Category Archives: Blog

The Netherlands not only provides the right ecosystem for companies to grow but also ensures the necessary services are available in the event that you need to outsource a service for your licence – Bob Voermans 

On May 20th our very own Bob Voermans was invited to speak during NFIA’s ’s webinar about trends and opportunities in fintech and payments, to discuss why the Netherlands is an optimal choice regarding banking licences. With 20 + years of experience in payments Bob has found that oftentimes Fintechs raise money for the development of a product only to realise that more than a quarter of their budget is burned by licensing advice without even having started the application. This, he says, is unnecessary. 

So why is the Netherlands an optimal choice? Bob explained that the Netherlands has been a frontrunner in payments since the 90’s and is a country immersed in financial innovation. There are a grand total of 635 fintech companies and offers a rich ecosystem for these companies to thrive. Because of this there is plenty of experience within the Netherlands. Highly qualified and experienced staff have a range of specialties in areas such as legal affairs, fintech, regulations, anti money laundering and compliance to name a few.

Bob also made a point of mentioning the DNB which he explains, has a 10 step authorisation process which makes it very efficient to recieve your license. They also offer the possibility of an introduction meeting before the licence is officially requested during which business plans and plans of operations can be discussed. This then allows a business to identify in advance what the key pillars are to focus on. 

After all, oftentimes the application process for a licence can be daunting considering the amount of time it takes and the lack of guidance throughout. The 10 steps that the DNB offers alongside their introduction meeting establishes a solid foundation in advance that helps avoid confusion and streamlines the process. 

As a word of caution, Bob emphasized the need for a good regulator that best suits you and your company. He advises to look at their past successes and give yourself time and space to do your research. Ultimately there is no quick 6 month fix and such promises are a red flag.

 

Finally, when choosing a company to accompany and guide you through the licencing process Bob has three points to look out for: 

  • Avoid hourly rates 
  • Clear agreements
  • Transparency

 

Pringles’ exclusive CryptoCrisp flavour, a “limited-edition virtual flavour” with only 50 in existence, is just one of many wonderfully weird and wacky NFTs floating around on the internet many of which are sold for prices that make you want to google “what on earth are NFT’s anyway?”.

Undoubtedly you’ll have heard the term before, maybe read it in the news when the iconic Nyan Cat gif was sold for nearly $600,000. But what are they exactly?

NFT’s are non fungible – tokens, a term that does little to clarify what it is exactly. Essentially fungible means that something can be traded or exchanged with an identical item that is equal in value. Much like how one dollar can be exchanged with another one dollar, these are identical items that are equal in value. An NFT on the other hand, is non-fungible. This means that it has unique properties making it one of a kind.

The Mona Lisa for example, is a one of a kind painting. Digital art is different, after creating a digital masterpiece, like Nyan Cat, it can be duplicated over and over and over again. What digital artists can do is tokenize their art, making a digital certificate of ownership. Now Nyan Cat has become more valuable, $600,000 to be exact.

But what does it mean to buy an NFT? Do you own the copyright? Does this stop others from copying the artwork? An artist can sell an NFT and still retain copyright and, no, there is nothing stopping others from copying the artwork. What you own is a token that proves ownership of the original work. It’s like owning an autographed print or collectables.

So go ahead and buy some CryptoCrisps, you won’t get to taste them but the token will be all yours!

 

 

“Transparency, Spending control and convenience are key motivators for using BNPL solutions”
– PYMNTS.com
On Thursday April 22nd, Tinka’s CEO Karlheinz Toni made an appearance on the Dutch series “Pak de Macht” to discuss the ethical standards to which the company holds itself. After all, a company offering payment options such as credit, instalments and buy now pay later, can find itself with consumers in debt. This is why Toni took this chance to explain Tinka’s ideology: Honest, transparent and responsible solutions.
Tinka was also the first to sign the show’s “Schuldeiser Manifest” in which they promise to do what it takes to help the consumer with payment solutions without demanding high costs and fines. They promise not to aid in the financial downfall of an individual and will continue to recognise people as people rather than products.
But this is nothing new for the company. They have a Manifest of their own which takes a similar stance. Promises to never abuse their position, to always be available and to be transparent are part of their goal to make everything as stress free as possible. Customers are people, not numbers after all. In their opinion the “rules and regulations” do not offer enough protection for their customers and for this reason they want to step up and be the most desired and responsible company that provides buy now pay later options. With 60+ years of experience, Tinka is growing at an amazing rate and Karlheinz Toni is scheduled to discuss this further in a webinar on Thursday 17th June at 2pm.
Click here to register: 👉🏽 https://buff.ly/2SmNMXk

