When your house starts to fade…

FinTech House Fade

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.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome! Just hit reply if you want to get in touch 🙂

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

 

Rebuilding “Truth”
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.

 

Why insurance might finally be getting interesting
By EY

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. 

Why changing is so difficult? | FinTech Summary 84

FinTech Change

It’s very difficult for banks to change. There are many external factors to overcome – regulation, customer expectations, competition, internal complexity. However, the biggest factor is the mindset. Lack of leadership belief is the biggest break in the process. The reason it’s difficult to learn something new is that it will change you into someone who disagrees with the person you used to be. Changing direction requires admitting that you were going in off course in the first place.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

 

The power of banking with purpose
By Jim Marous

The importance of a well-defined, articulated and acted upon purpose has never been more important for a financial services organization. Unfortunately, most financial institutions lack an underlying purpose or lack the commitment from top management that motivates both employees and customers. Some organisations do little more than express their purpose as if it was an ad slogan that is changed with the seasons. Some purpose statements lack differentiation and could easily be used by other financial organisations or firms in other industries. Some purpose statements are more similar to a ‘wish list’, with no real connection to where a firm is or where it can effectively go in the future. Finally, there are those banks or credit unions that create an effective purpose statement, only to do nothing to support the purpose on a daily basis to employees or customers.

 

Open APIs – leveraging banking as a service to compete and collaborate
By David Donovan

In an API world where data is currency and a customer-centric experience is king, banks are lagging behind the tech titans. However, the advent of open banking legislation may just force the hand of banks to innovate around the customer before tech firms enter the financial services market. Banks should look at APIs as a way to enhance service offerings, improve customer engagement, increase digital revenues and build partnership models with fintech while ensuring regulatory and data guardrails are in place. There is an unprecedented opportunity for banks to make every customer interaction more seamless and strengthen their partnership ecosystems by building a core API strategy.

 

Customer experience as a competitive advantage in banking
By Artashes Vardanyan

The evolution of the customer service in traditional banking was very slow during the past few decades. One of the milestones in that matter was probably the invention of the ATM in 1967 for the automation of bank-teller operations. Then the customer support in branches started to migrate to telephone banking, followed by the smartphone era that changed the approach of banks in dealing with customers. Mobile technologies have significantly affected the financial services industry, forcing institutional players to tailor their businesses to survive in the mobile-first environment. Innovation in customer service is becoming a huge priority for banks; the world today is changing rapidly and everything we know is getting digitised.

 

A holistic approach to cybersecurity
By Joe McKendrick

Today’s waves of cyberattacks may be coming on too fast for the best computer scientists to unravel fast enough to stop their spread across connected networks. If anything, the recent ransomware attacks that shook up many of the world’s IT systems highlights the need for insurers to work even harder — and smarter — to batten down their hatches. More money is part of the solution, and there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of that going into security efforts. But throwing more money at the problem will only be feeding a black hole which will keep demanding more dollars, euros, pounds or rupees. Insurers need to get smarter about their cybersecurity as well. Looking at their own protective requirements, connected insurers face increasing threats that need to be addressed aggressively.

Barclays the blockbuster of finance, insurtech innovation, how to compete with fintech, the real number of unicorns – FinTech Summary 82

Barclays is the blockbuster of fintech

Fintech won’t challenge us. Jess Staley, CEO of Barclays, sees technology as driving globalisation and changing banking, but says there’ll always be a Barclays.

It’s also worth understanding that there is no upside to saying stuff like this. Because more often than not, you’ll find yourself on the wrong side of history like so many of these CEOs. And then we’ll make slides to immortalise your cluelessness – “neither Redbox nor Netflix are even on the radar screen in terms of competition” once said Blockbuster CEO…

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

 

What’s happening in the Insurtech innovation scene in London
By Bernard Lunn

Insurtech is moving beyond the early buzz created around P2P, drones, Blockchain and AI as concepts. The focus now is on solving actual pain points that the incumbent insurance industry fully recognises, the most pressing of which is how to better engage with customers. There is less hostile talk of disruption and more about the power of partnerships. The backdrop to all of this is the collapsing value chain in Insurance.

