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🏝 Go forth and waste time

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This week in fintech

July 5 · Issue #67 · View online

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


Also:
  • 🚀 Vipps taking on Scandinavia
  • 👨‍🎤 Fintech redesign
  • 🐶 6% of Robinhood’s revenue comes from Dogecoin
  • 💸 Earning money on credit debt

I know I said we’re going to take a break for July, but too many interesting things happened last week - so here is a bonus newsletter for you.
🚀 Vipps taking on Scandinavia
Vipps will merge with Danish MobilePay and Finnish Pivo and form a joint Nordic fintech company with 11 million users. The merger will create one of the largest digital wallets in Europe, and by that be able to compete with Big Tech going into finance. 
The plan is that Vipps’ technology platform will be used in the future. It will be further developed to meet Danish and Finnish requirements, and the other two wallets will then be migrated to a common platform. The last bit of the puzzle is Swish, the Swedish digital wallet, which so far isn’t a part of the plan, even if it’s the next natural step.
This marks a large strategic shift for Vipps. They have for a long time had international ambitions, but this is the first big step we’ve seen in this direction. The company will prioritize developing services that will make it possible to make payments across borders. As a part of the strategic change, BankID and BankAxept will also be separated out from Vipps, after nearly three years under their umbrella. I guess this eventually will be the nail in the coffin for Vipps mobile subscription service. Link
👨‍🎤 Fintech redesign
  • Signicat has gotten a new brand. Their primary-color? Fintech-green (as I’ve written about before). Link
  • Inter, one of the most popular fintechs in Brazil also got a new brand last week. A fresh take on a fintech company, even though the digital implementation is a bit boring compared to the rest of the profile. Link
⛓ Less than half of crypto owners understand what it is
  • The UK financial regulator has done an interesting survey on consumer awareness and ownership of cryptocurrencies. Three main takeaways:
  1. 4.4% of adults own some
  2. The median holding is £300
  3. Less than half of those holders think they understand it Link
  • Worldcoin is a new project intending to be a new global digital currency that will launch by giving a share to every person on earth. The only thing you need to get your crypto and verify yourself is to scan your iris. Sounds like a scam? Sure, but the project has raised $25 million and has investors like Andreessen Horowitz, Coinbase, Reid Hoffmann and is led by Sam Altman, the former head of Y Combinator. Link
  • “In intellectual-property-hungry Hollywood, NFTs have fast become the new frontier, and their popularity has set off a gold rush mentality as studios, producers, and even talent agencies scour for new revenue streams in the wake of COVID-19’s crushing effects.” Link
  • How DeFi is eating financial services. Exploring the DeFi stack, use cases, benefits, risks, and the ecosystem. Link
🐶 6% of Robinhood's revenue comes from Dogecoin
Robinhood was last week ordered to pay $70 Million in fine for misinformation. Their reaction? Filing an S-1 to initiating their IPO process, including this golden nugget:
A substantial portion of the recent growth in our net revenues earned from cryptocurrency transactions is attributable to transactions in Dogecoin. If demand for transactions in Dogecoin declines and is not replaced by new demand for other cryptocurrencies available for trading on our platform, our business, financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
Totally 6% of Robinhood’s revenue comes from Dogecoin. Quite fitting when Robinhood is the brokerage for gambling on meme stocks and meme cryptocurrencies. Link
💸 Earning money on credit debt
  • Horde’s mission is to help people get rid of expensive credit debt. Last week they launched a consumer loan, admittedly without fees and what they call “no hidden costs.” I wonder how it would look if actors like Horde had to be open about how much they get in kickback like fund distributors have to. Link
  • Lene Drange and Hallgeir Kvadsheim from Luksusfellen will make it easier for individuals to clean up their finances by launching a debt collection register. Why this isn’t part two of the Norwegian debt register is another question. While we’re at it – why aren’t car loans and mortgages a part of the debt register? Link
  • Yearly, 36 billion NOK goes straight into the pocket of the debt collection industry. Erik Harstad, therefore, started Visonomic to create the ultimate platform for personal finance: an AI-powered finance assistant. “Just as Tibber will never make money on electricity, we will never make money on interest. I got the feeling that we had to take this position as a bank-independent financial platform”, says Harstad. Link
🏝 Go forth and waste time
This article might be the perfect text to read right before you go out on vacation.
So many people strive for efficient lives, where no hour is wasted. But an overlooked skill that doesn’t get enough attention is the idea that wasting time can be a great thing.
Psychologist Amos Tversky once said, “the secret to doing good research is always to be a little underemployed. You waste years by not being able to waste hours.”
[…] But Tversky’s point is that if your job is to be creative and think through a tough problem, then time spent wandering around a park or aimlessly lounging on a couch might be your most valuable hours. A little inefficiency is wonderful.
😎 Happy summer
Did you enjoy this newsletter? Please forward it to others that could be interested! They can subscribe at nyhetsbrev.stacc.com
Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
PS: Now we’re really taking a vacation, but we will come back with more news and analysis in August!
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