Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner

Welcome to The Finanser by Chris Skinner. The Finanser discusses all things fintech, finance, banking, technology and, most importantly, the future. To make an enquiry about having Chris write or speak for you, here’s an illustration of his presentations … … Chris Skinner has regularly forecast the changes in finance driven by technology. He is…

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LATEST POSTS

One account to rule them all?

I was having a chat with some friends about the good old days, where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and easy to manage. Then the ATM came about and so we moved to cards…

Read More

What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

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The names Bond … Bank Bond

I often come back to the trough of banking licenses, but if banks didn’t have banking licenses, why would we need them? A banking license is not just about compensation and insurance schemes, but about trust, trade, risk, regulation and returns. More than this, once a bank has a license it can lend, something an…

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Do we need banks?

I was having a candid chat with a banking friend about life, the world and money, and he asked me a series of questions: How do we change culture to meet today’s fast-moving changes? How can we be more agile? How important are partnerships? Can we work with FinTechs? How will we work with them?…

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 30th May 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Cross-border bank mergers should be easier in Europe, says ECB’s Villeroy | Reuters Banking bonuses: The situation in 2024 (efinancialcareers.com) Malta’s central bank chief, former deputy PM, plead not guilty in sprawling corruption case – POLITICO What is pay by bank? (finextra.com) Japan’s Fintech Awakening: Navigating Demographic Shifts With…

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Things worth reading: 29th May 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Fintech N26 says regulatory action cost it ‘billions’ in lost growth (ft.com) A (not so) brief ‘criminal’ history of the ECB  – POLITICO Blockchain Technology Can Help Banks Weather Margin Pressure, Deutsche Bank Says – Bloomberg Shaping the future of Digital Banking (danskebank.com) Five Things to Watch as Synapse…

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Things worth reading: 28th May 2024

Things we’re reading today include … JPMorgan casts doubt on SEC approval for Solana and other crypto ETFs | The Block Starling investor eyes £10bn valuation for bank as tech business takes off (cityam.com) Digital bank buys out specialist buy to let mortgage … (introducertoday.co.uk) ABN AMRO to Buy Private German Bank for EUR672 Million…

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Things worth reading: 27th May 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Synapse, backed by a16z, has collapsed, and 10 million consumers could be hurt | TechCrunch BNPL Regulation Grabs Headlines as FinTech IPO Index Slips (pymnts.com) Fall in bank bonuses blows a hole in the Government’s finances (telegraph.co.uk) Starling investor targets £10bn valuation for digital lender (ft.com) Coventry Building Society…

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The Finanser’s Week: 20th May – 26th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is this the bank that JK Rowling based Gringotts on? I found a great interview the other day with Bella Hoare, a partner and director at the world’s oldest privately owned bank, C Hoare and Co. The bank has been run by the Hoare family for 12 generations,…

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Things worth reading: 24th May 2024

Things we’re reading today include … HSBC fined over treatment of customers in financial difficulty – BBC News Saudi Arabia: Goldman (GS) Is First Wall Street Bank to Get Saudi HQ License – Bloomberg Stripe Tour London: Innovating Payments for Sustained Business Growth | FinTech Magazine Designing financial services for children with Sunshine+Kittens – FinTech…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 20th May – 26th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is this the bank that JK Rowling based Gringotts on? I found a great interview the other day with Bella Hoare, a partner and director at the world’s oldest privately owned bank, C Hoare and Co. The bank has been run by the Hoare family for 12 generations,…

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The Finanser’s Week: 13th May – 19th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … What would Taylor Swift’s bank look like? Trust and money and day-to-day life go hand-in-hand. It’s all about who you deal with, how and the outcomes. Recently, I’ve lost trust with Apple, my bank, my friend and my brother. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? But who do I…

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The Finanser’s Week: 6th May – 12th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … It’s all about trust Building upon my blog about Revolut the other day, and their need for a banking license, I’ve been accused many times of coming back to a theme that you can only be a bank if you’re a bank with a license. Why do I…

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The Finanser’s Week: 29th April – 5th May 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … There is no next big thing in banking I’ve been trying to think of the next big thing. Someone asked me on a conference call: what’s the next big thing? I’ve always been on top of the next big thing. Whether it’s the metaverse, AI, blockchain, cloud computing…

