FinTech Summary 75 – Apple Bank, Expensive Bitcoin, Bots, PSD2 Effects

Every so often a new hype cycle comes around, it was bitcoin, then it was blockchain now it’s bots. We are early into development circle and expectations currently set out by the public are unlikely to be met. It won’t feel like talking to a human any time soon, not you can’t just chat to your banking bot when you’re bored at 3am about the game you saw yesterday. It will feel more like an advanced Q&A box where you don’t need to use keywords but the bot implies them from your sentence. There are challenges that we need to overcome, particularly the data ownership. If you’re using a bot a banking bot on Facebook, everything you say about your banking life will now be with Facebook. That’s a problem for me, and for many others. It is still a huge technological advancement and it will be huge, someday, just not tomorrow.

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How PSD2 Will Change Europe’s Banks For The Better
By Artem Tymoshenko

Open APIs will change this by forcing banks to give the same access to your banking information that their website has. Banks will still be required to authenticate users and provide the same level of security that they do now, but they will not be allowed to restrict account owners to accessing it only through their services. This will allow third-party financial service providers to build services directly on top of banks’ data and infrastructure. This means that banks will no longer be competing just against other banks, but against everyone who wants to offer financial services.


Hello, May I Speak to My Personal Bot?
By Eran Livneh

By and large, customers want to better manage their finances, but they don’t have time to stay on top of it all. That’s where the chatbot can lend a helping hand, by automatically executing money management tasks on behalf of customers, dutifully working to improve their financial well-being behind the scenes. Because of its ability to always be available, predictive, understand compliance, and work autonomously, a chatbot can become a critical – even if not an exclusive – channel for customers interacting with their banks. At the end of the day, if a customer receives excellent customer service, he/she won’t care if it comes from a human employee or a chatbot.


Will Apple Bank be the first new American #Fintech Bank?
By Chris Skinner

On Wednesday the American Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)* followed up on its promise last December to introduce a national bank charter for Fintech bank startups by issuing a white paper on how to apply for a licence, the evaluation process and what will be involved. It’s a massive move towards allowing Fintech firms like Square, Stripe and Simple to become full banks in the USA, if they want to be, plus any other firm who fancies a shot like Apple, Wal*Mart and even Ant Financial. It doesn’t mean they’ll get a license, but it does mean they can apply for one through one agency rather than having to deal with 200. This is a significant step towards encouraging Fintech banking competition in the USA and reflects similar moves made in other geographies.


But, but… I thought Bitcoin was supposed to be cheap?
By Izabella Kaminska

Total transaction fees in bitcoin are on the ascent, challenging a key claim put forth by bitcoin acolytes in the early days: that the bitcoin payments network could compete with the mainstream banking system on cost. Reality, however, is finally catching up with bitcoin. Fees are escalating due to capacity constraints being imposed on the network on account of blocksize limitation as well as the reduction in bitcoin mining awards. If unresolved such constraints will impede further scaling of the network and make bitcoin prohibitively expensive for day-to-day transaction use. Thus far, however, a have-your-cake-and-eat-it solution has escaped the developer community with all options on the table introducing some sort of compromise, whether that’s to bitcoin’s security or its decentralised and trustless nature. And, naturally, because this is the anarchic utopia bitcoin, nobody can agree on how to proceed anyway


Also published on Medium.

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I'm a #26 Global FinTech influencer. An Economist by profession, I have worked on both sides of the table - tech startups and global financial organisations. I love football, technology, travelling and photography.