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Category Archives: Personal Finance

What Is The Fastest Way To Raise Your Credit Score To Buy A House

Guest Post | Jul 28, 2021

digital bank - What Is The Fastest Way To Raise Your Credit Score To Buy A House

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When buying a home, there are plenty of important factors a lender will consider when deciding whether or not to give you a mortgage. They will think about your income, your down payment, your other debts, and of course, your credit score. Your credit score is essentially a snapshot of your history as a borrower. The higher the score, the less risky you are to lend money to, in most cases.

While most with an average credit score or above average will be fine, those who are below might experience a bit more trouble. But thankfully, you aren’t doomed to have a bad credit score forever. Read on as we go over some of the best ways to quickly raise your score to buy a home.

Remove Negative Items on Your Credit Report

Perhaps the fastest and most affordable way to raise your credit score is to remove negative items from your credit report. These generally include collections and inquiries. While each one might only hurt your credit a bit, if they pile up, it can have a major impact.

Be sure to go through your report and ensure you do all you can to get these negatives removed. Also, mistakes are common on a credit report and could be the reason your credit is lower than it should be. You should be checking your report at least once a year if you feel your score is too low, to make sure there are no negative or incorrect items on your report.

Pay off Your Existing Debt

managing finances - What Is The Fastest Way To Raise Your Credit Score To Buy A House

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Next, you need to make an effort to pay off any outstanding debt that you have. If you continue to miss payments and not pay off your debt, it will be hard for a lender to trust you with a mortgage, if you can’t even pay off your credit card bills. The more debt you have, especially debt that is unpaid, the less likely you are to get a good mortgage.

You may need to make some sacrifices, but it will be worth it to get a home you love. While the second you pay off your debt you won’t see your score skyrocket, it certainly can happen quickly.

Pay Your Bills on Time

Another way to show creditors you are worthy of a higher score is by paying your bills on time. Missing payments is one of the easiest ways for your credit score to take a dip, and will quickly show creditors you may not be the most reliable person. While a few days late here and there may not have a major impact in some cases, but if it becomes a common occurrence it certainly will.

See:  4 Smart Investments to Raise Your Home’s Value

Paying bills on time and in full shows you are prepared, on top of things, and always have enough to cover your bills. It shows you are a responsible borrower, and will always pay your debts according to the agreed-upon schedule. If you struggle to remember to make payments on time, consider making them automatically or leaving notes for yourself.

Keep Your Credit Utilization Low

Another important factor of your credit score is your utilization. This is how much of your available credit you are using in a given month. In general, you should aim to keep your credit utilization rate below 30%. So if your limit is $10,000 a month, make an effort to spend no more than $3,000 per month.

This shows that you can handle having a lot of credit without going crazy with spending. There are a few ways you can try to keep this utilization low. First and foremost, you can simply spend less on your credit card. Another option is to get an increase to your limit, in order to keep your utilization rate lower.

Trying to buy a home with a low credit score can be both difficult and expensive. But by using these tips, you should be able to get your credit back to a good place sooner rather than later.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - What Is The Fastest Way To Raise Your Credit Score To Buy A House The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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4 Smart Investments to Raise Your Home’s Value

Guest Post | Jul 25, 2021

Increase the value of your home - 4 Smart Investments to Raise Your Home's Value

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When it comes time to sell your home, you likely want to get as much as possible for it. However, if you simply ask for an inflated price, you may not get it. Your home needs to reflect the asking price, and be worth it. If not, it could sit on the market for months.

Thankfully, there are a variety of things you can do in a home that can raise the value it has. Without any further ado, this blog post is going to cover some smart investments to help you raise the value of your home.

Install a Security System

No matter who is buying a home, there is a good chance they want it to be secure. Everyone wants to feel safe in their home, and installing a security system can do just that. They can keep burglars away, and minimize the negative impact if a crime does occur.

Many also come complete with alarms, cameras, and even home alarm monitoring to ensure your home is as safe as possible. Many alarm systems today are very easy to set up and use, and many can even be controlled remotely.

Improve the Curb Appeal

curb appeal invest in the vaule of your home - 4 Smart Investments to Raise Your Home's Value

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The curb appeal of your home is very underrated when it comes to its impact on value. People start judging a home as soon as they walk up to it, so your curb appeal needs to be on point. If the home looks bad from the outside, potential buyers will already have a negative view of it before they even step inside.