 

How banks can compete against an army of fintech startups
By Karen Mills and Brayden McCarthy

It’s been more than 25 years since Bill Gates dismissed retail banks as “dinosaurs,” but the statement may be as true today as it was then. Banking for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) has been astonishingly unaffected by the rise of the Internet.  Gates’ original quote contended that the dinosaurs can be ”bypassed.” If U.S. banks are going to survive the coming wave in financial technology (fintech), they’ll need to finally take digital transformation seriously. There are strategies that they can use to compete successfully online. The familiar David vs. Goliath script of the scrappy, internet-fueled startup vanquishing the clunky, brick-and-mortar-laden incumbent is repeated so often in startup circles that it is sometimes treated as inevitable. But in the real world, sometimes David wins, other times Goliath wins, and sometimes the right solution involves a combination of both. SME lending can remain a big business for banks, but only with deliberate choices about where to play and how to win. Banks must focus on areas where they can build a distinct competitive advantage, and find ways to partner with or learn from the new innovators.

 

Disruption is already here
By JP Nicols

Disruption is already here. It just isn’t widely distributed yet, as William Gibson famously said about the future.The open banking movement may eventually turn banks into app stores, where customers can consume products and services from a wide range of providers, all connected to a central banking utility. This platformification of banking, as Ron Shevlin calls it, is still very much a work in progress, but leading banks, such as BBVA, Capital One, Silicon Valley Bank, and others are actively developing APIs and working with fintech partners to connect and build new applications for customers. The result will be a massive reduction in operating expenses, and the ability to mass-customise products, features, and benefits to personalise the experience for banking customers. Exactly what most banks need, but you have to play to be able to win.

 

Fintech unicorns – what’s the real number?
By Chris Skinner

Investors are accustomed to the modern tech growth curve. Most funds have a three to five-year investment horizon. This means that investors inject capital into a business with the expectation of realising a return on that capital within that investment horizon. The problem is that finance is a very slow-moving sector. Whether you’re selling bank technology, small-business solutions, or acting as a lender, it takes time to break into the market. The tech idea that you must get big fast and dominate a sector is at odds with the slow-moving nature of finance, and lending in particular. Unfortunately, fintech companies often receive pressure from both existing and potential investors to demonstrate so-called “hockey stick” growth. This, in turn, leads to short-term thinking on behalf of the fintech company, which brings us to the second reason for the industry’s woes.

Incentivising purpose in banking, gig economy and insurtech, banking revolution, American banking – FinTech Summary 81

FinTech Second Order of Consequence

The revolution that fintech has started has a significant impact on the way we will live our lives. From how we pay for our coffee to what kind of retirement we will get. However, these are only the first-order consequences of fintech revolution. There will, surely, be the second and third order of consequences. For example, the way we transact will eventually impact the way we hire sales staff, which in turn will impact how we structure our companies and how we allocate capital. These changes are still hard to predict but something we need to start thinking about.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

 

Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems: it’s time to incentivise purpose in banking

By Anne Leslie-Bini

“I want to create a lender that people don’t hate” said Denise Kingsmill, the chair of the board at U.K. challenger bank Monzo. Now there’s a pithy declaration that speaks volumes about the state of the banking industry and the times we live in. But how should we read this: are her comments simply savvy market positioning, tapping into the desiderata of a disillusioned digital generation? Or could this be something of greater substance: a refreshingly wholesome approach to rehabilitate an industry that historically ran on trust and bankrupted itself of its own currency during the global financial crisis? But here is the rub: even if challenger banks turn out to be ‘better’ banks from a customer experience perspective, is this enough? Can’t we, and shouldn’t we, expect more from the ‘banks of the future’?

 

Next up in insurtech: the gig economy
By Diana Asatryan

The Ubers and TaskRabbits of the world fueled the creation of a whole new layer of the labor market, which now spans across (arguably) every imaginable industry. Just like with every new industry, the gig economy is now in need of products and services, designed specifically for its unique market. Finance and insurance products, are, of course, on top of that list. Already, many FIs have jumped on the gig bandwagon; GreenDot, for example, partnered with Uber and Mastercard last year to offer instant pay for on demand workers. Both insurtech and the freelance market have been on an upward curve lately. The CNBC estimated recently that over the past 20 years, the number of gig economy workers has increased by 27% more than regular payroll employees. In the meanwhile, reports suggest that between 2011 and 2017, VC funding for insurtech companies grew 31% annually. The two industries seem to be a match, made in fintech heaven.

