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The new era of payment processing will change everything

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

An employee demonstrates a Samsung Pay, Samsung's new mobile payment system at a shop in Seoul, South Korea, September 4, 2015. The system allows customers to pay for goods by simply placing their handsets on or next to a point-of-sale terminal. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

The modern smartphone is a remarkable device. A single device that fits in your pocket can do all the tasks that once required cameras, camcorders, GPS devices, watches, alarm clocks, calculators, and even TVs.    

But the next change might be the most radical of all—it could eliminate the need to carry cash and credit cards.  

The growing importance of the smartphone as the go-to computing device for every digital activity is having a profound effect everywhere you look, but it’s only the biggest story among many exciting developments in the world of payments:   

  • Apple Pay was first out of the gate, but now mobile wallets are everywhere you look—Android Pay, Google Pay, Chase Pay and even Walmart Pay are making smartphones a real alternative to carrying credit cards. And the potential for mobile wallets to limit a merchant’s fraud liability could help them really take off in acceptance for small businesses.   
  • As consumers move more purchasing online, gateway vendors that can act as a front-end processor for online businesses are seeing explosive growth.   PayPal-owned Braintree grew 111% YoY in the number of cards on file in Q4 2015, while Stripe and Klarna now have multi-billion dollar valuations.
  • Mobile Point-Of-Sale (mPOS) startups like Square and ShopKeep have pioneered a whole new payments niche—accepting payments via tablets and smartphones.   Coupling their transactions capabilities with new apps can revolutionize a small business’ inventory management, marketing, loyalty and even payroll.   
  • Mobile Peer-to-Peer payments in the U.S. are forecast to grow from $5.6 billion in 2014 to nearly $175 billion by 2019 as consumers increasingly skip the hassle of writing a check or going to an ATM.   But smartphone vendors like Apple could cripple the dominant player of 2016 (Venmo) if they make a serious push to own the space.   

If your job or your company is involved in payment processing in any way, you know how complex this industry is. And you know that you simply can’t understand where the next big digital opportunities are unless you know the key players and roles in each step of the payments “supply chain:”   

  • Acquirers
  • Processors
  • Issuers
  • Card Networks
  • Independent sales organizations and merchant service providers
  • Gateways
  • Hardware and software providers

Fortunately, managing analyst John Heggestuen and research analyst Evan Bakker of BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, have compiled a detailed report that breaks down everything you need to know—whether you’re a payments industry veteran or a newcomer who is still getting a basic knowledge of this complex world.

368896817

Among the big picture insights you’ll get from this new report, titled The Payments Ecosystem Report: Everything You Need to Know About The Next Era of Payment Processing:

  • The 5 key events of 2015 that have set up 2016 as a watershed year for the entire payments ecosystem. 
  • The basics of traditional card processing from the start of the process through to the very end.    
  • Why new players and innovations like prepaid cards, store cards, and PIN debit transactions are gaining market share and creating new opportunities.   
  • The effects—good and bad—of the transition to new mobile payment methods.   New players and old have surprising threats and opportunities in areas as varied as carrier billing, remittances, wearables, and more.   

This exclusive report takes you inside these big issues to explore:

  • The critical steps in credit card transactions and how they are changing.
  • The six major types of organizations involved in the payments ecosystem.
  • The significant differences for industry players who operate closed-loop networks and offer prepaid cards.
  • The challenges and opportunities facing hardware and software providers for the payments sector.   
  • The 8 reasons why mobile wallets are growing so fast and how they will disrupt all aspects of the mobile ecosystem.    
  • The exciting possibilities ahead in fast-growing payments subsectors like remittances, connected devices and mobile P2P payments.   
  • And much more.

The Payments Ecosystem Report: Everything You Need to Know About The Next Era of Payment Processing is the only place you can get the full story on the rapidly-evolving world of payments.      

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to BI Intelligence's Ultimate Payments Research Bundle and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

Join the conversation about this story »

Bitcoin Remittance Startup Freemit to Close Amid Funding Shortfall

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin remittance startup Freemit is officially closing down, two years after the effort to build the service began.

Coinbase Suspends Canadian Dollar Services Amid $10.5M Raise From Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

San Francisco-based Coinbase, a leading Bitcoin exchange offering numerous services and products, has informed its Canadian users they must...

The post Coinbase Suspends Canadian Dollar Services Amid $10.5M Raise From Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

You can’t understand the Fintech Revolution without this report

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Fintech Image No Color

We’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs.

No firm is immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new financial technology (“fintech”) revolution.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world:  The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees

  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful

  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.

After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Evan Bakker, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together an essential briefing that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:

  • Retail banking

  • Lending and Financing

  • Payments and Transfers
  • 
Wealth and Asset Management

  • Markets and Exchanges

  • Insurance

  • Blockchain Transactions


If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.       

