Tech & Tonic: Turkeys slam Christmas, Taggart goes digital and loads of opinions on things

He looks like he's scrubbing around for grain but he's actually off to the polling station

He looks like he's scrubbing around for grain but he's actually off to the polling station

When life gives us gin, we quite rightly nip out to Waitrose for some tonic. Well, ladies and gentlemen of the internet, today *we* are providing the tonic. And, in even better news, we're upgrading your gin to 'tech'. Tech & Tonic, your refreshing weekly glass of fintech tastiness.

Turkeys in Xmas referendum shocker

Let's face it, if turkeys were permitted a vote in a referendum on the question of whether the UK should withdraw from the tradition of Christmas, they'd almost certainly Vote Leave, right? It would be called Turexit...or Christmexit (Xmexit for short).

And in TOTALLY UNRELATED news, several leading robo-advice firms are planning to lobby the Government and the FCA for softer regulation of the sector, according to New Model Adviser. Wealthify, Nutmeg and Scalable Capital are among several firms hoping to stop over-burdensome regulation of the sector. They are said to be planning a campaign that will comprise "all the trimmings".

Taggart downloads Monzo, app immediately declared "Europe's next fintech unicorn"

Michael Taggart, Foco's CEO, has finally downloaded the Monzo app and is said to be looking forward to "trying it out". Taggart's move provided a double-hit of good news for the digital bank at the end of this week as it was also predicted to become the latest European fintech “unicorn”, following an apparently successful funding round.

The Financial Times claimed London-based Monzo was close to completing talks with Silicon Valley-based venture capital group Accel Partners, which would put a valuation on the company of up to £1.2bn. It is reportedly signing up 18,000 customers a week and could well have converted 18,001 customers this week, following Taggart's intervention.

It's all talk, talk, talk...and it's good

Finally, there has been a veritable cascade of challenging and informative opinion pieces on fintech, finance and data in the media of late so we're summing them up here.

First, Econsultancy editor Ben Davis lamented about the ineffectiveness thus far of the GDPR in its much-trailed role of improved user experience. The opposite is happening in some corners of the web with pop-ups taking over many sites, he wrote in Marketing Week.

Next, Simon Binney of Wealth Wizards said Open Banking could become a catalyst for the advisory sector working towards an "age of digital transformation". Read his piece in Professional Adviser.

Then Susanne Møllegaard weighed in with the assertion that chatbots (yes, it's them again) will not be the saviours of customer service any time soon.

And finally, Kate Palmer argued in The Sunday Times that we should all consider switching to lesser-known banks as the big 'uns have failed abysmally to pass on the recent interest rate rise to savers.  

If you know of any new news or news that's newer than the news we know, you can tweet us at @foco_global. Who knew!

Pic from Pixabay.

Michael Taggart

Co-founder of Foco, the fintech content marketing agency