Online gaming is a big business. Look no further than a survey by the Game Developers Conference that found the top 5 platforms where game developers are currently working are: PC (60%), smartphones/tablets (36%), PS4/Pro (30%), Xbox One/X (26%) and Mac (20%). Game on.Of course, we don't know any community banks that play games when it comes to expanding their loan opportunities with businesses, no matter the lending platforms or approach.As some quick background, the Fed reports US banks extended $2.1T in loans to companies as of Feb 2018. Commercial lending remains an essential offering for community banks, so making...
A survey from Bankrate asked people to list their biggest financial mistakes. The findings were interesting, with the top position of "not saving enough for retirement early enough" at 22%, closely followed by "none" at 20%. Rounding out the rest of the top 5 is: not saving enough for emergency expenses (16%), taking on too much credit card debt (9%), and taking on too much student loan debt (9%).Everyone makes mistakes, which is why bankers seeking to perhaps learn from errors of the past should find our discussion on mentoring/advising small business owners pertinent.All bankers want to keep earning the...
We thought it was interesting to hear the successful Shark Tanker, Mark Cuban's top reason why people fail in business. In his own blunt way he said it was due to a "lack of brains and lack of effort." He pointed out that competition was extreme everywhere, so only those who do the hard work day in and day out, to know more about their industry than anyone else, will win.As you ponder that this morning, we share some work we have done to help you better understand chatbots and the way banks are using these tools to improve the...
Paranoia used to be a term relegated to the world of psychiatry, but now it is estimated that up to 15% of the general population has some paranoia regularly. This can range from the mild (thinking others disapprove of you) to severe (evil forces are against you). Studies based on twins show this can also be both genetic (abnormal activity in the amygdala) and environmental (trauma). You are not paranoid though if you think chatbots are coming.What are they? These "virtual assistant" computer programs are designed to help humans do something faster using a more conversational way of...
Rock star Spencer Dryden once famously said, "Get them while they're young and bend their minds." While the Jefferson Airplane drummer was most likely talking about getting teenagers of 50Ys ago to enjoy the musical stylings of "White Rabbit", the concept of winning over young people has broad applications for banks today as well. Time and again, research has proven that by cultivating relationships with young consumers, financial institutions gain customers for life.However, the importance of appealing to these emerging customers has grown mightily as the youth market is wielding more economic muscle than virtually any other demographic. The 80mm...
Along the lines of how ridiculous people can be, we recently covered a story on hot dog water, and today shift to one on fish pedicures. Some believe that putting your feet in a tub full of "doctor fish" that nibble at your dead skin increases circulation and provides you with smoother feet. We don't know. But judging by the picture here, it is as crazy as drinking used hot dog water, if you ask us.Speaking of crazy things in banking, look no further than what has been going on in the five years since EMV (Europay-Mastercard-Visa) chip cards were...
After pondering how spiders can fly without wings, biologists did some testing by creating an electric field at strengths found in the atmosphere. They found spiders responded by spraying out silk in a fan-like shape and then got airborne. It is believed riding atmospheric currents is how spiders travel worldwide when there is no wind. Electrically charged flying spiders is truly amazing, but to bankers, it may pale in comparison to video banking. Over the past few years, banks have slowly been warming up to the idea of adding video banking to their array of services. The data shows there...
New research reveals that a moderately positive review is actually more impactful than a glowingly positive one. People seem to think that the moderately positive review is written with more thought and precision than a top rating. As you ponder this, we wonder how bankers might rate their core systems.Many community banks have legacy systems dating back to the 1980s, some even older. After all, customers are used to the interfaces on these cores and there are only so many options out there anyway.To try and keep updated over time, banks have bolted new functionalities onto their legacy core, or...
As the summer heats up, we wanted to remind you of key rules when using the pool: Don't drink the water, don't run, don't dive into shallow water, watch out for uncovered drains, hydrate and don't pee in the pool. Most of these are pretty standard, but sometimes you need to revisit standards to improve on them.Speaking of standards, the credit crisis in banking taught us the old standard of using credit scores as the be-all-end-all might not be everything it was cracked up to be. When it comes to rating creditworthiness for a loan, a high credit score (like...
