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Shaping the future of finance

Don’t forget socialisation and gamification: tomorrow’s banking today

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Building upon the discussions about personalisation and virtualisation, these are important.  In fact, as I’ve
mentioned before, personalised, virtualised in real-time on my mobile is
PFM-squared (does any of that last sentence make any

So then I was recently asked to address a conference with a mix of banks from all sectors, and to give examples of innovation in each of these different banking sectors.

The examples I picked had one common theme: social finance.

I started with
thinking about payments innovation at a P2P level, of which there are many:
iZettle, PayaTrader, mPowa, SumUp, PayLeven, Go Payment (from Intuit), Square
and PayPal.

Then looking at banking in a more general space there are many
other examples including Moven, Simple, Alior and Fidor, as well as many other
specific areas being addressed in:

  • P2P
    Lending and P2P Saving (Zopa, Ratesetter, Smava, Prosper, Boober, Smava,
    Lending Club, Ratesetter, Cashare, Loanio …),
  • P2P
    insurance (German firm Friendsurance seems to be first in this space)
  • Payday
    Lending (Wonga, Cash America, Advance America, et al),
  • Goalsetting
    and gamification (SmartyPig is the main player in this space),
  • Crowdfunding
    (Funding Circle, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, crowdrise, razoo …),

and more.

These are all person-to-person, peer-to-peer and as soon as you
make those connections, you are social.

Then I thought about wealth management and investment markets,
and firms such as Stocktwits, eToro and Nutmeg immediately came to mind. 
All of these new guys are using social media to leverage knowledge to improve

Finally, the commercial banking markets with transaction banking
are also being disrupted by everything from bitcoin to crowdfunding and
more.   It goes further than this though, with Asset Based Finance
platforms such as Market Invoice, Platform Black, the Receivables Exchange and
Urica offering their receivables for financing online.

The latter areas were the focus of a UK government report in
2012 on boosting finance for business.  

In fact, the UK government is actively encouraging new forms of
finance.  As the Independent  reports, the UK government announced
in December that four peer-to-peer lenders will be given a total of £55 million
in taxpayers' money, an amount to be matched from private sources. The £110
million fund is part of the £1.5 billion Business Finance Partnership, part of
the UK Government's drive to diversify sources of finance to business.

In this context, P2P lender Zopa has lent £250 million since
being founded in 2005, while Funding Circle has lent £66 million. Crowdcube,
the crowd-funding website, has lent £4.5 million since being set up in 2010 and
has 25,000 registered investors. In total it is estimated the peer-to-peer
industry has already advanced £300 milllion to individuals and small businesses
this year, and some economists believe that up to £30 billion could be raised
from the public for alternative methods of financing such as crowdfunding.

The sector’s lending and borrowing activities are now overseen
by the UK's new market regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, and there is
an industry trade body, the Peer-to-Peer Finance Association.

And so we see these fledgling new models of finance rapidly evolving
into more formal and mainstream markets. 
In fact, some of these markets may even replace our traditional structures.  As Andy Haldane, Director for Financial
Stability at the Bank of England stated in December 2012: “the mono-banking
culture we have had since the 1990s is on its way out. Instead, we are seeing a
much more diverse eco-system emerging with the growth of new non-bank groups
offering peer-to peer lending and crowdfunding which are operating directly
with a wider public.”

This shows that the socialisation of finance, augmented by
personalisation, virtualisation and gamification, has already transformed the
world of money today.



Chris Skinner Author Avatar

Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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