No Cash and No Branch? Nah! Young Consumers Want Bricks and Mortar Services.

The rush to close high street bank branches may be premature, according to the latest research from digital product agency, Somo. Young adults (18-24) starting out on their banking journey claim to use a bricks and mortar branch more than 25-44 year olds.

A staggering 41.7% of the 18-24 year age group surveyed state that a branch is the main place for them to do their banking. This is at odds with the record rate that bank branches are closing around the country; more than 60 a month, according to Which?.

In contrast to their younger peers, the 25-44 year-old group prefer to manage the majority of their banking online or via mobile, despite having more numerous and more complex banking needs.

The disparity in behaviours between the two groups so close in age speaks to the need for financial services to recognise the different life-stages and needs of customers and thus offer a blended approach, by fusing digital and physical products and services.

This desire for combining digital in-branch is echoed in the research. All age groups wanted shorter queues while better self-serve options like kiosks came second. Face time with advisors was most valued by the 25-34 age group which was prioritising budgeting and were the most likely to seek personalised advice.

The new research which surveyed 1000 UK adults also revealed:

  • The majority (63%) of UK banking customers prefer to interact with their bank(s) online, but a further 23% still want to visit a branch.
  • Contactless payments is preferred by 38% of Brits, but 33% would use card or cash and another 27% would prefer to use cash only.
  • Over half (56%) of Britons still use bank branches to deposit cheques while 44% use it to deposit or withdraw large sums. Over a third (35%) said it was the main place that they banked.
  • 43% of Brits are either very or somewhat negative about a cashless society.

Access to digital banking is more important than ever, providing convenience as well as actively helping people understand and manage their money better. But there is growing evidence to suggest that it is important to offer consumers choice, and that a move to the so-called ‘cashless’ society may be too rapid for some groups of customers, and will have a negative impact on communities and other businesses.

Which? found that cash machines were disappearing at a rate of nearly 500 a month between June and December 2018. The Labour Party has proposed a publicly-owned banking network, Post Bank, to be based within the Post Office network, providing up to 3,600 branches nationwide. The Party’s shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, said: “Poor access to local bank branches hurts our town centres and local communities, particularly affecting elderly and more vulnerable customers, as well as damaging the ability of local small businesses to invest.”

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Study Finds One in Five UK Businesses Loses Revenue and Customers Due to Inaccurate Data

A new report from Dun & Bradstreet reveals businesses are missing revenue opportunities and losing customers due to bad data practices. Almost 20 percent of businesses have lost a customer due to using incomplete or inaccurate information about them, with a further 15 percent saying they failed to sign a new contract with a customer for the same reason.

Nearly a quarter (22 percent) said their financial forecasts have been inaccurate, while 17 percent of organisations offered too much credit to a customer due to a lack of information about them – and lost money as a result.

The report, which surveyed over 500 business decision makers in the US and UK, also found stark discrepancies between both countries: compliance has been nearly twice as big of a concern in the UK than the US (31 percent vs. 16 percent), which may reflect the challenge of meeting the requirements of the GDPR. Already, over 10 percent of organisations report having been fined for data issues.

The way that data is structured appears to be a significant barrier in many organisations, with indications that data is often poorly structured, difficult to access and out of date. Nearly half of business leaders (46 percent) say that data is too siloed to make any sense of it, with the biggest challenges to making use of data being:

  • protecting data privacy (34 percent)
  • having accurate data (26 percent)
  • analysing/processing that data (24 percent).

This lack of structure may reflect the fact that 41 percent of business leaders say that no one in their organisation is responsible for the management of data. This absence of ownership may also be why 52 percent of business leaders said they haven’t had the budget to implement data management practices within their organisations.

“Businesses must make data governance and stewardship a priority,” said Monica Richter, Chief Data Officer, Dun & Bradstreet. “Whether leaders are exploring AI or predictive analytics, clean, defined data is key to the success of any programme and essential for mitigating risk and growing the business.”

The study does reveal a growing recognition that responsibility for data should be a priority for the C-suite. However, business leaders are divided as to who in the leadership team owns the data and what that will look like in the future. One thing all business leaders agree on is that the CEO has had, currently has and will have ultimate responsibility for data – more so than even the CTO or CIO.

The report also shows that two thirds (65 percent) of respondents say data will be vital to their organisation’s future success. However, under a quarter of organisations (22 percent) have staff that are dedicated to the management of data and less than one-fourth say that they have the right talent to implement effective data management.

