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August 23, 2016

3 ways fintech will solve the GDP growth problem and why Central Banks should double down on fintech

Since the 2008 crisis Central Banks from developed economies have pumped in over $7 trillion into the global economy. They have left interest rates at ridiculously low levels around 0% (and below 0%. This has further pumped in over $10 trillion into the economy. In fact you are now getting paid to borrow money if you account for inflation.

And what does the developed world have to show for all this? Stagnant growth, unaffordable housing, and hard working savers getting no return on their savings.

Fintech startups have largely been targeting SMEs especially lowering costs of transactions, making it easier for them to collect money from customers and automating processes. [...]

 
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August 23, 2016

The Next Workplace Revolution Isn’t Technological, It’s Cultural

In 2014 management consultancy Hay Group reported that only 15% of workers in the United Kingdom consider themselves to be ‘highly motivated’ at work, and estimated that reduced productivity as a result of workplace disengagement costs the UK economy £340 billion every year.

There are 4 million employee jobs in London alone, and 85% of people doing them wish they weren’t. They’re calling it a ‘crisis of motivation’. Consultancies, banks, law firms and accountancies, once the pinnacle of professionalism, are all suffering from increasing rates of employee turnover and decreasing levels of employee engagement. 

Escape The City, an organisation that runs career transition [...]

 
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August 22, 2016

The Future of Fintech: iBe TSE

I disagree that Apple, Google and other big corporations extending their tentacles into the fintech market should be viewed as a bad thing.

They have a real affinity with startups and, within the years, they aligned culturally and crucially their view on fintechs as a necessary part of their business models, as they have utilised fintechs to form partnerships and collaborations to bring their new products to market.

Their interest in fintech should be viewed as a massive opportunity for many fintechs to commercialise their products and services, as well as to access to invaluable mentoring schemes [...]

 
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August 20, 2016

A recent encounter

Let me tell you about a recent encounter I had with a business owner (to save his blushes, we’ll call him Pete) whom I met at a networking event last week.  

Over a beer, Pete was explaining to me about his business (a “B2C” software-as-a-service startup that had been trading for four years). Pete was proud how the gross profit margins were high and increasing, customer satisfaction was tremendous and staff were great.

The issue that Pete was facing however, was that he needed more cash to invest in marketing and research & development.  He said he needed the cash now, as competitor products were appearing and he wanted to stay one step ahead.

As the conversation [...]

 
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August 19, 2016

The Future of Fintech: REVOLUT

Brexit was an outcome I think it’s fair to say that the majority of the UK fintech community was neither desiring or expecting, but whenever there is change and uncertainty, there is opportunity.

Now that the dust is settling, it is time to take a dispassionate view and focus on the positives and opportunities that the situation might create, rather than the negatives. This approach is after all one of the key traits of the entrepreneurial mindset. To quote Dale Carnegie, “If you have a lemon, make lemonade.”

Brexit could actually prove to be a boon to fintech innovation in the UK. One possibility [...]

 
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August 18, 2016

Are you cyber savvy?

Barely a week goes by without the media reporting a fresh hacking incident or data breach suffered by a major brand.

In addition to reputational damage and the potential to take a business down completely, cybersecurity incidents can also lead to significant remedial costs, regulatory fines and compensation claims from affected individuals.

Startups should be investing time and resources building security and resilience from the ground up rather than attempting to patch and retro-fit after the horse has bolted. What’s more, cyber risk is becoming an increasingly important due diligence issue for potential investors and acquirers, and if you are a B2B model, you may find that [...]

 
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August 17, 2016

APIs are good medicine

RBS has been formulating its API strategy over the past few months.

APIs will enable us to extend our banking platform and capabilities to third party application providers as well business customers, both large and small. This is why the strategy discussion should not be limited to a discussion about PSD2 or HMT’s OB initiatives.

Is opening up access via APIs a good medicine?

The first concern cited is usually the thought of dis-intermediation – someone coming between the bank and its customers. Is the fear of dis-intermediation legitimate? [...]

 
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August 16, 2016

Student Entrepreneurs: MindMate

Every day is a school day.

We started MindMate one year ago while all four of us were still students. It changed everything. Suddenly, we had a vision that went way beyond the dissertation deadline and that inspired us more than any “regular” job ever could.

We spend every free minute with building the business and although it was hard, the initial effort definitely made the difference.

Dissertation, what? MindMate was just more important than our degree and what started as “Uni work first.” turned into “Dissertation work awaits after all the work on MindMate is done.“

Is this your university project? Young entrepreneurs are often [...]

 
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August 15, 2016

Does Retail Banking need to make an Amazonian effort to keep pace with consumer demand?

Consumer expectations are growing. Recent research suggests that given the chance, over half of financial consumers would opt to bank with Amazon. Why?

Because a company famous for delivery innovation, outstanding customer service and thinking outside the box has fundamentally disrupted the service industry, reinventing what it means to provide a best in class customer experience. We believe that in the age of the expectation economy, there is much that retail giant Amazon, and disruptors like it, can teach brands about what it means to provide an outstanding experience and stand out from the crowd.

 
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August 13, 2016

London Taxi War 2016

The battle to win the hearts, minds – and pockets – of modern commuters when it comes to their preferred taxi booking service seems no closer to ending, so what does the future hold for the UK taxi market? 

Jonathan Kettle, founder of Taxicode provides his views on what will happen next in what he describes as the ‘great taxi war’. 

When the swords are drawn, who will break first? Do you know something, the irony is that the first victims of Uber’s rapid expansion won’t be taxis or minicabs; it will be Hailo or Gett, or maybe even both. Looking at the information available in the public arena it would seem that Hailo and Gett’s UK loses have increased somewhat and [...]

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