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Essential Fintech Reading: Feb 20-26

The Age of Analytics

Writing for the Financial Brand, MX CMO Don MacDonald makes the case that we have entered a 5th age of banking defined by analytics. MacDonald says financial institutions and their competitors will be gathering more raw data and discovering simpler ways to clean, view and analyze it, while personalizing the user experience in real-time with these insights. "In short, more data leads to greater personalization, which leads to more data (and more personalization). This is one reason why the market capitalization of five leading digital companies — Netflix, Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook — is double that of the five leading banks," writes MacDonald. "Analysts have a hunch that the companies that master data will rule the future marketplace."

UK & Germany Lead European Fintech Funding Boom

Writing for Business Insider, Sarah Kocianski reports that the UK and Germany lead Europe in fintech funding by a wide margin:


The UK took in $901 million out of $12.5 billion invested in fintech globally last year, according to data gathered by Pitchfork on behalf of Innovate Finance. UK notables included challenger bank Atom raising $125 million and P2P lending platform Funding Circle raising $150 million. 

Co-Founder of Simple Joins BBVA In Newly Created Role, Head of Open APIs

Shamir Karkal, who co-founded the online banking company Simple before leaving the firm in June 2015, has now joined BBVA in the newly created role of Head of Open APIs. BBVA acquired Simple in February 2014. "BBVA has a huge opportunity to ... open up our core platform and services, in turn enabling others to build companies on top of these and thereby helping us build a new business," writes Karkal. BBVA previously opened its payments API to Dwolla to allow real-time money transfers between banks accounts in the US. Karkal notes that this keeps with "BBVA’s philosophy around allowing bright new partners to compete with the bank’s own services, believing this gives the customer a better experience and improves the bank’s own offering."

Fintech Revolution Will End Badly For Most Firms, Says Veteran Investor

Financial services investor J. Christopher Flowers foresees a crash landing for most fintech startups, predicting that they'll be unable to displace banks and that they've chased risk too enthusiastically. Flowers told the Wall Street Journal that fintech companies providing unsecured consumer loans could be in for a rude awakening and that there's a "risk of poor lending decisions as offers of credit abound."

2016 The Year When A Tech Giant Will Challenge Big Banks?

Writing for TechCrunch, David Klein predicts that fintech capital will "get more discerning and bunch up around the best players" and that a tech company will leap into finance in 2016. "I can’t tell you who it will be, but I can tell you that 2016 is about the right time for this to happen," writes Klein, the CEO and co-founder of CommonBond. "73 percent of millennials would be more excited about a new offering in financial services from companies such as Google, Amazon, Apple, PayPal or Square than from their own bank." Klein also expects that big banks will continue to lose ground to fintech players or partner with them to defend their market share.

Topics: Design