Commenting on the findings, Anthony Scriffignano, Ph.D, Chief Data Scientist at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Information has always been critical for businesses, but over the past decade, the volume of data, the types of information available and the ability to do new things with that data have expanded enormously. It’s not surprising that many business leaders feel they are still catching up and their organisations are yet to make the most of data – and some have even been fined or lost customers due to incomplete or ‘dirty’ data.”

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Happy 5th Birthday Daily Fintech


I am a bad parent who does not celebrate each birthday. I celebrated the first birthday of Daily Fintech with this post on 30 June 2015. I am happy with what I wrote then, except for the last sentence where I clearly did not “report back on the second anniversary.” Nor on the 3rd or 4th anniversary. I am trying to correct that by celebrating the 5th anniversary properly today.

Although I have failed with birthday celebrations, I am happy with one thing I wrote on that first anniversary:

“Like any startup, it is an experiment to find product fit to market and I can only promise to keep iterating on that journey.”

According to the legendary investor and blogger Fred Wilson,  the data shows that “It takes seven to ten years to get to real liquidity”.  As he puts it:

“I am not sure why seven to ten years and not five to seven or not ten to fifteen. It’s seven to ten. That’s how it has always been and seemingly always will be. “

So Daily Fintech is 50% there if it is 10 years and 71% there if it is 7 years

“Liquidity” is the definition of success for an investor. If you have external investors (we do not yet at Daily Fintech), that also needs to be your definition of success as an entrepreneur.  If you have bootstrapped and self funded, you also have the option of running a business with the old fashioned objective of what Warren Buffet calls the “owners reward’ of profits.

Either way, it takes seven to ten years to build sustainable business value.

I am happy that in our first 5 years we have done two things well.

  • High quality original content. Daily Fintech now has 6 very talented and experienced people who write once per week, so that we get original Fintech insight every day (M-S). I dislike the word “content”; it implies fodder for the advertising beast. I like to call what we offer “insightful original research that is presented well in good writing to smart people who want more signal and less noise”, but I do recognise that is a bit of a mouthful, so I will use the word content here. Given our focus on high quality original content, it made sense that the first person on our advisory board, in 2018, was Paul Conley and that during 2019 we engaged the services of Triumvirate Content Consultants.
  • Not pulled into blind monetisation alley ways. I knew that traditional online advertising, the obvious content monetisation answer, was failing; I knew this from my earlier work as a digital entrepreneur and while this was not obvious in 2014 it is obvious now in 2019..  I could see a few other blind alleys and am happy to say that we did spend long in these blind alleys. We do have a sense now about how to create sustainable monetisation that fits our high quality original content, but we are still in the early days of this journey so yes it is a “seven to ten years” journey.

I was asked recently in a meeting about targets and I replied that I was much more comfortable with direction and process than with targets. I know where we are going (direction) and I know what it takes to go on a long arduous journey (process), but cannot anticipate all the twists and turns in the journey, so I can only end with what I said on the first birthday:

“I can only promise to keep iterating on that journey.”

  Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy.

I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.

Subscribe by email to join the other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research).

FCA’s New Advertising and Social Media Rules Extend to e-Money and Payment Institutions

By James Borley, Director of fscom

The payments industry seems constantly awash with new regulation. The last two years alone have seen the advent of the 4th Money Laundering Directive (4MLD), the Second Payment Services Directive (PSD2) and GDPR. In addition, firms are currently preparing for the open banking and strong customer authentication requirements coming into force on 14 September.

Given the pace and extent of regulatory change, you might be forgiven for having missed the FCA’s planned extension of its Principles for Businesses, and certain other communication rules, to payment and e-money institutions. Nevertheless, this extension will take effect from 1 August, giving firms just over a month to finalise preparations.

What’s driven this change?

Historically, the high-level Principles for Businesses have not applied to payment and e-money institutions. This was largely because it was easier to implement the first Payment Services Directive (PSD1) in the form of standalone Treasury regulations (the Payment Services Regulations 2009), rather than implement the directive through the Financial Services & Markets Act and the corresponding FCA Handbook.

In recent years however, the FCA has been concerned that some payment and e-money institutions have been communicating with customers in a misleading manner, such as:

  • misleading use of the interbank rate on firm websites;
  • unsubstantiated comparisons with competitors;
  • lack of transparency in charging structures; and
  • a tendency for some e-money institutions to use language in their marketing materials indicating that they are offering “bank accounts”.

