How Mobile Phones and Networks Changed The Way Societies Work

This article is written by Nardine B. M’barek, a Contributor Author at Startup Turkey.

Chris Skinner is an independent commentator on the financial markets and FinTech through his blog, He is Chair of the European networking forum The Financial Services Club and Nordic Finance Innovation, as well as being a Non-Executive Director of the Fintech consultancy firm 11:FS. He joined us during Startup Turkey 2016, and delivered a speech that he called ‘ 2016: The year banks disrupt FinTech’.

Startup Turkey 2016 had the ability, and the honor to welcome guests from all
over the world. Each one of them had interests in different fields that still fall under the umbrella of startups, entrepreneurship, and global business. Mr. Chris Skinner, an independent commentator in the financial markets and FinTech, was one of our
honorable guests as well.

Added to being a commentator through his personal online blog, he is also the author of numerous books related to the FinTech industry and to banks. He delivered a speech during his time on the stage in front of our audience entitled “2016; The Year Banks Disrupt FinTech”.

The speech that Mr. Skinner delivered on stage during Startup Turkey 2016 tackled
many themes including the Value Web and FinTech. He stated that the idea of writing
and using paper checks during our times sounded ‘stupid’ and very time-consuming.
The example that furthermore solidifies Mr. Skinner’s point of view, was that of two
developers named Ikram and Andy, who once wanted to spend a weekend together.

One of them, however, ended up forgetting his wallet and then writing a check to his
friend in order to pay him for the money that he spent. They both claimed that the fact that they are writing paper checks that would actually take three days to process and would as well cost dollars, while both of them are developers and love technology was unacceptable.

They thought of using PayPal, but then remembered that it is made
for big items, so they created an app called ‘Venmo’; an application that does small
transactions through the weekend over PayPal in a quick and easy way.

The application quickly raised funds to be launched as a startup. Venmo is now the
biggest payment app in the world, which actually leads us to how the internet has
made life easier, and could simply be considered a revolutionary innovation if we know how to use it and how to benefit from it in the most efficient way.

When you are on the network, you could do things that are really phenomenal. Even if you are the poorest person in the world, you could get a $1 phone in a society that
lives on $1 per day. A phone that would, later on, allow you to do things that you
never dreamt of doing, things that you could never do before without a smartphone when you were disconnected from the network.

Now, since you are connected on the
network, you could be really entrepreneurial as demonstrated by Africa and other emerging nations such as the Philippines. The thing is once you get a mobile phone, and you start being connected on the network, you can then get a mobile wallet as well which would allow you to transact and exchange value. By buying stuff and sending others, you get connectivity, added to the ability to send money to people who are miles away from you. That is really transformational in these economies.

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