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Shaping the future of finance

Can I borrow your phone? How mobile is changing the game

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I recently had one of those moments.  Those moments are when you realise how the world has changed.  Fundamentally.  I have them every now and again, and this one occurred at the train station.  As I arrived at the ticket office, a young man was looking helpless.  He turned to me and said: “I’m really sorry, my phone’s battery has run out of juice and I need to call my mum for a lift. Can I borrow your phone?”

It’s an innocent enough request and I immediately reached into my pocket to hand over my smartphone.  Then hesitated.  My phone?  You want to borrow my phone?

My phone has everything in and on it.  It has all my bank and subway cards in the phone’s casing.  It has all my personal life in the phone’s social apps.  It can tell you all of my activities via its maps and emails and updates.  It even has a few hidden files that can unlock secret wonders of passwords and bank accounts.

Hmmmm.  Do I really want to give that away to a complete stranger?

So I said he could call his mum, but I get to keep the phone.  It felt weird, holding the phone whilst he spoke to his mum, but it equally felt wrong to give a complete stranger my phone.

At this point, I realised how intertwined my life is with my technology and, specifically, my personal technologies.  I don’t mind if I lose my phone as it’s PIN and fingerprint protected, but to give my phone to a complete stranger whilst activated is just wrong.

Equally, you realise how technology has changed the game when you look at our online world of reporting these days.  Every moment is captured and recorded from intimate photographs  …


… to live action reporting of cop killings  …

Cop killing

… to cops recording attempts to kill them …


… to the birth of  a child  …


… and death of a loved one  …

Dead GF

Mobile technologies are 24*7 and completely yours and mine.  This changes the game.

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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