INT. Pulse


By Priyobroto March 22, 2023 - 325 views

As the whole world is going bananas over BNPL (buy now, pay later), Africa has dropped a new fintech model on its shoppers. And it’s something so cool, you’ve never heard of it – SNBL, aka, save now, buy later.

While BNPL has skyrocketed worldwide and given us juggernauts like Klarna, this arm of fintech is facing backlash too, with many realising it encourages overspending and can lead to nasty debt traps.

The wise are also asking if it’s commercially sustainable, as Klarna saw its valuation cut 85% from USD46B to USD7B.

Save now, pay later is like an upfront answer to that.

SNBL providers across emerging markets reiterate that the model is better aligned with existing cultural practices and furthers consumers’ long-term financial health.

African fintech investors are believing the story wholeheartedly too.

Let’s try saying this aloud – ‘Flipkart save now, buy later.’

✅ Sounds like a million bucks already.

AI/ML: When A Monkey Took A Selfie

From horses to automobiles, postcards to emails, or even film to digicams, there’s a long history of backlash towards emerging technologies.

As exhibited by the image above, when cinema introduced audio, people asked: “But what will happen to the orchestra?”

The obvious worry was that the orchestra that played alongside silent films would be out of a job.

Though the concern was valid, ultimately, the introduction of sound into movies dramatically expanded the music industry, increasing net employment many times over.

Also, jobs like Sound Editor and Sound Mixer emerged out of empty auditorium seats.

As generative AI reinvents industries (yes, some jobs will be replaced), it’s worth remembering past reactions to new technologies, and that the pie has often grown larger, albeit in ways we cannot foresee when we are in the moment.

💡 The design world vehemently opposed photoshop when it dropped. Of course photoshop has its downsides, but it also ushered in a new era of visual expression and spawned millions of jobs worldwide.

🙈 Also note that you can’t copyright AI art (you may be infringing when you create AI art though), meaning when a monkey took a selfie, AI art lost the battle before it even started.

BFSI: The Safest Bank In The World

Before your thoughts start running away to things like ‘mattress’, ‘underground’, or even ‘false ceiling’, please consider this.

Many years ago, a startup called Narrow Bank, cooked up a business model of just taking deposits and holding 100% of them in Federal Reserves.

The plan was simple. It would basically make Narrow the safest possible bank.

But sadly, they were never granted a Fed Account or even access to their electronic payment services. The Narrow Bank even went to court over it and lost.

What’s Wrong With Super Safety? 🤔

If one bank is “too safe”, it can suck deposits out of the whole system towards itself, meaning most of the current two-tier banking system wouldn’t make sense, if that full-reserve bank existed.

Moral Of The Story: Regulators ironically want banks to be safe, but for none to be too safe.

🔔 If you’re a professional making banking ‘safer’ with technology, Souvik is always around to help you explore and deploy the best-fit tech stack for your BFS system. Reach him here. . .

­Pharma: GPT4 And Drug Discovery

Drug discovery is an incredibly complex process.

Zeroing in on a target molecule, testing each compound for value and toxicity, and then modifying the molecules appropriately for clinical trials are the general steps involved.

As a result, it often takes years to find a viable chemical using this ‘hit to lead’ method.

Then There’s GPT4 Toying With It

Simply give it a currently available drug and it can:

  • Find compounds with similar properties
  • Modify them to make sure they’re not patented
  • Purchase them from a supplier (includes sending an email automatically with a purchase order).

Here’s the complete paper for your perusal.

✋ If you need to know more about how data, analytics, ML and AI can augment your pharma business (we understand there’s much more to it than discovering drugs using AI), get in touch with Dipak, our lead data scientist.

Stuff We Are Watching

📌 Overdue Diligence: Please spare a thought for the Saudi National Bank, because just a couple of months back, they invested USD1.5 billion in Credit Suisse to pick up a 10% stake. Today the same stake is valued at ~ 🥜🥜, a total write off in a matter of weeks.

📌 Expensive Errors: Beyond the human cost of healthcare medication errors, the WHO estimates the global cost to be USD42 billion annually. Per this study, 8 out of 10 healthcare tech professionals are willing to increase spends to minimise preventable medical errors.

📌 The Coolest Tech Billionaire: Meet Mark Leonard, the founder and CEO of Constellation Software – a company like none other. Why? Because since its debut at USD70 million at the Toronto Stock Exchange, the company has increased in value by ~ 70,000% 🚀
🙋🏻‍♀️ Before we wrap up the March edition of Pulse, here’s a conversation we overheard on social.

Chappie #1 – Instagram is dead. In the next 3 – 5 years, every single image on social media will be generated by AI. And here is the kicker: It will be impossible to tell fake from reality.

Chappie #2 – Instagram is the kingdom of fake. Care to elaborate how better fakes represent a danger to the business model?

Party Crasher Elon – These days, if it looks shoddy and fake, it’s probably real.


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See you in April. Cheers!

Team INT.

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