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🤳 Disappointing QR-codes

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This week in fintech

September 10 · Issue #72 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.


Also:
  • 🇸🇪 DNB collaborating with smaller banks and Bank Norwegian becoming Swedish
  • ⏱ Buy now pay even later
  • 🏚 How an obsession with home owning can ruin the economy
  • 🤦‍♂️ Continuing the stupid crypto debate
  • 📆 On meetings

🤳 Disappointing QR-codes
Alec Stapp
QR codes turning out to be useful has to be the greatest upset of all time
For decades QR codes were mocked as a gimmick. Then a global pandemic hits, and they spread faster than the virus. This is the ultimate underdog story! 
Vipps has long been promoting QR codes as the future (probably because they couldn’t use NFC in mobiles), but the pandemic has turned QR-codes into something people use. Vipps proved this during the Oslo Fushion Festival, where those who felt the urge to buy a work of art, cool clothes, or something else could do so instantly by just scanning a QR-code, and get the product delivered home. 
In Asia, QR-codes have been used for payments for a long time, but across Europe, interest in QR codes is growing. A survey by the IT company Ivanti shows that 96 percent of the British surveyed had scanned a QR code with their mobile phone in the last six months. 
But QR-codes have one large problem that is seldomly discussed: A QR code is just a physical representation of a link that phones can quickly read. But material things tend to have a longer life than digital. This begs the question: What happens when you change the payment provider or make other changes that kill the original URL? I’m guessing we’re going to see a lot of dead QR-codes in the years to come.
🇸🇪 DNB collaborating with smaller banks and Bank Norwegian becoming Swedish
The challenger bank Aprila and DNB are starting to collaborate on loans to small businesses. The collaboration is based on Aprilas fully automated loan application for an overdraft of up to NOK 2 million. This way, small businesses can get an answer to how much money they can borrow in a few minutes. DNB will offer this to their approximately 140,000 small business customers. An intelligent move considering that it may be better to sacrifice part of the business if it means that the company survives and continues to be a DNB customer. (Disclaimer: Aprila is a client of Stacc)
While we’re onto the topic of weird news, Bank Norwegian seems to be Swedish as Nordax has reached its target of owning two-thirds of the shares in Bank Norwegian. Link
⏱ Buy now pay even later
Klarna is extending their credit period for invoice payments from 14 to 30 days in a Nordic offensive to overcome the debt collection growth.
This means that everyone will receive a salary payment during the credit period. We believe this will increase the probability that the invoice will be paid on time. Geir Østby, Norwegian manager in Klarna
At the same time Revolut is set to take on Klarna with its own BNPL offering. It works by turning on a button which turns your card into a buy now pay later product. Instead of paying upfront everything, you pay a third, and then they charge you a third in two weeks and then another third. 
We’ve covered Buy Now Pay Later a lot in this newsletter, but if you want an extensive overview, this seems to be a friendly guide: Understanding BNPL
🏚 How an obsession with home owning can ruin the economy
In America, an increase in homeownership was “followed by a sharp rise in unemployment,” with people reluctant to relocate to find a new job. “Expensive housing keeps people from moving to cities,” which constrains the growth of the economy. Link
🤦‍♂️ Continuing the stupid crypto debate
The stupid crypto discussion we covered last week is continuing. Hopefully, the posts this week are closing in the debate, focusing on that it is a shame that the debate is mainly about superficial questions about bitcoin and not about cryptocurrencies in general.
  • The Bitfluencer Ølnes’ wrong conclusions Link
  • There are other cryptocurrencies than Bitcoin that are less climate-damaging Link
The main point that started the discussion was why economist doesn’t look closer on Bitcoin to study economy. The question is still unanswered, but Alex Svanevik proved the potential of open blockchain data recently by digging into the cash flow of a random ethereum wallet. Alex is CEO of Nansen, which analyzes and labels 100M+ Ethereum wallets and their activity.
Alex Svanevik ✨
🧐Time for a random exploratory wallet investigation.

Stream of consciousness - no idea where it takes us.

Background - was looking at top Coinbase Commerce merchants and came across this highly active merchant at the top: https://t.co/mVspkAM4BH
📰 Misc news
  • Binance is under pressure from authorities in several countries. The Norwegian Financial Supervisory Authority has also come on board, and the crypto exchange is dropping several products in Norway. Link
  • OnlyFans, the user-generated adult content site, reverses its plan to ban “sexually explicit” content after securing a new agreement with its payment processors. Who the payment processor is is, however, not disclosed. Link
  • MiraiEx is rebranding to Firi Link
📆 On meetings
Microsoft has studied multitasking in remote meetings and its potential impact. Their main finding is that meeting organizers should avoid scheduling important meetings in the morning when it is harder to concentrate. Link
That's it for this week 👋
Remember, if you’re enjoying this content, please do tell all your (fintech) friends to hit the subscribe button!
Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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