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Humour

Is self-service all it’s cut out to be?

I find it amusing to think about this age of self-service, where we take it for granted that it’s cheaper, easier and more personalised to your own wishes if you book it yourself.  And, for most of the time, that works well.  Except when you mess things up, like booking …

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Googling PSD2, APIs and Open Banking

I was really interested in a presentation by Benny Boye Johansen, Head of OpenAPI at Saxo Bank, at our recent Nordic Finance Innovation meetings.  In particular, he put up some slides that were both illuminating, amusing and strange.  They were Google Trends charts looking at Payments API, PSD2 and Open …

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The Grade II Listed Bank

I got a laugh the other day when I referred to Grade II Listed Banks, but I was serious.  For overseas readers, we have a system in Britain of listing heritage buildings.  They have various grades which restrict what you can do with them.  Grade I means you can’t really change the …

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The Twelve Banking Days of Christmas

Tis the season to be jolly and, in that spirit, I thought it was time to update some of our Christmas songs.  Here’s the revised version of the twelve days of Christmas ….   On the first day of Christmas my big bank sent to me: A diamond in an …

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A Banking Carol

It was almost December 25, Christmas, and Jimmy Diamond was a happy man for a change. Just this week his bank had opened 100,000 new customer accounts (even though only 25,000 people had visited the bank); they had managed to sneak an extra 1% onto credit card holders balances (without …

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American Express … and the Book of Mormon

So here’s a story you’re gonna love. I did an American friend a favour and, to say thank you, they sent me $500 in the post in the form of a travelers cheque. Really generous, thank you, but what the hell is a travelers cheque?  I vaguely remember them, but …

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Creating PayPal’s Perfect Storm

Apparently, I am a miscreant.  I am the one guy who managed to break PayPal.  What?  OK, here’s the story.  The next 2,000 words tell the story but, if you’d rather miss that and cut to the chase, jump to the end. Most of my customers wire me the money.  …

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