CFTE Newsletter 5th August – 12th August

Fintech Readings

Crowdsourcing AI Algorithms. Beautiful.
There’s a new kind of hedge fund on the market and its powered by AI. Numerai, based out of San Francisco, is on a mission to liberalise trading on Wall Street. It launched last year and aims to crowd source market movements.

The process: data scientists are given an encrypted financial data, they then analyse this data and produce models that best predict stock market movements. The data scientists that produce the winning models are rewarded with Bitcoin or cash.

Numerai’s business model is definitive of the disruption that the finance industry is undergoing. Utilising a new technology in an innovative way, in this case, using a platform model to crowd source the actual technology that executes the trade.
The caveat, the data scientists don’t even know its financial data! Genius… Click here to read full story

The Bank of PayPal 
Earlier this year, PayPal’s reported it’s lending to SME’s exceeded the 3bn mark and it has now completed its acquisition of Swift Financial, a lender to small businesses, for an undisclosed fee. We live in a data driven world, where machine-learning algorithms are producing new insights into consumer behavior. In addition to expanding its ability to make loans, this deal will enable PayPal to better leverage data by utilising Swifts technology and customer base. Smart move and we expect many more like it – the payment industry is ripe for consolidation…Read full story here

Winners and Losers of the Financial Meltdown 
It’s been 10 years since the global financial meltdown of 2007. A lot has changed. The crisis that engulfed finance opened the door for Fintech companies to offer more transparent and consumer friendly services. So exactly how has the industry fared since? paint the picture of the winners and the loser’s across a number of metrics. JPMorgan (thanks to some shrewd risk avoidance) and Goldman Sachs come out winners – they are also the two banks leading the way in Fintech adoption…Click here for all the stats

Beyond Fintech…

Productivity secrets from Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and more…
The average CEO works 58 hours a week, putting in 10 to 11 hours per day, plus an extra six hours on the weekend, according to Time. That’s 11 hours more than the average full-time worker. More time means the potential to get more done, but many enlist powerful productivity hacks to give them an edge. Here are nine secrets top CEO…Read full story here.

14 CEO’s on the most valuable jobs skills right now
There’s no shortage of career advice out there and everyone from your favorite self help gurus to your least favorite in-law thinks they’re an expert on the subject.
Good advice — useful, nuanced, and proven — is harder to come by. After all, it’s tough to suss out what employers value in their workforce, or their applicant pool, without asking them directly. So we decided to do just that. Below, 14 CEOs reveal the skill they’re most excited to see in an employee these days…Read the full article here.

Networking and Career Development for the Next Women Leaders
For women in leadership roles, managing and growing in your career is an ongoing process of professional, networking, and active engagement with the ever-evolving landscape of work. As technology and innovation transform the workplace, it’s more important than ever for women who aspire to take on leadership roles to be proactive about development…Read the full article here.

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How banks can innovate in an age of Fintech disruption

picture of wall-e

The sheer speed of technological innovation has upended the way companies operate from across multiple industries. The eruption of digital technologies and its supporting infrastructure has enabled the spectacular growth of technology giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Apple, and Google et al. Specifically, they have leveraged the power of the platform business model to cast a web so wide that it has fragmented traditional linear value chains and created new value from open ecosystems.

Companies founded on the concept of the platform have a fundamentally different business model from traditional service providers. For example, Airbnb is the largest hospitality provider in the world yet has no physical assets. This platform model not only allows new entrants to scale faster but also allows them to innovate faster by being more agile and responsive to market needs.

Finance disrupted

Enabler technologies like cloud computing, Big Data and APIs are providing entrepreneurs with the tools to create innovative financial products that conveniently address customer needs.

Thus, for incumbent financial institutions to remain competitive, they must seek to make innovation part of their DNA by being as agile as their digital counterparts. Agility can only be attained by transforming traditional business models and adapting organisational processes. This requires the integration of emerging technologies and fostering a culture of innovation to leverage these technologies.

Successful innovators make innovation part of their DNA

Indeed, some are already ahead of the curve. Financial institutions like JPMorgan and Goldman have adapted their business models by digitising multiple areas of their business. They have done so by integrating technologies such AI, robotic process automation (RPA) and Big Data

For example, in July, JPMorgan announced that it would start to utilise its own AI system, LOXM, to execute trades across its global equities algorithm business. And according to them, they are up to 2 years ahead of their competition. They started this innovation journey years ago through senior management buy-in. This has empowered them to pursue a number of innovation strategies, culminating in the deployment of LOXM.

