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GulfTech is a challenge due to diversity

I took part in a webinar the other day, focused upon the developments in digital banking in the Middle East.  Having visited Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Dubai and Qatar recently, I can claim to know a little.  Equally, having been to the region regularly since 2002, I’ve seen how it is developing and changing.  This is…

GulfTech is the next big thing

I’ve just returned from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where there were a number of events.  Just a few weeks ago, I was in Bahrain, talking at a conference about FinTech as usual. What struck me is the interest and excitement about FinTech in both countries.  There’s also a lot of competition between different cities…

How to make your startup a success

You have an idea. Let’s say that it’s to make nice wooden caricatures of famous politicians.  Something that historically would have been a niche trade for the odd craft fare.  It still is, but when you go to a craft fare, the usual practice is cash only.  Not any more.  Just in a few short…

As stores die, startups prosper

We talk a lot about bank branch closures and, to be sure, there are a lot bank branch closures.  The UK has seen 1 in 10 bank branches disappear over the last two years whilst the USA is seeing a similar trend, albeit at a slower pace.  That may be scary for some as we see…

Neobanks don’t need to be “real banks” to compete in banking

I wrote a piece recently about the challenges of being a challenger bank.  It coincided with the news that my friends at solarisBank had just achieved a Series A funding round of €26 million.  Neatly, co-founder of solarisBank Marko Wenthin spotted my post and decided to send a reply.  Here is his thoughts on being a…

The Finanser’s Week: 20th March – 26th March 2017

A summary of the main blogs of the week … Western Union: is the future bright or dark? I recently was hauled up over saying that Western Union (WU) was being disrupted by FinTech.  The words that a reader took issue with are: The high fees of Western Union and other remittance providers were fairly…

Western Union: is the future bright or dark?

I recently was hauled up over saying that Western Union (WU) was being disrupted by FinTech.  The words that a reader took issue with are: The high fees of Western Union and other remittance providers were fairly punishing … until FinTech came along Western Union is being disrupted, to an extent, but this person was…

Turkish delights in innovation

I’ve been working closely with BKM, the Turkish retail payments clearing company, for a few years now.  They manage the Fintech Istanbul program, and are the powerhouse behind many of the innovations we’ve seen in Turkey from mobile wallets to contactless payments. Their CEO, Soner Canko, will be presenting to the Financial Services Club on…

Russians launder billions through British banks (who cares?)

I blogged recently that there is around $1.6 trillion of money laundering globally and less than 2% is caught by the financial system.  That’s a stunning amount and makes you wonder why our system is so awful.  Much of it is down to the fact that account openings depend upon physical documentation and human checks. …

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