certainly delivers the best result.   So, it is for this reason we are firm supporters of diversity and feel it is not only the best for business but it is also the right thing to do.
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Topics: Company

Digital Banking- Still the Wild West

Posted by Brian Bodell

September 28, 2016 at 1:56 PM

Why hasn't our industry figured out how to build a digital banking platform that is easier to implement, maintain and extend after all of these years?  I continue to hear horror stories of financial institutions working with their vendor partners to implement their chosen solution and I have yet to hear of one that has met expectations.  A very well-respected executive I know in the industry summed it up well- "it seems like the online/mobile banking market is still the wild west after all of these years."

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Topics: Industry, Mobile, Omnichannel

2016 Internet Trends Report

Posted by Brian Bodell

June 14, 2016 at 12:23 PM

I belatedly reviewed Mary Meeker and team's 2016 Internet Trends Report (  As usual, it is one of the best high-level overviews of the Internet and mobile market across all industries available.   Of course, I would love the kcbp team to analyze the retail and business financial services market, but that's a long shot.  


A few observations from a banking perspective (notice I didn't say fintech):


*Yet another confirmation that chat bots will be leveraged inside of the rapidly growing messaging apps around the globe to provide customer/member service, payments, purchases and likely carefully personalized marketing/sales pitches in the future.  Kasisto is a firm in NYC helping financial institutions leverage chat bots and the underlying AI to serve their customers. 


*Continued coverage of how voice will be a rapidly growing interface as recognition technology has materially improved and devices like echo and the upcoming google home have increased hands free convenience (hats off to john best and team for connecting echo to a core banking system early this year).   Siri is getting a needed update per Apple's WWDC yesterday and I will be anxious to see how CarPlay and AndroidAuto proliferate in automobiles in the future.   Of course, the real improvements are not on the voice recognition side but on the underlying AI, which is finally making the human-machine interaction much more effective. On a related note, I would like to see some voice biometrics added to the mix on a mass scale.  The finivation team has built voice biometric solutions in the past and there have been many strong solutions on the market for years- so now it is simply getting the biometric + device solutions out of POC and to the broader market. 


*The only weak spot in the deck, in my opinion, was the more limited coverage of identity, authentication, and data security.  These are obviously key concerns in banking but also essential to all connected devices across all industries.   With the continued data breaches, identity theft and the terrible username/password environment we continue to suffer through I was hoping there would be more analysis.   I am also hoping the evernym team and others attacking these problems will find great success in making our lives easier and more secure (leveraging a permissioned distributed ledger or any other technology that will work).


Either way, the KPCB report is worth the read.      



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Topics: Industry

CU Broadcast Interview @COOP THINK

Posted by Brian Bodell

May 9, 2016 at 1:13 PM

I attended CO-OP's annual THINK Conference last week.  It was impressive on multiple levels, but especially with the speakers and content around getting the industry/movement to innovate, adapt and grow.   Of course, it is now important that credit unions actually act on the advice with a greater sense of urgency or the 7% of retail assets marketshare will drop (when it should rise).   Check out the CO-OP THINK site for more detail (THINK).

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Topics: Payments, Mobile, Artificial Intelligence, Systems Integration, Blockchain