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Will Apple Bank be the first new American #Fintech Bank?

On Wednesday the American Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)* followed up on its promise last December to introduce a national bank charter for Fintech bank startups by issuing a white paper on how to apply for a licence, the evaluation process and what will be involved.  It’s a massive move towards allowing…

When will banks stop seeing financial inclusion as charity?

I was asked this question at a recent conference and yes, banks do believe that the mass poor are just that: poor.  How do you make a profit out of the poor?  Well, truth be told, the poorest are the most profitable.  They’re the ones who need loans and go overdrawn, and therefore pay all…

Counterparty payments in seconds is an easy sell

It made me laugh today.  I was chairing a panel where Romana Kumar, Head of Global Transaction Banking for the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), was discussing their trial of Ripple.  The background to this was announced in a press release on 1st February 2017: Ripple’s Distributed Financial Technology fits within NBAD’s existing infrastructure…

Most thinking about poverty is wrong

There are basic human needs: food, drink, sleep … wifi.  Once those are covered, everything else is supplemental.  It’s not needed.  It’s just stuff you want.  If you can eat, drink and sleep comfortably, what else is there? I only ask this question because I was thinking about what we value, and realised that we…

GAFA have already opened banks … just not in America

I heard a rumour the other day.  The rumour goes something like: are you not surprised that banks grow into big beasts, as it’s government supported?  Governments want banks to be big and regulated, because governments can then access the data the bank is keeping about their clients.  IT’s access to data for tracking financial…

An interview with Tom Blomfield, co-founder of Monzo

The first job Tom Blomfield (left in photo) ever had was delivering leaflets for estate agent Wilson Heal. He  lasted one day in the cold December rain before convincing the guys that leaflets were old school and they really needed a website, which Tom then built and still exists today. That opened up the world…

For Turkish bank Garanti: appiness is the truth

I recently started working with the guys at 11:FS.  A great bunch of folks who really understand FinTech and Digital.  So they have a podcast, a blog and even do some work sometimes.  Anyways, I thought this article was interesting and so, in the spirit of sharing, have scraped over here: Garanti: driving digital at…

Laundering-as-a-Service (a bank USP)

I was surprised the other day when I met Pawel Kuskowski, CEO and Co-founder of Coinfirm, a start-up firm offering Compliance-as-a-Service.  Pawel has been trained in compliance and AML, having worked with some of the world’s biggest financial institutions including AIG (Compliance Officer), UBS (Director of Compliance, Compliance and Operational Risk Officer) and RBS (Head…

The unbankable banked

Reflecting on the last year, it’s been crazy.  I feel like I’ve spent most of the year jumping on and off airplanes.  Most visited cities are London, for obvious reasons, and Singapore.  I must have been there five or six times this year, and that reflects Singapore’s ambitions to be a Fintech hub.  I’ve also…

India’s idea about a cashless society is not the reality

I wrote a while ago about the amazing digital identity scheme in India called Aadhaar.  It’s a card-based biometric scheme using a centralised database.  Of course, today, they would have developed the scheme on a mobile wallet with a distributed ledger but hey, you can’t win them all.  Some say that this just illustrates how…

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