Wake up call for banks – technology is coming

HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group, RBS Group, Santander and TSB should all be worried – new challenger banks are going to take a big bite out of the retail banking sector.

While the big, established names in the world of banking are spending huge amounts of money maintaining legacy IT systems that no-one understands, trying to get apps to work reliably and fobbing customers off with poor customer service, a new breed of bank is on the way.

N26 has backing from some serious players – Tencent, Allianz Group and Peter Theil’s (one of the less famous co-founders of Paypal) VC group, Valar Ventures. N26 isn’t the only new player on the block. Revolut has been around for a while and there are others, but this one feels like it has traction. It has a full UK banking license and it is partnering with MasterCard. It already operates in 17 European countries and claims 1.5 million users.

The big advantage for these tech-based challenger banks is that they have been able to design the app and the supporting infrastructure without the huge costs and technical constraints of dealing with a multitude of old, outdated and complex systems.

Anyone who has worked in banking IT, followed the misfortunes of TSB or tried to get customer support from any of the established names knows that the industry is ripe for revolution. It might not be N26, but the new tech players in the sector are here and are about to take big chunks out of your market share – first retail, then SME banking…


The Mobile Bank — N26 United Kingdom
The Mobile Bank in Europe has landed in the UK. Sign up now to get early access.

Security – Wondering why your computer is a bit sluggish? Maybe it’s busy mining for cryptocurrency…

Another day, another cyberthreat. This kind of thing isn’t new – we can remember downloading distributed computing apps in the 1990s that would use spare clock cycles when your PC was idle to help with complex data problems in scientific research. Looks like we didn’t find a cure for cancer (as was supposed at the time), but at least this distributed computing model was intended to have a beneficial outcome for society.

These days, cyberthieves just want a piece of your processing power to help mine for bitcoin – or maybe the payload will include a keystroke logger as well to grab some identity and bank details for future identity fraud or ransomware blackmail.

Of course, businesses need to have appropriate security measures in place to protect their networks and data. But users play a huge part in the security puzzle and ensuring your employees are educated about security threats goes a long way to keeping your system safe.

If you have concerns about how to improve your security and educate your users about the risks of phishing, malware, ransomware, candy drops and other threats, get in touch to see how we can help.


Fake Flash updates upgrade software, but install crypto …
According to cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks, it discovered a fake Flash updater that has been duping conscientious computer users since August. The fake updater installs files to sneak a …

Email – G Suite/Gmail

G-Suite users will have noticed recent changes to the Gmail client – not all of which have had universal approval. An email client is a key tool for many of us and we probably all spend more time than we need sorting through the inbox. Make sure you are using the features available to make you as productive as possible when dealing with your emails.


5 ways the new Gmail can help you get more done – blog.google
We launched the new Gmail earlier this year and packed it with features to help you prioritize and accomplish things right from your inbox. And it’s a good thing too, because it’s estimated that we send and receive more than 100 emails a day. With this volume, it can be tough to stay focused on …


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Email – Microsoft adds encryption and data protection to Outlook in Office 365

Microsoft is upping the ante for email security with encryption and other protection measures being added to Outlook with 365 subscriptions. Check the video for a quick explanation and how this can be implemented by your organisation.


Office 365 Essentials: Office Message Encryption – YouTube
An overview of the Office Message Encryption capability in Office 365. Learn how this helps you to send protected messages to almost anyone inside and outside your organization, on any device.

Data Protection – More Airline data breaches

It’s not just BA that has had issues with data breaches; Cathay Pacific has announced that personal data of millions of passengers has been compromised. Bear in mind that these are only the breaches that you know about. There will be others that have occurred where the carrier isn’t even aware of it, or maybe it won’t be reported. Industries like aviation will all be using similar technology for their online booking and ticketing systems, so you can expect more of this kind of thing.

Of course, if you want details of who’s flying Ryanair, just check the comments on their Facebook pages and Twitter feed…


Cathay Pacific data hack hits 9.4 million passengers – BBC …
Cathay Pacific says the personal data of up to 9.4 million passengers have been accessed in the latest security breach to hit the aviation industry. Passport numbers, email addresses and expired …

Tech Stocks take a beating

In the mad world of the stock market, the tech sector takes a beating after Amazon and Alphabet post numbers that most businesses can only dream of.

Alphabet (Google’s parent) posted a quarterly profit of $9.2 billion while Amazon made $2.8 billion. Fantastic numbers you would think – but not up to Wall Street analysts expectations, so both companies’ share price took a hit and there was a knock on effect to other tech stocks.

The relentless drive for quarter-on-quarter growth makes you wonder how big the FANGs can get…and when regulators will start taking a closer look at the markets they dominate.


Tech stocks battered after disappointing Amazon and Alphabet results
So-called FANG stocks and other tech shares sank in extended trade on Thursday f…


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About Trade IT

Trade IT is all about using technology to improve your business processes. This might mean new kit, the latest app or software package – but more often than not it is about organising your business processes to optimal efficiency and empowering your staff with the right skills and tools be more productive.

If you have Office 365 or G-Suite or Zoho One, you probably aren’t taking full advantage of the capabilities you are already paying for.

The technology available to even the smallest organisations today is incredible – but few companies are taking advantage.

If you want to find out more about how you could improve your business processes and make everyone more productive without working any harder, fill in the email request form and we’ll get right back to you.