POST /bank Hackathon Roadshow October 1st, 2016

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What will the digital future of banking look like? And how do topics like retail and smart data play into it?

THEMATIC FOCUS

Smart Data: The past years were all about collecting as much data as possible (Big Data), but merely collecting it doesn’t offer much benefit. We need to collect it in the right places, be able to use it intelligently as a basis for decisions and extract value from it (Smart Data).

Connected Devices: The Internet of Things constitutes the variety of sensors and devices that are there to simplify our lives. Technologies like iBeacons and wearables enable us to harvest and analyze our own data – and the fitness tracker is only a first and small step into the world of connected devices.

Service Revolution: Digital customers are well-connected and demanding. This also manifests itself in their expectations of customer services. The shoe vendor Zappos, for example, can be called and asked for the weather forecast.

Blockchain: The blockchain is a decentralized system for administering transactions which became popular foremost by means of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. There are a lot of additional fields it plays into: e-commerce, crowdfunding/P2P lending, mobile payment, social media or platforms/APIs.

FinTech/InsuranceTech: The digital world of finance and insurances is going through a (r)evolution. New disruptive ideas in these fields will permanently change the people’s future relationship towards finance and insurances. The hackathon wants to become the platform to define this future.

Open Data: Open data is an important component of today’s digital society. We want to achieve more transparency through freely available data.

Open to anything: We’re open to anything you have to offer theme-wise. You have more interesting ideas or business cases from within the periphery of the banking sector? We’re looking forward to your participation!

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Interviews


Alternative Investments: A path to transparency

Capital has been flowing into the alternative investment industry over the past few years, with sources projecting that money invested in private funds will reach as much as $20 trillion by 2020. Preqin recently published a study stating that there are as many as 17,000 private funds open for investment.

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Cryptocurrency Accounting Guide: How Do I calculate My Crypto Gains?

The increased interest and excitement towards cryptocurrencies has resulted in an influx of new money flowing into the cryptocurrency market. However, entering into the crypto world is extremely intimidating, especially when you’re dealing with a subject matter that is technically complex. With many making a considerable rate or return on their investments, it is vital to understand how we should value our crypto gains (or losses).

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Bitcoin is just the tip of the iceberg: exploring blockchain’s full potential

If there is one topic setting tongues wagging in FinTech, it is blockchain. Because of its distributed ledger system, Blockchain makes processes easier, faster and by extension, cheaper. Bitcoin is only one case among the many applications of crypto. Once its potential is fully explored, blockchain could generate much more than digital money, and empower individuals by putting them in full control of their money and transactions.

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A Career In FinTech: How to break into this notoriously competitive market

2017 was an excellent year for FinTech recruitment in Ireland and 2018 is looking like it’s going to be no different. The FinTech recruitment market, in both the UK and Ireland has never been so competitive and this trend continues as time and technology advances. Funding and investment is additionally in place for FinTech with Tech Ireland reporting that a total funding of €563 million has been pushed into the Irish FinTech industry alone – making the impact and scale of this market greater than we could have imagined.

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Open Banking – Intellectual Property Considerations

On 13 January 2018, the starting pistol was fired for the Open Banking race. Retail banks (and building societies) are now required, with their customers’ consent, to provide access to their customers’ banking data to approved third parties in a standardised, straightforward and secure way. Open Banking has been hailed as a catalyst for the Fintech sector, facilitating innovative new banking apps and services for consumers and small businesses.

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How big data and AI has revolutionized financial trading

Many banking and finance companies have already taken advantage of big data analytics to simplify the process of personalized offers, targeted cross sales and to improve their customer service. The term big data keeps expanding and today incorporates numerous new meanings, such as Deep Learning, Cluster Analysis, Neuron Networks and Artificial Intelligence.

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The role of blockchain in the Open Banking era 


PSD2 - the second Payment Services Directive - offers European consumers significant control over the use of their personal financial data. But while they trust their banks with this sensitive data, a recent Accenture study shows that consumers are overwhelmingly reluctant to share their bank details with third-parties. So how can fintech companies generate trust and encourage consumers to sign-up? I believe empowering consumers to manage their own data could be the answer.

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A Cautionary Tale for Tokens

As the digital asset community tries to project how the world’s governments and agencies will ultimately regulate the cascade of coins and tokens now being blockchained into existence, we could use a good anecdote. Do we have a relatively recent story that features large quantities of regulatory uncertainty, customer frenzy and start-up obsession? One that might illuminate basic truths that help token investors and issuers navigate the unusual regulatory landscape they find themselves trying to cross? In fact we do. The story of daily fantasy sports companies during the second half of 2015 offers the digital asset community several valuable insights.

