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Video: Hedgeable's Mike Kane tells us what he would do differently
FinTech
<p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Everyone makes mistakes when launching a new company. In this interview with NexChange, Hedgeable's founder Mike Kane shares what he would do differently when prepping to go overseas.</p> <p>Kane will be part of a New York City panel on November 18 discussing startups seeking to raise funds and go global in Asia. For more information and registration, follow this link here.</p>
Japan’s Amazon ups its fintech game with new fund
FinTech
Japan’s leading e-commerce player Rakuten is already a prolific venture capital investor, backing tech and e-commerce startups across Asia and North America. Its latest $100 million fund now puts the fintech space in its crosshairs. The firm reports that its new fund will focus on mid-stage fintech startups in the U.S. and Europe. The idea is that the fund is&hellip;
Hedgeable appeals to millennials in US and abroad
FinTech
Hedgeable, the platform that bills itself as the only private banking platform for millennials, plans on going global in 2016. The goal: Fifty percent of Hedgeable's business should be outside the U.S., says founder and "master sensei" Mike Kane in an interview with NexChange.
Singles' Day reveals the extent of China’s fintech revolution
FinTech
<p>Online shopping records were smashed by China’s ecommerce giants Alibaba and JD.Com on Tuesday as the country celebrated Singles’ Day, an annual consumer holiday that puts Black Friday to shame. It was a big day for e-commerce but it was also a notable milestone for mobile payments, with rival platforms Alipay (Alibaba) and WeChat payments (Tencent) battling for supremacy.</p> <p>Techcrunch reports that of the $14.4 billion transacted by Alibaba - itself is remarkable jump from last year’s tally of $9.3 billion - 69% came via mobile, up from 43% last year. That means around $10 billion was transacted via Alibaba's Alipay.</p> <p>But there was also competition. JD.com – Tencent’s e-commerce partner – didn’t announce its sale figures, but did reveal a 130% jump in single day orders for the same period on the previous year. The company claims 74% of its total orders were placed via mobile platforms, including JD.com's native app and through Tencent’s WeChat - which has it own Alipay payments service embedded - and Mobile QQ’s platform. </p> <p>The day was a major validation of the success of Alibaba’s mobile payments platform, but Tencent and JD.com’s success also proved that the battle for market dominance will be a hard fought.<br /> Photo: Jamz196</p>
Cyberport and MaRs join forces
FinTech
<p>More than 200 delegates from the Hong Kong and Toronto fintech communities gathered at a MaRs and Cyberport event in Hong Kong on Wednesday afternoon. They were immediately treated to an uplifting announcement.</p> <p>Earlier in the day, MaRs and Cyberport had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that should strengthen the bonds of collaboration between the two energetic fintech hubs.</p> <p>The panel discussion that followed at Cyberport reinforced a sense of shared purpose. Specialists from across the sector gave their geographical perspectives as they emphasized how startups can revolutionize the global financial industry through the application of disruptive technologies.</p> <p>“Hong Kong and Toronto are gateways; the former to the vast Chinese potential and the latter to New York and Silicon Valley. But both have their particular advantages and challenges too,” said Adam Najee, head of financial technology at MaRS.</p> <p>For instance, Hong Kong has a large, skilled financial services workforce, but the high cost of living means it’s a risk for them to venture into startups where salaries are initially low. Toronto has some of the best, highly trained tech minds in the world, but they often lack access to capital to convert their ideas into practice.</p> <p>“There is a constant need for talent among startups in Hong Kong and there is the further issue of a tight regulatory environment to navigate,” agreed David Ng, business development specialist, The Payment Cards Group.</p> <p>Cedric Jeannot, founder and CEO, APrivacy knows the ecosystems of Hong Kong and Toronto intimately, with operations in both centers. He recognizes the similarities and the differences.</p> <p>“But, if everyone can contribute a brick then eventually we will build a wall,” he said</p> <p>And although, there is a widespread recognition that Hong Kong’s fintech sector is making strong progress, there is no room for complacency.</p> <p>“Hong Kong needs to find a niche in order to catch up with London and New York,” said Jacob Wai, a committee member in the Hong Kong Computer Society Fintech SIG and Business Intelligence SIG  and research director at the Asia Financial Risk Think Tank.</p> <p>Nevertheless, clearly Toronto and Hong Kong share similar attributes and challenges as fintech hubs.</p> <p>“They have vibrant ecosystems, are gateways to other major centers and they are in a continuous search for funding,” concluded the panel moderator Juwan Lee, lead founder and CEO, Nexchange.</p> <p>“Today’s MoU should ensure Cyberport and MaRs can work even more closely together and help fulfil the enormous potential of fintech entrepreneurs in both cities,” he added.<br /> Photo: Carolyn Hall Young</p>
