Financial Technology

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Tag: payment

FinTech 101: What is a Green Bank?

What Is a Green Bank?
You may have heard the term “Green Bank” and wondered what it meant. This short article will explain the term and concept behind it.

Green Banks in a Nutshell
A green bank is a bank that exists for the sole purpose of battling earth climate change by funding projects that may be able to decrease the global carbon emissions and increase the use of alternative and renewable fuels and energy. They tend to support infrastructure spending in wind, solar, and other renewable energy space.

Green Banks: Functional Model
Green banks are not climate charities. Their funding is expected to be paid back with a profit for the bank. Currently, they are supported by some states in the U.S. and also by private funding. Green Banks utilize philanthropic and public funds. They generally fund energy projects that beyond the research stage and “good to go”. The Coalition for Green Capital (CGC) is a nonprofit agency that is deeply involved in advocating for green banks’ continued development.

Where Did the Idea for Green Banks Originate?
The idea for green banks started in 2008 when two entrepreneurial-minded, Ken Berlin and Reed Hundt, came up with the concept as part of the Obama transition team’s plans for promoting cleaner energy changes in US society. A proposal to enact federally supported green banks was attached to the American Clean Energy and Security Act. The concept never made it as legislation at the federal level. Green bank supporters were not daunted. Consequently, green bank advocates persuaded some states to take up the cause.

Green Banks: Some Statics
Currently, there are at least ten states that have at least one green bank. In addition, they are in the early stages of catching on globally as well. They also exist in Australia, the United Kingdom, and Malaysia. Within the U.S., green banks have already been involved in the funneling of some $3 billion in funds for clean-energy projects.

Green Banks: Their Future Development
With the advent of the Biden presidency, green banks may again find a firmer footing at the federal level. Indeed, in December 2020, Mr. Biden proposed the idea of a national green bank. They appear sure to gain more traction internationally as the desire to dampen climate change takes hold.

Future Of Contactless Payment Jacob Parker Bowles

Future of Contactless Payment

You board a bus with both arms full of packages. Instead of fumbling for your fare, you simply tap your badge, which is hanging from your wrist against the farebox. With a beep and a smile, you’ve paid your fare without holding up the line.

What you’ve just done is called contactless payment, and it is becoming more and more popular as we move into an increasingly cashless society. By definition, contactless payment is a secure method of payment that uses RFID or near-field communication (NFC). This can be done using a chip card, a badge, or even a mobile device. Instead of swiping or inserting your method of payment into the point of sale device, you tap it and go. The funds are debited as normal from your financial institution.

Some proponents of the technology say that it’s even more secure than traditional cards due to an extra layer of encryption. Unlike traditional card payments, contactless payments are tagged with a single-use authentication code. In the event that your payment information is intercepted, a thief would not have your name, address, three-digit code from the back of the card, or any other information that would be necessary to make purchases on your account. In short, contactless payments are at least as secure as traditional payment methods.

Another driver of contactless payments is the rise of digital wallets and the use of mobile payment systems. Digital wallets or e-wallets protect the user’s banking information and passwords while allowing you to make cashless transactions safely. A mobile wallet functions the same way but is designed to work on your mobile device specifically. Mobile wallets can be used for contactless payments and are one of the drivers of contactless payments in the united states.

While contactless payments are very common in Asia and Europe, the United States is still catching up. While access to cashless payment options often determines the growth of contactless payments in other places, in the United States, discomfort with e-commerce is one of the major hurdles for the future of the technology. As digital wallets and the ease of using one’s cell phone to make purchases slowly catches on, we can expect to see growth in the use of contactless payment options.

What Is Psd2 Jacob Parker Bowles

What Is PSD2?

PSD2 (or the second Payment Services Directive) is a law in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe that has affected payments since January 2016. All payment service providers (PSPs) were required to adhere to the new policies by January of this year. Although many Europeans may not assume this law affects them, let’s look at the ramifications of adapting to these new standards.

What does PSD2 consist of?

