Conventions, Convergence, and Competition

posted by Collin Canright on August 15, 2016 - 7:41am

Innovation, a favorite topic of debate in the business of technology, gets a FinTech work over in this week's links. Plus more blockchain endorsements and reports, along with some timely cautions.

FinTech food for thought

Pascal Bouvier, venture partner with Santander InnoVentures, challenges the conventional notions of FinTech innovation. It’s often said that traditional financial institutions “notoriously do poorly with innovation. They are also beset by agency issues, inflexibility, bureaucracy,” Bouvier writes. But “will incumbents exhibit the same tendencies at such a pivotal point of transition to the new digital age? Or will they exhibit more resiliency as a matter of survival?”

The convergence of traditional and emergent FinTech will enable more fruitful conversations

Thus far, much of the FinTech conversation in banking consists of traditional bankers and their vendors speaking to each other and emergent Fintech ventures and their investors agreeing that disruption is coming, suggests consultant Bernard Lunn in a Daily Fintech post. Now "there is some convergence in the middle," a change that is "leading to more productive conversations" as both parties reach the partnership level of maturity.

Innovation basics for community banks and credit unions

Yes, many in the financial services world are sick of hearing the word innovation. They feel as though they don’t have time to “innovate,” or they’re not sure what will work best. In a post for Finextra, Graham Seel breaks down how banks should approach innovation within their own organizations and areas where the innovation needs to occur.

Competition watchdogs to enforce smartphone banking revolution

Major innovation is coming to UK banking whether banks want it or not. The Competition and Markets Authority announced new rules this week requiring banks to allow customers to access their financial information via one mobile app by 2018, according to The Telegraph. The move will generate greater competition among financial institutions by having one place for consumers to access all of their account information and compare rates with different providers. It is designed to give people "proper control over bank account and money in general".

No cash allowed: stores refusing to accept money

Though Massachusetts law prohibits credit-only policies, some businesses within the state have begun adopting no-cash rules for their customers, according The Boston Globe. The law forbidding no-cash policies has been on the books since 1978, but as more consumers convert to digital transactions, how will law enforcement uphold the regulations? And more importantly, will low-income patrons be discriminated against as they get left behind?


Digital banking expert and entrepreneur Brett King’s “Breaking Banks” radio show continued its series on blockchain. "We don't focus enough on building systems that don't have the inherent flaws of our current system, so there is the same inequality," remarked FinTech reporter and writer Bailey Ruetzel, during a conversation on the technology's democratizing effects.

The World Bank joins the list of international financial agencies and organizations to release a significant report on blockchain and its benefits, as reported by the New York Times. Derin Cag, Founder and CEO of UK content site Richtopia published a list of "Top 20 Blockchain Books and Witepapers."

As reports continue to accelerate on how transformative technology will be, best to keep investor and blockchain author William Mougayar's recent tweet in mind: "Blockchain & Crypto Tech: let's not confuse research, experiments, science fiction, speculation, and working real products."