Bitcoin-Exchange fully licensed in Luxemburg

bitstampThis is something I knew was coming and now that it is there I am happy about it. I like the concept of alternative currencies but never felt quite comfortable with them being entirely outside the regulation – or beyond anyones control rather. This has filled the gap now. And I believe there is much more to come.

Forbes.com reports about Bitstamp to have obtained the license in Luxembourg which allows it to operate in 28 European countries.

Bitstamp Becomes First Nationally Licensed Bitcoin Exchange

EY-Study: FinTech is gaining traction and young, high-income users are the early adopters

EY LogoFinTech is booming, no doubt – and latest developments like with the UK unicorn Powa cannot change that picture much or at all. But repeatedly the question of quick enough user adoption of fancy new stuff in the world of financial services has been raised – and rightly so. I personally always had the point of view that the good new things will be there for good when a broad cross-section of the society is adopting them. Not only in the big cities, not only the early adopters, hipsters and novelty hunters in urban environments – the young crowd of Metropolis.

A new study by Ernest & Young seems to show that yes, FinTech is booming and yes, the early adopters love it: Today, according to the study (which you can find here), 15.5% of the digital users have adopted FinTech in one way or the other – with a projection for this possibly to double within the next twelve months. When you look closer, they found, its more interesting: When you look at high-income individuals the adoption rate is north of 40% . EQ concludes, that „that some of the most economically valuable customers for banks and insurers are already FinTech customers“. For traditional banks this means that they should open their eyes a bit wider, I believe.

But when we look at this: all the people with less of a mobile or digital affinity are apparently less likely to adopt FinTech offerings – which is not surprising. They are most likely still going to their banks branch to get a loan or call their insurance broker for an updated coverage. For me, it is still a very valid and interesting question how long it will take until we have that broad acceptance of FinTech throughout the society which is necessary to make it a lasting mass phenomenon and to raise from being a (very strong, promising) trend to something to really revolutionize how the people in general do their business in finance matters of any form and shape. Many FinTech businesses, if not most, build on an economy of scale which requires just that: broad adoption of the service across all parts of the society. If this takes long, its actually looking much brighter for the banks as they will have time to pick and select and swallow. Which ultimately, lets be optimistic, would make their very traditional offering better.

It will stay an interesting industry to be in. :-)

Infographic: FinTech Outlook 2016

Call Levels has published an interesting outlook for FinTech in 2016 with the intriguing head-line „20 Amazing Facts You Need To Know About FinTech“. Its pretty high level – but very interesting nevertheless. Worth spending these 20 seconds for sure.

Fintech Industry Outlook 2016

@Credits: Call Levels

Juniper Research: Beacons drive mobile commerce

According to a study published by Juniper Research, Beacon-powered coupon- and rewards programs proof to work. What may not come as a surprise to the mobile people among us has now a scientific foundation, based for instance on an 8% increase in the sales of Chicken sandwiches at McDonalds using in store beacons instead of the more traditional coupon activities they have – while I always asked myself how they measure those due to a lack of tracking. An article published by the Mobile Commerce Daily (which you can read here in full length) suggests redemption rates of 60% at a Chinese Retailer, which I would find pretty ground-breaking and leading to the question: how on earth did they do that? I would think they probably have beacons all over so the consumer has no choice but to redeem something, just to get rid of it? A question also raised in the article: how much pressure is good for beacon based advertising in stores? Two per visit per customer is suggested. I would turn notifications off by then. But perhaps thats just me.

Time for Biometrics: Costa Rican Bank uses Facial Recognition for mobile banking

This is a huge step for the Spanish Software-House FacePhi, I suppose: Banco National of Costa Rica has introduced their facial recognition software for their mobile banking application. The users will show their face rather than signing into their banking app the traditional way starting in Q2 this year.

Read the full story by Finextra here.