While boosting your curb appeal might seem like a big job, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many curb appeal improvements that are quite easy and affordable. You can trim up the hedges, fix up the paint or siding on the home, clean up the path, and make sure the landscaping looks great.

Make the Home More Energy-Efficient

A home that is energy-efficient is also becoming a much more desirable feature in homes today. Not only are they better for the environment, but efficient homes will also be cheaper to operate in terms of their water and power bill. Thankfully, there are several ways to make a home more energy-efficient.

You can change out your light bulbs, can get new appliances, seal any air leaks, get double or triple pane windows and even get a programmable thermostat. Even before you sell, you yourself will be able to enjoy the benefits of these energy-efficient changes to reduce your costs and your carbon footprint at the same time.

Make Small Upgrades to the Kitchen and Bathroom

Of course, renovating the home is also a good way to increase how much it is worth. In particular, the kitchen and bathroom are two of the best places to fix up to increase the value of a home. However, it is best to keep these renovations small. If you do too much, the costs can get quite high and you may not be able to get the same return on investment.

So instead of a full remodel, potentially consider switching out a few fixtures, painting and making a few small changes to things like cabinets, flooring or counter-tops. These can be affordable fixes, but completely change how a room looks, for the better.

Any of these four investments can be great for raising the value of your home. Whether you decide to do one, or all of them, you can feel confident they will help you get more when you decide to sell your home.


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - 4 Smart Investments to Raise Your Home's Value The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Aspects of Financial Literacy That Help in Life and Work

Guest Post | Jun 14, 2021

Financial literacy is critial - Aspects of Financial Literacy That Help in Life and Work

Financial literacy means obtaining the appropriate skills and knowledge required to make smart and informed decisions touching money. A person that is literate in finance should know the main definitions, feel confident when speaking of money services and possibilities. A correctly postured financial literacy allows using all instruments keeping their risks, advantages, and disadvantages in mind all the time. A person having these skills can evaluate the market situations correctly, plan budgets and expenses, make savings, and, of course, avoid debts when possible.

Why Financial Literacy is a Critical Skill

Financial literacy is necessary to keep oneself safe in emergencies and to improve your life quality. It is important for a person in particular and for financial institutions and states in general. People making wrong decisions about their finances cause credit debts making them refuse certain goods. Businesses failing to rule their budgets correctly result in profit losses and bankruptcies. State governments making mistakes in financial planning cause a significant reduction in their citizens' comfort and wellbeing, increase numbers of frauds and criminals, lose economic stability, and make people use unreliable instruments to keep their incomes at minimally acceptable levels.

See:  The Importance of Education in the Modern World

Here below, you will be able to read more about the most critical aspects of financial literacy. Staying aware of them will help you live a better life and build a career as a respected specialist at a time. Why so? It’s because the skills and qualities required to provide correct accounting can boost your effectiveness as a worker, manager, or business owner.

Finance and Budget Planning

A state or a business always has its budget monitored. A person or family should monitor and plan their incomes and expenses as well. This basic skill of financial literacy alone is able to boost your life quality, improve your self-discipline, confidence, mental and physical comfort, and stability. It’s logical because when you plan your finances, your expenses won’t exceed your incomes. And of course, you’ll have an “emergency bag” to use when necessary.

Additionally, the budget planning skill allows you to devote some part of your income to progress in reaching your big financial goals every month. That’s a necessary ability and knowledge to reach success in a contemporary world.

Keeping Control and Security

Thieves and frauds will always be there if you’ve got money in your bank account or in your pocket. So, it is critical to monitor all transactions thoroughly and to keep your personal data secured. A financially literate person is difficult to trick them with pyramid schemes and other money fraud concepts. Thieves come up with new ways to steal your money every day, so it is more than useful to know how to maintain the security of your funds and private info.

Attention to Avoid Risks and Maximize Benefits

Financial products and services became a part of one’s routine long ago. However, only some clients are attentive and careful enough to reveal the user agreement details. So, if you are financially literate, you know that reading those papers is far more important than even checking a writersperhour review.

