Banks and FinTechs should "put down their swords," as Mary Wisniewski put it in a widely shared American Banker opinion piece, "There are no heroes or villains in the data-access debate."
Many banks and FinTechs are doing just that. Yet culture stands in the way as much as anything else—on both sides, as this week's links show.
FinTech is not just FinTech anymore
The article that most caught my attention this week came from Ron Shevlin, director of research at bank advisory Cornerstone Advisors. "FinTech—as a set of startups or a class of technology—is hardly failing," the bank snarketer (look it up) writes in debunking a startup founder's reasons that FinTech is failing.
One of the oft-repeated themes of Candidate (then President) Trump is that the world has been taking advantage of us at every turn, and that China is the main culprit. The evidence presented is that China has been systematically manipulating its currency to boost its exports and discourage imports, thus contributing to the massive U.S trade deficit. However, the evidence is a dollar short and a couple of years late. If anything, China has been struggling in the past 18 months to prevent its currency from depreciating too rapidly.
Chatbots in banking, the banks that do APIs well, and the rise of open banking. This week's FinTech links provide a look at the shifts in technology that can move banks away from consumers and provide consumers a way to gain greater control over their banking experience.
And then there's the genuine coin of the realm, in the form of paper money. National Public Radio reports that 80 percent of U.S. currency circulates in hundred dollar bills—"Franklins"—but nobody really knows where they are.
Co-authored with Jake Crampton
Market forces demand constant performance improvement and optimization of resources and assets. In today’s complex healthcare marketplace, agility, efficiency and quality are the new drivers of success. To successfully compete, healthcare systems will need to overcome their preferences for "owning" sub-optimal business functions and align with strategic partners that can deliver superior products and services.
It's a bit of a cheap headline, I'll admit, but I've been reading about the so-called populism that the current U.S. president has tapped into and wondered what it has to do with financial technology. FinTech has been styled as a way to empower people, and that's basically where populism started.
"Populism" in the most generic sense refers to a concern for the common people. It also carries the charge of dissing establishment types, whether they are politicians, intellectuals, media types—maybe even banks.
So far, President Trump has demonstrated that he will try to make good on his campaign promises, though the process may be anything but pretty. We cannot recall a president who started out “fighting” on so many fronts: still confirming most of his cabinet, nominating a Supreme Court Justice and multiple sweeping executive orders on domestic and international matters. Until the rollout of corporate and other tax proposals, which at this rate may come sooner than expected, the economic focus should be on Trump’s trade policy.