But in many cases, such innovations are more the exception than the norm in finance, and most banks are just starting to adapt their organisations to new ways of innovating.

Different ways to innovate  

Large organisations, including banks and insurers, are waking up to the fact that they need to innovate. A report by PWC indicated innovation is the number one priority for CEOs. In the case of financial incumbents, there are multiple strategies that can be pursued in order to develop innovative products.

Short-term gains versus long term technological breakthroughs

Some innovation strategies produce more immediate results than others, such as the venture capital model. A VC approach enables incumbents to invest in or outright buy a Fintech startup, with a view to integrating the startups product or services with that of its own.

For example, earlier this year French banking giant BNP Paribas bought Fintech startup Compte-Nickel. The startup took the French banking industry by storm by offering customers looking to open a current account a seamless and super quick onboarding process – service characteristics indicative of Fintech startups and one many incumbents find difficult to replicate due to legacy infrastructure and processes.

As society switches to digital, customers will more and more expect user-friendly services and the unavoidable fact is in 5 to 10 years everything an incumbent does will be affected by digital.

In this context, it is not sustainable for incumbents to pursue tactical strategies that only address part of the problem. Instead, incumbents need to develop strategic solutions that aim to transform the organisation’s genetic makeup – the way it thinks and acts.

How do you develop a culture of innovation?

Essentially, the first step is to establish an innovation team. The team serves to seed the idea of innovation throughout the organisation. It connects with multiple business areas to develop relevant Fintech solutions in response to opportunities and challenges. This, in turn, can help to bring organisational wide awareness to innovation initiatives and lay the foundations for the next step.

If implemented with senior management buy-in, the innovation team can produce results, which in turn can drive employee engagement. In effect, innovation teams act as catalysts to drive product development. By concentrating skilled resources and following an agile work methodology, incumbents can take products to market faster by quickly testing and validating new ideas.

There is one major caveat though. The work of innovation teams can only be truly beneficial and sustainable if there is buy-in at all levels of the business. That’s why setting up an innovation team is only the first step.

As with most new strategic initiatives – especially when technology is involved – for effective cross-functional collaboration, communication is key. It is imperative that personnel have an understanding of the underlying reasons for the new initiative. And this is where education can help to deglaze any potential friction.

Beyond the four walls: open innovation

As noted earlier, a new operating paradigm has emerged, one that emphasises ecosystem and collaboration. Therefore, innovation can no longer be restricted to an organisations four walls, but instead, needs to happen in collaboration with third parties who can bring new perspectives and understanding.

In his book, Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Henry Chesbrough highlights the fact that there are greater intellectual capabilities outside the company than within.

In therefore makes sense to leverage ideas and technology from external sources in conjunction with internal initiatives to develop well-rounded solutions.

A roadmap to open innovation already exists

 A successful road map to innovation already exists, but it is very different from the models of closed innovation that has dominated until now. Fortunately, CFTE is working to develop training and development programs with a number of innovation experts who have a wealth of experience in technological innovation.

The Experts

One of the world’s foremost experts in open innovation is Karim Lakhani. Karim, who sits on CFTE’s academic board, is the professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. He is also the founding director of Harvard Crowd Innovation Lab – a project aimed at utilising crowd innovation to help firms drive technological breakthroughs to organisational problems.

Karim’s work is on the leading edge of thinking on innovation. This has given him the opportunity to work in both the academic and industry side to design new models of innovation. These models have been based on integrating crowd-sourced ideas into internal innovation initiatives. It has opened the door for organisations to innovate in ways which wouldn’t have been possible without digital.

Therefore, in order to make innovation part of the organisations DNA, it is not enough to rely on linear methods of R&D to drive break-through innovation. Today’s financial incumbents must invert their innovation models so that they are agile enough to leverage the power of the crowd.

Incumbents embracing open innovation

An excellent example of a company embracing this methodology is Lloyds Banking Group. Lloyds launched the LBG Innovation Lab with the goal of working together with business divisions across the group to help test new product ideas. The Lab also acts as a focal point for driving a culture of innovation and as a means to connect with the global Fintech ecosystem to help nurture collaborative partnerships.

The Director of LBG’s Innovation Lab and Digital Centre of Excellence, Claire Calmejane, sits on CFTE’s advisory board.