In order to understand the impact of PSD2, we should first explore what it is comprised of. According to, the law is meant to open the payment services market up to more competition by regulating standards. Some of these include:

  • Stating of exchange rates when making a payment in another currency, such as an online purchase from a foreign site.
  • Increasing security measures, including a two-factor authentication system.
  • Limiting payer liability in the event of an unauthorized purchase, either from information theft or vendor error.

How does PSD2 affect consumers?

Consumers had previously been exposed to unfair and deceptive banking practices, which includes limited access to fee schedules and hidden interest rates. A lack of competition in the banking sphere reinforced these practices. As a result of PSD2, customers can expect more transparency and open communication regarding the status of purchases, rates/fees, and other financial services.

Another benefit is the ability for third-party payment providers to offer better solutions to traditional banking services. This may include investment products, accounts, and payment vehicles. Even online banking can change, as consumers can use sites and apps to easily access information.

How does PSD2 affect the marketplace?

Competition is expected to increase as a result of this law due to exposing unethical practices. I expect many fintech companies to debut, with solutions for every client concern. These can range anywhere from budgeting apps to alternative payment platforms. One area that should see substantial growth is wearable payment devices.

Regardless of the amount of competition this brings, we can expect to see more secure platforms and better incentives for consumers. A bank cannot simply bring people in because they exist; they must now prove they are worthy of your money. Payment systems likely will increase their move toward digital, as new businesses provide vendors with plenty of options for cashless payment accessibility.

In Conclusion

Although you may not see immediate changes in your banking routine, you can expect to hear news of increased options in the near future. I anticipate this change will affect the general population in a very positive way. Even further, this law opens the door to fintech entrepreneurs who would normally shy away from competition. In a year’s time, I believe traces of this law will show up in our everyday lives, and it may even influence other countries’ banking systems.

A Cashless Society Is Closer Than You Think

A Cashless Society is Closer Than You Think

As the online marketplace and the prevalence of innovative payment systems increases, the amount of people utilizing physical money is decreasing. Every day, more people are gaining access to credit cards, Apple Pay, and cryptocurrency. It’s no wonder that industry thought leaders are debating if the end is near — for cash, that is.

Why is cash inferior?

Cash is inferior for many reasons. Sure, you have the physical aspect of knowing where your money is, but that’s where the perks end. When using money, you have to physically carry around the notes and change, as well as spend the time counting it out, and the ability to misplace it. On top of that, carrying physical money is less safe than carrying plastic cards. Don’t believe me? Although someone carrying cash has the same chance of being robbed as someone carrying only credit cards, cash is much more difficult to recover, and cards can be shut down almost instantly.

What are some alternatives?

More people in the UK are using cashless forms of payment than money, as of 2015. Naturally, the most common option is a debit or credit card. There are the old swipe-only cards that are being phased out, and many card companies are moving from chip cards to contactless.

On the other hand, Apple Pay and Android Pay are becoming more common each day, with smartphone users increasingly accepting the use of their devices for payment.

Another form of payment is cryptocurrency. This provides an anonymous way to pay for items online, and is taking off as a popular option for people who need to transfer money to other countries. Although it may be years until we see cryptocurrency accepted in brick-and-mortar stores, it still has the ability to reach that point in the future.

What would this mean for banks?

Banks are frequently targeted, due to large funds being available at any given time. If countries phased out physical money, bank heists would almost certainly cease to exist, and more energy could be put toward cyber security. Although criminals would attempt to find ways around this new system, it would be much more difficult.

Another change could be with the older generation. Investing time and resources into informing older clients of changes could be a nightmare for banks. Yet, with the government’s help, there would be ways to avoid the influx of concerned elders.

Where will cash go extinct first?

As it’s only a matter of time before cash is no more, let’s take a look at who might be the first cashless society. Sweden is the clear frontrunner, as their cash transactions make up a mere 3% of total sales. Three of four large Swedish banks are done handling cash in branches, and apps like Swish are providing instant bank transfers between several Swedish banks. This tech boom sets Sweden apart from the rest of the world, who want to join, but are afraid of citizens’ backlash.

Cashless societies are likely not going to be the norm for at least another decade, but once one country starts, it is likely that others will follow. In a few short years, you may never see a single banknote again.

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