 

The banking revolution: sink or swim
By Chris Skinner

Wave after wave of technology hits the bank, and the bank absorbs each wave and internalises the change. The issue is that, just like the fish, each wave is getting stronger. As digital transformation sweeps through the industry, the bank can resist each wave or swim to deeper waters. The banks that resist the digital waves are those who have millions of customers, billions of capital and centuries of history. The bank does not need to change so fast. The bank is robust, secure and resilient. The question today has to be: is it? As the digital waves hit, they are transforming the bank. Now, with open sourcing structures, billions of dollars are being invested in companies to transform the whole nature of finance. FinTech firms are reinventing the markets whilst cloud, AI and distributed ledgers are reinventing the back office. Through apps, APIs and analytics the bank is being open sourced. Without fundamental technology change and technology leadership, the bank is behaving like the fish by the shore. Wave after wave after wave of demand for technology change and digital transformation is hitting the bank, and the bank is just continuing to feed on past customer revenues, products and services.

 

America is Falling Behind in Banking Innovation
By Jim Marous

Despite increased investment, the banking industry in the U.S. continues to lag other regions of the world in the development of meaningful digital innovation. This impacts customer experience, cost structures, as well as revenue opportunities. Historically, the banking industry in the U.S. has been slow to innovate compared to other industries. When asked why this may be, most industry studies found legacy back office infrastructures, the lack of leadership commitment (culture), regulations and compliance, organizational silos and the lack of budget to be inhibitors. Despite these limitations, the U.S. banking industry has tried to increase their focus on innovation through upper management commitment and support of innovation initiatives, development of innovation labs, increases in dedicated financing, and even an openness to invest in, or partner with, fintech firms. Some may question if the increased level of attention has had any measurable impact. 

Why bankers like sour grapes; bank-fintech partnerships that work; bitcoin fork – FinTech Summary 76

fintech bankers sour grapes

A few weeks back I have mentioned about a small FinTech dinner I’m hosting. We have an impressive group of people who have expressed interest in joining. I have one more slot left, let me know if you want to join. The dinner will be in London, at some point in April (we’ll agree on the best date with the group).

I’m planning to host this every month so even if you can’t make April let me know and I will add you to the list.
Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

 

Making a bank-fintech partnership actually happen

By Anna Bennett

It’s no secret that fintech companies can easily get caught between a rock and a hard place when trying to grow their businesses. They know that getting their proposition into a bank is likely to be the only realistic way to achieve mass market scale and, crucially, deliver their backers the returns they expect on their investments. But they also won’t have to go far to find a fellow fintech with grisly war stories to tell about the bitter and brutal experience of trying to navigate a bank’s due diligence process, and demonstrate that they are fully compliant with all relevant regulations. Some fintechs have been broken entirely by the process, and plenty of others brought close to the brink. But why is the process such a nightmare and what practical steps can fintechs take in order to minimise the risks, maximising their chances of securing a business-defining deal with a bank?

 

The banker and the sour grapes
By Duena Blomstrom

Fintech these days has become like an immensely fast-paced game with absurd levels of difficulty thrown in for ever-diminishing (or at least largely unclear) pots of gold. No one has to bear the stress more than those working in large incumbent banks. I’ve said this many times before: no other industry behaves quite like ours, or has been affected by the sharp advent of technology and its effects on customer experience in quite the same fashion, so we’re experiencing unprecedented levels of discomfort in many ways irrespective what part of the industry we’re in. All of us – bankers new and old, technology makers and commentators – we are all impacted by this spectacular time in the growth of digital and the money retail business. There’s no time to complacently relax into anything – deep conceptual thinking is nearly banned if we wanted to keep up, there is definite uncertainty to accompany ever growing demands, and it feels like the more we learn and the more we try, the harder it is.

 

War of the words: who’s said what about a bitcoin fork?
By Alyssa Hertig, Stan Higgins & Garrett Keirns

Bitcoin is abuzz with chatter about the prospects of a possible network split, a development that could drive the emergence of two separate blockchains. It’s an eventuality that has businesses in the industry weighing in again on a long-standing impasse over the digital currency’s future direction. What’s more, the nature and tone of the scaling debate appears to have sharpened, driven by animosity between those who support one vision over another. As such, a range of bitcoin startups (exchanges, wallet providers, miners and hardware makers) have weighed in on where they stand on the issue. Perhaps unsurprisingly, much of the preparation seen comes from companies that would find themselves in possession of handling two separate bitcoin assets on behalf of customers should the network split.