Being attentive with the required payments allows you to save more, and monitoring profitable propositions by banks and services, like cashback and bonuses, is the way to improve your financial situations. Additionally, you’ll avoid unpleasant surprises and unexpected fees.

The same approach should work for all the financial products that are new to you. The habit of being pedant and thorough in making decisions is highly valued by most employers. Moreover, you’ll be glad to develop it as an owner of a startup or a growing business.

Knowledge about Credit Rating

In a modern world, it is vital to know as much as you can about credit ratings in general and to monitor your credit history in particular. A good credit rating is important for your financial health because it can play the main role when a crisis arises in your life or when you want to make a big purchase. A bad credit background makes it much more challenging to achieve your financial goals.

Taking Reasonable Loans

Borrowing someone else’s money is not always the best solution for your problems. However, life can put you in a situation where you won’t be able to cope with everything without taking that loan. This aspect of financial literacy becomes crucial when you take an education loan and remains among the most impactful things throughout your adulthood.

See:  Renewing the National Strategy for Financial Literacy

The key to taking a loan that won’t hit your finances more than you expect is studying the topic and picking the right kind of service. After that, it is wise to compare propositions from several banks before you make a final choice. Here again, discipline and attention will be your best allies helping to count things up and predict possible difficulties.

 


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Aspects of Financial Literacy That Help in Life and Work The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Canadian Prepaid Payments Industry Increases Financial Services Innovation and Choice

Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization | Jun 9, 2021

Canadian prepaid ecosystem highlights - Canadian Prepaid Payments Industry Increases Financial Services Innovation and ChoiceTORONTO, June 9, 2021: The Canadian Prepaid Providers Organization (CPPO), the collective voice of the open-loop prepaid payments industry in Canada, today released the second comprehensive analysis of the Canadian prepaid landscape, a segment which continues to drive payments innovation in Canada. The Canadian Prepaid Ecosystem Report 2021, produced in collaboration with FinTech Growth Syndicate (FGS), is an analysis of 90 companies operating in the Canadian open-loop prepaid ecosystem to develop a deeper understanding of the innovative offerings, market forces and trends, as well as to build a heatmap of all players in the Canadian prepaid space.

Prepaid cards have allowed for the development and introduction of numerous innovative use cases to the Canadian ecosystem, for both consumer and small business segments. The use cases that have gained prominence within the market employ a wide range of value propositions while laying the foundation for further innovative offerings to be developed and brought to market.

See:  More Industry research and reports

According to The Canadian Prepaid Ecosystem Report 2021, Canada is starting to see early movers offering integrated consumer ecosystems that represent the opportunity to become super apps enabled by payments. Non-banks have also been able to launch banking for their customers as an alternative to credit, and capture their spending data for further innovation in predictive services.

“Among the many benefits of the growing prepaid industry in Canada, prepaid offers increased financial inclusion to our essential and growing gig economy, while also offering more choice and convenience to all Canadians,” said Jennifer Tramontana, Co-Founder and Executive Director, CPPO. “In support of post-pandemic economic recovery, we anticipate that prepaid usage will ramp up quickly over the next few years in Canada. The CPPO is excited to continue its market research initiatives to further promote the evolution of the Canadian payments industry.”

As consumer preferences shift towards digital and contactless payment methods long-term, prepaid provides both incumbents and FinTech entrants with an avenue to introduce new products and services, while still adhering to stringent regulatory requirements.

Key report findings:

  • There are 90 companies in the prepaid market in Canada, an increase of 21 percent since 2020
  • Companies in prepaid space constitute about 1/6th of all paytechs in Canada and majority of those are new FinTech entrants, the same percentage as 2020
  • Most of the new company launches and innovations are seen in Challenger Bank, Program Manager and Service Provider segments. Challenger Banks have the highest percentage of the new FinTech entrants
  • 38 percent of the Challenger Banks in Canada offer prepaid cards
  • Out of the total 90 prepaid value chain players, 50 are headquartered in Canada and 60 percent of those 50 are based out of Ontario

Continue to the full article --> here

Download the 31 page PDF report --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Canadian Prepaid Payments Industry Increases Financial Services Innovation and Choice The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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The 30-year-old retirees

The Hustle | Zachary Crockett | May 5, 2021

Rise of the FIRE movement - The 30-year-old retireesA growing number of young professionals are expediting the path to financial independence by living frugally and following the "4% rule."

