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Weekly analysis & opinion highlights 2 October 2020

According to Gina Clarke, Editor in Chief at The Fintech Times, fintech sectors have been differently impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The highest increase in terms of demand is seen by the accounting and tax services, which raised up 372% in the UK and 517% in the USA. For investment and wealth services in the US, the increase was only 30% compared to 119% in the UK, as mortgage applications rise and businesses and individuals look for ways to secure their funds ahead of an economic downturn. Read more

According to Ted Knutson, journalist at Forbes, the Big Techs can impose threats for the financial system. The main concern rises from the weak regulatory framework surrounding the fintech industry. Furthermore, the implementation of new technological advancements such as AI could potentially harm the lower income US population from getting loans due to bias in the algorithms, which can lead to a lending assessment based on ability to collect, rather than ability to repay. Read more

According to Elaine Chen at Bloomberg, female fintech funded startups are facing more obstacles when it comes to obtaining investments. In a report conducted by Deloitte, approximately 50% of women-founded fintechs raised less capital over the past five years than startups founded only by men. In addition, a further need for diversity among venture capital companies is needed and investors need to assess whether biases contribute to their decision-making. Read more

According to Te-Ping Chenthe at the Wall Street Journal, further gender biases are seen among AI start-ups. However, the trend seems to be changing, although the AI field is currently male-dominated. More women founders are inviting diverse and multicultural employees and also are on a mission to promote women in tech more broadly. In addition, they want to try to address concerns with technology among marginalized communities, who don’t have access to these types of innovations. Read more

In a recent analysis, CB Insights presents an overview of early pitch decks of 21 unicorn companies, such as LinkedIn or Airbnb. For most of these companies, the pitching step was a requirement in order to get investments, recruiters and customers on board with their business plan. The analysis shows private or exited companies valued in the billions of dollars. Read more

According to Julia Magas, researcher and journalist at Fintech Futures, for payment leaders such as Visa and MasterCard, further digitization is expected based on blockchain technology for financial services. With a reach of 50 million blockchain wallet users globally, cryptocurrency market capitalisation is constantly growing. It is expected that the financial industry will be the leader in adopting new digital assets and setting the scene for the rest of the fintech sectors. Read more

According to David G.W. Birch, author, advisor and global commentator on digital financial services, the fintech sector should focus on providing financial health offerings. By shifting the focus on the financial health proposition, the economic sector can also experience benefits. The American Psychological Association shows in an analysis a link between financial stress and economic hardships, thus it is essential for fintechs to redirect their primary focus on clients as individuals and not sources of revenue. Read more

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