Banks and FinTechs


Banks and FinTechs should “put down their swords,” as Mary Wisniewski put it in a widely shared American Banker opinion piece, “There are no heroes or villains in the data-access debate.”

Many banks and FinTechs are doing just that. Yet culture stands in the way as much as anything else—on both sides, as this week’s links show.

FinTech is not just FinTech anymore

As FinTech continues to mature and reach into other sub-sectors of the financial services industry, FinTech is no longer shorthandfor just the intersection between finance and technology, says Chris Skinner for The NextWeb. Now, FinTech has spilled over into other subcategories including RegTech for regulation, WealthTech for wealth management, and InsurTech for insurance. And none of them have successfully replaced traditional banks.

Silicon Valley tried to upend banks. Now it works with them.

“We realized that if you want millions of users as a bank, it is a very different proposition than building a social media network,” Moven founder Brett King told The New York Times. As FinTech firms like Ant Financial in China or M-Pesa in Africa manage to scale substantial payments operations, banking regulations and incumbent traditional banks with similar payments products have turned once reluctant FinTech competitors into open-minded collaborators.

FinTech and InsurTech insights with global influencer Andreas Staub

Andreas Staub, managing partner for Fehr Advice, talks with Irish Tech News about his start in online banking and big data in the 1990s, Switzerland’s banking innovation culture, and his excitement for understanding human behavior in the context of banking. “FinTechs as pure technological innovations are commodities ending in a fierce price competition development,” he says. As for banks, “The biggest threats for banks are not startups. The danger lays in the existing culture. Furthermore even basics such as digital or financial literacy are neglected.”

Why banks have to implement instant payments

The inability of legacy systems to integrate instant payments, the high costs and downtimes needed to revamp the existing payments infrastructure, and the inability of in-house anti-money laundering and anti-fraud systems to keep up with massive volumes of realtime payments are the barriers banks face, writes Peter Caiazzi for bobsguide. But if banks don’t adopt realtime payments capabilities, they could lose out in adding value to general consumers, merchants, corporations, and public administrations.

You can now transfer money through Facebook

TransferWise launched a chatbot that allows Facebook users to transfer money using the Facebook Messenger app, CNN Money reports. Users can send funds across the United States, Canada, Australia, and countries within the European Union, a vast improvement given that users were previously only allowed to transfer money to U.S. users.

Meet Jude. My private banker.

In a new Medium post, Ben Lynch, founder of the banking platform Jude, explains how he built the platform to help him manage the funds in his bank account to avoid pesky, pricey overdraft fees. “I soon realized I could provide a better banking experience than what my bank was offering if I just built it myself. So that’s what I set out to do.”

This FinTech CEO is making money instantly available anywhere in the world

Since 2012 when Davis Barons founded Creamfinance, an international finance firm which uses advanced algorithms and machine learning to quickly rate potential loan recipients, the firm has raised $7.3 million in funding. The idea, according to Creamfinance CEO Matiss Ansviesulis, stemmed from the difficulty of getting loans from banks. “We built Creamfinance based on a vision to make money available, and we do so by providing consumer loans online in a convenient and speedy manne.”