MasterCard’s Digital Prepayment Platform For Millennials Is Holistic, But Restricted & Might Even Worry Millennials

MasterCard’s new product – a holistic digital platform that offers a range of “money management” capabilities, such as balance checking, budgeting, setting savings goals and near real-time payments to peers – has just launched in the US.

The US may not be about to embrace a new set of digital payments service directives such as those Europe faces, with the introduction of PSD2 on January 18th, but it’s encouraging to see that the region is preparing for a shift in the way that its population wants to bank.

There’s just one catch, however. Read more

What Does 2018 Have In Store For Bitcoin? 5 Bold Predictions

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Bitcoin has been the talk of the second half of 2017, but can the digital currency continue to exert the same fascination, and the same obscene (to some, to others it’s undervalued!) valuation as we enter a new year?

Try as we might to gaze into our crystal balls, it is very hard to predict what factors may affect the short term price, long term adoption, or medium term public perception of bitcoin, yet these are the very factors upon which the cryprocurrency stands or falls.

Below, we list 5 things that we think could affect bitcoin fortunes in 2018, and examine what the potential fallout might be. Sadly we cannot tell you what the price of one bitcoin will be at this time next year, but the below may help you frame your own thoughts and predictions. Read more

Banking On The Future Of Fintech? The Money Cloud Joins Panel Discussion At Treasury Leaders’ Summit

Are rumours of the death of the banking industry being greatly exaggerated? Is the fintech industry ready to consign the infrastructure and techniques of traditional banking services to history? Or could there be a “third way”, where banks and fintech work together to usher in a new age of value exchange.

One where disruptive tech ensures the banking industry as we know it survives, but having, somewhat noisily, undergone a tech revolution?

This was a question put to the audience at a panel discussion last week at the Treasury Leaders’ Summit in Canary Wharf, which I took part in on behalf of The Money Cloud, and as a future technologist and fintech “expert”. Read more

The 10 “Mega Trends” That Will Drive The Future Of Payments

The results are in!

Accenture Consulting has revealed the ten trends that they believe will drive the future of payments, thanks to the results of its Payments Pulse survey of 1,500 consumers in the United States – they are a mixed bunch, with each intriguing in its own way.

From the Gen Z-ers, to the power of “The Network”, to the “criminals making it their full-time job to out-innovate the payments industry”, it would not be an exaggeration to say that 2018 could genuinely be the most exciting and disruptive year for payments that we have ever known.

In this post we take a look at some of the trends more closely and assess their likely impact. Read more

Fitbit Pay On Ionic; Health Fanatics Can Make Contactless Payments With A Flick Of The Wrist

Fitbit, the health and fitness app that tracks your activity, exercise, sleep, weight and a myriad of other elements all designed to help you feel great in body and soul, is a class leader in a field that, despite the tech world’s best efforts, has sometimes struggled to live up to the hype.

Wearables, and the internet of things were two of the most talked about new tech phenomena of 2016, but this year progress has been teeth-grindingly slow, and public expectations have been dampened somewhat. We will have to wait for our talking fridges, it seems.

There are few standout companies that have successfully implemented wearables and / or contactless / IoT technology and created something life-enhancing and meaningful – but Fitbit is certainly one. Read more

5 Reasons Bitcoin Is On The Up & Up (&Up?)!

Surely it cannot be long now before the rights to “Bitcoin – The Movie” are sold. If recent history is anything to go by, if somebody sold them now at the current bitcoin / dollar exchange rate, for £1 million, by the time of the film’s release they could be worth as much as…well, nobody knows in reality, but nearly everybody has an opinion now.

A movie would also be a great opportunity for the Winklevoss twins to reprise the roles they had in the last movie about entrepreneurs, disruptive products, billionaires and controversy – The Social Network. In this version, however, it looks like the twins could be the stars of the show.

To find out why, plus 4 more reasons to be cheerful about bitcoin, read our 5 reasons below outlining why its perfectly possible that the price of bitcoin which keeps on going up, and up, and up, and down a bit (hard / soft fork?), and then up again – is not finished yet – not, perhaps, by a long shot. Read more

Facebook Messenger Pay Arrives In The UK & France – Infographic Reveals How Brits Feel About Being Paid Back

2 years after it was launched in the US, Facebook Messenger Pay has finally crossed the Atlantic. Now it’s possible to make a P2P transaction across the platform in both France and the UK, simply by tapping the blue plus icon to the left of the chat bar, and choosing the green cash icon.

