Weekly Ledger 41: Top Stories in Accounting and Finance
Here's what's trending this week
On the coattails of a new presidential administration is the fear that the Special Purpose National Bank Charter (SPNB) for fintech will fall by the wayside. Part of this concern lies with the departure of U.S. Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry. Curry makes exit plans as tensions rise over whether state and federal rules should apply to established banks and fintech the same. The prevailing opinion from fintech's side of the fence is that new challengers in the banking space will be hindered by entrance barriers if the rules are not changed for obtaining a license to bank.
Fintech lures MBAs away from banking and consulting—Financial Times
“Freedom and scrappiness" is what's luring many MBA's away from the predictable path on to more intrepid ventures in fintech innovation according to Jonathan Moules (@Jonathan_Moules) for Financial Times. The analytical skills acquired in a business education are being used to disrupt the status quo in financial services, and it's causing a bit of competition among big banks and consultancy firms out to hire top talent.
Passwords are Terrible, but will Biometrics Be Any Better?—Harvard Business Review
Anthony Rjeily for HBR poses a fair question in light of the recent cyberattack that's affected “200,000 companies, hospitals, government agencies, and other organizations in 150 countries" according to ABC news. The question is: passwords are obviously inefficient means to keep data safe in the long run, but will biometrics fair any better? The answer is: Sort of. While a cyber crook could access a customer's digital thumbprint, it presents much more of a challenge to access information if an app or service also requires voice recognition, or a combination of thumbprint and a PIN. In summary, it's more comprehensive, but businesses should expect and prepare for a specific subset of customers to resist the collection of any biometric information.
Under the weight of a sweeping global cyberattack, concerns voiced by elected officials and the public alike call for better security measures in place for digital data. The “WannaCry" attack, which has affected over 200,000 companies and institutions globally, originated from a software vulnerability exposed in Microsoft equipped computers. The malware asks for a ransom payment of $300 to restore data, an action which homeland security is urging users not to take.
The Growth of San Francisco as a Fintech Hub—Tech Bullion
San Francisco has attracted a wide variety of fintechs thanks to a large share of the nation's venture capital funds and technology innovators who are streaming through the Golden Gates in vast numbers. Angela Scott-Briggs (@angelasbriggs) for TechBullion breaks down the stats: “Today, Silicon Valley is the home to 39 fortune 1000 businesses in addition to attracting a third of all venture capital investments in the U.S. every year. Global tech giants, Google, Apple, and Salesforce are all located in San Francisco. Additionally, there are over 17,000 angel investors in the city, creating a huge potential for the continued growth of the fintech sector. Currently, San Francisco has the largest fintech talent pool in the world, ahead of London."