 

InsurTech industry has grown by 25%
By Igor Pesin

InsurTech is a relatively new industry. However, it’s developing quite fast and becoming one of the most booming verticals in the FinTech space. First of all, don’t pay too much attention to the 34% drop in the InsurTech market in 2016; it actually grew up by 25% considering the number of deals. The year 2015 showed an abnormal rise in the InsurTech market, which was mainly driven by Chinese large and extra-large deals, including $1B USD invested into the world’s largest InsurTech startup Zhong An. More and more investors are being attracted to InsurTech/HealthTech segment. It turns out that insurance companies are more active in InsurTech than banks used to be in FinTech; it seems that they have learned from the unsuccessful experience of the latter to not to resist changes or ignore them.

How Payments Will Change One Of The Underlying Foundations Of Our Society

The way we pay and transact is one of the underlying foundations of our society is one of our basic utilities. I believe we are going to see some drastic changes in this foundation in the coming 5 to 10 years. Because of the transaction cost and settlement time we try bulk our orders, we don’t pay for a page we read we buy a book. Once transaction cost disappears and clearance times will drop to minutes and second and not hours and days a lot of business models with change. Many payments will become more granular. New business model will become possible like paying 1 cent for every article you read online, instantly and automatically will change how content producers are rewarded. Instant free transfer to a foreign country will change how we employ people for our businesses. Decentralisation of payments will fuel the changes even further. Fintech is at the forefront of this evolution and I’m really excited to witness these changes shaping up first hand.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

 

Summary for this week

 

A Brief History of Blockchain
By Vinay Gupta

Many of the technologies we now take for granted were quiet revolutions in their time. Just think about how much smartphones have changed the way we live and work. It used to be that when people were out of the office, they were gone, because a telephone was tied to a place, not to a person. Now we have global nomads building new businesses straight from their phones. We’re now in the midst of another quiet revolution: blockchain, a distributed database that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records, called “blocks.” These changes, and others, represent a pervasive lowering of transaction costs. When transaction costs drop past invisible thresholds, there will be sudden, dramatic, hard-to-predict aggregations and disaggregations of existing business models. For example, auctions used to be narrow and local, rather than universal and global, as they are now on sites like eBay. As the costs of reaching people dropped, there was a sudden change in the system. Blockchain is reasonably expected to trigger as many of these cascades as e-commerce has done since it was invented, in the late 1990s.

 

How Blockchain Is Changing Finance
By Alex Tapscott and Don Tapscott

It begs the question: Why is our financial system so inefficient? First, because it’s antiquated, a kludge of industrial technologies and paper-based processes dressed up in a digital wrapper. Second, because it’s centralized, which makes it resistant to change and vulnerable to systems failures and attacks. Third, it’s exclusionary, denying billions of people access to basic financial tools. Bankers have largely dodged the sort of creative destruction that, while messy, is critical to economic vitality and progress. But the solution to this innovation logjam has emerged: blockchain.

 

In Praise Of Cash
By Sam Haselby

The cashless society – which more accurately should be called the bank-payments society – is often presented as an inevitability, an outcome of ‘natural progress’. This claim is either naïve or disingenuous. Any future cashless bank-payments society will be the outcome of a deliberate war on cash waged by an alliance of three elite groups with deep interests in seeing it emerge. The defence of cash will be simple and intuitive. As unsexy and analogue as cash is, it is resilient. It is easy to use. It requires little fancy infrastructure. It is not subject to arbitrary algorithmic glitches from incompetent programmers. And, yes, it leaves no data trail that will be used to project the aspirations and neuroses of faceless technocrats and business analysts into my daily existence. It comes with criminals, but hey, it’s good old friendly normal capitalism rather than predictive Minority Report surveillance-capitalism.

 

How Insurers Can Implement Tech Companies’ Tactics
By Joe McKendrick

In 2011, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen famously coined the phrase “Software is Eating the World” in a Wall Street Journal article. The point: Companies across industries are doing so much digital and tech work that they are, essentially, becoming software providers in addition to their original businesses. And, we’re seeing that happen in the insurance industry as well. Disruptions are coming in fast and technology-savvy companies are moving to shake up the insurance business. While there are signs all around that as insurers are moving ahead in adopting digital technologies to streamline and energize their businesses, we’re also seeing insurance business models being altered by the tech sector. Insurance, in some ways, is becoming another data-driven service that can be added to digital platforms.

