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February 28, 2017

3 Ways Start-ups Can Ensure Stability

It’s not easy starting a business. Nine out of 10 businesses fail in the first year, with a further 95% failing within five years. The statistics are sobering, but there are many benefits to starting a business. You can be your own boss and if the business is a success, the financial rewards are immense.

The entrepreneurial landscape has never been better. There has been a sustained shift towards entrepreneurialism in the last few years. In 2015, 608,110 new businesses were started, which was a 4.6% increase on the previous year. It’s become easier for people to start a business. Despite the economic upheaval in the last few months, there is every indication that [...]

 
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February 2, 2017

How to Care for the Customer

The customer is the beating heart of a company. Without them you won’t have a successful business, so it is essential you provide them with the attention they deserve, creating a customer service experience that exceeds their expectations.

Flexibility

Flexibility is key to exceptional customer service. Your customers will want someone waiting for them on the end of the line when they choose to make a phone call. They may want to cancel or change a delivery date to suit their lifestyle. They will want to pay a bill by text message at their leisure. You must therefore provide the availability, flexibility and systems they require to offer a simplified, dedicated service [...]

 
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September 19, 2016

Time to make fintech small

After Iceland had beaten England in the European Football Championship I was reminded of a Barclays TV-commercial from 2000 where Anthony Hopkins explains why ‘a big world needs a big bank’.

It’s a great commercial, and even though it’s 16 years old and we have had two serious global crises in since then, there is nothing out-dated about its message. On the contrary, since 2000 global GDP has almost doubled and the big banks have become even bigger. The four largest banks in America are now 150 per cent bigger than the next 50 banks combined, and in the UK the four biggest banks control 85 per cent of the market. This trend towards [...]

 
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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 10, 2016

SMEs and Start-ups: What lies ahead in the future of Fintech?

Investment by Apple, Google and now Intel into the fintech market strikes fear into many small and startup companies that are currently in or contemplating their entry into this market. But should they worry?

We have seen it already in other industries: with the massive resources available to them, the monoliths can quite easily dominate their sectors, squeezing out the little men from the market, stifling innovation just as it starts to gain traction. Is fintech doomed as well, or can we learn from other industries’ fate to save its disruptive nature?

The larger the organisation the more it costs [...]

 
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July 6, 2016

Asian Ambitions

Earlier this month I met three new exciting payment startups at the flying fintech circus Money 20/20 Europe in Copenhagen: Android Pay, Samsung Pay and Alipay who all announced their expansion into Europe and their expected launch in the UK later this year. 

Android Pay is actually an updated version of a Google Wallet, which was not very successful. The director of Google’s Emerging Platforms, Spencer Spinnell, disguised the value that his new payment system will bring to Europe with a lot of technical shoptalk and corporate blabla.

Next in line was Elle Kim, Vice President of Samsung Pay, obviously proud of the [...]

 
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July 1, 2016

Organic Growth of a Fintech Venture: is this possible?

The London tech sector continues to attract an unprecedented level of investment from venture capital firms. According to London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional company, 2015 saw a record $3.6 billion in technology firms.

Notably, the Fintech sector accounted for a quarter of all investments raised by London based technology companies.

The rate of investment has led to a sharp growth in the valuation of several high profile firms that have reached Unicorn (start-up firms valued at over $1 billion) status, namely, Transfer Wise and Funding Circle. However, is this trend likely to continue?

 
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June 27, 2016

Why disrupting insurance is hard and too few entrepreneurs are addressing the real problem

The insurance industry has been ripe for disruption for years and yet a quick walk around Leadenhall market where brokers bustle about with paper files under their arms reveals nothing has changed in decades.

Why is this?

From one perspective it’s very simple to answer: every player in the insurance market has been enjoying 10-20% net margins for over a century, so why would they want that to change? Lloyds of London tried bringing into their organisation technology innovation with Kinnect in 2002 but after £70m investment and 5 years, it was shut down. Hence, until the rise of fintech, insurance companies felt very [...]

 
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June 15, 2016

Time for the Banks to choose their strategic partners or get left behind?

Every action has risk, and banks are traditionally averse to risk, and therefore have been relatively slow to adopt new technologies, new practices, and new markets. This risk averse / change resistant position is the entire reason why fintech has emerged as a distinct sector, and why fintech challengers have been able to take major slices out of the banks’ core services. Money transfer, business lending, factoring, already heavily targeted by fintechs, next in line are mortgages, insurance services, and inevitably, consumer lending, already nibbled at by P2P systems.

The most imminent risk for [...]

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