CFTE also works with HSBC’s Global Head of Innovation (currently on sabbatical), Christophe Chazot. Christophe sits on CFTE’s academic board and has implemented HSBC’s innovation and strategic investment activities in order to help the banking giant innovate through internal and external development.

Closing remarks

In a world where today’s financial Institutions need to work in collaboration with third parties, CFTE aims to be their first point of call. CFTE mission is to train organisations and people to adopt a growth mindset and benefit from the power of open innovation and ecosystems.

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CFTE working with MAS to help ASEAN finance professionals acquire the skills of Finance 2.0

CFTE website landing page

CFTE working to partner with Singapore’s financial regulatory body, MAS, with the intention to establish its first international education hub in Singapore.

The Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE) has signalled its intention today to set up its first international hub in Singapore. CFTE has been working closely with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to formalise plans to expand CFTE’s education initiative to ASEAN. The objective is to train finance professionals in technology-related skills to help them transition to a world of digital finance, both in Singapore and in the ASEAN region.

Tram Anh Nguyen, CFTE’s Co-founder, said: 

“I strongly believe that in a world dominated by technology, people must remain at the centre of society and organisations, and that education and training are key to help individuals adapt to a fast changing world. Singapore and MAS have a very comprehensive strategy about human capital and we are honoured to be working with them to help finance professionals in ASEAN make the most in a world of digital finance.”

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said:

“We welcome CFTE to set up its education hub in Singapore. The people factor is crucial for the success in FinTech as well as our innovation-driven Smart Financial Centre. It is at the heart of what we do to sustain and grow the FinTech movement in Singapore, through a vibrant range of channels and opportunities for people to develop deep skills that are relevant to the market.”


CFTE is a new education initiative for the finance sector. Emerging technologies are disrupting traditional finance and enabling FinTech companies and forward thinking organisations to create new and innovative digital finance products. This is creating demand for professionals with a technical skill set who have the ability to understand the application of these new technologies.

It is CFTE’s mission to help finance professionals develop the necessary technical skills that will enable them to work with emerging digital technologies and in turn contribute to the growth of digital finance. CFTE will also train technology professionals in order to show them how to utilise their existing skill set in finance 2.0.

CFTE delivers courses that cover the major trends affecting the finance industry. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about subjects such as Artificial Intelligence, Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), coding, blockchain, and RegTech. Courses will be delivered via a blend of online learning and in-class training. Online learning will take place via an EdTech platform that leverages mobile and adaptive technologies to provide an engaging learning experience across multiple digital channels. In-class training will be delivered via workshops, group projects, mentoring sessions, and intensive bootcamps at the education hub in Singapore.

The curriculum has been designed in collaboration with an exceptional advisory and academic board who are finance, technology and innovation leaders from organisations such as Harvard Business School, Imperial College London, Hong Kong University, Citi, Ping An, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Fintech SuperCharger, and Holberton School. In addition, there have been further inputs from consultations with industry experts, financial institutions, start-ups, and academia.

The scope of the education hub will extend beyond serving as a platform to deliver training. It will embody CFTE’s core value of building an inclusive ecosystem that creates a cascade of multiplier effects to positively benefit Singapore and ASEAN economies. It is with this goal in mind that CFTE will look to integrate closely with Singapore’s finance and education community. CFTE is actively looking to build partnerships with local academic institutions, financial institutions, start-ups, technology accelerators, and more generally the wider ecosystem. This will ensure professionals training with CFTE can have an immediate impact where their skills are needed the most.

More about MAS

MAS is recognised as the world’s most progressive financial regulatory body. It has implemented a number of supportive initiatives to help drive the continuous development of the FinTech sector in Singapore. These initiatives tie into the city-state’s Smart Nation programme, which has the overarching objective of utilising technology to improve the lives of its citizens in every manner possible.

Education plays a central role in achieving this objective. The government has heavily invested in programs like SkillsFuture to help Singaporeans develop the skills necessary for the economy to upgrade to a tech first society. The support for CFTE to establish the hub of their education initiative in Singapore strengthens MAS’s commitment to this end goal. By working closely with MAS to implement this initiative, CFTE hopes to lay the foundations that will help finance professionals in Singapore and neighbouring economies to upskill and benefit from the transition to Finance 2.0.


– ENDS –
Notes to editors
For further information or interview requests, please contact our press office:
Aliasgar Makda on:
or +44 7516 114 733.


