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Fintechs are moving into your browser


This week in fintech

May 18 · Issue #60 · View online

A weekly summary of the latest news in our world of finance, design, and technology.

  • 👮‍♀️Infrastructure issues
  • 😴 Elon got bored of Bitcoin
  • 🌳 Green investing
  • 🃏 Gamification, core banking, and plastic cards

🕸 Fintechs are moving into your browser
Revolut last week launched a Chrome browser extension, Revolut Shopper. The plugin automatically finds you great discounts and gets you up to 42% cash back at select partners. You can also pay more securely with a unique card number for every payment. Link
At first glance, the news might not be that interesting, but when you think closer about online shopping, it is a genius move considering this might be your preferred payment method online. Especially if they add Buy now, Pay Later solutions as well.
I would argue that browser plugins are an untapped market for Fintechs. It could be used for secure online payments but also to access your online bank as quickly as their mobile app. Browser extensions as part of fintechs are not a new idea: One of the largest crypto wallets, Metamask, is just a browser plugin. The Brave browser has a crypto wallet embedded, and Opera is heading into the Fintech space. It’s still an exciting space for Fintechs to tap into and an area where we so far haven’t seen much innovation.
👮‍♀️Infrastructure issues
We have every reason to be proud of our banking infrastructure in Norway. But we also have some areas for improvement. This became apparent last week when the former anti-money laundering manager in DNB stated that there is no point in calling Økokrim [1] about suspicious transactions. The reply they mostly got was: “We do not have the capacity for that.” It is no wonder when Økokrim has 19 employees to investigate and determine if the 10 000 annual transactions they receive are suspicious. In comparison DNB has 500 employees working on anti-money laundering.
Another problem is when the Financial Supervisory Authority is fining banks for not following the law, but the police don’t have enough capacity to follow up. They are, however, not as eager to fine banks for not complying with the PSD2 regulations. Now Fintech Norway is creating a benchmarking portal for showing how PSD2 compliant each bank is.
😴 Elon got bored of Bitcoin
  • Apparently, Elon Musk can manipulate the price of Bitcoin by ~ 10% just by tweeting. Last week he Tweeted: “Tesla has suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin. We are concerned about rapidly increasing use of fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining and transactions, especially coal, which has the worst emissions of any fuel. Cryptocurrency is a good idea on many levels, and we believe it has a promising future, but this cannot come at great cost to the environment.” Link
  • Seth Godin is writing on why the blockchain matters. He argues that there’s a chance that it might lead to more open, resilient, market-focused networks and databases. Link
  • Who is going to be the Goldman Sachs of crypto? This article argues that the connection between large financial institutions existing infrastructure and crypto will be essential in the next five years. Link
  • Why it’s crazy we don’t have a Bitcoin ETF. Link
🌳 Green investing
  • Fintechs are launching green pension products. But can they actually get people to engage with the important — but boring — issue of retirement savings? Link
  • The truth behind 5 ESG myths. One of the ESG myths they dive into in this visual article is: “ESG comes at the expense of investment performance.” Link
🃏 Gamification, core banking, and plastic cards
  • Gamification - A good idea for a serious topic like financial services? A quick intro on how gamification is used in finance. Link
  • A comprehensive primer on the evolution of core banking systems, from legacy systems to current trends in modern core banking architecture Link
  • Vipps argues that we don’t need payment cards in plastic. It’s hard to disagree. Link
🙏 Please share!
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Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
[1]: Økokrim is the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime.. Puhh..
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