Measuring intelligence in humans can be a tricky thing. After all, some people you know might be book smart, some are street smart and some are just wicked smart. The intelligence quotient (IQ) is a score that comes from various standardized tests designed to assess overall intelligence in humans. The IQ median raw score when developed was 100 and scores move based on standard deviations around that number. In short, about 67% of people score from 85 to 115, while 2.5% score above 130 and 2.5% score below 70. As you ponder where you might score and where that genius...
As you ponder where to travel this summer, we found it interesting that the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) researched countries worldwide to try and figure out those that have the most native born population living abroad. At the top of the pack it found Ireland (18%), followed by New Zealand (14%), Portugal (14%), Mexico (12%) and Luxembourg (12%). Meanwhile, those with the least living abroad were China (0.3%), US (0.5%), Japan (0.6%), Brazil (0.7%) and Australia (2%). To keep existing customers from traveling to a competitor in banking, there are some things to keep in mind. Consider...
Globally, 45% of adult smartphone users say they worry they are too connected to their phones, according to Deloitte. The same percentage says that they try to limit their phone usage in various ways. Of note, some 67% of 18 to 24Y olds say they use their phone too much. It looks like most people worldwide need to work on decreasing their smartphone distractions. In banking, there is a lot going on well beyond simple distraction when it comes to cybercrime. In fact, a recent report by the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) provides stats and examples...
I bet it never crossed your mind to drink hot dog water! Well, by now you have certainly read that a man in Canada sold hot dog water in a bottle for $38 and a bunch of fools bought it! His goal was to prove a point about false advertising and it worked, as he claimed this gross water had health advantages such as weight loss, increased brain function and general vivacity. Now, we haven't seen cloud computing bottled yet, but given the success with hot dog water, some companies may be trying to do so soon. For bankers looking...
We got so much good feedback from community bankers about our odds discussion yesterday that we wanted to share a few more tidbits. For instance, the odds of having a perfect NCAA basketball tournament bracket is 1 in 128B, while becoming US President is much more likely at 1 in 300mm, but still worse than winning the Powerball at 1 in 292mm. Specifically for bankers - flipping a coin and getting heads 100x in a row (1 in 30mm) is more difficult than becoming a billionaire (1 in 5mm) or getting a hole in one in golf (1 in 12,500).
Looking around the internet we found some interesting odds to share with you. For instance, did you know that you are much more likely to get hit by lightning during your lifetime (1 in 6,250 if you live to 80Ys old) than you are to see a bear in the wild (1 in 2.1mm) or get attacked by a shark (1 in 3.7mm). That said, you are also much more likely to be audited by the IRS (1 in 29) if you make more than $200,000 per year, than your high school children will get a college scholarship for athletics
Since we all use so much digital stuff these days, we found an innovation from Intel quite interesting. The company found a way to reduce display battery usage by 50%. This is a big deal because the display is the single biggest battery drain on any mobile device. This will be a welcome change and a positively charged one at that.Speaking of how to get charged or perhaps not, we focus our discussion today on new rules from the Small Business Administration (SBA) around marijuana or cannabis activities.The new rules are not just for cannabis-based businesses, but apply to anyone
There is a strange process that unfolds when doctors prescribe you medicine. They apparently look to pooled cohort equations (PCEs) to help determine your risk of heart attack or stroke. In so doing, doctors leverage data to be sure the exact level of medication is effective and safe for the patient. Interestingly, Stanford University research finds some 11mm people may have been given the wrong prescription for a host of drugs, based on PCEs. A key problem is that PCEs use datasets that are outdated. In fact, one dataset cited in the research is from 1948. Given how much more
For parents worried about teen depression, new research from Stony Brook University may help provide some answers. It finds that despite popular belief that smartphones and video games lead to social isolation and ultimately depression, something else may be a bigger contributor. Researchers found that the more time teens spent online (screen time) in any shape, the greater the risk of reporting depressive symptoms. They found teens with the most screen time also got the least amount of sleep or reported insomnia, which ramped up feelings of depression. It seems parents are right in asking kids to unplug an hour
Recall the old saying that milk helps keep your bones healthy? Recent data shows people must not mind that much having brittle bones, as consumption of milk has dropped 13% in the past 10Ys. Ag banks know this all too well, as that downward pressure has also put a burden on dairy farms, leading to a 50% drop in count since 2000. As if that weren't bad enough for dairy farmers, retail milk prices are only $3.23 per gallon, which is a lower level than where prices stood some 10Ys ago. Moo-ving on to other areas of banking, today we