In light of these concerns, the FCA was granted new powers in the Payment Services Regulations 2017) to apply Handbook rules to payment institutions (PIs), e-money institutions (EMIs) and registered account information service providers.

After a period of consultation, the FCA issued new rules in February, which can be broken into the following categories.

  1. Extending the Principles for Businesses to PIs and EMIs.
  2. Extending communication rules in Chapter 2 of the Banking Conduct of Business Sourcebook (BCOBS) to PIs and EMIs.
  3. Introducing new rules and guidance on communication and marketing of currency transfer services.

Extending the Principles for Businesses

The Principles for Businesses (“the Principles”) are high level principles governing the conduct of firms. While the Principles will not have technically applied previously to PIs and EMIs, most firms will already seek to apply them to their business. For example, no firm would currently say that they do not seek to fulfil Principle 6 on treating customers fairly.

Rather, the import of the extension of the Principles is that it provides the FCA with a wider net for enforcement action. One only needs to peruse the enforcement notices on the FCA website to see how many FCA enforcement actions are based upon breaches of the Principles.

While the FCA’s Policy Statement does state that “the Principles should be applied in a way which is appropriate and proportionate to firms”, their extension nonetheless increases the FCA’s supervisory and enforcement powers.

Carphone Warehouse’s recent breach of the Principles

A recent example of enforcement action for breaches of the Principles is the case of Carphone Warehouse. The FCA issued a “Final Notice” in March and fined the firm over £29 million for breaches of Principle 3 (management and control), Principle 6 (customers’ interests) and Principle 9 (customers: relationships of trust) in relation to the sale of mobile phone insurance.

Among other things, sales consultants failed to give suitable advice to customers as to whether the insurance product met their needs. This failing was compounded by inadequate management oversight.

Examples such as this illustrate the wide enforcement net provided to the FCA by the broad-based descriptors in the Principles. Therefore, while the Principles largely represent best practice that most firms will already follow, the potential supervisory impact of this extension should be noted.

Clear, fair and not misleading – extending BCOBS 2 communication rules

In contrast to the broad-based Principles, the extension of BCOBS 2 applies very specific communication related rules to PIs and EMIs. For example:

  • Certain words are singled out in relation to product descriptions, including the words “guaranteed”, “protected” or “secure”. Where such words are used, they must be presented with all necessary information to make the use of the word fair, clear and not misleading.
  • An exchange rate will be misleading if it gives the customer the impression that they can avail of a rate not actually available to them. A disclaimer will not necessarily prevent this exchange rate being misleading.
  • Specific rules in relation to what needs to be included in communications or promotions. For example, a firm must not emphasise potential benefits without indicating relevant risks.

One implication here is for use of the interbank rate on firm websites or social media. In response to FCA concerns, many firms have simply removed reference to that rate altogether from their websites. While this is not a requirement, firms should review any display of indicative rates on their websites, or advertisements (including social media), along with corresponding disclaimers. Any disclaimer will have to be clear and prominent to ensure that customers will not be misled and, even then, it is not certain that the FCA will approve of it.

New rules on cost comparisons of currency transfer services

The FCA has also introduced new rules within BCOBS 2 regarding cost comparisons with competitors, in relation to currency transfer services. Where comparing costs with a competitor or group of competitors, the comparison must be based on sufficient research to make that comparison substantiable.

Furthermore, the comparison must consider the following elements.

  1. Charges relating to the currency conversion.
  2. Charges related to the e-money issuance or payment service.
  3. Margin between the rate that would be offered to a majority of persons in the class to whom the promotion is directed, and the interbank rate.

It is therefore not acceptable under the new rules to make a comparison with your competitor simply based on the FX margin, when after taking into consideration other fees, your service is not in fact cheaper.

Next steps for PI and EMI firms…

Firms are advised to conduct a thorough review of their communications with customers prior to 1 August. This review should cover:

  • Firm website.
  • Other promotional material and social media.
  • Charging structure.
  • Terms and conditions.
  • Customer sales calls.

Communication is an area that has seen increased focus by the FCA in recent years, and with the increased supervisory and enforcement powers provided by the new rules, a thorough review is recommended to avoid falling foul of the FCA’s payments supervision team.

