FinTech Reading List

 

Books are still vital. Ask the CEOs of the successful companies and you will find that they are well read. Ask the top people everywhere and they read to expose themselves to new ideas.

 

Personally – I read a lot of news (professional habit), but the news is often lacking in thought leadership. Articles about what happened rarely push your thinking to another level. Books do.

 

I have put this list together with three goals:

1. To understand the FinTech terrain way faster than you could otherwise

2. To learn from the top thinkers in FinTech

3. To challenge myself and my thinking in what and how FinTech can change

 

I haven’t read all of these yet but I most certainly will. Also, if you think other books should be included in this list, leave a comment below or email me directly.

 

Bank 3.0: Why Banking Is No Longer Somewhere You Go But Something You Do – Brett King

The first edition of BANK 2.0 took the financial services world by storm and became synonymous with disruptive customer behaviour, technology shift, and new banking models. In BANK 3.0, Brett King looks at the latest trends that are redefining financial services and payments. From the global scramble for dominance of the mobile wallet, the expectations created by tablet computing, the operationalizing of the cloud and the explosion of social media. He explores: how Social Media has exposed pricing, over-regulation, outdated processes and poor policy; how mobile technology is completely changing the context of banking; how customer advocacy is killing traditional brand marketing. Brett also discusses the growth of the ‘de-banked’ consumer who doesn’t need a bank at all and why Banking is no longer a place you go, but something you do. BANK 3.0 shows that the gap between customer and financial services players is rapidly growing, leaving massive opportunities for new, non-bank competitors to totally disrupt the industry.

 

Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking – Brett King

“In the next 10 years, we’ll see more disruption and changes to the banking and financial industry than we’ve seen in the preceding 100 years”—Brett King Breaking Banks: The Innovators, Rogues, and Strategists Rebooting Banking is a unique collection of interviews taken from across the global FinTech domain detailing the stories, case studies, start-ups, and emerging trends that will define this disruption. Brett catalogues interviews with experts from across the globe, focusing on the disruptive technologies, platforms, and behaviours that are threatening the traditional industry approach to banking and financial services. Topics of interest covered include Bitcoin’s disruptive attack on currencies, P2P Lending, Social Media, the Neo-Banks reinventing the basic day-to-day checking account, global solutions for the unbanked and underbanked, through to changing consumer behaviour.

 

 

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane – Brett King

The Internet and smartphone are just the latest in a 250-year long cycle of disruption that has continuously changed the way we live, the way we work and the way we interact. The coming Augmented Age, however, promises a level of disruption, behavioural shifts, and changes that are unparalleled. While consumers today are camping outside of an Apple store waiting to be one of the first to score a new Apple Watch or iPhone, the next generation of wearables will be able to predict if we are likely to have a heart attack and recommend a course of action. We watch news of Google’s self-driving cars, but don’t likely realize this means progressive cities will have to ban human drivers in the next decade because us humans are too risky. The Augmented Age will be based on four key disruptive themes Artificial Intelligence, Experience Design, Smart Infrastructure, and Health Tech. Historically the previous ages brought significant disruption and changes, but on a net basis jobs were created, wealth was enhanced, and the health and security of society improved. What will the Augmented Age bring? Will robots take our jobs, and AIs subsume us as inferior intelligence, or will this usher in a new age of abundance? Augmented is a book on future history, but more than that, it is a story about how you will live your life in a world that will change more in the next 20 years than it has in the last 250 years. Are you ready to adapt? Because if history proves anything, you don’t have much of a choice.

 

Digital Bank: Strategies to Launch or Become a Digital Bank – Chris Skinner

Digital Bank tracks the innovations in banking and how the mobile internet is changing the dynamics of consumer and corporate relationships with their banks. The implication is that banks must become digitised, and that is a challenge as becoming a Digital Bank demands new services focused on 21st-century technologies. Digital Bank not only includes extensive guidance and background on the digital revolution in banking, but also in-depth analysis of the activities of incumbent banks such as Barclays in the UK and mBank in Poland, as well as new start-ups such as Metro Bank and disruptive new models of banking such as FIDOR Bank in Germany. Add on to these a comprehensive sprinkling of completely new models of finance, such as Zopa and Bitcoin, and you can see that this book is a must-have for anyone involved in the future of business, commerce and banking.

