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

What happened at the Innovate Finance Global Summit?

I was at the Innovate Finance Global Summit last week and it was fantastic, as can be seen by the pic above of the CEO and Chair having a whale of a time on stage. The job I had to do was interview Jo Dewar on stage who just launched Project Nemo (more on that…

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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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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 guy who thinks we will all fail”. Interestingly, a short time…

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Intelligent Money: When Money Thinks For You

My new book arrives soon. Titled Intelligent Money and sub-titled When Money Thinks For You, it should be a monster. You can order it from today here on Amazon and all other good book stores. What’s the book about? It’s all about Generative Finance where AI integrates with money. In preparation for this new book,…

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Reading

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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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Things worth reading: 18th April 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Brazilian woman arrested after taking corpse to sign bank loan: ‘She knew he was dead’ | Brazil | The Guardian Blair Institute sets out ‘progressive vision’ for fintech (finextra.com) What Is the World Bank, and What Does It Do? (investopedia.com) What is the Bank of England and why does…

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Things worth reading: 17th April 2024

Things we’re reading today include … HSBC’s Zing has less than 20% of Wise’s monthly downloads – but CEO insists it’s ‘bang on plan’ | Sifted Bank of America profits plunge 18% due to rise in customer credit card delinquencies | Daily Mail The Bank used inflation forecast based on pencil drawing, says Andy Haldane…

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Things worth reading: 16th April 2024

Things we’re reading today include: “People are scared to say the wrong thing” says fintech leader, heading up new disability inclusion campaign – Tech.eu New York threatens London’s fintech dominance, says Revolut UK chief (telegraph.co.uk) Bank of America accused of religious and political ‘discrimination’ by ‘de-banking’ or refusing to service Trump supporters | Daily Mail…

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Things worth reading: 15th April 2024

Things we’re reading today include … Fintech boards lack AI skills needed to drive future growth, survey finds (cityam.com) Fintech funding slows to the lowest level since 2017 | TechCrunch UK digital bank Zopa turns a profit as it eyes an IPO (ft.com) Bank of England forecasts undermined by out-of-date methods, report finds | Bank…

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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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Blog Index

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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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The Finanser’s Week: 11th March – 17th March 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … How the Wirecard story unravelled: an interview with Dan McCrum who broke the truth I’ve been following Dan McCrum, the investigative journalist with The Financial Times, for quite a while. He’s the guy who broke the Wirecard story, even though it could have meant quite a lot of…

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The Finanser’s Week: 4th March – 10th March 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … 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:…

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The Finanser’s Week: 26th February – 3rd March 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is a cashless world OK? There has been a movement over the past years to create a cashless world. Is that OK? It’s debatable. One of the big things about cash is that it represents society. In Europe, the euro notes mark major landmarks; in the UK, the…

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The Finanser’s Week: 19th February – 25th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … Is technology making our lives better or worse? I had a debate around the enshittifying dialogue the other day. At dinner with an executive from a Big Tech firm, he said that our world is made better with technology, not worse. So, I asked him to give me…

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The Finanser’s Week: 12th February – 18th February 2024

This week’s main blog discussions include … How old banks are responding to challenger banks (research report) I got an interesting research report from Economist Impact the other day, commissioned by Temenos. Usually I ignore such emails and updates, but this one was interesting as it’s focused upon how traditional financial providers are competing with…

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Future

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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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We are all just prisoners here, of our own device …

I just found a fascinating report from data.ai about the state of mobile usage today. Apparently we spend a third of the day, on average, playing with our phones. The mobile economy is now worth more than half a trillion dollars; with most of it generated through spending on mobile adverts; and almost 500,000 apps…

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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 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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Are fintech firms friends or foes?

I just received an interesting report released in January by ClearBank and Celent, looking at how electronic money and electronic payment institutions (EMIs and EPIs) work with banks and the financial ecosystem. The findings indicate that these start-up companies fill the gaps where incumbent banks feared to tread, such as offering crypto clearing services. John…

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Is Crypto Snake Oil or Gold?