Insurtech On The Rise – Transforming A 5000 Year Old Industry

fintech-summary

fintech-summary

Insurance business model is one of the oldest business models out there dating back to Chinese and Babylonian traders as long ago as the 3rd and 2nd millennia BC, respectively. The principle of distributing the risk among many players is unchanged but the surrounding wrapper of services is changing rapidly. As an offer, insurance has been commoditised. It has become a part of the bundle. Whenever you buy a car, you want that car to be insured. Insurance is not a product anymore, it is becoming a service add-on that is bundled up during the buying process. This is further fuelled by the rise of sharing economy, where transaction frequency has increased dramatically and a new way to serve insurance is needed. New routes to market will emerge and distribution channels will see major changes.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome! Just hit reply if you want to get in touch 🙂

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

 

What comes after Marketplace Lending?
By Bernard Lunn

Now that Lending Club is past its crisis mode and is just another mature company that has to impress investors with predictable growth in financials on a quarterly basis, we look at where the puck is headed in lending. What innovation will change the lending game and create companies as big as Lending Club ten years from now? There are four innovations that focus on two big imperatives facing any ‘lending’ entrepreneur – reducing Customer Acquisition Cost (where Customer = Borrower) and reducing Cost Of Capital (reducing the intermediary cost) – the next generation deposit account, just in time borrowing by consumers, big data for the lending to micro entrepreneurs, automated working capital financing for SME.

 

The FinTech Wave – Part 1, Part 2
By Chris Skinner

There’s been a lot of talk about fintech lately. We talk about the billions of dollars being invested in fintech; the wave of unicorns and startups in this space; the challenge they bring to banks and incumbents; the way in which they’re reaching new spaces and places – but what is fintech? It’s no longer this big bucket of finance and technology. In fact, saying ‘fintech’ is like saying ‘retailer’. But what exactly are they retailing, and in the fintech sense what areas of finance are these companies automating? Chris provides a very detailed breakdown two part post.

 

Is the Facebook of Banking Still Possible?
By Diana Asatryan

If you picked up the New York Times Business section this morning, you probably saw the photo of the fintech guru, Brett King, looking out the window of a dimly-lit room. The caption read: “Brett King once hoped his company, Moven, would become ‘the Facebook of banking.’” Those hopes are gone now, the article suggests, as King has shifted Moven’s business model from being a standalone challenger bank, to selling its software to the banks. “We realized that if you want millions of users as a bank it is a very different proposition than building a social media network,” King told the Times.

 

Leveraging Machine Learning to Create a Powerful Cross-Selling Engine
By Adam Anderson

Financial institutions have always known the data they possess could yield tremendous insights. They just haven’t figured out how to tap this goldmine. The vast amounts of customer data — device details, login information, transaction histories, payment behaviors, etc. — give banks and credit unions a truly unique opportunity to learn more about- and deepen relationships with consumers. Why cross your fingers and hope staff guess which product they should pitch your existing customers next? A data analytics system deploying the principles of machine learning can take the guesswork out of your cross-selling program. Transport your marketing from the crude “fries-with-that?” mentality of yesteryear to the Netflix and Amazon world we live in today.

Do Banks Need To Lose For FinTech To Win?

fintech-win-banks-lose

FinTech and Banking relationship is always pitched as a win or lose scenario for one of the parties. Some can only win when others lose, others seek to win by helping others succeed. One of these approaches is far more scalable. Build your strategy accordingly.

Also, in the last newsletter about 2017 predictions, I’ve missed a quality report by my friend Jim Marous – you can check it out here (it’s not free but if you work in fintech/research/banking it may be worth getting it for your business)

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

 

Is Alternative Lending a Perishable FinTech Segment?
By Elena Mesropyan

Despite competitive propositions and momentary advantages that alternative lenders may have over incumbents, it is likely that banks will eventually drive this particular FinTech segment out of business. That moment, however, will come after a brief time of mutually beneficial collaborative work that we will witness in the years ahead. Though alternative lenders will get to see growth and prosperity in the short term, the long-term success of this segment is questionable. In fact, the more sophisticated data analytics, regulatory technology and risk management solutions developed by FinTech startups get, the less time is left for alternative lenders to leverage their often overhyped position.

