CES 2017 - New Opportunities for FinTech?

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The Consumer Electronic Show – the time of drones, self-driving cars, wearable tech, and Blackberry’s fifth or sixth annual reminder that the company somehow still exists.

CES has a hard ‘C,’ as no matter what, CES will always be predominantly focused on the Consumer. But this year showed a growing opportunity for the financial services and fintech sectors.

The conference’s scope is expanding. While this doesn’t mean the financial sector has a greenlight to begin shamelessly pushing complicated financial services offerings to the consumer market, there are avenues for corporate financial and technology organizations to explore:

1. Cybersecurity Concerns – As consumer connect more aspects of their lives to the internet, they are more worried about cyber threats.

Companies with a strong stance or history in cybersecurity can use CES as an opportunity to enter the consumer perception through thought leadership. This year CES had a dedicated ‘Cyber & Personal Security’ Marketplace with 18 booths. More than 100 companies classified at least part of their offering as ‘cyber’ – a number is only going to grow next year.

2. Payments, Payments, Payments – Compared to the scope of the overall conference, the 30 companies in “eCommerce & Enterprise Solutions” is quite small, both in number and the size of the participating firms. But big name companies like Mastercard, Amazon and CapitalOne are development driving this sector.

Consumers want streamlined ways to spend their money and fintech companies are helping. Approach consumers alongside business partners to demonstrate how an end-to-end solution benefits all consumers, be it the retail bank employee or the millennial paying for a green juice using their phone.

3. Play the Waiting Game – Many consumer concepts introduced at CES will become equally relevant for the corporate world. As we see AI technology like Amazon’s Echo and IBM Watson take hold in the consumer market, Steven Norton from the Wall Street Journal wrote about how AI technology is growing across the corporate side.

Just imagine what could be next. Think about how VR technology could be changing the way remote employees attend meetings and communicate with corporate headquarters, or how self-driving vehicles will impact the supply chain in trucking and rail shipping. CES has already started to grow to include businesses from an ever-wider array of industries, so it’s only a matter of time until most companies actually have a relevant offering. 

CES has some avenues for success for financial services and financial technology. Right now, those avenues are narrow, so it would behoove many companies to not try to force their way into the conference before CES is ready.

Topics
Conferences, Financial Services, Technology Solutions,
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