Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance


OMG!!! Did you see #Alibaba’s Singles Day numbers???

The 11th of November. 11 November. 11/11. Not 9/11 or 5/11. 11/11. For Europeans and Americans, 11/11 means the end of the First World War. The Allies sat down and signed the Armistice Agreement with the Germans at 11:00 (Paris time) on 11th November, 1918, in Compiègne and ended the War. Poland reappeared as a…

Will QR codes wipe out cash and cards?

There’s been an interesting but hidden trend taking place. It started in China with Tencent and Alipay and has now gone global. The phenomenon is called QR codes. QR, or Quick Response if you prefer the longer form, is a code that originated in Japan in the 1990s, and has gradually grown from a system…

Technology is improving the world, not destroying it

For all the negative views of technology, the positive is that it is enabling and inclusive. This is what Digital Human explores in depth. The main critique of my book is that it is too optimistic about the future of technology, and should be more balanced. Nevertheless, after yesterday’s post about the evils of the…

Venmo’s growing pains and the rise of Zelle

I know I’ve written a lot about China and the Chinese internet giants for the past couple of years, whilst leaving out much of what’s happening in the USA. It’s not to say the USA is boring, but it’s not innovating at the speed, rate or scale of the Chinese internet companies. By way of…

Digital banks are 35+ times more productive than traditional banks

I’m launching the new book Digital Human in New York on April 12 (if you want to come, register here), following on from our recent London launch. In London, I was delighted to host Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Bank UK, and Li Wang, Head of Alipay and Ant Financial for EMEA, as panellists to…

Ant Financial’s Strategy for AI, Blockchain, Cybersecurity and more

I’ve been flying around a bit and was lucky enough to find myself onstage the other day, chairing the Ant Financial Technology Forum at Money20/20 Singapore. I was honoured to accept to be the moderator of the afternoon and guess I was chosen because Alipay and Ant Financial are a 30,000 word in-depth case study…

PayTM and India Stack is turning the country cashless fast

I’ve just spent a few days in India and the inevitable discussions around Aadhaar, UPI, demonetization and more came around. Y’all may know some of this as I’ve blogged about it before but the bit that I wanted to focus upon was the demonetization position. In November 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took what many…

Making a hash of it

I’m having lots of discussions about tokenisation and cryptocurrencies, and it often boils down to hashing the data. Hashing data is taking the source information which may be your account details or card information and shortening it into a machine-readable link that doesn’t share the original data. It’s a little like when I tweet a…

Rwanda: Africa’s first cashless economy?

Another presentation that was enlightening was delivered by Jean Claude Gaga, CEO of RSwitch Ltd, the national e-payment switch of Rwanda. Jean Claude gave an overview of how Rwanda is moving towards a cashless economy and I was particularly interested as I chair Dot Finance in Kigali each year, and so it gave me a…

How difficult is financial inclusion?

There were lots and lots and lots, literally, of focus upon mobile and financial inclusion in my Sudan conference. I guess because only 4% of the adults who live there are banked. You heard me, just four percent. There are over 20 million people of working or retirement age in the country, so that’s just…

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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