 

ValueWeb: How Fintech Firms are Using Bitcoin Blockchain and Mobile Technologies to Create the Internet of Value – Chris Skinner

The Internet of Things is all about machines trading with machines – your fridge orders groceries; your car, fuel; your television, entertainment; and so on. However, machines cannot trade with machines if it’s expensive and slow. Would you really want your TV to order the next season of Games of Thrones if the payment took ten days and cost $25 or more? Unfortunately with the way the bank system works today, that is the problem we face today. As a result, we need an Internet of Value to work with the Internet of Things. The Internet of Value or ValueWeb, for short, allows machines to trade with machines and people with people, anywhere on this planet in real-time and for free. Using a combination of technologies from mobile devices to Bitcoin and the Blockchain, FinTech firms are building the ValueWeb. The question then is what does this mean for financial institutions, governments, and citizens? This book provides the answers.

 

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology – William Mougayar

The definitive pioneering blueprint covering the what, why and how of the Blockchain. Blockchains are new technology layers that rewire the Internet and threaten to side-step older legacy constructs and centrally served businesses. At its core, a Blockchain injects trust into the network, cutting off some intermediaries from serving that function and creatively disrupting how they operate. William Mougayar anticipates a future that consists of thousands, if not millions of Blockchains that will enable not only frictionless value exchange but also a new flow of value, redefining roles, relationships, power, and governance. In this book, Mougayar makes two other strategic assertions. First, the Blockchain has polymorphic characteristics; its application will result in a multiplicity of effects. Second, we shouldn’t ask ourselves what problems the Blockchain solves because that gives us a narrow view of its potential. Rather, we should imagine new opportunities, and tackle even more ambitious problems that cross-organisational, regulatory and mental boundaries.

 

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World – Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Blockchain is the ingeniously simple technology that powers Bitcoin. But it is much more than that, too. It is a public ledger to which everyone has access, but which no single person controls. It allows for companies and individuals to collaborate with an unprecedented degree of trust and transparency. It is cryptographically secure but fundamentally open. And soon it will be everywhere. In Blockchain Revolution, Don and Alex Tapscott reveal how this game-changing technology will shape the future of the world economy, dramatically improving everything from healthcare records to online voting, and from insurance claims to artist royalty payments. Brilliantly researched and highly accessible, this is the essential text on the next major paradigm shift. Read it, or be left behind.

 

The End of Banking: Money, Credit, and the Digital Revolution – Jonathan McMillan

There is an alternative: We can do better than banking! In this thought-provoking book, Jonathan McMillan dissects banking to reveal its inner workings. He cuts through the complexity of modern finance and explains how banking almost crashed our financial system. Banking is broken, and McMillan reveals why we can no longer fix it. The digital revolution turns out to be the game changer that calls for the end of banking. But McMillan refrains from merely pointing out flaws. Building on economic research and a rigorous analytical approach, he goes on to provide an innovative blueprint for a modern financial system. The End of Banking transforms our understanding of the financial system. It identifies the root cause of today’s problems with banking and presents a solution that stands out against existing reform proposals. The End of Banking explains why a financial system without banking is both desirable and possible in the digital age.

 

The Power of Mobile Banking: How to Profit from the Revolution in Retail Financial Services – Sankar Krishnan

Two disruptions of absolutely unimaginable scale are radically and totally transforming retail banking. First, a worldwide convergence of financial services, telecom, retail, healthcare, and media. Second, the chaotic mash-up of multiple emerging phenomena including nanotechnology, big data analytics, telemedicine, smart cities, machine-to-machine interaction (the Internet of Things) and the incredibly rapid growth of the middle class in Asia, South Asia and parts of Africa. The new middle class represents hundreds of billions of dollars in fresh revenue for retail banks. By training and temperament, however, most retail bankers are unable to “think beyond the branch.” They do not understand that in the modern connected world, the “branch” is becoming largely irrelevant. What matters instead are the services delivered to your laptop, your tablet, and your smartphone. Connected digital devices are the future of retail banking, and the time to begin preparing for the new paradigm is right now! The book provides the steps necessary for a retail bank to adapt, evolve, and succeed in the new world.

