Top critical review
3 people found this helpful
Occasionally interesting, but patchy quality
on 8 October 2014
The first half is much better than the second. And there are some good ideas expressed, not just about ways in which companies are currently disrupting the industry, but about how they might in the future.
Where this book is interviewing people involved with the likes of Zopa it's interesting. However, it discusses Bitcoin in only a rather trivial manner, discussion of the likes of PayPal is limited, and the last half of the book keeps coming back to the concept of Gen-Y customers who don't need a conventional bank account and want to do everything online, or on mobile.
Some of the best bits are discussion of where mobile payments are proving more transformative in developing countries, and this illustrates areas where the result is not just greater customer retention or greater profits, but potentially enabling business and economic development in areas that really need it. It would have been better if the book had remained on this subject more, as this illustrates how cultural norms and differences can impact on the adoption of technology.
Additionally, while the book is undoubtedly correct in saying that the value of new payment services and the like is in streamlining the process and making purchasing more efficient, it doesn't really explore questions of trust, do enough to look at where things may go in the future, the legislative obstacles (other than some discussion of Know your client in brief), and as a result the book lacks depth, particularly in some areas, and while I was interested for the first 3-4 chapters, by the end I was feeling like there wasn't much new being expressed, with less visionary people being interviewed.
As a result this book is occasionally good, exciting, even, but not consistently so.