Among the big picture insights you’ll get from this new report, titled The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry:

  • Why financial technology is so disruptive to financial services—it will soon change the nature of almost every financial activity, from banking to payments to wealth management.
  • The basic conflict will be between old firms and new—startups are re-imagining financial services processes from top to bottom, while incumbent financial services firms are trying to keep up with new products of their own.
  • Both sides face serious obstacles—traditional banks and financial services firms are investing heavily in innovation, but leveraging their investments is difficult with so much invested in legacy systems and profit centers.
  • Meanwhile, startups are struggling to navigate a rapidly-changing regulatory landscape and must scale up quickly with limited resources.
  • The blockchain is a wild card that could completely overhaul financial services. Both major banks and startups around the world are exploring the technology behind the blockchain, which stores and records Bitcoin transactions. This technology could lower the cost of many financial activities to near-zero and could wipe away many traditional banking activities completely.

This exclusive report also:

  • Explains the main growth drivers of the exploding fintech ecosystem.
  • Frames the challenges and opportunities faced by incumbents and startups.
  • Breaks down global and regional fintech investments, including which regions are the most significant and which are poised for the highest growth.
  • Reveals which two financial services are garnering the most investment, and are therefore likely to be transformed first and fastest by fintech
  • Explains why blockchain technology is critically important to banks and startups, and assesses which players stand to gain the most from it.
  • Explores the financial sectors facing disruption and breaks them down in terms of investments, vulnerabilities and growth opportunities.

And much more.

The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry is how you get the full story on the fintech revolution.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the fintech revolution, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But to stay on top of the breaking developments in fintech—positive and negative—the ALL-ACCESS Membership is your best choice.  It gives you a wealth of digital information, including the daily Fintech Briefing, which gives you all the latest news and analysis on the world of fintech.   

But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of financial technology.

Join the conversation about this story »

BTCC and HaoBTC Dismiss Rumors of Hard Fork Threat by Chinese Bitcoin Miners

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Late last week, a post on Chinese Bitcoin community website 8btc gained a lot of attention in certain English-language Bitcoin circles,...

The post BTCC and HaoBTC Dismiss Rumors of Hard Fork Threat by Chinese Bitcoin Miners appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

MasterCard could be facing a $24.6 billion lawsuit (MA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Card Processing Fees

MasterCard could have a hefty lawsuit on its hands.

U.K. consumers are preparing to a file a $24.6 billion suit against the payments company over cross-border transaction fees that were deemed illegal in 2014, according to Bloomberg. A European Commission hearing in 2014 revealed that MasterCard's cross-border interchange fees violated EU law, reports the Financial Times.

U.K. banking expert Walter Merricks is leading the new suit, which claims that the fees were so exorbitant that retailers increased their consumer prices in response. This forced consumers to over-spend on goods and services from 1992 to 2008, and the plaintiffs now believe they are owed losses as a result. For context, the 2014 ruling generated at least 12 lawsuits from retailers against MasterCard.

The company vehemently disagrees with the fundamentals of the suit and states it does not earn any revenue from interchange. Instead, it claims it uses it to ensure that stakeholders deliver valuable services. But Merrick said both retail economy experts and MasterCard were aware that consumers were paying higher prices thanks to MasterCard's fees, according to The Independent.

The lawsuit could have a ripple effect throughout the industry. If MasterCard loses, the payout would compound with other losses from the EU decision, which the firm expects would be "substantial." But the case, which follows several similar suits in the U.S., could mark a push toward reduced interchange fees across the industry.

Several nations already have fee regulations, but the increasing resistance from retailers toward card networks could push the fees even lower. This could have long-term effects on card networks' operations and revenue.

For more, see the detailed report on the payments ecosystem from BI Intelligence. Click here to learn more about how you can gain risk-free access today.

Join the conversation about this story »

Mitsubishi UFJ Invests in Bitcoin Startup Coinbase

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Coinbase has reportedly raised more than $10m from Japan's largest bank, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group.

Bitfury Proposes a Solution to the Bitcoin Routing Problem in the Lightning Network

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitfury just announced a white paper, in collaboration with Olaoluwa Osuntokun and others from the Lightning Network team, proposing a new algorithmic solution to Lightning Network’s routing problem. A hybrid routing algorithm is proposed which, according to a press release, ensures that “routes can be found as quickly as possible.” According to the whitepaper the […]

The post Bitfury Proposes a Solution to the Bitcoin Routing Problem in the Lightning Network appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Price Slumps On Eve Of Block Reward Halving

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin price has taken the low road as the market sells off prior to the block reward halving. Bitcoin price, how low will you go? This analysis is provided by xbt.social with a 3-hour delay. Read the full analysis here. Not a member? Join now. Bitcoin Price Analysis Time of analysis: 15h00 UTC OKCoin BTC/USD […]

The post Bitcoin Price Slumps On Eve Of Block Reward Halving appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Halving 2016: Will the Price Rise or Fall?

