FinTech Daily: Top Seven Fintech Startups to Follow; Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 Human Brokers Get Algor
Top Seven Fintech Startups to Follow
Financial technology, or Fintech, has become extremely trendy for startups since it holds significant potential and a lot of opportunities for realizing ideas. It’s easy to get confused due to the large array of options. Here are seven startups we consider interesting in the industry of financial technology. Ethereum is a decentralized platform that uses smart contracts. The platform is public and based on open-source Blockchain technologies. It is realized on a decentralized virtual machine, called EVM. The main preferences are smart contracts and the ability to create your own cryptocurrency. Smart contracts are special protocols that facilitate, verify or enforce the negotiation and performance of a contract, which makes a contractual clause unnecessary. These protocols run without any possibility of downtime, censorship, fraud or third party interference. IPFS (InterPlanetary File System) is a content-addressable peer-to-peer protocol designed to create a permanent and decentralized method for storing and sharing files. The main benefits are decentralization, a new method of storage and security. Decentralization allows people to have access to content on the Internet when the connection is rather bad or even absent from the cached versions of the sites. Monzo is a digital mobile-only bank without branches. The main preference is usability. Monzo allows you to open a card with any start capital without lots of documents and bureaucracy. The bank works with MasterCard, so their cards are usable all over the world. It works with cryptocurrencies and it does not take fees for any transactions when you are abroad. Wings is a decentralized project facilitation platform for managing DAOs. The main preference is a new structure of organizations and companies. DAO stands for Decentralized Autonomous Organization. At its most basic level, a DAO is an organization that relies on no form of central authority to operate. Instead, DAOs make decisions based on the votes made by all the members of the organization. Aragon is a decentralized management platform for companies. The main preference is its coverage. This platform helps you to find people with the necessary skills and knowledge all over the world. It allows you to organize your own company and manage your business, employees, partners and investors. WeTrust is a platform for Trusted Lending Circles, regulated by the community. The main preference is self-regulation. The platform is autonomous, frictionless and decentralized. WeTrust utilizes the Ethereum Blockchain to create a full-stack financial system that leverages existing social capital and trust networks, eliminating the need for a “trusted third party.” It allows for lower fees, improved incentive structures, decentralized risks and a greater amount of capital to reside among the participants. Humaniq is a bank app to help people without bank accounts. The main preferences are its usability and security, as well as its coverage. Humaniq uses biometrics to replace passports and signatures, as well as an ICO and distributed digital assets via cryptocurrency instead of shareholders. Users will have a simple UX and UI to tap into the mobile application and will also have access to the Internet. They will be protected by their biometric ID, which no one can take from them.
Morgan Stanley’s 16,000 Human Brokers Get Algorithmic Makeover
Call them cyborgs. Morgan Stanley is about to augment its 16,000 financial advisers with machine-learning algorithms that suggest trades, take over routine tasks and send reminders when your birthday is near. The project, known internally as “next best action,” shows how one of the world’s biggest brokerages aims to upgrade its workforce while a growing number of firms roll out fully automated platforms called robo-advisers. The thinking is that humans with algorithmic assistants will be a better solution for wealthy families than mere software allocating assets for the masses. At Morgan Stanley, algorithms will send employees multiple-choice recommendations based on things like market changes and events in a client’s life, according to Jeff McMillan, chief analytics and data officer for the bank’s wealth-management division. Phone, email and website interactions will be cataloged so machine-learning programs can track and improve their suggestions over time to generate more business with customers, he said. “We’re desperately trying to pattern you and your behavior to delight you with something you may not have even been asking for, but based on what you have been doing, that you might find of value,” McMillan said in an interview. “We’re not trying to sell you, we’re trying to find the things you want and need.” Faced with competition from cheaper automated wealth-management services and higher expectations set by pioneering firms like Uber Technologies Inc. and Amazon.com Inc., traditional brokerages are starting to chart out their digital future. It turns out that the best hope human advisers have against robots is to harness the same technologies that threaten their disruption: algorithms combined with big data and machine learning. The idea is that advisers, who typically build relationships with hundreds of clients over decades, face an overwhelming amount of information about markets and the lives of their wealthy wards. New York-based Morgan Stanley is seeking to give humans an edge by prodding them to engage at just the right moments.
Category: Artificial Intelligence
Bristol Gets Contactless Donation Points to Help the Homeless
Contactless donation points have been set up in Bristol, where members of the public can donate £2 by a tap of their debit card to help fund night shelters for homeless people in the UK city. The contactless units have been placed in the Broadmead shopping centre and on the waterfront on behalf of Safer off the Streets, a fundraising initiative launched by regional charity the Rough Sleeping Partnership. The campaigning group is looking to raise up to £100,00 to fund the running of night shelters which are run by St Mungo’s, The Julian Trust, Caring in Bristol and Crisis Centre Ministries to provide emergency beds for the city's escalating numbers of homeless people. "Shoppers will now be able to ‘touch’ their bank card to give £2 instantly to the SOS Bristol campaign," says the charity. "No cash or data will be stored in the units or by any of the charities. The donation will appear on your bank statement at 'St Mungo's but will be allocated across the partner charities."