Fintech Ruminations

THOUGHTS ON FINTECH AND DECENTRALIZED FINANCE

F

Latest stories

A neobank stack

A

Over the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time building lending and banking stacks. What used to require vast resources only 10 years ago, is today a much simpler and more inexpensive job, thanks to the enormous number of financial infrastructure businesses born in the last decade. The goals of the following 2 posts are: to highlight which are the key functional components of these stacks, to...

Bank runs in the 21th century

B

We live in very special times, from many points of view. Essentially any aspect of our life is being disrupted and this wave of unusuality is impacting banks as well: banks are seeing their deposits going up, they are getting a lot of money, but, for once, that isn’t necessarily a good thing. The usual way: bank runs Usually people put their money in banks confident that they are safely stored...

The backbone of cross border transactions: correspondent banking

T

A few weeks ago, while preparing my 10k analysis for Adyen, I came across a very interesting McKinsey report on Payments and stumbled into the following table on cross-border transfer flows and revenues:    What really surprised me, even more than the huge revenue chuck of the B2B segment, was the disproportion between consumer and business segments and, at the same time, the...

Shopify, e-commerce eats finance

S

The last session of the Fintech Product Guild `10k-a-month club` was centered around one the most interesting companies in circulation: Shopify. Shopify was established with the goal of making e-commerce very simple for anybody: the company provides a set of tools to bootstrap an online shop and essentially remove a lot of technical hurdles from the setup of an e-commerce, letting entrepreneurs...

The banking system, a giant settlement infrastructure

T

A few weeks ago I noticed a tweet from one of the most interesting accounts I follow on Twitter, that of Holger Zschaepitz:  Oops! Italy's Target2 liabilities have hit fresh ATH at €513bn. This increases the threat potential of the Italians. If #Italy were to leave the eurozone, the bulk of its liabilities would be lost. pic.twitter.com/LnDw5j1tlk— Holger Zschaepitz...

Fintech 2.0, how to survive when your product becomes a feature

F

The most important narrative in the fintech ecosystem nowadays is arguably that of fintech-everywhere, more formally known as embedded finance. The essence of the embedded finance concept is that, over the next few years, a significant part of the consumer financial services available today will not be distributed anymore by financial institutions; they will instead be natively embedded in other...

Adyen, payments made easy

A

As my fellow Product Peon taught me a long time ago, the best way to learn quickly how a specific company works, is to analyse its 10k. For this reason, in the Fintech Product Guild, we decided to start a ’10k-a-month’ club. This month we analyzed Adyen, a payment company. What does Adyen do? Adyen was founded around 15 years ago to facilitate the adoption for merchants of electronic...

Bitcoin and the hierarchy of money

B

Over this quarantine, I’ve decided to invest some time in a renowned Coursera course on Banking. The course is great and one of the core concepts of the class is the Hierarchy of Money. Being myself very interested in cryptocurrency, I’d like to explore in this post where Bitcoin sits in this hierarchy. First of all, what is the hierarchy of money? Even though every dollar looks the...