From realtime to person-to-person and crypto, digital payments continue to change the payments landscape in the United States. Even so, cash is back, to the detriment of one growing business, as covered in this issue's links.
Corporates are paying attention to realtime payments
The dramas of volatility in the price of bitcoin and scams in "coin"-offering fundraising schemes overshadow legitimate cryptofinance developments.
For nearly the last year, crypto-coins have been developing into an asset class and investment ecosystem. From two conferences I attended this year, one in Chicago and the other in Singapore, it seems to me that the Chicago firms see the opportunities for developing trading infrastructure while the Asian investors and regulators see real possibilities for financial innovation.
International FinTech startups are looking to the United States as a vast consumer and business market for their applications and services. Despite the difficulties posed by a dual regulatory system, in which multiple federal regulators join agencies in all 50 states, the wealth and size of the market beckons.
Expect state government agencies and legislators to move most quickly on providing regulatory clarity on FinTech regulation in the United States. U.S. federal regulatory agencies have initiated enforcement actions against some of the most egregious cryptocurrency investment practices and are watching the industry closely.
"Changing consumer preferences and behaviors are focused on ease of use, convenience, and immediacy of payment that can be obtained through the mobile channel," reports the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in its most recent mobile payments study.
Yet the mobile experience in the mainstream of U.S. commerce hardly meets that ideal.
Chicago's FinTech development and investment reputation has been on the rise, and we're expecting big things in this city for 2018. Crain's Chicago Business suggests that Google is planning a major new center here, while city officials remain hopeful that it will make the first cut for Amazon's HQ2.
Well, what else?
There is other FinTech news in banking and payments, but capital markets got most of the FinTech attention in the last week.
Even my favorite noncrypto FinTech story ended with a crypto note. Nearly 200 people attended the initial meeting of Chicago's FinTech Women (FTW), "The Future of FinTech is Female."