Fintech News Issue #151 January 17th, 2018

Being usual will keep you afloat only for so long. Once you stop moving, you're doomed – at least in banking. Says Chris Skinner. This and a lot more insights on how to excel (or at least not fall behind) in the ever changing world of financial services is waiting for you below. Have a great week. – Michael and the FinTech Weekly team

Top Stories

    I’ve blogged quite a bit about adapting to change lately, and will continue to do so as banking-as-usual (BAU) is not an option. It’s similar to standing in the middle of the road. If you stand there for long enough, you’ll get run over.

    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.

    Going in to 2018, we have chosen five areas of interest to focus on. Each represents a vital area of innovation in the financial industry, and has a particular relevance to Luxembourg’s thriving financial technology ecosystem.

FinTech Articles

    With mobile banking services offered at the majority of financial institutions, innovating the digital space is becoming more important in the fintech ecosystem, especially for smaller players like regional banks or credit unions.

    AI can improve customer personalization, identify patterns and connections that humans can't, and answer questions about banking issues in real-time. Financial institutions are already finding success with AI. However, what may be 'amazing' today will be table stakes in the near future.

    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.”

    Fintech is finally learning to play nice with the financial services industry. The last couple of years have seen fintech upstarts forge successful partnerships with incumbent financial institutions to better the industry from the inside out. But it wasn't always this way.

    During the course of 2017, we saw big technology players making moves in blockchain. [...] It's safe to say that Fortune 500 companies are now pairing with providers to explore blockchain’s uses in their businesses

    Over the last several years, millennials have been upending the consumer market as companies scramble to find the best way to attract the world’s first group of digital natives, a wily lot who thrive on innovation, automation and all of the latest tech gadgets.

    2017 was tipped to be a big year for RegTech, with many predicting the beginning of fundamental, tech-enabled transformation of the middle and back office.

    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.

    Much has been made of what looks like plans by Amazon to enter the insurance market in Europe, after the online retail giant was seen recruiting insurance professionals in London.

    Banks need to embrace video banking if they are going to compete effectively and retain customers, according to a new report released by analyst firm Celent.

    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.

    ‘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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