The Rise of “Africa’s Amazon”

The Rise of “Africa’s Amazon”

It all started with the “original” Amazon, which changed e-commerce forever and almost single-handedly introduced the word “platformification” into the popular lexicon. Then came the “Amazon of China,” Alibaba, which successfully integrated digital payments, e-commerce, and fintech to create a world-beating behemoth.

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The Downside of Direct Banks

The Downside of Direct Banks

Direct banks — online-only banks that typically pay much higher interest rates on various accounts — have seen a rise in popularity in recent years. Without being burdened by the high operating costs of maintaining a traditional branch network, these banks generally offer robust digital services, as well as generally much more attractive rates on everything from savings accounts to CDs. But are there also downsides to their digital-centric approach?

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Halcyon Days for Fintech Deals

Halcyon Days for Fintech Deals

Fintech M&A has continued at an unprecedented pace, with 2019 shaping up to be the biggest year yet in terms of total deal value. The activity comes not only from private equity firms making investments in start-ups, but also from legacy financial technology vendors and financial firms acquiring innovative fintechs as a way to add to their own tech capabilities.

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How Do You Insure an Autonomous Vehicle?

How Do You Insure an Autonomous Vehicle?

Technology and data have allowed insurers to be much more predictive and accurate when it comes to calculating risk and measuring trends. Usually this has to do with analyzing the behavior of people, but in a world where automation continues to play a bigger role in everyday life, even more questions have to be answered.

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Pumping the Brakes on the Cashless Society

Pumping the Brakes on the Cashless Society

The rise of mobile and digital payments has led to some nations around the world becoming nearly cashless. The benefits to eliminating cash from an economy exist; these include getting rid of the time and cost spent handling and storing cash, as well as making it far harder for criminals to launder money.

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Why Can’t Banks Sell Things Digitally?

Why Can’t Banks Sell Things Digitally?

Virtually anything today can be purchased with the tap of a digital button on a smartphone. Groceries, pet food, toilet paper, stocks, cars and even therapy sessions are among the myriad items you can buy at the click of an app. Yet, how many financial institutions allow a consumer to apply for and receive, say, a small business loan entirely through digital means? The answer is very few.

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Banks Get in on the Minimum Wage Debate

Banks Get in on the Minimum Wage Debate

The minimum wage — and what it should or shouldn’t be — continues to be a topic of passionate debate in America. And while there are reasonable economic arguments on both sides as to how, and to what extent, government should get involved in setting minimum wage rates, some businesses have taken action of their own volition.

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AI Inches Further into Regulatory Use

AI Inches Further into Regulatory Use

Aussie regulators recently dipped a cautious toe into using artificial intelligence for regulatory purposes — specifically using natural language processing technology to detect when financial institutions are engaged in possible misconduct. The technology will scrutinize promotional material and advertisements, among other things, to see if they contain falsities or if they breach any rules.

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Buffet Bullish on Big Banks

Buffet Bullish on Big Banks

Bank stocks are one of the safer investments you can make, at least according to noted bank stockholder Warren Buffet. Buffet has long been known as a fan of investing in banks; his holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has long held a large position in Bank of America, and last year snapped up a significant amount of shares in JPMorgan Chase. (Of course, some of his bank boosterism in the past left him with a bit of egg on his face.)

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Why Are Big Banks Suddenly Interested in Small Deals?

Why Are Big Banks Suddenly Interested in Small Deals?

We really enjoyed an interesting read from The Wall Street Journal this week on why investment banks are more aggressively pursuing mid-market deals. Any investment banker worth his or her salt typically wants to be involved with advising on the large, global mega deals that dominate news cycles.

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The Robot Real Estate Broker

The Robot Real Estate Broker

Technology over the last decade has automated many areas that used to require a human agent. Think robo-advisors or automated small loan platforms, just to name a couple of examples. Well, AI and algorithms are now casting their eye towards the real estate industry, and specifically the rental broker.

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