The CEO of FinTech startup Number 26 predicts the financial ecosystem that will replace banks, Dan Cobley launches a startup that offers consumers free credit checks, “The Young Turks” dips its toes into Bitcoin, and more top stories from this week in FinTech.

This Berlin Startup Thinks It Can Create a FinTech Ecosystem That Will Replace Banks

According to the CEO of FinTech startup Number 26, Valentin Stalf, the unbundling of bank services (savings, loans, money transfers) by separate, individual FinTech startups are going to change, soon. Business Insider reports:

“Stalf thinks that after the unbundling of financial products that we are seeing now — where each fintech startup takes on a specific niche — there will be a rebundling of services, with startups plugging into one another and working together.”

Former Google Exec Launches FinTech Startup

Former managing director of Google UK, Dan Cobley, has a new FinTech startup offering free credit checks. The name of the company is ClearScore, and at its helm is former Capital One Vice President Justin Basini. From Finextra:

“Cobley ran Google's UK operation for three years up to August 2014, after which he set up FinTech incubator Brightbridge Ventures. ClearScore is a product of Brightbridge and Cobley says that it will commit at least £10 million to the new venture. ClearScore is looking to emulate the success of US firms like Credit Karma, which recently secured £175 million in funding, by offering the service free to consumers in the hope that it can promote other products and services for which it will receive commissions.”

World’s Largest Online News Show ‘The Young Turks’ Accepts Bitcoin

The Young Turks, the world's largest online news show with over 2 billion annual impressions and 2.2 million YouTube subscribers, has begun accepting bitcoin for donations. CT reports:

“David Koller of the Young Turks network confirmed to Cointelegraph that the network will indeed continue to accept bitcoin. The effect of the TYT coverage on bitcoin is significant as videos and news reports of the TYT network generate around 100,000 views on average. However, out of the last 20 videos posted on YouTube, this was the only video mentioning their bitcoin donation campaign, for now.”

World’s Largest Online News Show ‘The Young Turks’ Accepts Bitcoin

Nordea Bank Launches Startup Accelerator to Boost FinTech Innovation

Nordea Bank is now the latest finance firm to turn to startups for digital innovation. The Nordic bank has launched a startup accelerator program and is in search of 10 to 15 companies to help develop new digital services for its customers. From ComputerWeekly:

“The three-month programme will focus on developing new innovations for payments, savings services, customer experience and digital customer interaction. The application period for the accelerator is open and Nordea aims to have the selected startups working at its offices in Vallila, Helsinki in November 2015.”

Balderton Backs Revolut in £1.5M Round as London FinTech Surge Continues

Balderton Capital, the venture capital behind Nutmeg, Zopa, Crowdcube and Credit Benchmark, has just backed FinTech startup, Revolut. TechWorld reports:

“Revolut’s technology allows people to transfer money through a smartphone app without incurring the fees that banks and other financial services levy on consumers as they travel. Every year people in the UK fork out $1.67 billion (£1 billion) a year as they spend and send money abroad, according to Revolut.” Operators Arrested for Running Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

Two alleged operators of underground bitcoin exchange were arrested at their homes in Florida by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) last Tuesday. CT reports:

“Anthony R. Murgio and Yuri Lebedev are charged with operating an unlicensed bitcoin exchange, while the former also faces money laundering charges. According to the FBI, Murgio and Lebedev along with other suspects operated in violation of federal anti-money laundering (AML) laws set forth by the United States Treasury Department.” Operators Arrested for Running Illegal Bitcoin Exchange

What Differentiates Banking and FinTech?

Disruption in the banking sector is just getting started. FinTech companies are creating new business models and revenue opportunities that are going to shape the next decade. Writer David M. Brear explores what legacy banks can learn from the new startups. From The Financial Brand:

“The most significant difference between FinTech start-ups and the incumbent banks is the purposefulness of their people. In other words, each and every person within a Fintech start-up has a singular purpose for being there. They all must be on the same train, with nobody there simply as a passenger. There is no place to hide. There are no legacy stipulations to guide the process or hinder achievement.”

FinTech Investments Quadruple: Top Trends to Watch

Investments into FinTech companies recently quadrupled, growing from just over US$3 billion in 2013 to over $12 billion in 2014. And there is no sign of this trend slowing down. Forbes reports:

“The growth of capital being invested in FinTech startups underlies how technology and the Internet are radically changing the nature of money and financial services. From the ways that people save, to how they spend, to the tools they use to invest their money — all of these are changing more rapidly today than ever before.”

How Mobile Payments Shift the Security and Fraud Paradigm

Security and fraud cannot be overlooked when talking about payments. Mobile payment fraud. Online fraud. Card fraud. No matter what form of payment we’re talking, the issue of fraud needs to be addressed. From PYMNTS:

“Whether you’re talking online or offline payment fraud, there’s always a delicate balance between determining how much security is needed to protect the consumers. That balance comes with ensuring innovations are in fact creating what consumers really want: frictionless, secure payment experiences. And, as the payments history has shown, that’s not always an easy balance to achieve. Nor are those goals always mutually exclusive.”

Ithaca, NY Launches Its Own Digital Currency to Boost Local Economy

A startup local currency has just launched the Ithaca dollar in Ithaca, NY, designed to promote investment in local businesses and bring the community together. From CT:

“The new Ithaca dollar is produced by a company called Ithacash, and for the moment is exclusively in digital form. The company founder, Scott Morris, is keen to keep local money within the local community. Local currencies ‘generate a lot of social and economic wealth,’ said Morris to CNYcentral. The new currency has a one to one parity with the US dollar, although when an individual buys into the scheme they receive 125 Ithaca dollars for their first $100 deposit.”

Ithaca, NY Launches its Own Digital Currency to Boost Local Economy