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CFTE Newsletter – 29th July to 5th August

Expert Analysis
Author: Huy Nguyen Trieu (aka Fintech Sensei)
The Headline
Kabbage raises $250m from Softbank

Breaking it down
Kabbage is one of the pioneers of automated lending to SMEs. Instead of relying on manual processes, Kabbage uses real-time data about SMEs (e.g. their Amazon sales figures, their Paypal payment data, their UPS shipping data, even their Facebook client rating) to build automated credit scores. Kabbage continues to grow strongly, and after having received funding from Santander, ING and others last year, just received an additional $250m from Softbank – showing that there is still a lot of investor interest in Fintech.

Wrapping it up
Companies like Kabbage are not necessarily well-known by the general public, but started the very important trend of automated lending, which is now becoming widespread. Although Kabbage is not profitable yet, it continues to grow, attracts clients, and raises large amounts of funding. There are many companies like Kabbage which are not necessarily in the news every day but are offering new financial products to consumer and businesses – and that’s when one realises that Fintech is becoming more widespread.


Fintech Readings

The Robots are Coming!
It might be cold but the Fintech scene is starting to reach boiling point in Scandinavia with Sweden leading the pack. In fact a report by places Sweden 4th overall in Europe in terms of Fintech investment – it was just last month that Visa bought a stake in Swedish payments Unicorn, Klarna.
Beyond the startups, its banks are getting in on the act fast. A number have started to integrate Fintech into their quest to digitise operations. In particular, AI is providing a number of opportunities in customer service, with mixed results it has to be said. The initial steps are never easy which is why it pays to move early!
Read the full story here.
Fork you Sir
So it finally happened. On Tuesday 1st August, Bitcoin split. There are now two versions – Bitcoin (BTC) and the new Bitcoin Cash (BCH). For those who have been living under a mountain of filo faxes, the Bitcoin community has been fighting amongst themselves to figure out a solution to govern the development of the cryptocurrency. In particular, they’ve been debating how to upgrade the technology to allow for more transactions. Initially, the price of the BCH surged but now it’s starting to wobble.
Read the full story here.
It’s all about the human touch
A key driver of Fintech adoption by the masses has been the seamless user experience being offered by Fintech startups and their lovely apps. This article by a design student at the University of Westminster is a real gem. He provides a step-by-step break down of the Monzo (UK Challenger Bank) app and then highlights how it can be improved!

A brilliant education for the layman and brings to focus the growth of jobs within the Fintech industry for user experience designers who understand what products customers want and need.
Read the full story here.

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CFTE Newsletter – 22nd July to 29th July

Fintech detectives, CBI Insights, on the mark again 
CBI Insights, the tech market intelligence supremo’s released their Global Fintech Report for Q2, which made for very interesting reading.

  • $5.2bn raised in Q2, taking the years total to over $8bn and on track to beat 2016’s high of $13.5bn+
  • 5 new Fintechs join the unicorn (aka startups with $1bn+ valuations) club in Q2 meaning there are now 26 globally.
  • 500 startups (who we share our offices with) is still the biggest investor in global Fintech companies

Proxy war between Asia’s tech giants is bubbling nicely
Didi Chuxing, the company that ousted Uber from the Chinese ride-sharing market, and Japan’s Softbank have invested $2.5bn in Singapore’s Grab, another ride-sharing startup.

Grab dominates the market in SE Asia along with Go-Jek, its Indonesian based competitor – who received funding from another Chinese tech giant, Tencent. Both offer payment services to their network of users. It’s this kind of cross fertilisation of services that is accelerating the growth of the mobile payments in the region and underlines the rich variety of opportunities for Fintech to flourish in Asia.

Edging closer to a cashless world
In terms of development, the payment sector is far ahead in market maturity relative to other sectors in Fintech. As such, the market is buzzing with activity as the major players jostle to gain the edge over the competition. Here’s just a small piece of the action:

  • Amazon seems intent on diversification wherever possible, with Amazon Pay they’re shaping up to take on PayPal, Visa et al.
  • TransferWise has teamed up with Apple to allow users to make transfers via Apple Pay.
  • PayPal, whose user base tops 210m, made its move into China’s estimated $5.5tn mobile payments market by teaming up with Baidu. Although, they have their work cut out since Alibaba and Tencent dominate the market with their mobile wallet services.

