A careful curation of must-reads and can’t-misses from the world of fintech.
h
Predictions
THE SIMPLE ECONOMICS OF MACHINE INTELLIGENCE

Since machine intelligence is about technology making predictions, the big economic shift will center around a drop in the cost of prediction. University of Toronto professors Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb see more tasks being “reframed as prediction problems” (Harvard Business Review). And with ever more machine predictions, we’ll want more of something else, too: Human...

Opinion
Array
Iren Tranvåg
CEO Nordic Finance Innovation
Nordic Finance Innovation (NFI) - the Nordic financial technology network – is proud to announce that we have a new star player. Fintech “prophet” Chris Skinner has come on board as our new Chairman and co-owner. Skinner is a frequently used lecturer, a blogger and commentator on finance and fintech for leading media outlets, and the author of the acclaimed book “ValueWeb”. It is terrific for us that Skinner has accepted this double role, and a true testament to the Nordic countries’ position in developing international finance technology. Nordic Finance Innovation only launched in February this year. So far, we have 50 members from the Norwegian bank, insurance and payment servi...
h
Good Reads
THE NEW GAME OF GLOBAL TECH

Power just got complicated. As distinctions between the hardware, software, services, and telecom sectors dissolve, companies are changing how they compete (Syrategy + Business), says Olaf Acker, Florian Grne, and Germar Schrder. They make a well-argued case that success in the high-tech industry no longer goes automatically to those with first-mover advantage, or even to those...

h
The Reports
CHINA LEAPFROGS WORLD IN TECHNOLOGICAL INNOVATION

40% of China’s 675 million smart phone users make mobile payments (LTP). China’s internet giants have (unlike European and American counterparts) followed fintech startups into payments, lending and bitcoin, and their local consumer banks are more sophisticated. Read on for picks from Asian Nikkei Review, the International Trade Association and the World Bank.

h
Banking
-THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A “GOOD” MEGABANK

Recent events have thoroughly debunked financial giants (American Banker), writes law professor Art Wilmarth, arguing that the recent scandals at JPMC, Deutsche Bank and Wells Fargo confirm that global megabanks are “not just too big to fail but also too big to manage or regulate effectively”. Read on for top picks from Huffington Post, Public Citizen and Wall Street Journal.

h
Insurtech
8 HOT INSURANCE HOOKUPS WITH THE INTERNET OF THINGS

The Internet of Things and insurance have been making out. Here are some of the biggest game changers of the year (Insurance Networking). The IoT offers insurers huge opportunities to improve and diversify – and insurtech firms have been quick to capitalize (Accenture), writes Jean-Francois Gasc: “Smart start-ups […] combine the data-gathering power of the IoT with the number-crunching ability...

h
Blockchain
BITCOIN WAS SUPPOSED TO CHANGE THE WORLD. WASN’T IT?

Bitcoin was supposed to render banks obsolete and rebuild the financial world. “But it’s becoming clear that companies like MasterCard and Western Union are in no danger of going the way of Tower Records,” (Vox) writes Timothy Lee. In spite of a billion venture dollars, Bitcoin has not become mainstream. Read our top picksfrom Cryptocoins News, Tech Crunch and Tech In Asia.

 

h
Law and Order
EU COMMISSION PUTS FINTECH ON 2017 AGENDA

A new special task force set up by The European Commission will suggest fintech policies next year (Fintech Switzerland). This a first step towards assessing the risks and rewards (Fortune) presented by a sector that is shaking up traditional banking. In a speech, EU financial services commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis encouraged technological innovation (European Commission).

h
Good Reads
SHOULD VISIONARY LEADERS HAVE VISIONARY SUCCESSORS?

In “Why Visionary CEOs Never Have Visionary Successors” (Harvard Business Review), Steve Blank argues that CEOs like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates often make the tragic mistake of hiring non-visionary successors. While operative CEOs are great for reducing turbulence, they’re less inclined to make the “radical business model transitions” required to survive.

 

h
Predictions
TRUMP AND BREXIT WOES FOR LONDON

Entering 2016, London was the indisputed fintech champ of the world. After June’s Brexit vote and the election of Trump across the ocean, speculation on London’s fintech future is rife. Brexit and Trump are letting Germany steal the fintech crown, writes Business Insider. Our other picks include Banking TechnologyCNBC and Forbes.

h
The Reports
LESS MONEY FOR U.S. FINTECHS

Investors are pondering. For the second straight quarter, U.S. venture capital investment in fintech companies declined in Q3. According to the Pulse of Fintech Report, the quarterly global report on fintech VC trends published jointly by KPMG International and CB Insights (CB Insights), U.S. fintech startups saw funding total $800M in Q3’16, a decrease of 50% from...

