Chris Skinner

The best FinTech startups in Europe

Chris Skinner

I received a long and lengthy article last week from Taylor Ryan, CMO at Valuer.ai (tryan@valuer.ai). The link provides a comprehensive article on European FinTech developments. It’s so good that I am happy to share it with y’all. Enjoy.

A bank that runs accounts for just 50 cents a year

Chris Skinner

I recently attended a FinTech conference where Henry Ma, Vice President & Chief Information Officer of WeBank, presented an update of how the bank is faring in China. For those unaware, WeBank is the offshoot of WeChat Pay, WeChat and Tencent, and focsuses upon financial inclusion in China.

FinTech’s lies, damned lies and statistics

Chris Skinner

There are lies, darned lies and statistics. I often quote numbers in my presentations and get pretty annoyed if they’re wrong. I also prefer to take official sources rather than estimates.

Chris Skinner’s TEDx Talk

Chris Skinner

Well, I’ve always thought there’s a few accolades that would be good on the profile. Advisor to the White House, World Bank, World Economic Forum and United Nations all sounds good. Now I can add TEDx Speaker.

Are these FinTech unicorns worth it?

Chris Skinner

There’s a regular itch that I feel in the back of my neck. I scratch it, but it won’t go away. The itch is an alarm call really, and it’s asking whether all this FinTech investment is worth it. Last year, $111.8

Banks need a purpose other than making money

Chris Skinner

I wrote a couple of recent blogs about the issue with finding good developers and attracting them to banks. The first, about the war for talent, made the statement: the main motivation of developers joining a firm is to solve interesting problems.

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FinTech is on fire and London is burning …

Chris Skinner

A regular question that comes up is: When will the Fintech bubble burst? My claim is that it won’t under my watch, as this is as big a restructuring of banking and finance as the internet has been for commerce and trade.

How does MiFID II and FinTech work?

Chris Skinner

Over a decade ago, I curated a book about MiFID – the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

The 10-year-old who runs a blockchain company

Chris Skinner

I often talk about the world changing thanks to young people who can code.

The end of FinTech

Chris Skinner

I’ve been involved in finance and technology for a long, long time. Originally, I was a technologist; then a financial technologist; and now a FinTech guy. However, I see the FinTech piece as being irrelevant. Whether it’s FinTech or TechFin, it’s all still just finance and technology.

Banks and FinTech Partnerships: a Clash of Extremes

Chris Skinner

A few years ago, I posted a guest article from Philippe Gelis, co-founder and CEO of FX firm Kantox, on Why FinTech Banks will rule the world.

How can you be AI with DD?

Chris Skinner

No, I don’t mean Attention Deficit Disorder, which would be ADD, but I mean Artificially Intelligent with Dumb Data.

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The UN’s SDG’s, FinTech and Banking

Chris Skinner

Due to various connections, I was asked to deliver the opening keynote speech at the United Nations High Level Political Forum last week (some coverage here). It was one of those rare occasions where I got nervous, looking out at the faces of dignitaries from nations all over the world.

Who governs the internet?

Chris Skinner

I have this debate often: Why governments will fail to block the emergence of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin Can you have decentralised exchange without centralised control? Is the world being democratised through technology? How do governments regulate a networked world?

Three Commerzbanks are worth less than One Stripe

Chris Skinner

The big news yesterday is that Klarna is now Europe’s largest FinTech unicorn, valued at $5.5 billion, and the sixth largest FinTech unicorn worldwide (discounting Ant Financial, Ping An and co). According to CB Insights, Stripe is the largest FinTech unicorn (USA, $22.5

Digital finance includes everyone (speech transcript)

Chris Skinner

The regulator’s view of Facebook’s Libra currency

Chris Skinner

A lot of discussion at the United Nations, where I’ve been all week (blogging about that next week), has raised the question of Libra, the Facebook digital currency.

Platform, marketplace, ecosystem … buzzword bingo!

Chris Skinner

I encounter lots of banter about platforms, marketplaces and ecosystems, and do wonder in the flippant way people use them interchangeably whether they really understand what they are talking about.

Change is the only constant

Chris Skinner

As banks embrace digital transformation, there is a high level of discomfort amongst bank staff around the change. First, they hear almost every day that artificial intelligence and machine learning will automate their jobs. They fear the future. They fear losing their job.

Partnering in the ecosystem is not easy

Chris Skinner

Talking of partnering, many years ago, I was assigned the role of negotiating a contract with a partner for a large technology firm. The partner specialised in the insurance markets, my focus at that time, and we got into the game of contract wording.

My worst prediction ever

Chris Skinner

I was asked the other day about my worst prediction ever made. My answer may surprise some, but ti was the view that intermediaries would disappear as technology takes over. I made that prediction about independent financial advisors back in the 1990s as call centres appeared. It didn’t come true.