Facebook said in a blog post that it is “not just the transactional act of paying someone back, it’s the emotional importance of doing so”, and said that this is backed up by research they have conducted on Messenger, which you can see in the infographic below. Read more

SEPA’s New Instant Credit Transfer Facility Allows Up To €15,000 To Be Transferred EU-Wide In Just 10 Seconds

“As of today, nearly 600 payment service providers (PSPs) from eight European countries are offering instant payment solutions based on SCT Inst.” EPC announcement, Nov 21st

What is SCT Inst? As of 21st November, the Single European Payments Area (SEPA) Instant Credit Transfer Scheme has become operational. The scheme “allows the electronic transfer of up to €15,000 Euros to be transferred across Europe in less than ten seconds, at any time and on any day of the year, including weekends and holidays.” Read more

62 Of The Most Insane Facts About Bitcoin – In An Infographic!

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

price of bitcoin moves so fast these days, that no sooner is a new analysis of the sometimes controversial, often entertaining digital currency published, we have to tear the arguments down and rehash the theory to justify the latest surge in price. Read more

Challenger Starling Shows Banks How It’s Done With Recent Integrations To Yoyo Wallet and Flux

There is an awful lot of hype surrounding the fintech industry; some of it unjustified.

Many startups and enterprises are simply jumping on the “disruptive – in a good way” bandwagon, without offering products or services that are clearly differentiated from the ones offered by the big banks – or noticeably cheaper, faster, or more efficient.

But that is certainly not the case with Starling Bank. Read more

Fintech East Finally Meets West! Camden Market Signs Historic Deal To Integrate WeChat Pay At Point Of Sale

Camden Market, London’s fourth biggest tourist attraction is breaking the mould by permitting users of WeChat Pay to use their e-wallets to make purchases.

WeChat Pay is hugely popular in China – in 2017 alone, €1.5 trillion of payments were processed via the app globally – and according to recent research the service accounts for 40% of the entire Chinese mobile payment market.

The app is especially popular with Chinese tourists and WeChat have been making concerted efforts to extend its reach into Europe, where Chinese visitors spend more than European and US tourists combined. Luxury goods are particularly popular – Asia accounts for 50% of all luxury purchases made in Europe. Read more

Glint – The App That Lets You Buy, Spend & Share Gold – Launches In London

Ever since the global financial collapse of 2008, banks, currencies, and even governments seem to have gone down and down in our estimation – in fact, it’s quite possible that they have never before been held in such low regard.

First the public’s money was used to bail out the banks, then we were forced to accept record low interest rates, high inflation, and “austerity” as the norm.

This financial malaise has carried on for nearly a decade, but, luckily, the emergence of fintech and the disruption of services that it has wrought has suddenly put us all back in charge of our finances. Now it is the banks that must pander to our needs; now, if they slip up, we, the public, have options. Read more

Standard Chartered Is Introducing A Chatbot In Hong Kong With The Brains To Manage Your Money – Just Don’t Expect Miracles

This content is brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Not so long ago, chatbots were the most talked about new tech on the block. It was believed that soon we would be able to conduct conversations with digital assistants as easily as we could with our PAs.

Well, things haven’t quite turned out that way. Microsoft’s attempt to launch a “twitter bot” in 2016, known as Tay, was nothing short of disastrous, Hackers were quickly able to disrupt and distort the bot’s conversational gambits until Tay began to spout offensive gibberish. Read more

Art Basel Miami; World Renowned Art Fair Where The Creative Showcase & The Well-Heeled Spend Big

This content is brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Art Basel, founded by gallerists Ernst Beyeler, Trudi Bruckner and Balz Hilt, staged its first international art fair, in Switzerland, back in 1970. The event attracted tens of thousands of visitors, and work from some 90 prestigious art galleries, and 30 art publishers. Read more

Is The Digital Payments Industry Facing A Backlash From The Pro-Cash Lobby?

If you were to glance at the latest tech or payments industry news, you could be forgiven for thinking that the days of hard currency, or actual, physical, cash were numbered.

But, away from the front line of the digitalisation of all things banking related; bitcoin, e-wallets, online or mobile only accounts; peer-to-peer money transfer services; a group of organisations with a vested interest in the continuing use of physical currency are forming an alliance to secure teh future of notes and coins. Read more

Blockchain Startup R3 Building First Cross Border Payments Platform Using Distributed Ledger Technology

R3, the fintech startup that raised $107 million dollars of investment earlier this year has announced that it will collaborate with 22 of its member banks to build a blockchain-based platform that will enable cross border payments for both central bank and digital currencies.

R3 says that it expects the prototype to be launched before the end of 2017. The company also insists that the new platform will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world. Read more

The Singapore Fintech Festival Is In Full Swing This Week – Here’s What You Need To Know

When it comes to fintech, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is one of world’s most forward thinking organisations.

The agency not only enables local fintech startups to thrive and prosper, but reaches out globally, signing deals with its equivalent local authorities all over the world, from Australia, to the Caribbean, to neighbouring countries in South East Asia – as well as the Financial Conduct Authority in London – with the purpose of collaborating, sharing technologies, and comparing regulatory regimes. Read more

6 Reasons Why Saudi Arabia Is The Focus Of The World’s Attention Right Now

They say a week is a long time in politics; it certainly must have felt that way in Riyadh, capital of Saudi Arabia this week. it has truly been one of the most turbulent weeks in recent Saudi political and economical history.

In an unprecedented and unexpected move, an anti-corruption crackdown, authorised by the King, Salman, and carried out by his son, the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the head of a recently formed anti-corruption unit, saw many of Saudi Arabia’s most powerful and richest people held at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Riyadh. Read more