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Fintech
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February 15, 2017

Pepper come closer

Throughout 2017 we’re going to be exploring the possibilities potentialities and actualities of the humanesque robot Pepper. I say humanesque rather than humanoid because Pepper isn’t designed to look like a human. Humanoid robots are somewhat creepy / intimidating / unnatural and don’t trigger sympathetic responses in real human beings. At best they look like sex dolls. At worst they look like scary sex dolls.

Back to design basics. It’s about first impressions. Remember your first iPhone? You probably do. Even if it was an iPhone 1, the buggy, non-telephone call making handset that felt and looked beautiful before you even lifted it from the box.

The hardware sold it. [...]

 
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February 13, 2017

2016: a historic year for politics

2016 was a historic year in Britain’s history. 40 years of drift in Europe ended. After the referendum, what does Britain do next in Europe and the world? Will she continue as a surly neighbour to Europe or can she lead a continent in danger?

With or without Britain’s tilt to Trump, the government needs to chart a fresh start for her troubled relationship with Europe. We need to harness the pride Britain has in its history, work through the prejudice Britain has against Europe and produce a new vision of British clout in Europe which the public will support, something called smart power. Brexit means leaving the EU, but not Europe. Europe is governed not only by the EU but by [...]

 
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February 10, 2017

Bank Passporting is a cornerstone of the financial services sector

The UK payments industry is world-leading, and its Fintech sector is estimated by HM Treasury to be worth £6bn. The UK is likely to leave the EU in 2019 and when it does, it could potentially lose its passporting rights to the European single market.

Without such rights, many regulated payments companies in the UK will be unable to deliver products and services across the European Economic Area (EEA). The UK which has been called the Fintech capital of world, beating the likes of Silicon Valley, could have its crown toppled as restrictions of passporting rights will damage the emerging payments industry significantly. GPS are a global transaction processor that provides card [...]

 
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February 8, 2017

OMG!!! Only 345 Working Days to GDPR… (but what is it and what does it mean?)

The General Data Protection Regulation is the new legislation replacing the current Data Protection Act, becoming a new citizen’s charter for the protection of personal data.

So we’ll be running a regular on this because…

It applies to any global entity processing EU citizens’ personally identifiable information, data controllers and data processors alike, with a burden of proof on them to evidence compliance.

Which means it impacts every tech & finance company…

From Fri 25th May 2018 it becomes UK / EU Law. (It became best practice from May 2016, you knew that right?)

(And No, Brexit isn’t going to change anything on this one. Hard, soft, [...]

 
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February 6, 2017

Finance Disrupted at St Pancras

The Economist Event held at the end of January in the 5 Stars St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel raised more questions than answers, not least of which being what banking may look like in 2030. To branch or not to branch, that being a question Craig Donaldson of Metro Bank addressed, his answer can be found on 41 streets in the UK. Millennial chasing marketeers talk in apps only, and Ann Cairns, president of international markets, MasterCard, spoke of Applepay and the need to add more features to widen appeal. She’s probably wrong about this, sorry Ann, Applepays’ weakness is that it’s embedded in a phone it doesn’t need more features it needs less hardware. Let’s discuss over [...]

 
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November 14, 2016

Penetration Testing 101 for fintechs

Penetration testing of Internet-facing fintech applications is an essential necessity in the age of online competitors and cybercrime. Penetration testing gives you the independent assurance that all the hard work you have invested in designing and implementing secure infrastructure or applications has paid off and your product won’t fall apart when subjected to malicious activity – as eventually it will be. Deciding on the specific type and scope of penetration testing however is not straightforward. Here is a basic introduction to assist with informed decision-making. Web application penetration testing Penetration testing of Web applications involves identification of [...]

 
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November 9, 2016

The FinTech Investor Forum — 24 November 2016, London

The FinTech Investor Forum brings together over 100 of Europe’s most active FinTech investors and deal-makers along with the leaders of 100 of the most exciting start-ups and scale-ups.

The Forum provides a unique opportunity to connect with people who can make a difference to your business.  If you’re an investor or deal-maker you’ll get valuable insights on which sectors, companies and deals are likely to get funded over the next year.  If you’re a senior executive at a financial institution, you’ll get essential intelligence on what your competitors are doing and on which companies and technologies you should be partnering with or acquiring.  If you’re a new or established [...]

 
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November 7, 2016

The Blurred Lines of Fintech

Today, anything that is related to finance and technology in the slightest way has the FinTech label slapped on to it. With so many ventures striving to achieve different goals, it is sometimes hard to keep a clear head and distinguish one from the other.

To make this process easier, one of the most straightforward distinction to make is the difference in audience focus. Is the venture targeting end users, hence B2C or is the audience another business, hence B2B? Some fintech companies are clearly on one end of the spectrum, while others are a blend of both. What characteristics do the different business models embody and why has the constellation of fintech companies come [...]

 
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November 4, 2016

Poverty amidst prosperity: How can design and tech improve financial inclusion?

What’s the problem?

Over half of the U.S. population is struggling financially. And in the UK, roughly 20% of the population doesn’t have enough savings to survive one month if their wages were to drop by just 25%. This is the reality in two of the world’s healthiest economies.

The unpredictability of income is increasing. More people are experiencing multiple forms of income; self-employment has been increasing since 2008. People move in and out of financial inclusion at different times, depending on life circumstances.

Conmen, complexity and confusion

Too many people are being slighted by mainstream services that weren’t designed for them.

The [...]

 
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November 3, 2016

Intuit Connect? Turns out I’m into it.

Shaq (early Google investor, Dad, Hall-of-Famer)

I’m on the VTA chugging along, in search of the right convention center. You see, I used to work near Santa Clara’s, so it comes naturally. And let’s face it, there are a lot of arrows and trails of initiative’s presence leading to and exuding from Great America Pkwy these days. But no, today it is San Jose’s that beckons my attention. So I chug.

The first reaction in mentioning to a couple people that I’m headed to the S.Bay is: ‘why?’. SF has become insular. I am a job seeker amongst other things right now, so the Peninsula is a treasure trove of [...]

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