Friday, 25 November 2016

My summary of the week

Mobile Payments

  • Facebook is from last October registered in the Bankof Spain Register as an e-money issuer. Facebook subsidiary, Facebook Payments International Ltd,. based in Ireland is now granted operations in Spain. Facebook launched p2p payments through Messenger in the US last year and its license in Ireland would let FB to delivered p2p payments across the EU. It is to be seen if Facebook will rely on card schemes or the future SCT Inst scheme in the EU. 


  • Major insurer AXA is partnering with Silicon Valley insurance start up Trov to launch an on-demand, mobile-first service aimed at millenials in Britain. Trov lets people buy flexible insurance for single items through their smartphone. If, for example, you have got an expensive camera sitting in your cupboard that you only occasionally use, you can use Trov to get temporary insurance for the times when you do actually take it out and use it. 

  • According to El Confidencial, Kantox, the Spanish fintech start up that offers FX management solutions would be the latest fintech start-up to pivot its business model and will start soon to sale its technology to banks. 

  • BNP Pariba has opened an online portal to connect bank staff and business lines with innovative start-ups. Dubbed OpenUp, Startups can use it to post ideas and get connected to the relevant business line managers for onward development. The site also includes a facility for BNP Paribas employees to post projects, with a dynamic matching that notifies all relevant parties when a match occurs. 

  • Santander InnoVentures, the fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, has announced an investment in PayKey, a start-up that allow peer to peer payments as easily as writing  chat or sending a photo to a friend using WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Twitter. Israeli-based PayKey has developed a mobile keyboard application that connects to the bank to make instant and secure payments. 

  • Deutsche Börse acquired stake in figo. figo is a banking service provider focused on building the banking infrastructure of the future and it offers its customers an API designed to fulfill PSD2 requirements, giving banks an alternative to building the regulation-required APIs in-house.

Banks & Market development

  • ABANCA is the latest Spanish bank to create a Consumer Finance unit. This new unit will be led by Salvador Loscertales and plan to finance 400 million in its first phase. ABANCA Consumer Finance will focus on POS Finance as well as credit cards/loans for open market.   

  • Metro Bank boots sharing economy with market leading approach to Airbnb. The high street bank will let its residential mortgage customers to rent their properties through Airbnb, and similar site, for up to 90 days a year without prior approval. 

  • Ikea extends it online commerce offering to all its shops in Spain, after testing the service in its shops in Valencia, Barakaldo and Pamplona 

  • Mastercard Spain has announced a new promotion for L27 and Airport Express bus lines in Madrid. All Friday rides until 30 December will be free of charge if paid by a Mastercard card. Earlier this year Mastercard, Santander Elavon and EMT launched a pilot to let users of both bus lines to pay their rides contactless.

Monday, 21 November 2016

El cambio de narrativa en Fintech

Hace un par de semanas tuve la oportunidad de ver una presentación de Nick Kerigan, Managing Director,  Future Payments en Barclaycard, durante el evento Cards & Payments Innovation Europe 2016 organizado por Marketforce. El título de la presentación era Start-ups: Friend or Foe?. Una slide que captó mi atención fue la referida a la evolución de la narrativa en fintech pasando de amenaza a colaboración para la banca, y para ello utilizaba algunos titulares en medios financieros y como evolucionaban de amenaza a colaboración:

La cuestión es que este cambio de narrativa es real y ya llevamos algún tiempo viéndolo en la parte de los bancos que de manera paulatina empezaron a participar en el ecosistema fintech en sus distintas modalidades: incubadora, aceleradora, venture capital, M&A, co-labs, etc.

Pero lo que parece más novedoso e interesante es que últimamente veo en el lado fintech un viraje hacia la colaboración con los bancos aún más claro, y se sustancia en la premisa de que las fintech están pasando de querer reemplazar a los bancos a querer ayudar a arreglar los bancos.  En España hemos empezado a ver este cambio también, y como muestra de ello, algunos ejemplos recientes:

1.- Aplazame. Durante su presentación en la competición fintech de South Summit 2016, en la que fue ganadora,  Fernando Cabello-Astolfi, CEO de Aplazame, anunció que Aplazame ofrece ahora una versión marca blanca para bancos.
2.- Spotcap. En este artículo de Expansion (cuyo título lo dice todo), Diego Bestard, director de Spotcap en España explica cómo Spotcap está pivotando su modelo de negocio para ofrecer ahora a los bancos un white label service.
3.- Kantox. No he visto confirmación por parte de la compañía, pero en este artículo de El Confidencial, se indica la intención de la fintech española por ser menos bróker y más proveedor de tecnología, lo que incluiría la venta de tecnología a bancos.