So incumbents do like Fintech!
UK Based insurance group Aviva seems to be embracing Fintech with open arms. The insurer launched its first incubator in partnership with Founder’s Factory. In a bid to streamline insurance processes, it’s already chosen the first five startups across AI, VR and blockchain to invest in. The company clearly see’s big potential in Fintech and has taken an even more ambitious step of developing its own startup in-house called Oncare, a platform to help keep track of patient records.

US tech giant’s still tearing up the market
Major tech companies report their earning calls for the week:

  • 24th July, Alphabet (Google parent company): YOY revenue up 21% to $26bn. YOY profits were $6.87bn, however, with EU antitrust fine they dropped to $4.1bn. The amount it earns on cost per click (CPC) fell more than was expected, shares subsequently fell by 3% when earning announced. 
  • 26th July, Facebook: Company beat expectations on all fronts! YOY revenue up 47% to $9.3bn, YOY profits were up 71% to 3.89bn, the majority of revenue coming from mobile as the social media giant adds more video ad units to increase its total ad inventory. Its ad revenue grew at twice the rate of Google.
  • 27th July, Amazon: YOY sales grew over 24% to $37.96bn, beating Wall Street expectations. However, Amazon totally missed the mark with its EPS and that sent shares tumbling. It matters little since investors generally focus on its top line growth as opposed to bottom line. Just as well because operating profit is down 77% on previous year at $197m! It does mean Jeff Bezos is no longer the richest man in the world
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CFTE Newsletter – 17th July to 22nd July

Curated stories from our weekly newsletter

Arm yourself with some Fintech knowledge…

1. Technology represents significant opportunities for finance professionals if they are proactive about upskilling – this is a message we’ve been preaching for some time – but we’re not alone! – By Quartz… here to read more

2. Here at CFTE, we like to talk about the opportunity for FinTech to provide basic financial services to the unbanked. There’s money in it too you know. About $380bn. This lovely infographic explains all – By Visual Capitalist… here to read more 

3. Wealth management startup, Betterment’s latest funding round value’s the company at $800m, sending out a strong signal to traditional players that it’s a business model that’s here to stay. Although they do have some competition on their hands – By Bloomberg Markets… here to read more

4.  Singapore is positioning itself to be a global hub for Fintech, its regulatory body, the Monetary Authority of Singapore seems intent on making it happen. No surprise then that Chinese Fintech giant Lufax plans to launch its wealth management platform in the city-state. There are some caveats though – By Business Insider…..Click here to read more

5. The tech giants like Amazon, Facebook and Google have gargantuan stockpiles of user data. Technology like AI is only going to strengthen their hand in the countless verticals they’re engaged in, making it unlikely they’ll be going anywhere anytime soon – By Wired… here to read more 

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Fintech Knowledge – 26th June to 31st June

If you’ve joined via the email newsletter, welcome back!

If you’re joining us after browsing our lovely blog then this segment is a continuation of our weekly newsletter where we share our thought on some of the week’s top stories.

The newsletter provides weekly updates on what we’ve been up to and if you’re interested in receiving these updates, then sign up at the bottom of the page.

Curated Stories

CFTE is in the News!

It’s been about a month since our launch and we’re already in the FT! Sorry to gloat, but this feat is too good no to broadcast to the world. Laura Noonan, FT’s smart cat banking correspondent spoke to Huy and Tram Anh about their ambitions for CFTE. It’s a great piece which really sums up what we’re all about.

So if you’re still unclear about what CFTE stands for then read the full article here.

Ernest & Young’s Global Fintech Adoption Analysis

EY provide us with a snapshot of the markets where Fintech services have penetrated into the mainstream of consumer consciousness. If you’ve been following Fintech development, then it will be no surprise to learn Asia leads the way.

The region is experiencing massive adoption in Fintech services like mobile payments and lending services, and in places like China and India, it’s becoming commonplace to pay with mobile. In China, for example, people can use mobile to transact payments with merchants on platforms like Alipay (Alibaba) and WeChat (Tencent), both of whom dominate the landscape, holding 90% of the market.

View the engaging infographics here.

Will a ‘Bank of Amazon’ disrupt finance even more?

Amazon has just made a move to control the grocery supply chain by buying Whole Foods and it seems banking could be the next vertical they try and leverage their massive scale against. A mass of consumer data and technological capabilities that are sometimes hard to fathom makes it a real possibility. In the coming years you could see them make inroads into providing financial service to their massive customers base and beyond.