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Mobile Payment: NFC, QR Codes, In-app and beyond…

‘Mobile payments’ is a broad term. As the ecosystem has developed, various new technologies have emerged to change the way we act and transact in-store.

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PSP ecosystem explained and global mapping of key players

As the PSP segment in the payments value chain is maturing, retail prices for online payments are steadily dropping, while the level of service offered to merchants is only increasing. Consequently, players aim to gain scale and increase capabilities through strategic acquisitions. This report describes the global PSP space today and defines the capabilities offered by the different participants in the ecosystem.

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Navigating Cryptocurrency Regulation: Common Sense in an Uncommon Industry

The recent, exponential growth of bitcoin, Ether, and other cryptocurrencies has brought cryptocurrencies firmly into the public eye. Some have created crypto-products or tokens to raise funds in a veritable cash grab with little foresight, planning, or disclosure. Others – by the tens and hundreds of thousands – are signing up to purchase crypto-assets. Often these purchasers have no understanding of the underlying technology or the risks involved, proving that, as Mark Twain opined, “common sense is very uncommon.”

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Fintech perspective: the best is yet to come

In the past 18 months a great many column inches have been given over to distributed ledger technology, more commonly known as blockchain and its power to disrupt industries, particularly in the financial sector.

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Cryptocurrencies – Does the Next Big Thing have Staying Power?

Cryptocurrencies – not just bitcoin, but any of the hundreds of different currencies that have been created using blockchain technology – have caught the imagination of the public. There are, seemingly, daily articles that predict either the demise of all traditional currencies in favor of cryptocurrencies, and just as many articles predicting the demise of cryptocurrencies.

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Managing Identities Online: Blockchain and AI are the Key

Blockchain and identity management are not only a natural fit, but will also be an increasingly important part for online businesses in the future. AI and Blockchain will play crucial roles in customer onboarding and provide better conversion for businesses and more security for all parties involved.

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How Online Identification Will Change Businesses – Rupert Spiegelberg and Armin Bauer, IDnow

FinTech Weekly talked to online identification provider IDnow about why identity management will be one of the most interesting areas to watch in 2018. Further, we discussed their highly interesting business, how opening bank accounts online can be safer than in a bank, and how even customers of 102 years old can use online identification.

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Building the fintech hub – Interview with N26's Head of International Markets, Alexander Weber

FinTech Weekly interviewed Alexander Weber, Head of International Markets at mobile bank N26. We briefly talked about their market expansion to the UK and US, building the fintech hub through partnerships with incumbents and fintechs and why N26 does not fear the tech giants in banking.

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Blockchain could disrupt credit agencies all over the world

Blockchain is driving a paradigm shift in how we deal with data, rewriting the rulebook around approaches to data management, transparency and ownership. While digital finance is cutting the cost of serving the underbanked to drive financial inclusion, blockchain could offer a way of widening access to even greater numbers of consumers excluded from mainstream financial services.

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Blockchain Trends to Keep on Your Radar for 2018

There were many significant strides forward for the blockchain industry in 2017, but where does that leave things looking ahead to 2018? Here are two areas to keep on your radar for the year to come.

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Bridging Cryptocurrency with the Travel Industry

“The 90s had dotcom mania. Here comes crypto mania!”
While Bitcoin is conquering new highs in the 20,000 range, and global public attention is glued to the charts of altcoins of all types, opinions have split: from baby boomer’s claiming cryptocurrency a gigantic bubble, to millennials hoping to hedge against political and economic fluctuations.

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ICOs: Regulatory Landscape and Good Practice Principles

Recent statements by various regulators around the world demonstrate an increased scrutiny of initial coin offerings ("ICOs"). In order to create a well-functioning global market for ICO fundraisings, a professionalization of the ICO process is urgently needed.

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The blossoming relationship between PE investors and FinTech start-ups

Private Equity (PE) houses completed a record number of investments in FinTech portfolio companies in 2015 according to Pitchbook, marking a 79% increase on the 53 FinTech deals completed by PE firms three years earlier. Since 2015, PE firms have continued to invest in FinTech with the likes of BlackFin Capital Partners and Finstar Financial Group setting the benchmark by investing considerable amounts in the FinTech start-up market. Despite the recent decline in PE investment generally and the economic uncertainty following the Brexit vote, the FinTech start-up industry may be poised to continue its lucrative rise.

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2018 Lending Predictions – A New Game Awaits

Digital fluency and a thirst for convenience are making the UK’s borrowers more capricious and cost-sensitive than ever. Interest rate rises, and new regulations will add fuel to this fire next year, and lenders that can’t keep up will get burned in 2018.

