A world map with a paper ship, symbolizing the world of payment.

Payment Around the World – Part 3

Asia, India, the Middle East

Payment around the world – where were we? In the previous articles of this series, we devoted ourselves to different payment landscapes of the globe. And with the trends and challenges, we found there.

But no matter which region we looked at: All of them stood on the verge of digital transformation or have crossed that line. China and the USA press ahead in terms of payment innovation, as we have seen in our second article. In other countries, digital payments are still in the process of taking hold in the populace. The changes they bring have already become apparent. Digital payment services play the role of an equalizer, especially for the unbanked people. Developments in Africa‘s and Latin America’s payment landscape, as detailed in the first article of this series, stand as an example for this.

We will see if those tendencies manifest in the last waypoints of our journey, too. So, let’s move on, shall we?  

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A picture of two piggy banks, symbolizing financial literacy and financial education in Germany

More Than Pocket Money – Financial Education in Germany

Financial education. It starts with simple questions. Just like this one:

For her 9th birthday, Emma asks her parents to put money on a savings account, instead of buying her presents. She rather wants to celebrate her next birthday in style, with party assets worth 200€. At a yearly interest rate of 5%, how many Euros must be put into the account to fulfill Emma’s birthday wish?

Sound familiar, such questions, right? We all had to answer a fair share of them in math class during 8th grade. Looking at them today, they still are tricky to answer for many of us. And you would have to explain your child, that putting €4000 on a savings account tears a big hole in your financial planning. And only under the premise that you would find a bank providing 5% interest on savings accounts. Which you wouldn’t. Emma, who already showed prudence in her financial behaviour not normally seen in her contemporaries, still has to face some hard truths.

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A compass resting on a world map, symbolizing the world of payment

Payment Around the World – Part 2

USA, Canada, Australia, China

When exploring the payment preferences of the world, you have to go places. In the first part of our article series, those places were Europe, Russia, Latin America, and Africa.

The takeaway: Hard cash dies hard in many parts of the world like Germany, Hungary, Russia, and Brazil. But digital payment services have taken up the fight. They give new options to emerging countries with vast numbers of unbanked people. Mobile access to finances and digital-only money accounts help integrate the unbanked, so they can become proactive contributors to the financial system.

But it’s a large world with a great number of payment landscapes still waiting to be sketched. In this article, we will take a good look at the clashing fintech forerunners USA and China, as well as Canada and Oceania. So, let’s go!

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A symbolic picture of a hand holding a coin with the trimplement logo in a camera's lense, announcing the TrimpleCoin, trimplement's April's Fools Day joke.

April Fools’ Joke: The First Physical Emoney Coin

For over many years, trimplement has been active as a provider of emoney management software and digital payment solutions. But working for the fintech and finance sector, you have to accept one simple truth: Innovation warrants movement. To keep the pace in the ever-changing online sphere, you have to abandon old certainties and take bold steps forward. 

So as it’s the beginning of a new month, we reveal our exciting new project:

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A picture of an app store, displaying the apple logo, symbolizing Apple's new credit card solution Apple Card

Opinion: Apple Plays Its Card Just Right

Matthias Gall, co-founder of trimplement
Matthias Gall is looking forward to the disruptive potential of the Apple Card. 

In the Apple Keynote in on March 25th, Apple announced its very own credit card. It will be using the Mastercard scheme and will be issued in cooperation with Goldman Sachs.

As of now, Apple is an established player in the payments space. Their payment solution Apple Pay serves more than 252 million estimated users globally.

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A set of coins, jammed into a wedge, symbolizing stablecoins

Opinion: Stablecoins – Next Generation (E)Money

Photo of Mark Caruso, Senior Project Manager at trimplement
Mark Caruso gives his opinion on
what role stablecoins will
play in the emoney sphere.  

Definition: “Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies designed to minimize the volatility of the price of the stablecoin, relative to some “stable” asset or basket of assets. A stablecoin can be pegged to a currency, or to exchange traded commodities (such as precious metals or industrial metals). Stablecoins backed by currencies or commodities directly are said to be centralized, whereas those leveraging other cryptocurrencies are referred to as decentralized” – Wikipedia

Stablecoins by their nature aren’t necessarily a new invention to the financial world. Their basic characteristics have already been described in the first Electronic Money Directive (2000):

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The Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci, photographed and a Tourist photographing it with his smartphone, symbolizing digital transformation of art (i.e. with blockchain).

6 Art Projects Powered by Blockchain

At a first glance blockchain and art are polar opposites. But how do they say:  Opposites attract. Blockchain technology can help to solve many issues of the modern art market, for example:

  • It can help to securely and transparently track provenance, copyright and ownership information
  • It can provide frameworks for tokenization of real-world art objects, simplifying access to the art market and allowing “ordinary mortals” to become art investors and get partial ownership on expensive assets (see e.g. Maecenas project description below)
  • Blockchain and cryptography can be the art environment itself, meaning they can be used to create and store digital art objects (like Crypto-Kitties described below)
  • And of course, it can help artists to collect fundings for their art projects using the mechanisms of the so-called ICO (initial coin offering)

Let’s have a look at the most popular and interesting blockchain and art projects where creativity meets technology.

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A computer screen displaying the word cybersecurity

Cybersecurity – A Big Deal for Fintech

We do a lot of things online. We shop at online marketplaces. We rent movies at online video libraries. We manage our finances in online banking apps – all from the comfort of our homes. On the downside, criminals don’t have to stand up from their couch either, to rob your bank or steal your private data. Internet crime and assaults on cybersecurity occur in increasing numbers. Banking institutions are a popular target, as are their little, nonconformist peers: Fintech companies.

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A neobank building and an old bank building facing each other

Opinion: Neobanks vs. Old Money – How Traditional Banks Can Cope

Matthias Gall gives his opinion on how banks can cope with neobanks.

Times change. We thought we had already seen the Last Unicorn in the 1980s. But in the finance industry, the unicorns are alive and well. And what’s more: They keep multiplying. N26 is one of the latest additions to the herd. The German company acquired more than 300 million dollars in its most recent financing round. Now N26‘s company value is estimated at 2.7 billion dollar.

Good preconditions to shake the digital banking sphere to its very foundations. And the traditional banks? They rely on strategies that were last seen in the 80s, too. Although they have the potential to do much more.

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