Hard to imagine?

Not really. CFTE’s Co-founder, Huy Nguyen Trieu regularly lectures to packed audiences at major academic institutions like Oxford Said Busines School, London Business School, Imperial College. One of his favourite questions to MBA students and undergraduates is which company will be the biggest provider of financial services in the next 10 years?

Here’s is the answer:

A word cloud which that highlights Google, Alibaba and Amazon as the future of financial services

The world cloud highlights opinion that today’s major tech companies will be tomorrow’s major finance providers.

The fact is, Amazon have been interested in providing financial services since 2004 when they filed a patent that eluded to their ambitions in finance. For us, it’s not a matter of if, but more of a question of the likely scale of the disruption.

Read Digiday’s take here.

On its 10 year anniversary, a look at how the i-phone enabled Fintech as we know it today

Traditional banking seems to be under threat from multiple angles. From the tech giants like Amazon but also from the new Fintech startups. And in a ironic twist, who enabled these Fintech’s? A tech giant!

It’s the i-phones 10 year anniversary and its advent has spawned numerous innovations and technologies that have transformed people’s lives in unimaginable ways. In particular, the ability for entrepreneurs to develop apps which integrate into its OS that expands the functionality of the device to create social connections, organise people lives and now to manage individual finances.

The concept of the mobile operating system has also allowed for entrants like Google’s Android OS which extends the functionality to an ever-increasing mobile audience. For example payment platforms on Android devices in developing countries are now bringing basic financial services to the unbanked.

Read Bindi Karia full article with input from Fintech leaders like Anne Boden here.

How can the Liberal Arts help Technology fulfil it’s Potential?

Yes, technology is transforming the world we live in, the way we live and conduct our day to day lives and the way we interact with each other. But surely there’s a bigger question that needs to be addressed.

How do we as individuals manage the cause and effect equation that results from the human impact technological innovation has?

Contemplation of the bigger picture is something that has come more as an afterthought to creating the next ‘big thing’. For example, social media as a medium, sometimes encourages online bullying with adverse effects like suicide and depression. Only after the negative event is action taken. But maybe by integrating the study of the liberal arts and humanities together with the STEM subjects can we can create news a new breed of innovators who understand more about the people, cultures, and behaviors they are going to be impacting.

A former ‘techie’ shares her experiences on the road to meta cognition that marries learning skills across multiple disciplines with the humanities in mind, read here for full story.

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CFTE announces additional board members from Citi, HSBC, Ping An and Teach On Mars

We are very happy and proud to announce that 4 exceptional people are joining our boards:
Ronit Ghose, Global Head of Bank Research at Citi
Christophe Chazot, Global Head of Innovation at HSBC (on sabbatical)
Ericson Chan, CEO of Ping An Technology
Vincent Desnot, CEO of Teach On Mars.

This is being announced at Money 20/20 in Copenhagen, where our co-founders are also making the news: they are the first couple ever to be both speakers at the largest Fintech event in EuropeHuy has already spoken today (about core banking technologies), while Tram Anh will speak twice on Wednesday (about the jobs of tomorrow in finance and on financial inclusion).

Ronit, Christophe, Ericson and Vincent are joining the 7 other board members, Christophe and Vincent on the academic board, and Ronit and Ericson on the advisory board.

Welcome to all of them! You can find the full press release here

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Fintech Event Calendar: Week beginning 26th June to 1st July

The weeks top London Fintech events handpicked just for you:

FinTech Innovation Conference London


30th June 2017, 13:30 to 19:00 (BST)


Berkely Square, London


Ok so if you have some time to spare this one would be highly recommended. It’s being organised by the Swiss Banking Advisory and will focus on Fintech and innovation, particularly across the investment categories. Top executives and professionals will be in attendance so you’ll have a great chance to network and talk about current issues in finance and innovation. Tickets are north of £100 but the speakers will cover some of the major trends affecting the industry.

Register Here

Crash and Learn with Fintech Founders by Deloitte


28th June 2017, 18:00 to 21:00 (BST)


WeWork Waterhouse Square


Understanding the keys to success is one of the most sought after pieces of knowledge every budding entrepreneur seeks to understand. Deloitte team up with some hugely successful Fintech entrepreneurs to share their experiences and lessons for you to learn from. The talk will focus on best practices when it comes to regulation and how you stay ahead of the curve.

