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Fintech Trending: Germany Grows, Pokemon Goes, PayPal Partners

PokemonGo_videoimage

Today we unveil our fintech trends column, a look at trending topics of the past week or two, compiled by the Finovate research team.


Trending highest: Pokemon Go

Our inaugural post leads with the Pokemon Go phenomenon which has fintech innovators rethinking their strategies around not just mobile, but the power of gamification, location-based marketing, and the diversity of data, as well.

Sberbank (F16) was clever enough to offer free accident insurance for distraction-prone Pokemon Go players. But the Russian-based bank has bigger plans to engage potential customers via the game, including bonuses for players who catch Pokemon in a Sberbank branch. Sberbank also plans to use lures to help drive traffic to its locations, an initiative already underway at CenterState Bank in Florida. Read our take on the technology, and its potential as a marketing tool for FIs.

It comes as no surprise that fintech’s foremost futurist, Brett King, makes the most far-reaching case in favor of a connection between Pokemon Go and fintech. Calling the game “a glimpse into how very different the world of banking, investing, and financial advice will be in 10 year’s time,” the Moven (F16) CEO and author of Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane tells The Financial Brand’s Jim Marous: “(Pokemon Go) illustrates why banking is no longer a place you go, but something you do—on a phone, in AR, and as a person lives their life.”

Other quality Pokemon posts:

  • Lessons Pokemon Go Can Teach the Banking Industry – The Financial Brand
  • Is Pokemon Go the Killer App for Location-Based Marketing – AdvertisingAge
  • Urban gamification: can Pokemon transform our public spaces – The Guardian
  • Pokemon Go Is Inspiring Small Retailers. So Has Augmented Reality Gone Mainstream? – AdWeek
  • Pokemon Go has reinvented the power of data – IT Pro Portal
  • Capture your business spend: no Pokeball needed – TradeShift blog


Other trending topics

Brexit a Boon for German Fintechs?
With the strong fundraising performance of Germany’s fintech startups in late June, and news this week that Peter Thiel took a $3.5 million stake in Cologne-based nextmarkets, London’s position as Europe’s fintech capital may be weakening. And Germany seems to be the likeliest beneficiary.

  • Brexit spurs London startups to investigate Berlin move – Reuters
  • ‘Over a hundred’ London startups have asked to relocate to Berlin since Brexit – International Business Times
  • Berlin bids to replace London as post-Brexit fintech capital – Financial Times

Nasdaq Fintech Index Goes Live
You know Wall Street loves you when they render your likeness in an index. This week, Nasdaq launched its Fintex Index which tracks the performance of 49 fintech companies including 17 Finovate/FinDEVr alums. The index of publicly traded fintechs excludes banks and is limited to companies that “mainly sell financial services,” are not brick-and-mortar based, and generate revenues from fees rather than interest.

A Week in the Blockchain
While in Florida, a judge ruled that Bitcoin isn’t money, the EU commission made a step fostering the cryptocurrency, proposing the creation of a central database that keeps a record of bitcoin users. With the new measure, the executive arm of the EU aims to prevent the use of the currency to fund terrorists.

Mastercard Accentuates the Digital
Mastercard (F14) enhanced Masterpass, allowing consumers to make in-store payments at 5 million brick-and-mortar stores. The company rebranded its logo with a lowercase ‘c’ to focus less on a physical card and more on a digital wallet. One week later the company purchased a majority stake in U.K.-based VocaLink for $1.14 billion, giving Mastercard a potentially larger role in the overall U.K. payments universe.

Pump Up the Visa Volume
Visa (F10) and PayPal (F12, FD16) partnered, putting to bed a long-standing conflict. PayPal will encourage users to make Visa their preferred payment method. And more importantly, PayPal will stop steering Visa cardholders to pay via ACH bank transfer, increasing the transaction volume sent to Visa and its card-issuing banks. In turn, Visa is adding PayPal to its Visa Digital Enablement Platform, allowing consumers to use PayPal mobile wallet at the physical POS at major retailers. PayPal has been trying to engage consumers with physical POS payments since 2012, when it first introduced its pay-by-phone-number at Home Depot.

More Fintech Companies Choose Chatbots
This ongoing trend saw new entrants with Polly Portfolio (F16) launching a chatbot, along with MyKAI and YouInvest. Additionally, text-based savings service Dyme (F15) launched the first prototype of its Facebook Messenger Bankbot.

We’re also keeping our eyes on:

  • Amazon partnered with Wells Fargo to offer a 0.50% discount on student loans for Amazon Prime members
  • Square adds same-day bank deposits for merchants. While relatively pricey, adding 1% of the transaction amount to the processing cost, it’s a simple way to improve cash flow for certain businesses.
  • Cambridge Savings Bank partnered with SigFig (F11) to become one of the first U.S. banks to offer a robo-adviser investment service.

Parentheticals after a company name refer to the year of their most recent Finovate or FinDEVr conference appearance (F = Finovate, FD = FinDEVr),