Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Dinner With Christophe

While in a the UK a couple of weeks ago, I got together with Christophe Langlois, editor of Visible Banking, and we had a wonderful dinner at the Red Fort, one of my favorite London restaurants.

At the end of the dinner, we headed back to my hotel for coffee and a demo of Authentium's financially-oriented social networking application, SecureTalk. Over coffee, we also recorded an interview about the rest of the applications in the Authentium VERO solution set.

Christophe had just returned from the inaugural FINOVATE 2007 conference in New York, a show set up by Jim Bruene, publisher of the Online Banking Report.

At the conference, Christophe interviewed a number of key players in the emerging world of Online Banking 2.0, including Aaron Patzer of Mint, Chris Larsen of Prosper, Peter Hazelhurst of Yodlee, Patrick Gannon of Lending Club, and Shawn Ward of Geezeo.

We talked about many of the innovations he'd seen at the show, including the large number of social lending companies vying for mindshare. One of the clearly emerging trends, "financially-based social networking" - an idea pioneered in the Web 1.0 world by Bankrate and Lending Tree, but now being taken to taken to new levels by the emerging companies on display at FINOVATE - is something every bank and brokerage that I've spoken with is watching closely.

One of my favorite sites in the area of social lending is - a site many LinkedIn members will no doubt be familiar with.

I recently lent money through Kiva to the proprietor of a grocery store in Mexico, and thus far she has come through with the payments on time, and all appears to be going well with the business. If you have not yet signed up for, I recommend you take a look - I think you'll like what these guys are doing.

Back on social networking and banks, I noted with interest yesterday that Jim Bruene, editor of the Online Banking Report, has ranked financially-oriented peer-to-peer social networking among the top three marketing tactics of 2008 in his 2008 Planning Guide for online banks. Given the large number of venture-backed companies in attendance at his conference in this area, this is probably right.

Note on the video: To say our "set" was noisy, would be an understatement! But Christophe somehow managed to ensure the result was watchable. If you're interested in taking a look, and learning more about what Authentium is doing in the Online Banking 2.0 world, please click on the video above or go here.

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