A portrait of Andrei Martchouk with a speech bubble saying Blockchain and Crypto

Finquiry #1: Andrei Martchouk on Blockchain

The financial industry of today and tomorrow branches out in many directions. As providers of software foundations for ewallets, payment processing systems and crypto exchange, we plant the roots on which your trailblazing financial products can stand firmly. Yet, with catchwords like  “PSD2”, “fintech”, “blockchain”,” neobanking” and “robo-advisory” entering the scene every day, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.

To keep oneself up-to-date on the newest industry developments, what better way than to ask the experts. In our new blog series “Finquiry”, we interview professionals about the today and the tomorrow of the financial industry. 

Our Guest: Blockchain expert Andrei Martchouk

Our interview partner Andrei Martchouk is Managing Director and Co-Founder of KI decentralized GmbH. We have asked him about blockchain and the cryptocurrency sphere. 

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A gravestone, showing a list of numbers resembling an iTAN list, standing as a symbol for the demise of the iTAN procedures due to the PSD2 Open Banking regulations

iTAN – An Obituary

Here lies iTAN. 

On September 14th 2019, after a lingering and worsening case of backwardness, it passed away. It joined the likes of videotex and MeChip in the peaceful hereafter of online banking.

Alas, poor iTAN, we knew you. 

In your brief existence of only 14 years, you have put your mark on the whole banking industry. And on myriads of printed lists. Precious times we have spent on your behalf, poring over papers, grubbing for that one golden number to end our insecurity – and get those funds transferred from our budget account to our savings account. 

You, iTAN, have managed to rise above its forebears, ending the whateverism of the old TAN dynasty. And yet, you had trouble keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of all those hyperactive neo banking millenials. You passed with dignity.

Farewell, iTAN. We will miss you.

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Two computers placed opposite of each other, symbolizing the advantages of third party software over in-house development

Why Third-Party Solutions Bring First-Rate Results

Do it yourselfit’s an overrated mantra. 

At first, those three letters promise empowerment. You have full control over what you do and which way you want it to be done. Take fice, third-party software, we are on it ourselves. 

But then you stumble over the prerequisites. You have to know how to do it all in the first place. And that you have the right tools for the task. But that should be doable, too. I have a screwdriver lying around somewhere? And there must be a YouTube tutorial for this, right? 

Well, when it comes to the complex field of software development, the truth is a little more complicated. 

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The start-up stage at Money20/20 Europe

Our Experiences at Money20/20 Europe 2019

You have a block of lead. You want a block of gold. How to get from one to the other has bothered the alchemists of old. We learned that such effort is pointless. We know more dependable ways to distill money. The formulas have changed: They are written in code and algorithms rather than ink. They manifest inside banking apps, online marketplaces or blockchains rather than flasks in a candlelit laboratory. And they drive thousands of people from all over the world to gather at the Money20/20 conference in Amsterdam just to show, discuss and innovate them.

Our co-founders Natallia Martchouk and Matthias Gall were among those modern “alchemists of finance”. From June 3rd to 5th 2019, they had traveled to Amsterdam. The mission: Meeting with other movers and shakers of the fintech, payment and banking industry.

Our co-founder Matthias Gall, walking the turquoise road of Money 20/20 Europe.
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A world map with a paper ship, symbolizing the world of payment.

Payment Around the World – Part 3

Asia, India, the Middle East

Payment around the world – where were we? In the previous articles of this series, we devoted ourselves to different payment landscapes of the globe. And with the trends and challenges, we found there.

But no matter which region we looked at: All of them stood on the verge of digital transformation or have crossed that line. China and the USA press ahead in terms of payment innovation, as we have seen in our second article. In other countries, digital payments are still in the process of taking hold in the populace. The changes they bring have already become apparent. Digital payment services play the role of an equalizer, especially for the unbanked people. Developments in Africa‘s and Latin America’s payment landscape, as detailed in the first article of this series, stand as an example for this.

We will see if those tendencies manifest in the last waypoints of our journey, too. So, let’s move on, shall we?  

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A picture of two piggy banks, symbolizing financial literacy and financial education in Germany

More Than Pocket Money – Financial Education in Germany

Financial education. It starts with simple questions. Just like this one:

For her 9th birthday, Emma asks her parents to put money on a savings account, instead of buying her presents. She rather wants to celebrate her next birthday in style, with party assets worth 200€. At a yearly interest rate of 5%, how many Euros must be put into the account to fulfill Emma’s birthday wish?

Sound familiar, such questions, right? We all had to answer a fair share of them in math class during 8th grade. Looking at them today, they still are tricky to answer for many of us. And you would have to explain your child, that putting €4000 on a savings account tears a big hole in your financial planning. And only under the premise that you would find a bank providing 5% interest on savings accounts. Which you wouldn’t. Emma, who already showed prudence in her financial behaviour not normally seen in her contemporaries, still has to face some hard truths.

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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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