Register Here

RegTech Forum London: Digitial Transformation and RegTech 


27th June 2017, 18:00 to 21:00 (BST)


Second Home, Spitafileds


The Reg Tech Forum organise their last event before the summer recess. Seasoned experts such as, Angus Fletcher, Head of Market Advocacy, Deutsche Bank discuss the impact of digital transformation in regulation and data is being leveraged to increase the pace of development. It’s a packed agenda that attract a lot of wide range of interest, and yes you guest and a great opportunity to network!

Register Here

Mind of an Entrepreneur Workshop & Networking Event


30th June 2017, 19:00 to 23:00 (BST)


LIBRARY Private Members Club


Mindset is everything when you’re trying to develop new skills and push the boundaries of what you thought possible. Lux Afrique team up with industry experts from KPMG and Bell Potinger to give you some of the insights into how you should be approaching business with a goal to develop and grow.

Register Here

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Newsletter – 19th June to 24th June

CFTE Newsletter

If you’ve joined via the email newsletter, welcome back!

If you’re joining us after browsing our lovely blog then this segment is a continuation of our weekly newsletter.

The newsletter provides weekly updates on what we’ve been up to and if you’re interested in receiving these updates, then sign up at the bottom of the page.

CFTE Fintech Round-up

Why banks must embrace open banking or risk disintermediation

Banks globally, are facing increasing competition from fintech start-ups offering more focused banking services with superior customer experience. This article from ZDnet captures the mood perfectly. In order to remain competitive banks must change their inward looking attitude and open up their banking infrastructure.

A key aspect of this will be to make their API’s available to third parties, which means sharing customer data and enabling new functionalities to be added to existing banking services. The hope is that by collaborating more the services they offer will be more in line with their customer’s needs and user habits.

In some ways, it’s not a matter of if traditional banking firms should move to more open banking services, it’s a matter of when. Adoption of non-traditional banking services is being driven by millennials or those born between 1981 to 1994 and in order to maintain profitable incumbents will need to engage with this demographic.

Read more…

12 reasons why banks don’t innovate

Staying with the theme of innovation in banking, the man himself Chris Skinner reflects on an expo he recently attended in Romania. One of the presentations got his attention, and if it got Chris Skinner’s attention then it’s only right we share it with you! 

Take some time to read through ‘12 reasons why banks don’t innovate‘ and just maybe you could apply some of the lessons learned to your own organisation. 

Techcrunch on Banking the Unbanked

Techcrunch focuses on the huge potential of fintech to reach the 2 billion or so unbanked people of the world. Joshua Bateman highlights the growing need for more flexible payment solutions for people in developing countries without bank accounts. He clearly demonstrates the potential by discussing how Gmobi, dLocal, and Coins of Asia are successfully reaching the unbanked with innovative new services. With investment in Fintech reaching $11.2 billion in 2016, Asia is fast becoming a leader in pioneering new fintech services. Thus the market for serving the unbanked represents opportunities for economic growth and delivering meaningful social impact.

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Gen Y lacking the skills of New Finance

Great article from the FT that looks at the current skills shortage among Generation Y. One would think that these so-called digital natives, aka Millennials, would be the answer to the banking sector’s problems to digitize. However, as it stands a lot of financial firms feel there is a significant skills shortage in technical and commercial areas. Conversely, the emergence of fintech as a leading source of growth in post-Brexit London will attract finance highly skilled finance professionals who have the appetite to build on their existing skill set.

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Bonus article – Sylvain Kalaches’ Shout out to Jeff Bezos

Holberton School founder, Sylvain Kalache responds to Jeff Bezos’ tweet with a thoughtful article that highlights the need for a new approach to education. Fresh from his takeover of Whole Foods for $13billion, Bezos put on his philanthropic hat and took to Twitter to sound out new ideas that could make a real short-term impact to people lives.

Well, Sylvain has the perfect answer. Education hasn’t changed for what seems like time immemorial. Admissions to the best schools and colleges are still skewed to the elite few who can afford it. Holberton School seeks to address this disparity by taking a more inclusive approach. With applications open to anyone, they aim to train software developers with the key skills the biggest tech firms in Silicon Valley and beyond are crying out for. Thus, by creating new opportunities for those who would otherwise be stuck, Holberton provides an excellent model of education that can make a genuine impact, both in the short term and long term.

Read his full post….


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