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This Week in Fintech ending 31 July 2020

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This weekly summary from our 9 experts, brings you insights based on their experience as investors, entrepreneurs & executives.

To continue receiving This Week in Fintech, you can either become a paying Member for $143 per year (and receive all our content in addition to this weekly summary) by clicking here.  If you just want to receive This Week in Fintech for free, you will need to fill in this form

Your Editor is Bernard Lunn. He is also the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy and occasional opinion columnist.

Monday Ilias Hatzis our Greece-based crypto entrepreneur (Founder & CEO at Mercato Blockchain Corporation AG and Weekly Columnist at Daily Fintech) @iliashatzis wrote Dr. Seuss and Decentralization

Dapper Labs the creator of CryptoKitties is bringing Dr. Seuss collectibles to the digital world using blockchain technology. Anyone will be able to buy packs of Dr. Seuss digital collectibles, featuring characters from The Cat in the Hat, The Grinch, and other famous works by Seuss. Dr. Seuss wrote and illustrated more than 60 books and many remain top sellers long after his death in 1991. His projects have been adapted into feature films, cartoon series, stage shows and now they are being adapted for blockchain. This blockchain adaptation, brings fans closer with iconic and popular characters they love and lets them connect and engage with each other in meaningful ways. Fans will compete to collect limited edition items from the Dr. Seuss World in surprise drops, using them to complete sets that unlock new and hidden exclusive content. The creation of Bitcoin introduced the concept of trustless, digital scarcity. Crypto collectibles, also often referred to as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), expand on this idea. Non-fungible tokens could easily grow into a multi-trillion-dollar market, and collectibles will likely grow significantly as NFTs enter the mainstream.

Editor note:  Collectibles may sound like a trivial use case but we all love them and the underlying technology of non-fungible tokens is a big deal.

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Tuesday Efi Pylarinou @efipm our Swiss-based Fintech Adviser,  founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019 wrote Scalable Capital: from Digital investing to Deposit accounts and Brokerage services

Fintech funding and activity for investing solutions is remarkably healthy given the macroeconomic conditions. The Stash ($112million in April 2020) and Robinhood ($280million in May 2020 and $320million in July) sizable funding rounds and the acquisition of Personal Capital by Empower Retirement (c.$825million in June 2020) are just three 2020 picks from the mature US market.

This past week, Europe adds Scalable Capital`s €50million ($58million) funding round which brings to the spotlight the stubborn difference of the US market with Europe in terms of savings, investing styles and behaviors.

Editor note: Fascinating look at the winners starting to emerge during the consolidation phase of Wealthtech.  

Alan Scott Managing Director EMEA at 24 Exchange @Alan_SmartMoney wrote Stablecoin News for week ending Tuesday 28 July 2020

This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the Stablecoin market. This week Alan focuses on the looming battle between CBDCs and Defi.

Bernard Lunn @lunnbernard, the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy, wrote: Happy 6th Birthday Daily Fintech

6th Birthday is a big deal for a startup, because the data says it takes 7-10 years for startups to build real value.

We have consistency on our side, having published original insight every day for 6 years from this post on 28 July 2014. Yes. Every. Day. That consistency and a focus on quality got us this silver medal out of 100 Fintech blogs.

We can celebrate that we have come a long way from a single blog post to multi author silver medalist in a big market, but we also know that we have a long way to go.

Editor note: This one is a bit personal as Daily Fintech is my baby – growing up so fast!

Wednesday Jessica Ellerm @jessicaellerm, our Australia-based Fintech entrepreneur and thought leader specializing in Small Business and the Gig Economy & CEO/Co-Founder of Zuper, a new superannuation startup in Australia wrote Australia’s Adatree At the Forefront of Australia’s Open Banking Push

If Australian businesses were still on the fence about how Open Banking will transform the competitive landscape, then following the release of Australian Open Banking fintech Adatree’s landmark report, they won’t be for much longer.

Open Banking (also known as the Consumer Data Right), went live in Australia on July 1, 2020. The legislation has long been in the works however challenges still remain. Many of these are purely practical – like how to access and use the nation’s treasure chest of data to benefit consumers. Others however, are far more abstract – just how could this data be used, to create business models that have never been seen before?

Editor note: The innovation adoption rule that disruptive change takes longer than you think but that the eventual impact is also bigger than you think looks like it will also be true for Open Banking. 

Bernard Lunn @lunnbernard, the CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy, wrote: Who can fill Jessica’s shoes on the subject of SMB Fintech?

I am sad to report that today will be the last post on Daily Fintech by Jessica Ellerm. She started writing here way back in the early days. For the record here is the post announcing Jessica over 4 years ago. I will miss her ability to make complex subjects accessible, informative and entertaining.

Jessica joins the Daily Fintech alumni who have contributed their expertise to the global Fintech community and gone on to do great things.

Editor note: It is the best of times and the worst of times in Small Business Fintech. Best of times: Small Business Fintech remains a window of opportunity big enough to drive a truck through Worst of times. The pandemic has hit Small Business the hardest.This matter to all of us who care about a healthy society based on a vibrant Small Business sector.

