It is common that with every summer ending we tend to reflect back to the “year” we’ve had; be it the start of a new academic year (traumatized from our plentiful school years), the end of the financial year at work (and the crossing of fingers for a hefty bonus) or even that we will soon again have to swap our closets back from summer shorts and cropped tops to light cardigans and chinos.
Whatever it might be that’s causing this “year in review” in our heads, it kind of kicked it for us too. We couldn’t resist but do a quick flashback to how this blog started and what we have achieved thus far.
When 15 months ago the idea of this FinTech blog came to mind, it was rather bizzare to think that putting thoughts down on “digital paper” could actually have some real time benefits.
Since its launch, stepbeyondbanking.com has seen the publication of 7 articles (and I know many would argue it could have been a lot more…), an estimate of >2000 visitors to the site (as in people actually read the whole thing…!), >3500 views of the site and its pages, has its own Instagram and Facebook pages with dedicated followers, a few hundred claps on Medium.com, and a few hundred likes/views on LinkedIn.
Biggest highlights however, have been the publications of the articles “Plastic or Money?“, “Can blockchain really be social?“, “Digital Fitness: Can I really get paid for going to the gym?” and “Cash or Card, miss? Cryptos Please” on the Data Driven Investor (DDI) and AltCoin Magazine online publications on Medium.com., which further led to us (well, me…) being invited to be a main contributor to the main site of DDI!
Not to mention that the blog recently made its first profit – some £0.18/$0.22 from premium readers on Medium, whose claps for my articles landed this significant funding to my Stripe account. Which as insignificant as it may seem in numbers it still means thousands for us.
High point was also being noticed by KLEAN, a fintech start-up in Malaysia, when we wrote our “Plastic or Money?” article describing how KLEAN is helping the people of Malaysia to turn waste into money. Malaysians have the opportunity to swap empty plastic bottles and cans for Klean points on their KLEAN App, which they can later on use to pay towards train journeys, earn Gold with HelloGold, get free WiFi access at the Reverse Vending Machines of KLEAN and swap points for prepaid airtime.
Recently, KLEAN was one of the four winners of the Pacific ASEAN Financial Innovation Challenge, held under the auspices of the UN Capital Development Fund, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme and FijiCare and traveled to the Island of Fiji to help bring access to healthcare insurance to the financially excluded simply through recycling plastic bottles and cans. We can only wish KLEAN every success and hope they will include Cyprus on their map as soon as they reach out towards Europe!
By the first quarter of 2018, Revolut reached to a staggering +$1.7 billion valuation, with 850+ employees globally and over 4.5million retail customers. It is one of the fastest growing FinTechs in Europe and it is breaking boundaries across the banking sector, without even being a “bank”.
Along this progression we have also seen an upgrade from being an official Revolut Ambassador giving out Free Revolut Cards to a member of the Revolut Affiliate Programme. So, in case you have yet to embrace the disruption or whether you’re still thinking about it, free cards are still available; just drop us a line and we’ll get you sorted. For all the happy “customers”, we’re always available to help out with any questions you may have.
All in all, this blog may not have been such a bad idea in the end. The numerous discussions that the blog’s articles have generated, alongside the conference attendance opportunities across the world accompanied by the motivational / achievement / proudness and enthusiasm aspects have made every minute spend brainstorming, discussion and typing thoughts down so worth it.
So, with the beginning of this “new” year, and while new resolution lists await to be drafted, printed and pinned on the canvas panel of our desks let’s make sure that our to-do list is not the same annual version we’ve got ourselves comfortable with until now.
We encourage you to make things a tad more challenging yet enthusiastic starting this September; make sure you add some time on there to focus, to save energy, to be patient and most importantly – to be brave.
Just like our little blog here, a simple idea that popped to mind 15 months ago whilst driving home from a not-so-glamorous day at work could lead to a hundred different end results. It is then entirely up to you what you will make of these!
Bring it on, Autumn.
Καλή μας χρονιά!
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Oh and we’re always open for sharing ideas, recommendations or listening to any suggestions for articles you’d like to read on topics you find interesting.
And of course, do feel free to put your hands together for us on Medium.com, raise your thumbs up on Facebook and send us hearts on Instagram.