Ep. 267. News: Initiative Q - witnessing the end of humanity

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On this week's episode, Simon and Leda sit down with Max Rofagha, Husayn Kassai and Lisa Jacobs to discuss the latest and greatest news in fintech.

Our hosts, Simon Taylor and Leda Glyptis are joined by three great guests: Max Rofagha, CEO and Founder at Finimize, Husayn Kassai, CEO at Onfido and Lisa Jacobs, CSO at Funding Circle.

First up, Banking services for the unbanked! Singapore-based Grab started as a taxi-booking app but is expanding into areas like parcel and food delivery and financial services. Grab's partnered with Mastercard to issue virtual and physical prepaid cards tailored to Southeast Asian consumers, with the aim of expanding use of Grab's digital wallet and helping its unbanked users transact online. The companies hope to leverage Grab's 110 million app users and Mastercard's network of 3 million merchant outlets. Customers can top up their cards using cash through agents, drivers and merchants on the GrabPay platform.

Most banks will be made irrelevant by 2030-Gartner. Within 12 years time, 80% of “heritage financial firms” will either go out of business or be rendered irrelevant by new competition, changing customer behaviour and advancements in technology, according to forecasts by Gartner. They will be replaced by global digital platforms, fintech companies and other nontraditional players.

U.S. state banking regulators sue government to stop “fintech charters”. A body of U.S. state banking regulators on Thursday sued the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) over its plan, to issue bank charters to online lenders and payment companies. The body, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS), said the so-called fintech charter was unconstitutional and puts consumers and taxpayers at risk. Follows a similar suit filed by the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) last month.

Initiative Q: Scam, pyramid scheme or next PayPal? No one seems to have any idea if it’s a scam or not. Only detailed has come from David Gerard, author of Attack of the 50ft Blockchain. “It’s not impossible they’ll get something up … but pure ideas are near-worthless. The hard part is always execution.”

Trendy challenger bank Monzo is Britain’s latest unicorn startup. Monzo secured a £85 million funding round, giving it a valuation of £1 billion, investors include Stripe, Accel Ventures, and General Catalyst. Most notably, the company has also relied on equity crowdfunding in the past and reportedly plans to raise a further £20 million from ordinary retail investors later this year.

And finally, a special 50p coin will mark Brexit. A commemorative 50p coin will be issued to mark the UK's departure from the European Union (EU) next year. The coin would be made available in spring 2019 but it’s not yet known exactly what the new Brexit coins will look like.

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

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

Special Guests: Husayn Kassai, Leda Glyptis, Lisa Jacobs, and Max Rofagha.

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