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  • user 12:18 am on September 19, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Augumented, , , , reality,   

    MoneyLion’s New Augumented Reality Feature on the New iPhone [VIDEO] 

    EXCLUSIVE &; Grow Your Stack is the PFM app developed by MoneyLion in its latest attempt to make finance &;fun.&; And fun it is. The , which goes live on Tuesday on iOS 11 (the version supported by the newest ), can be found in the MoneyLion mobile app and allows users to see a visual of [&;]
    Bank Innovation

  • user 3:35 pm on October 13, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , reality, , , swzh16, , , ,   

    Create Your Own FinTech Startup in 1 Weekend… What Does It Take To Turn The Dream Into Reality? 

    As the 2016 edition of the Weekend Zurich draws nearer, this seems the perfect time to reflect on my own experience with CrowdCrawler. CrowdCrawler was born during last year edition and has gone through the various ups and downs of most start-up projects.

    Indeed, it has been a bumpy ride since last October, but a very enriching and enlightening one, where I have accumulated a wealth of experience and knowledge. This post summarizes my main findings and aims to support any wannabee-entrepreneur in accelerating their learning and focusing on what really matters to perhaps, one day, feature on the global FinTech map! I hope you will find these helpful.


    How to make the best of your FinTech Startup Weekend?


    From Pixabay

    1) Whether you have your own idea, or are just looking to listen to others, picking the right idea does matter. Avoid crowded areas… we don’t need another all singing and dancing -adviser or payment solution, unless you bring real potential for innovation and disruption in this space&; Any “Business” participant will be able to tell whether the field is already crowded, so pay attention to their comments after the initial pitch (CrowdCrawler focused on the real-estate crowdfunding area in the European market which was a sufficiently niche but growing area to ensure that we could get sales traction, ahead of potential competitors).

    2) After the idea, it will be time to pick the right team. Again avoid crowded areas, both literally as large teams are difficult to manage and it will be challenging to produce something meaningful in 54 hours if 10+ persons want it their own way (Team CrowdCrawler was a team of 3 which allowed us to decide fast, while at the same time remain efficient in splitting work and parallelising tasks), and figuratively as a team composed of similar profiles will not go very far as it will think and act the same (while going through the hoops of the Startup Weekend was possible with a team of business experts only, CrowdCrawler definitely struggled to launch as there was no real technical expert among the founder members). So you try to assemble a small and varied team that can cover the main angles: business and technical expertise, sales & marketing and finance.

    3) Throughout the week-end, you will get access to coaching sessions, make sure you use the FinTech/Startup expert coaches available to test your ideas, your business model, your technical solution. They will bring some helpful challenge and will put the finger on what does not work (CrowdCrawler was able to palliate to the lack of technical knowledge by quizzing and grilling the technical internet platform experts at each opportunity during the weekend and relied on their feed-back to develop a credible technical story, despite having no real technical expert).

    4) While it&;s clear that the 54 hours will go very quickly and you want to focus 100% on your idea, don’t forget to network with the other teams, this is also the essence of the exercise and whilst it may not be seen relevant at first glance, understanding what other teams are doing and how they go about addressing their issues will be very beneficial to your team (given our stretched resources, CrowdCrawler was not able to mingle so much with others and wasted some critical time on Saturday before pivoting our business model, with a bit more of talks with the other teams, we could have decided to pivot earlier).

    5) Start establish your brand early and use the social networks from get-go to seek feed-back and customer validation (CrowdCrawler started to engage experts on LinkedIn and Twitter late on Saturday, feed-back was slow to come and meaningful contributions only came late evening and during Sunday, which was very late to improve our idea, but still we did manage to incorporate some feed-back and it was the right thing to do, but we should have done more and earlier to increase credibility).

    6) Have fun! We all agree 54 hours is too short and if this startup idea is really taking off, then soon enough it will get serious, but for now, just enjoy the moment and get creative (the best moment for CrowdCrawler was when we established our strategy to rule over the world… and then we pivoted the business model to deliver something more realistic… we all have big dreams, don’t we?).


    How to get to the podium?