Did you hear that researchers from the University of Leeds and Lancaster University in the UK have found a compound in green tea may prevent heart attacks and strokes? The compound reportedly dissolves proteins that form deposits in the arteries. That is good because those deposits reduce blood flow to the heart and brain, which leads to heart attacks and strokes. So, you may want to drink more green tea to stay healthier. The innovations and explorations seem to never stop in the health world.In banking, we recently gave you an update on the innovation, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments, but the
Here is some good news - it seems a blood test known as a liquid biopsy has been shown to detect tiny amounts of DNA released by 10 different types of cancer cells in the body. Doctors and researchers hope such tests could soon be used to catch cancer at an early stage. The test correctly identified pancreatic, ovarian, liver and gallbladder cancer 80% of the time. The test also had decent accuracy rates for lymphoma (77%), myeloma (73%), bowel (67%), lung (59%) and head/neck (56%) cancers. Let's hope this new test can soon be leveraged to treat people faster.While
According to an employee study, the cost of conflict in the workplace has deeper ramifications than organizations may realize. Employees answered how they were affected after a colleague was rude or uncivil: lost work time worrying about the incident (80%); commitment to organization declined (78%); performance declined (66%); lost time avoiding offender (63%); intentionally decreased work effort (48%); intentionally decreased time at work (47%); intentionally decreased work quality (38%); left the organization (12%). Successful teamwork is clearly the way to go. We are happy to provide you with some good examples of teamwork in fighting BSA/AML crime today. Enforcement
It looks like mom was right when she told you to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and have a well-rounded diet to stay healthy. New research published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology supports that view. The research looked at vitamin supplements and found many provide no advantage to people and in some cases can even increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. Be careful out there and be sure to eat right.The US has also been moving carefully when it comes to allowing companies to consume the payments space, as we head
In the human eye, the iris plays a pretty important role. It is the thin structure in the eye that is responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil. That process is critical because it controls the amount of light that goes to the retina. Eye color is also found in the retina in humans. That is why we were happy to see the FDA has approved the first prosthetic iris. Seeing risk clearly in banking takes skills. While having a solid risk assessment plan for third party vendors is nothing new to bankers, what do you do
An interesting thing happened along the route of machines taking over the world. It seems an international study published in the Annals of Oncology finds artificial intelligence (AI) detected skin cancer better than dermatologists. Dermatologists accurately identified 86.5% of skin cancers during the testing vs. 95.0% for the machines and AI. Machines handle a lot for humans in this digital world and that is certainly the case when it comes to credit cards and payments. To protect the flows, the industry is set to again move up its security standards, in hopes of making it more difficult for the bad
Experian research finds the average monthly loan payment for a new car is now $523 and the average amount borrowed is $31,453. Both are record highs. Meanwhile, research by Edmunds finds the average length of a new auto loan reached 69.2 months in April of this year or about 5.8Ys. This is yet again another all-time record. There is a lot going on in the auto lending space and there is a lot going on in community banking as well. Look no further than the most recent quarterly report of bank performance from the FDIC. It certainly paints a rosy
Yesterday we began by highlighting a Bankrate survey focused on what people are planning to do when it comes to taking vacation this year. That survey found that sadly, only 36% of those with paid time off said they planned to use it all. The rest were as follows: use almost all (19%), about half (19%), about a quarter (13%) and none (13%). Americans sure do work hard.As you know, the Fed has also been working hard the past few years to raise rates back to a more normalized pre-crisis level, given good economic strength. That effort has pushed floating
A Bankrate survey finds the primary reasons that 49% of Americans aren't planning to take a vacation this summer are: they cannot afford it (50%), family duty (25%), can't take time off work (22%), other vacation plans (6%) and health/age or just don't want to (tied at 4% each). Given the sun is out and mostly warm now in many areas of the country, we will side with the 51% who do plan to take a vacation and start scheduling ours now.The good news for banks in general these days is that the heavy load and high cost of regulation
More and more stuff happens on your smartphone. Look no further than a study from late last year by comScore. It found that 23% of all US e-commerce dollars were spent using a mobile device. Meanwhile, mobile spending by category was most often on: toys & hobbies (58%); video games, consoles & accessories (55%); music, movies & videos (51%); jewelry & watches (51%); computer software (41%) and sports & fitness (40%).It now seems central banks globally are dinking around with the possibility of eventually issuing their own cryptocurrencies. Canada, Sweden, Singapore and China are all dabbling. The Central Bank of
