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Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance

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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

This week’s FU!

Before you watch this week’s show on the biggest, most controversial and WTF stories of #fintechuncut, candid commentary on the biggest #Fintech and #FinancialServices stories of the week that was, how about a little quiz for yourself? The European Commission predicted something or someone to be on the road of irrelevance. Who or what is it? Never waste a good…

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Modern Life

My energy bills have shot up, like most peoples, so I rang the energy firm. I was greeted by you are 193rd in the queue. This didn’t sound good. After two and a half hours the phone was picked up. My bill doesn’t seem right, have you taken a reading? I asked. No, but the…

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Dealing with a recession

FinTech began in the 2000’s and was fuelled by new technologies – cloud computing and the smartphone in particular – alongside the failing of traditional finance when the financial crisis hit in 2008. Now that we enter a global recession, FinTech has a new challenge: dealing with no investors in a time when they need…

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When a start-up shuts down before it has started

I was intrigued by the news of Glorifi, an anti-woke FinTech start-up that closed before it had really opened. The company, which missed multiple launch deadlines and had its CEO step down due to misconduct, is citing “reputational attacks” and “the failing economy” Rolling Stone, November 2022 The firm was pro-Republican, pro-America, pro-freedom and pro-capitalism,…

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Reading

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Things worth reading: 2nd December 2022

Things we’re reading today include … Founder of bankrupt crypto firm FTX Sam Bankman-Fried breaks his silence, with thousands locked out of savings If Sam Bankman-Fried Isn’t Lying, Crypto Is in Trouble Crypto Outlook For 2023 HSBC head dismisses idea China is trying to get hold of the bank’s Asian operations Monzo chief says UK…

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Things worth reading: 1st December 2022

Things we’re reading today include … ECB says bitcoin is on ‘road to irrelevance’ amid crypto collapse It’s time for more institutions to adopt blockchain and crypto Why 2022 is the year of the fintech ‘founder factories’ London’s race to the fintech frontier puts it in pole position for attracting start-ups UK plans to relax…

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Things worth reading: 30th November 2022

Things we’re reading today include … We’re withdrawing our case against the Belgian National Bank Bank of America predicts two years of pain in the housing markets UBS leverages NFC and biometrics to let Swiss residents open a bank account from their mobile phone In 2022, female founders raked in some of Europe’s most high-profile…

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Things worth reading: 29th November 2022

Things we’re reading today include: Crypto firm BlockFi files for bankruptcy after FTX collapse Lithuania makes push to become Europe’s fintech hub Top 10 fintech hubs in the world revealed Scam attack on Ukrainian mother exposes flaw in UK bank safeguards Australian women drag banks to the fight against relentless financial abuse Cost of living:…

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Things worth reading: 28th November 2022

Things we’re reading today include … UK and Singapore Agree to ‘Deepen’ Fintech Collaboration Conversation Intelligence: the SaaS player disrupting the FinTech space Lawyers see crypto regulation coming in 2023 because industry needs to rebuild trust Deutsche Bank warns of peril in borrowing from U.S. banks China frees up $70 billion for banks to underpin…

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Things worth reading: 25th November 2022

Things we’re reading today include: Binance deploys $1 billion to keep crypto industry afloat after FTX collapse Crypto Firm FTX’s Ownership of a U.S. Bank Raises Questions How a scoop by a little-known crypto site led to the fall of Sam Bankman-Fried and implosion of FTX CEO of banking app Dave wants to dispel doubts…

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Digital Bank

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Visa: It’s a war between their AI and our AI

Thanks to David Birch, I just watched this one hour episode about the history and development of bank cards, hosted by Professor Hannah Fry on the BBC.   I’m well aware of how cards started which dates back to when Frank McNamara forgot his cash and check book and created Diners Club back in the…

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Is FinTech really disruptive?

