BID® Daily Newsletter Archives

May 2022

Did you know that the Twitter logo bird’s name is Larry after Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball player? Twitter’s co-founder, Biz Stone, was the one who named it Larry in tribute to the player and his favorite basketball team. Fittingly, the bird’s name was announced in a tweet.  You may find bankers tweeting more about interest rates these days, as the industry is embarking on a year of expected rate increases. With the recent 0.50% interest rate hike and several more to come, bankers have more opportunities for interest income. Yet, competition for loans in some regional markets remains...
If real life were like popular television shows, counterfeiting and money laundering would be simple activities. Take for instance “Good Girls,” where a trio of girlfriends becomes master counterfeiters by convincing an artist to make them a replica of US bills. They print it on special paper, using a combination of chemicals to resemble legitimate currency, before running it through large dryers to achieve a more weathered look. Or “Ozark,” where a family launders massive quantities of drug money, on behalf of a cartel through tactics, such as hiring people to continuously lose money by gambling. Fortunately, for the banking...
Did you know that, although now regarded as an everyday appliance by most people around the world, Thomas Edison’s first commercially viable light bulb was initially met with disdain? It was predicted at the time to be a “conspicuous failure” with a British parliamentary committee even suggesting that it was “good enough for our transatlantic friends…but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men.” Of course, many new ideas are often met with apprehension and even ridicule, before becoming so pervasive in our day-to-day lives that we struggle to imagine a world without them. Blockchain is a great example....
Research by engineers at the University of California at Santa Barbara resulted in a 12-in robot jumping 100x its own height – about the height of a 10-story building! This is not only unprecedented in the animal kingdom, but is also the first time that a jumping robot has achieved such heights. Who knows what is next for these nimble robots! Unfortunately, cybercriminals are also nimble. They find the weakest link and pounce. For instance, an American who is at least 60 years old, single, and feels a little intimidated by computers is the perfect target for much of the...
Fashion, and what is considered to be trendy or acceptable, has changed drastically over the years. In the 1890s, it was thought to be scandalous for a woman, or even a man, to bear an ankle that wasn’t covered in opaque hosiery, so women wore long dresses with hemlines all the way down to the ground. By the 1920s, however, as flappers began to rebel against such repression, skirt lengths rose above the knee and opaque hosiery was replaced with silk stockings. Opaque hosiery didn’t come back, but by the 1930s skirts were again below the knee and didn’t really...
Starting in the ninth century BC, feng shui is the ancient Chinese practice of balancing people with their environments. Feng means wind and shui means water. This idea originates from an ancient poem that tells us that human life is linked to its surroundings. Harmony is the ultimate goal in feng shui.The bank merger and acquisition (M&A) environment hasn’t always been harmonious. So, last summer, President Biden issued an Executive Order urging regulators to reassess the current M&A process. With this focus, M&A regulations are likely to be revamped in some way, shape, or form. How this could impact community...
The expression “to kill two birds with one stone” is thought to originate in Greek mythology. Daedalus, father of Icarus and an accomplished architect, inventor, and artist, is said to have killed two birds with one stone to make wings that would allow him and Icarus to escape the labyrinth of Crete, where they were held prisoners. Once free, Icarus failed to heed his father’s advice about staying away from the sun, which ultimately melted the wax holding his wings in place, causing him to fall into the sea.Community financial institutions (CFIs) may want to learn from the ingenious Daedalus...
Born in Belgium in 1514, Andreas Vesalius is considered the founder of modern human anatomy. As a physician, he performed dissections on human cadavers and realized that the current Galenic anatomy teachings were erroneous as they were based on conclusions drawn from animal dissections. Based on his work with dissections, he published a groundbreaking anatomy book, De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, which earned him a position as the Holy Roman emperor’s physician.Community financial institutions (CFIs) are looking to earn more than a position with rising interest rates. They are hoping to earn more interest income. As many of you...
Today is National Clean Up Your Room Day. We had no idea that there was such a day, but it was likely recommended by parents nationwide who contend with their children’s messy rooms. That rule of seven – that you need to hear or see something 7x before it sticks may not apply to children and cleaning up their rooms. But, it does apply to customers and advertising.  Trying to reach new customers with the right message 7x is a feat for many bankers. A relatively easy and effective way to do this is through mobile advertising. Many companies are...
The idea for an electronic book was first floated in the 1930s, but it wouldn’t become a reality until 1997 when E Ink Corporation developed a technology that allowed digital screens to reflect light in the same way that paper does, without the need for backlighting. The company’s Rocket eBook was the first electronic book to hit the market. Still, electronic books didn’t really gain traction with consumers until Amazon introduced its Kindle eBook device in 2007 – almost 80 years after the innovation of this technology. Like eBooks, virtual payment cards have been around for a while, yet they...
Do you know which animal is the largest rodent in the world? If you guessed the capybara, you are correct. This animal can weigh up to 140 lbs., grow to over 4 ft. in length, and reach up to 2 ft. in height. Its home is found mainly in Central and South America, but has been seen in Florida and Texas too. It inhabits various habitats from plains to rainforests and is never far from water. Capybaras live in small family groups, yet roam in larger groups of herds. With the housing crunch continuing, many people find themselves roaming for...
Papua New Guinea wins the title of the most linguistically diverse country in the world. Although English is the official language, only 1-2% of the population speaks it. An incredible 820 different languages are spoken there.Understanding people with different languages, backgrounds, and experiences isn’t just important for an island like Papua New Guinea, but it is an increasingly important part of working together in today’s world. Indeed, the business case for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is stronger than ever. As we reported last August, financial institutions of all sizes recognize the value of DEI. PwC estimates that the industry...
Since 2015, every February a group of hardy souls take part in America’s ice swimming “Olympics” held on Lake Memphremagog, VT. With only goggles, a cap, and a standard swimsuit, participants crawl through 34°F waters. While this event is one of a kind in the US, it is part of a growing international league. For those wishing to try this fairly new sport, experts recommend taking it slowly and learning more about it before diving in.When it comes to the metaverse — a hot topic in the digital world — community financial institutions (CFIs) would also be well advised to...
In 1875, 27Y old Matthew Webb, a merchant navy captain, became the first person to swim the English Channel. While only 21 miles, the channel actually delivered 39 miles of swimming with all the currents. It took Captain Webb 21 hours and 45 minutes. His colleagues in the Navy noted that he was not the fastest swimmer, but he had endurance. That definitely paid off for him! It seems we have all honed a sense of endurance during the pandemic. But now, many are ready to live it up. Armed with more savings and two years of vacations to make...
