If you’re a return visitor to our web site, you will notice a few things have changed. It’s two years since Blue Train Marketing launched and we’ve been absorbed into the dizzy world of fintech and alternative financing. Strange to think our first lead generation projects was an estate agent and involved a huge teddy bear called Bonzo.

Fast forward to last month. A Blue Train Marketing team meeting pitching ideas for a way to visually articulate the types of fintech and payments companies we are working with. And the common thread that links all our work to date – with the exception of Bonzo, who we remember fondly.

One particularly bright member of the team said something like, ‘All our clients are reacting to something. They balance some form of neglect or inefficiency rooted in the past. They are creating a momentum that is disruptive and ultimately redresses the balance.’

Ok, I may not have been quite so eloquent in person as reported here. However, that’s the joy of artistic license.

It’s Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics. The one stating, ‘When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.’

A fintech saviour

For years, Banks chose to neglect their customers and the need for long-term infrastructure investment in favour of short-term profits. Today, the average person on the street expects to manage most every aspect of their life through a thin, stylish slice of smartphone technology in their back pocket. Everything except their money. For an impatient millennial, the idea of a financially monogamous relationship with a Bank is absurd. Especially after everything else they’ve done. People were craving a fintech saviour. Several, preferably.

The advent of PSD2, challenger banks and other disruptive forces is largely celebrated by businesses and consumers. Not so much the Banks, of course. They are  still cursing their complacent predecessors for setting them the monumental challenge of digital transformation.

So all good, then? Not quite.

Let’s say hello to the elephant in the room.

Artificial Intelligence – the end or a new start?

Artificial Intelligence is only just beginning to show what it can really do. With an apparently explosive potential to destroy the parameters between technology and humans, this has ignited a fascinating debate. Let’s be clear about where we stand. AI is the invention of the human race. We control it. Not making use of this incredible technology is like saying, ‘Let’s not build wheels in case we travel too fast and crash.’ That’s why we invented brakes.

Of course, there are very serious moral, ethical and other existential considerations to be debated before AI can generally embraced as a force for good. We had the privilege of working with and learning from a client in the payments and compliance space whose AI career began at the side of Roger Schank. A former professor of the Yale Artificial Intelligence Unit and one of the most celebrated global pioneers of Artificial Intelligence.

The incredible efficiencies achieved through artificial intelligence in payments and compliance has helped banks and corporates re-focus their time and resources. It has drastically reduced onerous and expensive tasks, allowing the deployment of resources to areas that have the greatest impact on success such as product innovation or UX/UI – or maybe even digital transformation.

Financial and social inclusion

This pace of change is exhilarating but it’s not just technology making it happen. The regulatory shift in the favour of consumers is further evidence that the world is changing. Social and financial inclusion is now more achievable through technology and the alternative economy.

So the pendulum is swinging decisively in the opposite direction. Our first blog post is a long way of saying we are very excited to be part of this momentum of change.