The Finanser’s Week: 12th August – 18th August 2019

Chris Skinner

The main blog headlines are … Chris Skinner’s TEDx Talk I am honoured and privileged to list on my profile that I have been an advisor to the White House, World Bank, World Economic Forum and United Nations. Now I can add TEDx Speaker.

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The logic of digital change

Chris Skinner

I just went through a conversation about my presentation for a forthcoming conference. They didn’t want to provide a prescriptive approach, and just asked what I talked about in general. That’s a challenge, as I once turned up at a conference and they said to me “you have seven hours”.

Is Big Tech good or bad for banking … the regulator’s view

Chris Skinner

Monzo and Marcus: American challengers or just noise?

Chris Skinner

My mate Ron Shevlin is on good form these days.

What is banking in the cloud?

Chris Skinner

Over ten years ago, I started blogging about cloud computing and financial services. Many banks dismissed the idea back then as “the regulator wouldn’t allow it”. Then the regulator did allow it in some countries, but banks were confused about the regulatory position.

Challenger banks don’t matter as they’re not a primary account

Chris Skinner

During Money 2020 Europe, I bumped into a chap from Monzo. No names mentioned, but he was buzzing and no wonder. The start-up has just boomed through two million users and is growing at over 60,000 account openings a week or 10,000 per day.

How to make a small island a big centre for FinTech

Chris Skinner

One of the discussions at the UN meetings was around SIDS, the Small Island Developing States. I didn’t know much about SIDS but, when investigating further, discovered I did. They range from islands like Belize and Puerto Rico to Mauritius and Barbados to Bahrain and Singapore.

There are always questions about the future

Chris Skinner

There are always questions about the future. It’s the only thing we don’t know. We don’t know what will happen in the future, so we ask lots of questions. What will happen when Amazon opens a bank? Will regulators create new rules about data sharing?

When did FinTech become cool?

Chris Skinner

When did FinTech become FinTech? When did technology in finance become cool? I guess the first thing is to define FinTech, which I did badly four years ago. I say badly because my definition back then was: FinTech [is] a new market that integrates finance and technology.

Alipay partners with six mobile wallets for Europeans

Chris Skinner

I recently started to worry that people might think I have some sort of arrangement with Ant Financial to publicly endorse them, as I’m such a fan-boy.

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A mortgage in an app?

Chris Skinner

The next day, the grandson came to visit his grandfather again, and immediately returned to the conversation of yesterday. Grandson: Granddad, you know you were talking about how money and banking used to be. Well, I think it’s a lot better today. Granddad: How so, lad?

So, Facebook launched a currency …

Chris Skinner

I’ve blogged a few times about Facebook planning to launch a currency … Will Facebook become the world’s central bank? If Facebook launch a cryptocurrency, will US government shut it down? … and the fact that most regulators won’t like it.

The war for (banking tech) talent

Chris Skinner

I had an interesting discussion about hiring technology people into banks the other day. The challenge of finding top coders is a big one, as there’s an awful lot of other firms to join out there.

Slave to the machine or free for a dignified life?

Chris Skinner

Looking at the world of the future, we all wonder what will happen to work. Will we still have jobs?

Customers don’t want digital banking

Chris Skinner

So my snarky little friend Ron Shevlin wrote a piece on Forbes claiming that Americans don’t want a digital bank. As the guy who wrote the book Digital Bank you might think I would take offence to such a statement, but no.

Two weeks to pay someone? Luxury!

Chris Skinner

Being raised on Monty Python, an old sketch popped into my head (The Four Yorkshire Men) and led to a thought. A grandfather and grandson are at the dinner table … Grandfather: Ah, when I was a lad, life was very different. Grandson: In what way, grandad?

Is transparency a good thing?

Chris Skinner

Who wants transparency when you can have magic? Do you watch The Crown? If not, maybe you should as Series 3 is about to begin with Olivia Coleman, a great actress.

AI in banking: the pitfalls and opportunities (research paper)

Chris Skinner

Building on yesterday’s blog about reports that are useful, I just found another one from UK Finance (formerly the British Bankers Association) on how they see AI in banking, released last week.

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When will the FinTech bubble burst?

Chris Skinner

Reading about FinTech unicorns and pizzas worth $80 million, you would think that the world was bubbling over with wealth. FinTech investments last year peaked at over $110 billion, more than double the year before, and IPOs for firms like Uber and WeWorks are seeing valuations in the stratosphere.

Everything is open to change

Chris Skinner

It’s the holiday season, so my wife dragged me off to Disneyland with the children. It was a great experience but, halfway through, I saw this t-shirt: “It was all started by a mouse” Now it wasn’t. It was started by Walt and his brother who became a formidable team.

We are the robots

Chris Skinner

I’m a technology lover. Always have been, always will be. To me, technology is like magic. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke Too damn right Arthur. I love technology. But then I got to thinking about what technology is doing to us.

If Facebook launch a cryptocurrency, will US government shut it down?

Chris Skinner

I’m writing more and more about Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency lately: Will Facebook become the world’s central bank? March 2019) Will a global platform connect all of our money?