One of the most recognizable songs from Stephen Sondheim’s 1987 Tony award-winning musical, Into the Woods, is “Children Will Listen.” On its face, this tune summarizes the experiences of widely recognizable fairy tale characters, such as Little Red Riding Hood. But the message Sondheim wanted to convey was that children not only listen to and watch adults, but they also learn from what they see and hear. While Sondheim’s message was tailored around impressionable young children, it extends beyond childhood. Today, everyone is influenced by social media and online resources, especially online reviews and business ratings. In fact, 79% of...

April 2022

04/29/2022 - Need Fee Income? Try Hedging
Not many people know that today is National Zipper Day. According to the Sew Guide, there are 15 types of zippers. But, don’t worry, we won’t go into detail on the 15 types. Suffice to say, the zipper is a handy little invention that has come a long way from 1917, when it was invented by Swedish American, Gideon Sundback. Its first uses included rubber boots and tobacco pouches. Today, we can all come up with hundreds of uses, from clothing, outdoor equipment, shoes, bags, suitcases to pillowcases, and more.  Unzipping the details of extra fee income through a hedge...
04/28/2022 - Playing An Important Role In Spreading Financial Literacy
Apparently, around 2K thunderstorms hit Earth every minute. Some of these storms are more powerful than others, with some causing 100 mph winds while others raining hailstones as big as baseballs. In 1995, TX experienced the most damage from a thunderstorm when those baseball-like hailstones fell from the sky. Let’s hope we don’t see any of that anytime soon!  Financial literacy instruction is a little like the weather — everyone talks about it, but few do anything about it. Included in those few, however, are community bankers. Most recently, in Nebraska, community bankers helped spearhead financial literacy in schools. They...
04/27/2022 - Return On Experience Metric Drives Financial Institution Growth
We use rocks every day. In fact, it is projected that each American will end up using greater than 3MM lbs. of rocks, minerals, and metals during their life. If you consider that these are used in granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, ceramics, glass products, matches, salt, etc., they do start to add up after a while. Before you start adding up how many rocks and minerals you have been using, we bring your attention to another type of rock, Return on Experience (ROX). You may not have heard of ROX, as it is a relatively novel metric. Yet, financial...
04/26/2022 - CRE’s Industrial Sector – Will It Stay Solid In 2022?
Have you heard that the body actually emits light? Research done at the Tohoku Institute of Technology by Masaki Kobayashi found this out in 2009. By studying volunteers with super-sensitive cameras in light-sealed chambers, the researchers found the volunteers’ bodies glowed at certain times of the day. This were explained as chemical reactions producing bioluminescence. No wonder we don’t notice this with the naked eye, it is 1,000x less intense than what is perceptible to the eye.Digging deeper can provide more insights into biological effects, but it can also help in better understanding the current commercial real estate (CRE) market....
04/25/2022 - Special Issue 4 – Community Bankers Always Make A Big Impact
Community Banking Month continues as we share more of the outreach community efforts by our BID readers. We honor all community bankers for supporting local businesses and people in need. In fact, more than half a million Americans were homeless in 2021, with about 20% of them being children, according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). CFIs work tirelessly to help people of every age get housing and other essentials—including places where kids can play. Today, with the last issue of our series, we highlight how bankers have helped fight homelessness and support children with their outreach...
04/22/2022 - Tap Into The Benefits Of Hedging During A Flat Yield Curve
Many people recognize today as National Earth Day. But, did you know it is also National Jelly Bean Day? According to Jelly Belly, the gourmet jelly bean company, the origins of the jelly bean come from a combination of a Mid-Eastern soft center candy and the French process of panning invented to create the hard shell for Jordan Almonds presented to royalty. 1861 was the first mention of jelly beans in the US, by Boston confectioner William Schrafft, who promoted sending them to soldiers during the Civil War. These candies are enjoyed by all ages to this day.As you hunt...
04/21/2022 - Integrating Hybrid Work With Strong Company Culture
Salsola ryanii, a type of tumbleweed that can reach up to 6ft high, has rapidly spread across California, displacing two smaller species. The key factor behind this new type of tumbleweed’s success is that it’s a stronger and faster-growing hybrid of the other species.Like the fast-spreading, hybrid tumbleweed, hybrid working has rapidly increased and is now firmly planted in many businesses. According to a report from Pew Research, roughly six out of 10 US workers whose tasks can be done at home are now doing them remotely all or most of the time. What’s more, 61% of employees are actively...
04/20/2022 - Are Checking Accounts Going To Be Extinct?
You may have heard that the white willow tree’s bark is where the origins of aspirin started. It has been told that Hippocrates used the bark as a pain reliever. Although the bark is bitter and can cause stomach aches, so it is not exactly clear how it was consumed. We do know that in the mid-1700s, Reverend Edward Stone dried the bark to a powder and used it to relieve fevers. The real breakthrough came when a researcher at the German company, Bayer, chemically altered salicin extract from the willow tree. Aspirin was created and then patented in 1899....
04/19/2022 - BIN ISO Rules Are Changing For Payment Cards – How To Prepare
Abbreviations and acronyms are everywhere these days. But, did you know that they were used as far back as the Roman Empire? SPQR was used for Senatus Populusque Romanus — the official name of the Roman Empire — and even “filius” which means “son” was shortened to just an F. Using abbreviations and acronyms is space- and time-efficient, especially when writing them on stones and coins. The number of acronyms has only increased since the Roman Empire and today we discuss a very specific one, BINs. There’s a new Bank Identification Number (BIN) standard that is about to take effect....
04/18/2022 - Special Issue 3 - Community Bankers Continue Making A Big Impact
April is Community Banking Month when we highlight some of the community outreach activities that our BID readers submitted. Some of these activities are tested and true, but others are creative and new. We enjoy sharing the ways that community bankers connect and support their populations. Donations, both of time and money, are an important part of support for communities nationwide. Today, in our third article of the BID’s Community Banking Month series, we highlight these efforts by community financial institutions.Olympia Federal Savings in WA sponsors the Better Fedder program, a multi-dimensional community outreach strategy designed to improve the local...
04/15/2022 - Embedded Compliance Controls – Should You Consider Them?
The three-point seatbelt that is standard in cars today was introduced by Volvo in 1959. By 1968, the federal government mandated its inclusion for all seats within vehicles. However, this wasn’t enough impetus for everyone to embrace them. With more than 15,000 car accident deaths annually attributed to not wearing seatbelts, New York became the first state to pass a law requiring the use of seatbelts in the front seat in 1984. Today, all states but New Hampshire require car passengers to wear a seatbelt. Some cars even include embedded system features that require seatbelts to be fastened before the...