A new study from the University of Alabama finds viral infections could be a key cause of gray hair. It seems the immune system releases interferons to fight off viral infections, but when there isn't enough of a certain type of gene (MITF), too many interferons are produced. This overabundance of interferons pushes the immune system to attack melanocytes, which are the cells responsible for eye, skin and hair color. This process causes the growth of non-pigmented gray hair.In the banking sphere, all of the ongoing hype of peer-to-peer (P2P) payment services, including Venmo and PayPal, are giving community banks
The next time you get into a tall building and punch the elevator button to ascend into the sky, consider how long it takes to get to the 8th floor. We say this not because that floor is anything special, but rather because researchers have just recorded the biggest ocean wave ever to hit the Southern Hemisphere off the coast of New Zealand. That whopper was 78 feet tall or just over 8 stories high! No matter how your bank tracks significant things, you may find it interesting to know that an Accenture survey found 63% of consumers are willing
As aging occurs, the areas affected the most are the hippocampus (crucial for memory) and the prefrontal cortex (higher cognitive thinking). This is why 50% of people over age 85Ys fight against Alzheimer's disease. You can slow things down and keep the brain functioning longer though, with a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising and staying creative.Since Baby Boomers fill the ranks of many bank boards, issues around aging are becoming an issue. Banks are being forced to consider how long is too long to hold a spot on the board and still be effective. It's not an easy question
Microsoft announced people will be able to get bill pay reminders in Outlook and followed up that announcement with another one that indicates you will also be able to pay those bills using email. Apparently, you can just click a button and pay the bill after Outlook scans incoming emails, identifies any bills, schedules payment dates and then pays it at the click of a button. Of course, PCWorld notes that users will have to overcome the fact that we have been told for years by security experts not to click on buttons in email. Still, it is yet another
A survey by AAA finds 20% of Americans now say their next car will be an electric one vs. 15% who said so at the same time last year. People said they were attracted by lower ownership costs, more safety features and longer driving ranges. Primary concerns cited by potential buyers are: reliability (92%), crash ratings (77%), cost (71%), acceleration/handling (69%) and advanced safety technology (60%).Another electrically charged issue in banking relates to discussions that have been going on for years around attracting the unbanked and underbanked. Now, with technology and financial literacy outreach, several community banks are finding it
Banks spend a lot of time training and sending people to training. As such, you might be interested to know that research by the National Training Laboratories finds the average learning retention rates are highest when teaching others (90%). The rest of the pyramid from most to least effective are: practice by doing (75%), discussion group (50%), demonstration (30%), audio visual (20%), and reading (10%). A growing litany of regulations, potential threats to the bank and customers, and the need to stay on top of current product and industry trends has made training employees an expensive and time-consuming process. As
All community banks want to grow, and their small business customers want to grow too. What if you helped them grow internationally? Some of you may already be doing this. But, for others that aren't, you may want to think about this - already back in 2016, an OFX study found that 58% of small businesses had international customers. The key driver for this trend is technology, of course. International business is easier to access with the internet and expedited payment systems. You still may not be convinced that your business customers are ready to expand into international
Your IT teams probably know this, but bankers should know that European researchers in Germany have found widely used email encryption standards (PGP and S/MIME) can be hacked and are unsafe. Because of flaws in this encryption, and the fact that there are no reliable fixes, researchers are warning people to uninstall or disable such features and stop using them until a fix can be found. In the world of BSA/AML, things are just as dicey at times. Banks are now complying with new rules for reporting beneficial ownership of 25% or more, but be forewarned that regulators may ask
What is old is new again. An amazing scientific breakthrough uses a handheld printing device to deposit skin directly onto burns and other wounds. The printer works similarly to older white-out tape dispensers (also known as Liquid Paper), which were used to cover typing mistakes back in the day. It works instead of a skin graft and does not require healthy skin to be removed either. We think this is fantastic for burn and other wound victims, and we thank University of Toronto researchers for their hard work.Many privately held banks have a similarly difficult problem to solve. Only, instead
People in the US are so diet obsessed that some scary statistics give you plenty to think about. For instance, did you know that in America, research finds: 42% of 6 to 8Y old girls want to be thinner; 46% of 9 to 11Y old girls are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets; 82% of 9 to 11Y olds say their families are "sometimes" or "very often" on diets; 81% of 10Y old girls are afraid of being fat; and 25% of men and 45% of women are on a diet on any given day. People don't seem to know