UK finance minister wants London to claim the fintech crown
FinTech
<p>London already soars ahead of most other cities when it comes to fintech, but the UK’s finance minister George Osborne wants the city to be nothing less than the world leader.</p> <p>Speaking at the Bank of England Open Forum event on Wednesday, the chancellor of the exchequer said the government was working with big four audit firm EY to draw up a benchmark to compare London with international fintech rivals like New York, Silicon Valley, and Hong Kong, reported the Financial Times (paywall). </p> <p>Osborne has already long since pinned his colors to the mast as a champion for London’s fintech industry. Earlier this year he chose VC Passion Capital’s Eileen Burbidge as the UK’s special envoy for fintech. The government has also put 10 million pounds ($15 million) towards research into blockchain technology. </p> <p>His latest speech, however, seems to recognize that London has some serious competitors, he said: “The race is on, but we’re determined to win it”. Plenty of other cities have echoed a similar sentiment, but given the size of the industry and opportunity, one has to wonder: is it really a zero-sum game?<br /> Photo: Altogetherfool</p>
Robo-advisors moving into Bank of America Merrill Lynch
FinTech
First robots took over the world of trading, and now algorithmic eyes are focused on human financial advisors. Among the first major warehouses to submit to the trend of offering “robotic” advice options to its customers is Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Reported robo-advisors firm at Bank of America Merrill Lynch to initially tackle accounts with under $250,000 in assets
No guarantee against hackers
FinTech
<p>The alleged hacking scheme against 10 financial institutions and other US companies highlights the importance of cybersecurity for every firm.</p> <p>As Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara, who’s office has indicted three men, said, “[It is] a brave new world in hacking for profit…It is hacking as a business model.”</p> <p>So, a speech by Singapore’s former head of cybersecurity at FinanceAsia’s Annual Compliance Conference in Hong Kong on Tuesday was rather timely. (paywall)</p> <p>“We can never be 100% secure from cyberattacks. Never,” warned Alan Seow who was employed at Singapore’s Ministry of Communication and Information.</p> <p>Companies can put up some resistance by adopting a three-tiered approach: having effective defensive measures, rapid response processes and robust recovery systems.</p> <p>But, “even companies that spend a lot of money on experienced staff and put sensible measures in place have no guarantee of keeping ahead of hacking opponents,” reports FinanceAsia.<br /> Photo: Brian Klug</p>
Would you take your paycheck in bitcoin?
FinTech
<p>The idea of getting paid in a cryptocurrency as volatile as Bitcoin would probably put most people off, but the idea is gaining traction. We already have services like Bitwage – a Bitcoin-based payroll platform for international payments – now Europe is getting in on the act.</p> <p>The Coin Telegraph reports that Bitcoin service Cashila has just released it's own Euro-to-Bitcoin payroll system that allows European employees to request their wage in bitcoin through simple bank payment, regardless of whether the employer runs a Bitcoin scheme or not. </p> <p>For a platform like Cashila, the hope is that the payroll system will fuel wider adoption of Bitcoin and therefore add value to the broader ecosystem of bitcoin services, including their own flagship product. Assuming of course that a sufficient number of employees are bold enough to quite literally stake their livelihood on a cryptocurrency.<br /> Photo: BTC Keychain</p>
Swedbank hack attack highlights pitfalls of digital economy
FinTech
<p>As Sweden forges ahead with its ambitions to become the world's first cashless society, a recent hack attack on Swedbank’s website offers a sobering reminder of the perils of a digital economy. </p> <p>Finextra reports that the Swedbank site vanished from the web on Friday morning after the bank suffered its second distributed denial of services (DDoS) attack* in as many months. </p> <p>Thankfully, the hack attack did not compromise the bank’s security or its assets. But it is a reminder that cybersecurity will have big role to play as Sweden tries to convince its citizens that digital money is safer. </p> <p>For its part Swedebank seems largely unfazed by the episode with a spokesman saying: </p> <p>"It is not the first time and it will probably not be the last one.”</p> <p>*A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. Attackers build networks of infected computers, known as 'botnets', by spreading malicious software via emails and social networks.</p> <p>Photo: Vincent Diamante</p>