FinTech News: February 26th, 2016

This week in FinTech: a pessimist’s and an optimist’s view on fintech’s future. South Korea’s KakaoTalk adds a fifth product to its fintech toolbox, why we need buy and sell buttons, the Vanguard effect, and JPMorgan’s quietly growing tech programs.

Fintech’s Wake-Up Call (Bloomberg)

While there are lots of ideas gaining tons of organic traction, there are also lots of “me-too” products that rely on marketing budgets for their customers. Declining markets and company valuations will be a wake-up call for these products, who may struggle to stay afloat as their markets become overcrowded.Screen Shot 2016-02-25 at 2.17.55 PM.png

4 reasons you should believe the fintech hype (Venture Beat)

A more optimistic columnist argues that fintech is just beginning to transform from a hypothetical hotspot to a real one. How come? Asia is moving fast, social fintech, crowdinvesting and crowdfunding are still in infancy, and the blockchain is picking up steam.

Kakao adds bill payment service to growing fintech menu in South Korea (ZDNet)

In addition to being a popular chat app, South Korea’s KakaoTalk is Increasingly a Fintech product. This week, Kakao added direct bill pay to its extensive collection of mobile payment & trading products, beating Japan’s Line and China’s WeChat to the game.

Dazzling Fintech actionable Investment advice needing a bridge (Daily FinTech)

There’s a wealth of publishers out there providing valuable financial information, from crowdsourced information, to algorithmic portfolio rebalancing tools. However, few provide any real bridge to action. Finance publishers should listen to this thoughtful piece. How to improve your content? Try making it actionable.

From the Vanguard effect to the Robinhood & Blockchain effect (Daily FinTech)vanguard-effect.jpg

Vanguard is causing a Walmart effect in the ETF space. By offering low-cost alternatives to many simple ETFs, it’s driving down the fee ratios across the board. Meanwhile, specialized ETFs with less competition have kept their fees about 200% higher. Free-trade brokerages could do the same for transaction fees as well.

JPMorgan Quietly Tests ‘Blockchain’ With 2,200 Clients (The Wall Street Journal)

Fintech is just about the only place JPMorgan is increasing its spending. The bank is increasing its 2016 tech budget and spending 40% of it on new technologies, involving partnerships with emerging companies. One of these tests was using the Blockchain technology to move US dollars between London and Tokyo.

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