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Four times that German designers led the world

A teal VW beetle with an Autumnal backdrop Volkswagen Beetle

Created in 1919, Germany gave the world Bauhaus – the most famous design school in history – the Bauhaus revolutionary approach was to fundamentally change how we view material culture and the built environment around us. For the last 100 years Germany has built on this prestige and in doing so has remained at the forefront of world-leading design. Here we look at four German designers that led the world.

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Why Berlin? A new global tech centre

The famous Berlin TV tower

It’s 1990s Berlin. Following the fall of the Berlin wall and the city’s re-unification, there is a momentous excitement in the air. The city is a blank canvas. A significant proportion of the city’s buildings are empty. Prices are low and the parties are wild.

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Visa: Challenging the Norm

A shop open sign with Visa logo

Visa in History

When Bank of America launched the first consumer credit card (BankAmericard), the seeds were sown for Visa. In 1958 this was the first card accepted by large numbers of merchants and ignited a cashless revolution that would change consumer behaviour forever. In the late 60s, several other banks joined together to compete and launched the MasterCharge card.

As the banks battled for market domination, a new entity was formed (National Americard Inc – renamed Visa International in 1976) with Dee Hock at the helm. Among many other changes made under his leadership the original system of the merchant calling up to check the consumer’s credit balance was replaced. In 1973 the system became the first electronic authorisation system. Fast-forward to the twenty-first century and 2008 saw Visa become the largest initial public offering in history. Nevertheless, like all big corporates, Visa knows that to keep ahead the answer lies in one word: innovation.

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Metro Bank: Challenging the Norm

A group of smiling people enjoying a company visit at Metro Bank Company Visit to Metro Bank with Insider London

Recent years have seen satisfaction fall below 60% with the UK’s big four banks (Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds & RBS). This is one of several reasons often proffered for the rise of the challenger bank. KPMG reports that this is a worldwide movement though particularly concentrated in the UK because of its lack of saturation with big banks compared to other markets and its early adoption of digital banking.

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