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Privacy at lower levels of the Bitcoin & Internet stack is not good news for tokenomics funded privacy coins


TLDR Privacy was not part of Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper. This gives credence to the idea that the author was a fallible human being. Nor was privacy built into the Internet, as Facebook, NSA and others have taught us. Privacy is now being  built into the lower levels of the Bitcoin stack and into the Internet stack; this is not good news for tokenomics funded privacy coins such as Monero and ZCash. Read on to learn about Freenet, I2P, Tor, Nym, Confidential Transactions & MimbleWimble.

This update to The Blockchain Economy digital book covers:

  • Tokenomics Funded Privacy Coins
  • Independent Bitcoin Mixers
  • Confidential Transactions
  • MimbleWimble
  • Context & References

Tokenomics Funded Privacy Coins

The two best known tokenomics funded Privacy Coins are Monero and ZCash

The market has not been kind to them compared to the recent market price action for Bitcoin BTC.

This is one of 5 reasons why I am an economic Bitcoin maximalist – any single feature of an Altcoin can be copied:

“Altcoins as a sandbox for experiments and a donation to the community is cool, but it is not compelling as an investment thesis.”

This is one reason why BTC dominance is so high in this bull market. 

Independent Bitcoin Mixers

Before we get to Freenet, I2P, Tor, Nym, Confidential Transactions & MimbleWimble, lets look at the independent Bitcoin mixer (or tumbler)  services; these are something that you add onto Bitcoin if you want a bit more privacy. There are so many of these that there is now a site dedicated to them.

This is now an arms race, with governments and companies paying well funded analytics vendors to track transactions. This is why many think this was a design error in Satoshi Nakamoto’s white paper, which some of the lower level privacy solutions aim to overcome.

TOR (The Onion Router)

TOR, the first anonymity network, uses a volunteer overlay network to conceal a user’s location and usage.

You can see that somebody is using TOR even if you cannot see who it is; so some websites restrict access through TOR.

TOR uses “onion routing”, which uses encryption in the application layer of a communication protocol stack, nested like the layers of an onion. TOR encrypts the data, including the next node’s IP address and sends it through a  randomly selected set of TOR relays.

In the arms race, those seeking to de-anonymize the user may do so using vulnerable software on the user’s computer.

TOR was funded initially through the Office of Naval Research and DARPA.

I2P (Invisible Internet Project)

I2P aims to overcome TOR’s big problem, which is speed,  by loading dark web services faster.

In many cases it is not TOR or I2P. It is TOR and I2P.Some dark web service hidden by TOR have I2P mirrors.

I2P is peer-to-peer friendly. TOR  discourages heavy downloading, but many I2P users are also BitTorrent users.


Unlike Tor and I2P, Freenet is totally decentralized across thousands of hard drives. Freenet users store encrypted files on their hard drive without knowing the contents of the file.

In the most secure/private mode, Freenet users can choose to only connect to explicitly trusted friends of the user.

Freenet is widely used as an anti-censorship tool in China.


Nym’s CEO, Harry Halpin, is clearly going after the privacy coins such as Monero and Cash with this quote:

“peer-to-peer traffic is actually capturable/recordable by any enemy who is watching the network”

Nym has been added to TOR to as Halpin puts it to protect against big cyber savvy governments and corporation, as opposed to those “which can only see a small portion of the internet” .

Nym uses the mixing/tumbling technology mentioned above bu adds it to TOR and Halpin asserts that Nym does not take grants from the US government. Like most of the privacy solutions profiled here, Nym is open source software, run by volunteers on a non-profit basis.

Confidential Transactions.

Confidential Transactions is a mixer in Bitcoin Core that lets senders encrypt the bitcoin amounts in transactions with random strings of numbers called “blinding factors.” This is decrypted by the receiver.

Mimble Wimble

Mimble Wimble (named after a Harry Potter curse) is another mixer in Bitcoin Core that does the opposite to Confidential Transactions as the the receiver (not the sender) generates the blinding factor. Although primarily designed for privacy, MimbleWimble also enhances scalability (because it gets rid of the need to track transaction history per coin).

Context & References


Bernard Lunn is a Fintech deal-maker, investor, entrepreneur and advisor. He is CEO of Daily Fintech and author of The Blockchain Economy.

I have no positions or commercial relationships with the companies or people mentioned. I am not receiving compensation for this post.