There are many who compare bitcoin to digital gold, and there are many others who claim that bitcoin is just snake oil selling and a waste of time. Who is right and who is wrong? I guess the first thing is to define snake oil. Snake oil is a term used to describe a scam….

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Fintech

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What happened at the Innovate Finance Global Summit?

I was at the Innovate Finance Global Summit last week and it was fantastic, as can be seen by the pic above of the CEO and Chair having a whale of a time on stage. The job I had to do was interview Jo Dewar on stage who just launched Project Nemo (more on that…

Read More

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 guy who thinks we will all fail”. Interestingly, a short time…

Read More

WTF … who the finanser are you?

The bank that wants to verify my identity but cannot accept the information … OMG, what’s going on? Under new UK government rules, there’s been a crackdown on money laundering and customer identity in the banking system. The response of the banks has been archaic to say the least. By way of example I blogged…

Read More

Stop talking about  “Open Banking”

Talking of sharing data, Salt Edge just sent me some interesting stats about Open Banking and Open Finance (there is a difference). They start by quoting that inconsistently reliable source Statista, who claim that the number of open banking users worldwide was expected to grow by an average of 50% per year between 2020 and…

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AI will be as transformational as the printing press, according to Jamie Dimon

After yesterday’s discussion of being careful with customer data, AI may be the solution. In previous examples of data sharing, such as those mentioned with Barclays and ING ten years ago, it was too much of a blunt instrument. The intelligence was lacking. But I can see banks moving stealthily into customer data sharing, targeting,…

Read More

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, not the bank – and they failed. The two specific examples I remember are Barclays…

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Some big questions about the future answered

In discussion with a client the other day, we got into a debate about how to structure the next workshop with management. The result is that there were five critical questions proposed: How far can we automate everything? How can we use technology differently? Can regulators keep up with these changes? Could the network run…

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It’s us and them

It’s interesting how people interpret things. Many think it’s old banks versus new banks; branch versus app; physical versus digital; government currencies versus cryptocurrencies; and more. For me, it’s not versus though. It’s and. We live in a world of transition where new and old banks work together well. My old bank does my boring…

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Digital Bank

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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 guy who thinks we will all fail”. Interestingly, a short time…

Read More

Intelligent Money: When Money Thinks For You

My new book arrives soon. Titled Intelligent Money and sub-titled When Money Thinks For You, it should be a monster. You can order it from today here on Amazon and all other good book stores. What’s the book about? It’s all about Generative Finance where AI integrates with money. In preparation for this new book,…

Read More

WTF … who the finanser are you?

The bank that wants to verify my identity but cannot accept the information … OMG, what’s going on? Under new UK government rules, there’s been a crackdown on money laundering and customer identity in the banking system. The response of the banks has been archaic to say the least. By way of example I blogged…

Read More

Technology is good, but humans are more important

Sitting at a recent conference meeting, one of the folks around the table said: “technology is good, but humans are more important”. That got me thinking, and maybe not in a good way as it immediately made me see that future of machines running the world, and humans coming second. Ex Machina, Terminator, Black Mirror…

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Stop talking about  “Open Banking”

Talking of sharing data, Salt Edge just sent me some interesting stats about Open Banking and Open Finance (there is a difference). They start by quoting that inconsistently reliable source Statista, who claim that the number of open banking users worldwide was expected to grow by an average of 50% per year between 2020 and…

Read More

AI will be as transformational as the printing press, according to Jamie Dimon

After yesterday’s discussion of being careful with customer data, AI may be the solution. In previous examples of data sharing, such as those mentioned with Barclays and ING ten years ago, it was too much of a blunt instrument. The intelligence was lacking. But I can see banks moving stealthily into customer data sharing, targeting,…

Read More

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, not the bank – and they failed. The two specific examples I remember are Barclays…

Read More

A digital pivot: LVMH and Blackstone

I often say in speeches that you now have the ability to pay anytime, anywhere from your pocket or purse. Now I realise that the mention of pocket or purse is no longer relevant. It’s pay anytime, anywhere from your device, and soon it will be pay anytime, anywhere, with your body as a token….

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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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