FDIC research shows that there have been two major periods of bank failures over the past 30Ys. The first one was from 1981 to 1993 and the second one was the Great Recession, where a high number of bank failures occurred from 2008 to 2014. In between those time periods, things in banking have been pretty good though.There's even more good news for community banks. This is because efforts are afloat to reduce regulatory burden. Of course, these are long-term efforts, so bankers will have to be patient, but here are some of the particulars.In March of this year, regulators
Scientists in Japan have accidentally discovered a way to keep ice cream from melting. After a tsunami damaged strawberry fields in the country and left the fruit damaged, a professor and his university team decided to take it and make an extract that could be used as a desert topping. When they poured it on ice cream, however, they saw it solidified instantly and could be used as a binding agent. Enter the frozen dessert that doesn't easily melt. Community banks operating in the US under our regulatory agencies cannot be blamed for finding it difficult to keep up with
As you get ready to travel this summer, you should know that Hawaii just passed a bill that bans sunscreens containing ingredients that may damage or kill coral. It still needs the governor's signature, but it sounds pretty much like a sure thing. Hawaiian visitors will need to thoroughly research and consider new sun protection options, as some 70% of sunscreens on the market today have those ingredients. Community bankers these days have lots to consider as well, particularly when it comes to striking the right balance between digital and physical delivery channels. A large percentage of Americans now have
Pew Research finds the social media sites US adults use online or on their smartphone most actively are: YouTube (73%), Facebook (68%), Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%) and LinkedIn (25%). By age group, those who say they use social media are as follows: age 18 to 29Ys (88%), 30 to 49Ys (78%), 50 to 64Ys (64%) and 65Ys or older (37%). Stay socially connected out there.Speaking of social activities, as we saw in our weekly coverage of community banks for Community Banking Month in April, many community institutions pride themselves on having a strong relationship with their communities. Yet,
HubSpot research finds 96% of companies that have 101 or more new opportunities in their sales pipeline each month achieve their quota vs. 85% for those with 51 to 100 opportunities and a dismal 18% for those with less than 50. Clearly, it seems there is a link between sales opportunities in the pipeline and achieving sales quotas. Now you know.Speaking of sales, bankers should note that despite the issues at Wells Fargo as of late, cross-selling doesn't have to be a bad word. In fact, small business owners want their bank to cross-sell, according to a Barlow Research Associates
The American Payroll Association reports about 10 minutes per day/per employee, is lost as a result of people leaving early, being late and taking long lunches. For a company with 100 people, given 240 working days per year, that adds up to about 4,000 hours per year that disappears due to inefficient time usage. Time is flying in banking too, particularly when you're preparing for new rules governing current expected credit loss (CECL). Even though the effective date for most community banks is not until January 1, 2021, regulators have begun to ask questions about how well CECL preparation is
In most parts of the country it feels warm outside and summer is just around the corner. As such, we point out a couple of not so sunny facts about skin cancer from the American Cancer Society to help keep you and your loved ones safe this summer: skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US and tanning is actually the body's response to injury from the sun. As for sunscreen, research shows a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 blocks out 93% of the sun's UVB rays vs. 98% when the SPF is 50 (no difference
Harvard research finds US women and men who maintain healthy lifestyles live much longer than those who do not. Researchers estimate life expectancy at age 50 for women who do not adopt any low risk lifestyle factors is 29Ys, compared to 43.1Ys for those who adopt all five low risk factors (+18%). For men, the shift goes from 25.5Ys to 37.6Ys (+16%). So, if you want to live much longer, you might want to focus on: not smoking; low body mass index (18.5-24.9 kg/m2); at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day; moderate alcohol intake (up
A survey by health insurer Cigna shows it sure is lonely out there. A shocking 50% of respondents say they feel alone or left out always or sometimes. Even more surprising, younger people in Gen Z (18 to 22Ys old) rated themselves 23% lonelier than the group aged 72Ys or older. This survey should sound alarms with parents, who may think that social isolation and loneliness are out of range for this younger generation.In the banking industry, it can certainly seem lonely too - especially when one considers the competitive risk of an unregulated entity like Amazon entering into the
A new study by MIT researchers finds that if you are interested in learning a new language, the best time to do so, to become as proficient as a native speaker, is before the age of 10. You can still learn languages after that, of course, and even understand them. But to truly master speaking, it looks like it is more child's play than anything else.Bankers certainly don't play around though when it comes to protecting customer and bank data, but it is critical to stay vigilant. In fact, as of February 21st, there had already been 140 data breaches
