FinTech Summary #51: Three Sexiest Words in FinTech

I was working on a project for a major global bank to help them build their digital strategy/brand. They feature we discussed were impressive, but the statement was rather dull, safe, wordy. This is exactly why they are struggling to establish an industry leading brand – the unwillingness to be bold, brave and adventurous. The best branding lesson I ever got was – “If I can substitute one company for another and have the ad still make sense, it’s not a good ad.” That’s why fintechs are often ahead of financial institutions, just look at the TransferWise ad

Transferwise FYCK ad


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Have a wonderful week,


This Week’s Summary

The Three Sexiest Words In FinTech
By Chris Skinner

Three big areas are emerging in FinTech, from an investors viewpoint: FinTech for the unbanked, the rise of blockchain technologies and InsTech. The “Sexy words” in FinTech for tomorrow will belong to IoT, O2O, big data and chat-bots. Notwithstanding a huge potential of all these developments, no breakthrough is likely in the short term. These services will be developing for years and, what is most important, we will have to learn them. Users will have to become comfortable with sharing their growing amounts of data and ask questions, make mistakes, correct them and teach firms how to understand us and be able to predict our needs. This teaching process will hinge on our willingness to engage and the amount of time and effort we have to spend on them. It takes not only developers.


Remember Satoshi: Blockchain Economics And Law
By Kurt Dew

Economics and law are a couple of important factors in the success of any venture. Thus the mystery. The single economic fact that resulted in the economic feasibility and ultimate significance of blockchain technology — the founder’s contribution — seems to be misunderstood. It is simply silly to ignore Satoshi’s major coup: converting potential hackers of blockchains into protectors. I hasten to add, looking at the rules governing bitcoin’s miners — the specific set of miner incentives in bitcoin — there is no doubt these rules can be bettered. I believe a skilled financial analyst could design a permissioned blockchain where protectors of the system are identified, managed, and monitored, while giving them incentives sufficient to make protecting more valuable than hacking.


Why Fintech Startups Might Not Want to Become Unicorns
By Julie Verhage

In mythology, unicorn sightings are blessed events. In the fintech world, they might be increasingly ill-fated. Striving to achieve a valuation of $1 billion or more may no longer be in a start-up’s best interest, according to recent valuation trends and the venture capitalists who invest in the space. Fintech firms, in particular, are posing a headache for investors as rising valuations create a limbo-like state in which start-ups become too pricey for larger firms to buy, but don’t have business models that are scalable enough for a debut in the public markets.


InsurTech Ventures Going After Big and Complex Health Insurance Pain Points
By Amy Radin

Innovators addressing the root of user pain points can influence how plans are selected, and health care is consumed. The levers are not easy to move. Success requires compliant ways of combining big data analytics and personalization with user-centric digital experiences. The headline of a recently published New York Times article, Cost, Not Choice, Is Top Concern of Health Insurance Customers would seem to state the obvious. People don’t see value because they don’t understand what they are buying. People are being held accountable for health decisions that they are not equipped to handle. People don’t always make rational decisions. The multiple miracles that would have to occur for a quick fix make it unlikely that we will see a simple, logical health insurance experience any time soon. We are relatively early in what is likely to be a long game.


5 things that made me smarter this week

Purple Skittles taste different in the US because of regulation. A federal ban on growing blackcurrant prevented the flavor from growing popular stateside, even as it became commonplace in Europe.

What Should You Choose: Time or Money? People who chose time were on average statistically happier and more satisfied with life than the people who chose money.

New Yorkers will pay $56 a month to shorten their commutes by a minute.

Paralympic runners in Rio ran faster than their Olympic counterparts. In the 1500-meter race for the visually impaired, the first, second, third, and fourth-placed runners each beat the timeset by gold medal winner Matthew Centrowitz in August.

Your smartphone works better in your right hand. Especially if it’s an iPhone.


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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.