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Fintech A.M.: 13-11-17

Both financial as well as non-financial companies see potential in digitisation and make great efforts to transform their business.

Digitisation everywhere

With PSD2 approaching quickly, digitisation is happening all around the financial landscape. At the start of this month, telecommunications services provider Orange launched its mobile-only bank. Orange Bank, as it is called, is the only French bank to offer for free a service that provides real time balances, mobile payment, innovative uses and an always available virtual adviser. Another France-based bank, Crédit Agricole, follows Orange’s lead by recently announcing an online banking service solution, providing in customers’ perceived digital needs.

Yet these aren’t the only banks pursuing digitisation of their services. Last week, French bank BNP Paribas introduced WeChat Pay, to retailers in France. WeChat Pay is a popular mobile payment solution in China. BNP Paribas doesn’t stop here, as it plans to expand the service across Europe as well.

Taking a more indirect approach, Bank of America’s merchant services businesses is laying the foundation for an innovation lab. This way, the bank can align with its merchant’s overarching goals tailoring existing offerings as well as co-creating new capabilities to meet those goals.

Bitcoin’s fork and tech-related blockchain applications

As always, blockchain related-activities do not seem to slow down. Especially yesterday, as bitcoin’s hard fork, Bitcoin Gold, has officially gone live. The hard fork is aimed at blocking the use of specialized chips for mining, following a previous split off from Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, earlier this summer.

The insurance also delved deeper into blockchain applications. Last week, Stratumn, provider of consortium blockchain technologies, announced the completion of a project fulfilled under the tutelage of the French Federation of Insurers (FFA) in which it connected 14 French insurance companies’ information flows. More and more companies are starting to implement blockchain related applications, as Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced plans to offer services around payments and identity using distributed ledger startup R3’s Corda platform as an underlying basis. In a new patent filing, telecommunications provider Comcast outlined two types of databases to hold its customers’ information. One of them based on the blockchain concept, attempting to boost transparency.


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