By the London technology team
Uber problems for cab app as London plans crackdown
Transport for London is consulting on rules that would make life difficult for Uber and other cab hailing apps. Specific proposals include a minimum five minute wait for a ride, drivers only being able to work for one firm and a mandatory fixed phone for advance bookings. TfL say they will raise standards, but critics accused them of protectionism, with black taxis staging a major anti-Uber protest in London this week.
Unsurprisingly Uber strongly criticised the proposals, saying TfL’s plans will harm consumer choice and called on customers to sign a petition (currently signed by 125000 people) defending Uber. The Institute of Directors have also waded in saying the focus should be on deregulating taxis and warned against damaging London’s reputation for innovation. The story was very well covered featuring in The Daily Telegraph, City AM and TechCrunch.
Digital goods now covered by new consumer rights law
Consumers downloading digital content, such as music or ebooks, have been given new legal rights with the Consumer Rights Act coming into force after passing in the last Parliament. The law will clarify rules around replacements, refunds and repair of faulty goods and includes the creation of a specific timeframe of 30 days for consumers to get a full refund for a faulty item.
This is the first time that consumers have had clear legal rights relating to digital content and a good write up of the digital aspect of the new changes can be found in The Guardian.
Bankers worried about Fintech
Fintech apparently has the potential to see a number of financial services jobs disappear. In a great Techinsider piece, Simon Mortlock goes through the types of jobs that could be replaced by technology, specifically due to the growing popularity of ‘robo-advisers’ and increased automation jepoardising jobs in the operations functions of financial institutions.
With two of the biggest online wealth management platforms growing to manage $5bn of assets, traditional fund managers are at risk of obsolescence, as are analysts, compliance technicians and back office staff at banks losing clients to cloud based platforms.
The rise of the machines has already seen banks reduce their retail headcount, and it now seems that the corporate side of financial services is set to be transformed.