Shortly after Kristy Shen and her partner, Bryce Leung, turned 31, they quit their computer programming jobs and retired.

The couple had grown disillusioned with the “Boomers’ dream”: Get a job, be a loyal employee for decades, buy a house, retire at 65.

Instead, they devoted themselves to a bare-bones lifestyle, saved 80% of their annual income, and amassed a portfolio worth $1m — enough to leave behind the 9-to-5 life and live frugally off the dividends.

Millennials are often hounded for their poor financial management. Some 66% of 21- to 32 year-olds have no savings, and one-third don’t actively think about retirement.

But a growing subculture of young folks like Chen are hellbent on achieving financial independence by their early 30s.

They call themselves the ‘FIRE’ community

Subscribers to the FIRE movement (short for “Financial Independence, Retire Early”) don’t feel like waiting around for the early bird special.

See:  Latest fintechs focus on saving

Early retirement is not a new concept. It’s been kicked around since the 1950s and gained momentum during the ’90s tech boom, when books like Your Money or Your Life and The Complete Tightwad Gazette promoted self-reliance, frugality, and smart investing as a path to financial liberation.

In the past decade, FIRE has found a new home on the internet, fueled by gurus like Mr. Money Mustache and Mad Fientist, who run wildly popular blogs with posts like

“Safety Is an Expensive Illusion” and “Luxury Is Just Another Weakness.”

One of the movement’s central breeding grounds, the r/FinancialIndependence subreddit, has swelled from 100k to 900k subscribers over the past 5 years. Its members tirelessly debate everything from the cost of having children to the merits of living in a van.

Many of these fast-track retirees are tech workers under the age of 30 with healthy salaries — but the forums are also populated with nurses, teachers, fast-food employees, and janitors.  They follow financial guidelines like the “4% rule” (the ideal annual withdrawal rate from a retirement account without dipping into savings) and the “FI Number” (an individual’s dollar amount needed to retire).

There are several variations of FIRE, but adherents fall into two main camps, based on how militant they are about being frugal:

  1. LeanFIRE: An approach that calls for extreme minimalism and living on the bare minimum in order to save and retire faster.
  2. FatFIRE: An approach that still aims to save and be frugal, but allows for a bit more indulgence.

FIRE is an innately privileged concept: For many Americans, thriftiness is a necessity, not a choice — especially in the wake of the pandemic.

But FIRE enthusiasts claim that anyone can follow the movement’s unofficial formula: Dramatically minimize spending. Maximize earnings. Save enough to live off of dividends.

See:  Will Digital Currencies and Fintech Solve the Financial Inclusion problem?

The young, rich, and frugal

Kevin*, a 28-year-old FIRE devotee living in San Francisco, is among those who go to extreme lengths to cut down on monthly expenses.  A self-described “shitty coder” at a large cloud computing company, Kevin reels in a pretax salary of $165k per year — enough to afford him a “decent lifestyle” in one of the most expensive cities in America.

Instead, Kevin lives far below his means:

  • He rents a shared room in a 5-bedroom house for $800 per month
  • He sleeps on an inflatable camping mat
  • He eats beans and rice 5 nights per week
  • He relegates himself to $20 per week for social activities
  • He uses his company’s gym to work out for free
  • He gets around the city on a bicycle or electric scooter

He also chronicles every purchase in an Excel spreadsheet: $3.47 for a pack of floss; $8.81 for a new bike tube; $14 for a Mother’s Day gift (“Mom gets I’m on a budget,” he says).

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - The 30-year-old retirees The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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Fintech Startup WALO Goes Live With A Gamified Financial Literacy App for Kids and Parents

WALO Technology | Rim Charkain | May 25, 2021

Walo home - Fintech Startup WALO Goes Live With A Gamified Financial Literacy App for Kids and Parents

Canadian Fintech WALO is pleased to announce the launch of its first official product, WALO Plug™, a mobile app to teach kids financial responsibility.

