Scale and Security

FinTech businesses require scale to succeed, and consumers demand security. Those concerns top this week’s list, along with lists of influencers and a trio of articles focused on how community banks are responding to FinTech challengers.

FinTech rides the CTA

The new FinTech firms are focusing on creating scale, and they are using some old-fashioned techniques: transit advertising, for one. I rode the Chicago Transit Authority’s 151 Michigan Ave bus the other night and saw this ad for Transferwise:


Earlier in the fall while riding the CTA’s Brown Line train, I noticed this ad promoting a firm’s payments capabilities:


Top FinTech influencer lists released

Year-end lists are starting to appear. This week, top 100 FinTech influencer lists appear from Onalytica and Jay Palter. Many common names with some very different ordering. Fun to browse and find new people to follow.

Chip-based credit cards are old news; why is the US only rolling them out now?

The ArsTechnica blog republishes an updated version of its highly understandable article on the U.S. shift to chip-based cards asking the “elephant in the room” questions. The answers are no better now than a year ago, even after the shift in liability for fraud to retailers.

Managing risk in the digital era with payment networks

Corporate treasury managers are paying attention to the risks inherent in the systems they use as shoppers as they start to adopt them as businesses. Digital tokens, used in consumer payment systems like Apple Pay, are finding a place in business payments, reports Treasury and Risk Management.

A token-powered future on Ethereum

As for the future, the ConsenSys organization provides a primer on token-based security in the age of digital commerce powered by blockchain public ledgers and smart contracts. “Tokenized assets allows for goods to be traded as close to directly as possible, sometimes without an abstraction of money.”

How community banks are responding to FinTech

Small banks may face threats by FinTech startups but some are starting to respond in kind. Independent Banker recently published a series of articles (one written by yours truly) covering the trends and how community banks are meeting the challenges:

A mix of players, FinTech firms pose threats and opportunities

Alex Jimenez explores new products and payments full time

A Pennsylvania community bank creates an all-mobile, nationwide banking division