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The Finanser’s Week: 22nd April – 28th April 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … I just debanked my bank … before they debanked me There’s a huge furore in Britain about debanking: the process where a bank says we cannot trust you anymore so get lost. It happened to Nigel Farage, a high profile figure, and now it’s happened to me. What…

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The Finanser’s Week: 9th April – 21st April 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Am I financial marmite? At a conference the other day, a banker came up to me and said “oh, you’re that fintech guy who throws rocks at us all the time”. A short while later, a fintech founder came up to me and said “oh, you’re the banking…

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The Finanser’s Week: 8th April – 14th April 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Selling customer data – good or bad idea? Be careful with data Many years ago a few banks debated the idea of selling customer data to get a payback. It was the wrong decision – if you sell customer data, it should the customer who gets the payback,…

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The Finanser’s Week: 1st April – 7th April 2024

This week’s main blog discussion’s include … Is your chatbot compliant? Fifteen years ago, social media was becoming popular. Facebook was growing fast, and Twitter had just launched. Ten years ago, banks were cautious about such media as it might compromise customer information. Five years ago, many were starting to get the idea, but were…

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The Finanser’s Week: 25th March – 31st March 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the oldest bank in the world became the newest? I’m working with a cryptobank start-up, and we’re looking at options for licensing. Various countries have various attractions, with some more attractive than others. I won’t go into the nuances of the details as…

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The Finanser’s Week: 18th March – 24th March 2024

The main blog discussions this week include … The Dunning-Kruger effect, as inspired by a bank robbery I had never heard of the Dunning-Kruger effect until the other day. Inspired by a bank robbery, Professor David Dunning worked out that people sit at opposite ends of a spectrum of confidence. Some are hugely confident and…

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Future

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How to digitally refresh to be fit for the future

I recently wrote a white paper for XBP Europe, which you can download (see later). It’s all about how to be fit for the future and digital transformation, my usual subjects. Just to give a taste of the paper, here’s a small extract: The obvious answer is to digitise the corporation. The harder question is:…

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The pros and cons of digital identities

Thirty years ago, I presented at a conference with the theme being the end of cash. Thirty years later we are all gradually going cashless. Twenty-five years ago, I presented at a conference, with the view that bank branches weren’t needed. Twenty-five years later, most bank branches are going, going, gone. Twenty years ago, I…

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3 out of 5 frauds come from Meta

Appearing in a Parliamentary session the other day, Woody Malouf, Revolut’s head of financial crime, said Meta platforms were “being used as a hotbed for scams” and estimated that 3 out of 5 scams are being generated by Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp I’ve no idea about your experience but my experience is that anything I…

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Is the future frightening or great?

My partner called me and said she was in trouble. She had just been to the bank and was overdrawn by $1,500. Could I send $4,000 quickly to stop the bank from freezing her account? Of course, I did … only to discover it wasn’t her. People are warning us that quantum computing, deepfake and…

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Do you need to be a bank in real life to be a bank in virtual life?

Vitalik Buterin, the guy who created Ethereum cryptocurrency and smart contracts, blogged the other day about what happens when AI and blockchain collide. Funnily enough, that’s the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. Vitalik cites four major areas where blockchain and AI will make a difference, and each has different ramifications. The focal point…

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Can you close the gate after the horse has bolted?

We need global regulation of all technology … but can we? Building on yesterday’s piece, there is a call in many circles for the global regulation of Big Tech. In fact it goes far further than Big Tech. It’s a call for regulating everything online. From cryptocurrencies to social media to artificial intelligence … it…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

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How digitalisation is changing lending

I was recently having a chat with my old friend Slava Solodkiy about the way in which digitalisation is changing lending. He then surprised me by summarising our discussion and allowing me to share it here! Here’s his write-up: How digitalisation is changing lending When thinking about this my brain thought linearly – taking current…

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Creating the world that is the best it can be

Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think? Summarising the discussion, I’ll…

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Does ESG matter?