04/14/2022 - How To Keep Championing Minority-Owned Businesses
Mount Everest may be the highest peak on Earth at 29,029 ft, but it is not the planet’s tallest mountain. It’s a little-known fact, but Mauna Kea in Hawaii is recognized as being the tallest at 33,480 ft. However, only 13,796 ft of it is visible — the rest is underwater.For many minority-owned businesses, finding funding can seem a bit like trying to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. However, there have been some recent developments aimed at improving the situation. This includes the US Treasury Department’s December announcement to release $8.7B to help increase lending to small and...
04/13/2022 - Top Five Technologies To Leverage And Stay Competitive
The movie, The Perfect Storm, is based on the true story of the Andrea Gail commercial fishing vessel caught in a tropical storm merging two powerful weather fronts and a hurricane. The boat is battered by 40-foot waves, raging winds, and a catalog of mechanical failures. After a tough fight, it ultimately sinks, leaving no survivors.Over the last few years, community financial institutions (CFIs) have faced their own perfect storm of turbulent market conditions, growing consumer sophistication, and competition from fintechs and neobanks. They too are fighting hard, but they won’t sink. Harnessing new technologies to improve the customer experience,...
04/12/2022 - How To Stem Dissatisfaction When Employees Leave
In 2001, JK Rowling’s wildly successful Harry Potter series was brought to the big screen, with British actor, Richard Harris, playing the pivotal role of Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of the Hogwarts. Yet, Harris was only able to portray Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films, before he passed away from cancer. Many mourned this loss and it was difficult for the production team to consider recasting. However, fortunately for Harry Potter fans, the role of Dumbledore was successfully recast with British actor Sir Michael Gambon. This allowed the remaining books to be filmed, all of which were major...
04/11/2022 - Special Issue 2 - Community Bankers Keep Making A Big Impact
April is Community Banking Month and we continue highlighting the community outreach efforts of BID readers that submitted entries,  in our second article of the Community Banking Month series. These efforts may be similar to those your institution does or maybe they inspire you to reach out in a new way to your community members. Either way, we know community bankers make a difference every day and we appreciate you all for that.  Many Americans struggle financially. In fact, 78% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Not only that, but JP Morgan Chase reports that...
04/08/2022 - Independent ATMs – Do They Provide An Opportunity?
Today is National Zoo Lovers’ Day. With approximately 10K zoos across the globe, we have likely all experienced a day at the zoo. According to Attractions in America, the top five zoos in the US are in San Diego, CA; Omaha, NE; Brookfield, IL; Denver, CO, and the Bronx Zoo in NY. With spring almost here, maybe it is time to make another trip soon with the family.As families have enjoyed zoos for decades, many people have relied on independent ATMs in convenience stores and gas stations for decades. With more than half of all ATMs now run by independent...
04/07/2022 - Microlending – Is It Worthwhile?
Microlending started in 1976 in Bangladesh, when an economics professor, Mohammed Yunus, saw startups struggle. The only loans available kept a hefty portion of the proceeds, keeping entrepreneurs from flourishing. His first loan was $27 to a women-led, bamboo stool business. Not only were the women able to pay off the loan, but they could also buy materials that allowed them to expand their business and thrive.Microloans may not be on top of mind for community financial institutions (CFIs). However, those wanting to help startups get off the ground or nurture certain small businesses needing extra support might want to...
04/06/2022 - Benefits Of Rehiring Boomerang Employees
If you are a Marvel Comics fan, you have likely heard of Ricochet. This character was created as an alter-ego of Spider-Man when he was accused of and hunted for murder. His brand identity was created by his wife with a second-hand, leader jacket with a big “R” sewed on it. Ricochet was the funnier, speedier superhero that could still fight the bad guys, while clearing his name. Before you consider googling Ricochet to see what he has been up to lately, we bring your attention to another ricochet of the employment variety — “boomerang employees.” With the Great Resignation...
04/05/2022 - Educating SMBs About Increased Cyber Risks
Archaeologists discovered that Ecuador’s Mayo-Chinchipe culture ground cacao beans, vanilla, and other spices into a chocolate drink 5.3K Ys ago. But, feeding the craving for chocolate has been far easier since 1847, when British chocolatier JS Fry molded the first chocolate bar. The world’s love of chocolate runs long and deep, even when it comes to animals. Yet, for animals such as dogs and cats, this sweet treat can actually be deadly, as they are unable to metabolize the alkaloid theobromine found within cacao beans. Clearly, good things can contain risks at the same time.Similarly, many small businesses have been...
04/04/2022 - Special Issue 1 - Community Bankers Making A Big Impact
It is that time again — Community Banking Month time! A few years back, we started the tradition of showcasing community financial institutions (CFIs) that sent us their outreach stories. We always feel inspired by these efforts in their communities around the country and we know that there are many more out there as well. As we kick off the month, we share stories of disaster support, acts of kindness, and food donations through food banks and farmers’ markets.Disaster supportOn December 10, 2021, an F4 tornado ripped through Mayfield, KY, leaving debris and devastation in its wake. Although FNB Bank...
04/01/2022 - Should Surging Fertilizer Costs Worry CFIs?
There were 588 hours of sunshine in the spring of 1948. This was the highest number ever recorded. The spring of 2014 was also quite sunny with 306 hours, while the least sunny spring on record is 1963 with only 82 hours. While we don’t know yet how many spring sunshine hours 2022 will bring, many of us enjoy our sunny days.Farmers likely enjoy sunny days too, as they start the spring planting season. Yet, this year, they’re facing huge increases in fertilizer prices. These are forecast to be as much as 80% higher YoY, according to a study from...

March 2022

03/31/2022 - Essential Leadership Traits In The New Hybrid World
On October 14, 1912, Theodore Roosevelt was shot while giving a speech in Milwaukee. He pulled out his 50-page written speech from his pocket, which revealed two bullet holes through each page. “Fortunately, I had my manuscript…there is where the bullet went through — and it probably saved me from it going to my heart.” Impressively, he continued to speak for 84 minutes even after the bullet had lodged itself near his ribs. Luckily, community financial institution (CFI) leaders don’t need to possess such levels of endurance, but other traits are important for success in today’s world.As we approach the...
03/30/2022 - Mitigating Employee Stress For Higher Productivity
Did you know that pennies can deter snails and slugs? If you are a gardener, you may have tried this garden hack. It is the copper in pennies that creates a small electric shock for the slugs if they touch it, causing them to retreat and find food elsewhere. Today’s pennies have much less copper than before, with only 2.5% copper and 97.5% zinc. But, if you have old pennies lying around, you could put them to good use.On the other hand, if you consider gardening stressful, you may want to hire someone to care for your plants. These days,...