 

Virtual Banking: A Guide to Innovation and Partnering – Dan Schatt

Technology is permanently transforming the banking industry, and digital payments are the key. This book takes a hands-on approach to competing in the modern banking environment. Former PayPal Head of Financial Innovation Dan Schatt explores the reasons behind the massive consumer migration away from traditional banks, and provides clear, actionable guidance on beating new banking models at their own game. Digital payment is the hottest topic in banking today and is set to define the future of the industry. Between the pace of financial regulatory reform and the cloud computing revolution, the old banking model is on the fast track to extinction. Electronic Payments, Mobile Commerce, and Virtual Banking provide the information banks need to compete in this new environment and details the integral implementation actions that will allow them to thrive. The book discusses real-world innovations from banks, non-banks, and up and comers, and the heavy competition from the new outsource bank model.

 

Bye Bye Banks?: How Retail Banks are Being Displaced, Diminished and Disintermediated by Tech Startups and What They Can Do to Survive – James Haycock, Shane Richmond

Tech companies have disrupted retailing, media, transit and travel. Now the retail banking business model looks set to be transformed too. In Bye Bye Banks? James Haycock and Shane Richmond describe these startups, and to which areas of the banking industry they are laying siege. It shows that this assault is already well underway and that many incumbents are poised to be displaced, diminished and disintermediated. It draws on extensive research and on-and-off the record interviews with senior executives in some of the biggest banks. Haycock and Richmond conclude with the recommendation that traditional banks need to reinvent themselves by launching a ‘Beta Bank’: a lean, stand-alone organisation fit for the future for which they provide a ten-point operating model. This short book is a bold, urgent and timely analysis of the forces shaping the future of financial services. Its message to industry leaders in the sector could not be more simple: adapt or prepare to be disrupted.

 

Smarter Bank: Why Money Management is More Important Than Money Movement to Banks and Credit Union – Ron Shevlin

With technological developments and upstarts threatening to disrupt and displace established financial institutions, what should banks and credit unions do to defend their positions, and to grow and thrive in the new world of banking? Smarter Bank helps banks and credit unions: 1) Understand and react to emerging technological disruptions; 2) Regain consumer trust; and 3) Be more profitable. In short, it’s about how to become a “smarter” bank. Smarter about developing customer trust and relationships, smarter about understanding consumers’ needs and wants, smarter about using technology, smarter about marketing products and services–and smarter about making money. Smarter Bank provides a no-nonsense framework to address broad issues impacting banking’s rapidly changing business model. The book addresses topics like innovation, big data, customer engagement, mobile payments, personal financial management, and the changing financial behaviours of consumers, in particular, the Gen Yers.

 

Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money – Nathaniel Popper

A New York Times technology and business reporter charts the dramatic rise of Bitcoin and the fascinating personalities who are striving to create a new global money for the Internet age. Digital Gold is New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper’s brilliant and engrossing history of Bitcoin, the landmark digital money and financial technology that has spawned a global social movement. The notion of a new currency, maintained by the computers of users around the world, has been the butt of many jokes. That has not stopped it from growing into a technology worth billions of dollars, supported by the hordes of followers who have come to view it as the most important new idea since the creation of the Internet. Believers from Beijing to Buenos Aires see the potential for a financial system free from banks and governments. More than just a tech industry fad, Bitcoin has threatened to decentralize some of the society’s most basic institutions. An unusual tale of group invention, Digital Gold charts the rise of the Bitcoin technology through the eyes of the movement’s colourful central characters, including an Argentinian millionaire, a Chinese entrepreneur, Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, and Bitcoin’s elusive creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Already, Bitcoin has led to untold riches for some, and prison terms for others.

 

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and Digital Money Are Challenging the Global Economic Order – Paul Vigna, Michael J. Casey

Bitcoin became a buzzword overnight. A cyber-enigma with an enthusiastic following, it pops up in headlines and fuels endless media debate. Cybermoney is poised to launch a revolution, one that could reinvent traditional financial and social structures while bringing the world’s billions of “unbanked” individuals into a new global economy. But bitcoin, the most famous of the cryptocurrencies, carries a reputation for instability, wild fluctuation, and illicit business; some fear it has the power to eliminate jobs and to upend the concept of a nation state. It implies, above all, monumental and wide-reaching change-for better and for worse. But it is here to stay, and you ignore it at your peril. Vigna and Casey demystify cryptocurrency-its origins, its function, and what you need to know to navigate a cyber-economy. The digital currency world will look very different from the paper currency world; The Age of Cryptocurrency will teach you how to be ready.