    Obviously there are lots of factors that will go towards determining the winner, but remember that it is primarily a competition between 10 to 12 ideas, so winning it is more about being the best among those 10 or 12, than having the most elaborated idea in the world… the real test will be on Monday when you decide whether to launch…

    These are the four key points that deserve all your attention:

    From Pixabay

    From Pixabay

    1) The problem you are solving: is it a small, niche problem? If yes, then it means no market, no revenue, no future, so, forget it. Is it a big problem? Then how big is this market? What is the revenue potential? Is your problem well understood and simple to explain? Will the clients, will the jury identify themselves with this issue you intend to solve for them? Your pitch will need to show that you have validated this problem and that your solution is appropriate and appealing (CrowdCrawler picked a personal challenge faced by real crowded-funding investors and developed a straight-forward solution for it).

    2) What is your business model: how do you make money with your solution? Relying on advertisement flows from a large audience will probably not be enough to convince any investor or the jury… remember you are not Facebook, at least not just yet&8230; So you will need to be realistic in your assumptions and inventive to find a model to spit cash! (CrowdCrawler started as a freemium model, but we pivoted to a subscription based model to guarantee the cash flow and reinforce our independence from the crowdfunding platforms we planned to assess and rate).

    3) A good pitch is simply not enough: you need a perfect pitch, so practice, practice, practice! The pitch is the conclusion of your weekend work, you want it to be flawless, well oiled and like a fairytale story. It requires hardwork: nice slides (as little text as possible) and timed and controlled delivery flow. Practice as many times as necessary, learn by heart, and time yourself: you don’t want to be told halfway through that you have 1 minute left&8230; Best if only delivered by one person! (CrowdCrawler had 11 slides which were covered in 6 minutes at reasonable talking speed, our “CEO” practiced the speech countless times to make sure it would flow impeccably, and it did).

    4) Handle questions efficiently: go to the point and avoid going long winded answers! In fact, this is the chance for the rest of the team to shine and show they too are on the ball. Try to be as calm as possible as the questions will test difficult points for which you may not have an answer yet, and never become aggressive if you get challenged&8230; yeah, sounds obvious, but believe me I have seen people get mad at simple questions. (CrowdCrawler was able to navigate through this tricky phase and leveraged the questions to showcase the benefits of the solution and the economics of the business model that were not covered during the presentation, so it was all added bonus).

    Last piece of advice: in my view, try to limit the time you spend explaining the technical solution and focus on selling a story instead. I have seen too many presentations fail because the teams wasted their first 5 minutes going through how the solution would work, to the nth level of detail, and either ran out of time for the rest (business model, market, competitors, etc) or simply did not have it in their presentation&8230; Don’t do this mistake!


    How to accelerate your idea and launch for real?


    From Pixabay

    Good, you have made it to the podium, congrats, now you can claim your spot in the FinTech Hall of Fame, but can you really? In fact, time is of the essence now, because your idea is in the open, and if it is really good, then competition is going to come after you&8230; but relax, and remember: competition is good. It means two things: first, your idea is certainly good, as other people think like you that there is a market for it, and second, it also means that you won’t be alone to educate the market and try to convince potential clients. Your only constraint is that you need to deliver and execute faster and better than your competitors!

    So, these should be the first steps you after a good night sleep:


    From Pixabay

    1) Get your team in order: complete any missing skill or knowledge. That’s where it pays to have spent a little bit of time networking with the other teams over the weekend, as there are probably some good people who picked the wrong idea or the wrong team, or both, and did not make it to the podium, but have the energy, the drive, the motivation, the will to succeed and happen to have what your team is missing (CrowdCrawler was not able to recruit a full stack web developer in its starting trio and should have looked for one on Sunday afternoon through contacts made over the weekend, it would have given us the kick we needed to launch immediately).

    2) Develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) as soon as possible and engage with your potential market. Where possible try to get cash for the service you sell, as this is the acid test and you want to face this as soon as possible (CrowdCrawler took over 8 months to be in a position to launch its platform with a minimum service that could have been charged, even for a symbolic subscription fee. This was too long as in the meantime two other competitors were already up and running on the same market).

    3) Start marketing and developing your brand so you can leverage your fantastic win of the FinTech Startup Weekend Zurich 2016 edition. This requires a minimal investment of time and effort to roll out a robust and attractive landing page and some communication skills to develop a witty identity on the social networks. Make sure your dreamed twitter handle is not already taken when you choose your company name! (CrowdCrawler was active on Twitter and LinkedIn very early, attracting some followers, but the landing page was poor and hardly got any traffic, leading to disappointment and lack of motivation to really put in the effort).