It’s interesting how often I see the word disruption, or things like incumbent and old. And yet, after almost twenty years of such discussion, has the old incumbent been disrupted? It doesn’t seem that way, as borne out by two articles I picked up on this week: JP Morgan remains world’s biggest systemically important bank;…

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I got a new credit card. Woo-hoo! Uh-oh …

I tried to make a payment … but it doesn’t work. Oh no ☹ So I called the bank. I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited … I waited ……

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If I cannot call you, I won’t deal with you

I’ve recently been dealing with a company that has historically been a good provider of service. I’ve used them for years. Suddenly, things broke down. The main issue is that they only provide a digital service now. There is no call centre – there used to be one; there’s now just an online service –…

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Digital is a mindset, not a project

FedNow is a new faster payments service for America. It’s been developing for years, and will go live in 2023 and yet, in conversation with an American friend, only 1 in 10 banks are ready for this. Why? Well, the issue lies in change. Fast change or slow change? In fact, a friend recently resigned…

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Want to learn how to do digital transformation right?

I just started a Digital Transformation Course in partnership with CFTE. It’s a course all about Digital Transformation of financial firms. You can sign up here: https://courses.cfte.education/digital-transformation-with-chris-skinner/, and here’s what you get: Week 1: What is a bank? This week discusses the history of banking and finance, how it is formed, why it is regulated…

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If you’re APPy and don’t know it, take my money

I recently had a chat with Kjeld Herreman, Head of Strategy Advisory at RedCompass Labs, about the increasing impact of Authorised Push Payments (APP) on the financial industry and its customers. In case you’re not aware of APP, it’s where a customer authorises a payment to a criminal, typically due to being fooled into thinking…

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Do we need CBDCs?

I was called out by Nick Kerigan, Head of Innovation at SWIFT, when I accused SWIFT of becoming a sloth a year ago. So, I was interested in the latest announcement that shows the aim of SWIFT to be the arbitrator of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies): SWIFT has successfully shown that Central Bank Digital Currencies…

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The top technologies for banks now and next year

Two big consulting firms just released interesting reports about technology trends: McKinsey and Bain. McKinsey’s report focuses upon the technologies that matter most, and found 14! As usual, being consultants, they had to put them into a complex chart. And then they assess the impact of these 14 technologies by industry. For financial services, the…

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Fintech

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Dealing with a recession

FinTech began in the 2000’s and was fuelled by new technologies – cloud computing and the smartphone in particular – alongside the failing of traditional finance when the financial crisis hit in 2008. Now that we enter a global recession, FinTech has a new challenge: dealing with no investors in a time when they need…

Read More

When a start-up shuts down before it has started

I was intrigued by the news of Glorifi, an anti-woke FinTech start-up that closed before it had really opened. The company, which missed multiple launch deadlines and had its CEO step down due to misconduct, is citing “reputational attacks” and “the failing economy” Rolling Stone, November 2022 The firm was pro-Republican, pro-America, pro-freedom and pro-capitalism,…

Read More

Is FinTech really disruptive?

It’s interesting how often I see the word disruption, or things like incumbent and old. And yet, after almost twenty years of such discussion, has the old incumbent been disrupted? It doesn’t seem that way, as borne out by two articles I picked up on this week: JP Morgan remains world’s biggest systemically important bank;…

Read More

The constantly evolving Ant

As those who have picked up my recent books, you will know that I’m an avid observer of Ant Group and Alipay’s activities. After all, the company did become a 30,000 word case study in my book Digital Human. I haven’t written about Alipay for a while, but did note the release of Alipay Plus or,…

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FinTech is not dying … it’s fighting

After this year’s Money 2020 in Las Vegas, there’s lots of doom and gloom. FinTechs struggling for investment, rats leaving sinking ships, companies desperate for bank buyouts and bank support, and so on. Specifically, this commentary on Medium stood out for me: Fintech is Slowly Dying and That’s Good News Fintech was going to eat…

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If a FinTech start-up cannot talk numbers, will they survive?

