A new law makes it mandatory to issue receipts in Germany. Blessing or curse for merchants?

Starting next year, most merchants in Germany have to provide a receipt for their customers after a purchase. If you have travelled or lived in other countries, this might be very normal to you. I know quite well the signs in cafes and restaurants in India that say “If you don’t receive a receipt, consider your meal free”.

Providing a receipt is not a legal requirement in India, but it was implemented by merchants themselves in order to avoid stealing from employees, but in Germany, it is a legal requirement. The legislator wants to prevent tax fraud and is hoping that more merchants will record accurate sales numbers, and thus, tax payments will increase.

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Banks and FinTech startups: Just an affair?

Since all of us have started to use the word FinTech, the industry has seen a few changes already. In total, we can see three waves of FinTech development (see also my Slideshare of 2016 about this development):

Wave #1: FinTech startups attack (2009 – 2014): Mainly due to changed regulation, better technology and cheaper costs to found a startup.

Wave #2: Banks fight back (2014 – 2015): Banks recognised the threat of FinTech startups and decided to compete with FinTech startups on their level (“FinTech killer”)

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How long for the Spotify of Banking?

Uber has disrupted the taxi business around the world and has removed friction like no other from a complex industry. That is the reason the company is often being used as an example for the financial service industry.

Personally, I am more interested in the “Spotify of banking?” than “Uber of Banking”. Why is that you might ask? The answer is – as so often  – data. Let me explain you what I mean.
If you are a long time Spotify user you might have started using the music streaming service when there was no proper alternative for your needs. But this changed during the last year: today you can choose among many different providers including Apple, Amazon and Google. There might be plenty of reasons why people don’t change but if you talk to a long term Spotify user about switching the service you will hear one reason for not doing so very often: Spotify knows me too well.

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Please launch a FinTech startup!

Today is my birthday. After New Years this is probably the best day for One to take a step back and think about what we are doing with our life at the moment and what the goal is for the following years. I have a clear “five year plan” in my mind: to launch my own FinTech company.

During my Masters program in 2012/13 I had already written a business plan for a crowdfunding idea and was considering to dive deeper into this opportunity after my studies. Luckily, as I would say now, plans have changed and I joined figo instead. The last years have been quite a ride and I couldn’t be happier and prouder of what we have achieved so far (and no end in sight ?). I know the FinTech startup world is where I belong and I also know that I will be launching my own startup at one point. In my position at figo I am working on a daily basis with some very smart developers and entrepreneurs who are about to launch new companies. This is not just very inspiring but is also ensuring that I am not losing track of my own goal to launch a FinTech company.

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Alternative facts of banking

I’ve aimed for one blog post per week and have already missed out the second week. Cannot say it was the best start. Even though I can blame my first winter in Berlin that caused my illness, rather I will keep up to my promise and write an additional blog post this or next week.

I was wondering what to write about in my first proper FinTech related blog post and was hoping for some inspiration in the news but thanks to POTUS #45 there is just one discussion happening: is this the end of the world as we know it? Continue reading