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Best mobile bank in Norway?

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This week in fintech

April 6 · Issue #54 · View online

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


Also: PSD2 Paywall? • Bitcoin as a battery • Paid software upgrades in cars. • How to lose $8 billion dollars • The best software company in history. • Technology and capitalism closely intertwined

Best mobile bank
Cicero has created a report crowning the best (Sbanken) and worst (Eika) mobile bank in Norway. They have tested 16 Norwegian mobile banks in the (arbitrary?) categories log-in, moving money, private economy, card administration, and customer service. These have then been assessed by four main parameters: visual design, layout, user-friendliness, and navigation. I’m interested in how they separate the score on layout and visual design on, for example, customer service, but you have to create boundaries to create a score. 
Stefan Astroza, head of analysis in Cicero Consulting, says that they think assessing the banks based on customer satisfaction surveys and app store ratings is too simple. A timely comment when every bank claims they have the best mobile bank based on where they have the best rating, whether it is App Store or Norwegian Innovation Index.
The problem here is how do you test which bank is “best” when everyone has experience from one bank? It’s like asking how you like living in your city when you have just lived in one city. Not very useful. To get a more “objective” score, you need more qualitative measures like Cicero has done in this case. However, the question is how objective a consulting agency with its own motives and internal politics can be in a case like this.
PSD2 paywall?
  • In Norway, the banks’ PSD2 implementation has been rather slow. In UK Tides CEO is calling for a paywall to incentivize larger financial institutions. The idea is that basic free open data should remain free, with additional layers of data being offered at a cost. Link
  • Santander and Nordic API Gateway launch an app to help individuals get an overview of their economy. The app has launched in Denmark and is expected to launch in the rest of the Nordic region. Link
  • Vipps: “The most important thing for us over the last few years has been to find our position.” As a telecom provider? 🙊 Link
Bitcoin as a battery
  • Visa has started a pilot project where transactions will be settled via the Ethereum network. The first transaction was done via USDC, which is pegged 1:1 to the dollar. The main problem is that a single transaction fee could be between $10 to $20. Visa’s solution? Bundling payments as it does on its existing network to reduce costs and increase speed. Link
  • PayPal now lets users in the US pay with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin. Link
  • There is only one participant in The Financial Authority of Norway’s regulatory Sandbox part two: Abendum, which develops a blockchain product for auditors. Here is how it works: When you send an invoice, you sign it digitally, and it’s added to a public blockchain. When someone pays it, they sign it, and the confirmation is added to the blockchain so that Auditors get the electronic proof they need. Link
  • Apparently, you don’t need much experience to be hired as an expert in the crypto space today. Jason Schjerven (22) bought his first NFT in January and is now being hired as an expert for larger investors. Link
  • Why is the web browser Opera investing in Fintech? If you have dabbled in crypto, the move isn’t that far-fetched considering the MetaMask wallet is a browser-plugin or that the Brave browser has a coin. Link
  • Iceland exports its electricity by melting aluminum and export it. Like a battery. If you accept this premise, you could think of Bitcoin as a battery: Crypto mining also converts electricity into value, but in the form of crypto assets which doesn’t need to be physically shipped. Like a digital battery. Link
Paid software upgrades in cars
  • The company that brought us dieselgate rebranded to Voltswagen to focus on their EV-lines, but it turned out they lied about that as well. Link
  • Imagine driving in the dark in your BMW and pushing the High Beam Assist button, but instead of you getting more light on the road, the screen says you have to buy this feature on the ConnectedDrive store for £ 160. I guess this is something we’ll see more of as carmakers are getting more into software. Link
How to lose $8 billion dollars
  • How did Bill Hwang (through his fund Archegos Capital) lose 8 billion dollars over ten days? Link
  • Welcome to the world of TikTokers explaining complex financial situations. Link
  • Robinhood is de-gamifying its platform by removing confetti after trades. Link
  • Andreessen Horowitz argues that recent technology shifts, and situations like WallStreetBets, no longer make passive trading in index funds the rational investing strategy. They make a case for that active strategies will have a place in every retail investor’s portfolio, and are looking for more developer-first trading platforms like Composer and TunedLink
  • The big lessons of the last year. Link
  • How does ESG-scoring work? Link
The best software company in history
  • What is the best software company in history? Jonathan Libov argues that it is Bloomberg. Link
  • You can’t kill the Bloomberg terminal. But if you were going to try, here is how. Link
  • What looks like factoring and debt but isn’t? Alex Danco explains revenue contracts as a new tradable asset class. Link
  • How much does big tech earn every minute? Amazon is at the top, earning $956 000 every minute! Link
Technology and capitalism closely intertwined
I tend to think that most fears about AI are best understood as fears about capitalism. And I think that this is actually true of most fears of technology, too. Most of our fears or anxieties about technology are best understood as fears or anxiety about how capitalism will use technology against us. And technology and capitalism have been so closely intertwined that it’s hard to distinguish the two. Ted Chiang Link
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