FTT Embedded Finance


Goldman Sach’s CEO to DJ at Fintech Talents Festival (that is a lie) – FTT Bookmark Issue 20

Your weekly resource for noteworthy news, fascinating features, and fintech titbits that caught our eye. Whether you live by your Twitter lists, save your Google Alerts or simply scroll through LinkedIn for insights and commentary – there is a wealth of content that weaves a global story around fintech.

Our job at Fintech Talents is to work within that global story – finding the news items, conventional wisdoms and hard data that aids us in bringing the industry the best content, community and experiences in the business. This week’s FTT Bookmark of timely resources and real time conversations that are shaping fintech is brought to you by Lisa, Moyle, Director of Strategy at VC Innovations.

All roads lead to identity

Whatever the service, whatever the sector, all conversations lead back to the foundational problem that the internet was built without a means for confirming the identities of users – whether entities or individuals. Stripe has now entered the identity space with a tool – Stripe Identity – that allows internet firms to verify identities, perform KYC checks and work to reduce online fraud for users in 30 countries.

Whilst central to the payments experience, the product has uses that will be attractive for a broad range of potential users (products requiring age verification, ecommerce, social platforms, other financial service providers). Easy to integrate (just a few lines of code) and straightforward for users – they have to share a photo of their government-issued ID and a live selfie. Once it is all set up, the process should take less than 20 seconds.

It is an interesting move for the company and allows them to provide a wider range of services. Not to mention it helps address issues that all online providers of goods and services face but are not easily sorted.

Goldman Sachs is back at the office

If you work for GS in NY then they were waiting for you back at the office from Monday this week. In contrast to some of the other global banks (in the US), working remotely is expected to end for most now. And perhaps most exciting of all, David Solomon, Goldman’s CEO and part-time DJ, released a song about it, Learn to Love Me. There is also free food to soften the blow and plenty of coffee stations to encourage employee interaction. I don’t work at Goldmans but they had me at food trucks.

On a serious note, it will be interesting to see how this stands up against the more flexible approach taken by some other global financial institutions based in NYC (and elsewhere). Although if you work for Morgan Stanley take note, CEO James Gorman has said that he will be “disappointed” if people don’t return to the office by Labor Day and that, “If you can go into a restaurant in New York City, you can come into the office and we want you in the office.”

Maybe the world of work hasn’t changed as much as we had hoped or at least in the ways in which we had hoped (see the next story).

On a special and serious note to David Solomon, there is always a slot open for you at the Fintech Talents Festival in London. We have a music stage and a DJ booth, so the next move is yours.

Is the future of work surveillance?

When the pandemic first hit and suddenly companies were forced to make the physical and cultural leap to remote working, some managers were concerned. They were worried about productivity and, ultimately, control. There is an interesting discussion to be had about monitoring and surveillance of employees.

StaffCop, Sneak, SpyAgent – some of the monitoring tools have, quite frankly, ominous names. In addition to the blurred lines between home and work, there are some quite fundamental concerns about privacy and the extent to which employees are even aware of the level monitoring that some companies are undertaking.
If anything, the always ‘on’ culture is more of an issue for many rather than the risk that they are lying on the sofa and watching tv during working hours. If the working day is extended such that the expectation is that they should always be available or online, that is a concern that need to be addressed by employment law. There is a lot of adjusting to do with regards to remote working and it isn’t always as simple as a home vs office divide.

Marqeta goes public

Exciting news from the team at Marqeta with last, week’s IPO. Founded in 2009 by Jason Gardner, CEO, the payments processing company was the first to use an API platform for card issuing.

In today’s world of composable IT, platformification, BaaS providers, Open Banking/Open Finance, collaborative ecosystems etc let’s just say that was a fruitful, strategic decision for the future of the company.

Marqeta strategic focus is on fintechs and other enterprises that want to provide/distribute finance services to their customers. Embedded Finance, in conjunction with the continuing digitisation of payments, is a huge (as in hugggge) opportunity. As it happens, we have recently launched the first in our FTT Embedded Finance series in North America with Marqeta as our founding sponsor, which goes Live on September 1st. No, I don’t have shares in the company.

Next week my colleague Laura Camplisson, Future Identity Portfolio Lead, VC Innovations will be sharing her news and view on the world of innovation.