Chris Skinner's blog

Shaping the future of finance


Some challenger banks are challenging

The UK’s challenger banks are busy getting on with it. They’ve got their licences, they’ve deployed their services, they’re partnering with third parties and creating marketplaces. Much of this was cited in a report by CBInsights, comparing the features of the five most notable new ones: Atom, Starling, Monzo, Revolut and Tandem. N26 were also…

This year’s FinTech50: will London keep its FinTech Crown?

I often relate the story that the first FinTech firm I ever met was Zopa. Zopa launched in April 2005 and presented at the Financial Services Club on March 30 that year. They talked about an eBay for Money and connecting savers and borrowers. No one got what they were talking about, although everyone does…

Who has the best digital offer in the UK: challenger or big banks?

I just found a really interesting analysis of the state of mobile banking in the UK which, if you bear in mind has lots of new challenger banks, makes for interesting reading about features and functionality of Monzo versus N26 versus Starling versus Atom and so on. It’s almost as good as 11FS’s Pulse, where…

When an app replaces 1200 bank branches …

I was invited to address a commercial bank this week, and they wanted me to make it specific to their strategy. In reading their strategy, I saw something that jumped off the page: new branches. Why, in the digital age, would any bank be opening more branches? I asked them this question and they said…

The future of money (research report)

I just got a report from J Walter Thompson on the future of money and there’s some interesting facts and stats. Here are my headlines: 76% of millennials are looking for new forms of banking 40% of people in their twenties have downloaded a money management app 80% of millennials don’t invest in the stock…

Digital smartphone banking is used by 97% of Asia’s developed market consumers

Over the weekend, I received a couple of interesting emails about things happening in Asia. The first is a translation of an announcement from the People’s Daily, the most official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, discussing digital currencies. The article is fairly high level and makes no commitment to regulate, deregulate or commit to…

Lloyds and JPMorgan: a tale of two strategies

It’s interesting looking at banks’ strategic updates and how integral digital is to everything in the banks now. Now I don’t have time to read all of these updates and reviews, but two did catch my eye recently: Lloyds Banking Group in the UK and JPMorgan Chase in the USA. Lloyds’ CEO’s presentation was titled:…

Comparisons of platforms vs banks by the numbers

I’m not a financial analyst but a technologist and so, unsurprisingly, I got called out by some pedantic accountants over my simplistic assertion that Ant Financial is 35x more productive than banks like Barclays, as I was simply using their revenues per employee to make comparisons.  Similarly, in previous discussions of platforms versus banks, using…

The Big Digital Banks: JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs

I was having a chat about Artificial Intelligence (AI) in banking the other day. It was an interesting conversation, although most of the examples were for customer service via Chatbots, which doesn’t impress me much. I know that systems like Erica, short for Bank of AmErica, are up and running to make life easier, but…

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Chris Skinner
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