Your weekly resource for noteworthy news, fascinating features, and fintech titbits that caught our eye. Whether you live by your Twitter lists, save your Google Alerts or simply scroll through LinkedIn for insights and commentary – there is a wealth of content that weaves a global story around fintech.
Our job at Fintech Talents is to work within that global story – finding the news items, conventional wisdoms and hard data that aids us in bringing the industry the best content, community and experiences in the business. This week’s FTT Bookmark of timely resources and real time conversations that are shaping fintech is brought to you by Jess Mager, Product & Growth Manager at VC Innovations
US CEO of Binance resigns
US CEO of Binance, Brian Brooks, has quit after four months. The former Coinbase chief legal officer, announced his resignation on twitter:
The crypto firm has had a lot of regulatory trouble recently with watchdogs from around the globe and a number of financial institutions have disallowed Binance-related transactions to take place in order to protect customers.
Brooks has referred to “differences over strategic direction” as the cause for him abandoning ship. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, has previously referred to compliance as a “journey”, suggesting that compliance is something companies can only strive towards achieving.
The resignation of Brooks after just four months, raises questions about activities and the future of Binance.
Nationwide “dot and notch” for financial inclusivity
Nationwide Building Society has released “dot and notch” printed bank cards to encourage financial inclusion. The recycled bank cards are the first cards to be certified by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and are marked as “Tried and Tested”.
The “dot and notch” feature will be added to all new bank cards issued by the building society, to ensure inclusivity, rather than being added only for selected customers.
The use of tactile marking to help customers with their banking has been used previously by banks such as Natwest, but this is the first to be certified by the RNIB. Although some may prefer for family and friends to manage financial matters on their behalf, the new format of the bank card will help to enable the majority of blind or partially sighted individuals to take control of their own financial affairs.
In 2019, 1.2 million UK adults did not have a current bank account, highlighting that there is an inclusion gap, even in developed countries. Financial and social exclusion can cause barriers to basic services such as health and employment and it can therefore have a severe social and economic impact.
Financial institutions continue to adopt digital tools to drive financial inclusion, but more needs to be done to ensure everyone has access to financial services. Building societies are owned by their customers, so ensuring that their products are accessible and suitable is crucial. As building societies embrace digital innovation and new policies, their products will reach a larger and more diverse audience.
IFC invests in FintechOS to boost financial inclusion
Whilst on the topic of financial inclusion, it’s brilliant to see more being done within financial industries to ensure higher numbers of people have access to a suitable range of services. Last week, IFC, which is a member of the World Bank Group, invested $10 million in FintechOS, a global tech provider for financial services.
The investment will support the European start-up’s low-code, self-service approach to boosting financial inclusion. Instead of digital transformation that is both disruptive and lengthy, FintechOS’s solutions allow institutions to implement digital products to unbanked communities in a much shorter timescale.
The solutions are cost-effective for institutions and in time will lower the costs of technology, making products more affordable for customers and therefore available to a much wider audience.
Technology doping – should athletes go barefoot?
True talent or technology doping? Adidas has come under fire over new materials that have been helping athletes shatter previous world records. The 2020 (2021) Olympic Games in Tokyo, saw a slew of athletes breaking both Olympic and World records, even in comparison to the most recent games in 2016, where only half the number of records were beaten in athletics as were in 2021.
So, can we really compare records such as that of Elaine Thompson-Herah in the women’s 100 metres, to Florence Griffith Joyner’s record set over 33 years ago?
Thick-soled, carbon-plated road shoes, spike equivalents and bouncy “boost” soles are reported to improve running techniques, speed and possibly energy levels. The Nike Alphafly shoe, which was banned from this year’s games, has a trio of carbon plates and cutting-edge midsoles.
Reviews claim the Alphafly provided a 4% running efficiency increase and 3.4% speed increase. Kenyan runner, Eliud Kipchoge, was the first athlete to set a marathon record in under two hours, with some arguing that this was at least partly due to the Alphafly trainers he was wearing.
With the increase in technology and suggestions of technology doping, I’m not sure that we really can compare today’s world and Olympic records to those set thirty years ago. Although, if we end the comparison, could this lead to a new category of records being made every time new technology is introduced? This surely defeats the purpose of world records.