Mondo Takes On The Old Guard Of UK Banking
Bloomberg details the plans of Mondo, a mobile-first bank that is seeking a license from the Bank of England to begin taking deposits and lending money. In the past the approval process was lengthy and had substantial capital requirements but new entrants like Mondo can now hold as little as £1 million in capital initially and common equity Tier 1 capital equivalent to 4.5 percent of risk-weighted assets, less than half of what an existing bank would require. Mondo is part of a flourishing fintech scene in the UK, where startups attracted £343 million last year, triple the amount raised in 2013. Mondo's mobile app allows customers to receive alerts when they're close to overdrawing their account and will even offer loans instead of charging them fees in that scenario.
Intuit Selling Quicken, Keeping Mint
Intuit plans to sell its Quicken home accounting software, along with the Demandforce and Quickbase business units, reports Finextra. The company plans to shift its focus toward small businesses and handling taxes in the US & Canada. Gil Luria, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, noted that Quickbooks Online customers were not generating as much revenue as previous desktop customers. Intuit revenue and earnings estimates have come in below analyst expectations, sending shares downward. Intuit still plans to keep Mint, the PFM platform with more than 10 million users which it acquired in 2009.
UK & Ireland Lead European Fintech Investment
Miles Hobson details the stunning growth of the fintech industry in the UK & England, which account for 52% of all European fintech venture investment deals in the last 5 years. Globally, fintech investment has grown 4x faster than overall venture capital investment. Payment processors are singled out as being in a particularly competitive space, with a need to differentiate themselves in order to survive.
New Account Opening Process Must Be Optimized For Mobile Devices
Jim Marous notes that the new account opening process must improve for mobile devices, overcoming obstacles such as hard-to-read screens, requirements for signature cards and proof of identity at the branch and a lack of support for mobile deposits. While the number of new accounts opened with a smartphone or tablet increased more than 50% in 2014, Javelin research shows that the number of new checking accounts opened with a mobile device is still under 20%. Marous writes that the "use of the mobile device as part of the self-service and branch-assisted account opening process will be even more important than opening accounts with an online desktop."
Andreessen Horowitz Adds Fintech Partner
Venture firm Andreessen Horowitz has added a new general partner with a focus on fintech, reports Steve Lohr of the New York Times. The founder or co-founder of seven startups, Alex Rampell views banking and insurance as "ripe for disruption" and over-reliant on legacy technology. Rampell sees the selling of a partial stake in your home as a new asset class, with wealth funds co-owning your home and reducing the amount that one would need to borrow. Andreessen Horowitz has already made a number of fintech investments, including 21, Affirm, Boku, Coinable, Dwolla and TransferWise.