After my FinTech Bloodbath post, there was a really interesting conversation on LinkedIn about the post. Some positive: Thanks Chris – another excellent article about the fintech landscape. Interesting the article cites 3 type of firms with a positive outlook: companies that reduce inefficiencies – solving problems create new revenue lines for their clients –…

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FinTech London’s double bloodbath

I mentioned FinTech London has seen a major bloodbath as companies lost value and growth. Since the start of the pandemic layoffs.fyi estimates that 4,300 people have left the sector in London. How many more will be leaving now that Britain is seen as a basket case after Liz Truss actions. First there was the…

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The FinTech Bloodbath

Back in January, I called 2022 the Big Regression for FinTech. Ten months later, sure enough, it is. Daily headlines about losses and layoffs are gathering non-stop, and storm clouds are gathering fast to demand market change through consolidation and merger. German online bank N26’s losses widen in 2021 as customer growth slows With new cuts, Klarna…

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Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix: the story of Wirecard

Skandal! starts tonight on Netflix What’s all that about? It’s all about Wirecard and the investigative journalism of one Dan McCrum, a friend who reported on the affair with The Financial Times. Over time, Dan’s work resulted in proving that Wirecard was  a scam. Having said that, he was attacked by the company and its…

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Crypto

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You cannot have money without government … the question is: what government?

It amazes me how many people misread, half-read or assume things based on what you say. There were two instances in the last week. The first: There is an error in @Chris_Skinner’sreasoning. High quality crypto assets absolutely do have fundamental value (all currencies don’t have intrinsic value.) https://t.co/vCWqi00VQV — Gene Hoffman hoffmang.xch 🌱 (@hoffmang) November…

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The Crypto House of Cards

Building on Friday’s blog, everyone is asking whether the house of crypto is falling apart like a house of cards. People are saying that Sam Bankman-Fried, the founder and faller at FTX, was running a Ponzi scheme. What is the definition of a Ponzi scheme? According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is “a form of…

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FTX? Short for FinTech eXplosion …

This year is proving a testing year for everyone, but particularly for those in the cryptocurrency space. We’ve seen the collapse of Celsius,  Terra-Luna, and now FTX and possibly Genesis. It just reinforces the Wild West of Crypto, which I’ve referred to often. The Financial Times commented on the collapse of FTX – surely you’ve heard…

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Are fiat currencies dead? [CeFi or DeFi, Part Two]

I said yesterday that, for the moment, I’ll stick with fiat currencies as cryptocurrencies are generally quite messy when used for retail purchases. And no, I’m not speaking as an observer but as a user. To buy my Watford football shirt, I had to open an account with a crypto app – which I’ve never…

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Arguments for and against CeFi [Part One]

Russell Brand had a big rant against Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) the other day, claiming that digital, programmable money combined with a digital identity is a fantastic way for governments to place you in a digital straitjacket. It’s a very convincing discussion with over a million views in just a few days. Russell’s humorous…

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The great FTX collapse, and the role Binance played

I was tempted to write about this, but many others have. In particular, I received a post from Dan Ashmore, crypto analyst at Invezz, which I thought was worth sharing. To begin with, if you’re not aware, there’s a massive war taking place in cryptoland. As bitcoin and other crypto prices dive, exchanges and key figures…

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Democratising Football using Cryptocurrencies and NFTs

Just over a year ago, I blogged about why I bought a Watford FC shirt, when I’m a Spurs fan. Now, I’ve just invested in a Crawley Town t-shirt. Why? It’s all about cryptocurrencies. Watford, sponsored by a bitcoin exchange, has been followed by Crawley Town, purchased by an American group led by Preston Johnson,…

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Using blockchain to keep track of every gold bar in the world

During the week I tweeted an interesting quote from a start-up firm "A database using blockchain technology to keep track of almost every gold bar in the world"https://t.co/8yd7eHMuBj — Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) October 16, 2022 The story is based upon a reimagining of the gold trade. As Bloomberg explains: Trading on one of the world’s…

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What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi)? Part II. The Implementation

I’ve been talking a lot about DeFi, CeFi and HyFi, and someone said: what about ReFi? ReFi? What’s that? Well, ReFi is all about Regenerative Finance, a system to rebuild Earth. Therefore, I’m pleased to share a second post by Letty Prados. Last month, I shared her introduction about ReFi. Here is Part II! Exploring Regenerative Tokenomics. If you…

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#HSBC: Hypocritical Schizophrenic Bank on Climate Change

The biggest banks in the world are regularly advertising their green credentials, whilst killing the world. They claim to invest in green projects, which are trivial to the amounts they are lending to companies creating emissions and destruction. It’s kind of like a family where you say aren’t we good and then spending the evenings…

