Tech & Tonic: where did it all go Wonga, what's a 'customer' and all that Glints is gold

 If this kitten isn't worrying about emergency talks with the Financial Conduct Authority over the impact of its collapse on existing customers, we have no idea what it's doing.

If this kitten isn't worrying about emergency talks with the Financial Conduct Authority over the impact of its collapse on existing customers, we have no idea what it's doing.

Payday is great, right? And the word 'lending' will conjure images of kindness and charity in the most Scrooge-loving meanies among you. But put those two words together and all sorts of evil spirits begin darkening the skies. That's right: "lending payday" is a totally nonsensical phrase that, frankly, should be banned. Anyway, here's some news about Wonga.

News item of the week: where did it all go Wonga?

It was heading for an IPO valued by some at north of £1 billion and was arguably one of few fintech brands to have achieved household name status in the UK. But this week, Wonga, the payday loan company, was on the brink of collapse. The firm announced on Thursday it had stopped taking new loan applications. The news came days after it emerged it had earmarked financial services firm Grant Thornton to act as administrator in case the lender’s board decides it can not avoid insolvency.

Predictably, news of the controversial firm's potential demise drew much gloating on social media. However, several prominent financial professionals – including Martin Bamford and Claire Walsh – didn't see a reason to gloat.

Comment piece of the week: what's in a number?

Starling has 210,000, while Monzo has 920,608....and Chime a round 1 million. N26 also has 1 million, Revolut claims 2 million and TransferWise a crisp 3 million.

What are we on about? That's right – customers! Well, that's according to Sarah Kocianski of 11FS. But in her thought-provoking piece for Forbes, Kocianski questions the value of these numbers. Some refer to regular users and depositors, whereas others are simply subscribers. 

Well worth a gander if you want to sharpen your critical faculties on the subject of the potential of fintechs to take on legacy financial institutions.

Fundraise of the week: Glint spies £2 million

London-based fintech firm Glint has raised nearly £1.8 million thanks to more than 1,200 investors on Crowdcube.

The gold-as-currency enabler began its crowdfunding campaign with the aim of raising £1.25 million and has since gone on to raise £2.045 million, 163% of the original target, with less than a day remaining until their public offering closes. More here.

 

Quote of the week: Theresa May visits Africa

Most African countries don’t have any licensing for #fintech, no legislation for e-kyc or even e-signature. @Theresa_May’s complete lack of business acumen is worrying for #Brexit
— (Brad van Leeuwen, Head Of Partnerships at London-based banking API start-up Railsbank, on Twitter)

How did we do? If you read this far, that's great...please tell others. If you didn't, then who cares? You smell anyway. BTW, we're @Foco_Global on Twitter if you want to shout at us.

Michael Taggart

Co-founder of Foco, the fintech content marketing agency