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The horeca sector can not escape the universal trends either

The term " Horeca " is an abbreviation of "Hotel", "Restaurant" and "Café". It represents a very diverse sector, i.e. from star-restaurants to catering and canteens to brasseries up to small, local cafes. A small country like Belgium counted end 2017 almost 60.000 horeca-enterprises (7% of all Belgian enterprises), thus showing the importance of this sector. Furthermore with a total revenue (also end 2017) of over 15 billion EUR and more than 75.000 people employed in this sector, it remains an important economical actor for the Belgian economy. It is undisputable that the Covid crisis has been a disaster for this sector. However, now that life gradually returns back to normal, it is likely that the trends which were already launched in the horeca sector before the crisis will be even enforced and accelerated. With new habits come new customer needs related to the horeca. Think about the company canteens. With more people working from home, this
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NFTs - A hype or a lasting new investment asset class?

NFTs are at the moment a real buzz. The word NFT stands for   non-fungible token , which means a unique, irreplaceable cryptographic object. It aims to   manage ownership of digital content   (digital collectible items) by storing the ownership in the form of a digital certificate on a blockchain (usually on the Ethereum blockchain, but other blockchains can also be used). This way the buyer can prove that he is the owner of a certain digital item. The fact that the NFT token is   unique and irreplaceable , generates traceability of the owner, but also ensures authenticity and (digital) scarcity, thus resulting in its value (via its uniqueness it becomes a collectible item). This makes it an   attractive asset for both buyers and sellers . For sellers, creating (= minting) an NFT gives an easy option to monetize (without intermediaries like galleries or auction houses) their digital content (products), like digital pictures, animations, music, videos…​. Additionally NFTs have the featu

Treasury management at SMEs - Still too neglected?

Treasury management   or more generally   Supply Chain Finance management   is still a neglected topic at many SMEs. While large international corporations make the investment into expensive treasury management solutions (often part of their ERP solution) and even setup their own In-House Banks, this is considerably more difficult for the mid-corp segment and even more so for the smaller segment of the SMEs. Often SMEs lack the funding, time and expertise to deploy those platforms and often those platforms lack the flexibility required by an SME. Nonetheless in this globalized competitive market with fast moving cash, even SMEs are in need of an   effective treasury management . Every SME has its own specific challenges, due to its specific payment cycles and cash reserves. Nonetheless most SMEs (estimated to about three-quarters) still do their treasury management via (complex) Excel sheets, requiring a lot of manual effort. This gap forms a big opportunity (in Europe SMEs account for

CBDC - The new kid on the block

  A very hot topic at the moment are the so-called   CBDCs , short for " Central Bank Digital Currencies ". These are the recent reply of central banks to the continuing success of crypto-currencies like Bitcoin and Ether(eum). After the unsuccessful attempts of several governments to restrict or even ban these crypto-currencies, there is more and more a consensus of " If you can’t beat them, join them ", resulting in the setup of an alternative that fits better the agenda of governments and of central banks to stay relevant and in control of monetary policy. Very simplistically said, CBDCs are a   digital version of the fiat currencies   that people use in their daily lives. They take over a number of features, characteristics and technologies of crypto-currencies (CBDCs will be crypto tokens), but instead of being decentralized (and bypass central bank and government control), they ensure some degree of   centralization , allowing the central banks to keep control

Reflections on digital offline payments

Introduction On 18/05 Bernhard Kauer (Founder & CEO by Puzzle2Pay) wrote an interesting blog on the need for digital offline payments, i.e. "Do we need digital offline payments?" - https://bkauer.medium.com/do-we-need-digital-offline-payments-3a74ec2d8c7b  Bernhard makes here an interesting argumentation that there is no real need for offline payments.  After some reflection, I must admit I do not fully agree. Below my argumentation in reply to his blog. Would love to hear your opinion. 1. More and more places are getting online Definitely true, but internet connectivity is still an issue in certain emerging countries and even rural areas in developed countries. Even if only a few percent are without connectivity, it's still worth to offer a solution for these places. Otherwise you exclude certain populations, but also the active users can come in very uncomfortable situations, when they are so used to a certain payment method and then realize it is not available (and