Subscribe by email to join other Fintech leaders who read our research daily to stay ahead of the curve. Check out our advisory services (how we pay for this free original research).

How Facebook’s Libra Looks from Latin America; Indian Neobank Raises $30 Million

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global: Fintech News from Around the World is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Capetown, South Africa-based digital lender Lulalend raises $6.5 million in Series A.
  • Techpoint Africa looks at how fintechs are “democratizing investment opportunities” for Nigerians across the income spectrum.
  • The Catalyst Fund announces that three Africa-based fintechs – Turaco, Chipper Cash, and Salutat – will join its accelerator program.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Estonia’s Tallinn Business Bank (TBB) partners with Icefire and Token to deliver PSD2 compliance.
  • Cointelegraph profiles Warsaw, Poland’s Alior Bank leverages Ethereum blockchain to authenticate client documents.
  • Polish Netflix subscribers will soon be able to pay for their viewing via the country’s Blik payment system.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Bahrain’s Bank ABC partners with Jumio, making it the first bank in the MENA region to offer biometric-based, digital KYC.
  • Egypt’s Banque du Caire to deploy omni-channel banking technology from Temenos.
  • Wamda interviews Elie Nasr founder of Lebanese fintech startup FOO.

Central and Southern Asia

  • The Bank of Mongolia will implement Intellect Design Arena’s Quantum Central Banking Solution as part of its digital transformation.
  • Indian SME-based neobank Open raises $30 million in Series B funding.
  • India’s Wizely introduces a new mobile savings account.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Contxto looks at the current fintech landscape of Mexico.
  • How will Facebook’s Libra project impact Latin America?
  • BBVA announces major changes to mortgage portfolio, including a rate reduction.


  • U.K. regtech firm ClauseMatch teams up with Singapore-based consultancy Ingenia, the company’s first client in the country.
  • Axinan to work with PT Sompo Insurance to provide on-demand insurance options to Indonesian millennials.
  • The Monetary Authority of Singapore to issue as many as five new digital bank licenses.

Top image designed by Freepik

Goldman Sachs CEO eyes crypto entry, expansion of Marcus

Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon told Les Echos, a French newspaper, that the investment bank is pursuing its own plan in cryptocurrency and pursuing plans to expand digital bank Marcus into new markets. 

Soloman told Les Echos that the bank is looking at the potential for “tokenization” and frictionless payments, following plans by rival JPMorgan Chase and social media giant Facebook to launch Libra. 

Solomon also said that the bank is more and more looking at personal services, beyond just an investment bank, and said the bank has great ambitions beyond its existing Marcus presence in the U.S. and U.K., but would not elaborate. 

Topics: Bitcoin, Mobile Banking, Mobile Payments, Region: EMEA

Companies: Goldman Sachs

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Can the US can draw lessons from Czech contactless card adoption?

As contactless payments gain wide adoption in Europe, there are questions around how quickly the technology will scale to U.S markets.

The Czech Republic, for example, has seen wide adoption based on infrastructure upgrades from both payment providers and retailers. According to a report released today by data analytics firm GlobalData, increased adoption of contactless cards by Czech Republic consumers drove the annual number of card payments to 1.1 billion in 2018, up from 483.7 million in 2014. The number of card payments made each year is expected to reach 1.9 billion by 2022.

“The technology has been supported by wide merchant acceptance and improved payment infrastructure, with around 90% of the country’s point-of-sale terminals now supporting contactless payments,” Nikhil Reddy, payments analyst for GlobalData, said in a statement.

Around 70% of all card payments in the Czech Republic already are contactless, according to the European Payments Council. Meanwhile, GlobalData said the number of contactless cards in the Czech Republic is expected to increase from 10.3 million in 2018 to 11.8 million by 2022.

Jamie Topolski, director of payment card products at Fiserv, told Bank Innovation he would expect to see more contactless cards hitting the market in the U.S. by the beginning of 2020. However, he doesn’t expect it to reach the massive wave of adoption seen with the U.S. rollout of EMV chip technology in 2015.

“There no set deadline in this case that everyone’s striving to meet,” Topolski said, noting that the rollout of contactless will depend more on factors like card re-issuance cycles. “Chip expirations are starting to hit just now and will accelerate into 2020, so this is a perfect opportunity to make the investment in contactless,” he added.