03/29/2022 - Best Practices To Apply Q Factors For CECL
Belize is the home of the 2nd largest barrier reef, the Great Blue Hole. It is actually a large, underwater sinkhole and reaches 984 ft in width and 410 ft deep. Despite its depth, the remarkable visibility allows divers to see underwater caves and rich marine life, including Caribbean reef sharks. If diving is how you roll, you will want to check this interesting spot out.  Even if you aren’t a diver, as a banker, you know that as we roll further into 2022, the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) implementation date is getting closer. While there are many areas...
03/28/2022 - Lending Opportunities Rise In 2022
Flared jeans and pants are popular this year, a style that is reminiscent of the bell-bottoms that dominated the fashion world throughout much of the 1960s and 1970s. Despite the style’s strong ties to the hippie era, bell-bottom pants can actually trace their origin to the early 1800s when it is believed that they were worn by sailors because of the ease of rolling the pants while working barefoot on ships. When the style re-emerged and became popular in London in the 1960s, it wasn’t long before the trend made its way to America.As some of us have flashbacks to...
03/25/2022 - Is Selfie ID Verification Here To Stay?
Since it was published in 1897, the story of Cyrano de Bergerac has withstood the test of time. Edmond Rostand’s tale is of a talented, well-spoken man who assumes he will not appeal to the woman he loves because of his awkward appearance. So, instead, he helps a friend woo her by feeding him what to say. It has been performed countless times and seems to be resonating with many today. The most recent portrayal, “Cyrano” received several positive reviews and award nominations, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, at the Golden Globes.  Unfortunately, community financial institutions (CFIs)...
03/24/2022 - AI To The Rescue: Solving Customer Service Staff Shortages
If you thought the first chatbot was Siri, you would be incorrect. Apple’s Siri launched in 2010, but that was 45Ys after Eliza. Eliza, the first chatbot, was created by Joseph Weizenbaum in the MIT Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab in 1965. While its processing was simpler than that of today’s chatbots, the methodology is still used in several chatbot applications, making life’s tasks easier for many of us. Not only can AI make things easier, but it can also fill gaps left by staffing shortages. The Great Resignation and COVID have combined to create substantial labor shortages, especially in customer...
03/23/2022 - How Your Institution Can Hedge Without SOFR
Washington state operating room nurse, Florence “SeeSee” Rigney finally retired last year, at the age of 96Ys old. She was the oldest working nurse in the US. Her career spanned seven decades and still allowed her time to raise two children. She often clocked three miles during her shifts walking to and from operating rooms and actively helping out with other tasks. She first tried to retire at age 65, but was back to work six months later. It is not always easy to retire! Many bankers feel that way about the retirement of LIBOR. After 35Ys of use, LIBOR...
03/22/2022 - Evaluating Your Board’s Effectiveness For Continued Success
Did you know that during peak times, there are 5.4K aircraft in US skies — sometimes vertically separated by as little as 1K feet? Fortunately, they are not only flying by sight, as Federal Aviation Administration air traffic controllers provide navigational support from the ground.Of course, many community financial institutions (CFIs), like all public companies, have their own “air traffic controllers” to help them navigate the ever-changing financial landscape: the board of directors. Given the critical role the board plays in providing a governance framework and working with senior management to ensure its implementation, CFIs should be sure to monitor...
03/21/2022 - What Does America’s Shrinking Branch Network Mean For CFIs?
Almost all species of male deer grow antlers, which serve them well in the mating season and help them fight predators. After shedding the first set, like baby teeth, they grow larger, branch-like antlers. Every season they shed their antlers and grow new stronger ones. The banking industry has engaged in some shedding and growth of its own. However, unlike deer, the net effect is a record loss of branches across the US in 2021. According to S&P Global, nearly 4K branches closed and over 1K opened. This equates to a net of 2,927 branches shuttered, a 38% increase on...
03/18/2022 - Meeting The Cybersecurity Challenge With NIST’s Tool
People in the world’s Blue Zones — Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, and a few other places — tend to have longer, healthier lives than people in other parts of the world. When researchers investigated Blue Zone longevity, they found that diet, exercise, attitude, and community connection all played a role. The research provided a framework of knowledge designed to help people outside of these regions understand how to live longer lives. Since there was only one US place in the Blue Zone (Loma Linda, CA), many of us could use this framework on life longevity. But, more immediately, a cybersecurity...
03/17/2022 - Four Precautions On QR Code Fraud
Transformers, a species of robotic beings that can change from robots to high-speed vehicles, weapons, or electronic items, were first introduced to the public in 1984 as a Japanese toy line. But they took on a life of their own in 1985 when Hasbro bought the line and partnered with Marvel Comics to create a storyline around the individual toys. The characters became so popular that they spawned a film line, with the first Transformer film coming out in 2007. This film franchise has netted more than $4.9B in global box office sales, as of 2021. The idea of things...
03/16/2022 - Payment Cards With Vertical Designs Help A Variety Of Customers
With the celebrations of St. Patrick making the rounds tomorrow, we thought it would be interesting to share some fun facts about this saint. Despite being one of three patron saints of Ireland, he was actually born in Britain in the 4th century. He was taken by a group of Irish pirates, which took him from his family’s estate and held him captive for 6Ys, until he was 22Ys old. During his enslavement, he turned to his faith for solace. The actual day of St. Patrick celebrates the arrival of Christianity to Ireland and the Irish culture, in general.There are...
03/15/2022 - The Appeal Of Text-To-Pay For Small Businesses
People often have cravings for snacks at odd hours of the night, but such cravings often go unmet. That simple reality was the driver behind the launch of Insomnia Cookies, a company that provides freshly baked cookies until 3 am daily, straight to your door. While Seth Berkowitz, the founder, was a student at Philadelphia’s University of Pennsylvania, he began baking and selling cookies to classmates in the late evening hours and now the business has grown to more than 200 locations. Giving people the ability to act on their desires immediately can be a tasty proposition for community financial...
03/14/2022 - Lessons Learned From Your Peers On Customer Profitability
Gambling — a $44B industry in the US in 2021 — generates more revenue than movies, spectator sports, theme parks, cruise ships, and recorded music combined. Banking is a far cry from gambling, but many community financial institutions (CFIs) would like to increase the house odds when growing profitable customers. One way to do that is through customer profitability analysis. While still relatively low, interest rates are set to rise in the coming months, as the Federal Reserve seeks to counter the possibility of sustained high inflation, currently over 7.5%. Higher rates combined with a continued competitive loan environment may...
