It’s hard for big companies to innovate incrementally because the process often feels slow and, nearly, meaningless. There are no ‘big wins’, at least not done quickly. Repainting your house the same color it already was feels like a waste. It’s a lot of effort merely to keep things as they are. Minor updates feel like repainting your house but they matter because once you need a big update it may prove a mountain too high to climb. But if you don’t do it, time and entropy kick in and the house starts to fade.
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By Pascal Bouvier
As an investor, the more meaningful fintech opportunities I see on the horizon center around enabling a new truth equilibrium. This is why core banking systems or policy management systems for insurers are so exciting. This is why digital sovereignty – digital identity schemes, privacy schemes applying equally as direct to consumer solutions and b2b solutions – are so exciting. This is why distributed ledger or blockchain tech is so exciting, when appropriate. This is why solutions that allow us to make sense (truth) of data such as new generation data marketplaces are so exciting. Any and all of these hold the promise of anchoring us with new truths we can trust. Therein lies the real signal. The efficiency part is only noise.
What should be priority for banks
By Chris Skinner
Embrace technology and change the boardroom. Banks are led by bankers, but banks are fintech firms too. Banks should, therefore, have a good balance of technologists and bankers in the boardroom. If a bank’s leadership team cannot understand the difference between machine learning and deep learning, or between blockchain and a distributed ledger, how can they possibly lead the bank into this digital future?
Cards vs non-cards, or cards and non-cards?
By Dave Birch
The traditional merchant acquirer will transmute into a Merchant Service Provider (MSP), fits within this narrative. I can see that merchants want value-added services, a great many of which depend on collecting and analysing large quantities of data rather than just “cost plus” payment processing. What’s more, as the cost of payments heads toward zero, nodes in the value chain will have to provide those value-added services or be bypassed. So, will Visa and MasterCard be bypassed by open banking? If they do nothing, then yes. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Alipay and others will simply go directly to consumer payment accounts via APIs, and payments will begin to drift away from the 8,583 rails put in place over many years. But they won’t do anything.
InsurTech is finally catching-on. The industry has only recently woken up to the many opportunities that new technology offers and now we’re seeing more firms investigating what phones and apps can do for them. But the insurance industry is just catching up with its customers. Consumers, used to seamless experiences from many of their interactions, are expecting to see it from their insurance companies too. The big, established players, in particular, have recognised the need to embrace new technologies to remain relevant and engage with customers. This is more crucial than ever as new players have entered the field, all with an eye on the prize. Jumping on the digital bandwagon is no longer an option – but a necessity for all insurance companies – no matter their size.