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

2016 has become a year of revival for the bitcoin price, but will this continue after the upcoming halving?

MasterCard could be facing a $24.6 billion lawsuit (MA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Card Processing FeesThis story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

MasterCard could have a hefty lawsuit on its hands.

U.K. consumers are preparing to a file a $24.6 billion suit against the payments company over cross-border transaction fees that were deemed illegal in 2014, according to Bloomberg. A European Commission hearing in 2014 revealed that MasterCard's cross-border interchange fees violated EU law, reports the Financial Times.

U.K. banking expert Walter Merricks is leading the new suit, which claims that the fees were so exorbitant that retailers increased their consumer prices in response. This forced consumers to over-spend on goods and services from 1992 to 2008, and the plaintiffs now believe they are owed losses as a result. For context, the 2014 ruling generated at least 12 lawsuits from retailers against MasterCard.

The company vehemently disagrees with the fundamentals of the suit and states it does not earn any revenue from interchange. Instead, it claims it uses it to ensure that stakeholders deliver valuable services. But Merrick said both retail economy experts and MasterCard were aware that consumers were paying higher prices thanks to MasterCard's fees, according to The Independent.

The lawsuit could have a ripple effect throughout the industry. If MasterCard loses, the payout would compound with other losses from the EU decision, which the firm expects would be "substantial." But the case, which follows several similar suits in the U.S., could mark a push toward reduced interchange fees across the industry.

Several nations already have fee regulations, but the increasing resistance from retailers toward card networks could push the fees even lower. This could have long-term effects on card networks' operations and revenue.

But the payments industry has already been undergoing several transformations, and these will have significant effects even if the interchange fees remain steady.

Evan Bakker and John Heggestuen, analysts for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, have compiled a detailed report on the payments ecosystem that drills into the industry to explain how a broad range of transactions are processed, including prepaid and store cards, as well as revealing which types of companies are in the best and worst position to capitalize on the latest industry trends.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • 2016 will be a watershed year for the payments industry. Payments companies are improving security, expanding their mobile offerings, and building commerce capabilities that will give consumers a more compelling reason to make purchases using digital devices.
  • Payments is an extremely complex industry. To understand the next big digital opportunity lies, it's critical to understand how the traditional credit- and debit-processing chain works and what roles acquirers, processors, issuing banks, card networks, independent sales organizations, gateways, and software and hardware providers play.
  • Alternative technologies could disrupt the processing ecosystem. Devices ranging from refrigerators to smartwatches now feature payment capabilities, which will spur changes in consumer payment behaviors. Likewise, blockchain technology, the protocol that underlies Bitcoin, could one day change how consumer card payments are verified.

In full, the report:

  • Uncovers the key themes and trends affecting the payments industry in 2016 and beyond.
  • Gives a detailed description of the stakeholders involved in a payment transaction, along with hardware and software providers.
  • Offers diagrams and infographics explaining how card transactions are processed and which players are involved in each step.
  • Provides charts on our latest forecasts, key company growth, survey results, and more.
  • Analyzes the alternative technologies, including blockchain, which could further disrupt the ecosystem.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the payments ecosystem.

Join the conversation about this story »

MasterCard could be facing a $24.6 billion lawsuit (MA)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Card Processing FeesThis story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Payments Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

MasterCard could have a hefty lawsuit on its hands.

U.K. consumers are preparing to a file a $24.6 billion suit against the payments company over cross-border transaction fees that were deemed illegal in 2014, according to Bloomberg. A European Commission hearing in 2014 revealed that MasterCard's cross-border interchange fees violated EU law, reports the Financial Times.

U.K. banking expert Walter Merricks is leading the new suit, which claims that the fees were so exorbitant that retailers increased their consumer prices in response. This forced consumers to over-spend on goods and services from 1992 to 2008, and the plaintiffs now believe they are owed losses as a result. For context, the 2014 ruling generated at least 12 lawsuits from retailers against MasterCard.

The company vehemently disagrees with the fundamentals of the suit and states it does not earn any revenue from interchange. Instead, it claims it uses it to ensure that stakeholders deliver valuable services. But Merrick said both retail economy experts and MasterCard were aware that consumers were paying higher prices thanks to MasterCard's fees, according to The Independent.

The lawsuit could have a ripple effect throughout the industry. If MasterCard loses, the payout would compound with other losses from the EU decision, which the firm expects would be "substantial." But the case, which follows several similar suits in the U.S., could mark a push toward reduced interchange fees across the industry.

Several nations already have fee regulations, but the increasing resistance from retailers toward card networks could push the fees even lower. This could have long-term effects on card networks' operations and revenue.

But the payments industry has already been undergoing several transformations, and these will have significant effects even if the interchange fees remain steady.

