Chris Skinner is known as an independent commentator on Fintech through his blog, the Finanser.com, and as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank and its new sequel ValueWeb. In his day job, he is Chair of the European networking forum: the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), one of the Top 5 most influential people on BankInfoSecurity’s list of information security leaders, as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News.
Described by Seth Wheeler, Brookings Guest Scholar and Former Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House, as “one of the most authoritative voices on Fintech anywhere”, Chris has previously written many books covering everything from European regulations in banking through the credit crisis to the future of banking. His new book is a sister to his last book, Digital Bank. ValueWeb describes the impact of Fintech and how mobile and blockchain technologies are changing the face of finance in building an internet of value. As a result of the emerging internet of value, banks have to become digitalised, and Digital Bank provides a comprehensive review and analysis of the battle for digital banking and strategies for companies to compete.
The Financial Services Club is a network for financial professionals, and focuses on the future of financial services through the delivery of research, analysis, commentary and debate. Founded in 2004, the Financial Services Club meets regularly in Austria, England, Ireland, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Slovakia and Sweden.
Mr. Skinner is a regular commentator on BBC News, Sky News and Bloomberg about banking issues; he is on the Advisory Boards of Innovate Finance, Meniga and Moven; and is a Judge on many awards programs including the Card and Payment Awards and the Asian Banker’s Retail Excellence Awards, as well as having worked closely with leading banks such as HSBC, the Royal Bank of Scotland, Citibank and Société Générale, as well as the World Economic Forum.
More from this author
I’m making a presentation on cybersecurity this week at our Nordic Finance Innovation meetings. This meant preparing a few new slides from scratch as I don’t have a set deck for cybercrime, and sat and started ideas just as the news dropped about the Equifax breach. You’ll all know about this by now, but over 143 million Equifax accounts were hacked during June-July 2017, including customers’ social security numbers, name, address, date of birth, driving licence and other sensitive info. In other words, all the information you need to open new accounts and access existing accounts.
I don’t usually tell people that I’m a qualified expert in insurance as it’s not relevant, but I’m mentioning it today as I just presented at a private insurance event. There are lots of interesting nuances in insurance. You and I probably think it’s just that once a year renewal of our auto policy, or maybe the regular premiums we pay for life and pensions. That’s an important part of it and is a challenge as people don’t buy insurance, it has to be sold. Think about it. You don’t wake up and think “oh, I might die today! Better get some life insurance”, but you learn through advisory sales that this is what you need to do.
Then there’s a whole other raft of insurance where the real money is made: commercial insurance. Insuring ships, aircraft, offices and employees is where the big-ticket policies arrive. These are more complicated, as the risks have to be calculated in more depth. Under assess the risk and the insurance company loses; over assess and a competitor might steal the business. Equally, the corporate relationship becomes important in this space, as that’s where the strength of understanding the client comes from.
Some people talk about FinTech disruption and how payments and banking is being attacked and unbundled by start-ups, but we often look at banking too simplistically. Global banks and investment banks are far more complex creatures than their high street counterparts, which is why we’ve seen far less disruption in corporate, commercial and wholesale banking that we are seeing in retail, but don’t be complacent or closed here. There are things happening in the more complex areas too.
For example, there’s a new clearing bank that is just an API; there’s a global trading social network, that is far more effective and fun than day trading on your own; there’s a clearing and settlement engine being built, supporting billions of transactions through blockchain technologies; there’s a whole range of crowdfunding ventures that are allowing start-ups to get started far faster and easier than ever before; equally there are reams of new firms offering SME financing support, allowing small businesses to flourish and prosper; and there’s a lot more. In fact, the landscape of change in this more specialised market of markets is massive, but often overlooked.
Last week was Money 2020 Europe week. This year a gathering of 6,000 odd people – and I mean ODD – assembled in Copenhagen to talk all things FinTech and stuff. That’s 50 percent up on last year’s first outing and, due to the numbers and a few brown envelopes from the Dutch, the whole shindig moves to Amsterdam next year.
I spend a lot of time talking with my friends in Turkey, particularly since the big change in climate after the protests last year. Nevertheless, from a financial markets point of view, it’s a fascinating place. One of the first to be contactless and, more recently, one of the first to offer social retail banking.