Topolski said the U.S. is actually “right on track” when it comes to contactless adoption, as other markets typically have pushed the technology out with the second generation of EMV-enabled cards. “The U.S. was late to the EMV game, but that was because of relatively low fraud rates,” he explained. “We’re equally fast on contactless.”

Topolski said contactless will enable incremental transaction volumes, opening up revenue opportunities for banks and other financial institutions that are able to win the fight for top of the wallet. The staying at the top of the wallet, however, is a matter of convenience and effective marketing, he explained.

The physical card is still the most common way a customer interacts visually with their financial institution, Topolski noted. “People don’t tend to walk into branches much anymore, but the card still gets pulled out quite often,” he said.

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Inside Citizens Bank’s point-of-sale lending strategy

As checkout loan startups like Affirm, Klarna and Bread garner funding and grow relationships with retailers, banks are putting up a formidable line of defense. Their pitch to retailers is their resources, data and brand recognition. Over the past two years, Providence, R.I.-based Citizens Bank has built up its presence in the point-of-sale loan arena. …Read More

Ping Identity and TIBCO Partner to Provide Advanced API Security Solutions

A just-announced partnership between TIBCO Software and Ping Identity will provide companies with new AI-powered defenses against emerging API threats. The collaboration will integrate TIBCO’s API Management Platform, TIBCO Cloud Mashery, with Ping Identity’s PingIntelligence for APIs to extend and enhance the platform’s API security with AI-enabled threat mitigation and decoy API deception.

TIBCO Cloud Mashery provides a wide variety of API security features including advanced authentication, bot detection, white and blacklisting, and access controls. The integration of PingIntelligence for APIs is designed to provide companies with a comprehensive API security solution that enables them to confidently pursue digital transformation goals and open banking initiatives.

Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy for TIBCO Rajeev Kozhikkattathodi noted that the growing reliance on APIs can be a problem for companies that fail to take a standardized approach to securing data that is exposed by APIs. “As the API attack surface continues to expand due to the strategic value of APIs,” he said, “a new generation of threats will similarly continue to emerge. We’re excited to partner with Ping Identity to improve security measures for enterprises with sensitive corporate data.”

Ping Identity CTO Bernard Harguindeguy echoed Kozhikkattathodi’s emphasis on the connection between the opportunity and risk of the API Age. “Companies’ most sensitive digital assets, including their customer data, are increasingly made accessible via APIs, and protecting this infrastructure from abuses and cyber attacks must be the top priority for CISOs and CIOs everywhere,” Harguindeguy said. “Our partnership with TIBCO brings AI-powered protection to boost the security of API infrastructures and help organizations everywhere secure their data and applications behind APIs.”

TIBCO is a two-time veteran of our FinovateAsia conference, most recently demonstrating Innovative Payment Solutions for temporary, “in the moment” payment contexts at FinovateAsia 2013. In April of this year, the company appointed a new CEO, Dan Streetman, and in June, TIBCO introduced a set of enhancements to a variety of solutions – including TIBCO Cloud Mashery – to help developers negotiate common pain points in mixed cloud environments. Named a leader in iPaaS and hybrid integration platforms by Forrester for Q1 2019, the company is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Founded in 2003 and based in Denver, Colorado, Ping Identity demonstrated its PingFederate enterprise-grade authentication and single sign-on authority at FinovateEurope 2012. Earlier this month, the company unveiled a new framework and guidance to help companies adopt Zero Trust security strategies. In May, Ping Identity announced a partnership with Citrix Analytics and in March, the company was recognized at the 2019 SC Awards, winning the Best Identity Management Solution category. Ping Identity began the year noting that 12 of the biggest U.S. banks by assets use its Intelligent Identity Platform for identity and access management.

Both TIBCO and Ping Identity are recent acquisitions of Vista Equity Partners. TIBCO was taken private in 2014 in a deal valued at $4.3 billion. Ping Identity was purchased by the same Austin, Texas-based private equity firm in 2016 for $600 million.

Sand Hill East’s Brown sees banks moving to open platforms

The product-centric bank of the past, concerned with keeping proprietary control over all its offerings, is ceding ground to the customer-centric bank of the future, according to Andy Brown, CEO of Sand Hill East, a tech advisory firm that also invests in early-stage startups. A 30-year IT veteran with 20 years of experience in finance, …Read More

Goldman Sachs Explores Creating a Digital Coin Like JPMorgan’s

David Solomon may take a leaf out of Jamie Dimon’s book by exploring a digital coin for payments.