h
Great Visuals
7 BEAUTIFUL EXAMPLES OF FINE ART IN FINTECH

Design sells. Fintech has brought more attention to aesthetics and engaging user experience design to banking. With mobile and web platforms becoming the main stage for financial customer interaction, the design doctrines popular with tech startups has become an influence. Here are some of the best examples of beautifully designed fintech apps and websites (The Next Web).

h
Company Spotlight
FINTECH’S MOST POWERFUL DEALMAKERS

Funding is not enough. Many of this year’s Fintech Finance 35 (Institutional Investor) – those ranked by Instituional Investor as leading financiers and facilitators of the entrepreneurial explosion in fintech – are as much strategic advisers and collaborators as they are funders. Some good tips here for dealmakers, who, as they invest, offer “partnerships” as well as cash.

h
The Bot Economy
THE CONTINUING RISE OF THE FINTECH BOT

The bot race is on. But who is accountable if a fintech bot makes a wrong call? What is the value of human logic? Is innovation outpacing regulation right now? We’ve curated some articles that try to answer these predicaments, as the mad race to banking bots has begun, with contributions from Venture Beat, Tech Crunch and Quartz.

h
Artificial Intelligence
TIME TO HIRE YOUR FIRST CHIEF AI OFFICER

Time to work on your hiring ads. For a good take on what artificial intelligence can and can’t do right now, read Andrew Ng explaining that AI will revolutionize many industries, but not yet  (Harvard Business Review). Despite AI’s breadth of impact across industries, “the types of it being deployed are still extremely limited”, Ng says.

h
Predictions
FINTECH EXODUS IN THE TRUMP WAKE

You know what the Trump presidency will mean for the financial world? Well, you’re probably the only one. There is no shortage of predictions, however. Our top picks are from Finance Magnates, Harvard Business Review, Business Insider and The New Yorker. Read on for the curated list.

h
Company Spotlight
FORBES’ ANNUAL FINTECH TOP 50 IS HERE

What’s going on in fintech? Have a peek. Forbes’ second annual Fintech Top 50 list (Forbes) is out – with descriptions of particulalry interesting non-publicly traded fintechs operating in the US. With $18.9 billion poured into fintech startups during the first nine months of 2016, there is tons of action in the field – with 22 companies new on this year’s list.

h
Predictions
A TRUMPED UP WORLD: DAY 2

The world – and its financial pundits – is reeling, struggling to comprehend the consequences of a new president and his rogue campaign. What will it mean for trade, globalization and world prosperity? What will it mean for banks and fintech? Read on for today’s picks of thoughtful insights, with contributions from The Economist, Crowdfund Insider and The New York Times.

h
Predictions
TRUMPONOMICS: FINANCIAL GAMECHANGER

OMG! Donald J. Trump’s shocking victory late Tuesday left world markets rattled, and financial services companies facing an uncertain future. Once the uncertainty settles down, however, financial institutions are likely to embrace Trump’s deregulatory stance (American Banker), thinks Ian McKendry. Read on for our full rundown on the financial consequences of a surprising presidency.

h
Financial Inclusion
JUST GIVE MONEY TO THE POOR

Money for nothing? Trials of “universal basic income” show that giving people enough money to live on can have profound effects. Many theorists have toyed with the idea of governments giving every citizen or resident a minimum income  (The Independent) off which to live.  Pilot projects suggest that simply giving money to the poor (Rienner) could successfully tackle poverty.

h
Mobile
RACE IS ON TO KILL CLUNKY MOBILE SHOPPING

A mad scramble is on as brands seek to improve mobile conversion rates by overhauling and “mobilizing” their entire shopping process (L2). Consumers spend 60% of their online shopping time on mobile, but due to clunky user experiences, only 16% of shopping transactions are occurring on a smartphone, as detailed in L2’s Insight Report on mobile payments.

h
Good Reads
DOES WALL STREET TURN GOOD PEOPLE BAD?

Does finance attract people who are comfortable with doing morally dubious things? (Atlantic) asks Gillian B White. “Moral boundaries that can be so apparent in everyday life can be difficult to see, let alone adhere to, when financial firms and their workers are so often involved with purposely opaque financial products and strategies. The question is posed in a review of Maureen...

h
The Bot Economy
CHATBOTS WITH SOCIAL SKILLS WILL CONVINCE YOU TO BUY SOMETHING

Virtual assistants that can read social cues and nonverbal signals are less jarring—and surprisingly persuasive (Technology Review), Will Knight reports. Most bots remain horribly clumsy and easily confused. In the article, we meet Sara, a virtual assistant developed at Carnegie Mellon University, which uses conversational cues to make smalltalk-by-bots less annoying and more effective.

Load more articles