En definitiva es un encuentro de dos que se necesitan, los bancos tienen escala y distribución y expertise regulatorio y las fintech tienen la tecnología y las habilidades que los bancos necesitan.

Friday, 11 November 2016

My summary of the week


launched its €4.99 Dash buttons in Spain. The Dash button, which first launched in the US in 2015, will make it possible for the company's customers to order any of the different participating brands by pressing the Wi-Fi enabled button. Fairy, Dodot, Ariel, and Hero are among the firms included in the service's national debut. Each button can order one product manufactured by its specific company   

Mobile Payments

•             Citi unveiled Citi Pay, a new global digital wallet that will provide Citi customers with a simple and fast option for online, in-app and in-store payment. Customers will be able to make online and in-app purchases using the same Citibank online user ID and password that they currently use to manage their existing online relationship with Citi. Citi is partnering with Mastercard® to leverage its digital payment service, Masterpass®, to enable the online and in-app transactions
•             PayPal has integrated with Apple agent Siri to enable subscribers to use voice commands to transfer payments in 30 countries and in a variety of languages.
•             The Bank of Ireland has authorized Facebook Limited International Payments Ltd. as an e-money institution with effect 24 October 2016.
•             Starbucks has reported that 25% of transactions are mobile in the US, while over $1.4 billion was loaded on cards in the Us and Canada in Q4 and over $6 billion in FY2016.


•             Citi unveils global API developer hub. Through the hub, developers will get access to APIs across eight categories, including account management, peer to peer payments, money transfer to institutions, Citi rewards, investment purchases and account authorisation.

•             Payolution, the white label installment payment solution owned by Paysafe, launches in the UK through Odlo, the Norwegian-based online sports retailer.

•             During its Q316 results, Square announced that  Software and Data product revenue was up 140% YoY, already representing 8% of Total Net Revenue.

Spanish banks

•             Bizum, the p2p mobile payment platform backed by major Spanish bannks, reported that 176,000 users have registered in the first month of operations.

•             Following Self Bank and BBVA launches, Evo Banco has announced a digital on-boarding solution based on selfie and video call.

•             Bankia launches BeBankia a service that let merchants create offers that can be redeem by Bankia customers and non customer through a dedicated app. The service is similar to Barclaycard BeSpoke Offers that after 2 years of operations was closed.

Friday, 4 November 2016

My summary of the week

CapGemini publishes World Fintech Report 2017

In the report CapGemini highlights that:

- Customers are embracing new Fintech providers, with 50.2% globally saying they do business with at least one non-traditional firm
-Both traditional and non traditional firms struggle to meet customers expectations on the most important Moments of Truth
-Traditional firms have become more open to partnership with Fintechs
-Inculcating innovation requires methodical approach

Banks $ PSPs

•               BBVA and Self Bank are the first banks in Spain to launch online onboarding using selfie and video call to verify customer´s identity.  This solution allows anyone to open an account in just a few minutes and start banking right away. BBVA and Self Bank are the first banks in Spain that take advantage of the SEPBLAC authorization to use video calls as a customer verification method.
•               Bankia launches Bankia Fintech by Insomnia, a fintech incubator and accelerator in Valencia which first cohort is formed by 14 spanish fintech start-ups. During the presentation the CEO announced that the next programme will be open also to international fintech start-ups.
•               Citi launches ability to dispute a charge within mobile app. Credit card members can submit a merchant dispute on posted charges for an array of reasons including damaged items, returned goods, duplicate charge, etc. Once the dispute is submitted, card memebers will be notified via the app that Citi is taking action, the status of the case and what to expect next.
•               ING Direct Spain has announced that it already has 140,000 TwypCash users that can withdraw money from Dia Group supermarkets and Shell & Galp gas stations. Users also have a 4% discount in the purchases made in these merchants with the TwypCash app.
•               More than 10,000 spanish customers have made use of Carrefour fuel station mobile payments service since it was launched in the summer,  with 9 out of 10 saying it was a “very satisfying” experience. Carrefour has 125 stations in Spain and offered the mobile payment service to Pass cardholders in June 2016 through its Mi Carrefour app, allowing customers to pay for fuel without leaving their vehicle.


•               Mastercard expands its use of ledger technology and releases 3 new blockchain APIs to its developer site that allow developers to use the company´s blockchain technology in an effort to promote experimentation of the tool.
•               Antony Jenkins, former Barclays CEO, has launched his own fintech company called 10x Future Technologies and has already closed it first deal with Virgin Money to build a new digital banking platform.