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Must-Read Fintech Books

10 Must-Read Books on Fintech, Payments, and Digital Banking

Over the past decade, a combination of the digitalization of consumers’ everyday interactions and exponential advances in smartphone technologies has transformed the payments and banking spaces. Then along came the Coronavirus pandemic, which shifted digital banking into high gear by forcing consumers to interact with their banks virtually. “Banking has changed irrevocably as a result of the pandemic,” Jane Fraser, President of Citi and CEO of its Global Consumer Banking division, told Forbes. “The pivot to digital has been supercharged.”

In fact, the World Retail Banking Report 2020 reported an almost 10 percent increase in consumers’ preference for internet banking since the start of COVID-19, a shift that many industry experts say is likely to be sticky. Case in point: A study by Novantas showed that only 40 percent of those surveyed expected to return to bank branches post-pandemic.

Of course, no one knows for sure exactly what the future holds, but one thing is abundantly clear — now more than ever, business leaders across the financial services arena need to re-examine and adapt their service offerings if they want stay relevant to changing market conditions and the digital consumer. And while there are some great online resources and social media influencers sharing content about the latest digital banking and payments trends out there, sometimes a good book is the best way to get the depth of coverage and detailed analysis you’re looking for.

To that end, we’ve compiled our short list for top books on the evolutions of digital banking, fintech, and payments below. Think we missed one? Reach out to us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook and let us know!

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Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin: From Money That We Understand to Money That Understands Us

By David Birch

In "Before Babylon, Beyond Bitcoin" — called an “insightful, witty look at how money has changed over the ages” by American Banker — David Birch offers a fascinating snapshot of a world before cash, when bartering systems and other forms of currency were used to facilitate commerce between communities. In the process, he explains that this kind of monetary exchange is not only possible for our future, but in some ways is already being used (think Air Miles, Tesco points, and Microsoft dollars).

This “back to the future look at money” deftly describes the many ways in which digital currencies are taking us back to our roots. Want to understand where money’s been and why the transition to a cashless society is a modern concept steeped in years of tradition? Put this book on your must-read list.

About the author: David Birch (@dgwbirch) is a UK-based author, advisor, and well-established thought leader on digital banking and payments. His articles and podcasts can be found on his blog, 15Mb.

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Bank 4.0: Banking Everywhere, Never at a Bank

By Brett King

The last in his Bank series, “Bank 4.0" features futurist, entrepreneur, and fintech influencer Brett King examining the massive shift taking place within the banking arena, and forecasting what it will look like in 20, 30, or 50 years. As both consumers and companies embrace (and demand) digital, frictionless commerce, the banking system has been forced to transform itself. King highlights how each and every bank function must develop new services, skills, and jobs in order to survive in today’s always-on world.

The bank of the future — King’s Bank 4.0 — will be one that aligns its services with the latest technology. Want to be prepared? King’s book promises to take you to "a world where banking will be instant, smart and ubiquitous, and where you'll have to adapt faster than ever before just to survive.”

About the author: Known as "King of the Disruptors," Brett King (@BrettKing) is an entrepreneur, author, and speaker based in New York City. Check out his podcasts and upcoming events here.

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Doing Digital: Lessons from Leaders

By Chris Skinner

As shown by the rise in both discussions and new technologies centered around digital transformation, opening banking, and fintech, the banking system is in the midst of an evolution. This, of course, brings tremendous opportunities for banks ― but also major challenges.

In “Doing Digital: Lessons from Leaders,” Chris Skinner closely examines five traditional banks, and uncovers how they’re adapting to survive and thrive in the digital age. “Stop what you are doing and read this book,” 86 400 founder Anthony Thomson writes. “It will transform your thinking and your business.”

About the author: Chris Skinner (@Chris_Skinner) is a world-leading commentator on banking and technology based in Europe. Check out his blog at theFinanser.com.

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The PAYTECH Book: The Payment Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs, and FinTech Visionaries

By Susanne Chishti, Tony Craddock, Robert Courtneidge, and Markos Zachariadis

One of the only books that brings together a collection of global digital banking and payments experts to discuss opportunities for capitalizing on the new payments market, “The PAYTECH Book" captures invaluable insights into how payment technology is enabling the digital payments revolution.

Covering the nature of payments, payment systems infrastructures, the impact of new technologies, a blueprint for the future of payment innovation, and more, this anthology is a staple for anyone looking to examine how frictionless payments are paramount to meeting the demands of the modern consumer.

About the authors: The PAYTECH book was co-edited by Susanne Chishti (@SusanneChishti), Tony Craddock (@TonyCraddock), Robert Courtneidge (@prepaidrobert) and Markos Zachariadis (@MarkosZach). Learn more about the authors and the rest of Wiley’s Fintech Book series here.

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Smarter Bank: Why Money Management is More Important Than Money Movement to Banks and Credit Unions

By Ron Shevlin

In “Smarter Bank,” Ron Shevlin brilliantly examines how banks and credit unions can survive in a world full of technological change and fintech innovations. The book ― ranked by Investopedia as one of the Top 5 Books to Learn About The Fintech Industry ― serves up expert knowledge on how bankers can adapt and react to changing market conditions and become more profitable.

