The Covid-19 impact on fintech: now is the time to boost investment

MARKOS ZACHARIADIS, PINAR OZCAN, AND DIZE DINÇKOL | April 20, 2020

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While the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the entire world, governments’ response to the international health crisis has led the global economy to a standstill. Extensive lockdowns and social distancing measures are leading to massive unemployment spikes and numerous businesses are already seeing dramatic loss of revenue and struggling to maintain their operations.

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EZCORP

Formed with 16 pawn stores in 1989, EZCORP has grown into a leading provider of pawn loans in the United States and Mexico and consumer loans in Mexico. At our pawn stores, we also sell merchandise, primarily collateral forfeited from pawn lending operations and used merchandise purchased from customers. We are dedicated to satisfying the short-term cash needs of consumers who are both cash and credit constrained.

OTHER ARTICLES

Will COVID-19 Be the Final Straw for Cash and the Branch?

Article | April 1, 2020

There are two things that the COVID-19 crisis is teaching us. Be careful of what you touch. And be careful of who you are near. Neither one is a good message for the future of cash nor the bank branch, two staples of 20th century financial life whose demise analysts and prognosticators have been anticipating for decades. Could a global pandemic that forces society into “social distancing” prove to be the final straw that breaks the back of both our commitment to cash and what’s left of the bank branch?

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FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Technological Innovation and Everyday Lifestyle

