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Shaping the future of finance


People buying bitcoins are psychos

I was quite amazed to see an item across my desk last week with the headline: Investors in cryptocurrency are more likely to be psychopaths Seriously? The headline is based on a report of a survey, published in the journal Plos One, who canvassed over 2,000 Americans of whom 30 per cent said they owned…

I bet you’re not dismissing challenger banks now

I remember ten years ago when fintech was emerging from under the hood and challenger banks become a new phrase. Most of the bankers I spoke to back then said they would never be really challenging. Ten years later, the situation is rather different. Revolut has over 40 million customers and is profitable; Monzo has…

Evolve Bank & Trust + Synapse = a perfect storm

I got an email the other day about a data breach at Evolve Bank. Who? I don’t deal with Evolve Bank. What’s going on? The email came from Wise and reads as follows: There’s been a data breach at Evolve Bank & Trust. Evolve Bank & Trust is a regulated bank that we worked with…

A new British Government: what does it mean for fintech?

July 4th – traditionally the day I think of as American independence – is, this year, the day of British independence. A revolution caused by a sloppy government, who had little competence to run the country, has been over-turned by a leftish political party called Labour. We have swung from right to left after fourteen…

So you think digital banking is done?

I was thinking about whether we need another digital bank in Britain the other day. I know that’s UK-focused and am very aware of digital banking developments in other countries, but the UK kind of led the way with the launch of Monzo, Starling, Wise and Revolut a decade ago. They may be the headline…

A financial offer to die for

I attended a meeting this week presenting a variety of startups and their ideas. All of them were great, but one stood out for me: Fairwill. Obviously playing on the word farewell, Fairwill provides an exit policy for humans … as in death specialists. It sounds morbid but there’s only two certainties in life: death…

AI is a huge mistake (if you don’t understand what it’s for)

It does amaze me how many people in banks and technology firms talk about Cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Fintech, Blockchain, Apps, 5G, Analytics, APIs and more as though they are all buckets. They are buckets of technology, but in each bucket is a use case and, in many, hundreds or even thousands of use…

If you are data-dumb, you cannot compete

Whilst I was in South Africa, they couldn’t help talking about Rugby  (could they?). You may remember that South Africa won the Rugby World Cup last year* for the second time in a row – a rare feat – and are the top-ranked world rugby team right now. So, it’s not surprising they would talk about…

What the Finternet?

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), the guys who create the Basel rules and control much of the way the global banking system works, released a paper the other day about the Finternet: “the financial system for the future”. The idea is that all of the financial world will connect through unified ledgers integrated by…

What’s NOT hot in Fintech?

In discussion with other investors, we were talking about what’s hot and what’s not in fintech. What’s hot I discussed the other day. What’s not is today’s discussion. Our conclusion was that digital banking, neobanks and challengers, BaaS, payments, lending and other well trodden fintech fields are no longer hot. Been there, done that. These are the areas…

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