03/11/2022 - RFID Increases Operational Efficiencies & Customer Service
It is well known that stray dogs often follow people home. So, in an effort to increase pet adoptions, Britain’s Battersea Dogs & Cats Home created an advertising campaign mimicking this behavior. When shoppers arrived at a popular mall, they were given RFID-enabled leaflets from Battersea Dogs & Cats. Then, as they walked past multiple electronic billboards throughout the mall, a picture of Barley, the dog, popped up to give the illusion of a dog following them to engage shoppers, bring them into their facility, and adopt a pet. The banking industry is a bit more dog-eat-dog than the pet...
03/10/2022 - Three Steps To Get Ready For Faster Payments
On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to buy Alaska from Russia for the bargain price of $7.2MM. However, opposition in the House of Representatives delayed the historic deal. It took another year to get the money appropriated and complete the purchase. It probably took a while to cash a check that big too! Community financial institutions (CFIs) won’t have any customers willing to wait a year for a payment to be processed. In fact, customers increasingly want payments in real-time. While the Faster Payments Council — comprising consumer groups, merchants, and financial institutions — continues...
03/09/2022 - Cryptomania Is Here – Should CFIs Respond?
Beatlemania had already started almost 60Ys ago in England, but the US was slow to catch on. It wasn’t until the Liverpool-based band was booked for “The Ed Sullivan Show” that their popularity started rising. Still, the Beatles themselves were unsure of the type of welcome they would get. Unexpectedly, they were met by 3K screaming fans when their plane arrived in NY and the rest is Beatlemania history. The popularity of cryptocurrencies within the traditional banking sector has seen a similar path. Cryptocurrencies have been around since Bitcoin started in 2009, yet interest from the traditional banking space was...
03/08/2022 - Remittances Are Rising – Is It Time To Jump Onboard?
If you live in Florida, the Caribbean islands are only 50 miles away. Bimini is the closest and boasts coral reefs, geological formations, such as Tuna Alley, and the Dolphin House Museum. While not having the popularity of Nassau, you sure don’t have to go far to travel internationally.    Just as international travel can be close, so can those people needing cross-border remittances. Still, many community financial institutions (CFIs) have shied away from offering cross-border remittances as a service. As a result, many money transfer giants like Western Union or more recently, fintech upstarts, including Remitly, World Remit, Xoom,...
03/07/2022 - How To Mitigate Rising Mobile Fraud
Did you know that the medical term for goosebumps is cutis anserine? Taken directly, this means goose skin and is when the hair follicles rise up due to flexing of the skin. It often results from an involuntary reaction of fight or flight. In animals, this reaction helps them appear more puffed up and bigger as a dangerous adversary. While the value to humans is less obvious, many of us may get goosebumps when we hear about the latest mobile scams. The US has over 294MM smartphone users and hit an 85% penetration rate in February 2021. So, it is...
03/04/2022 - Minimizing Customer Effort Leads To Customer Retention
The world’s first postage stamp, called Penny Black, was launched by Great Britain in 1840. Queen Victoria’s portrait was used against a black background and, as you can guess, it was worth a penny. With the introduction of the postage stamp, sending letters and cards became cheaper and required less effort. This brought more trade for Great Britain, according to the British Library. These days, we are still trying to streamline processes and minimize efforts taken in communication and commerce. As community financial institutions (CFIs) consider how sticky their customer relationships are, they should consider how much effort customers must...
03/03/2022 - Are Overdraft Charges A Thing Of The Past?
Coco Gauff has been dramatically changing things in the tennis world. She started playing tennis at 6Ys old. She even showed interest in tennis players, Serena and Venus Williams at the young age of 4. No wonder she is the youngest player ranked in the Women’s Tennis Association’s top 100. She surprised many in the tennis community and made history as she beat Venus Williams at Wimbledon, as a 15Y old in 2019. As of January 2022, she was ranked No. 17 in singles.   No less dramatic is the path that overdraft fees have taken lately. Overdraft fees have long...
03/02/2022 - Should CFIs Use TikTok For Marketing?
Today is National Read Across America Day and the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Started in 1998 by the National Education Association, this is a day of celebrating the joys of reading in schools, libraries, book stores, etc. Read-a-thons and author readings are traditional ways to celebrate today. But, don’t be surprised if a TikTok video appears today too, as savvy educators know this social media platform is impactful, especially with the younger crowd.Some might ask “What is TikTok?” and “How is it different than other social media channels?” TikTok, owned by a Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., is a growing social...
03/01/2022 - Finding New International Business Customers In Your Midst
The timeline of Homo sapiens’ history may be changing due to a new discovery. A child’s molar was uncovered in France, along with stone tools from 54K Ys ago. This seems to indicate that Homo sapiens lived in Europe 10K Ys earlier than archaeologists originally thought. Furthermore, the tooth was found between layers of Neanderthal fossils, which means these two groups coexisted in this area. The current understanding was that Homo sapiens’ arrival cause the demise of Neanderthals.Whether you are an archaeology buff or not, oftentimes, using new information can help broaden understanding. For community financial institutions (CFIs), learning that...

February 2022

02/28/2022 - Deepfakes Are Increasing – Top Three Scams To Watch
The word “fake” with its meaning of bogus or counterfeit, first surfaced around 200Ys ago. Believe it or not, it was captured in a dictionary of criminal slang, which was put together by James Hardy Vaux in 1819. Interestingly, Vaux was a former criminal that became familiar with this type of slang, while spending time in British penal colonies in Australia. Deepfakes are the latest in criminal wrongdoing and they are spreading quickly. We explore what they are, the monetary damage they can cause, what the experts are saying, and give you three deepfake scams to steer clear of.What are...
02/25/2022 - Reaping The Rewards Of SMB Optimism
As the 74Y old author, Paulo Coelho has been credited with saying, “Life was always a matter of waiting for the right moment to act.” This reminds us that it is important to see opportunities as they arise. These opportunities appear to be arising with many small businesses.This is good news for many financial institutions, as they have been patiently waiting for the day when lending gets back to normal. While the FDIC reported an increase in net interest margin for community banks in Q3 2021 YoY and QoQ, these institutions still have an abundance of deposits to deploy. So,...
02/24/2022 - Key Takeaways From Former FDIC Chair McWilliams
Have you ever heard of a goldfish driving a vehicle? Dr. Ronen Segev, a neuroscientist, recently tweeted a video that went viral of a goldfish driving a “water-tank-equipped robotic vehicle.” Dr. Segev has been studying fish cognition for 16Ys and wanted to prove that even goldfish brains are “flexible enough to adapt to new situations.” While we don’t expect you to try this experiment at home, it is interesting to contemplate, as our environment seems to be changing regularly these days.One recent change in the regulatory environment is the departure of FDIC Madam Chairman Jelena McWilliams. On the eve of...