Evan Bakker and John Heggestuen, analysts for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, have compiled a detailed report on the payments ecosystem that drills into the industry to explain how a broad range of transactions are processed, including prepaid and store cards, as well as revealing which types of companies are in the best and worst position to capitalize on the latest industry trends.

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • 2016 will be a watershed year for the payments industry. Payments companies are improving security, expanding their mobile offerings, and building commerce capabilities that will give consumers a more compelling reason to make purchases using digital devices.
  • Payments is an extremely complex industry. To understand the next big digital opportunity lies, it's critical to understand how the traditional credit- and debit-processing chain works and what roles acquirers, processors, issuing banks, card networks, independent sales organizations, gateways, and software and hardware providers play.
  • Alternative technologies could disrupt the processing ecosystem. Devices ranging from refrigerators to smartwatches now feature payment capabilities, which will spur changes in consumer payment behaviors. Likewise, blockchain technology, the protocol that underlies Bitcoin, could one day change how consumer card payments are verified.

In full, the report:

  • Uncovers the key themes and trends affecting the payments industry in 2016 and beyond.
  • Gives a detailed description of the stakeholders involved in a payment transaction, along with hardware and software providers.
  • Offers diagrams and infographics explaining how card transactions are processed and which players are involved in each step.
  • Provides charts on our latest forecasts, key company growth, survey results, and more.
  • Analyzes the alternative technologies, including blockchain, which could further disrupt the ecosystem.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the payments ecosystem.

Join the conversation about this story »

UK Trials Blockchain-Based Social Welfare Payments

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

London-based blockchain and fintech startup GovCoin Systems Ltd., has been chosen by the UK Department for Work and Pensions to trial a new blockchain-based trial for welfare payments. In a press release today, it is revealed that the United Kingdom’s Department for Work and Pensions has an ongoing proof-of-concept trial where welfare payments are being […]

The post UK Trials Blockchain-Based Social Welfare Payments appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Credit cards are going the way of fax machines

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

fax machine

The modern smartphone is a remarkable device. A single device that fits in your pocket can do all the tasks that once required cameras, camcorders, GPS devices, watches, alarm clocks, calculators, and even TVs.    

But the next change might be the most radical of all—it could eliminate the need to carry cash and credit cards.  

The growing importance of the smartphone as the go-to computing device for every digital activity is having a profound effect everywhere you look, but it’s only the biggest story among many exciting developments in the world of payments:   

  • Apple Pay was first out of the gate, but now mobile wallets are everywhere you look—Android Pay, Google Pay, Chase Pay and even Walmart Pay are making smartphones a real alternative to carrying credit cards. And the potential for mobile wallets to limit a merchant’s fraud liability could help them really take off in acceptance for small businesses.   
  • As consumers move more purchasing online, gateway vendors that can act as a front-end processor for online businesses are seeing explosive growth.   PayPal-owned Braintree grew 111% YoY in the number of cards on file in Q4 2015, while Stripe and Klarna now have multi-billion dollar valuations.
  • Mobile Point-Of-Sale (mPOS) startups like Square and ShopKeep have pioneered a whole new payments niche—accepting payments via tablets and smartphones.   Coupling their transactions capabilities with new apps can revolutionize a small business’ inventory management, marketing, loyalty and even payroll.   
  • Mobile Peer-to-Peer payments in the U.S. are forecast to grow from $5.6 billion in 2014 to nearly $175 billion by 2019 as consumers increasingly skip the hassle of writing a check or going to an ATM.   But smartphone vendors like Apple could cripple the dominant player of 2016 (Venmo) if they make a serious push to own the space.   

If your job or your company is involved in payment processing in any way, you know how complex this industry is. And you know that you simply can’t understand where the next big digital opportunities are unless you know the key players and roles in each step of the payments “supply chain:”   

  • Acquirers
  • Processors
  • Issuers
  • Card Networks
  • Independent sales organizations and merchant service providers
  • Gateways
  • Hardware and software providers

Fortunately, managing analyst John Heggestuen and research analyst Evan Bakker of BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, have compiled a detailed report that breaks down everything you need to know—whether you’re a payments industry veteran or a newcomer who is still getting a basic knowledge of this complex world.

368896817

Among the big picture insights you’ll get from this new report, titled The Payments Ecosystem Report: Everything You Need to Know About The Next Era of Payment Processing:

  • The 5 key events of 2015 that have set up 2016 as a watershed year for the entire payments ecosystem. 
  • The basics of traditional card processing from the start of the process through to the very end.    
  • Why new players and innovations like prepaid cards, store cards, and PIN debit transactions are gaining market share and creating new opportunities.   
  • The effects—good and bad—of the transition to new mobile payment methods.   New players and old have surprising threats and opportunities in areas as varied as carrier billing, remittances, wearables, and more.   

