There are few things I enjoy more than heady conversations about disintermediation. And the disintermediation of the banking industry has a special appeal.
So last night’s gig at NESTA a launch event for an initiative called Webank was very stimulating. (Twitter stream here.) It was good to see the folks from Zopa doing their best not to laugh out loud at the turn of events in the banking industry that makes their peer-to-peer model look even more attractive. James Gardner did a terrific job of representing conventional banks with good humour and honesty.
One of the founders of upcoming KuberaMoney told us how they plan to create an online platform for Rotating Savings and Credit Associations (ROSCAs) – a form of peer-to-peer finance that I’d not heard of before.
Todd from Midpoint and Transfer outlined his idea for cutting out the spread on Foreign Exchange, which seemed to trigger an outbreak of Dragon’s Den style interrogation by some audience members.
It was also good to hear from some of the Zopa customers in the room who made the excellent point that they like Zopa because it’s interesting and – heavens – fun, and not just to make money. A point Mark covers in his blog of the event. (I was not asleep, despite his photographic suggestion to the contrary)
UPDATE: Rohan’s post links to lots of event bloggage.