Tag Archive: FinTech

Banking and Finance- ‘Digital Technology Is Cutting The Cost Of Serving Just About Everyone’

You’ve probably heard about the struggles many people go through just to set up a simple bank account. Sometimes it is not just about banks demanding for information about their customers as part of their internal procedures, but the long periods of waiting, which sometimes may also amount to nothing. Not to mention the high costs fees just  And that can be quite frustrating for customers (Including potential customers)

This weekend i came across an interesting read from The Economist, which highlights limitations various groups of people including immigrants, refugees and people with low income across the world have to deal with, in terms of banking and finance. The article also highlights how digital technology is helping to solve the problem of “unbanked adults” not only in emerging countries but also in advanced countries.  ( Read all about it here)

Other Interesting reads-

Financial inclusion for the Financially excluded- The High Cost, for the Poor, of Using a Bank ( Source New Yorker)

Financial health reality check- So What’s the cost of being unbanked? (Source Nerdwallet)

Bitcoin – Is It Merely ‘A Speculative Bubble’?

One of my favorite reads this weekend is Oaktree Capital co-founder Howard Marks’  latest memo to clients- “Yet Again?”

I can totally relate to the issues he highlights about Bitcoin and the numerous digital currencies we have these days. Particularly, i fully understand the honest statement he makes –” I think I understand what a digital currency is, how Bitcoin works, and some of the arguments for it. But I still don’t feel like putting my money into it, because I consider it a speculative bubble. I’m willing to be proved wrong” ( Page 8 of the Memo “Yet Again?”)

In fact, Just a few weeks ago, a friend of mine, and a reader of my blog, wrote me a message on WhatsApp after I shared an article about How Bitcoin Is Reducing The Need For Trade financing.

She asked me-

“Rahab, what do you think of Bitcoin and all these digital currencies I hear about? You know, I still don’t understand this whole buzz in Finance these days.”

She continued to ask me –

” And with all this fraud going on these days, Is it real, or is it another one of those scams? I hear people are making tons of money in this business. But how?”

I had to be honest with her. I told her,

“Reen dear, I am still learning about these things too.” 

From his memo, i believe there is a lot investors can learn. For example, It’s not enough to accept Bitcoin merely as a medium of exchange. For investors, it is also worth considering issues such as ‘Bitcoin price volatility and it’s future’ and some of the ‘factors that lead to it’s volatility.’

Still wondering what Bitcoin is and how it works? A great place to start is by reading this article ‘Why Bitcoin Matters’ by Marc Andreesen, the co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.

Dealing With Challenges In The Fintech Sector-Is Fintech Over-Hyped?

By now, we all know that there is a revolution in finance and technology.  It’s no secret that the Fintech industry is booming and the banking sectors all over the world are changing. Personally, i have to say that so far, i consider myself a happy consumer. The idea of making payments right from my smartphone, (thanks to the mobile payment platforms) has indeed made my life easier.

The talk about Fintech is not just about the bitcoins, the latest ‘hot’ startups in this sector or even the billion dollars invested in this space. It’s much more than that. (Read on)

Not long ago, i came across an article describing how ‘Fintech as a label is becoming increasingly problematic’. The article is about clearing the confusion about what ‘Fintech’ really is. It discusses the importance of understanding and interpretation of the term ‘Fintech’. It doesn’t just mean startups in the financial services sector. It also comes in other varieties around the world, such as alternative forms of finances/ lending. (Read on here  and here)

Then there are concerns about Fintech Companies being overvalued. According to a report by Investment bank GP Bullhound, there are now 39 Fintech companies valued at over a billion dollars. (Who are the global Fintech leaders? Read on)

With that in mind, another interesting question i believe is worth asking is- Whether or not Fintech is overhyped? And how does one know? I came across an informative article on the LSE’s (London School of Economic and Polical Science) blog which describes 7 ways to identify Fintech technologies that do not deserve the hype.  With consumer orientation forming the basis of a large number of  Fintech firms,  it makes sense to ask ‘What works for consumers and what doesn’t?’ (Read on)