This exclusive report takes you inside these big issues to explore:

  • The critical steps in credit card transactions and how they are changing.
  • The six major types of organizations involved in the payments ecosystem.
  • The significant differences for industry players who operate closed-loop networks and offer prepaid cards.
  • The challenges and opportunities facing hardware and software providers for the payments sector.   
  • The 8 reasons why mobile wallets are growing so fast and how they will disrupt all aspects of the mobile ecosystem.    
  • The exciting possibilities ahead in fast-growing payments subsectors like remittances, connected devices and mobile P2P payments.   
  • And much more.

The Payments Ecosystem Report: Everything You Need to Know About The Next Era of Payment Processing is the only place you can get the full story on the rapidly-evolving world of payments.      

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to BI Intelligence's Ultimate Payments Research Bundle and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

Join the conversation about this story »

Raketa Watches Trials Blockchain Technology to Fight Counterfeiting

Bitcoin Magazine, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Blockchain Engine and Petrodvorets Watch Factory have introduced blockchain technology into the manufacturing process of Raketa watches,...

The post Raketa Watches Trials Blockchain Technology to Fight Counterfeiting appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Coinbase Makes Bitcoin More Attractive to Merchants

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Prominent bitcoin exchange and platform Coinbase has revealed new features that it says will make it “even easier for merchants to accept bitcoin.” Digital currency exchange and bitcoin services provider Coinbase has rolled out a handful of new features that it hopes will help further bitcoin acceptance among merchants. The new features, while simplistic in […]

The post Coinbase Makes Bitcoin More Attractive to Merchants appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitfury Releases Proposal for Bitcoin Lightning Micropayments Routing

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitfury Group, in collaboration with the open-source Lightning Network community, has released a white paper on lightning routing.

Fintech Expert Frank Schwab: Bitcoin Here To Stay, Banks Are Doomed

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Frank Schwab, a founder of the Fintech Forum in Germany, believes that bitcoin has proven itself, and banks could eventually become obsolete, according to an interview with Christoffer De Geer, marketing manager at XBT Provider, in The Street. Schwab’s association with fintech began in 2012 when he came across a Berlin-based startup called Mambu which develops […]

The post Fintech Expert Frank Schwab: Bitcoin Here To Stay, Banks Are Doomed appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

The fintech ecosystem explained

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

FintechShapingtheFuture

We’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs.

No firm is immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new financial technology (“fintech”) revolution.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world:  The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees

  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful

  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.

After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Evan Bakker, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together an essential briefing that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:

  • Retail banking

  • Lending and Financing

  • Payments and Transfers
  • 
Wealth and Asset Management

  • Markets and Exchanges

  • Insurance

  • Blockchain Transactions


If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.       

Among the big picture insights you’ll get from this new report, titled The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry:

  • Why financial technology is so disruptive to financial services—it will soon change the nature of almost every financial activity, from banking to payments to wealth management.
  • The basic conflict will be between old firms and new—startups are re-imagining financial services processes from top to bottom, while incumbent financial services firms are trying to keep up with new products of their own.
  • Both sides face serious obstacles—traditional banks and financial services firms are investing heavily in innovation, but leveraging their investments is difficult with so much invested in legacy systems and profit centers.
  • Meanwhile, startups are struggling to navigate a rapidly-changing regulatory landscape and must scale up quickly with limited resources.
  • The blockchain is a wild card that could completely overhaul financial services. Both major banks and startups around the world are exploring the technology behind the blockchain, which stores and records Bitcoin transactions. This technology could lower the cost of many financial activities to near-zero and could wipe away many traditional banking activities completely.

This exclusive report also:

  • Explains the main growth drivers of the exploding fintech ecosystem.
  • Frames the challenges and opportunities faced by incumbents and startups.
  • Breaks down global and regional fintech investments, including which regions are the most significant and which are poised for the highest growth.
  • Reveals which two financial services are garnering the most investment, and are therefore likely to be transformed first and fastest by fintech
  • Explains why blockchain technology is critically important to banks and startups, and assesses which players stand to gain the most from it.
  • Explores the financial sectors facing disruption and breaks them down in terms of investments, vulnerabilities and growth opportunities.

And much more.

The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry is how you get the full story on the fintech revolution.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the fintech revolution, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But to stay on top of the breaking developments in fintech—positive and negative—the ALL-ACCESS Membership is your best choice.  It gives you a wealth of digital information, including the daily Fintech Briefing, which gives you all the latest news and analysis on the world of fintech.   

But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of financial technology.

Join the conversation about this story »

The Bitcoin Community Is an Industry Like Any Other

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoiners enjoy celebrating their so-called Bitcoin community. But, in the years since Bitcoin increased in price from $60 to $1,300, a lot has changed. Although still called the Bitcoin community by many today, the current state of Bitcoin resembles more closely an industry. Often times Bitcoiners will make a joke that most Venture Capital money […]

The post The Bitcoin Community Is an Industry Like Any Other appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

5 Ways Growing Fast Can Cripple Your Business (and How to Fix It)

Inc, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Growing too fast? Hardly anyone talks about business growth as a bad thing, but these five pitfalls could stifle your company.

