Weekly Analysis and Opinion Highlights – 4 April 2022

And we’re kicking off the week with new details on crypto, money transfer, fintech funding, payment process, debt crisis and more. Dive into the latest fintech insights and have a great start of the week!

How fintech can boost financial inclusion for Latin American SMBs (Fintech Futures)
Despite being the backbone of emerging economies, small and medium-sized business (SMBs) in Latin America face significant challenges in terms of scaling and growth. SMBs comprise the majority of Latin American business, generating 67% of formal productive employment and 40% of the GDP. Nevertheless, businesses face challenges of poor financial inclusion, minimal competition among financial institutions, and strict banking regulations. It makes it extremely difficult for them to even open a bank account, much less take out a loan. These obstacles are a threat to both employment and economic growth across the region. It is critical to devise solutions for these issues to leverage more finance access for SMBs and encourage progress and development. Read more.

South Africa is punching above its weight with insurance innovations (Christiaan Erasmus)
When we think of today’s digital hubs and global hotspots for insurance innovation, a number of locations spring to mind such as London, New York, Israel or Singapore. But did you know that South Africa actually offers one of the most innovative insurance environments in the world? Some of the world’s leading examples in insurance innovation have started out in South Africa. Take for example Vitality, where Adrian Gore figured out that if you live healthier your life expectancy increases with lower medical costs. He started Discovery Limited in 1992 and was the first insurer to reward you for living healthier, which was the start of focusing on prevention. This was expanded internationally and behavioural insurance was taken further when Discovery Insure started rewarding you for driving better through their best-in-class telematics program, Vitality Drive. Read more.

A panel, a chat, and confirmation that ESG is a tough nut to crack (Fintech Futures)
I recently attended a hackathon at the Finovate Europe conference. Facilitated by the European Women Payments Network (EWPN), the focus was the challenges and, more importantly, opportunities of ESG for the financial services industry. The format for the hackathon was a panel followed by audience participation in the form of group discussions answering a few pertinent questions. Fuelled and armed by some great insights from the panel (which included Michela Weber from Worldpay, Chris Humphry from Eden McCallum, Elin Helander from Get Dreams, Rukayyat Kolawole from PaceUP Invest GmbH and Sofia Marsaglia from Wallbrook), my group had the task of answering the question: “How can a company get its customers aligned with its ESG goals?” The first thing we discussed was carbon footprint calculators. These ClimateTech tools are increasingly being found in retail and business banking services. They are, of course, an increasingly visible expression of co-opting customers into reducing Scope 3 emissions. Read more.

Apple Stock Was Dropped From J.P. Morgan’s ‘Focus List.’ What Concerned the Analyst. (Barrons)
Apple stock has been on an absolute tear. Now J.P. Morgan is removing it from the firm’s Analyst Focus List over concerns about consumer spending. Shares of  Apple  (ticker: AAPL) climbed for 11 days from March 14 until this past Wednesday—its longest winning streak since 2003. There was no fundamental reason for the fantastic rally. But one can possibly credit the recent news around Apple’s acquisition of British fintech start-up Credit Kudos, or the declining trade-in prices for used iPhones, or even the Oscar win for “CODA,” released on Apple TV, if we’re feeling desperate. Read more.

DevOps: how utilising automation can help financial institutions get ahead (Fintech Futures)
Picture the scene. A traditional building society is surrounded by a multitude of new industry players and seeks to innovate its legacy systems quickly to stay ahead of competitors and meet evolving customer demands. But that’s not all. The building society also faces the challenge of maintaining and improving online services and requires fast speed-to-market to ensure everything is running smoothly and is optimised for high traffic. Not only that, the building society also needs to ensure that it remains compliant, something that is crucial in the financial sector. This all sounds tricky for a financial institution to manage independently, especially as software delivery is becoming more complex. But DevOps tools and processes can help with overcoming these challenges so that organisations in the finance sector can achieve their full potential. Read more.

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