Goldman Sachs Group’s chief executive officer told France’s Les Echos newspaper that he’s “absolutely’’ looking at digital currencies and said Goldman is conducting “extensive research’’ on tokenization, the process for transforming currencies or assets into tradeable digital contracts that live on a blockchain.

“Assume that all major financial institutions around the world are looking at the potential of tokenization, stable coins and frictionless payments,’’ said Solomon.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in February it developed its own stable coin, JPM Coin, for its clients to use in cross-border payments. Facebook Inc. this month unveiled a new coin for payments called Libra which it plans to launch next year.

Solomon declined to comment on whether Goldman Sachs has had discussions with Facebook. He said blockchain-based stable coins tied to real currencies are “the direction in which the payment system will go.’’

Libra is the latest example of how tech companies including Apple Inc. and Inc. have ventured into the financial industry. Still, Solomon said the tech giants will more likely seek to partner with banks than challenge them directly, citing Goldman’s credit-card partnership with Apple as an example.

“Do you believe that the tech giants, who have other concerns for the moment, want to submit to the same regulatory constraints as JPMorgan or Goldman Sachs?’’ said Solomon. “Of course, these companies have a lot of customers and will certainly try to monetize them. It seems to me, however, that they will try to seal partnerships with banks rather than become banks themselves.’’

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Coinsource adds Dai stablecoin to Bitcoin ATM, sets sites on remittances

Coinsource, a Texas-based Bitcoin ATM operator, is adding the Dai stablecoin to its machines this summer in preparation for a full remittance service, according to a report in Reuters

A stablecoin is a virtual currency that has a stable value and is backed by another asset. MakerDao, a decentralized organization, issues Dai, which is backed by an underlying basket of crypto assets. Dai is pegged one-to-one to the US dollar, so that one Dai is worth roughly $1. 

Stablecoins allow traders to manage the wild volatility of cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin. When the prices go down, they can move funds into a stablecoin and wait till the market picks up again. The idea is similar to keeping funds in cash, as opposed to other investment vehicles. 

As part of the move, Coinsource will update all of its more than 230 bitcoin ATM machines in 29 US states and the District of Columbia to allow customers to buy, sell, and store Dai stablecoins.

Eventually, the company plans to launch a remittance service allowing Bitcoin ATM and Dai users to send the virtual dollars from one user to another via digital wallet. Recipients will then be able to instantly redeem funds at any Coinsource machine or supported location.

Topics: Bitcoin, Mobile Banking, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Money Transfer / P2P

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How A T-Shirt Could Disrupt The Rules Of Hygiene

The idea for Unbound Merino was hatched on a trip to Hydra Greece, a hilly city where Co-Founder Dan Demsky found himself “sweating bullets” hauling his suitcases up a hill. It was at the moment he made the connection that would launch is business.

Suitcases are a problem.

Or to be more specific, the things we put into suitcases are a problem. The issue wasn’t that luggage isn’t as well designed as it could be, he realized — the problem with luggage is that it exists at all and acts as an anchor to any traveler moving around with it.

“I decided then and there that we needed to find a way to travel with only carry-on luggage, beginning on our next trip abroad,” Demsky told Forbes.

The world, of course, is full of people who are well-versed in living the backpacking life — super-minimalist travelers who set out to every destination armed with only the clothes on their backs, a toothbrush and a smartphone. It’s a good way to go, according to Demsky, but absent a particularly flexible relationship with personal hygiene, it is not one the average person is going to enjoy.

But what if that minimalist amount of clothing didn’t’ need to be washed very often?

That is the founding concept behind Unbound Merino, a line of travel merino wool travel socks, shirts and underwear that can be worn multiple times. Many multiple times — the concept behind the clothing is that it can be worn not for two or three days in a row but for several weeks without washing. When making the video for the firm’s inaugural IndieGoGo campaign, Demskey wore the same black T-shirt , underwear and socks for 46 consecutive days.

And while even Demsky conceded he knew exactly how that sounded, the reality was, “The shirt was just as clean, just as pleasant smelling and just as in shape on day 47 as it was on the day I put it on,” he said.

The secret to that, he explained, is the wool itself. Merino is a popular fabric for making outdoor performance wear — specifically cold-weather socks and long underwear — because it is a good insulator, tends to hold its shape well, dries quickly and repels odors. There is a reason it is so popular with outdoor gear makers, Demsky noted, as it works fantastically for that purpose. It’s just that merino could have a much much bigger purpose.