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CTO Insights: PIN-on-Mobile is coming

Imagine taking a regular smartphone and turning it into a payment acceptance device with a simple app download. That’s the utopian dream many companies are chasing today and it could bring huge benefits to the payments ecosystem, merchants and consumers as card and mobile payments continue to grow.

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Will the overnight millionaire become an overnight pauper?

Someone who invested just USD 1,000 in bitcoin in 2010 will now have a net worth of USD 70 million. With predictions that bitcoin’s value will jump up to USD 50,000, more and more “investors” are jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon in a bid to benefit from the “mysterious” cryptocurrency’s phenomenal climb in value.

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Why Portugal? Why Lisbon? – Interview with João Vasconcelos, Secretary of State of Industry

We had the privilege to talk to João Vasconcelos, Portugal's Secretary of State of Industry and former Executive Director at Startup Lisboa, about the thriving tech scene and reasons for fintechs to come to Lisbon. Besides the beautiful landscape and great people, of course.

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A Cloud-Based Controlled Open Web Container for the Fintech Market

As the demand for faster and more sophisticated financial trading tools increase it is envisaged that future trading platforms will need to adapt in terms of functionality and flexibility.

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Composite Lending: Why a Hybrid of Balance Sheet and Marketplace Lending Makes The Most Sense

A few years ago, marketplace lending platforms quickly gained steam and emerged as Wall Street darlings, promising to bring greater access, speed and efficiencies to all parties involved in the borrowing process – borrowers (small businesses and consumers), the marketplace lenders themselves,  and secondary investors. In recent weeks, however, a series of high profile incidents and disappointing earnings statements have called into question the transparency, stability and viability of the marketplace lending business model. Apparently, the headlines read, it is not time to ring the death knell for traditional banks just yet.

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Big Banks can be Challengers too

Paul Bowman from Market Gravity shares his insights on how traditional long-term strategies are dead and banking organisations are finding new ways to innovate quickly.

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Blockchain Technology - The Next Disruptive Computing Innovation

Yamini Kona has around 15 years of experience in Financial Services. She comes with a strong research and business analysis background and has authored various case studies and thought papers in the past.

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What the Gig Economy Means for the Emerging Fintech Industry

When thinking about the implications of the gig economy, all industries must take notice of its disruptive nature in order to remain smart and streamlined, adapting to consumer needs. And, they can achieve this mainly by making their workforces more flexible. But particularly how can it affect the traditional finance industry and the new disruptive trend in fintech? The traditional financial industry is one of the anchors of the world economy, but it is undergoing a reinvention thanks to fintech. When you combine two major disruptive shifts -- fintech and the gig economy -- the results are powerful and game-changing.

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What about the ethics of FinTech?

FinTech is rapidly becoming the backbone of consumers’ buying and investing habits, increasingly entrenching different technologies into everyday use. FinTech has transformed the way banks offer financial services to customers, and every day, financial institutions are finding innovative ways to share banking use cases and financial functions with their beneficiaries.

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Cryptocurrencies and ICOs – A Rough Guide to Regulation

Over the past few years there has been a growing proliferation of cryptocurrencies. More recently, companies which may have limited access to fundraising through traditional methods are turning to cryptocurrencies, and initial coin offering (“ICO”), as a means to raise funds.

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When Fintech Meets Finance

Fintech – the potent intersection of the finance and technology industries – has transformed the business landscape forever. After all, technology had already irrevocably transformed our lives, from the way we shop to the way we socialise. It was time that technology revolutionised the way businesses accessed funds.

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Polish FinTech companies attract interest abroad

FinTech is currently one of the fastest growing sectors of technology. It is expected that by the year 2020, investment in FinTech companies will grow to 46 billon USD, while global investment in this sector today amounts to more than 26 billion USD (Statista). Because of their high degree of innovation, solutions originating in East-Central Europe, including Poland, are the subject of considerable interest in the branch and are represented at many international conferences. This year is no exception, and on 7-8 February at Finovate London, we will be able to see some new and interesting FinTech from Poland.

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How Robo-advice for Credit and Debt Will Disrupt the Industry

Expensive asset managers today are struggling to deal with the twin challenges to their traditional business model: low-cost, passively-managed index funds, and the online robo-advisors that help retail investors optimize the allocation of their assets between those funds. The finance industry is still unprepared for the next big disruption — widespread use of robo-advisors for liabilities: online tools that will deliver customized credit solutions to consumers in real time.

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Emerging Tech in Mobile Banking

Customers’ expectations for mobile apps are changing rapidly across the board. And the banking industry just can’t keep up. The 2 billion people using mobile banking apps by 2020 will expect an immediate and seamless user experience.