Two years ago Stuart Kirk, the then head of responsible investing for HSBC, delivered a mic dropping speech at the FT Moral Money conference. What did he say? Here’s a few quotes: “Who cares if Miami is six metres underwater in 100 years? Amsterdam has been six metres underwater for ages, and that’s a really…

Read More

Creating the world that is the best it can be

Attending a dinner with family the other night, we got into a kind of argument or debate that had me in one corner as the boomer and my friend, a young parent, as GenZ. It was a heated debate and I don’t think either of us won. What do you think? Summarising the discussion, I’ll…

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60 seconds to midnight

I grew up with lots of things, but one that struck me in the heart was a song Seven Minutes to Midnight that came out in the late 1970s (showing my age). What did the song mean? I discovered it related to the Doomsday Clock, the clock that measured the threats to our planet and…

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A three-sided bank: customer, community and the planet

I recently was introduced to VDK Bank, a community bank based in Ghent, Belgium, by Rik Coeckelbergs. The bank has done something interesting, launching a three-sided coin. The idea is to triple your thinking. The three-dimensional bank focuses upon customer, community and then the third dimension is to think about how money impacts the planet….

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The Earth is on fire … is it your fault?

During the summer, we are struck by massive wildfires taking place across the Americas and Europe. The devastation to Hawaii is specifically notable, but what about Greece, Tenerife and Canada and the rest. This is not normal. Then you go from wildfires in California to floods and mudslides in the same place. This is not…

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50 shades of green – is your bank sustainable?

I was recently wondering which banks are the most green. Names come to mind like Co-operative Bank (UK), Triodos Bank (Netherlands), Alandsbanken (Finland), MyBank (China), Amalgamated Bank (America) and more, but they are few and far between. Some are committed and some are just paying lip service or, as we say, greenwashing. The difference is…

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Make my money matter … an interview with Richard Curtis

I spotted an interview with Richard Curtis the other day about his campaign to change how pensions funds invest. The campaign is called Make my money matter and asks institutional investors, pension funds and banks to ensure that they invest in a sustainable way. Discussing this in an interview with Akshat Rathi in the podcast…

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Who will head the World Bank, and what do they think?

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said she expected former Mastercard chief executive Ajay Banga to be elected president of the World Bank as nominations drew to a close. It is not surprising as, when nominations closed at 6pm in Washington yesterday, there were no other publicly declared candidates. Who is Mr. Banga? According to Wikipedia, Ajay…

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Crypto

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What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

Read More

What if I am the token?

Just been having a few meetings about the future of payments. Funnily enough, that sounds like the theme of my new book Intelligent Money. The message? Money is embedded, invisible and intelligent. It is ubiquitous, everywhere, anywhere. It is just part of the fabric of the world we live in. But then I thought further, talking…

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Has the G20 agreed to launch a global CBDC?

The G20’s central banks announce a global alliance for digital currencies It’s been bubbling away for a while but, as central banks are launching CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currency) all over the world, there is now a G20 agreement to create a global digital currency. Initiated by Christine Lagarde at the European Central Bank (ECB),…

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Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

I’ve just had several incidents with traditional banks digitally that made me realise they really are faced with big issues. You may have noticed this in my recent blogging, but here are three specific insights that illustrated the point. The first is the fact that I keep having to open the bank’s app to find…

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You’ve been Goxed again!

Way back in 2012, I invested £1,000 in bitcoins on Mt.Gox, the Japanese-based exchange that was the most popular platform at that time for trading in said currency. Then they got hacked and went bankrupt in 2014. You may remember but, just in case: Launched in 2010, it was handling over 70% of all bitcoin…

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Who do you trust?

There are perennial questions that come around all the time: Do banks need branches Why are banks so bad at stopping bad actors (AML and KYC) Will we end up cashless Can banking be run by machines Are banks needed (disintermediation) Can regulators keep up Can we create a system that has no government involved…

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Introducing the Dimonsaur

For the past decade, Jamie Dimon has regularly been decrying bitcoin as a scam. Here’s a few of his quotes: Jamie Dimon tells Davos that Bitcoin is a ‘pet rock’ that does nothing—except help with fraud and money laundering Jamie Dimon lashes out against crypto: ‘If I was the government, I’d close it down’ JPMorgan…

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Fintech

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One account to rule them all?

