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Week 25: Innovation and gambling

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This week: 🃏 Trading or gambling? 🏦 Is Norwegian banking unique? 📝 Innovation happening ⌛️ Same as it
 

This week in fintech

June 22 · Issue #18 · View online
A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

This week: 🃏 Trading or gambling? 🏦 Is Norwegian banking unique? 📝 Innovation happening ⌛️ Same as it ever was

Week 25
Week 25
🃏 Trading or gambling?
Hertz, the world largest car-rental-company, filed for bankruptcy in May because of the COVID-19 pandemic. After that, things got weird. Hertz’s basically worthless stock starts to go up. A lot. We’re talking about 500% over three days for a worthless stock. 
So what is going on? Well, the short story is that amateur investors from the subreddit r/wallstreetbets armed with Robinhood are playing an increasingly stupid game of chicken. With sports betting gone, a lot of people moved to investing. There is even an app for tracking what Robinhood users are betting on right now – Robintrack. Scott Galloway, Professor of Marketing at NYU is afraid that Robinhood might become an addictive platform, and calls it Instagram for trading.
It’s what happens next that makes this rather newsworthy: Hertz (you remember the bankrupt company from the last paragraph?) want in on whatever this is. So they get approval from their bankruptcy judge to issue a billion dollars worth of new stock. You can’t make this stuff up. 😂 The best thing we’ve read about this case is Never Hertz to ask, which argues that this is the third kind of financial bubbles.
🏦 Is Norwegian banking unique?
Last week, we talked a lot about PSD2 and that it’s not living up to its potential. Georg Olav Ramstad in Nets is making an important point that is far too little talked about (🇳🇴): In Norway, we have 63 licensed third parties that can read account information and initiate payments via PSD2. Only two of them are Norwegian. By comparison, there are 24 local licensed third parties in Sweden. Is the bank sector in Norway so strong that we don’t need Fintechs? Is the Norwegian bank market unique? Well, judging purely by stock-value Norwegian banks seems to be unique:
From Holberg: Blue: Norwegian bank stocks relative to OSBX. Green: Bank-stocks globally relatively to the world index Source
From Holberg: Blue: Norwegian bank stocks relative to OSBX. Green: Bank-stocks globally relatively to the world index Source
What is annoying in every discussion about PSD2 is that it’s just a small aspect of a persons economy: money in and money out each month. You can’t read data from savings-accounts, what a person has invested, or how much a person has loaned—pretty essential products for helping people with their economy (or to earn something from your customers 😉).
📝 Innovation happening - step by step
At times innovation happens at bursts. And sometimes it happens slowly, step by step. This week we have a few examples of the last kind of innovation happening:
💳 Visa is going to issue recycled plastic cards globally. It is made with up to 98% upcycled plastic.
📸  CaixaBank will roll out facial recognition ATMs across Spain. This will enable users to make withdrawals without using a PIN code. The ATM needs to validate up to 16,000 points on the image of the user’s face to guarantee secure identification.
🛍 The Spanish neobank Bnext is merging e-commerce and banking. They encouraging customers to use its banking service by offering coupons and deals with AliExpress, Groupon and other retailers to drive sales and engagement.
⏰ Same as it ever was
This week Monday long-read is once again from Morgan Housel, partner at Collaborative Fund:
Things that never change are the most important things to pay attention to. Change gets most of the attention, because it’s exciting and surprising. But things that stay the same – how people behave, how they think, how they’re persuaded – is the real meat of history.
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
Like what you read? Pass it on to your friends and colleagues! They can sign up here: nyhetsbrev.stacc.com
Marius Hauken, Partner Stacc X
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