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The Finanser’s Week: 1st December – 7th December 2014

Our biggest stories of the past week are …

What is a digital bank?

This question arises fairly often and I guess it’s because some people think of it as the addition of mobile apps and tablets; others believe it is creating a paperless bank; whilst others talk about a digitalisation of processes and products.  Those are all wrong imho …

The criticality of humanity in banking digitally

One of the big challenges in discussing digital is how to get there. It's a big leap for many banks hamstring by heritage and the question is can they get there? Should they start again? Should they launch digital as a separately branded bank, rather than trying to evolve the current organisation?  These are all big, critical strategic questions that banks should spend considerable time debating before beginning.

Creating conversations of relevance that build trust, or Full Service Facebook Banking (FSFB) if you prefer

I've spent the last few days talking with relatively young banks on their digital strategies in several countries, and it's intriguing to debate and dialogue with them how they want to work.  By young bank, I mean banks in markets that typically did not have banks operating in the 1980s or, if they did, they were state-run banks rather than consumer-focused banks.  These banks illustrate well my main mantra that digital is not a function but a culture. 

In code we trust

I mentioned in a recent blog entry how processors are replacing third parties.  The aim of these upstarts is to get rid of the bank-in-the-middle by placing the processor-in-the-middle.  This lowers margins considerably, as the processor is doing the work of what would previously of been hands on desks.  What does it mean for a bank?

Apple Pay will be the mobile wallet of choice and here's why

So Apple Pay finally launched in the USA on October 20 and there’s been mixed reviews.  Some people couldn’t make payments, whilst some found they were double-charged.  However, these are just teething issues and the overwhelming reports are positive.  Even former Apple CEO and Financial Services Club keynote speaker John Sculley:

 

The major general news stories of the past week include …  

RBS under fire after asking employees to give up spare time to carry out DIY work in branches – Daily Record
THE Royal Bank of Scotland has come under fire after asking employees to give up their spare time to carry out DIY work in bank branches in need of repair,

Treasury set to ‘pay off’ £1.9bn First World War debt – The Independent
The Chancellor, George Osborne, intends to refinance all of the nation’s First World War debt, almost a century after it was first issued.

Schroders president gave bank details and jewellery to con woman – The Telegraph
A woman who posed as a police officer and persuaded the president of a leading merchant bank to hand over his PIN and thousands of pounds worth of jewellery has walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

French bank dumps British assets, contrasts UK sclerosis with Francois Hollande miracle – The Telegraph
France’s Société Générale has advised clients to liquidate British assets and dump sterling before the elections, warning that the UK is badly governed and increasingly prone to political risk.

Banks Bow To Osborne Call For Basic Account – Sky News
Some of Britain's biggest banks have bowed to a demand from George Osborne to provide a new no-frills account despite their complaints that doing so will lose them tens of millions of pounds annually.

Banks running out of time to stamp out bad behaviour – The Telegraph
Financial Conduct Authority chief executive Martin Wheatley tells banks that they will lose customers and face bigger fines if they do not improve conduct

HSBC severs links with Bitcoin firm – BBC
The company behind the world's first regulated Bitcoin investment fund has its HSBC account in Jersey closed.

Barclays rolls out face-to-face video banking – The Guardian
Bank to let customers talk to adviser on phones or computers at all hours but critics fear move will herald further branch closures

Banks use big data to trap wily traders – Financial Times
Financial groups move beyond traditional compliance systems to crackdown on illegal behaviour

The man changing remittances – BBC
The Somali helping digitalise how people transfer money abroad.

 

If you like the Finanser,  check out our latest book: Digital Bank

 

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About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, 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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