261. News: Reinventing retail

1h05 listen

261. News: Reinventing retail

On this week's episode, Simon and Ross sit down with Bill Gajda and Sian Lewin to discuss the latest and greatest news in fintech.

Our hosts, Simon Taylor and Ross Gallagher are joined by two great guests: Bill Gajda, Head of Global Strategic Partnerships at Visa and Dr Sian Lewin, The Reg Doctor.

First up, Gambling Blockers aren’t just a gimmick. Monzo and Starling’s gambling blockers have gained praise in the BBC for helping addicts kick the habit. More than 25,000 customers have signed up to Monzo’s block since it went live in June. "Not all of those were problem gamblers [but] about 8,000 people did have a history of gambling," says Mr Blomfield.

We have a great interview with Simon Vans-Colina, Engineer at Monzo to hear more.

‘Starling is now the Amazon of banking. Come get an account’. Telegraph article gives an overview of Starling and Anne Boden’s achievements, and clearly followed her about for the period of time where she was pitching to billionaires for funding. Somehow this leads onto a discussion of their marketplace APIs and how this makes them akin to Amazon in the banking world. This is a VERY flashy headline, but is there substance to it?

Funding Circle’s shares plummet as they float. Share prices fell by a quarter on their first full day of trading. The flotation valued the company at £1.5bn but by the end of Wednesday its market valued had fallen to £1.25bn. The collapse wiped millions from the paper fortunes of the company’s three founders, who owned 17% of the firm.

Klarna raises $20M from H&M, will build financing and payment services for the fashion retailer. H&M invests $20M in Klarna to build an “omni-channel” payments service across both physical and online store fronts. Klarna says the deal will cover “frictionless” in-store, mobile and online payments across the company’s whole footprint, a better delivery and return process, and more flexible payment options, including “try before you buy” pay later services, to be delivered through H&M’s app and its Club loyalty program.

We have an illuminating interview with Aoife Houlihan, VP Communications and Public Policy at Klaran to learn more.

I spent 53 minutes in Amazon Go and saw the future of retail. There are no cashiers, cash registers, or even self-service checkout stands. You simply walk in, grab what you need, and go. Amazon bills your credit card as you pass through the turnstile on your way out. Moments later, an app in your phone provides a receipt detailing what you've bought, what you paid, and even how long you spent inside.

Ireland vs Google on data breaches. At least two U.S. states and two European Union member states are investigating a breach at Alphabet Inc’s Google that may have exposed private profile data of at least 500,000 users to hundreds of external developers. The investigations follow Google’s announcement on Monday that it would shut down the consumer version of its social network Google+ and tighten its data-sharing policies after a “bug” potentially exposed user data that included names, email addresses, occupations, genders and ages.

£9bn pulled from UK company funds since Brexit vote. According to figures from the Investment Association, retail investors have pulled large sums from UK equity funds on a monthly basis since the vote in June 2016. Figures for August 2018 also show the first net loss of investment, on aggregate, across all funds available for sale in the UK since the referendum, including those invested overseas. Investors pulled £217m from UK authorised funds over the month.

Got £20 a month to spare? Santander has a robo-advisor just for you. The bank's Digital Investment Adviser (DIA) guides people through straightforward questions about their current financial position, what they want to achieve and assess the level of risk they are prepared to take with their money. Customers can choose to select specific long-term investment goals, such as paying for a child’s wedding or a property.

Sila - the new venture from the creator of Simple Bank. Shamir Karkal, Co-founder of Simple, is the CEO of newly created Sila, whose mission is to “empower developers by providing open-source infrastructure for the fintech companies of tomorrow”
What they are: an API platform and suite of developer tools supported by a new regulatory-compliant, fiat-backed tokenized means of exchange — the Sila Token — that allows developers to rapidly build fintech applications and bring them to market.

And finally, In top hat and tails, Spanish debt agents prosper. “El Cobrador del Frac”, the name of a company which specializes in sending men dressed like extras from a 1930s Fred Astaire movie to humiliate debtors into paying up. Its business is booming.

All this and so much more on today's episode of Fintech Insider!

Subscribe so you never miss an episode, leave a review on iTunes and every other podcast app. Spread the fintech love by sharing or tweeting this podcast.

Let us know your thoughts @FintechInsiders and join the discussion by signing up at www.fintechinsidernews.com

This week's episode was written and produced by Laura Watkins. Edited by Michael Bailey.

Special Guests: Aoife Houlihan, Bill Gajda, Sian Lewin, and Simon Vans-Colina.