“Base layers are great and perform well, but they serve a different purpose than what we make,” says Demsky. “Our clothing is designed as everyday clothing.”

Everyday clothing that comes with a slightly higher than everyday price cost. An Unbound t-shirt starts at $65, the underwear starts at $40. It is possible to net some savings in bundling the goods, but the gear is not inexpensive.

But, Demsky noted, it is specialized, the firm is committed to paying its wool producers a fair wage and, perhaps most important, the clothing lasts longer. Constant washing in harsh detergent wears down clothing pretty quickly. It is why the phrase “wash ‘n’ toss” tends to be associated with cheaply-made fashion items.  Moreover, even wearers who are not avid travelers looking to collapse as much as of their wardrobe into a single backpack as possible can still save themselves a lot of time, money and water by slowing down their clothing washing cycle. Washing machines account for 17 percent of home water usage, and a full quarter of a piece of apparel’s carbon footprint will be generated by washing it over the course of its lifetime.

But will people remember not to over-wash their Unbound Merino clothing if they don’t happen to be backpacking across Morocco while wearing it? That might be a tougher question. According to washing machine company AEG, consumers are so hardwired to wash that it is estimated 90 percent of clothes tossed in the laundry aren’t actually dirty enough to be washed.

But Demsky is confident that consumers can be habituated to something both simpler and less wasteful. It is why the company is starting to expand into a women’s line (coming soon, other than a ladies’ v-neck T-shirt) and expanding its marketing efforts.

Because in a world full of interesting things to do and see, Unbound Merino wants to make sure people aren’t too busy washing and schlepping their clothes to enjoy them.


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Our data and analytics team has developed a number of creative methodologies and frameworks that measure and benchmark the innovation that’s reshaping the payments and commerce ecosystem. The June 2019 PSD2 Tracker Report, is the go-to resource for monthly updates on the trends and changes regarding PSD2 and other privacy and data protection regulations.

Facebook announces 32 job openings for blockchain

The social media giant Facebook has listed 32 job openings related to blockchain technology. The listings include programmers, financial accountants, data scientists and technology communications, according to the postings.

Facebook recently announced itsLibra cryptocurrency, which users will store on a wallet called Calibra. The job listings range from researchers to engineers to legal experts.

Congress hasrecently requested that Facebook halt development on Calibra and Libra until representatives have time to examine the products. This is due to previous privacy breaches alleged misuse by the social media company.

Topics: Bitcoin, Mobile/Digital Wallet, Regulatory Issues, Social Media

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Mastercard, ING Turkey enable micro businesses to convert smartphones into POS devices

Mastercard and ING Turkey announced a collaboration that allows micro businesses and SMEs to convert their Android smartphones into point-of-sale devices for contactless payments. 

The companies said that micro business customers of ING Turkey can download the ING SoftPos application from Google Play and can convert an NFC enabled mobile phone into a POS terminal, without the need for expensive hardware. 

The companies say there are about 1.5 million SMEs, millions of micro businesses and other types of merchants like dry cleaners, electricians, taxi drivers and others who could benefit from the ability to accept digital payments such as these. 

The companies said such a service would also help at sporting events, festivals, exhibitions and similar type of situations where there is a need to shorten lines for entry, by using the application to accept tickets. 



Topics: Card Brands, Mobile Payments, NFC, POS, Region: EMEA

Companies: MasterCard

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Winklevoss brothers' Gemini crypto exchange opens new Chicago engineering hub

Gemini Trust Co., a New York-based cryptocurrency exchange founded by the Winklevoss brothers, said it would continue its expansion by opening up an engineering hub in Chicago.  

The Chicago hub location will support the company’s core business, including professional trading and custody, as well as support new product offerings. The Gemini Trust exchange enables customers to buy, sell and store a range of digital assets, including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, litecoin, zcash and other currencies. 

“Cryptocurrency is the future of money and we’re committed to building a bridge to that future,” Tyler Winklevoss, co-founder and CEO at Gemini said in a company release. “From day one we have focused on building an institutional grade platform and we are continually investing in talent that will help us realize this.”

The company has about 200 current employees at is offices, which include Chicago, New York and Portland, Oregon. 


Topics: Bitcoin

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