Ep. 275. News: Ritual Humiliation

59min listen

Ep. 275. News: Ritual Humiliation

On this week's episode, Sarah and Simon sit down with Emily Nicolle, Valentina Kristensen and Sophie Winwood to discuss the latest and greatest news in fintech.

Our hosts Sarah and Simon are joined by Emily Nicolle, Technology Reporter at CityAM, Valentina Kristensen, Director of Growth & Comms at OakNorth and Sophie Winwood, Investment Associate at Anthemis Group.

First up, Show me the money! Monzo are crowdfunding for the last chunk of its series E fundraising round. Fundraising with a target of £20M. Existing Monzo investors will get early access to the round from 3 December. The round will then be opened up to other Monzo customers, who can invest up to £2,000. Previously have raised over £4M from two other crowdfunding rounds. Last round in 2016 broke record for fastest equity raise with £1M funded in 96 seconds. Emily wrote this story and has some great insights into what's going on.

We also have a great interview with Tristan Thomas, Monzo's Head of Marketing to get his thoughts on crowdfunding, why they're doing it now and much more.

Revolut head East as it obtains licenses in Japan and Singapore. The licenses from regulators in Japan and Singapore will enable it to operate in a similar fashion to its UK business through partnerships with local banks. Hoping to launch in the Asia Pacific region in Q1 2019, with over 50,000 users already on its waiting list. The JP and SG launch will happen ahead of the US launch, despite Revolut’s original plan to launch in the US inside 2018.

Diversity could always bolster funding...Swift Institute call for gender diversity in fintech. The SWIFT Institute, set up by SWIFT, funds independent research and is offering a €15,000 grant to increase gender diversity.
It wants proposals on “Securing the Future of the Financial Industry via Improved Gender Diversity”. Cites a 2017 McKinsey study - companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 21% more likely to experience above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. Nearly 3/4 of female millennials working in financial services believe that while their organisations talk about diversity, opportunities are not equal for all.

Investigating meltdowns. Bank IT failures investigated by Treasury Committee after series of meltdowns. The Treasury Select Committee will examine whether banks can prevent disturbances to services following on from the banking service outages earlier this year. It will look at the common causes of IT failures, how customers lose out and whether the BofE and FCA are able to hold the relevant people to account. Since Nicky Morgan became chair of the committee 16 months ago outages have occurred at Equifax, TSB, Visa, Barclays, Cashplus, RBS and others.

Skin in the game. MyBucks and Bibimoney are Sim-Skin kings of Africa. Frankfurt’s MyBucks and UK-based Bibimoney have launched a joint venture aimed at the African microloan market through SIM-Skin technology. Once attached to the SIM card, it enables the Bibimoney app to function on any mobile device (smart and feature phones) and includes an interoperable mobile wallet. The firms say the mobile wallet has full transactional capabilities and will also include functionality to apply for, obtain and repay microloans.

We speak to our resident African markets expert, LesleyAnn Vaughan to get her thoughts on this initiative.

Put it all on fintech. Where top US banks are betting on fintech. US banks are actively investing in fintech startups. To the end of November this year the top 11 US banks by assets participated in a total of 49 equity rounds to fintech startups. This compares to 19 in 2017 and 33 in 2016. Sometimes banks invest and partner with fintechs to further internal strategic goals. Strategic investing is a growing trend among banks in 2018, as many US banks have solidified their internal digital strategies and are now looking to execute.

That wasn’t on the public feed...Venmo payment fraud leads to $40M in losses. The losses occurred in the first three months of 2018 according to internal documents the Wall Street Journal reviewed. Expenses due to fraudulent transactions, otherwise known as the transaction loss rate, increased to 0.40% of overall volume at Venmo in March compared to 0.25% in January. Venmo typically reimburses customers for any money they lose in a fraudulent transaction.

We spoke to our US expert, Sam Maule to get his thoughts on Venmo's fraudster issues.

They’re watching you. Beijing to judge every resident based on behaviour by end of 2020. Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident. The capital city will pool data from several departments to reward and punish some 22 million citizens based on their actions and reputations by the end of 2020. Those with better social credit will get “green channel” benefits (such as access to credit) while those with low scores will find life more difficult - such as being banned from taking trains and buses.

And Finally…

No way this’ll make a mess at all. Costa and Barclaycard release ‘UK first’ contactless reusable cup. Costa Coffee has partnered with Barclaycard to launch reusable contactless coffee cup, which is said to be the first of its kind in the UK.
The Clever Cup is a contactless cup - contactless connected to reusable coffee cups for transactions up to £30.

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, written by Dhanum Nursigadoo and edited by Alex Woodhouse.

Special Guests: Emily Nicolle, Sophie Winwood, and Valentina Kristensen.