As a kid, everyone at one point or another probably looked at the stars in the sky and thought how amazing it might be to become an astronaut. Fast forward and SpaceX/Tesla founder Elon Musk says he will send the first manned mission to Mars in just 6Ys. That's right, we finally get to meet the Martians we have long heard about to see what makes them tick.*Note: I took out the last sentence of this paragraph before track changes... Bankers too have to deal with the launch soon of new rules for calculating current expected credit losses (CECL). Community
Research finds most people like a good cup of morning coffee. In fact, 64% of Americans say they drink at least 1 cup of coffee each day and the average person guzzles 2.7 cups. Of those who say they drink coffee, 76% add milk, cream or sugar, while 24% take it as it comes. Finally, 66% of women and 62% of men say they drink coffee every day.Like most people, most bankers also like a good cup of morning coffee, as they think about the day to come. As you do that this morning, consider that banking and non-banking services
You may find it odd, but Ancient Egyptians reportedly used slabs of stone as pillows. Imagine a pillow fight back then! In more modern times, experts say you should replace a feather pillow about every 8Ys, a down pillow every 7Ys and a polyester pillow every 1Y. Guess you don't need to worry about that too much if you are still using a rock.No matter how you slept last night, you know that publicity of all sorts is usually good for the bank. You should also know that when you take the time to talk with a reporter, you're doing
The Romans sure invented some interesting things in their time. They invented concrete, aqueducts, newspapers, welfare, roads, arches, and even the modern day calendar. Oh yeah, they also invented using urine to clean and whiten teeth. Gross, but it just goes to show you some inventive types might not know when to stop.Today's modern technology revolution has forced banks to invent new digital ways to connect with clients. This has also prompted some community banks to shift marketing efforts from traditional advertisements to digital ads. While it makes sense for community banks to focus marketing efforts on the venues that
In a strange twist of fate, a story is told of a man in 1567 with the longest beard in the world. It seems he was trying to run away from a fire and tripped over his own beard. Guess it still makes sense not to let any facial hair get too out of control perhaps.Bankers that are active in agriculture (Ag) lending know it is important to stay on top of things to avoid potential issues. Farmers are struggling with low prices for wheat and row crops, especially in the corn-, beans-, and wheat-producing Midwest and Great Plains. The
There is nothing like a good fizzing drink to better enjoy your meal. However, that isn't likely the case in areas that have glaciers and icebergs. You see, in those parts of the world, when such icy behemoths melt, they reportedly make a unique fizzing noise that researchers call a bergy seltzer - plop, plop, fizz, fizz, everyone.When it comes to banking, some would say the fizz and sizzle of the branch has gone flat. After all, remember the good old days when a bank kept its valuables in a vault? Things are different in the digital age, particularly when
As you eat your breakfast this morning, consider something. The ring shaped pieces in Froot Loops cereal are bright and different colors (green, orange, purple, yellow and red). Yet, despite the different colors, they actually all are exactly the same flavor - a blend of fruit flavors. Sorry to splash natural and artificial colors all over your childhood, but even though your brain has been fooled for all those years, we would still say the Froot in the Loops tastes just as good now as it did back then.Since their childhood it seems, community banks have been working to expand
We found it interesting to know that the average person falls asleep in just 7 minutes, while experts say you should be able to do so in 10 to 15 minutes, and if it takes less than 5 minutes you are sleep deprived. Speaking of all things sleep, you may not know that cats sleep about 67% of the time, large dogs sleep about 75% and humans only sleep 33%. Also, 12% of people dream only in black and white and 15% of people are sleepwalkers. When it comes to banking, the need for mobile connectivity is so potent that
Everyone blinks. In fact, the human eye is actually closed about 30 minutes each day from the blinking process. That says something because the average blink only lasts 1/10th of a second and you blink about 12 times every minute. One more interesting thing to know about the eye - the activity of seeing is so complex, it takes about 50% of the brain to manage it all. Small businesses have been seeing business conditions improve, if February's National Federation of Independent Business's (NFIB) Small Business Economic Trends Survey is any indication. The survey's Business Optimism Index hit
We aren't dieticians, but found it certainly interesting that research finds you burn more calories eating celery than it contains. After all, it only has 6 calories and is about 95% water. The good news is that one cup of celery gives you about 30% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, which plays a key role in helping blood to clot and assisting in absorption of calcium from food. Of note, celery is part of the parsley family, which also includes carrots and cumin.While certainly not as good for you as the crunch of a good stalk of
It seems if you have a chocolate factory by your home you are more likely than not to consume it. At least that is the result of a study by Leatherhead Food Research that looked at which countries consume the most chocolate. As you might guess, Switzerland came in first (Nestle, Lindt) with a whopping 11.9kg of chocolate per capita consumed (about 240 bars of chocolate) per year. It was followed by Ireland (9.9kg), UK (9.5kg), Austria (8.8kg) and Belgium (8.3kg). The US ranked #15 at 5.5kg.No matter what foods you like to consume, it is important for bankers to