RegTech is technology that improves regulatory processes, specifically focusing on regulatory monitoring, reporting and compliance. In essence, where Fintech is the merging of finance and technology, RegTech is the merging of regulation and technology.

Seen as a subcategory of Fintech, RegTech tackles problems that arise from a technologically driven economy. With the digitization of finances and the increase in digital products, come issues like data breaches, cyber hacks and money laundering. These are some of the issues that RegTech tackles using cloud computing technology. Reporting standards and transparency are of high importance in these times and RegTech ensures the industry is monitored. 

After the 2008 recession financial institutions faced stricter legislation meaning that data that needs to be passed on to regulatory agencies increased exponentially to the point where it was difficult for humans to monitor manually. RegTech solved this using predictive analytics and machine learning in order to scan anomalies, trends and illegal activity which saves financial institutions time and money.

Making decisions is hard. Making financial decisions is harder. Understanding investments, deciphering convoluted terms, keeping up with stock changes… for many people this is enough to dissuade them from entering the intimidating world of investing. 

Enter Robo-advisors. Robo-advisors are automated, algorithm driven services that help make financial decisions on behalf of the user. They simplify complicated processes and make decisions customers might not be comfortable making on their own and thereby allow them to still participate in investments without needing to fully understand what is going on. Not to mention they are cheaper and more accessible than traditional financial advisors.

How do they work? In most cases a customer shares their basic investment goals through a set of questions that will allow the robo-investor to work their algorithm in a way that then works best with the customers goals. After that? The Robo-advisor goes to work. Though for a small price of course, not even robots work for free.

There are of course limitations to robo-advisers and while they are great for investing, they should not be used for more complicated processes like estate planning. But they do offer an easy and affordable way into investing.

Here are a few robo-advisers you should check out: 

  • Acorns 
  • Ally Invest 
  • Wealthfront 
  • Betterment
  • FutureAdvisor 
  • M1
  • SoFi
  • Vanguard
  • Stash

Fintech, simply put, is the merging of finance and technology. Technology that improves or builds financial services like PayPay, Venmo or Kickstarter. It is a term that encompasses a large range of businesses, products and services in the financial and payments industry. In principle, as long as a company uses the internet, mobile devices or software to provide financial services, it’s fintech.

Technology that used to be reserved for banks and trading firms has now evolved and is continuing to develop for the general public. With the financial crisis in 2008 that caused banks to lose their good reputation, people were in search of ways to have more control over their money and fintech companies have offered those solutions. In fact, a 2020 survey concluded that only 14% of consumers went to their banks for financial advice after an event that had an impact on their finances. Instead people are turning to fintech companies that are offering similar services as banks but with the ease of being mobile.

But services that mimic traditional banks are not the only aspects of fintech that consumers are turning to. As mentioned before, fintech is a very broad industry and branches out into several areas. To name a few there are:

  • RegTech
  • Blockchain and cryptocurrency
  • Investments : Robo-Advising and stock-trading apps
  • Personal finance
  • Lending
  • Price comparison marketplace
  • Crowdfunding
  • Insurance
  • Payments

In other words fintech has become a part of daily life for most people. As of 2019, 64% of consumers were using two or more fintech services or platforms and $137.5 billion was invested in fintech businesses that same year. It is safe to say that fintech has taken the world by storm and shows no signs of stopping. Technology is constantly evolving and is changing the financial world rapidly.

The innovations offered by startups combined with the services provided by traditional banks are constantly improving and changing the financial landscape. For the consumer payments are made easier, investing is automated and handling personal finances can be arranged from the comfort of one’s own home. In other words, fintech is the future of finance.