Why Blockchain Immutability is a Perpetual Motion Claim

CoinDesk, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Is immutability becoming the next overhyped blockchain buzzword? Bitcoin pundit Chris DeRose discusses in his latest op-ed.

Blockchain Social Platform Steemit Rewards Users with $1.3 Million

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

What better way to attract more visitors to a site than by giving money away, which is exactly what blockchain-based Steemit did over the Independence Day weekend to its users. On July 4, Steemit users were rewarded with around $1.3 million worth of the digital currency, Steem Dollars, or 10% of Steemit’s current market cap, […]

The post Blockchain Social Platform Steemit Rewards Users with $1.3 Million appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

BARCLAYS: Brexit has uncorked a genie in the currency markets

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

geniedisney1

Britain's vote to leave the European Union has "uncorked a genie" that is sending ripples through the currency markets and causing uncertainty to be the "new normal," according to the latest research from currency analysts with Barclays.

In the bank's latest Foreign Exchange Strategy note, Barclays argues that the huge uncertainty across the globe that has been triggered by the UK's Brexit vote — the so-called "genie uncorked" — means that investors in the currency markets are in for a bumpy ride, and that what happens next is pretty much anyone's guess.

Here is a crucial extract from Barclays' research:

"The UK’s vote to leave the EU has ushered in what looks set to be a long phase of uncertainty. The implications of the vote are broad, with very direct economic and political fallout for the UK and Europe. They also signal the strength of anti-globalization movements more generally. The protracted leadership struggle in the UK and its associated uncertainty for the timing of the UK’s invocation of Article 50 (formally exiting the EU) only worsen the outlook. The effect on risk appetite and asset allocation decisions will likely be significant and long lived. As such, we take little solace from the recent short-term bounce in risky asset prices and currencies."

And here is Barclays' chart, noting how incredibly uncertain the outlook is for economic policy going forward (a view corroborated by Morgan Stanley in a recent note):

Screen Shot 2016 07 07 at 11.20.24

Understandably, given that it is obviously the currency most affected by Brexit, the pound has been the focus of huge attention in the markets since the Brexit vote. Sterling has slumped to a 31-year low against the dollar, and expectations are that it will keep falling.

On Wednesday, Goldman Sachs predicted that the pound could fall as low as $1.20, Deutsche Bank has predicted $1.15, while former PIMCO big dog Mohammed El-Erian thinks that parity with the dollar could beckon for sterling if Britain does not sort its EU membership out soon.

Barclays is slightly more optimistic in its outlook, saying that it expects an average price for sterling of around $1.28 against the dollar going forward, that is only a couple of cents below the current level, just below $1.30.

Barclays analysts Andres Martinez, and Juan Prada also argue that they do not see Sterling staying hugely depressed against the euro for the long term: "We expect GBP weakness against the EUR to last only one quarter as emphasis turns increasingly to the political stability of the rest of Europe."

Events like the upcoming constitutional reform referendum in Italy, growing populism across the continent, and the continued uncertainty about Spain's electoral situation, will contribute to those fears.

Away from the UK and Europe, Barclays is particularly worried about the currency outlook for emerging markets, pointing to a variety of factors — including weaker growth in China, a lack of firepower from central banks, and fears of a retreat from globalisation — will make emerging market currencies "the clear laggards" of the forex markets.

Here is the quote (emphasis ours):

"However, we believe markets are underestimating growth effects and the effects of financial contagion. Moreover, we are concerned that growth in China – to whom EM are more exposed – may disappoint in a stressed global environment amid a shortage of available monetary and fiscal policy tools. Furthermore, no set of economies is more at risk from a retreat from globalization by developed countries than EM; hence, to the extent politics in Europe and the US continue to fan worries about free trade, we think EM has potential to fall much further."

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: 5 of the most successful 'Shark Tank' stories of all time

Flavours Place, an Online Marketplace to Buy Coffee and Tea with Bitcoin

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: Coffee and tea loving Bitcoin users can now buy their favorite produce on the online marketplace Flavours Place while supporting farmers worldwide. July 6, 2016, Kowloon, Hong Kong – Flavours Place is a brand new online marketplace selling a wide variety of coffee and tea collections otherwise unavailable in the market. The […]

The post Flavours Place, an Online Marketplace to Buy Coffee and Tea with Bitcoin appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Bitcoin Alternative YoCoin, a New Cryptocurrency with Mainstream Appeal

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: New easy-to-mine cryptocurrency YoCoin is making waves across several exchanges with exciting new innovations yet to come. July 6, 2016 Bangkok, Thailand – Cryptocurrency has become a phenomenon that will not be going away anytime soon, and YoCoin is leading the charge to take cryptocurrencies mainstream and make them accessible to everyone. […]

