Financial technology, or rather ‘fintech’ is all the rage these days all over the world, especially from Sweden to Israel to Kenya. The USA is also doing its share to help re-invent the way money moves and create smarter markets, with a juicy $31.6 billion flowing into R&D in this sector during the coming five years.
Let’s leave America for a moment and observe (jealously) the fintech innovations that are now in use outside the US, and hope that someday, sooner rather than later, these inventions arrive at our shores.
• eToro– Developed as a UK/Israel joint venture in 2007, this is a “social trading” platform that allows people to follow traders to see what they do in order to get ideas from the pros. eToro also lets users automatically copy their favorite traders. The really innovative idea here is that the platform gives the traders with the most followers a 2% management fee based on the money that they are essentially managing.
• BehavioSec– Launched in 2007 in Sweden, this security platform offers biometric security for online banking. The system takes a two-pronged approach to security, identifying suspicious users by the way they type, move their mouse or touch the screen of their phone. It’s kind of like having a security guard on hand looking for strange behavior even if technically the “ID” is correct. Almost every Nordic bank uses BehavioSec, and it was recently introduced in the UK.
• mPesa– In 2007 Kenya was introduced to a mobile wallet known as mPesa. It is now the most successful such tool in the world. It allows people without bank accounts to send, receive or pay their bills using their phone. An amount equal to 42% of Kenya’s GDP is transacted using mPesa.