The FinTech Ultimatum


This week’s kicker comes from Institutional Investor, which gives yet another warning to banks to pay attention to the FinTech revolution, in all aspects of its business. Indeed, B2B FinTech looks to be gaining some traction. This week’s report contains articles covering small-business retirement and wealth management and the interest in real-time payments from corporate treasury departments, while B2B cross-border payments announce a merger. Yet cash remains cool as the techies look at micropayments.

The FinTech ultimatum: adapt or die

In a piece for Institutional Investor, Joseph Hooley explains why banks should not look to one or two FinTech innovations for improving their efficiency, but rather, like an investment portfolio, they need to look across the spectrum for varying, productive technologies. The decision to not do so, Hooley argues, will be at their peril.

Automating 401k investing

A 2015 Cogent Reports study of 620 plan sponsors found that only 42% said their participants were headed toward financially stable retirement. Betterment, a popular money management software, will now help employees with their asset allocation, but it remains to be seen whether the development will take off in 401k plans, Treasury & Risk reports. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs racked up media reports from the major business media to elevator screens with the announcement of its purchase of Honest Dollar. The “robo advisor” is a digital retirement savings tool for small business employees without access to standard employee-sponsored savings plans. The deal comes after the financial juggernaut led a $25 million round of financing for Motif Investing, a similar robo-investing platform, in 2013, The New York Times reports.

Real-time payments: Is there demand from treasury?

There is a developing consensus that corporate treasury could benefit from real-time payments. But looking at the way other nations have addressed the faster payments problem, it’s not so clear what is the best way to establish such in the United States, writes Andrew Deichler in AFP Payments.

After cash: All fun and games until somebody loses a bank account

Sure, going cashless has some benefits like a decline in robberies, other criminal transactions, or losing your cash somehow, but what about government oversight of our digital funds, Megan McArdle asks in a column for Bloomberg View. She describes how an awful government tax mistake resulted in the loss of her funds, which took months to get back.

For millennials, cash is still king

Though the rise of PayPal and Venmo may make you think otherwise, cash remains cool with the millennial crowd, a GOBankingRates survey found. Though the research suggests that preferences differ by gender, mobile P2P payments continue to increase, and are predicted to increase to $270 billion by 2019, eMarketer reports.

The first micropayments marketplace

For the technically inclined bitcoin miner, the 21 Marketplace makes its debut as a platform for micropayments. The marketplace allows buyers and sellers to trade in digital goods using micropayments, initially specifically focused on APIs for developer use, the creators report in Medium.