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Tobias Baer takes issue with the absurd and excessive KYC(Know Your Customer, the verification of identity) requirements that lock out legitimate customers from financial services. Unless you run a criminal operation, you would most probably agree with me that financial crimes should be prevented and that KYC is a critical element in preventing the illegal flow of money. Sadly, that doesn’t mean that KYC in today’s shape and form is working well. I’ve written before about the deficiencies of a…
In this article, Tobias Baer raises a red flag on inflation drivers and where and why they could escalate. My colleagues already have observed 20 years ago that I am a worry wart. So some of you won’t be surprised that I have been worrying about inflation for more than a year now. But the surprise goes both ways – I am increasingly puzzled that nobody, not even The Economist and The Wall Street Journal, seems to discuss two major…
Tobias Baer takes a consumer’s approach to mobile phones and offers a solution to simplify owning and operating this now ubiquitous device. … every couple of weeks you would wake up to a software update; … as a result, the sofa will have been moved to the kitchen, and the TV into the bathtub; … the “toast” function of your toaster was discontinued, but it now can record movies; … your living room has a new greenish colour scheme –…
Tobias Baer explores a question many may have on their mind right now. This morning I found myself in disbelief and incredible sadness that once again, there is a war on European soil. What will it take to end it? In my psychology studies, I found a voice of authority that can give us a perspective in these dark hours. In her monumental, raging book “The Body in Pain,” Elaine Scarry, a distinguished writer frequently cited even by leading psychologists…
Tobias Baer shares an article on credit risk and the perils of the buy-now-pay-later trend. A just-published TransUnion study shows that buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) takes the UK (just as other markets) by storm, with 35% of the population having used it in the past 12 months (driven in particular by Gen Z and Millennials with up to 60% usage). There are both obvious and not-so-obvious implications for traditional lenders. BNPL promotes further fragmentation of consumer debt – and therefore will make…
While most travel is still limited, this small problem identified by Tobias Baer’s article may still be an issue for many suit-wearing globe trotters. Fortunately, he provides a simple solution. Sometimes good risk management comes down to doing very practical, even banal things. It would be both ironic and tragic if you are, say, one of the world’s preeminent risk management professionals, constantly circling the world hunting down complex financial and operational risks, but your activities suddenly get derailed because…
  Tobias Baer shares an article that questions the current, popular credit strategy of instant gratification with delayed payments.  Buy-Now-Pay-Later (BNPL) is hot – and that makes it increasingly controversial, as it was made clear by Monday’s article in the Financial Times. Retailers love it as a way to increase sales, FinTechs as a way to build new, appealing lending propositions. But from a consumer’s perspective, is it good or evil? The question whether BNPL is good or evil obviously…
  Tobias Baer takes on the role credit bureaus play and misguided government prescriptions in this post.  Credit bureaus are both feared and loathed – feared because their revealing of “sins” of the distant past can dash many a dream such as buying a house or a car, renting a flat, or even just getting a postpaid mobile plan, and loathed because their verdict on an applicant sometimes appears unfair or even incomprehensible – e.g., when sensibly taking up an…
  Tobias Baer draws attention to the danger of selective perception becoming the norm as the use of AI in online information and marketing limits the amount of information delivered.  There is a famous psychological experiment where participants intently watch a basketball game – but when asked afterwards about the gorilla that had danced around amidst the players, nobody has seen it. It’s the literal textbook example of selective perception – in this experiment, participants were tasked with counting the…
  Tobias Baer shares an article on the latest Google news and the regulation of Big Tech. He explores the impact of Google’s algorithms on e-commerce and the commercialization of the internet.  In spite of its limited scope, the DOJ’s antitrust complaint against Google already highlights three fundamental issues of e-commerce and the commercialization of the internet. The first is about industrial organization – how to create a digital market structure that isn’t monopolized through natural network and scale effects?…
  Tobias Baer tackles the issue of payment fraud, credit fraud, and money laundering and explains how the universal payee ID can reduce losses. He identifies how fraud schemes are enabled by and benefit from weaknesses in most banking and payment schemes around the world. One of the most amazing aspects of working in many different countries is the realization that a few countries have the perfect solution for a problem that costs most other countries literally billions of dollars….
  As we become increasingly aware of the prevalence of the conscious or unconscious racial bias, Tobais Baer provides a timely article that may help address and overcome sneaky biases that affect decisions, opinions, and actions.  The tragic death of George Floyd has triggered a global push to fight racial discrimination. There are many ways how each of us can contribute to this fight; one important way is to fight our own subconscious biases that can heavily influence our decisions…