This is unlikely to be just another digital banking start-up. As EPI goes to press the news that fintech entrepreneur and ex-Citi banker Huy Nguyen Trieu is leading a team to roll out a new digital bank is eye-catching.
Just when many of us argued that we were reaching saturation point for new UK digital banking launches, Disruptive Finance CEO Huy Nguyen Trieu and his team, including ex-Atom Bank CTO Paul Hanks are stepping up plans to raise capital and obtain regulatory approval in 2018 or 2019.
According to a report in the Telegraph, the as yet unnamed bank plans to launch a mobile savings app that uses artificial intelligence to give customers personalised advice.
Ordinarily, I would suggest that yet another digital banking start-up is going to find the going tough; but I am loathed to bet against Huy Nguyen Trieu.
Raising sufficient capital is unlikely to be the new banks biggest challenge.
Raising capital has not been much of a challenge for Paytm and the launch at the end of November of Paytm Payments Bank confirmed the extent of its ambitions.
In the last two years and in the period to 2020, its investment will be in the region of INR200bn ($3.1bn). It aims to become the world’s largest digital bank with 500 million accounts.
In terms of growing customer numbers quickly, Paytm has form: its digital wallet has already signed up more than 100 million customers.
The payments bank will operate separately from the Paytm digital wallet; customers of the former will be able to obtain a debit card and will receive interest on their balance.
There is always the danger of overblown hype and exaggerated claims at launch time but in this case, the launch of the Paytm’s payments bank seems to justify the enthusiasm of the Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
He said:“this is a new chapter in history being written and with every day, some such initiative is taking place, which helps make the economy more formal.”
Bitcoin goes through the roof
Sanity, at some point, may yet prevail as regards Bitcoin’s price; surely gamblers, correction investors, will take their profit en masse and get out while the going is good? Is this not just another old-fashioned bubble? So goes the argument that many, including this writer, have been making about Bitcoin.
In 2017, Bitcoin’s market cap has soared from $15bn to $160bn.
It is truly sobering to read quotes attributed to Alistair Milne of the Altana Digital Currency Fund stating that Coinbase, the leading US platform for buying and selling bitcoin has grown its customer numbers to 13.3 million.
I did not buy into Bitcoin at $500, $1,000 or any other price. The best of British to friends and workmates now jumping on the bandwagon.
As the year draws to a close, it only remains to thank all subscribers, contributors, events sponsors, press officers and PRs for their help and support in 2017 and to wish all a merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
To say that we live and work in fascinating times is the biggest possible understatement.