Guest author Amber Sutherland wrote A bankers guide to AI Part 1 How transparent is the AI?  (first of 5 part series).  Amber Sutherland has over fifteen years of experience in finance, business development, and regulatory technology. She worked for a large global bank for a decade, and has experienced first hand the evolution banks go through in their digital transformation and compliance journeys. This experience led her to move to regulatory technology, where she helped a former client enter the UK market. She then joined Silent Eight to help enter the EMEA market and grow their business in EMEA and APAC. Silent Eight is an AI-based name, entity and transaction adjudication solution provider to financial institutions. 

Editor note: In every industry, banking included, much money will be made from AI automation (and sadly, many jobs lost). This 5 parter gives you some of the nuances and complexity of making that happen in banking.

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Thursday Patrick Kelahan @insuranceeleph1, our US based Insurtech expert (a CX, engineering & insurance professional, working with Insurers, Attorneys & Owners who also serves the insurance and Fintech world as the ‘Insurance Elephant’) wrote The insurance earth is flat.  Digital conferences have helped prove that theory.

Being a last minute addition to two Digital Insurance Innovation Conference Africa 2020 panels has proven the Flat Earthers’ hypothesis- the earth is not a spherical barrier to virtual navigation, and taking the concept one step further, insurance innovation has loosed its bindings from its earthly coil and barriers raised by regulatory frontiers.

Editor note: When people look for historical parallels to our currently troubled times, they usually miss one thing that is totally different this time – the Internet. Our time is like after the printing press was invented.

Thursday Christian Dreyer @x3er, our Swiss based CFA who focusses on how XBRL changes our world wrote XBRL: US states reporting, taxonomy development, sustainable finance

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the XBRL market.

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Friday Howard Tolman, a well-known banker, technologist and entrepreneur in London, wrote: Alt Lending: Zombie companies, Bank Interventions & conflicting priorities for Alt Lenders

Editor note: This weekly snapshot is the news that matters in the Alt Lending market.

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To continue receiving ‘This Week in Fintech’, the weekly recap of our articles, you will need to fill this form to give us consent to send this to you. Please note that Daily Fintech requires your organizational email address (e.g. corporate, educational or government) and your LinkedIn URL. This information is required for subscribers who want ‘This Week in Fintech’ for free. If you prefer to not provide this information, you can still receive all our content by becoming a paying member.

Source: https://dailyfintech.com/2020/07/31/this-week-in-fintech-ending-31-july-2020/

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Westpac rolls out customer complaint resolution system

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Australian bank Westpac has enlisted IBM to help build a complaint resolution platform that is now being rolled out to more than 15,000 customer-facing employees.

Built using IBM’s Enterprise Case Manager architecture, the Resolve platform will consolidate the bank’s web of nine ageing complaints systems and “lock in” operational improvements.

In a pilot phase since July, Resolve will now be accessible to 15,000 staffers via an “intuitive” system making it simpler for branch and contact centre staff to log and resolve complaints, says Westpac.

From next year, customers will have direct access via online banking, enabling them to log and track their complaint as it progresses to resolution. Over time, the bank says AI will help navigate bankers or customers through “guided resolutions”.

Lisa Pogonoski, GM, customer solutions, Westpac, says: “This is a huge opportunity to significantly improve customers’ experiences, get all of our people onto the same system, have one single view of complaints and one source of data.”

Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/36824/westpac-rolls-out-customer-complaint-resolution-system?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Post Office to close 600 ATMs

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The UK’s Post Office is set to shut 600 of its 2000 ATMs over the next 18 months as it takes ownership of a network of machines currently operated by Bank of Ireland.

Bank of Ireland currently owns and operates 2000 ATMs at Post Office branches throughout the UK but has decided to pull out of the business.

In response, the Post Office has joined the Link network and promised to invest £16 million over four years to maintain the network of free to use machines.

However, it will only operate 1400 commercially viable ATMs once the transfer is complete in March 2022. It will also keep almost 60 low transacting ATMs at locations where the next free to access ATM is a significant distance away.

By mid-2023, all 1400 ATMs will be replaced with new devices, with Cennox contracted for its software solution and managed services. Post Office will also use Vocalink to provide the transaction processing services for Link, Visa, MasterCard and Post Office Card Account transactions.

At sites where there is no longer an ATM, the Post Office says people can get cash over the counter.

Martin Kearsley, banking director, Post Office, says: “In the areas where we have been unable to sustainably operate the existing ATMs, customers can still withdraw cash over the counter free of charge and in a secure manner. Many of our branches are open long hours and at weekends, ensuring continued access to cash.”

The UK’s 2019 Access to Cash Review found that 17% of the UK population rely on cash, with vulnerable communities, including the poor and those in rural areas, at particular risk from reduced access to cash. The Covid-19 pandemic has further heightened the problem, with many high street businesses spurning cash payments in favour of contactless transactions.

Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/36826/post-office-to-close-600-atms?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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Ant Group sets IPO pricing

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Chinese fintech giant Ant Group has set the price for its upcoming initial public offering, which is expected to raise a record $34 billion.

Speaking at a conference over the weekend, founder Jack Ma said the pricing for the Shanghai part of the dual-listing has been determined. He did not reveal the amount, although details are expected to arrive on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the price for the Hong Kong part of the listing is expected to revealed later in the week ahead of the listing early next month.

“This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history, was priced outside New York City,” Ma said at the Bund Summit. “We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago.”

Source: https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/36827/ant-group-sets-ipo-pricing?utm_medium=rssfinextra&utm_source=finextrafeed

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