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Fintech - the revolution that didn't happen?


This week in fintech

October 12 · Issue #31 · View online

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

Also: 💳 Cards with LEDs and biometrics 🖥 From branches to websites to apps to websites 📈 Crowdfunding on the rise? 🧮 Excel is not excelling 👨‍🎨 The best-designed finance projects of 2020

💳 Cards with LEDs and biometrics
We’re always interested in companies launching new cards. After all, it is more or less the only physical manifestation of a bank. This week Razer, mostly known for its gaming hardware,  launched a prepaid card with Visa. What’s different than other cards, you say? Well, this has Razer’s logo glowing in green LED-lights when making a payment. (You also get 1 percent back on select purchases, and 5 percent back on items bought at Razer’s online store).
(Image credit: Razer)
(Image credit: Razer)
Zwipe and TietoEVRY this week also announced they’re joining forces , launching biometric payment solutions to banks in the Nordic and Baltic countries. “We already see broad interest in such innovations and, it is clear it is time to take action,” says Jarmo Rouhiainen, head of TietoEvry’s card production.
👩‍🎤 Fintech - the revolution that didn't happen
Christoffer Hærnes, former CDO in Sbanken, a few weeks ago, wrote about  Fintech as the revolution that didn’t happen . When PSD2 came, we were promised a wide range of exciting new fintech services which would disrupt our everyday banking. Truth been told, there hasn’t happened a lot with the relationship we have with our banks, only a few banks supporting showing accounts from other banks. However, many Fintechs are still trying to disrupt banking, but are having trouble due to the new economic environment after COVID-19.  McKinsey has four suggestions for the way forward for the struggling European fintech industry. Here is a quick summary: Fintechs should focus their energy and capital on areas where they can truly make a difference and actually make money. It can be quicker for some companies to expand through thoughtful acquisition or partnerships than by organic development. How is that for a business-lesson? 😆
🖥 From branches to websites to apps to websites
Starling Bank announcing their desktop-version
Starling Bank announcing their desktop-version
No. I didn’t type that heading wrong. Neobanks are mostly launching as mobile-only. Last year the first app-only Norwegian bank, Bulder Bank, launched. This week this came full circle when the mobile-only challenger, Starling Bank,  announced that they have taken their mobile app and built it into a browser. Now we’re just waiting for the first challenger-bank to launch a client-facing office. Speaking of weird market turns: Whole Foods are now opening stores that you can’t walk into or shop at, called “Dark stores.”
📈 Crowdfunding on the rise?
Last week the EU introduced a standard set of rules for loan and share-based crowdfunding platforms. This means that Norwegian crowdfunding-companies will probably eliminate the  restriction that investors may not lend more than NOK 1 million per year.
In the UK, the two largest crowdfunding platforms, Seedrs and Crowdcube, have announced their  intention to merge . Some of the largest fintech companies in the UK have listed on Crowdcube, including Monzo and Curve. Seedrs helped Revolut raise more than £4m in 2017. From the outside, it seems like the biggest crowdfunding platform in the UK is merging with the most prominent secondary market platform. Maybe this is the first nudge to make crowdfunding mainstream?  11:FS has written more on the potential merger.
On a related note, the Norwegian share-based crowdfunding company  Dealflow just announced that Fana Sparebank is investing in their latest issue-round , valuing Dealflow Technology and Dealflow at 80 million NOK.
🧮 Excel is not excelling
Two weeks ago, we talked about Excel becoming a Fintech-app . This week Excel came into the spotlight because it apparently has a maximum number of columns that it can manage. As a curiosity, this caused the UK to miss 16k coronavirus cases. 🙈
👨‍🎨 The best-designed finance projects of 2020
Our UX find of the week is from Fast Company, which has named their  Innovation by Design Awards in the Finance category for 2020. Among the nominees are known companies like Square, Ideo, Capital One, and Robinhood.
🙏 Don't keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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