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Doing good for society and the planet (an Earth Day FinTech update)

It was Earth Day on Monday, and a national holiday in many nations as they observed what Christians call Easter. Whilst Sri Lankans mourned the fatal losses on the Easter Sunday church gatherings, many observed the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. One of the leading lights of the modern environmental…

Time for a global FinTech platform?

I find it interesting when I read perspectives on FinTech, money and banking. Going digital, getting rid of branches, becoming cashless seem to be the main themes, and yet this ignores that every part of the world is different. It’s hard to go digital if the country has little infrastructure; it doesn’t make sense to…

Alipay and Visa announce global QR code venture

UPDATE: THIS BLOG POST WAS AN APRIL FOOL! We all got hugely excited about Apple launching a credit card with Goldman Sachs and Mastercard last week. Whoopy-doo! This was a major lift for Mastercard in particular. As Wedbush’s Moshe Katri noted payments on the card will be processed by Mastercard using “Mastercard’s token and M-chip…

Infrastructure and Incentive: Making Cashless a Reality

I often reflect on how quickly China is moving towards being cashless, as are parts of Africa and much of India. I then realised that it is a strong mix of simple infrastructure and strong incentive. In the case of M-PESA in Kenya, there was no method of making payments from city to village, except…

AI wars

I’m just reading a new book recommended by a banking friend AI Superpowers: China, Silicon Valley, and the New World Order by Kai-Fu Lee, and the opening got me thinking. Kai-Fu refers to the Google AI machine AlphaGo that beat Ke Jie, the world’s best Go player, as a sputnik moment. For those old enough,…

100 years of AI Life

I just picked up the London Business School’s quarterly journal, with lots of articles talking about Artificial Intelligence (AI). There are two in particular that stand out, with some interesting views. The first is by Julian Birkinshaw, Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, who argues that people will be integral to the future of business, just…

Financial literacy is the scourge of our times

One of the issues I have with financial services is that it’s frightening. You might not think so, but I grew up in a world of cushioned money. I didn’t know much about money at all. The most I knew about money is begging for more pocket money. The Bank of Mum and Dad was…

From innovation theatre to real innovation

I was listening to a great discussion about innovation (again) amongst a group of innovative bankers. As the conversation progressed, it made me reflect on a few things. In particular, how the conversation about innovation has changed over the past decade. Just before the financial crisis hit, innovation was big on the banks’ agendas. In…

Legacy vendors are more of an issue than legacy systems 

I often find myself in weird or frustrating situations that I don’t know how to break. For example, dealing with clients who require a Government Tax Residency Letter and multiple hurdles to be cleared before they can make payment; or dealing with American clients who want to pay me by cheque; or, worst of all, American clients who require…

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Chris Skinner
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Presentation at ZBP, September 2020, Warsaw, Poland

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Gaping Void's Hugh MacLeod worked with the Finanser