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Welcome to the Plastic Bank

For those who follow my thinking, you will know that the latest theme is how can we use technology to make the world a better place (if you don’t, read Digital for Good). The themes are about ESG, climate change, purpose and more, but it came home to me when thinking about children. Children are…

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The Prime Minister’s speech: Growth versus Degrowth

I listened to the new British Prime Minister, Liz Truss, speaking at her Conservative Party conference. She mentioned “growth” 29 times. I know what it is like to live somewhere that isn’t feeling the benefits of economic growth … Low growth isn’t just numbers on a spreadsheet. Low growth means lower wages, fewer opportunities and…

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What is Regenerative Finance (ReFi) (Part One)

I’ve been talking a lot about DeFi, CeFi and HyFi, and someone said: what about ReFi? ReFi? What’s that? Well, ReFi is all about Regenerative Finance, a system to rebuild Earth. Therefore, having shined a light on Gail Bradbrook’s thinking (she’s co-founder of Extinction Rebellion) for the last months, I’m pleased to introduce you to…

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Insuring Hell on Earth

So for now this is the last of the guest blogs by Dr. Gail Bradbrook, the co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion. I do hope you have enjoyed something of the challenge, passion and alternative ways of seeing things that Gail has brought (find the others here). I invited Gail to contribute because I feel these difficult…

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The art of farketing

A colleague at The Financial Times picked out this quote from William Burroughs … … and it piqued my thoughts. Burroughs was a huge inspiration to David Bowie, who is a huge inspiration to me. I’ve read Naked Lunch, where this quote was taken, but they used this quote in relation to ESG. The Naked Lunch author…

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Six FinTech’s making the world a better place

I’ve written a lot recently about how technology can make the world a better place (read Digital for Good if you want to know more). It sounds esoteric but there are concrete examples from Alipay’s Ant Forest to Alandsbanken’s Baltic sea card, Green Finance is becoming a thing. So here are six FinTech firms who…

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Why you should care about inequality, even if you don’t!

Gail Bradbrook, Co-Founder of Extinction Rebellion, joins her colleague Felix Barbour, to further address this challenge from an angry banker, who responded to her earlier blogs on this site. Maybe like HSBC’s Stuart Kirk, our angry banker is merely voicing what many of us silently think? The question then is, is he right? (Stuart Kirk…

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Future

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This week’s FU!

Before you watch this week’s show on the biggest, most controversial and WTF stories of #fintechuncut, candid commentary on the biggest #Fintech and #FinancialServices stories of the week that was, how about a little quiz for yourself? The European Commission predicted something or someone to be on the road of irrelevance. Who or what is it? Never waste a good…

Read More

Modern Life

My energy bills have shot up, like most peoples, so I rang the energy firm. I was greeted by you are 193rd in the queue. This didn’t sound good. After two and a half hours the phone was picked up. My bill doesn’t seem right, have you taken a reading? I asked. No, but the…

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What the world will look like in a hundred years [Part Two]

The year is 2122. The world has changed. The world is still here, just, but the frozen North and South is no longer frozen. The Earth is boiling. In terms of economics, China rules; India has surpassed America; Africa is still rising; whilst Europe is a mess. The Royal Family has disappeared and over a…

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What the world will look like in a hundred years (Part One)

Written in 1922 Walter Lionel George, an English writer, wrote a piece for The New York Herald predicting the world a century ahead. Here is his piece – with a little bit lost in translation – and, tomorrow, I will post my view of the world in 2122. There is a good old rule which bids…

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We know about Zombie Banks … but what about Zombie Businesses?