02/23/2022 - Where Are CRE Investors Investing?
John F Kennedy once said that the Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word “crisis” — one signifying danger and the other opportunity. While this interpretation may not be totally accurate, the sentiment behind his quote holds true — where there is crisis, there is opportunity. With the pandemic and subsequent economic crisis, this has shown to be true in some commercial real estate (CRE) sectors more than others. While inflationary pressures could continue along with labor and supply chain shortages, this year points to several positive signs for CRE customers and the community financial institutions (CFIs) that...
02/22/2022 - GAO Guidance On High-Risk-Transfers For Humanitarian Funding
According to Guinness World Records, the first driver to receive a speeding ticket was traveling at just eight mph. In 1896, Walter Arnold was spotted driving his vehicle at four times the speed limit — which was then just two mph — in Kent, England. While the pace of life is now generally much faster, getting humanitarian aid funds to impacted countries can be a slow and frustrating process for nonprofits and other aid organizations. Yet, the demand for humanitarian aid has reached new heights. Last year, the United Nations requested $35B to help 235MM people across 56 countries —...
02/18/2022 - Volunteer Data Can Help Nonprofits In Your Community
Did you know that the script for the movie, “ET”, was written during shooting breaks for “Raiders of the Lost Ark?” Talk about leveraging resources to get more things accomplished – two hit movies no less!There are ways you can get more accomplished by leveraging your efforts in the community too. As a community financial institution (CFI), you want to give back to your community as much as possible. Ideally, you track your efforts as part of understanding where your money and volunteer hours go, as well as what they accomplished. That data can help inform your future giving and...
02/17/2022 - Three Steps To Prepare For A US Digital Dollar
At up to $120 per lb, lobster is definitely a delicacy. But did you know that it used to be served to prisoners and called the cockroach of the sea? The first European settlers noted that they were so plentiful that lobsters would wash ashore in stacks up to two feet high! Time has definitely changed our perception and consumption of lobster.Time seems to change many things, not just lobster consumption. For many community financial institutions (CFIs), time has changed their perception of digital currencies. Those institutions trying to keep up with the ongoing digital revolution in banking and finance...
02/16/2022 - More Ways To Connect With Gen Z As Future Customers
Did you know that some of the most famous teenage influencers have more than 100MM followers across social media? The social media platforms with the highest followers of influencers include Instagram (82%), YouTube (41%), TikTok (23%), Twitter (23%), and lastly Facebook (5%). These influencers can earn up to $25K per post, depending on the platform. Not a bad way to start saving a little money!While most members of Gen Z don’t have that kind of following, their influence on spending — directly or indirectly — is considerable. Their purchasing power is currently estimated to exceed $143B. Furthermore, by 2030 Gen...
02/15/2022 - Defend Your Stored Data Against Cybercriminal Attacks
Confucius is credited for saying, “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you don’t stop.” Well, that may be true for some things, but definitely not in fighting cybercrime. The entities that work slowly to protect their data will get hit time and time again by crafty cyberthieves.Many community financial institutions (CFIs) are working hard and fast to store their data away from the bad guys. However, it has become more challenging as these thieves find vulnerabilities leading them even into data back-up systems. We bring you up to speed on the ongoing risk of data...
02/14/2022 - Protecting An Aging Population From Elder Financial Abuse
Did you know that Richard Cadbury was the first to create a box of Valentine’s Day candy at the end of the 19th century? It has grown in popularity since then, with 35MM boxes of heart-shaped candy expected to be sold today. Indulging in some Valentine’s Day chocolates may be a good way to take a break from today’s problems.  Unfortunately, elder financial abuse is an ongoing and growing problem that bankers need to face. It is aggravated by an aging population and a rise in self-directed retirement plans that put large lump sums under the control of elderly retirees....
02/11/2022 - Planning For Succession Success
There has been an exodus of US CEOs. In October 2021, 142 CEOs left their companies, a 38% increase MoM and the largest number since January 2020, when a record 219 CEOs resigned. The Great Resignation isn’t only for employees. If your top talent leaves suddenly, how deep is your bench to replace them so you can remain competitive? While a significant majority of financial institution CEOs are nearing retirement age, only about a third of boards have a successor in mind. Not only that, but also 37% haven’t even drawn up a potential slate, according to a Bank Director...
02/10/2022 - Four Strategies To Boost Board Diversity
Since its initial episode in 1969, Sesame Street has endeavored to educate children about everything from the alphabet and basic counting to values such as kindness, sharing, equality, and inclusion. So, it is no surprise that in 2017 the show introduced a new Muppet named Julia, a 4Y old autistic girl who was rapidly embraced by some of the program’s most popular characters like Big Bird, Elmo, and Abby Cadabby. The number of children who have autism has risen significantly in recent decades; the CDC reports 1 in 44 children are on the autistic spectrum. So, Sesame Street is addressing...
02/09/2022 - Enticing Younger Customers With Wealth Management
Insomnia affects 30% of Americans, according to the American Sleep Association. If you toss and turn at bedtime or hit snooze on your alarm every morning, you might have your mother to thank. Research from the University of Warwick found that insomnia can be inherited, but only from the maternal side.More optimistically, Gen Xers and millennials will have over 68T reasons to thank their baby boomer parents when $68.4T is passed down over the next 25Ys. According to Cerulli, Gen X will receive 57% of total assets, with the remaining 43% going to millennials. As we mentioned last September in...
02/08/2022 - Key Reminders To Protect Your Institution From Money Mules
Mules, a cross between a horse and a donkey, are smarter and more patient than a donkey. It can withstand the weather elements much better than horses, with thicker skin. Due to its strength, it has been used in pulling plows and carrying heavy loads. According to the softschools.com website, a mule also “has very good sense of self-preservation, which means that it easily detects dangerous situations and tries to avoid them.”That may be true of mules, but mules of another type — money mules — are in the thick of dangerous situations regularly and are an increasing threat to...
02/07/2022 - Running CECL In Parallel – What You Should Know
Over 67MM years ago, the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi lived in North America. The Quetzalcoatlus was a mix between a giraffe and a heron with a wingspan of up to 36 ft, weighing up to 550 lbs, and standing up to 36 ft tall. It is considered the largest flying animal ever. That is a record that will likely stand in the history books.Turning from big flying dinosaurs to big banks, the Federal Reserve reports that “on January 1, 2020, most large and mid-sized US banks adopted Current Expected Credit Losses (CECL).” As a result, about 80% of all US bank...
