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Tracking the consumer evolution of financial services

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Flywheel addresses a gap in Uber


Flywheel fills a function missing with Uber. We all love Uber but it hasn’t overcome the basic flaw that taxi drivers are drawn to the immediate prize that they call fishing.

When the subway is down, during rush hour, or old ‘customer demand’ habits arise taxi drivers flock to the best areas to fish for fares.

As a customer of cabs, this means that I cannot get an Uber cab at precisely the times I need it most.

But if I can flag a cab I would like to pay with similar to Uber with a couple of clicks. Flywheel is addressing that space. It will be interesting to see if Uber can extend their service somehow to address this gap for flagged cabs.

The taxi-hailing app hopes the new feature will give it a leg up on Uber and Lyft

Flywheel, the taxi-hailing app that is in seven cities along the West Coast, is rolling out a new feature that will allow users to pay for normal cabs via a mobile app — if the cabbie is part of Flywheel’s network. Called “Pay by Flywheel,” the feature will allow users to take advantage of both the ubiquity of taxis and the convenience of mobile payments — and, therefore, act as a challenge to Flywheel competitors Uber and Lyft.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 30, 2015 at 22:29

Posted in Uncategorized

Scoble gets it right on Tidal


I have kind of lost touch with Scoble since he published on different sites that forced me to follow him. However I still seek him out and fundamentally agree with his philosophy. His commentary on Tidal supports my early agreement with his views.

“Who wants to listen to a bunch of rich people telling you they aren’t getting paid enough?”

Love that. The signs of change. When the old guard (Jayz, Madonna, Usher and other no-name rich people) get together and honestly believe they can be King Canute, well go right ahead. Goodbye Tidal.

What I like about Robert since I have been reading his stuff from early 2000’s is that he is consistently talking about product quality as the sole determinator of future success. If people like what you offer they will buy it. Simple.

The Numbers Don’t lie; Robert Scoble

This is why you don’t attack competitors.

It’s something I’ve seen before (and I learned this in my community college marketing class, back in the 1980s). If I say I hate something, at least 10% of you totally disagree with me and click to check it out. Same if you are a brand.

Tidal was just launched horribly. Spotify’s numbers went up, while Tidal languished.

Why? Who wants to listen to a bunch of rich people telling you they aren’t getting paid enough?

What they should have done is released a bunch of exclusive content on the new service. But it better be content that gets talked about.

Netflix ran to the bank with House of Cards. Why didn’t Tidal learn from that? Exclusive great content is what sells new platforms.

Watch Apple launch a ton of exclusive great content on Beats when it comes out this summer. That’s the competition Spotify and Pandora have to worry about. Tidal is a wounded animal.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 23, 2015 at 01:57

Posted in Uncategorized

Wall-Mart Executive says Chip & Signature is worthless


Finally the voice of reason from a US retailer.

Wal-Mart Treasury Exec: Chip & Signature is ‘Worthless’

Cook told CNNMoney that migrating to chip-and-signature is barely an improvement over magnetic-stripe cards, and said that Wal-Mart would have supported moving to a chip-and-PIN system. “The fact that we didn’t go to PIN is such a joke,” Cook said.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 6, 2015 at 22:12

Posted in Uncategorized

Identity – how can you prove you are you?


Identity is an interesting subject. How can you prove you are you?

This is something that was a compulsive topic in the late 90’s but died down after the assumed solution of PKI was understood as too hard to implement.

Recently a colleague re-opened the topic. It was noted that Dave Birch has been on about identity recently too through his exploration of how Government mandated free provision of API services to be delivered by UK banks resulted in alternative business model thinking.

Dave has some interesting ideas particularly in the area of “attribute verification” whereby Banks could provide positive attribution to third parties on customers identity, creditability, positive bank account experience etc.

I took some time to reflect on what the Canadian Government have been saying. It is hard to keep up because the pace is so slow, but in 2009 they produced

Federating Identity Management in the Government of Canada: A Backgrounder

Since that time the activities of SecureKey have dominated the discussion although they have largely moved south in their predominant efforts as witnessed by their home page featuring the US Congress building.

The focus in Canada has been on the limited space of identity in respect to Government of Canada and Provincial services.

This is very clear from this GoC page on Cyber Authentication.

All this to say that the UK government is particularly pro-active in this area with pressure on the banks, and the Canadian government is not. Directionally this probably arose from the particularly weak position that the UK Banks were in post 2007 vs the strong position that Canadian Banks found themselves at that time and despite the underlying risk merely being shifted off balance sheet.

Identity management services as a business model in Canada is up for grabs it would appear.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 5, 2015 at 23:35

Posted in Uncategorized

Nadella is doing the right things but will it save Microsoft


Like many readers I have been following the rise of Microsoft in the 90’s to flatlining when browsers really important due to page speed, and finally when Google made the browser an operating system.

Opening Windows | Economist

Mr Nadella’s formula for reinvigorating Microsoft is to move as quickly and as far as possible away from being a Windows-only company to be a global network of giant data centres that provide a broad range of online services for companies and individuals. So far he has done well in beginning to turn round a supertanker of a company, with 123,000 employees and $87 billion in annual revenues.

Things have changed. We use Microsoft Office and Windows because it is prescribed by our employers. At home we use very different devices and software because they are better.

I wish Microsoft the best but I cant see yet how they make money with free iOS Outlook & Office. At best the hope must be that if they can be free and available on mobile devices that users will be more willing to accept the software they must use at work.

This discussion has to take into account the OS X Pages/ Keynote/ Numbers apps that are just simple to use and highly effective across devices.

Directionally it makes sense what Nadella is doing by becoming cross platform. Cloud is critical but cloud only matters in context of the apps that work for the user to the cloud. Users and employers are not even closley aligned on usage of cloud especially in financial services.

Written by Colin Henderson

April 5, 2015 at 03:06

Posted in Uncategorized

Tangerine Online Banking adds Apple Watch support


A whole swath of my iphone apps were updated yesterday all on the same day which is unusual unless something big is changing.  

In this case it was Apple Watch.  Everything from NY Times and Evernote to Tangerine Online Banking.  Curious to see how Tangerine (Scotiabank) handles Apple Watch.  

Written by Colin Henderson

March 28, 2015 at 20:23

Posted in Uncategorized

Sabadell agrees to $2.54 billion takeover of TSB


Sabadell agrees to $2.54 billion takeover of TSB | Finextra

Banco Sabadell is making its first play for a European business outside of its home territory as Lloyds agrees to sell 50% of TSB to the Spanish bank.

Written by Colin Henderson

March 22, 2015 at 23:51

Posted in Uncategorized

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