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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A stylized smartphone showing an different emoney business options, from governmental to payment applications

Building Your Own Emoney Online Business

Prospects and Challenges

In the modern economy, digital payment processes have become a key business factor. Electronic money is transferred across virtual wallets all over the globe at second intervals — or even quicker. Who can build and innovative emoney business quickly, can carve out a niche for themselves.

“Fast-pacedness, however, is not the only reason behind the rise of ewallets and payment software. Profitability also plays a huge role. According to statistics by McKinsey, shifting their customers from traditional offline to digital accounts can save an enterprise up to 90 percent in service costs. Consequently, mobile and online payment solutions are in high demand. In 2016 the Statista Digital Market Outlook predicted an increasing growth rate for the mobile payment sector. 63% within 5 years, to be exact.

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A lamp shining on an open book and revealing the writing '8 Must-Read Books for Fintech Founders'

8 Must-Read Books for Fintech Founders

Fintech books? Are they really a thing?

Modern financial technology is inextricably linked with the Digital Era. Mobile payment, personal finance management, and cryptocurrency trading are major application fields of fintech startups.

Thus it’s only fitting that the fintech community relies on the internet for exchanging views on the topic, too. There are fintech news platforms like Finextra or Financial News. Networking communities like Holland Fintech and meetups like Finfinity invite people to share their insights. Blogs centered around experts like Chris Skinner react on developments on short notice. It’s obvious: In-depth knowledge of financial technology is readily available and easily found online.

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A drawing of a wallet which is digitally connected to internet of things devices like smart cars or fridges

All the Smart Things — Fintech, Blockchain and the Internet of Things

If the rooms had ears and the furniture had mouths … oh, how would they slander about our habits behind our backs?

Well, they can already talk to us for once: Voice-controlled assistant devices like Alexa and Siri inhabit our private spaces just now. And we can easily picture them having a conversation with each other, too (even though it would be a funny one for sure). But what if our clock radio told our food processor to get that smoothie ready, for we are about to leave for work? Or our watch told our bathtub to run us a remedial bath because we’re leaving our workplace with the first stirrings of a common cold? And think of a fridge, buying food articles once it runs out of them, using its own ewallet…

That’s where we enter the domain of the Internet of Things – a domain ripe with opportunities for fintech companies. 

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A flying rocket leaving the fintech year 2017 behind, thus symbolizing an end-of-year-review

Looking back: An End-of-Year Review for Fintech 2017

You know you had it coming.

Your calendar told you well beforehand: This year is going to end soon. Which means the symptomatical end-of-year reviews are springing up all over the place.

We’ll contribute. While waving farewell to the old year, we’re looking back on our last 12 months of business. What did we experience? What did we achieve? And, looking at the whole picture, how has the fintech industry been holding up in 2017?

It will be a fintech end-of-year review featuring balancr then. Here are our highlights of 2017:

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A number of signs displaying the words InsurTech, RegTech, WealthTech, PensionTech, and PropTech

Beyond FinTech — 5 *Techs That Shake Up Their Industries

FinTech does not always equal FinTech. The number of digital tools and technological advancements rejigging the financial sector would go beyond the scope of this article. If there is one thing that is true about most FinTech solutions, it’s their focus on “personal finance”. FinTech software often allows users to manage their finances on their own. He doesn’t need an intermediary anymore, such as a human advisor or a bank — although a robot advisor could still be thrown in.

Yet, when looking at the vast variety of technologies and software applications, one thing becomes clear: FinTech has quite a few peers running the show. They are *Techs in their very own right.

Let’s take a look at what we have!

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An ewallet, placed in between several stored-value powered apps, running on the foundation of CoreWallet

Use Case: Using CoreWallet for Stored Value Transaction Systems

Modern life can in many ways be broken down into a series of transactions. We give something, like information, money or services, and we get a corresponding value in return. In that regard, time really is money. And so are stored values like virtual assets, loyalty points, kilometers driven and hours of usage.

Effective stored value management has become an important factor for online and offline businesses – all the more as customers interact with stored value systems on a daily basis too. 

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Drawing of two planets, circled by a rocket, symbolizing challenges faced by fintech companies.

What Challenges Are Fintech Startups Facing Today

In an industry which is known to be slow to adapt to current digital trends, it feels like financial technology or more commonly known as fintech, is experiencing a renaissance lately.

Fintech startups are emerging from around the world. In a previous post, we listed some from Germany worth keeping an eye on. But that only provides a snapshot of what’s happening globally and what solutions are being developed. Technologies such as blockchain, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are being used to build products that improve the customer experience for financial services.

While all of this sounds great, behind the scenes there’s a number of unique challenges when starting up. Here, we take a look at what they are based on our experience working in fintech.

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