Fintech and the future of cash
Last month, we attended a breakfast briefing hosted by BritishAmericanBusiness. Janine Hirt from Innovate Finance provided an overview of the areas in which fintech is changing financial infrastructure – namely payments, alternative finance, personal wealth management and challenger banks – and how it is also playing a role in reaching the 2 million unbanked or under banked UK citizens.
Alain Falys, CEO of YoYo Wallet, a mobile payment and loyalty app, provided a first-person view of the sector. An interesting takeaway from the session was about why London has become the world’s fintech hub. Compared with America where Silicon Valley is hours away from the financial capital of the country, New York, London has the talent and stakeholders neatly grouped in one place. And the regulatory environment – notably the FCA – is far more favourable towards innovation than in the States. Not to be dismissed as a fad, fintech is definitely here for the long-haul.
Diversity as a business strategy
As recent members of the Norwegian British Chamber of Commerce, we attended an event at Statoil’s headquarters which saw diversity put firmly at the centre of the agenda. A panel of speakers – from law firm Dorsey & Whitney, Google, Statoil and Henley Business School –discussed the progress being made at their own companies, and identified areas for improvement. All were agreed on the importance of diversity for businesses, and none more so than Google’s Cassiano Mecchi (Diversity Programs Manager) who argued that the business must reflect the diversity of its customers in order to serve them as best they can. A fascinating evening.