    4) Look for additional training and support to help you through. Venturelab have a good Startup Accelerator Programme and Venture offers coaching with top notch startup and industry experts through their annual Venture competition. You can also follow specific startup training with the CTI &8211; Commission for Technology and Innovation (I was lucky enough to be able to follow these three programs as we were going through the first steps of launching CrowdCrawler. I have learned a lot through the trainings but also from discussing with the speakers and startup experts, but bear in mind that you will still be responsible for bringing the industry expertise and the technical know-how, i.e. if like CrowdCrawler you plan to develop an internet platform and your team can’t code, these programs wont teach you that!).

    5) Don’t waste your time in doing all the other FinTech contests you can register for. Your FinTech Startup Weekend win is enough to demonstrate that there is potential. Now, you really need to focus on your MVP and on get it to market as fast as possible, and where you can, in generating your first revenues. Next time you will consider another contest is when you have earned some revenues and reached the next stage of development – no point wasting time and energy on these contests before that (Team CrowdCrawler was unsure about the sales traction we could achieve and instead of focusing on developing a pilot and trialling our service, we decided to do other FinTech contests against projects/startups that were already generating revenues&8230; bottom line we never won again, we lost energy and motivation and most importantly we wasted time, that other used to develop their solution and roll it out to market before us!).

    6) Once you have some revenues, look for accelerators and angel investors to help you through the next step. Incubators and startup accelerators will run regular pitch competition to select their next recruits, it helps if you have already developed your MVP and are able to show revenues. F10 (www.f10.ch) and Swiss Startup Factory will be the obvious initial choices (they were the sponsor of the last two FinTech Startup Weekends for a good reason), but plenty other options exist. Angel investor networks will also be able to provide both financial support and mentoring to help you scale up. Go Beyond Investing, Investiere, Business Angel Switzerland or Swiss Startup Invest are possible sources for you.

    The last word

    The FinTech Startup Weekend Zurich 2016 Edition could be the initial kick to start your next FinTech startup project. Once you are there on Friday, talk about your project a lot, to many people so you can collect multiple feed-backs and improve your idea and your pitch. Then pitch and get the right team around you and start working. Find the right business model and start building your MVP. Deliver the perfect pitch on Sunday! Good luck, i will be there watching! And remember: have fun and network, network, network!

    This article first appeared on LinkedIn Pulse

    The post Create Your Own FinTech Startup in 1 Weekend… What Does It Take To Turn The Dream Into Reality? appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

  • user 12:18 am on September 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , reality,   

    Can Pokémon Go and augmented reality improve customer experience in banking? [SPONSORED] 

    By now, even if you are not into Pokémon yourself, you have probably heard of the Pokémon Go phenomenon that has swept the US and other countries in the last several weeks. &; Ever since Niantic, Inc. launched the Pokémon Go mobile game on July 6, (AR) hasRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • user 1:05 pm on July 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Boring, , , reality   

    Finance is Boring, Pokemon GO (and Augmented Reality) is Not 

    The latest to trend on iTunes and Google Store: GO. Pokemon GO, released last week, reportedly has more than 5 million users across the three countries, U.S., New Zealand, and Australia. Pokemon has been around for decades (that’s probably why it’s so popular among adults, too), and the gameRead More
    Bank Innovation

  • user 12:18 pm on June 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EyePopping, , reality, , , , ,   

    Citi Shows Off the Eye-Popping Power of Virtual Reality for Trading [VIDEO] 

    We&;ll say this: looks cool. Citigroup released a earlier this week that the potential (tremendous)  of virtual reality to present data for trading. The example used is a trader at a workstation with a massive monitor &; the could equally be used with mobile devices &8212;Read More
    Bank Innovation

  • user 4:54 pm on May 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , reality,   

    Making Bank as a Platform (BaaP) a reality 


    This is the second post of a two post series I co-authored with David Brear. Both posts appeared originally on The Financial Brand thanks to Jim Marous.

    You can read the first post here.

    All up to speed? Excellent. As you will already know from Part 1, as a has never really taken off for various reasons. Traditional approaches and business models are easy as the had full control. Financial services industry incumbents created products, pushed them out and sold them to their customers. Value was produced upstream by the banks and consumed downstream by the customers.

    Unlike traditional models, platforms do not just create and push products out. They allow users to create and consume value. At the layer, external developers can extend platform functionality using APIs. At the business layer, users (producers) can create value on the platform for others to consume.

    This is a massive shift from any form of financial services business that we have ever known. A platform play within financial services is different from traditional business thinking. Creation of network effects is more important than simply bringing in users or charging all users to make money.

