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 dealroo.co 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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