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Week 22: 🔥 The decade of design


This week in fintech

June 2 · Issue #15 · View online

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

This week: 😍 Fintechs putting customers first 🔥 Decade of design ⌨️ Remote work still rising 🛍 Shop(ify) till you drop 🤓 Monday reading

Summary of week 22
Summary of week 22
🔥 Decade of design
Now, we are moving into the decade of design: One where design, not just code, is at the center of product development and successful organizations. […] it’s no longer optional to have good design. - Peter Levine from a16z
Andreessen Horowitz is investing in Figma and declaring the next decade as the decade of design. They are arguing that Figma empowers people to be a part of the design process and democratizes design, while also making the work of elite designers more valuable. After using Figma for three years, we can testify that it brings the design process closer to the customers. We’ve previously written about how it enables a truly collaborative design process.
John Maeda has launched his yearly design in tech report. Now, the report is rebranded to CX Report (Customer eXperience). One of the main conclusions is that nobody’s in charge of customer experience because everyone is. Everyone from the UX-designers to customer service to the CEO to the front desk is a part of the customer experience.
A good example of this is Netflix which now is putting users before profits and starts canceling inactive customers subscriptions if they haven’t streamed for over a year. Hopefully, this is going to be the new normal! 👏 Wonder if this is ever going to happen to gyms where most of their revenue is from people aspiring to work out. (Free feature idea for neo-banks: Actual price per workout based on your monthly payments to your gym and number of times you have visited. 😓)
😍 Fintechs putting customers first
Aprila is another company putting their users first. They are providing credit and factoring for SME, but in contrast to their competitors, they are integrated directly into their customer’s online accounting systems and ERPs. Last week they got 75 million NOK in new funding. (Disclaimer: Aprila is a client of Stacc)
How do challenger banks actually stack up against their traditional counterparts? The app experts at Built for Mars has done a comprehensive study on how long it took to open an account and make a payment on UK banks. Spoiler alert: The challenger banks were significantly quicker and required less effort to get an active account. On the payment-side, there wasn’t much difference.
The arguably most successful Norwegian Fintech startup is the payment solution Vipps. As many as 75 percent of the Norwegian population have used Vipps just five years after DNB launched their project. So far, they have lost over half a billion NOK (~47 Million €).  It’s really time to put the business model to the test. Will Vipps be profitable when mobile payments are made more available in-store.
⌨️ Remote work still rising
Two weeks ago we mentioned that Google, Twitter, and Facebook are shifting to more remote working permanently. Coinbase has also declared that they, starting now, are going to be a remote-first company. The payment provider Stripe is not remote-first, but for the last year they have had ~¼ of their employees work remotely. They are sharing what they have learned about combining remote with inhouse work.
We’ve previously talked a lot about Zoom and Slack and their high surge in new users. What we haven’t mentioned, however, is their most significant competitor Microsoft Teams. At the moment,they seem to have at least four times more daily active users than Slack. Jeff Teper, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365 and Teams believes they will be even bigger than Windows.
🛍 Shop(ify) till you drop
Shopify, the Canadian eCommerce company, is venturing into financial services by launching Shopify Balance, a no-fee banking account designed for independent businesses. The account allows merchants to see their cash flows, pay bills, and track expenses. The eCommerce platform is also launching a ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ option, competing with solutions by Klarna, PayPal, and Square.
At the same time, Facebook is partnering with Shopify (and a few other companies) to let brands add purchases directly into their Facebook and Instagram profiles. A logical extension for Facebook and a more significant distribution for Shopify shops.
🤓 Monday reading
How much for the box?“ she asks, pointing at the box of 30 eggs.
"Four pesos.”
She looks in her purse and finds a 100 peso note. She hands the note to the seller, who nods and hands her the eggs. She leaves without getting any change, nor did she expect to.
Cuba is a puzzling country, especially when it comes to money. It has an oddly bifurcated monetary system. Read the fascinating tale of a day using money in Cuba.
🙏 Don’t keep it a secret!
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Marius Hauken, Partner Stacc X
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