Hi 5! The top five fintech stories we’re following today
- This week, we're tracking how the social media firm is becoming Facebank.
- Blockchain can help the world's poorest people (and richest).
ATMs as the distributed bank of the future
A recent study showed that for the first time, there were more ATMs located away from bank branches than located onsite. That’s an interesting outtake as banks shrink their physical branch footprints.
The nature of the ATM-as-banking-node is changing, too. In 2001, Gene Pranger was hard at work on uGenius, a pioneer of the Interactive Teller Machine. Now, with BankOn, he’s on to something arguably even bigger: mobile video banking.
Anyone interested in seeing Facebook’s intentions when it comes to finance should take a look at the social network’s new European payment license. That’s in addition to the firm’s recent hire of David Marcus, PayPal’s former president, to run Facebook Messenger.
Facilitating global payments is a large opportunity that gets even bigger if you can figure it out for B2B payments. Payoneer recently acquired escrow-as-a-service firm, Armor Payments, and is serious about bridging the trust gap in global B2B payments.
What’s going on with demand for banking apps?
Mobile apps are growing, even if that growth is slowing down. Historical numbers of people are using mobile banking apps. The growth has been led by a younger demographic, which makes sense. Getting the rest of banking customers to use their phones for banking service is the next challenge. There’s still a lot of opportunity for banks to migrate older customers to other channels.
I wish I had an on-demand financial planner running my financial life. Now available on Facebook Messenger, Digit bot has helped people save $250 million.
Facebook has been encouraging financial institutions to use its messaging app as a bot platform. B2B communication platform Slack is also competing to become a financial bot platform and is actively investing in a variety of finance bots, including in startup Sway Finance.
Blockchain hype still outstrips real world activity. To see what’s going on in the real world, Tradestreaming spoke to a blockchain expert at SAP.
For its sake, Bitcoin may never be a currency. It’s something way weirder.