Fintech News Issue #147 December 21st, 2017

Let's bring 2017 to an end in a worthy way. The past twelve months were amazing in terms of innovation in financial services. Weren't you amazed by the speed of new developments in the fields of AI, blockchain, payment, ...even regulation? Next week I will manage to assemble a little Xmas special. If you're happy enough to enjoy a little break until next year, here's your reading material for the holidays. For those, like me, who will throw in a few office days or who don't celebrate Christmas, enjoy a few moments of quality insights. – Michael and the FinTech Weekly team

Top Stories

    Financial institutions struggle with complex regulations, legacy systems, new technologies and competitors, and an increasingly demanding customer base. Insights from a crowdsourced panel of 100 financial services influencers, industry analysts and banking providers combined with the results from a global research study helps identify future trends and strategies for long-term growth.

    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.

    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.

FinTech Articles

    In the blink of an eye, consumers have evolved from being wary of mobile banking to casually quizzing robots in their home about their spending habits.

    Startups have always been around, as has the pursuit of new technology solutions for banking delivery, says Leda Glyptis, so why are we saying fintechs?

    2017: A year of firsts
    via LinkedIn Pulse

    1. What a year it has been. On many fronts, it has been a fantastic year of firsts and non-stop travel. We launched our first market innovation report to lay out the opportunities for innovating for the older adults, a population that financial services startups and entrepreneurs largely ignore.

    Back in January, I made 10 predictions for 2017. Let’s see how near or off the mark they were.

    Most consumers love mobile banking. More than half of all those with a smartphone owners use the service. But growth in mobile banking appears to be tapering off. For instance, Business Insider reports the growth rate for mobile banking at megabanks at Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase continues to fall.

    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.

    Despite constituting more than 43% of the workforce, women occupy only 37% of positions from management in Brazil, according to the IBGE Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics.

    We decided to ask [Brett King] how the banking future looks and whether Blockchain has anything to do with it.

    There is a growing trend of Blockchain implementation in the social media industry. This development is changing how the public approaches an ecosystem which has before now been at the mercy of a few individuals in terms of security, commerce, functionality and general control.

    Finance has always been quite conservative but it hasn’t missed out on technological progress. Now banks are separating from their customers due to technological progress

    The 'Digital Payments and Mobile Wallets' Digital Banking Report found that there is no clear path to success in the new payments ecosystem, but that there are tremendous opportunities for firms that embrace collaboration to develop improved value-added payment solutions that can address the need for speed, insight and security.

    Over the past year, a growing number of people have leapt to take part in bitcoin’s meteoric rise. Teenagers have invested their college funds. Some families have mortgaged their homes and placed everything on the table. Even billionaires have suggested putting 10% of all assets into the digital currency.

    Throughout history, banking has remained a closed industry, monopolizing the majority of other financial services. Total digitalization has brought changes to the industry. Fintech firms give users the right to choose an alternative. However, the PSD2 directive adopted in the European Union goes even further. It will disrupt the entire banking industry, completely changing the rules of the game worldwide through massive competition.

    When it comes to the innovations in finance that will impact the way future organizations are run, artificial intelligence and machine learning is likely to have a larger effect than bitcoin or cryptocurrency, a survey from investor communications company Mediant found.

    Eugene Etsebeth is a former central banker with the South African Reserve Bank. There, he notably chaired the virtual currency and distributed ledger working group.

    Why Bitcoin won’t result in the complete collapse of society, but might result in an energy revolution.

    I was moderating a panel discussion about Open Banking and the panel’s opening was some research presented by Steve Ogborn and Benedict Ireland of the Unlimited Group. The guys said that only 9% of consumers had heard of Open Banking. That means 91% had no idea what it was. Even when it was explained to them, only 41% were interested and only 11% were really interested.

    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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