It’s Halloween. It’s time for a fright! And so Swiss Re decided to do just that. Some headlines catch my attention, and when Swiss Re launched a report about Zombie Businesses the other day, well … I had to read it. The report, after the headline, is less explosive, and is all about corporate debt: “The…

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Paying with a token is card 2.0

I’m watching things every day, and am immersed in DeFi, CeFi, WiFi and HyFi (not forgetting ReFi), but I read something the other day and thought: WTF? Let’s share it. Just bought an airplane ticket without having to add my name to it, and then I listed it to sell it back. This was through the TravelX protocol…

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Reputation as a currency

I got into a debate about currencies the other day. A colleague said that the future of money was power. Well, all power is based upon money, and his point was that money would be based upon power. The energy industries. Oil, gas, electricity. These are the key industries providing energy to the world. True,…

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Sell when everyone is buying; buy when everyone is selling

The world has reached a bit of a weird place. For years, the only way was up. Suddenly, it all seems like it is down. In fact, it seems to have gone off the rails and, in the classic phraseology stop the world, I want to get off. When times are good, markets are going…

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A future where no-one needs to drive

The BBC just shared a report about Cruise, a self-driving company that has launched a commercial taxi service in San Francisco. The driverless future is here today. It made me reflect on where we are at. Where we are at is at a juncture where most menial tasks will be run by software. Taxi rides,…

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Blog Index

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The Finanser’s Week: 21st November – 27th November 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include: This week’s FU! Before you watch this week’s show on the biggest, most controversial and WTF stories of #fintechuncut, candid commentary on the biggest #Fintech and #FinancialServices stories of the week that was, how about a little quiz for yourself? Who is in desperate need of money as a result…

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This week’s FU!

Before you watch this week’s show on the biggest, most controversial and WTF stories of #fintechuncut, candid commentary on the biggest #Fintech and #FinancialServices stories of the week that was, how about a little quiz for yourself? Who is in desperate need of money as a result of the collapse of #FTX? #crypto Stephanie Ferris, FIS’s new…

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The Finanser’s Week: 6th November – 20th November 2022

This fortnight’s blogging musings include … Arguments for and against CeFi [Part One] Russell Brand had a big rant against Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) the other day, claiming that digital, programmable money combined with a digital identity is a fantastic way for governments to place you in a digital straitjacket. Are fiat currencies dead?…

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The Finanser’s Week: 31st October – 6th November 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … The constantly evolving Ant As those who have picked up my recent books, you will know that I’m an avid observer of Ant Group and Alipay’s activities. After all, the company did become a 30,000 word case study in my book Digital Human. I haven’t written about Alipay…

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The Finanser’s Week: 24th October – 30th October 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … Are you real or fake? I watched the recent series Capture on the BBC where real-time images can be distorted and changed. This moves from CCTV images to live television. It’s all about deep fake technology where a person can appear to be ‘live’, when it’s just a fiction….

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The Finanser’s Week: 16th October – 23rd October 2022

This week’s main blog discussions included … The FinTech Bloodbath Back in January, I called 2022 the Big Regression for FinTech. Ten months later, sure enough, it is. Daily headlines about losses and layoffs are gathering non-stop, and storm clouds are gathering fast to demand market change through consolidation and merger. FinTech London’s double bloodbath…

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The Finanser’s Week: 10th October – 16th October 2022

This week’s main blog discussions included … The top technologies for banks now and next year Two big consulting firms just released interesting reports about technology trends: McKinsey and Bain. McKinsey’s report focuses upon the technologies that matter most, and found 14! As usual, being consultants, they had to put them into a complex chart….

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The Finanser’s Week: 3rd October – 9th October 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … Sell when everyone is buying; buy when everyone is selling The world has reached a bit of a weird place. For years, the only way was up. Suddenly, it all seems like it is down. In fact, it seems to have gone off the rails and, in…

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The Finanser’s Week: 26th September – 2nd October 2022

The main blog discussions this week include … CeFi, DeFi? No, it’s HyFi with WiFi! Growing up hi-fi was High Fidelity, the best way to hear music. In 2022, HyFi is hybrid finance, the best way to use money. HyFi combines CeFi with DeFi. I don’t believe you can just have one. DeFi works for…

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The Finanser’s Week: 19th September – 25th September 2022

This week’s main blog discussions include … If finance was a football team I had this strange dream the other night where I wondered what a financial institution would look like as a football team. Sure, it’s a weird thing to dream about, but it made sense, so I woke up and wrote down the…

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Digital Transformation Programme

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Chris Skinner
Commentator, CEO of The Finanser and best-selling author at The Finanser

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About Chris Skinner

Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

Alex at the Financial Services

Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser