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Jetpacks, Digipost and the death of Google Analytics

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This week in fintech

January 31 · Issue #90 · View online

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


This week:
  • 📬 Digipost invoice
  • 😵 Turn off Google Analytics?
  • 📲 Apple POS
  • 🪙 Stablecoins are hard
  • 🧱 The building blocks of a strong brand
  • 💡 Tips for better remote work
  • 🔬 Design detail of the week
  • 🚀 The future is here!

📬 Digipost invoice
Digipost has entered a new agreement with Neonomics to make it easier for their 2,7 million users to pay their bills. Four of five invoices in Norway today are either eFaktura or AvtaleGiro. Digipost is in this new agreement targetting the remaining 80 million invoices. Their key-selling point? They will store the invoices longer than regular invoices, which is about 16 months. Sure there is a “job-to-be-done” when it comes to finding old invoices in the digital age, like that old plumber invoice after a leak. But when only one-fourth of the invoices go through Digipost, I’m unsure of the market fit.
😵 Turn off Google Analytics?
Austria’s data regulator has found that the use of Google Analytics is a breach of GDPR. The problem is that all the analytics data passes through Google’s servers and ends up in the United States. The same could be true for Stripe and other American companies. Everyone with Google Analytics in Europe should consider potential alternatives while they wait for further rulings. Knowit has written what the decision means for Norwegian companies for now.
The most intriguing part in this matter is that the court stated that where the data was stored had no significance if the company that kept the data was a subsidiary of a company from the United States. 
A large part of Norwegian businesses operates in a grey area regarding European privacy laws when it comes to using Google Analytics and some uses of Amazon and Microsoft’s cloud services. ICT-Norway is frustrated with the lack of clarification.
📲 Apple POS
Apple is said to be working on a new service for small businesses to accept payments straight from an iPhone, without needing any extra hardware. This is a potential threat to Zettle, Square, Nets, and Vipps. A new POS solution from Apple would also incentivize them to push even harder on Apple Pay since they can potentially bypass Visa and Mastercards payment rails when both actors are on the Apple platform. However, they will have an uphill battle in Norway where Vipps now has 75% of Norway’s population as users.
🪙 Stablecoins are hard
Meta’s (Facebook’s parent company) digital currency Diem, formerly known as Libra, seems to be shutting down. Matt Levine elaborates as he does best:
One of the largest companies in the world devoted millions of dollars to figuring out how to launch a stablecoin and concluded that it was impossible. It is demonstrably not impossible! Tether did it! Tether has a hugely successful stablecoin! Tether does not care at all about working closely with all of the relevant regulators! That’s why!
With this news in mind, it is interesting that Firi is working on an application to become an e-money company. Their goal with the permit is to create their stablecoin pegged to the Norwegian kroner (NOK).
🧱 The building blocks of a strong brand
What are the building blocks of a strong brand? Eirik Ekrann, Strategy Director of Kantar Norway, has written a useful post on a conceptual tool he uses when assessing and discussing the current status of a brand. The model states that the sweet spot of brand building is found at the intersection of three traits: Relevance, distinctiveness, and consistency.
Speaking of great brands: Here is a walkthrough of the greatest rebrands in 2021, and how they went beyond just the visual identity. Examples include Cadillac, CIA, Meta, and Block.
💡 Tips for better remote work
Last week we wrote about how we were using Gather.town to be a bit more social when working from home. Gusto, a payment, and HR software company share how they maintain connection working from home: Every morning the brand design team spends 30 minutes on a creative task like writing, sketching, or playing online games together. This has been very valuable as an onboarding tool. Once a week, they are also reminded by a Slackbot to post a quick screenshot of what they are working on.
Over the last couple of weeks, I have enjoyed asking our team on Slack what they have done over the weekend and sharing an image. The images range from home improvements to powerlifting and outdoor activities to home chef experiments.
🔬 Design detail of the week
As I was browsing the web last week, I came across a tiny little detail I haven’t seen much, but that could be useful depending on the content. This React component renders tables that show the distribution of each quantitative column:
🚀 The future is here!
Here is a quick reminder that the future is already here, but we often forget about the side effects. Dave Eggers observes that we finally have jetpacks that actually fly and try it out. He soon finds out why no one cares about jetpacks.
That's it for this week 👋
Remember, if you’re enjoying this content, please do tell all your (fintech) friends to hit the subscribe button! If you have some feedback you can always just hit reply!
Marius Hauken, partner Stacc X
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