I was having a chat with some friends about the good old days, where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and easy to manage. Then the ATM came about and so we moved to cards…

Read More

What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

Read More

Banks are not stupid … just massively challenged

I talk a lot about the platform economy where the network joins us all together. In that economy, like life on Earth, there are many players. 1000’s of companies, millions of people and billions of capital. The question is: how to connect them? The answer is to be a connector in the connected economy, and…

Read More

A world without borders

We all know the world is changing. Every day, we see things changing. The only constant is change. This makes the state we live in today very interesting. I can send a crypto payment from London to Nairobi instantly but, for various reasons, I cannot make a payment to my own account today. That is…

Read More

How to digitally refresh to be fit for the future

I recently wrote a white paper for XBP Europe, which you can download (see later). It’s all about how to be fit for the future and digital transformation, my usual subjects. Just to give a taste of the paper, here’s a small extract: The obvious answer is to digitise the corporation. The harder question is:…

Read More

Real-time flexible finance is now

Ever since Trov, the real-time insurance firm, appeared on the scene, I’ve been wondering what else could real-time finance do. If you are not aware, Trōv allows you to insure a smartphone or laptop or anything else you value for hours, even minutes. The company no longer exists – it was acquired by Travelers Insurance…

Read More

What would Taylor Swift’s bank look like?

Trust and money and day-to-day life go hand-in-hand. It’s all about who you deal with, how and the outcomes. Recently, I’ve lost trust with Apple, my bank, my friend and my brother. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? But who do I trust? David Bowie. David Bowie, RIP. Artist, music man, alien and hero. He was…

Read More

Do we have perfect market knowledge?

I’ve thought for years that we are moving towards perfect market knowledge, where demand and supply information becomes equal to all buyers and sellers. Now that we have OpenAI and Gemini, are we getting there? During the 1990s, I spent a lot of time discussing neural networking where we could pair stocks to buy and…

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Digital Bank

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One account to rule them all?

I was having a chat with some friends about the good old days, where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and easy to manage. Then the ATM came about and so we moved to cards…

Read More

What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

Read More

The names Bond … Bank Bond

I often come back to the trough of banking licenses, but if banks didn’t have banking licenses, why would we need them? A banking license is not just about compensation and insurance schemes, but about trust, trade, risk, regulation and returns. More than this, once a bank has a license it can lend, something an…

Read More

Do we need banks?

I was having a candid chat with a banking friend about life, the world and money, and he asked me a series of questions: How do we change culture to meet today’s fast-moving changes? How can we be more agile? How important are partnerships? Can we work with FinTechs? How will we work with them?…

Read More

Banks are not stupid … just massively challenged

I talk a lot about the platform economy where the network joins us all together. In that economy, like life on Earth, there are many players. 1000’s of companies, millions of people and billions of capital. The question is: how to connect them? The answer is to be a connector in the connected economy, and…

Read More

A world without borders

We all know the world is changing. Every day, we see things changing. The only constant is change. This makes the state we live in today very interesting. I can send a crypto payment from London to Nairobi instantly but, for various reasons, I cannot make a payment to my own account today. That is…

Read More

How to digitally refresh to be fit for the future

I recently wrote a white paper for XBP Europe, which you can download (see later). It’s all about how to be fit for the future and digital transformation, my usual subjects. Just to give a taste of the paper, here’s a small extract: The obvious answer is to digitise the corporation. The harder question is:…

Read More

Real-time flexible finance is now

Ever since Trov, the real-time insurance firm, appeared on the scene, I’ve been wondering what else could real-time finance do. If you are not aware, Trōv allows you to insure a smartphone or laptop or anything else you value for hours, even minutes. The company no longer exists – it was acquired by Travelers Insurance…

Read More

What would Taylor Swift’s bank look like?

Trust and money and day-to-day life go hand-in-hand. It’s all about who you deal with, how and the outcomes. Recently, I’ve lost trust with Apple, my bank, my friend and my brother. That’s pretty sad, isn’t it? But who do I trust? David Bowie. David Bowie, RIP. Artist, music man, alien and hero. He was…

Read More

Intelligent Money: Our Future Is Where We Do Not Think About Money, As Our Money Thinks For Us

What is the future?

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Learn more about Chris

About Chris Skinner

The Past, Present And Future Of Banking, Finance And Technology

Fintech expert Chris Skinner: countries need digital transformation to remain competitive

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