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Weekly Analysis & Opinion Highlights – 15 March 2021


What are the latest popular opinions among fintech industry leaders? Mobile phones revolutionizing financial services in emerging economies, importance of remittances and closing the gender gap, chatbots & AI for finance, CBDC considerations, banking, embedded finance, BaaS, intelligent tools for automation, and leadership styles for a successful launch of tech startups. Happy Monday!

‘Back in the U.S.S.D.’: Most Smartphone Owners—Especially Women—Don’t Use Apps for Financial Services (NextBillion)

Bryan Pon, an analyst focused on digital transformation, and co-founder at Caribou Data, dives into how mobile phones have revolutionized communications and finance across emerging markets of the Global South. One gap remains, and service providers and policymakers should recognize the biases that exist in mobile app usage, and to ensure that new financial services are accessible via USSD whenever possible. Read more

Want equality for women? Give them affordable remittances (AltFi)

Dora Ziambra, Chief Operating Officer, Azimo, argues that high street remittance providers and banks, on which a disproportionate number of women depend, need to reduce their fees. Remittances are an essential source of financial independence for women around the world, with statistics showing that women send half of all global remittances, despite earning 20% less than men on average. Read more

Every Bank Needs A Chatbot (Or Two) For Its Digital Transformation (Forbes)

Ron Shevlin, Managing Director of Fintech Research at Cornerstone Advisors, dives into the positive implications of Covid-19 for the technological sector, such as chat bots, conversational AI in the financial sphere. One lesson from the analysis is that banks need to make chatbots part of their marketing strategies—not just as standalone, ad hoc marketing messaging and offer delivery tools. Read more

“Right time” for CBDC to be considered, says BoE senior manager (

Leanna Reeves, writer at, dives into The Bank of England’s (BoE) reiteration to introduce a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) to improve the payment landscape’s resilience. “There’s been a gradual privatisation in recent years and decades in the money that’s used for payments,” said Shiv Chowla, senior manager for CBDC at the BoE. “It’s the right time for the Bank of England to be considering the future of money and the type of money that central banks provide to the public.” Read more

Banking’s long road to BaaS (FinTech Futures)

Dharmesh Mistry, CEO at AskHomey, explores whether banks are well prepared to take advantage of new services such as embedded finance. The analysis highlights challenges faced by incumbent banks to move to BaaS. The first is their core banking systems. With the opportunity to embed banking into every industry there is a need to scale well beyond the customer base than the bank serves today. Fortunately, the solution is simple: adopt a modern cloud native solution Read more

Intelligent Automation: Its benefits on customer service for traditional banks (Finextra)

Steve Morgan, Banking Industry Market Lead at Pegasystems, finds solutions on how traditional banks can improve customer service when faced with actors who threaten customer satisfaction and retention. The answer lies in intelligent automation, software that allows banks to easily and efficiently manage every single task they need to complete for each customer with automated processes. There are three key benefits of using this technology to improve customer service: reduce costs and increase efficiency, drive personalisation, and decrease errors. Read more

Why you really need to fix your startup’s ‘leadership debt’ (

Martina van Hettinga, Managing Partner at i-potentials GmbH, highlights the key ingredient to build and scale a tech company, besides using a customer-centric product, an innovative business model and backing from the right early-stage investors: building a competent leadership team. As your company moves along the S-curve of growth, the successful measures needed to recruit, build, lead and measure your team change — sometimes quite radically — from one phase to the next.  Read more

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