02/04/2022 - Three Strategies To Ensure Your Website Is ADA Compliant
They say that it sometimes takes just a split second to make a decision. When it comes to your website, customers make the decision to stay or leave even faster — some say users take 0.05 seconds to judge a website, including whether they will stay on the site or not. While we all want visitors to stay on our website longer than 0.05 seconds, it is especially important when you are trying to provide information to those with disabilities. So, the question to ask yourself is: Is your institution’s website accessible for everyone, no matter their abilities? If not,...
02/03/2022 - How To Use AI Effectively And Mitigate Bias
In the classic 1987 movie, Robocop, the hero — a cyborg created from the remains of murdered police officer Alex Murphy — is eventually able to regain some of his humanity and override his programming to go after the killers. While this movie may be science fiction, the idea of artificial intelligence (AI) needing human elements is part of the broader AI discussion over three decades later.Community financial institutions (CFIs) using AI should consider adopting a similarly humanized approach to this machine learning technology. It could enable them to harness its full potential while avoiding an intrinsic pitfall, namely algorithmic...
02/02/2022 - Risks Capturing Regulatory Attention & Potential Mitigations
Today is National Groundhog Day, when we all wait to see if the groundhog will see its shadow — indicating six more weeks of winter — or not, which sends the signal that spring is soon here. This tradition originated in 1887 with the Pennsylvania Dutch. These days, the star of the show is Pennsylvania’s own groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. Whatever weather Phil predicts with his shadow, we can start preparing.Bankers can start preparing for more than weather with the recent 2021 OCC Annual Report, which outlines the federal banking system’s condition and supervision priorities. We take a closer look at...
02/01/2022 - Appealing To 60MM Self-Employed Businesses
We were surprised to find out that the first horror movie dates back to 1896, according to reelrundown.com. House of the Devil directed by Georges Méliès portrayed a bat as an agent of the Devil that became human and brought demons to life through a cauldron. The Devil’s agent was eventually banished with the use of a crucifix. It lasted just over three minutes long and was filmed in Méliès’ garden in France, yet it started a new film genre that gave us an adrenaline rush from Psycho to Halloween and Scream.  Besides horror movies, working as your own boss...

January 2022

01/31/2022 - USPS Banking Services Have Resurfaced
In the early 1800s, the US Postal Service (USPS) delivered mail seven days a week — a practice that elicited no shortage of criticism, especially among religious groups. Yet, it was ultimately the invention of the telegraph in 1844 that brought the end of daily mail delivery by providing people with a new method of communication and the ability to get important information without postal deliveries. Almost 170Ys later, with Americans’ solidified reliance on online communications and the competitive pressures of FedEx and other courier services, USPS faced financial woes. So, the USPS adopted special delivery and priority mail packages...
01/28/2022 - Five Steps For A Successful Universal Banker Model
Did you know that the origins of the Swiss Army Knife reside in neighboring Germany? In the 1880s, the Swiss Army needed a knife to open canned food and disassemble service rifles. Yet, no Swiss company had the production capacity for these knives, so German Wester & Co. produced the order for these multi-functional knives for the Swiss Army in 1891. The knives were delivered to the Swiss Army with a single blade, rotary cutting tool, can opener, and screwdriver. Yet, Karl Elsener of Switzerland soon took over the business and the Swiss Army Knife was officially born.For many community...
01/27/2022 - Metaverse Marketing – A New Way To Reach Customers
Did you know that there are more than 5MM different video games in existence today? Not only that, but they can all trace their origin to nuclear physicist William Higinbotham, the former Head of Instrumentation at the Brookhaven National Laboratory. In an effort to show off the capabilities of his instrumentation division during a visitor day at his lab in 1958, Higinbotham created an exhibit he called “Tennis for Two.” This exhibit allowed two people to use the knobs on a small analog computer that displayed a ball on an oscilloscope that they could bat back and forth over a...
01/26/2022 - An Update On Cloud Services For CFIs
Anvil clouds are a sight to see. They form during thunderstorms and look like thin umbrellas, or anvils, stretching across the sky for miles. It forms when the updraft from the storm reaches the tropopause--the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere. From there, the air spreads out and forms the anvil cloud. While these clouds can be beautiful, they are also associated with weather disturbances, including heavy rain and strong winds.Speaking of clouds, community financial institutions (CFIs) avoided the use of cloud services due to regulatory and security disturbances for years. However, as cloud technology advances, providing additional layers...
01/25/2022 - Three Strategies To Prepare CFIs For Rate Increases
Believe it or not, in 2021, SPAM sales reached record heights for the 7th year in a row. The MN parent company, Hormel, hit revenue of $3.45B in Q4 2021, surpassing market expectations. SPAM was first introduced in 1937 and has spread worldwide, especially popular in the state of HI. “We’ve had to announce new capacity that we’re going to bring online in 2023 to meet the demand, so Spam is as strong as it’s ever been,” CEO Jim Snee said to CNBC’s Jim Cramer in a recent interview. Clearly, SPAM has seen an unprecedented long period of high demand....
01/24/2022 - Drive-By Skimming & Supply Chain Attacks Can Affect Your Website
Tea has been associated with health for over sixteen centuries. In the year 400, tea consumption for medicinal purposes started gaining popularity. While tea demand in Asia continued, it was not until 1589 that tea was recognized for its health benefits in Europe. Studies on the benefits of tea, especially green tea, imply that it can reduce certain types of cancer, decrease blood pressure, assist with weight control, and kill bacteria and viruses.  Unfortunately, there is no “cyber green tea” available to support the health of your website against attacks. So, you’ve implemented numerous cybersecurity measures to protect your website,...
01/21/2022 - Will CFIs Have Enough Reserves For CECL?
Do you happen to know which letter was the last one added to the modern English alphabet? A reasonable guess would be the last letter, Z. Yet, the answer is near the middle of the alphabet - the letter J. The letter J was actually an adaptation of the letter I. In the 15th century, the English language was standardized, and in 1604, the first English dictionary was published, adding the letter J. This may be an example of how the adoption of some standards is not always a straight path from A to Z.While many bankers are working on...
01/20/2022 - Four Ways To Prepare For Faster Payments
In 1917, the Seattle Metropolitans became the first US hockey team to win the Stanley Cup. They beat the Montreal Canadiens three games to one with a total score of 23-11. This team broke up in 1924. Yet Seattle has a new hockey team now, the Seattle Kraken, and is hoping to win the big Stanley Cup. Community financial institutions (CFIs) are always looking for wins with their customers and these days, that means faster payments. More and more of your customers – including businesses – are likely demanding faster payments, including “real-time” or “instant,” so your institution should start...
