A summary of the first half of 2016

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Apparently I am fintech according to some journalists

I get a lot of questions about my blog, so I thought I’d give a shot at a more personal touch as I summarize the first six months of 2016 before I take a hiatus from blogging over the summer.

First of all, why am I doing this? The the main purpose for writing this blog is to learn and reflect on subjects that I need to know more about professionally (as well as a few other subjects that I find personally interesting). If I am able to write about a subject it is a good indication that I have gained some insight is my general rule of thumb. In order to maintain a certain pace, I follow a firm routine and sit down almost every Sunday to write.

Looking back, this has been a tremendously exciting six months, and I have been lucky to have been working on a lot of exciting stuff.

For me, the year started out by analyzing and developing a vision of how we as banks should position ourselves in a world where traditional value chains are being replaced by digital ecosystems. What are the trends in fintech for 2016, and how is digitization shaping our society.

On that note, payments has been a significant part of my work. Both by participating in the acquisition of the Norwegian part of mCASH, analyzing the fragmentation of the payment landscape, as well as executing on the insights by serving on the board of directors on SpareBank 1’s mobile payments subsidiary.

Crowdfunding and alternative finance is on the rise, and I’m by no means just observing this from the side. Since January, I have been tightly engaged in building our own crowdfunding platform. Following the principles of Lean Startup in order to ensure product market fit and rapid time to market. The result has been a crowdfunding platform that is centered around the relation between the owner of the campaign and the contributors, rather than the marketplace itself. Chris Skinner even gave credit and said that banks should do like SpareBank 1.

When working with digital transformation and innovation from within, it is important to understand the key trends and drivers that shapes the industry. The majority of my time is spent on change management.

Through Nordic Edge, the Stavanger region is aspiring to become a leading hub to make make cities, communities, companies and homes smarter. SpareBank 1 SR-Bank has invested, and looking into how banks should prepare for smart cities and the internet of (every)thing. I have been lucky to be part of the project team from SR-Bank.

Blockchain suddenly went from being “the technology behind bitcoin” to something everybody wanted to learn about. In my case, blockchain from a banking perspective. We are running our own blockchain pilot, and systematically looking how this could benefit or challenge the relationship banking model.

Artificial intelligence, or machine learning has been one of the hottest subjects in technology, and will impact the financial sector in numerous ways. Robo-advisory, processs automation, credit scoring and everyday banking services.

Collaboration has been one of the hottest subjects in banking this year, and I have spent some time on working on how banks could collaborate with fintechs in a meaningful way, either through open APIs, hackathons, partnerships or acquisitions.

This has served as a small sample of what I have been working on. Hopefully, I will able to reveal and share some insights gained through some of the other exciting projects I am currently working on during the second part of 2016 as well.

For those looking for summer reading material, these are this years blog posts in chronological order:

  1. Fintech predictions for 2016
  2. Digitalåret 2016
  3. Omfanget av roboter og kunstig intelligens er mer komplisert enn vi kan forestille oss
  4. Alternative finance is gaining traction in the Nordics
  5. Digitalisering er ikke forbeholdt fremtiden, det er nå det skjer
  6. My blog has reached its one year anniversary
  7. Are payments necessary?
  8. From headlines to heart and soul: How do banks engage with startups in a meaningful way?
  9. An update on fintech in Scandinavia
  10. A short summary of Money 20/20 Europe
  11. The evolution of Facebook
  12. Pirates with Ties interview with Christoffer O. Hernæs of SpareBank 1
  13. The ultimate guide to fintech in Norway
  14. Blockchain from a banking perspective
  15. Some reflections from the European FinTech Awards
  16. The stream from Oslo blockchain day is now available
  17. Challenger banks panel discussion at European fintech awards
  18. The state of fintech in Scandinavia in numbers
  19. What is the value of a fintech company?
  20. Mobil betaling handler ikke om å bytte ut plastkortet med mobilen
  21. What we learned about the transformation of Consumer Banking from 5 Pirates with Ties interviews
  22. Professional eSports is becoming a big thing
  23. Can banks and fintechs collaborate in a mutually beneficial way?
  24. How to succeed with innovation in established companies
  25. What is Brexit and why should you care?

I even found the time to record and released some music between it all.

Make sure to tune back in August for weekly updates on various subjects related to innovation, finance, technology and change management.

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