A picture of a waiting area at the FinTech Connect 2019 conference in London

FinTech Connect 2019 – Our Experiences

When you are browsing the net for a list of attractive fintech and banking locations around the globe, you will surely find London at the top end. It’s not only where Big Ben shakes its clapper but also where Big Tech and Big Finance shake hands. 

A few weeks ago, we set out to the capital of the UK to do very much the same, to network with the European fintech scene and present our software products and services. The occasion: The FinTech Connect 2019 conference.

To state it right away: The connection buildup proceeded well, but not without a few issues. Time to give FinTech Connect 2019 a run-down. 

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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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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 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 picture of a magnifying glass looking at ID documents for KYC purposes.

Keep Your Compliance: The Fintech’s Guide to KYC

Knowing Your Customer – It’s the key success factor for any business. 

But not only sales managers and marketing agents need a good idea about who sits on the other side of the online shopping cart or B2B contact form.

KYC, meaning Know Your Customer, is as much a regulatory requirement for fintech companies and financial institutions. After all, laws oblige them to verify the identities of their clients. The goal: Prevent fraud and constrain the service access of users, who don’t fulfill certain standards of credibility.

But Know Your Customer policies are not just boundaries. They also act as competitive factors. KYC yields insightful data on one’s own services and customers.

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