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FinTech will remember the day Google dropped their plans for the new Google Pay app for a long time. They’ll remember it as the day that crushed the dreams of so many Neobanks and PFM start-ups.

With one foul swoop Google showed us why everyone’s been so worried about them following Apple headfirst into financial services. Let’s have a look at why its so smart and what the implications are…

Competing for attention

Google, and the rest of BigTech, really want to compete for your attention.

What they are most interested in is your data, and you spending as much time as possible…

Finance is in the midst of a true upheaval in the UK.

Open Banking has moved well past 1 million users and more than two years on from launch, the FCA have turned their attention to Open Finance. In a call for input dubbed by some as the “most important of the decade” we’re potentially witnessing a business model altering shift for an industry with a poor track record for innovation.

Or not? Open Banking took a long time to reach the 1 million milestone, and how many of those are repeat users, how many use cases have changed the…

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It cost a lot of money, upset a lot of bankers, and has hardly inspired a queue of users begging for more. Open Banking looked to throw the banking industry head first into the digital age, forcing the banks to allow API access for third parties to their data - but it’s not been with a bang, it’s been with a whisper.

We might have seen plenty of new apps, but how much are these helping people in their day-to-day lives? Beyond the FinTechs, has it had any impact? …

Anyone who has an interest in business trends over the last decade or so will have spotted a number of new digital entrants achieve exponential growth out of nowhere. Google, Facebook, Amazon… these companies are just a few examples of a platform business model: they operate as a two sided marketplace.

Because of the success so many have seen, the platform has become the new business model of the choice for growth firms. More and more we are seeing the economics of platforms accelerate companies to new levels in ways that simply didn’t happen in the last century.

This is…

Hello Libra

Still trying to understand what financial services should do in the wake of the Apple credit card? Well, hot on the heels is the detail we’ve been waiting for from Facebook about their cryptocurrency plans: Libra. This looks like the second serious move into financial services from GAFA and it’s a big statement.

Not only is this an ambitious project ripping apart the boundaries of Facebook’s business model, but it potentially represents the first mainstream application of blockchain technology. …

These are heady times for financial services. We are in the midst of an Open Data revolution. Regulators and incumbents are getting accustomed to the new paradigms that exist thanks to Open Banking and sniffing around the edges to scout out the next natural progression. FinTechs are here and now benefiting from a change in dynamic which has seen the banks embrace them, working with them to deliver value at speed. So where are we heading now Open Banking has landed and where does the customer stand to benefit?

Open standard APIs are nothing new, in fact they’ve been around…

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Unless you’ve been living in a hole you’ll have noticed that Apple caused a pretty big splash last week in the world of finance when they announced their new credit card.

Offering cashback, smooth integration with Apple Pay, budgeting, analytics and claiming to be the most secure card ever, this would seem to be a significant threat to anyone in the credit space, and indeed the FinTechs out there who have worked hard to provide an ‘on-your-side’ alternative to the incumbents.

This could have big implications, but one of the most intriguing aspects of the announcement was that it’s…

Phil Cottis

Financial related musings from the trenches of innovation. Digital Strategy Lead at Hargreaves Lansdown. Open Finance enthusiast. Views are my own

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