QUEBEC CITY, QC, CANADA, May 25, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ -- To celebrate the launch, WALO offers, for a limited time only, their solution for free for an entire year. Full details about the new app that is available on both the iOS and Android platforms, as well as the promotional offer, can be found at https://walo.app.

See:  Fintech Fridays EP42: Insights into the Teen Banking Sector and Improving the Financial Well-being of Families

WALO takes a unique approach to address the financial literacy gap, by empowering parents to teach their kids about money. Their first official product, WALO Plug™, is a mobile app that connects to any major Canadian bank or credit union account, and allows parents to automate allowances and give their children the gift of practical everyday financial education. By using proprietary algorithms, WALO guides their young users into making the next best action via a gamified financial learning experience.

“At WALO, our mission is to ensure the financial well-being of future generations through experiential learning. Not everyone has the chance to start their financial journey on the right foot. We created WALO to give every kid an opportunity to learn the basics of personal finance early on, so that they can do better than us as young adults.” - Rim Charkani, Cofounder & CEO

WALO is bringing the weekly allowance into the digital era for Canadian parents, while also allowing kids to learn how to earn, save and spend money responsibly. Parents can easily automate their children’s allowance, send one-off transfers or contribute to their children’s saving goals. By creating and completing goals, kids develop healthy saving habits and understand the value of delayed gratification.

Currently, the app is available in French and English throughout Canada and can be downloaded on the Apple Store and Google Play Store as WALO Smart Allowances.

View original press release --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - Fintech Startup WALO Goes Live With A Gamified Financial Literacy App for Kids and Parents The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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BIS digital currency paper predicts money will be unbundled

Ledger Insights | May 20, 2021

digitalization of money - BIS digital currency paper predicts money will be unbundled

Today the BIS published a working paper entitled “The digitalization of money,” in which the unbundling of money is predicted. Fiat money is expected to have three sets of functions. It should act as a store of value, a medium of exchange, and a unit of account. However, as cryptocurrencies are already showing, some digital currencies or money might provide the store of value function. Others may be used as a medium of exchange for payments—hence the conclusion re unbundling.

And digital money is associated with a platform not a country. Alipay owner Ant is used as an example on multiple occasions.

The three University academics that wrote the paper see a re-bundling happening with different functionality, such as for data gathering or social network sites. It’s no coincidence that the two major digital wallets in China are owned by Ant, which aggressively uses data, and social network WeChat. The authors argue that a payment platform is the best possible way to gather data.

See:  Canadian researchers develop CBDC digital currency proposal for Bank of Canada

A payment platform that collects data about all your economic activity could provide a lender with detailed information about the borrower’s income and all their payments. “Analysis of such rich data would enable the bank to estimate the probability of repayment with great precision, far exceeding the predictive accuracy of the applicant’s credit score,” conclude the authors.

The hypothesis of re-bundling of money assumes that the competitive differentiators for a currency are about data bundles and networking services. Put another way, a digital money’s appeal is based on its algorithms, its privacy policies and the counterparties on the platform. Unsurprisingly, different currencies will attract users with similar characteristics. Some will prefer privacy, while others may be willing to trade that privacy for the outcome of that data, such as better recommendations. Not mentioned in the paper, but there is a parallel with how insurers will offer better rates if they can track your driving habits.

If currencies are associated with platforms, then the role of banks comes into question not just for payments but for other functions because they lose the primary touchpoint. An example provided is Ant’s Yu’e Bao, the world’s largest money-market fund and Ant is also a dominant provider of credit scoring. Ant owns Alipay, the world’s largest payments platform.

Continue to the full article --> here


NCFA Jan 2018 resize - BIS digital currency paper predicts money will be unbundled The National Crowdfunding & Fintech Association (NCFA Canada) is a financial innovation ecosystem that provides education, market intelligence, industry stewardship, networking and funding opportunities and services to thousands of community members and works closely with industry, government, partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative fintech and funding industry in Canada. Decentralized and distributed, NCFA is engaged with global stakeholders and helps incubate projects and investment in fintech, alternative finance, crowdfunding, peer-to-peer finance, payments, digital assets and tokens, blockchain, cryptocurrency, regtech, and insurtech sectors. Join Canada's Fintech & Funding Community today FREE! Or become a contributing member and get perks. For more information, please visit: www.ncfacanada.org

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