Just when I thought I was about to wrap up this series on fintech, a few articles catch my eye. A quick update is in order.
Last month, it was rumored that Amazon was going to acquire Capitol One. The magnitude of this transaction and the resulting entity would be truly mind-boggling. As I stated in an earlier blog, “Fintech-The Digital Experience,” Amazon has expressed interest in fintech. As far as I am concerned, no other internet retailer can match Amazon’s digital experience. For them to enter into banking with an acquisition like this would clearly redefine, well, just about everything. Assuming the regulators would allow it.
There is also this interesting thought: If Amazon can get you lower debt payments or give you a bank account, you will buy more stuff on Amazon. That was stated clearly in this article, “Here’s Why This Top VC Says Amazon is Set to Rule the Fintech Game.” (Link Below)
Yes, clearly Amazon has much to gain in acquiring either technology or a financial institution to help bolster its core business, online retailing. And, I am sure Amazon is keeping a very close eye on alibaba.com. This Chinese online retailer surpassed WalMart, Amazon, and eBay in sales in 2015. Its Alipay service accounts for nearly half of all online payments in China. Will Amazon follow suit? Of course they will.
Do you ever leave home without your cell phone? I seldom intentionally do. Smartphones have the ability to conduct commerce today (i.e. Apple Pay) and your phone is quickly becoming as essential as your wallet. That is the reason that banks (and their technology vendors) are beginning to allow smartphone-initiated ATM withdrawls. This isn’t new technology, it has been around for a few years (in fintech years, that makes it ancient!), but it is now finding traction, mostly in larger cities. Surely, it will be coming to your neighborhood soon enough. There is a link below to a very interesting New York Times article that recaps this as well as any article I have read. Considering the cost of issuing EMV cards, I am sure many banks are hoping for the day that ATM and debit cards are in their past. ATM and debit cars won’t become extinct soon, but the capabilities of cardless ATM withdrawals could begin that process.
It appears that Wells Fargo has not forsaken fintech with its other diversions these days. Advanced biometrics and voice payments are on the drawing board there. I explored chatbots in “Hey Siri/Contana/Alexa, Pay My Mortgage!” (Link Below)
Wells Fargo is clearly doing more than just exploration. They could soon launch a peer-to-peer (P2P) voice-based payment system. They are the first company to do so, but it will not be the last. Watch for their P2P roll out and its projected success. This may be the tipping point for chatbots.
I will continue to keep abreast of fintech developments and will revisit fintech as the subject of future blogs. I am sure that there will be other interesting articles on the subject in the future. The three fintech developments that I note above are certainly worthy of your attention. I encourage you to discuss each one with your technology vendor..