The next generation of re-bundling with embedded finance is on its way

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Efi Pylarinou is the founder of Efi Pylarinou Advisory and a Fintech/Blockchain influencer – No.3 influencer in the finance sector by Refinitiv Global Social Media 2019. 

The rebundling of scattered digital financial services is underway at different stages in the various subsectors. Rob advisors adding consumer banking services, digital lending platforms adding investment offerings, mobile-only banks adding insurance and investment services, and on and on. Embedded finance (sorry Ron Shevlin for using this buzz word), platformification of banking, or creating an Asian Internet of Finance Western edition; in one form or another these trends are unstoppable. By now, they are the normal.

So what does the next generation of re-bundling look like and has it started already?

Last January, I wrote a post that seemed very much out there (and to some maybe it still sounds awkward) that looked at the existing silo between Food and Finance.

Food and Finance blurring through technology

With the COVID-19 lockdowns still fresh in our minds, managing uncertainty, enhancing our immune system, and the connection between our finances and our health (physical and mental) are very clear.

The current setting makes it very easy to understand Paolo Sironi`s dense FMT theory. Just focus on the main underpinning of FMT: Finance is about managing uncertainty. Of course, this is not reversable. Meaning managing uncertainty is not only about finances. Our physical and mental health are a big part of dealing with uncertainty. In my earlier piece I took the scientific views of biomedical gerontologists and of philosophers who foresee `the last days of death` and linked them to what Hippocrates and the Chinese have been preaching for centuries:

Food could become our best medicine

The research and innovation on this front, is already underway. At the upcoming Decoding the nature of future conference in Paris (Fall 2020), several important topics will be discussed. I zoom into the big topic of linking Food with Health and the trends around customized products for the future. AlimAvenir, a French specialist in the food innovation, has published a study addressing four main big topics

  1. Feeding 9.8 billion people in 2050: alternative proteins?
  2. The kitchen of the future: digitally assisted home cooking or robots?
  3. Food and health: are customized products the future?
  4. Transparency, traceability and future imperatives

Under the 3rd topic, of my interest, they look at customized food, the role of microbiota in certain pathologies that are big issues (like obesity, diabetes, gastro diseases etc). They conclude that smart IOT devices will allow advancements in this direction. They see growth in preventative medicine.

They also see reducing uncertainty, repricing financial contracts based on genetic data. They suggest that this decade will also force us to decide on how genetic data is shared. Technology aims to improve our genetic data (in this framework through customized food) so that a mortgage provider (be it a bank, or a non-bank) can customize the tenor of the mortgage accordingly. With better or improving genetic data, the tenor of the mortgage can lengthen.

Customized food can improve genetic data which in turn can improve conditions in financial contracts.  

I am starting to see a world of programmable financial contracts whose clauses are cryptographically linked to our genetic data.

In turn this data is dynamic with customized food being one of the ways we can improve it. Rejuv the spinoff from SingularityNet is one example of this kind of innovation. It is built on the Singularity Net protocol which is a decentralized protocol for benevolent AI agents (see previous post here). Rejuv connects individual health data securely, with researchers, clinics and the AI agents, to improve health via lifestyle adjustments. Tokens are used to reward members.

The silos between customized food and finance, are starting to blur in these new ways. The triangular connection I see, is now the broader Longevity sector to finance. In addition to customized food as medicine to improve genetic data, we can foresee precision, preventative, personalizes, and participatory medicine – the so called P4 – linking to finance.

Managing uncertainty in life is first about improving our physical and mental health. So starting with that as the core offering and creating a marketplace with analytics and services that improve diagnosis, prognosis, and suggest customized `journeys` (treatments), looks like the way a 2030 financial platform-ecosystem should look like.

Managing health uncertainty, advising and optimizing that aspect of our life bundled with debit, credit, insurance, and investments, is the way to go.

Customized health and wellness journeys improve our longevity (length and quality of life) which leads to a more pressing need to manage jointly our finances.

 One example of innovation in this direction is the Longevity Bank, soon to be launched, by longevity scientist experts. I met Dmitry Kaminsky, cofounder of Longevity Bank, in Davos and included the initiative (No. 33) in `Celebrating the WEF 50th anniversary with 50 bytes from Davos 2020`. Their motto is Health is the New Wealth.

The challenging link between genetic data, health data, financial data and corresponding analytics on each of these areas, is the next re-bundling wave. The opportunity is big and the complexity is breathtaking.

Margaretta Colangelo and Dmitry Kaminsky, the authors of the Longevity Industry book, call the Longevity industry, the Biggest and Most complex industry in human history. I think this statement will have no challengers. Yet we are marching towards a rebundling with finance.

Stay tuned.

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