Enjoy the weekly feed on the most important disruptive news and events!
iZettle challenge banks in the SME market
Swedish payments service iZettle, a device for processing credit card transactions, announced last week that they are initiating a program for lending money to small businesses that use its service for a one-time fee. That equals cash advances without any interest rate. The new lending program will be available in Europe to start with, and the company will charge a one-time flat fee of around 10-15% of each cash advance. The loan will be recouped by the borrower paying a small percentage of each transaction that the business processes through its iZettle payments system.
Founder of iZettle Jacob de Geer says that this move is a reaction to the big banks focusing too much on their large clients: “We see our customers are very underserved by traditional financial players. We’re transforming ourselves into something that resembles a next-generation financial services company”.
Google moves into pharmaceutical and teams up with Sanofi
Diabetes costs $245 billion per year in USA (in health-care resources and lost productivity) and is mostly due to long-term complications, such as heart attack and cancer, caused by bad management of the disease. By teaming up with French pharmaceutical company Sanofi, Google aims to reduce this cost as well as improve the well-being of the patients. Real time monitoring of blood sugar levels will be uploaded to the cloud and thus enable physicians and patients to go from being reactive to proactive in the management of the disease.
Facebook launches personal assistant “M”
Last week we wrote about Amazons personal assistant speaker. Now apparently Facebook has one too built in to their messenger app. They claim it to be better than the others and that it will develop further. “Unlike other AI-based services in the market, M can actually complete tasks on your behalf. It can purchase items, get gifts delivered to your loved ones, book restaurants, travel arrangements, appointments and way more”.
21st century migrants need to have a smartphone
Not everyone uses their smartphone primarily for texting, email and browsing – for the 21st century migrant it is a necessity! “I would never have been able to arrive at my destination without my smartphone, I get stressed out when the battery even starts to get low” says Osama Aljasem, a 32-year-old music teacher from Deir al-Zour, Syria. NY Times have written a strong piece, visualizing the issue. The help today’s migrants get from a smartphone is so great that traffickers are losing business since people using positioning apps and Facebook groups like “Smuggle Yourself to Europe Without a Trafficker”.