Article | April 1, 2020

Technological innovation over the recent decades has attracted increased interest of researchers and industry experts thereby becoming an integral part of everyday lifestyle. The challenge lies in resolving the dispute between a forward-looking innovative structure promoting innovation, and a proportionately meticulous schema that is capable of winning faith of consumer. Information technology is fast turning to be a key instrument in the lives of consumer across generations. In current global economy, customers across industries have been pampered and the credit goes to “Bigtechs ” like Ali Baba, Apple, Amazon, E-bay, the list being exhaustive along with “Fintech ” and “Incumbent banks ” as a result, consumers expect swift product delivery with flawless service. A review of available literature is suggestive that further expositions tend to focus on fintech and its integration in banking arena investigating the factors that underpin the choice of external partners to collaborate, design, develop and implement fintech capability while addressing the gap between research and industry evolution. Recent developments in technology have refurbished global economies at an immensely fast pace, making the business environment extremely challenging with continued margin pressure. Digital technologies are intrusive to not only the competition but also to the role of payments in businesses impacting the ultimate consumers. Investigating digital transformation has been of continuing interest across industries. Digitization might abolish some vital job roles, threatening the human workforce reluctant to digital changes. However, observations are indicative of focus towards higher-value tasks and creating unprecedented opportunities. For instance, adoption of digitization in financial industry, provides considerable opportunity to relationship managers to spend minimal time in operational activities and maximum towards advising customers. Amongst many ideas laying the foundation of fintech adoption, a growing body of literature recognizes two vital causes for the evolution of fintech companies that can be routed back to a decade. Firstly, the global economic financial crisis also called economic recession that has distinctly exhibited to consumers the flaws of the traditional system. Second, the evolution of new technologies that boosted mobility, easy flow of information, speeding up the service delivery and lowering the costs. The way banks engage the customer today has gained fresh prominence, with a movement from branch banking to digital systems, benefitting from customer insights. Aiming to enhance consumer engagement and gain competitive advantage, debates continue about the best strategies banks adopt to engage with customers that has resulted in adding capabilities and complex technology on top of systems and processes to meet dynamic customers’ expectations to gain real time personalization. Much debated question is whether organizations with traditional framework are able to come up to such expectations becoming capable of disrupting industry by prompt digital delivery using advanced algorithms and digital platforms to successfully provide unrestricted access to information bits. Promising superior experience to users, however, if industry experts hit the bulls-eye and tend to offer more competitive prices, enhanced operational controls may entitle lesser risk and probability of higher revenues. Such developments bring along advantages and disadvantages at the same time. Whereas advantage lies in reduced transaction processing times, service excellence and global integration the disadvantages lie in the fact that not many users are keen to shift to the fintech modes as far as their financial transactions are concerned since they are apprehensive of the risks associated with such adoption, witnessing this paradigm shift in the pace at which industry is developing focussing on much saturated red ocean of retail banking and gradually making a shift towards payment systems, which seems to be an untapped blue ocean of opportunities. The underpinning factors that govern the financial industry are KYC / AML and CFT together forming the basis for regulatory controls. Ethical transparent business knit together with service excellence, minimal risk, a strong regulatory framework in the competitive industry has given the incumbent banks an opportunity to partner, collaborate and codevelop with technology and consulting firms for collaborative innovation. Technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain are capable of providing effective product suite to clients resulting in scalability of business.. On the other hand, robots replacing front end customer interface causes threat of redundancy to human capital and increase the training costs. As a result, many times an informal approach to collaboration tends to delay the outcome since the senior management looks at digitization in transaction banking as a profitable step and the middle management is hesitant of human redundancy, training etc which might cause delay. Taken together, a probable explanation advocates that common goals of digitization in financial institutions are regulatory control, risk mitigation, increase in revenue and to meet dynamic customer expectations by co-developing with external partners to gain competitive advantage. This adoption may further lead to higher cohesiveness in departments, improved value chain and reduced turnaround time with higher resolution quality. The digital transformation is capable of reducing the operational costs and overheads leading to increased profits, improved efficiency, better regulatory controls with less risks and collaborative opportunities for partners taking benefit of its tech talent to reach desired results. References: Anikina, I.D., Gukova, V.A., Golodova, A.A. and Chekalkina, A.A. 2016. Methodological Aspects of Prioritization of Financial Tools for Stimulation of Innovative Activities. European Research Studies Journal, 19(2), 100-112. Boston Consulting Group 2018, Three Keys to successful digitization in Transaction Banking, Boston Consulting Group, pp1-2 Botta, et.al.,2016. Technology innovations driving change in transaction banking. [Online] Accessed on March 11, 2018 Available at:https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/technology-innovations-driving-change-in-transaction-banking Capegemini & LinkedIn, 2018, World Fintech Report, p. 9-10 Hammond, Alex, August 2017, How banks are getting the digitization of core banking wrong, pp 1-8, [Online] [Accessed on April 02, 2018] Available at:https://www.bobsguide.com/guide/news/2017/Aug/23/how-banks-are-getting-the-digitisation-of-core-banking-wrong/ Johnson. et. al., 2017, Exploring Strategy chapter 3 Industry and sector analysis, pp. 62-91 Markovitch, Shahar & Wilcott, Paul, May 2014, Accelerating the digitization of business processes, Digital McKinsey, McKinsey & Company, pp 1-5 Mehrotra, Mohit, 2014, Digital Transaction Banking: Opportunities & Challenges, Deloitte Consulting Pte Ltd., pp 1-22 Olanrewaju, Tunde, July 2014, The rise of the digital bank, Digital McKinsey, McKinsey & Company, pp 1-5 Puschmann, Thomas, 2 February 2017, Fintech, Bus Inf Syst Eng 59(1): 69-76, Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2017 Saksonova, Svetlana, Kuzmina-Merlino, Irina, 2017, Fintech as Financial Innovation – The Possibilities and Problems of Implementation, European Research Studies Journal, Volume XX, Issue 3A, pp 1-14

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Could Google Acquire Tesla For $250 Billion?

Article | April 1, 2020

In the following analysis, we take a look at why Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) could be an attractive acquisition target for Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). We break down our analysis into three parts: what Tesla would stand to gain, what Google would stand to gain, and a scenario where Tesla’s value could rise to $1.5 trillion aided by a deal with Google.

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Advancing our approach to digital currency

Article | April 1, 2020

As a global payment’s technology company, Visa is focused on delivering the greatest value to people, businesses and economies everywhere, regardless of currency, channel or form factor. We’re reshaping how money moves across the globe, and that means pursuing a broad array of technologies and partnerships. In that regard, digital currencies offer an exciting avenue for us to continue doing what we do best: expanding our network-of-networks to support new forms of commerce.

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Spotlight

EZCORP

Formed with 16 pawn stores in 1989, EZCORP has grown into a leading provider of pawn loans in the United States and Mexico and consumer loans in Mexico. At our pawn stores, we also sell merchandise, primarily collateral forfeited from pawn lending operations and used merchandise purchased from customers. We are dedicated to satisfying the short-term cash needs of consumers who are both cash and credit constrained.

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