According to the worldatlas.com site, the most popular languages in the world (determined by both native and acquired language speakers) are English, Mandarin, Spanish, Hindustanti and Arabic. Here in the US, the languages spoken at home by the most people are English (79.6%), Spanish (13.5%), Chinese (Mandarin/Cantonese 1.1%), Tagalog (Filipino 0.6%) and Vietnamese (0.5%). For what it is worth, English speaking translators say the most difficult language to learn is Mandarin.For their part, bankers speak to the media in order to boost exposure for the bank and to get free publicity. To get the best return on your time and
To end our celebration of Community Banking Month, we bring together a mix of outreach stories. We cannot possibly capture all the wonderful ways community banks help their neighborhoods every day. But, we hope that we have given you a peek into the impact community banks are making. Fighting HomelessnessExecutives of Golden Pacific Bank in CA ride their bikes in downtown Sacramento to reach out to homeless in need.River City Bank in CA awarded $100k to Sacramento Cottage Housing, which provides long-term housing and training programs for the formerly homeless.Berkshire Bank of MA gave
If you have ever been to Miami, you know that it is known, among other things, for its pink flamingos. What you may not have known though is that there are more plastic flamingos in this country than real flamingos. Before you fly away this morning, know that most community banks are beginning to peck away at the new Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) rules. This is important because CECL could produce difficult choices, as it requires banks to compute expected losses over the life of a loan when the loan is originated. When we surveyed community bankers about their
If you are wondering how advanced humans really are from apes, consider this strange fact this morning. It seems researchers somewhere fed human birth control pills to gorillas and found they work just as well as they do on humans. Maybe that's also why they say humans share over 90% of DNA with primates. The DNA of big banks is that they don't wait for customers to visit a local branch, but rather have ramped up real time messages like "your checking balance is low" or "your credit card activity is unusual." While this may be a basic service for big bank customers,
Those who have been around for a while will remember an old TV advertisement that featured a smart owl that was asked how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie pop. The owl licked three times before eating the rest of the candy whole. In reality, it seems people have tried this and the actual number is somewhere closer to 140 licks.As you search the office for a Tootsie pop to test this out, you already know it can be very tough for your customers to run their small businesses. It's even tougher when the
If you are musically inclined, some people may say you have an "ear" for music. We find that particularly funny this morning, as it is also said that most toilets flush in E flat. So, the next time you musicians are using the facilities, be sure to check it out for yourself.Before you tune us out today, consider that contrary to popular belief, many millennials actually care about their finances. As such, banks that can best help this customer group achieve their goals could win their business.Individuals ages 23 to 37Ys old are actually just as good, or better, than
For the third week of Community Banking Month, we want to focus on community banks' good works with a little different approach - specifically looking at financial education outreach. We showcase a few diverse and influential ways to help out, but many of you are likely doing something like this as well. We thank you for your steadfast commitment to the community.Children's Savings Account (CSA) ProgramHeritage Bank in WA is an operating and cohort sponsor for a CSA program with Tacoma Housing Authority. This sponsorship teaches low-income students how to save as well as enrolling and funding
For those readers who like to try different things when speaking to Amazon's Alexa, you might be interested to note that the voice assistant can now make donations to charity for you. Since bankers are always interested in things that could impact their business, monitoring what is going on with voice/digital assistants makes sense too. When it comes to making business decisions, financial modeling is yet another smart thing community bankers can do to stay on top of things. After all, models have limits and thus create risks for bankers. As a result, investing in sound risk modeling can be
A study by diagnostics company Ambry Genetics finds up to 40% of at-home DNA test kits consumers are flocking to can be incorrect. It seems false positives with these tests are common. Nonetheless, we still find the tests fun, although it might not make sense to see them as deeply diagnostic, given such limitations. Multiple studies in banking also try to diagnose what customers may or may not do now and in the future. Here, a recent JD Power study on banks and financial advice finds that more than 75% of US retail bank customers polled say
A study on mobile phone usage finds running out of phone battery at a crucial time can be more stressful than running late to work or going to a job interview. People seem to feel more isolated or unable to perform to their capabilities without a working phone. No matter what stresses you out, Intermedia's 2017 Data Vulnerability Report finds roughly 20% of office workers certainly have been stressed due to becoming a victim of a phishing email. These types of attacks are on the rise, so banks need to know what to look for and how to respond.
