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After identifying the top 50 companies in fintech, Forbes outlines where the fintech frontier is headed—geographically. Nikolai Kuznetsov (@NikolaiKuznets), contributor for Forbes, reports. “There is a very good reason why innovation in asset management, insurance, corporate debt and many other segments of traditional finance have lagged,” Kuznetsov begins. “[That’s] because these sectors are more tightly regulated.” New York city could lose its title as the premier fintech capital if US regulations fail to make the climate more hospitable to fintech.
The rock star of fintech, Stripe, has received a $9.2 billion valuation off its most recent round of funding. Katie Benner (@ktbenner) of The New York Times reports. “Stripe’s momentum as the underlying platform for online commerce is just accelerating,” said Hemant Taneja, a managing director at General Catalyst. “Stripe has been widely misunderstood as a low-margin payments company,” Taneja continued. This most recent round of funding was headed by CapitalG and General Catalyst Partners.
The proof’s in the pudding—at least it is according to a survey of 70 UK financial service providers who’ve partnered with fintech firms. Business Insider highlights the results from Mayer Brown’s report. The leading response—87 percent of respondents—shows that fintech was able to provide cost savings for incumbents. Brand refresh came in at 83 percent, trailed only by increased revenue at 54 percent. “The increase in fintech partnerships shows that we’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s.” Read the full report.
Say cheese...and charge? It could very well be that easy with MasterCard’s Identity Check. Nikita Richardson (@nikitarbk ) assistant editor at Fast Company reports. “One of the biggest consumer pain points is when you are prompted for a password,” says Ajay Bhalla, President, Global Enterprise Risk and Security of MasterCard. “That leads to a lot of friction: unhappy consumers, merchants losing sales, banks losing volume.” Identity Check resolves this by reducing payment friction. And if you’re not keen on taking a selfie to make a purchase, MasterCard has your security in mind. They’re working on other biometric security features such as iris scanning, voice recognition, and even heartbeat signature.
Blockchain, the technology that underpins alt-currencies such as Bitcoin, could be all around us in just a few short years. Ameer Rosic’s (@ameerrosic) featured editorial in The Huffington Post expands on five blockchain applications that are in their infancy. “What is stored on the blockchain need not be just a monetary unit—it can be put to all manner of other interesting uses,” Rosic begins. From cloud storage to digital identity, “blockchain is here to stay and is transforming how our society functions.”
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