Alright, so i am about ready to put on my Christmas jumper and start celebrating the festive season. Before i do i thought i would share some, what i found, interesting Christmas myths alongside a list of popular fintech myths. Myths are often a convenient way of looking at a particular phenomenon which over time starts to take a hold on public opinion and becomes a source of truth. Before you know it, it is difficult to know what is myth and what is reality…. Following are some prime examples….
8 Christmas Myths:
Jesus was not born on 25th December
- According to many sources it was more likely April to October – during the harvest months, but more likely after the harvest and during the census months (September-October)
December, a good month to celebrate
- Traditionally December was a month for feasting – cattle were often slaughtered in December (to save feeding them), Pagans celebrated the winter solstice, Romans celebrated the week before the winter solstice, the celebratory period involved mingling among different social classes (for example giving gifts) and so the 25th was settled upon by the church as a good time to add a Christian flavour to the mix
Three Kings, hmmmm!
- They were actually wise men, not Kings. We don’t know exactly how many there were though, the number 3 comes up because of the 3 written gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh
The nativity scene…
- The newly born Jesus, surrounded by 3 Kings and animals in a stable – some would say it was more likely in the home of relatives, on the ground floor where animals may have been kept at night to save them from bandits
…And the presence of the Three ‘Kings’
- The 3 Wise Men probably did not meet the newly born baby Jesus, but saw Him as “a young Child” some time after His birth
Xmas is not a lazy, modern, abbreviated or blasphemous take on Christmas
- Christ in Greek starts with the letter “chi” and in the Roman alphabet “chi” is referred to with the symbol “X”
Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas and Santa Claus
- St Nicholas was a Greek Christian Bishop of Myrna (in modern day Turkey) who used to give gifts to the poor – in many countries gifts are still exchanged in remembrance of St Nicholas on 6th December. In Dutch St Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas, this was Americanised into Santa Claus in the History of New York (1809) and synonymous with the English, Father Christmas
- Has nothing to do with boxing, nor is it a day dedicated to putting your unwanted gifts on eBay – it dates back to the Middle Ages in the UK where churches opened up their collection money boxes and distributed the money to the poor
7 Fintech Myths:
I’m off to a pantomime tomorrow so getting into the mood – let’s see if you spot the panto reference(s)….
We are in a FinTech Bubble
- Nooooo, according to Venture Beat, this is just the beginning and innovation in the financial sector has only just begun. Global investment ($12 billion in 2014) combined with collaboration among various and diverse groups, and a growing consumer demand should allay any fears that this is just a fad
Banks versus FinTech start ups, let the BATTLE commence
- Noooo, says Venture Beat – citing the significant collaboration between established financial institutions and innovative technology companies trying to enter financial services
Regulation will hinder innovation
- Noooo, says Simon Taylor, arguing that its not regulation but how banks react to it. And lets not forget about regulatory initiatives such as PSD2 that will undoubtedly push the innovation boundaries (in Europe) further still
FinTech is restricted to ‘financial’ hubs such as London and Silicon Valley
- Noooo, says Venture Beat, while these cities or hubs may be “epicentres of the fintech investment blast”, emerging markets are having their fair share of fintech innovation too — check out these posts on M-Pesa in Kenya and Piyush Gupta on happenings in Asia
FinTech is all about Payments and Lending
- Noooo, says Venture Beat, citing the World Economic Forum report which describes the potential of insurance. Other opportunities include data analytics – suffice to say that payments and lending are just the tip of the iceberg….
- We need to mention CB Insights at this point, since their FinTech Overview and FinTech Future Forecasts are pretty top notch ad well worth a read and further highlight the collaboration, investment and diversity within the FinTech sector
FinTech [Technology] Ain’t Secure
- Noooo, says Simon Taylor, this myth “takes a possibility and turns it into a probability”. I think it is fair to say that new and innovative technologies opens up new cyber-security threats, but that alone is not a reason to dismiss the opportunities offered by the fintech sector
Banks going “Omni-Channel”
- This cannot be a half-hearted attempt by banks according to Simon Taylor. Simon says (!!) that bank legacy systems need to be completely re-vamped and re-designed so that the core and digital front end are aligned and talking the same language. Rather than the existing bolt-on, disjointed, complex and spaghetti architecture – Simon explains that “innovation isn’t something you do at the edges. It starts with the key platforms and works out”. Nicely put, man!
And a partridge in a Pear Tree:
Merry Christmas! 🙂
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