“Ron Shevlin is famous for his snarky sense of humor, as well as his well-researched, well-considered takes on banking and customer behavior,” Brett King writes. “Smarter Bank is a smart book. If you are in banking, you should read it, and you will definitely come away smarter and better informed."

About the author: Ron Shevlin (@rshevlin) is industry analyst and Forbes columnist specializing in financial services marketing strategy. He is based in Boston.

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Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World

By Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Father and son expert duo Don and Alex Tapscott discuss the technological revolution that's rapidly shifting our economy in their book “Blockchain Revolution.” The work, hailed by Steve Wozniak as “mind-blowing in its expansiveness and profundity,” explores how blockchain technology ― the force behind the digital currency Bitcoin ― has the potential to transform many aspects of our lives, from voting, to insurance claims, to payments ... even death.

It’s a fascinating look at how blockchain is becoming the “ledger of everything,” with the power to transform our everyday lives. Ready to understand the world of digital currencies and examine how blockchain technology could change the future as we know it? Then this book should be on your nightstand.

About the authors: Don Tapscott (@dtapscott) is an author, professor and co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, along with his son, Alex Tapscott (@alextapscott). Alex is a writer, speaker and advisor focusing on emerging technologies. Both are based in Canada.

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The Power of Mobile Banking: How to Profit from Revolution in Retail Financial Services

By Sankar Krishan

In “The Power of Mobile Banking,” Sankar Krishnan offers an insightful look into how mobile banking has the potential to transition traditional retail banking into a system that delivers a more frictionless consumer experience. The book provides strategies for leveraging mobile banking practices, and outlines the benefits, challenges, and investments required to do so.

As the use of smartphones has skyrocketed over the past decade, so too has the use of mobile banking applications. Krishnan’s book thoughtfully outlines the important impact this is having on the payments industry, as well as how the revolution is providing new ― and profitable ― ways for banks to interact with consumers through digital solutions. It's an excellent read for anyone looking to zero in on mobile banking as a central pillar of all digital banking offerings.

About the author: Sankar Krishan (@citikris) is a renowned financial service industry expert and the Executive Vice-President of Capgemini. He’s based in New York City.

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Virtual Banking: A Guide to Innovation and Partnering

By Dan Schatt

Want a hands-on approach to competing in the modern banking environment? In “Virtual Banking: A Guide to Innovation and Partnering,” former PayPal GM of Financial Innovations Dan Schatt provides readers with a tangible look at the future of digital banking and payments. He examines shifts in consumer trends and helps readers understand how traditional financial services providers can compete in a disrupted banking marketplace.

Featuring case studies from Google, Square, PayPal, and other industry leaders, the book details why the “old banking model is on the fast track to extinction” as consumers rapidly switch from traditional banks to "institutions that are lower cost and more consumer-centric.” Along the way Schatt offers bankers the tools and strategies necessary to compete in this brave new world, including digital best practices that will help facilitate enhanced customer experiences. We recommend it to all financial professionals seeking a real-world discussion on how to adapt, react and pivot.

About the author: Dan Schatt (@dschatt) is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cred, as well as the Co-Founder of the Universal Protocol Alliance. He’s based in California.

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The Financial Services Guide to Fintech: Driving Banking Innovation Through Effective Partnerships

By Devie Mohan

Haven’t paid much attention to fintech yet? This book is a good place to start. In “The Financial Services Guide to Fintech,” Devie Mohan examines how fintechs and traditional banks must transition from competition to collaboration in order to survive. She features case studies of successful collaborations to provide insights into how these two segments can work together and increase profitability.

Mohan's fascinating work examines both the wins and losses involved in banking-fintech partnerships, highlighting technologies ― such as cash management, compliance and tax ― that are most relevant to a bank’s bottom line. It’s an excellent read for financial services pros who are considering how to create holistic models that are well positioned for success in a digital world.

About the author: Devie Mohan (@devie_mohan) is a fintech industry researcher, influencer, keynote speaker, and co-founder and CEO of Burnmark. She is based in London.

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The FINTECH Book: The Financial Technology Handbook for Investors, Entrepreneurs and Visionaries

By Susanne Chishti and Janos Barberis

Bringing together a collection of knowledge on the fintech revolution from leading experts across the global fintech investment space, “The FINTECH Book” provides insight into how bankers and investors can position themselves and capitalize during a time of massive industry transformation.

Readers will get a look at the key players in fintech, access to insights on what’s driving growth, as well as Chishti and Barberis’ take on the industry's challenges and opportunities. The book aggregates knowledge from across the field, providing a well-rounded look at the latest developments, market dynamics, and fintech’s potential impact on other industries. It’s an essential read for professionals wanting to learn more about the financial technology revolution and what the future of fintech will look like.

About the authors: Susanne Chishti (@SusanneChishti) is a renowned fintech influencer and the CEO of FINTECH Circle. She is based in the United Kingdom. Janos Barberis (@Jnbarberis) is an angel investor and the Head of Entrepreneurship at the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship. He is also based in the United Kingdom.


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