Advice and Consent


My FinTech conversations this week have focused on the newer end of the ecosystem. An upcoming profile will feature a firm that provides bitcoin ATMs targeted at the unbanked so they can send money at lower fees than traditional transfers.

Another conversation with a financial planner concerned how he is working as a coach and trusted advisor, making more on his advice than on transactions. Given the rise of roboadvisors in the wealth management sector, it’s a good move.

One theme throughout is the need for a clear, consistent, and less onerous regulatory regime. The U.S. regulatory environment is highly fragmented, with overlapping federal and state agencies, making it difficult for new technologies to gain the required regulatory consent.

Now to this week’s links, with an emphasis on FinTech movement in insurance.

Why compliance is a key element in FinTech

Some perceive regulators as either pessimistic barriers to FinTech innovation or simply “chasing after firms who evade the law,” writes Pradyumna Kulkarni for Tech Bullion. “When we put the future in perspective, it is regulators who should be allowed to have certain elbow space to act in the interest of Fintech.”

Why insurance is next prime focus

Similar to the way FinTech has changed loans, investing, and other financial services, FinTech is due to make waves in insurance in areas like underwriting, claims management, and service delivery. Prasana Murthi outlines this second wave of InsurTech of disruption in a blog post for Thoughtxy.

InsurTech News’ list of top 50 influencers

Sabine VanderLinden, founder of SBC InsurTech; Nigel Walsh, vice president of Capgemini Insurance; and Florian Graillot, venture capital investor at AXA Venture are among the top 50 insurance technology movers and shakers. See InsurTech’s full list of who made the cut.

Advisors who embrace FinTech will be ahead of the game

It behooves the financial services sector to embrace emerging technology rather than shun it, advises Cary List, president and CEO of the Toronto-based Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC). “Those that are adapting both at the senior level of a firm or the individual level are going to be ahead of the game,” says List, “[because they] see technology and robo-advice as an extension of the toolkit [and they] use technology to increase productivity, be more accessible, have quality relationship with clients and be the true trusted advisor for all of their clients.”

Look who’s chasing Venmo, student loan servicing falls short

Look out, Venmo! New players, including Cookies, Tilt and clearXchange are entering the peer-to-peer payment territory, according to Finovate’s FinTech Trending breakdown. Also in the update are the entrance of mobile payments providers. But is having so many mobile payment options a good thing? Not really, writes Julie Schicktanz for Finovate, ahead of next week’s New York event.

A shadow economy and the new American dream

As millennials increasingly desire to be free to work how and where they please, they reshape the American Dream, writes Pavel Cherkashin for Value Walk. Therefore, that means banks and must become as nimble as the customers they serve, meaning that payments and lending companies like Kabbage and Stripe may grow to reinvent the industry.

The sinister side of cash

Could cutting down cash eliminate the criminal activity associated with it? In a piece for The Wall Street Journal, Kenneth Rogoff argues that the government should pull back on circulating so much cash in an effort to combat crimes such as terrorism and illegal immigration.