Knowing what’s really important to consumers is critical to acquisition, retention and cross-selling in the banking industry. But Millennial stereotypes frequently fool financial marketers, muddling their marketing strategies with faulty assumptions. Turns out they love branches just as much as Gen X and Baby Boomers. And all generations share one thing in common: They expect more, particularly in digital channels.
One of the hottest niches in tech right now is payments. If it’s big enough for Google, Apple and Paypal to pursue – it’s BIG. If the Bitcoin, a currency built specifically for instant (de-centralized) online transactions, increase in value 100-fold over a period of several years, it is another very solid indication the world is moving towards digitized transactions. In fact more than 50% of all transactions taking place in the USA are cash-free.
Building a money transfer application has more than a few hurdles. Many have tried and failed, and the others are sitting on the fence waiting for the industry to boom to make substantial profits. The top money transfer apps in 2018 are composed of large companies who have been in the domain of online payments from way before mobile apps even existed.
The difficulties of creating money transfer apps
The biggest hurdle in creating a money transfer app is definitely NOT the programming you need to put in, nor the UI, no anything else you would traditionally say is the sticking point of creating app. It’s regulation.
When you handle people’s money, you need to be carefully inspected and show beyond any reasonable doubt you are eligible to be in this position. It goes way further than just the regulator, by the way – banks are very reluctant to deal with you, and so us other providers. So, you need to be approved by a regulator (or SEVERAL regulators if you are going to accept people from different regions in the world), be in excellent relations with at least one bank, and prove one or more tax authorities people are not using your platform to evade taxation.
All of the above is far more complex than it sounds and it will require serious resources to accommodate all of the above, and particular as a startup.
If you are going to handle people money you need a line of credit to enable real-time transactions. That means that you need to cover the deficiency in cash inside your system between the time that someone pays, and until you actually receive the money. That is a significant issue and you need to have significant reserve pools just in any case. What happens if your security is breached and some money is stolen off the system? What happens if you have a an unusually high number of feedbacks in one certain month? You need a few millions of dollars to be sitting aside to facilitate a real money transfer network.
Although this aspect only comes third on our list, to compete in the payment business you have to come up with a very slick app that appears trustworthy, maintains the highest level of security (super important), and is easy to use as your target audience is very broad. In essence, you need to out-do companies which have been in the market since before the 2000 high-tech bubble like Paypal. It is obtainable, but it will require high level of expertise and yet again – a sizeable investment.
Foreign exchange – liquidity and capability
If you intend to accept clients from overseas who are paying via multiple currency, you need to be able to exchange foreign exchange through your application. This requires connecting with a source of liquidity provider who is also able to facilitate currency exchange, and a lot of additional hurdles when it comes to product development and regulation. Cross border transfers tend to be more sensitive and difficult to execute.
Finding partners / Marketing
Payment applications is a very saturated market, and thus, you will need to be able to compete through not only better offering than your competitors, but in fact have powerful business partners who are able to integrate your payment app into their systems. Apple and Google don’t need such a partner, being of such immense size and influence, but you would need them.
Not making money
When you go into an overly competitive market which is currently focused on acquisition and not profit, you would not be able to compete if your prices would be higher than your competitors. Venmo is practically free when it comes to transfers in the U.S, similarly Google Pay and Apple Pay, and cross-border applications like Transferwise’s charge as little as 0.5% off each transaction, you are not going to be making money in the short and medium term. This is a long term game.
Looking at all the hurdles expected, you should be entering the payment app industry only if you have a very solid foundation. If you plan on making your mark with your team of 4 out-of-college programmers working in your grandma’s basement, you should at softer and more niche industries.
Over the past year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has ramped up its scrutiny of cryptocurrencies and other digital token offerings. On Sept. 11, 2018, the SEC escalated its crackdown when it announced a pair of settled enforcement actions against non-issuers participating in the offer and sale of cryptocurrencies it deemed unregistered securities. As with prior cryptocurrency cases, the SEC charged the defendants with offering or selling securities without filing a registration statement or having a valid exemption from registration. However, these cases mark the SEC’s first cryptocurrency enforcement actions against non-issuers for failing to register as broker-dealers and investment companies. As such, they highlight the SEC’s continuing efforts to bring the purchase and sale of cryptocurrencies within a regulated framework, including by targeting third parties who facilitate the purchase and sale of such assets.