 

The FINTECH Book

A front-line industry insider’s look at the financial technology explosion “The FINTECH Book” is your primary guide to the financial technology revolution, and the disruption, innovation and opportunity therein. Written by prominent thought leaders in the global FinTech investment space, this book aggregates diverse industry expertise into a single informative volume to provide entrepreneurs, bankers and investors with the answers they need to capitalize on this lucrative market. Key industry developments are explained in detail, and critical insights from cutting-edge practitioners offer first-hand information and lessons learned.

 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Prof Klaus Schwab

Artificially-intelligent robots. Self-driving cars. Neuro-technological brain enhancements. Genetic editing. The evidence of dramatic change is all around us and it’s happening at exponential speed. Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, has been at the centre of global affairs for over four decades. He is convinced that the period of change we are living through is more significant, and the ramifications of the latest technological revolution more profound than any prior period of human history. He has dubbed this era the fourth industrial revolution. Crowdsourcing ideas, insights, and wisdom from the World Economic Forum’s global network of business, government, civil society and youth leaders, this book looks deeply at the future that is unfolding today and how we might take collective responsibility to ensure it is a positive one for all of us.

 

The Book Of Satoshi: The Collected Writings of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto – Phil Champagne

Have you, like the rest of the world, speculated as to the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, anonymous creator of Bitcoin? Like the currency he created, the identity of Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto is virtual, existing only online. The Nakamoto persona, which may represent an individual or a group, exists only in the online publications that introduced and explained Bitcoin during its earliest days. Here, collected and professionally published for the first time are the essential writings that detail Bitcoin’s creation. It is a convenient way to parse through what Bitcoin’s creator wrote over the span of the two years that constituted his “public life” before he disappeared from the Internet . . . at least under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. His public life ends at about the time PC World speculated as to a possible link between Bitcoin and WikiLeaks, the infamous website that publishes leaked classified materials. Was there a connection? You be the judge. Want to learn more about Bitcoin? Go directly to the source-the writings of the creator himself, Satoshi Nakamoto!

 

Financial Inclusion at the Bottom of the Pyramid Paperback – Karl Mehta and Carol Realini

As incredible as it may seem in this hyper-connected, technologically advanced era, half the planet’s population exist as “Financial nomads” – those who nourish and shelter themselves without using traditional banking services. While the wealthy live at the top of a metaphorical pyramid, taking financial security and banking services for granted, there are billions of people who struggle at the pyramid’s base in an exhausting state of financial exclusion and insecurity. Times are changing rapidly, but despite global uncertainty, technology has the capacity to reach and equip people in all walks of life. Advances in communications have reconfigured the ease with which we interact with our money—and these advances can provide innovative financial services to the unbanked and underserved around the world. Financial inclusion for all is indeed within our reach, and with this conviction, authors Karl Mehta and Carol Realini propose a vision for a better world and a blueprint to get there.

 

The Mobile Commerce Revolution: Business Success in a Wireless World – Tim Hayden and Tom Webster

Mobile commerce has reached and passed its tipping point: more than 50% of the U.S. population now owns smartphones. But mobile commerce is about much more than just the “location-based strategies” covered in other books on the topic. “The Mobile Commerce Revolution” covers “everything” you need to know to capitalize on this immense new opportunity – from infrastructure to culture, strategy to tactics. Authored by Tim Hayden, one of the mobile’s pioneering thought leaders, this actionable guide is packed with brand-new case studies from both small businesses and large brands. Along the way, Hayden presents incisive interviews with pioneers in mobile technology innovation, from Foursquare founder Dennis Crowley to Invodo’s Jim Keeler, the former CTO if AT&T Wi-Fi Services. If you’re making decisions about mobile commerce, no other guide offers as much expert, actionable insight.

 

Are there any books you’d like to add to this list? Leave a comment below.

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