Top 5 news from Web Summit 2019

The Web Summit 2019 has come to an end. Check the most significant financial and technological news presented at its stages

web summit 2019

Top 5 news from Web Summit 2019. Source: flickr.com

Web Summit 2019, one of the largest conferences on technologies and startups, has come to an end. This year, it gathered more than 70 thousand attendees from 163 countries. More than 1200 speakers took Web Summit’s stages to share their expert insights and represent their businesses. Lots of exciting tech sector news have been shared during 4 days of the event.

PaySpace Magazine has closely monitored what was happening at Web Summit 2019 to compile a brief list of the most significant news for fintech aficionados.

Web Summit 2019 PITCH competition winner revealed

Every year Web Summit conducts the PITCH competition for the most ambitious early-stage startups from all over the world. This time, 900 startups took part in it, representing their solutions in almost every possible field. This year’s winner is Nutrix, a MedTech startup from Switzerland, which develops an innovative nanosensor that is placed on the tooth to detect glucose level in the saliva. It is transferring the received data to a dedicated app. Moreover, Nutrix tracks food intake, all in all providing valuable information for patients using it.

Nutrix has a long-term vision that goes further than just glucose. That’s our current focus, but ultimately we want to go into how we monitor the reaction of the immune system. We’re going to disrupt the way health is monitored. Today, it’s only when you’re unwell that you get the information from your doctor. We want to give people the chance to monitor this data before
Nikjil Singh, co-founder of Nutrix

The first global network for recurring payments via bank debit

FIntech firm GoCardless, which specializes in recurring payments, announced the creation of the first global network for bank debit, bolstered by a partnership with TransferWise. The network represents a transparent way to collect recurring payments such as subscriptions, invoices and installments via bank debit, reducing failure rates by up to 4 times when compared to cards. Customers will be able to collect payments via multiple bank debit schemes around the world, without the need to navigate the specific rules for each, through the GoCardless API, dashboard or partner integrations.

Web Summit 2019

TransferWise to partner GoCardless. Source: transferwise.com

By integrating directly to the TransferWise API, businesses will also benefit from low cost and transparent pricing. Moreover, there is now no need to open a new bank account in every country where the business collects payments. 30 countries, representing 70% of the global recurring payments volume, will have access to the new network starting mid-November 2019. Businesses will receive payments at the real exchange rate in GBP, USD, EUR, SEK, DKK, CAD, AUD and NZD.

Our new network represents a major milestone in our mission to fix this broken system. Companies of all sizes can now tap into the only global network for recurring payments, built on the tried and trusted method of bank debit, with real exchange rates powered by TransferWise. This will take the pain out of getting paid and enable every business to operate in a way that’s truly borderless
Hiroki Takeuchi, CEO and co-founder of GoCardless

German startup plans to launch a flying taxi by 2025

Lilium, a startup from Munich, Germany, has successfully completed the first stage of flight testing for its electric prototype of a flying taxi. With vertical take-off and landing scheme, it requires just a small concrete surface to land on or take off from. The jet will be able to reach speeds of up to 300 kilometers-per-hour, which makes it the fastest aircraft of its kind. Moreover, the manufacturer claims it will be emissions-free, silent and able to travel 300 kilometers on a single charge.

I think globally we’re facing several problems at the same time. One of them is our population is growing, which automatically triggers more transportation needs. The second thing is in the cities we’re creating a problem of congestion, we need more roads as they get bigger. This is why there is a desperate need for something that connects us faster. Of course, we can do this on the ground with high-speed rail, but it would be prohibitively expensive. And this is why we think there is such a demand for something like we do
Daniel Wiegand, CEO and co-founder of Lilium

The company says it expects for it to start providing commercial services in several locations globally by 2025.

New privacy-protecting messenger with a payment feature to launch

Famous American cryptographer David Chaum, who has made the first known proposal for a blockchain protocol, announced a powerful privacy-protecting network called Elixxir, along with the new  XX alpha messaging app. The app is reportedly able to prevent observers from making the connection between the sender and receiver. Moreover, it is planned to add payments to the app after its deployment. The payment feature is to be integrated into the app through the integration of Praxis, a new digital currency supported by a quantum-resistant blockchain. However, the main advantage of the new app is believed to be unprecedented user privacy.

Web Summit 2019

The main advantage of the new app is believed to be unprecedented user privacy. Source: shutterstock.com

International standards for AI drivers’ performance to be established

Autonomous Drivers Alliance creates a new ITU focus Group to establish international standards that will monitor and assess the performance of ‘Artificial Intelligent Drivers’ responsible for controlling automated vehicles. Its main objective is to validate that the driving behavior of automated vehicles presents evidence to justify this public trust. The Alliance believes AI ‘Drivers’ should be held to the same legal standards as human drivers and that pubic trust could only be secured if the software was ‘as good’ or ‘better’ than we would expect a human driver to be.

Web Summit 2019

Autonomous Drivers Alliance creates a new ITU focus Group. Source: shutterstock.com

The proposed Turing Test for the road could become the basis for an International Driving Permit for AI. The right hold to this permit would continuously be assessed based upon the AI Driver’s behavioral performance while on the road, just as human drivers may be assessed through usage-based insurance (UBI). However, compared to current UBI, this new assessment for AI can include the spatial model of the world in which the driving behavior occurred.

The Focus Group’s ultimate aim is to meet the public expectation that:

  • AI never engages in careless, dangerous or reckless driving behavior;
  • AI remains aware, willing and able to avoid collisions at all times;
  • AI meets or exceeds the performance of a competent, careful human driver.

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