 

International Competition is Stifling UK InsurTech
By Thomas McCourtie

Recent years have seen a growing relationship between insurers and technology, but many of the more significant developments are stemming from international markets. Mainland Europe, parts of Africa, and even the US are way ahead of the curve, but the UK remains somewhat under-represented. While embracing technology in the UK insurance industry continues to be a challenge, lack of originality and product development could see UK providers fall behind their competitors from other regions.

 

Parsing Lemonade PR To See If P2P Insurance Is Game Changer Or A Mirage
By Daily FinTech

A lot of the InsurTech innovation we see can be coopted by the incumbent carriers relatively easily. Knowing how to build a compelling digital user experience is not enough to create a moat and sustainable advantage. So a lot of people are looking at P2P insurance as the disruptive game changer. Ever since Lemonade did their $13m Series A funded by the hot hands of Sequoia Capital just over one year ago, there has been a lot of speculation about whether Lemonade will prove this model to be a game-changer or whether the whole thing is a mirage. Now that Lemonade is releasing some information, we take a look at what we can learn about the whole sector.

 

Volatility and Liquidity: How Bitcoin Compares to its Crypto Competitors
By Willy Woo

I started this study to double check my assumptions that bitcoin was well ahead of the pack in network effects. What the data showed was this was only partly true. Bitcoin’s lead in liquidity is not unassailable, monero could match it in a year, while dash and shadowcash could achieve it in just over two. However, all of bitcoin’s competitors tote features that bitcoin is lacking – faster confirmation times and private payments. Both of these features will most likely be coming to bitcoin as layer two protocols in 2017. If and when this happens, the battle for payments and general money will be fought solely on the playing field of economic network effects, that of liquidity and volatility.

FinTech 2017 Preview in 12 Headlines

fintech predictions 2017

fintech predictions 2017

Happy New Year! I wish you lots of bitcoin, low remittance fees, secure mobile wallets and cheap P2P insurance. Today, I have prepared a special edition of FinTech Summary for you. We will review of various predictions for 2017, as well as big and important topics that need to be address. After all, we’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs. So exciting.

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

FinTech 2017 Preview in 12 Headlines

 

Pascal Bouvier shares his fintech wishlish for 2017. There are many nitty gritty problems that need solving in the financial services industry. Technology, common sense, thoughtful regulation and new business models will address these over time. There are also complex problems, bigly ones, that will require either deceptively simple solutions and/or intricate collaboration among many stakeholders.

10 Predictions for 2017 by Chris Skinner. A FinTech unicorn stumbles (this market is still nascent). Or perhaps SWIFT gets hacked again (how many times can this happen?).

For fintech, 2016 was a year of reckoning. Scandals and layoffs killed industry buzz, and deal activity took a mid-year nosedive. Regulatory uncertainty in the U.S. loomed large, as did Brexit. After a glum 2016, look for startups tackling massive opportunities like insurance and real estate to reenergize the fintech sector.

 

Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin Blockchain Predictions

2017 Will Prove ‘Blockchain’ Was a Bad Idea. Yet, all in all, 2017 might be the final year in the pump-and-dump scheme of blockchain-without-bitcoin , the last-ditch effort to prove the marginal utility of databases on crypto-steroids. Probably some smart contract hype will clutter the debate, thanks to the smartest ones among the fools trying to outsmart even the smart contract inventor. But most of this fuss will finally leave center stage, allowing for the 2018 return of (a hopefully more fungible) bitcoin.

Another bitcoin ecosystem health check as we slide into 2017. Bitcoin is at its 3 year high. Is justifiable? Daily FinTech carries out a deep dive into bitcoin prices.

2017’s Big Question: Who Pays for the Blockchain? Not since the heady dotcom days have we seen so many experts hyping a new technology. But, amid the hype, little attention has been paid to an important question. Who pays for the blockchain?

 

InsurTech/RegTech

Insurtech Regtech Predictions

What’s in Store for RegTech in 2017? RegTech has been a famous buzzword in 2016 and the industry – banking and FinTech alike – is looking eagerly at 2017.

InsurTech’s Predicted Impact on Agents in 2017. This upcoming New Year’s Day, agents and brokers should make a resolution to adopt technology that will more easily support customer requirements.

