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Shaping the future of finance


Is this the man who invented BNPL?

A few people got excited about Affirm working with Apple Pay to embed BNPL (buy now, pay later) in their services. As reported by CNBC: Apple device users will be able to tap into buy now, pay later loans from Affirm for purchases Affirm will surface as an option for Apple Pay users on iPhones…

Is digital banking done?

As Revolut reports exceeding 40 million customers across Europe and Monzo raises $430 million at a $5 billion valuation, many people are thinking that the challengers are no longer challengers. They are banks. Putting it in context, in the UK, NatWest have 14 million retail customers; Monzo has over 9 million. The challenger has matured. Yet, when…

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…

What’s hot and what’s not in fintech?

In a long strategy session yesterday, we were trying to list the things that are hot and what’s not in fintech. So, what’s hot? Obviously crypto and AI. However, those are the headline buckets, what’s the detail? The detail is the use cases of crypto and AI. This is something I say often, as you…

How can we be data-driven when we’re data-dumb?

I’ve written a lot about how banks are dumb with data because they’re spread over so many systems with massive technical debt, and yet every bank is now saying to me that they are “data driven” with “digital at the core”. Really? Most of those banks, when I look under the hood, are bankensteins. These…

How can we create an innovation culture in a zero-risk company?

Presenting to a group of banking people the other day, the constant question was about risk, return, regulation and compliance. It actually became quite irritating until one person said: “how can we create an innovation transformation culture in a zero-risk company?” It then hit me: these guys cannot do this. It’s too hard. I’ve had…

One account to rule them all?

I was having a chat with some friends about the good old days, where everything was domestic and local. We had passbooks, cheques, cash and branches. Ah, those were the days. Life was simple, money was all in one place and easy to manage. Then the ATM came about and so we moved to cards…

What’s the future of card schemes?

I got into a new debate yesterday, talking with two guys who are formerly with big card companies (shush, you know who), and we started debating the four-pillar model that’s been around for the last half century. The model is the basis of the card industry and involves acquiring merchants, issuing cards through banks, and then…

A world without borders

We all know the world is changing. Every day, we see things changing. The only constant is change. This makes the state we live in today very interesting. I can send a crypto payment from London to Nairobi instantly but, for various reasons, I cannot make a payment to my own account today. That is…

Is this the bank that JK Rowling based Gringotts on?

I found a great interview the other day with Bella Hoare, a partner and director at the world’s oldest privately owned bank, C Hoare and Co. The bank has been run by the Hoare family for 12 generations, and was originally set up as a goldsmiths by Richard Hoare in Cheapside in 1672. Almost twenty…

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