Scientists still don't know why knuckles crack when you bend them, but some think the size of bubbles around the knuckles may be the reason. We will keep watching to see if more evidence bubbles to the surface, but in the meantime scientists say cracking your knuckles probably doesn't do any harm. In banking, evidence suggests bank digital lending strategies may not be all they are cracked up to be either. We know that community banks are likely even more reticent in this department, but we thought the 2018 ABA State of Digital Lending survey, provided some fresh
For the second week of Community Banking Month, we want to continue to recognize some of the distinctive and special ways community banks are supporting their local populations. Today, we provide you with stories that embody both responsiveness and creativity in giving. Where there is a need, community banks reach out. We honor you all for your tireless commitment to your communities. Wildfires and MudslidesMontecito Bank and Trust in CA was one of the few banks that remained open during voluntary evacuation. It provided 1500 face masks and 12 air purifiers in its branches, and distributed 15,000
The fastest car in the world is reportedly the Bugatti Veyron Super Sport, which can go from 0 to 60 in 2.4 seconds and reach a speed of 267 mph. That is really fast, but still crazy when you consider a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 in only about 3.0 seconds. Speaking of all things fast, consider the speed of the flow of data in the banking world. By 2020, each second will bring approximately 1.7mb of new data for every person on earth. Hook this data to apps and other artificially intelligent (AI) offerings, large and small
You may not know it, but the current world record holder for the fastest mile in the world for men is Hicham El Guerrouj at 3:43.13 and for women it is Svetlana Masterkova at 4:12.56. Now, most community bankers probably don't race around their bank that fast, but if you are trying to set a personal best and have some track blood in your veins, you know the times to beat.Standards in track are important but standards in banking are even more important to community bankers. That's why so many are interested in legislation passed recently by the House of
Did you hear how a Chick-Fil-A employee helped a 4Y old boy? The boy walked into the men's room even though his mother had planned on taking him to the ladies' room. The boy needed to wash his hands, but soon realized he was too short. So, he did what any kid would do and popped his head under a bathroom stall and then joined an employee in that stall to ask for help. The employee helped the boy and posted a video of it on social media - which went viral with 10mm views! Keeping hands clean is not
Some of us feel a little more stressed around tax time. United Way Worldwide survey found that almost 75% of millennials feel stress around this time. This is commonly due to worries about making a mistake (48%) or not getting a full refund (23%). Another stressor (if they found out about it) could be that many are not claiming the number of tax credits they have earned. Could social media connections help them feel better about filing next year? Who knows, but social media is definitely important in many ways.Although we have touched on social media a few times before,
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reports the largest charitable donations of 2017 were from Bill and Melinda Gates ($4.6B), Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan ($1.9B), Michael Dell ($1.0B), Henry Hillman ($800mm), and Herbert and Florence Irving ($600mm). Like these great philanthropic givers, community banks also give back all the time to their communities. Also, since April is Community Banking Month, we want to recognize some of the impactful ways community banks are supporting local businesses, nonprofit organizations and others. In February, we asked banks to share their stories of community support and outreach programs. We received many wonderful stories. Unfortunately, we