The post Bitcoin Alternative YoCoin, a New Cryptocurrency with Mainstream Appeal appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Unprecedented ‘Multicurrency’ Gaming Token Breakout Coin Ends Their Successful 700 BTC Crowdfund Sale on July 7

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Bitcoin Press Release: Breakout Coin, nets over 700 BTC to date. The world’s first ‘multicurrency’ payment system is about to end their three-week long campaign on the reputable cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex at 7 PM on July 7. July 6, 2016 Los Angeles, CA – Breakout Coin (www.breakoutcoin.com) today announced it has raised over 700 BTC (close to […]

The post Unprecedented ‘Multicurrency’ Gaming Token Breakout Coin Ends Their Successful 700 BTC Crowdfund Sale on July 7 appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Blocksafe Applies Blockchain Tech to Improve ‘Smart Guns’

CryptoCoins News, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

Will blockchain technology make “smart guns” more acceptable? Kevin Barnes, chairman and CEO of Blocksafe, thinks he has a good chance. The blockchain brings improved security and privacy to “smart gun” technology, which could appease critics. Smart guns have embedded computers to enhance safety by preventing anyone other than authorized parties from firing the weapons. […]

The post Blocksafe Applies Blockchain Tech to Improve ‘Smart Guns’ appeared first on CCN: Financial Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency News.

Deutsche Bank's fintech strategy (DB)

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

deutsche bankThis story was delivered to BI Intelligence "Fintech Briefing" subscribers. To learn more and subscribe, please click here.

Markus Pertlwieser, the German banking giant's Chief Digital Officer (CDO), explained the bank's fintech strategy in an interview with BI Germany this week.

The strategy is part of the bank's larger plan to reorganize its commercial and private banking businesses in its home market. The plan includes investing €750 million ($570 million) in digital products and advisory services by 2020. 

  • Fintech companies are potential partners, not threats. Pertlwieser believes the majority of fintechs are now focused on B2B solutions, and therefore views them as potential partners. This notion is reflected in the bank's platform strategy — which involves allowing third-party fintechs to connect to the bank's systems. The goal is to provide customers with innovative new services through such partnerships. We've also seen this strategy adopted by Spanish banking giant BBVA, which launched an Open API platform in February 2016. That platform enables third parties to provide auxiliary services that leverage BBVA customers' account and card data.  
  • Insurtech is an opportunity. Insurtech is an area of fintech that uses technology to innovate and disrupt the legacy insurance industry. Pertlwieser believes insurtech will be particularly important to the relationship between the bank and insurance providers. Deutsche Bank sells insurance on behalf of its partners, and Pertlwieser may see insurtech as a way to improve the insurance distribution model. Insurtech started to take off this year, with funding for firms nearly quadrupling year-over-year (YoY) in Q1 2016.
  • Deutsche Bank already has a partnership with a robo-advisor. Pertlwieser believes robo-advisors will improve advice for customers who don't use a human advisor, while also aiding human advisors serving existing clients. A number of other banks are also working with robo-advisors, including UBS — a pattern we are likely to see continue, as banks seek to offer services to compete with startups like Betterment. 
  • P2P lending isn't a priority for the bank. Deutsche Bank is not currently looking for fintech partners in this area, in part because of doubts as to whether the model can be successful in the long run, according to Pertlwieser. These doubts are likely compounded by the problems seen in the US alt lending market, with dangerous practices goingunchecked and firms struggling to attract investors. 
  • The next big fintech hub could be in Asia. The bank already has innovation labs in Berlin, San Francisco, and London, and it's looking toward Asia next. Deutsche Bank could be looking at Singapore, or Hong Kong, both of which have made moves to encourage the growth of regional fintech. 

Deutsche Bank's perception of fintechs as potential partners is one shared by bank execs across Europe. That said, we have started to see banks begin to view fintechs as acquisition targets as well, with those in Spain leading the way. It's possible that Deutsche Bank's strategy is to test fintechs' technology and models before taking the bigger — and more expensive step — of acquiring them.

We’ve entered the most profound era of change for financial services companies since the 1970s brought us index mutual funds, discount brokers and ATMs.

No firm is immune from the coming disruption and every company must have a strategy to harness the powerful advantages of the new fintech revolution.

The battle already underway will create surprising winners and stunned losers among some of the most powerful names in the financial world: The most contentious conflicts (and partnerships) will be between startups that are completely reengineering decades-old practices, traditional power players who are furiously trying to adapt with their own innovations, and total disruption of established technology & processes:

  • Traditional Retail Banks vs. Online-Only Banks: Traditional retail banks provide a valuable service, but online-only banks can offer many of the same services with higher rates and lower fees

  • Traditional Lenders vs. Peer-to-Peer Marketplaces: P2P lending marketplaces are growing much faster than traditional lenders—only time will tell if the banks strategy of creating their own small loan networks will be successful

  • Traditional Asset Managers vs. Robo-Advisors: Robo-advisors like Betterment offer lower fees, lower minimums and solid returns to investors, but the much larger traditional asset managers are creating their own robo-products while providing the kind of handholding that high net worth clients are willing to pay handsomely for.