01/19/2022 - Mitigating Stress Levels For Compliance Employees
Today is National Popcorn Day. In the US, we eat approximately 17B quarts of popcorn annually, which makes sense since it is America’s favorite snack food (by volume). Most of the popcorn produced comes from Nebraska — 250MM pounds per year. Some trivia about popcorn: it has more iron than eggs, can pop up to 3 ft high, and even during the Great Depression, popcorn businesses thrived. Popcorn brings back memories of movie nights and carnival visits for many of us. These memories may give you a mental vacation and many of your employees could use a mental vacation too....
01/18/2022 - Using Technology To Better Respond To Your Customer Needs
Nursery rhymes often come from historical events and “Jack Be Nimble” is no different. The most accepted background for this children’s tale is from Jack Black, an English pirate from the 16th century, who evaded the authorities “nimbly.” Back in the day, it was believed that jumping over a candlestick without putting out the flame was a sign of good luck. A manuscript from 1815 shows the first mention of this nursery rhyme, which was later printed in the mid-1800s. It is interesting that this story continues to be told without knowing the history.Knowing customer history is important for bankers....
01/14/2022 - Is Augmented Reality Now A Necessity For Financial Institutions?
The endoscope is a cutting-edge instrument in the medical industry’s tool kit, enabling doctors the ability to get a detailed look at the internal organs or tissue of a patient’s body and even allowing them to conduct minor surgeries without major incisions on an operating table. But, they are far from new. France’s Antoine Jean Desormeaux created the first official endoscope in 1853, which he used to get a non-invasive look at patients’ urinary tracts. Yet, scientists have even traced the existence of similar instruments all the way back to the ruins of Pompeii. As these tools have become necessities...
01/13/2022 - Mobile Messaging – A Key Banking Communication Tool
Did you know that bubble gum is pink because red dye was the only color available at the manufacturing facility and it diluted to pink? In 1928, Walter Diemer, the accountant for a chewing gum company in PA formulated this pink bubble gum that was less sticky and stretchier. He started a wave of bubble gum products after WWII from Bazooka to Hubba Bubba and Bubble Yum into the 1970s. If you haven’t tested the stretchiness of your bubble gum lately, maybe today is the day.Whether you take us up on our invitation or not, bankers surely like to stretch...
01/12/2022 - Three Strategies To Harness Career-Changers
Did you know that some warm-blooded animals can adapt their body size to cope with rising temperatures? This phenomenon, known as “shapeshifting”, has been observed in more than half of all bird species. For example, the bill — used to exchange heat with the environment — is larger in birds living in warmer climates, than in the same species living in colder areas.American workers are also shifting these days  — as many of them question their life and look for new careers. In fact, half of American employees want to change careers, according to research by Harris Poll. Not only...
01/11/2022 - Lessons Learned From The Exodus Of Challenger Banks
Approximately 4.7MM LEGO pieces are produced every hour, and seven LEGO sets are sold by retailers every second. If all the LEGO bricks sold each year were laid next to each other, they would wrap around the world five times. Building a brand as well-recognized, trusted, and successful as LEGO is no easy enterprise. This is a lesson that many foreign and challenger banks have learned when trying to enter the US retail banking market. In November — less than 3Ys after launching in the US — German challenger bank, N26, announced plans to cease its US operations. N26 is...
01/10/2022 - Could Charitable Foundations Provide A Lasting Community Impact?
Have you heard of the Gross National Happiness (GNH) Index? The 4th King of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck was the first to coin the term “gross national happiness” in 1972. Later, the index was created in Bhutan as a metric that includes “non-economic aspects of wellbeing” such as, education, community vitality, and health, for a holistic view of a country’s progress. Even though Bhutan is the only country currently using the GNH Index, we thought it was pretty interesting.Even though the GNH Index isn’t used in the US, community financial institutions (CFIs) have always supported their communities’ holistic wellbeing....
01/07/2022 - How CFIs Are Managing Remote Work
Sometimes one event can trigger another in unexpected ways. For instance, in 1905, an 11Y old named Frank Epperson was passing the time by mixing powdered soda and water in a cup with a stick. He left the cup on the porch when he went in for the night. The next morning, he found a “sweet icicle on a stick.” Frank called it the Eppsicle and made it for his friends. It wasn’t until his kids started calling them Pop’s-icicle, which became Popsicle officially in 1923. Similar to the discovery of Popsicles, remote work became an unexpected, yet useful, result...
01/06/2022 - Will The Agricultural Recovery Last?
Cranberries are one of the few fruits native to North America. Although now grown in many parts of the world, the US is still responsible for 75% of global cranberry production. With approximately 4,400 cranberries needed to produce one gallon of juice, Americans consume 400MM pounds of cranberries every year — 80MM pounds in Thanksgiving week alone! While Thanksgiving is in the rearview mirror, many farmers are still feeling thankful. We look at why farmers — and the bankers that serve them — are thankful for so much in 2021 and how they are cautiously optimistic about 2022. A good...
01/05/2022 - How CFIs Can Maintain Customer Stickiness
No one knows for sure when stickers were invented. European entrepreneurs of the 1880s used a gum paste to get their labels to stick. The first self-adhesive stickers were made in 1935 by R. Stanton Avery from Oklahoma. He used a few spare parts and a $100 loan from his fiancée and went on to found one of the biggest label companies that still bears his name.Avery found a way to make his products stick. How can community financial institutions (CFIs) do the same with their customers? In the current low-rate environment, it is a challenge. It’s difficult to know...
01/04/2022 - Contactless Commerce Technologies Could Help SMBs
In the 1960’s television show, “Bewitched,” Elizabeth Montgomery was able to do magic merely by twitching her nose. Likely many of us wished for this talent. In reality, however, her famous nose twitch was actually an illusion created by Ms. Montgomery wrinkling her nose and quickly moving her lips from side to side, along with the film speeding up a bit. While Elizabeth Montgomery’s nose twitch was more fiction, facial movements can now actually make payments, which is somewhat magical. “Pay-by-face” and radio-frequency identification (RFID) are two contactless commerce technologies that have arisen in the retail and restaurant sectors lately....
01/03/2022 - Top Five Trends For 2022
Since ancient times, humans have tried using various types of divination in an attempt to predict the future. Felidomancy, also known as Ailuromancy, is one of the more unusual divination techniques used over the ages. Favored by the ancient Egyptians, Felidomancy practitioners claim to be able to predict the future by observing the behavior and movements of cats.If you are expecting to hear our predictions based on cat behavior, we are sorry to disappoint you. Instead, we look for clues from economic indicators, recent events, and market forces. Here is our assessment of things to come in 2022.1. Inflation uncertainty...

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