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Managing the risk and reward of PSD2

Banks and financial services institutions are preparing for a shake-up, with the new payments services directive (known as PSD2) coming into force in a matter of months. The rules are set to transform the payments and banking industries, bringing exciting new opportunities for fintech, along with strict new requirements and responsibilities. Here, we outline the key changes to be aware of.

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5 Important Lessons Learned About Fintech from an Industry Insider

The FinTech revolution has become a worldwide movement in just a few years, with no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Global FinTech investments in 2015 were over double that of total investments made in 2014, indicating a surge in interest among different countries to become the FinTech capital of the world.

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Startups @ WebSummit – Video Interviews (3-5min)

We stopped by at some of the startups and established fintechs at this year's WebSummit in Lisbon to ask them what their respective products can achieve – in just three minutes. Here's who they are, what they do and how they see the industry.

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Recent Developments in Digital Currency Regulation

As the digital currency space has evolved and matured over the past several years, U.S. regulatory agencies have, for the most part, sat back and observed – none purporting to exercise jurisdiction over the digital currency space in any meaningful way. This hesitation has stemmed from the novelty that virtual currencies pose to regulators, including the varied nature of the underlying technology and structure and an inability to squarely place them into a singular asset class. Virtual currencies, depending on their underlying framework and liquidity, possess certain features of currencies, securities, commodities, and property.

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Is This the Best Way to Do Digital Transformation in Banking?

Match borrowers with lenders directly and there is no need for intermediaries anymore. So when digital disruptors squeezed their way into financial services industry, one could think banks were doomed.

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How to Get Press for Your ICO

Enhance the visibility of your ICO when you learn what it takes to get the press needed to take your brand’s public profile to the next level in this industry.

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The troublesome future of brokers: Interview with an InsurTech marketer

The insurance industry is facing tremendous change and so are the tasks of those working in this field. We talked to Sebastian Heithoff, Marketing Manager at German InsurTech startup versicherungsberatercheck.de – a platform that looks to increase the quality of insurance brokerage and consumer decision making in the digital age.

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How to get Private Equity “out of the dark ages”

Alternative investments are on a tear, and no asset class has seen more growth than private equity. According to a recent study by eVestment, Assets under Administration (AUA) grew 44% from 2015 to 2016. This influx of capital has caused major ripple effects across the entire private equity landscape, with fund managers competing intensely to attract investor capital.

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Retail Trading Ripe for Fintech Disruption

Start-ups in the capital market space are a small part of the Fintech world, but are finding multiple opportunities to disrupt retail trading.

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London’s Fintech Scene Post-Brexit

A year has passed since the UK voted for Brexit. Speculation has been rife on the potential impact that the Brexit vote, and the trigger of Article 50, could have on the London fintech landscape. Thus far London has maintained its pre-eminent position. In fact we are seeing growth of the tech hub in Croydon and further afield in the UK with growth in Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.

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Why Banks Can’t Help But Help Fintechs

Imagine if one of the large high street banks did actually truly innovate. Imagine if banks were somehow capable of taking the innovative lead from fintech. Imagine if your own bank outdid all fintech companies in speed, service, convenience and cost for all financial services you use, for your current account, payments, foreign exchange, savings and investing, and any other services.

Would you stay with your cutting-edge bank or prefer to use four or five individual fintech companies? Most people would choose the convenient option of staying with their bank, right?

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Not Every ICO Is a Goldmine

Investing in ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) or functional new currencies can be extremely profitable from an investor’s perspective. For companies, it is a crowdfunding alternative that helps them raise funds for new projects. An ICO is an easy and efficient method for startups to generate capital for their new projects.

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Will Banks Ever Learn? Erm…

A common analogy to the finance sector is the newspaper industry, and rightly so. Finance is quickly shaping up to be remarkably similar. The incumbent banks are the heavyweight newspapers – the Washington Post and Financial Times of the world. FinTechs are to banks what the growing mass of alternative news sources – blogs; e-zines; new digital-only newspapers; social media, most prominently, Twitter; and the increasing relevance of corporate content marketing – is to the incumbent newspapers.

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Microservices: Redesigning the Lego

In the not so distant past, enterprise computing relied on monolithic applications to provide access to business functions within an organization. These applications strove to meet all operational requirements through rich and ever-growing feature sets—think ERP systems.

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What about the ethics of FinTech?

FinTech is rapidly becoming a backbone of consumers’ buying and investing habits, increasingly entrenching different technologies of everyday use. It has already revamped the way financial services are being offered to customers and every day more banking use cases and financial functions seem to find an innovative way to reach the beneficiaries.

Read the full interview

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