Two recent articles—one in Reuters and the other in PYMNTS—tell a distressing tale of just one of China’s person-to-person lenders’ fraud schemes that in 2015 wiped out the investments of 900,000 individuals for a total of US$7.6 billion. The P2P lender (Ezubao) admitted to fabricating projects so that investors, seduced by clever branding and television advertising, handed over all those billions in just two years.
Paybefore recently announced its 2016 prepaid awards, which highlight a number of great innovations in the prepaid space. While the prepaid space has faced regulatory headwinds over the past year, merchant and consumer interest in the product offerings continue to grow. Here are a few of the standouts that caught my eye. These bring solutions to very real problems (unlike the erstwhile Kardashian card and its ilk, which are the types of offerings that draw regulator attention to the prepaid space for all the wrong reasons).
If there was one key takeaway from FinovateEurope in London this February, it was that the vast majority of fintech firms have changed their approach toward working with financial institutions and, for that matter, larger incumbent vendors. The focus is now less on “disruption” (whatever that means) and more on partnership. The biggest buzzword/concept of the event therefore appeared to be “white labelling”—taking these startup vendors’ tech and putting your own brand on it. In this manner, the financial institution or incumbent vendor gains innovation, and the startup gains credibility (albeit behind closed doors) and income.
I had the opportunity to attend the National Retail Federation annual conference, the “Big Show,” last week, and my first observation is that it is indeed a big show. It fills every corner of the Javits Center in New York, and it took a full day just to wander through the exhibit space. Wandering around the hall, I saw a few consistent themes coming out of this year’s show:
Many large personal U.S. auto insurers made time in 2015 to refresh their policies and address the issue of ridesharing by offering ridesharing endorsements. Rolling those endorsements out nationwide and getting more insurers to offer them is still a work in progress, and insurers need to consider three pitfalls.