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AltFi’s Summer Reading List: 5 fintech books to pick up in 2021

Fintech and paper are not normally two things we’d say go hand in hand, but these must-read books change that.

a person lying on a beach reading a book

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Despite the wonderful weather, it is in fact August and the summer is (sort of) in full swing.

While many of us are still wary about that long-awaited beach holiday or much-needed city break, that’s not to say we can’t still dig into a good book like we normally would on holiday.

The worlds of fintech and books rarely collide, but when they do it’s always interesting, so, here are 5 fintech books that you really should read over the summer.

1. Banking On It, Anne Boden 

The first book on this list really needs no introduction, but if you’ve been living under a rock for the past nine months here’s what you’ve missed out on.

Banking On It follows Anne Boden’s road to Starling and shines a light on the acrimonious split of the two fintech heavyweights, Boden and Tom Blomfield.

For the first time, us mere mortals got an insight into the once very secretive feud that led to Blomfield hanging up his Starling hat and setting out on his own, with a bevvy of other employees, to start Monzo.

Banking On It is the story of how Boden’s dogged determination to change the way banks do things and, while it might be littered with some elements of artistic licence, it is a fascinating insight into how one woman’s vision shaped the way fintech looks today.

Find out more about Banking On It here.

2. How To Save It: Fix Your Finances, Bola Sol 

The first in a new ‘How to’ series from Stormzy’s Merky Books, Bola Sol tells us how to fix our finances and how we can all build our financial confidence.

With a foreword from digital savings platform Moneybox,How To Save It delves into the tricky world of savings and how to make the most out of our money.

Author Sol created the platform Refined Currency in 2015 and its sister company Rich Girl Chronicles to help encourage women to be more open with talking about their finances.

The book is a deep dive into the philosophy around saving money, practical advice on how to do it and a series of insightful anecdotes from Sol herself.

Find out more about How To Save It: Fix Your Finances, here.

3. Fintech for Dummies, Steven O'Hanlon and Susanne Chishti 

A staple in everyone’s bookshelves is a classic how-to for dummies and if Bola Sol’s How To Save It wasn’t clear enough this next book sure will be.

The book covers everything from how to navigate the fintech world to artificial intelligence, crypto to machine learning and how to build a fintech company to navigating regulators.

Authors Steven O’Hanlon and Susanne Chishti offer hands-on advice stemming from their years in the fintech industry,

O’Hanlon is president of fintech infrastructure provider Numerix, while Chishti is CEO of European investor network Fintech Circle.

Find out more about Fintech for Dummies here.

4. The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything, Gottfried Leibbrandt and Natasha de Terán 

Payments are having their time in the sun at the moment (it is summer after all) and The Pay Off dives into the sometimes tricky to understand world of payments.

Leibbrandt and de Terán take a closer look at global payments networks, the history of payment infrastructure, and the movement of money today.

The book explores how different countries prefer one payment method to another, from the supremacy of cheques in the US to the German fondness for cash, as well as taking a look into the rise of digital currencies and cryptocurrency.

Big fintech names, like Wirecard, Wise and Klarna, all get a shoutout in the book as the authors unravel the world of BNPL, cross-border transfers, mobile payments and the good old fashioned ATM.

Find out more about The Pay Off: How Changing the Way We Pay Changes Everything here.

5. Own It! How Our Generation Can Invest Our Way to a Better Future, Iona Bain 

Another must-read book on how to bolster your savings, Own It! How Our Generation Can Invest Our Way To A Better Future delves into the tricky world of savings and investments.

Targeted at younger generations, Own It! helps to demystify how to make the most of your money, all while navigating low wages, rising property prices and nearly negative interest rates.

Bain breaks down pensions, how to get your foot on the property ladder, making good investments and how to find the best deals in a cash-strapped post-Covid savings world.

Hoping to break down the bad reputation investing usually gets (thanks Wolf of Wall Street), Own It! tackles how to not get sucked in by swish investing trends, including the risks of online investing, to help everyone work towards their long-term financial goals.

Find out more about Own It! How Our Generation Can Invest Our Way To A Better Future here.

Did we miss a book out? Or is there a new publication you think we should be reading? Let us know editorial@altfi.com.

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