The service-customer relationship pattern has changed greatly over the years. Nowadays, the biggest percent of how customers form their opinion of the service is based on the feedback from other clients. The Fintech companies development is greatly responsible for this shift. The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer Report observed an increased percent of trust from the customers being ready to buy and recommend the business to their friends and family. (more…)
Blockchain technology was started a number of years ago now and has positively impacted how we conduct business. It was initially meant to formulate the Bitcoin cryptocurrency but has since been an influence in several sectors. The production sector is one that was overshadowed with different challenges especially when it comes to operational readiness. (more…)
United Overseas Bank has invested in Israel-based AI firm Personetics and plans to deploy its cognitive analytic tools to help customers make smarter banking decisions. (more…)
By Tomasz Tunguz from Redpoint Ventures for his blog
Over the weekend, I read Tien Tzuo’s book, Subscribed. Tien is the founder and CEO of Zuora, and former CSO/CMO at Salesforce, where he started in 1999. He has been working in SaaS for nearly 20 years. He’s a thought leader in the world of subscriptions, and I learned a tremendous amount from his book. (more…)
Have you noticed that Facebook has developed an uncanny ability to recognize your friends in your photographs? In the old days, Facebook used to make you to tag your friends in photos by clicking on them and typing in their name. Now as soon as you upload a photo, Facebook tags everyone for you like magic:
Barclays today announces the opening of a new campus in Whippany, New Jersey. The state-of-the-art complex is a flagship site of Barclays’ global location strategy, which is designed to enhance the firm’s flexibility and resiliency through the establishment of regional campuses. (more…)
Leading London-based fintech company TransferWise announced today (6 July 2018) the official launch of its international money transfer platform in Hong Kong, giving it a major foothold in Asia as part of the company’s ongoing international expansion. (more…)
Equifax, the consumer and business insights expert, has formed a strategic alliance with consents.online, a digital consent management and AISP accredited Open Banking platform which for the first time allows UK consumers and small businesses to manage the sharing of their financial information. (more…)
Over the past couple of years, as cryptocurrencies gained momentum, they rapidly gained the public eye. Although a promising run-up, cryptocurrencies are almost never perceived beyond volatile assets. While blockchain is a revolutionary technology, cryptocurrencies and in particular the ICO funding method suffer from multiple inefficiencies, like exorbitant fundraising costs. Similar is the case with traditional fundraising platforms such as IPO or debt instruments. (more…)
Initial coin offers (ICOs) and the emergence of tokenised funds — represented by the issue of equity tokens — are set to reshape the dynamics of how private equity (PE) and venture capital (VC) fund managers raise capital, bringing greater transparency and democratisation to the fund management space. (more…)
By Phil Glazer for his blog,
This piece is part of a monthly series covering regulatory updates related to cryptocurrencies (here are the updates from April, May, and June). Although prices have continued to fall over the past month, recent statements from regulators have been positive, particularly comments from the SEC clarifying that Ethereum is not a security. This piece provides important regulatory updates since the June piece, broken down by developments in the United States and the rest of the world.
JPMorgan Chase is taking its mobile-only banking offshoot Finn nationwide following its debut in St. Louis in October. (more…)
Automated wealth management advisory specialist SigFig has raised $50 million in new funding in a round led by General Atlantic. The Series E round also featured the participation of existing investors UBS, Eaton Vance Corporation, DCM Ventures, New York Life, Nyca Partners, and Bain Capital Ventures. (more…)
By Steve O’Hear for techCrunch,
“So what’s going on here then?” I ask. “Two good friends just got even better [friends],” replies TransferWise co-founder Kristo Käärmann laughing, while Monzoco-founder Tom Blomfield, who is also on the video call, smiles approvingly. “Sorry for spoiling your news,” I tell the pair, who I’m interviewing ahead of an announcement today that the two companies are working together. (more…)