Nov 24

Wonders & Blunders: Better Than a Leftover Turkey Sandwich

 
 OUR CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK’S NEWS
 
While we’re eagerly anticipating the Thanksgiving holiday, here are a few hot topics in finance and fintech to whet your appetite!
 
Bitcoin, bitcoin, bitcoin is all we’ve heard in the news lately, but one company is taking us back to currency’s roots in a convenient, modern way. A new app named Glint allows you to buy and use gold for mobile payments.
 
PayPal is moving into robo investing, as the company advances beyond the payments space.
 
The ETF inflow surge shows no sign of stopping, especially with new regulation coming from Washington.
 
So dig in and pass the gravy!
 
 
Forget Bitcoin: Pay with Gold Using This App
While the rest of the world has cryptocurrency fever, one new company is taking mobile payments old-school by using gold. Payments startup, Glint, launched this week in the U.K. in a partnership with Mastercard and World Bank.The app’s users can buy portions of a gold bar with the credit loaded into their account, then pay or send money or gold to others using a Glint debit card. The gold is backed physically in a vault in Switzerland.
 
Glint’s founders started the company to reintroduce gold as currency, because “money is prone to depreciate in ways we have no control over.” Gold is used as an alternative investment to safeguard wealth in times of geopolitical turmoil. Some people have turned to bitcoin to avoid currency backed by government and big banks. It appears Glint is hoping to persuade them to do the same when it comes to gold – which offers a more stable value – by providing an easy way for consumers to use the metal for payments.
 
Robo Investing Brought to You by PayPal
PayPal isn’t just for payments anymore. This week, the company entered the world of robo investing, with the announcement of its partnership with Acorns Grow. The partnership will enable PayPal users to make contributions to Acorn and monitor their investments directly from the PayPal interface.
 
So what is robo investing? Robo-advisors take the human element out of the investing equation by utilizing mathematical rules or algorithms to manage your money. It typically begins by collecting information on your financial situation and goals, then identifies investment opportunities based on your risk tolerance.
 
Robo investing is just one of several new technologies that play into a much larger trend – providing a population who has historically been underserved and underbanked with greater access to financial tools. 
 
Emoji Index
New Year, New ETF Rules
 
Here is what you need to know:
  1. Fiduciary Rule: designed to improve the quality of investment advice in the U.S. this rule has been bandied round for a number of years but this summer parts of it were taken into effect. It requires financial advisors to disclose fees and reject commission based business models. The effect could account for U.S. ETFs assets tripling to more than $10 trillion over the next five years, according to Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
  2. NAIC Guidelines: The National Association of Insurance Commissioners used to hold ETFs to pretty strict standards (akin to equities). Starting in 2018 the new guidelines will help insurers account for ETFs in the same way they account for bonds. Once implemented this will allow insurers to measure ETFs based on underlying cash flows of the securities, meaning insurers will be jumping right into them.  
  3. MiFID II: Outside of the U.S. the European Union’s new Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) is expected to increase flows from retail investors. Similar to the U.S. fiduciary rule, MiFID II requires greater transparency in the commission-based advisory model. By exposing the true cost of actively managed funds, the rule could drive up to 15-20 percent of retail investors to lower cost ETFs.    
 
 
» IN THE NEWS
American Banker describes how Intrinio seeks to “democratize data” with Nasdaq’s help.
Intrinio’s partnership with Quodd brings real-time data to Nasdaq, reports Finextra.
» BOTTOM LINE: Stay Safe on Cyber Monday: Cybersecurity for Holiday Shopping
Americans have many things to be thankful for this holiday season, but the unprecedented rate of data breaches and rising rate of credit card fraud are not among them. Online transactions are at the center of data breaches and credit card theft – and the most popular day of the year for online shopping is upon us. Cyber Monday 2016 went down as the biggest day for e-commerce in U.S. history – topping $3 billion in purchases. In the first half of 2017 alone, our country faced nearly 800 data breaches, setting a new half-year record. To make matters worse, credit card fraud cost U.S. consumers a staggering $16 billion in 2016, according to Javelin Strategy & Research, and this number doesn’t even account for the billions of dollars lost by merchants and banks.
 
Before embarking on peak shopping season, consumers, retailers and banks should brace for hackers and take note of the guide below.
»FEATURED CASE STUDY: PAVIA
Pavia Systems, a Seattle-based transportation technology company, challenged KCD PR to develop and execute a mass media campaign involving strategic outreach and public relations that would result in significant exposure in a crowded marketplace. To develop our strategy, we conducted expansive research on the use of technology in the transportation industry. We then developed key company messages, a strategic plan, and identified target audiences and media.
 

 

×