WEEK STARTING JUNE 17
Back again after a week off on leave! Hope you're hungry:
Neobank 'Douugh' is going to float on the ASX. Douugh cleverly integrates with other banks / ADIs to save them having to apply for a banking license. It comes with the neobank bells and whistles - categorisation, savings targets and a virtual assistant to help manage your funds. More Douugh info here
Neobank 'Revolut' officially launched in Australia. The product is super polished and offers interbank fx rates when swapping currencies - incredibly valuable for regular travellers & those travelling for business. Interestingly, they are still operating in 'Beta' to make the most of the Govt's regulatory sandbox, allowing them to operate in Aus for 12 months without an AFSL. Only downside: a long waitlist (~16k). Awesome to see Int'l neobanks wanting to get a bite of the Aussie market (note: last week's article but wanted to loop in)
Worrying stat: Mortgage arrears are at an all time high since the GFC
Facebook announced their cryptocurrency 'Libra', with 2020 as the launch date (why Libra not ZuckBucks?). My first reaction was "Why would I trust Facebook with my data, let alone finances?" but the reality is that Libra isn't targeted towards me - rather the 'unbanked' who cannot currently access a financial institution. Facebook mentioned that financial data wouldn't be used as a tool for advertising, and, with the gargantuan work of integrating Instagram, WhatsApp & Facebook's backend, it's going to be an instrument across all platforms. I see this more as a competitor for AliPay as opposed to traditional banks, and don't wholeheartedly agree with the headlines 'Facebook currency clearly a threat to big banks, finance sector' (willing to eat my words). More on the 'unbanked' play here
Google’s is investing 1 billion in housing in San Fran, in order to alleviate SF's lack of affordable housing
Analysis: A week with the UK's first 5G network: speed, coverage & more. Super interesting if you want a taste for what's coming up in Australia
Vaping company 'JUUL' is looking to come down under. Fun fact: Marlboro bought a 35% stake in JUUL for $12.8bn. No vape without fire?
Great read: China’s social credit rating is a bureaucratic mess
Nice drop: 6 cool startups from the Hunter Valley wine region
Qantas is changing its frequent flyer program. tl;dr - whole planes dedicated for rewards passengers, reduced points on some routes, lifetime platinum option
Answers at the end of the email
(a) Which company's 4-letter name is from Danish meaning "play well"; coincidentally, in Latin it means "I put together”?
(b) What biography of this 13th century man is subtitled "From Venice to Xanadu”?
(c) What are the 7 US states beginning with M?