“The growth prospects of green crowd investing are strong. If crowdfunding of environmental projects such as solar parks is well advanced, then it is only a matter of time until crowdfunding disrupts the German banking market as it has in the United States and United Kingdom.” – Boris Liedtke, Distinguished Executive Fellow, INSEAD Emerging Markets Institute, and Peter Walburg, CEO & Founder, Greenvesting
Pick #1. When FinTech Goes Green
Small investors can now get in on some of the mega-trends that have traditionally been the domain of investment bankers. Equity crowdfunding platforms, such as GreenVesting, Bettervest and Crowd4Climate are now offering German investors a piece of the action in green tech. The total financing volume through platforms compares to the savings and loans of a small town in the Uckermark, a region just north of Berlin.
What is more impressive is that this number saw a 219% growth in 2017 compared with the year before. While this is not yet a challenge to the banking industry, it does show that a new financing source is emerging and that parts of the investing community are willing to move from banks to the crowd to invest their money.
Pick #2. Mastercard Keeps Options Open on Cryptocurrencies
“If governments look to create national digital currency we’d be very happy to look at those in a more favourable way [compared with existing cryptocurrencies],” Ari Sarker, Co-president of Mastercard’s APAC business, said.
“So long as it’s backed by a regulator and the value… It is not anonymous; it is meeting all the regulatory requirements. I think that would be of greater interest for us to explore.”
Pick #3. One of UK’s Biggest Banks Is Going Digital in Africa for a Share of the Mobile Money Market
UK bank Standard Chartered is making a play for the mobile financial services market in Côte d’Ivoire – where it has no physical presence – with the the launch of its first digital-only retail bank. The bank will offer digital services allowing users make transfers and pay bills.
Standard Chartered currently has retail banking operations in ten African countries, but is opening up in the West African Francophone country because without a legacy commercial banking business it hopes to start from scratch by redefining itself as a digital bank there. If successful in Côte d’Ivoire, Standard Chartered is expected to replicate the digital bank model in other major African markets including Kenya, Nigeria, and Ghana.