What is the self-driving craze in mobility really about? Improving road safety (something not yet proven or quantified) or creating a framework where control can finally and fully be ceded from users and transferred for all perpetuity to an increasingly concentrated and faceless capital and intellectual property-owning elite?
LendUp CEO Sasha Orloff tells me they’re giving the startup time to build a long-standing brand in finance “the right way”, rather than squeezing as much profit as possible from its customers in the short-term. “Everything has to be transparent. There is no fine print. No hidden fees. And everything has to get someone to a better place” Orloff insists. That’s from a TechCrunch story in January about LendUp, a payday lender backed by Andreessen Horowitz, Google Ventures, QED and Kapor Capital, with debt funding from Victory Park Capital. And this is from a press release just put out by the California Department of Business Oversight:
On the matter of London’s bid to establish itself as the fintech capital of the world, well known Twitter and blogging raconteur Dan Davies says: oh my god fintech forget about it. Non tariff barriers will be extraordinary. London fintech is done. https://t.co/dCFi851P9e — Dan Davies (@dsquareddigest) June 24, 2016 Which fits quite nice with what a fintech/Brexit report commissioned by London FinTech Week at the end of May flagged.
Lol, no, of course it won’t. The UK’s “peer-to-peer” lenders are facing their first economic shock and possible down cycle. But where some see the apocalypse, the likes of Ratesetter see an opportunity: FinTech is in its infancy but that means it is necessarily forward-thinking and modern and that allows it to respond more nimbly to the inevitable changes and opportunities that will arise from today’s vote. Leaving the EU may discombobulate big banking conglomerates and FinTech businesses will look to fill any spaces. This may prove to be an opportunity for FinTech.
Earlier on Tuesday we reported that Transferwise CEO Taavet Hinrikus had not yet considered making FX-volatility related Brexit contingencies for June 23 or the day after: When asked whether Transferwise was making contingencies for Brexit-related volatility or interbank dislocations, Hinrikus said he had not yet considered it and that the company would be providing business as usual.
Dealing with disruption? Puff out your chest, pin back your shoulders, flex your muscles. Here’s the CFO of Wells Fargo doing just that on Tuesday, via the FT: Consumers who want to transfer funds but avoid cash or cheques have turned to small and niche payment operators as the traditional banking industry has been relatively slow to embrace the latest technologies. However, John Shrewsberry, chief financial officer of Wells Fargo, argued the banks’ own system — which allows consumers to send money to each other by entering a mobile phone number or email address — would be more attractive. “I don’t know why anybody would use any other way to do it, frankly,” he said at the Morgan Stanley Financials Conference in New York on Tuesday. “The network that we have between our customers, and the other larger banks participating, is really big. Each one of us, frankly, is bigger than anybody else who is participating in this space as a pure play today.” Just to translate that, Shrewsberry is saying ‘fintech, schmimtech’, which admittedly isn’t an unpopular perspective around these parts.