• Eeyore or Oracle?

    The Daily Telegraph may not be now what it once was, a shift most dramatically illustrated by the guns-blazing departure of Peter Oborne a few months back from his post as chief political commentator, citing as he went a “click culture” that is all too easily seen on the home page of its website, nowadays bedecked with link-bait.

  • Involuntary disclosure

    Several years ago I was having lunch at an expensive restaurant in the City of London with a top–ranked fund manager who was interested in my opinion on new entrant banks in the UK. He wanted to know if they were a threat to the margins existing players were reporting, and whether the new entrants would be worth investing in. (more…)

  • Adyen makes its impact behind the scenes

    The proliferation of new payment methods has been a boon for consumers but a challenge for businesses, who now see their customers demanding to buy goods or order services not only with cash and cards but with Paypal or cryptocurrencies – or even by waving their smartphones in the direction of bemused store clerks.

  • A tale of ice and ire

    Iceland is on the up, according to a recent economic health check courtesy of the IMF, which found that the country famed for jailing ill-famed bankers had made a strong recovery from the financial crisis. (more…)

  • A difference of opinion on breaking the banks

    On Tuesday 17 March, the Financial Times’ Alphaville site published a post referring to an upcoming Lafferty report on fintech disruption in the banking sector that I wrote, titled Breaking the Banks: New entrants, new rules. Although the report mentions 33 companies, the focus of the Alphaville article (and also the comments left below the piece) was on TransferWise, the peer-to-peer currency exchange, and whether it really is a threat to traditional banks. (more…)

  • CurrencyFair stakes claim as true P2P finance model

    Dublin-based international money transfer business CurrencyFair announced a funding round of €10 million last week, led by London venture capital investor Octopus Investments and the company’s early backer, Frontline Ventures. (more…)

  • Anne Boden is ready to shake up retail banking in the UK

    Having worked in the banking world since the 1980s, Anne Boden has seen a lot of changes – but also a lot that has stayed the same. “Banking has emerged from the financial crisis almost unchanged,” she says. anne boden“Unless the banking industry responds with true innovations that customers actually want, banks will become irrelevant. It is a hard message but most banking executives would accept this.” (more…)

  • MasterCard: Egypt’s financial inclusion set for great leap

    Mr Magdy Hassan, MasterCard’s country manager for Egypt, told the seventh annual conference of the Egytian Banking Institute in Cairo on Monday that Egypt was ideally placed to take advantage of the company’s initiatives for improving financial inclusion.

  • The contact centre

    It is remarkable that large institutions, even banks, can to this day fail to recognise the importance of phone manner and interpersonal finesse when it comes to dealing with customers. Although our culture has generally become more casual and deference is now, in the main, reposing on history’s rubbish heap alongside top hats and waistcoats, it is nonetheless true that even the most easy-going amongst us like our bank to retain an air of authority and competence, if only as a matter of respect for the trust we place in them as custodians. (more…)

  • Facebook payments and trust issues

    As it moves into consumer-facing financial services, Facebook will struggle with the challenge of establishing trust, says John Egan, Head of Innovation and Foresight at Lafferty Group.