10 insurtech trends to set the stage for the digital insurance agenda in 2017. These 10 insurtech trends set the stage for the digital insurance agenda. They reinforce the need to connect insurance executives with insurtech leaders, which is basically our mission. It helps us to create an agenda for DIA 2017 Amsterdam that’s in sync with what insurers need and what the latest technologies can provide.

Banking and Payments

Banking and Payments Predictions

The top 10 trends in banking innovation. Littered with global examples, Efma has been running an awards program with Accenture for a few years now, to recognize global banking innovation showed 10 key trends emerging in the past year, of how banks are absorbing innovation.

Top 5 payments predictions for 2017. Brian Roemmele and Faisal Khan look ahead to what might change in payments in 2017.

Here’s why 2017 will be a turning point for the UK marketplace lending industry. The UK’s marketplace lending sector is one of the world’s oldest and largest, but it may be reaching a tipping point whereby growth starts to slow and market dynamics start to change.

 

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Bracing For Seven Critical Changes As FinTech Matures

Bracing For Seven Critical Changes As FinTech Matures

Bracing For Seven Critical Changes As FinTech Matures

The architect refuses to design the big, ugly building that merely maximises short term revenue. She understands that raising the average is part of her job. The surgeon refuses to do needless surgery, no matter how much the client insists. He doesn’t confuse his oath with his income. Professionals have standards. Professionals push back. To regain public trust we need to start seeing more professionals working in the financial sector.

Thanks for reading; YOU are awesome!

Have a wonderful week,
Alex

Bracing For Seven Critical Changes As FinTech Matures
By Miklos Dietz, Vinayak HV, and Gillian Lee

The fintech sector is being shaped by shifting market conditions, new regulations, and changes in consumer demands and behaviors. For the past decade, fintech companies—technology firms that focus on financial products and services—have moved quickly, forcing incumbents to rethink their core business models and embrace digital innovations. But now, the fintech industry is itself maturing and entering a period of rapid change. Companies wondering how they will fit into this new era must first understand the forces that are pushing the changes.

 

The Strongest Transformative Forces in the Insurance Industry
By Elena Mesropyan

In the years ahead, insurance landscape will no longer be an oligopoly as transformative forces will reach the level of impact enough to reimagine traditional business models. But the uniqueness of transformation in the insurance industry is in cross-industrial impact – there are major outside forces tremendously affecting the future of insurance. Self-driving cars, the sharing economy, IoT, sensor technology, AI, distributed ledger technology, drones, mobile technology, etc., are all changing the way insurance is structured, consumed and provisioned in the future.

 

Why Having No Customers Could Be The Best Thing For Your Fintech Startup
By Jessica Ellerm

In Malcolm Gladwell’s book “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants”, Gladwell asks his readers to reframe the classic biblical battle of David and Goliath. He argues there is a fundamental psychological difference to viewing the world in this way that as humans and entrepreneurs, we shouldn’t ignore. The ultimate purpose of Gladwell’s book is to parallel David and Goliath’s battle with that of entrepreneurship in the face of incumbents. No more so is this evident than in the realm of challenger banking. So, taking Gladwell’s approach, if you were to start a challenger bank from scratch, what is one classic disadvantage that could be reframed into an advantage that in fact gave you more than a fighting chance?

 

Blockchain Pros Debate ‘Looming Challenges’ for Smart Contracts
By Michael del Castillo

Just because a repetitive job could be replaced with self-executing code on a blockchain, doesn’t mean it should be. When a smart contract is a bad idea, when it’s a good idea and what stands in the way of widespread proliferation of the technology. There’s a pull within the industry toward confidentiality. While financial institutions and other players in the space hail the benefits of transparency, they hesitate to put their information on a blockchain.

 

5 things that made me smarter this week

How easy would it be to make the iPhone in America? Good read on global supply chains. Could a 787 Dreamliner be built entirely by American works?

Renewable energy might just have enough momentum to thrive. The energy industry has already shifted—and it may not want to go backwards.

Generating dope rhymes with deep learning. NSFW language.

How long have we known about climate change? Nearly 200 years argues Katherin Heyhoe.

Fake news almost took down Abraham Lincoln. Misleading reports in 1864 said the president wanted to intermarry blacks and white to yield an American super-race.