    In this model, for financial services, software and technology are not the only end products. Instead, they simply serve as the underlying infrastructure that enables users to interact with each other. Most importantly, the business itself doesn’t create all the value.

    We believe that this is the future of financial services business models and will outline how we think this can be pulled off.

    7 Layers of

    We recommend the book Platform Leadership by Annabelle Gawer and Michael A. Cusumanoto to those who want to explore further what platform strategies are. We are borrowing from this book somewhat, especially from the authors&; four levers of platform leadership which we have expanded upon to create the “7 layers of BaaP”.

    • Scope of the firm
    • Product
    • Service
    • IP/Data
    • Technology
    • Relations with Partners
    • Internal HR Organization

    How do financial services industry incumbents fair?

    Against this model it is clear that a platform play would not be successful within the banks with their current setups and mindsets as they have not developed the ability, nor the sophistication, to pull it off.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.31.49 AM

    What would a BaaP look like?

    But across these platform levers what could a bank BaaP be and how could it operate?

    Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.33.49 AM

    Ultimately there will be different platform answers for different banks or insurers given their direction and make up. What is clear though is that being a platform is different from partnering or merely becoming a &;digital&; incumbent.

    6 key questions to enable banks for BaaP

    1) What is the focus of your company? &; If the core of your business used to be articulated around intermediating between deposit taking and extending credit then what will the new core be around? Is this going to continue to be a store of money or will it be around something else?

    This something else could be identity or the data of customers but if not identity and data then what else is of value that you could focus around?

    Answering this first question will make it easier to choose a clear strategy for customer centered products based around it. In addition, answering this question may lead a bank or an insurance company to make an acquisition should the part of the core identified not currently reside within its skills set.

    For example, we would venture to say that a bank may want to purchase an identity management platform &8211; consensus computer based &8211; and an insurer may want to purchase a cybersecurity consultancy or service provider.

    2) How are you going to attract partners to your BaaP? &8211; Once the core and product/service decisions have been made, what partners you choose and how you plan to attract them to the platform will be of paramount importance.

    We would characterize this decision across a continuum, from complementary collaborative to competitive partners, and as changing over time based on the needs and demands of the business.

    Other industries who have seen success in these strategies have done so through very inclusive practices around the platform. Excluding competitive partners reduces the overarching capability that would be held in the platform and changes the dynamic of the BaaP owner responsibility.

    3) How are you going to rethink your architecture to support this new direction? &8211; The technology architecture needed to support a platform strategy is radically different than the current ones implemented into most banking organizations.

    This maybe the most difficult lever to re-engineer, given the level of legacy debt in play, but it is one of the most needed. A holistic technology architecture where silos are broken down, open source and open standards are used judiciously, and where APIs are used widely is a must to include partners and interact with them, and to exchange or analyze the right information at the right time within the right situation. Most stakeholders know this, few have the right answer, including most incumbent software service providers. This will change though.

    4) How are you going to protect your BaaP? If you think cybersecurity was top of mind for FinServ incumbents, then it will be ever more crucial with incumbents and their platform businesses and partners. It is an implicit statement and a crucial one. The only platforms in the financial services industry, that is Visa or MasterCard and their eco-systems, warrant cybersecurity, fraud and data breaches daily.

    5) Do you understand what new business architecture is required for your BaaP? – The business architecture is significantly more important to the long term success of any BaaP play than its technology equivalent.

    Financial services industry incumbents will need to become governance nerds and fast. Will decisions taken between the incumbents in the platform eco-system be consensus-based, top down, a hybrid? How will differences of opinion be reconciled, how will conflict be resolved? This will depend in part on the incumbent internal DNA as well as the types of partners chosen, i.e. collaborate or competitive ones.

    6) HR needs be rethought &8211; which resources are needed for the core and which for the platform? &8211; Internal human resources will need to be rethought. The obvious rethink will develop along the lines of which resources are needed for the core and which for the platform. It will also develop along the lines of which disciplines will resources need to acquire and apply to their businesses. By this we do not mean traditional intra-disciplinary business skills pairs such as marketing and financial engineering, business development and strategy, trading and sales. Rather, I mean legal and coding, trading and data analysis, strategy and information systems management where non-financial services skills are added to the traditional mix.

    No platform Vs. Absolute Platform

    If we plot these paradigm shifts across these vectors, where the Financial services industry incumbents will have to move the dial from left (current status) to right (absolute platform status), the decisions for each vector become clear. I view these as meta vectors that can apply to front end, middleware, backend processes, people, products and services alike.

    Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 7.40.56 AM

    BaaP on the horizon

    Its clear from our research that BaaP in Banks is possible but will take a huge amount of change to take place.

    Examples of BaaP thinking is starting to emerge in Europe particularly taking advantage of favorable regulatory frameworks and market opportunities.


    FinLeap’s, the Berlin FinTech startup factory, investment to create Solaris Bank as a BaaP offering opportunities to FinTech companies to take their services to market via an organization who is fully licensed to do so as a digital bank.

    Solaris Bank has been born out of the need of FinLeap to gain traction with some of their own startups who have failed to gain the umbrella of someone with a license.

    Solaris Bank is looking to offer a full range of transactional services, compliance, capital financing and loans through a range of FinTechs. These are aggregated into one uniformed service to the customer.  It remains to be seen how their platform strategy will flesh out and which core services they will focus on and which ones they will partner for.

    The Open Payments Ecosystem

    The Open Payments Ecosystem (OPE) has been established by Ixaris with European Commission funding.

    The  purpose of OPE is twofold:

    • To make it easier for developers to build payment apps for banks by embracing Open APIs in a pre and post PSDII world.
    • To make it easier for banks to safely access new payment technologies by providing resources like curated app marketplaces.

    The project features six “sub-systems,” each representing a different stage in the life cycle of payment services.

    • A developer environment for payments app development and testing.
    • A payments application store.
    • A secure execution environment that prevents the original developer from accessing live customer data.
    • A compliance system for the life cycle of the app.
    • The ability to add additional service offerings for payment service providers
    • A comprehensive data warehouse for business intelligence

    While not fully a BaaP construct the OPE programme will offer, within the confinds of payments, all of the needed attributes to change how payments services are constructed and how people within the platform are remunerated. In its current guise, the OPE programme is the closest to the iTunes development platform model within banking that we have.

    Mondo Bank

    While most know Mondo Bank for their Alpha and Beta programme, and selling out of a million pound of stock in 96 seconds, they also made no secret of their longer term intensions to become a marketplace. We would define a marketplace strategy as a sub-set of a platform strategy and are, similar with solarisBank, intrigued by how Mondo’s thinking will develop.

    While their focus has been on creating a unique current account for the UK market they see the integration with innovative financial services and technology providers is an obvious step to giving customers control over their money. Instead of thinking that they “own the customer”, as most banks globally do, Mondo intend to give users the power to choose, based on price, convenience and customer-service from a range of services and products that are not created by them.


    Tandem is the second startup digital bank to have been granted a full license from UK regulators. Although more bank than marketplace, Tandem is focused on customer service as opposed to product offerings. As such this approach forces them to partner with best of breed offerings &8211; not part of their core offering – and integrate such offerings to their platform for their own users’ benefits. Tandem does not give the power to choose, rather it curates best of breed offerings, and delivers a platform experience to its users.


    It’s clear that there is a huge amount of benefit to be had for banks to become the platforms for banking in the future.

    Building a marketplace does not mean one has built a platform strategy. Ceding control of the old core, i.e. access to checking accounts, without developing a new strategic core will spell doom for those who trend those places.

    These new BaaP partners will not only be found within the scores of FinTech startup disruptors but, also outside of the traditional financial services universe such as technology incumbents, social networks, e-commerce giants.

    Building a platform strategy without understanding that some control will be lost to or shared with partners will not be effective. Only looking within human resources will make it more difficult execute a platform strategy.

    Tech companies such as Amazon, Facebook or Alibaba are already executing from a mature and growing platform. They do not have the benefit &8211; or for some the curse &8211; of being regulated, licensed and able to handle money. Still they are formidable competitors that want to &8220;own&8221; their customers in depth and breadth, and this means a customer&8217;s money, not only a customer&8217;s spending.

    Banks who dither and miss the opportunity to reinvent oneself as a platform will find themselves on the wrong side of societal trends. Similarly, regulation and regulators will need to adapt and be educated in the intricacies of platform strategies.

    Rather than view this as an impediment we believe this might be a great advantage. Financial services industry incumbents with aspirations to become truly digital players already have a strong and long-standing relationship with the regulators as well as a large number of suppliers who could become partners.

    While Mondo, Solaris and OPE have fantastic ambitions who better than the existing banks with all of their investment, employees and existing customers to take the lead, educate and ease the transformation towards the future and BaaP?



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