As you can see, this very fluid environment is creating winners and losers before your eyes…and it’s also creating the potential for new cost savings or growth opportunities for both you and your company.

After months of researching and reporting this important trend, Evan Bakker, research analyst for BI Intelligence, Business Insider's premium research service, has put together an essential report on the fintech ecosystem that explains the new landscape, identifies the ripest areas for disruption, and highlights the some of the most exciting new companies. These new players have the potential to become the next Visa, Paypal or Charles Schwab because they have the potential to transform important areas of the financial services industry like:

  • Retail banking

  • Lending and Financing

  • Payments and Transfers
  • 
Wealth and Asset Management

  • Markets and Exchanges

  • Insurance

  • Blockchain Transactions


If you work in any of these sectors, it’s important for you to understand how the fintech revolution will change your business and possibly even your career. And if you’re employed in any part of the digital economy, you’ll want to know how you can exploit these new technologies to make your employer more efficient, flexible and profitable.

Among the big picture insights you'll get from The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry:

  • Why financial technology is so disruptive to financial services—it will soon change the nature of almost every financial activity, from banking to payments to wealth management.
  • The basic conflict will be between old firms and new—startups are re-imagining financial services processes from top to bottom, while incumbent financial services firms are trying to keep up with new products of their own.
  • Both sides face serious obstacles—traditional banks and financial services firms are investing heavily in innovation, but leveraging their investments is difficult with so much invested in legacy systems and profit centers.
  • Meanwhile, startups are struggling to navigate a rapidly-changing regulatory landscape and must scale up quickly with limited resources.
  • The blockchain is a wild card that could completely overhaul financial services. Both major banks and startups around the world are exploring the technology behind the blockchain, which stores and records Bitcoin transactions. This technology could lower the cost of many financial activities to near-zero and could wipe away many traditional banking activities completely.

This exclusive report also:

  • Explains the main growth drivers of the exploding fintech ecosystem.
  • Frames the challenges and opportunities faced by incumbents and startups.
  • Breaks down global and regional fintech investments, including which regions are the most significant and which are poised for the highest growth.
  • Reveals which two financial services are garnering the most investment, and are therefore likely to be transformed first and fastest by fintech
  • Explains why blockchain technology is critically important to banks and startups, and assesses which players stand to gain the most from it.
  • Explores the financial sectors facing disruption and breaks them down in terms of investments, vulnerabilities and growth opportunities.
  • And much more.

The Fintech Ecosystem Report: Measuring the effects of technology on the entire financial services industry is how you get the full story on the fintech revolution.

To get your copy of this invaluable guide to the fintech revolution, choose one of these options:

  1. Subscribe to an ALL-ACCESS Membership with BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report AND over 100 other expertly researched deep-dive reports, subscriptions to all of our daily newsletters, and much more. >> START A MEMBERSHIP
  2. Purchase the report and download it immediately from our research store. >> BUY THE REPORT

The choice is yours. But however you decide to acquire this report, you’ve given yourself a powerful advantage in your understanding of the fast-moving world of financial technology.

Join the conversation about this story »

Oil edges up on U.S. inventories, but slowing Asia weighs

Business Insider, 1/1/0001 12:00 AM PST

A pump jack stands idle in Dewitt County, Texas January 13, 2016. REUTERS/Anna Driver

By Henning Gloystein

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices rose in early trading on Thursday, supported by a report of another fall in U.S. crude inventories as well as a weaker dollar, although a glut of refined products and economic growth concerns continue to weigh on markets.

International Brent crude oil futures were trading at $49.08 per barrel at 0045 GMT on Thursday, up 28 cents from their last settlement. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 27 cents at $47.70 a barrel.

Traders said that a report of a reduction in available U.S. crude oil stockpiles had been the main overnight price driver.

The American Petroleum Institute (API) trade group said its data showed U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 6.7 million barrels last week, declining for a seventh week in a row.

Analysts also pointed to a lower U.S. dollar.

"Oil prices also rose, with a weaker U.S.-dollar making commodities priced in the currency more attractive," ANZ bank said.

Despite these price rises, an economic slowdown and refined product glut are weighing on oil markets.

Asian crude demand is slowing and by some measures falling, and many market participants suspect it is not just a seasonal phenomenon, but also due to an economic slowdown and perhaps even more permanent structural changes.

"Growth is slipping again..., and things don't seem quite so rosy. Exports continue to disappoint and may weaken again once the ripples from Brexit reach Asia's shores," HSBC said in a note to clients.

(Editing by Ed Davies)

Join the conversation about this story »

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