A compass resting on a world map, symbolizing the world of payment

Payment Around the World – Part 2

USA, Canada, Australia, China

When exploring the payment preferences of the world, you have to go places. In the first part of our article series, those places were Europe, Russia, Latin America, and Africa.

The takeaway: Hard cash dies hard in many parts of the world like Germany, Hungary, Russia, and Brazil. But digital payment services have taken up the fight. They give new options to emerging countries with vast numbers of unbanked people. Mobile access to finances and digital-only money accounts help integrate the unbanked, so they can become proactive contributors to the financial system.

But it’s a large world with a great number of payment landscapes still waiting to be sketched. In this article, we will take a good look at the clashing fintech forerunners USA and China, as well as Canada and Oceania. So, let’s go!

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A symbolic picture of a hand holding a coin with the trimplement logo in a camera's lense, announcing the TrimpleCoin, trimplement's April's Fools Day joke.

April Fools’ Joke: The First Physical Emoney Coin

For over many years, trimplement has been active as a provider of emoney management software and digital payment solutions. But working for the fintech and finance sector, you have to accept one simple truth: Innovation warrants movement. To keep the pace in the ever-changing online sphere, you have to abandon old certainties and take bold steps forward. 

So as it’s the beginning of a new month, we reveal our exciting new project:

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A picture of an app store, displaying the apple logo, symbolizing Apple's new credit card solution Apple Card

Opinion: Apple Plays Its Card Just Right

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
Matthias Gall is looking forward to the disruptive potential of the Apple Card. 

In the Apple Keynote in on March 25th, Apple announced its very own credit card. It will be using the Mastercard scheme and will be issued in cooperation with Goldman Sachs.

As of now, Apple is an established player in the payments space. Their payment solution Apple Pay serves more than 252 million estimated users globally.

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A set of coins, jammed into a wedge, symbolizing stablecoins

Opinion: Stablecoins – Next Generation (E)Money

Photo of Mark Caruso, Senior Project Manager at trimplement
Mark Caruso gives his opinion on
what role stablecoins will
play in the emoney sphere.  

Definition: “Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a currency, or to exchange traded commodities (such as precious metals or industrial metals). Stablecoins backed by currencies or commodities directly are said to be centralized, whereas those leveraging other cryptocurrencies are referred to as decentralized” – Wikipedia

Stablecoins by their nature aren’t necessarily a new invention to the financial world. Their basic characteristics have already been described in the first Electronic Money Directive (2000):

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The Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci, photographed and a Tourist photographing it with his smartphone, symbolizing digital transformation of art (i.e. with blockchain).

6 Art Projects Powered by Blockchain

At a first glance blockchain and art are polar opposites. But how do they say:  Opposites attract. Blockchain technology can help to solve many issues of the modern art market, for example:

  • It can help to securely and transparently track provenance, copyright and ownership information
  • It can provide frameworks for tokenization of real world art objects, simplifying access to the art market and allowing “ordinary mortals” to become art investors and get partial ownership on expensive assets (see e.g. Maecenas project description below)
  • Blockchain and cryptography can be the art environment itself, meaning they can be used to create and store digital art objects (like Crypto-Kitties described below)
  • And of course it can help artists to collect fundings for their art projects using the mechanisms of the so-called ICO (initial coin offering)

Let’s have a look at the most popular and interesting blockchain and art projects where creativity meets technology.

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A computer screen displaying the word cybersecurity

Cybersecurity – A Big Deal for Fintech

We do a lot of things online. We shop at online marketplaces. We rent movies at online video libraries. We manage our finances in online banking apps – all from the comfort of our homes. On the downside, criminals don’t have to stand up from their couch either, to rob your bank or steal your private data. Internet crime and assaults on cybersecurity occur in increasing numbers. Banking institutions are a popular target, as are their little, nonconformist peers: Fintech companies.

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A neobank building and an old bank building facing each other

Opinion: Neobanks vs. Old Money – How Traditional Banks Can Cope

Matthias Gall gives his opinion on how banks can cope with neobanks.

Times change. We thought we had already seen the Last Unicorn in the 1980s. But in the finance industry, the unicorns are alive and well. And what’s more: They keep multiplying. N26 is one of the latest additions to the herd. The German company acquired more than 300 million dollars in its most recent financing round. Now N26‘s company value is estimated at 2.7 billion dollar.

Good preconditions to shake the digital banking sphere to its very foundations. And the traditional banks? They rely on strategies that were last seen in the 80s, too. Although they have the potential to do much more.

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Picture of an ATM which is out of service, a symbol how Google Pay threatens banks and fintechs

Google Pay: Nuisance for Banks, Nightmare for Fintechs

When pondering on digital transformation in the financial industry, one quote by Bill Gates comes to mind. Admit it, you know which one. It just fits perfectly, as we see tech giants leave their mark with emoney payment solutions like Google Pay and Apple Pay. Bill Gates said: 

We need banking, but we don’t need banks anymore

He said this in 1994. The millennial generation probably did not listen to his words back then – living the kid life requires full attention. But today, millennials resonate very much with Gates’ words. According to research by Global Banking Insights, at least one-third of all US millennials believe that they will soon live a life without banks. 

And they might have a point. The number of customers inclined to use online banking services has doubled over the last 10 years. As a result, the demand for digital finance applications increases — and quite a few banks struggle to deliver on that front. The internet is not their native environment. Fintech companies try to capitalize on this, using their technological expertise to disrupt the tried and true ways of banking.

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Fintech 2018, a look back, written next to a sparkler

Our 2018 Fintech Review – A Look Back

The new year 2019 is still young, but the old year’s legacy can still be felt. So a fintech end-of-year review is in order, as 2018 had many opportunities to make an impact.

365 days, to be exact, during which the fintech industry came up with unforeseen novelties and thrilling developments: The online payment, cryptocurrency, and digital finance sectors presented themselves as versatile and volatile. There is much to look at in our fintech retrospective, from the cryptocurrency decline to the new challenges and changes in mobile payment.

So let’s approach this giant of a year from different angles. We asked our three co-founders, what kept them occupied in 2018 in different areas of fintech.

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