Customers are a fickle bunch these days. To find out more, we looked at research by Bain & Company. It analyzed the relative impact of various elements on customer loyalty and how much each one contributed to predicting whether the customer would be a loyal promoter of a given vendor. Elements that ranked highest were: product quality (7.8%); expertise (6.1%); responsiveness (5.5%); hope (4.5%); and integration (3.9%). As your bank focuses on enhancing customer loyalty, you might drift into the world of innovation as well. Last week, we reported in the BID, Active Fintech Assistance, that the ABA...
Research from the Project Management Institute highlights some sobering statistics when it comes to corporate projects and whether they succeed or fail. In particular, it finds the top 3 reasons people said projects started in the past year later failed were due to: a change in the organization's priorities (39%), change in project objectives (37%), and inaccurate requirements gathering (35%).Community bankers with limited staff due to size and extreme levels of competition must constantly manage a multitude of projects both big and small. One such area revolves around the ongoing digital revolution and the significant growth in mobile banking. To...
A group of CEOs and senior business executives weighed in for a Gartner survey on their top five strategic business priorities for the next 2Ys. Those that bubbled to the top were: growth (58%); technology-related (31%); corporate (23%); customer (21%) and product (20%). As you get ready to reset the dial for 2019, we hope this gives you a high level snapshot for comparison, relative to your efforts and business priorities.This year in banking, some have been busy prioritizing M&A. Research by S&P Global Market Intelligence finds that as of mid-October (10/17), there had been 209 bank deals completed or...
A survey by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Harvard asked those parents who said their child played a sport in the past year (72% of parents) how it benefitted their child. The top reasons given were: better physical health (88%); gives child something to do (83%); teaches them discipline or dedication (81%); teaches them how to get along with other people (78%) and benefits their mental health (73%). Being active no matter your age is just a good idea.Speaking of activities, in banking it seems like keeping up with technological changes can be difficult, and it is especially acute for...
In case you were wondering, Gallup reports the top spectator sports for Americans in order are: football (37%, -14% from its peak), basketball (11%, -35%), baseball (9%, -44%), soccer (7%, +75%) and ice hockey (4%, +0%). Meanwhile, about 15% of people now say they do not have a favorite sport vs. only 8% back in 2000. Perhaps the data is reflective of the demographic shift that is occurring over time.The banking industry is also seeing a shift in many different ways over time. In one, the industry continues to move away from paper documentation wherever possible. As such, e-signatures are...
'Tis the season to buy things, so we thought you may be interested to know what CNet's top holiday picks were for this year: Under $50 - Amazon Echo Dot; Under $75 - Roku Streaming Stick Plus; Under $100 - Amazon Fire HD 8; Under $250 - Google Home Hub. Now that you have some ideas to get your shopping done, we draw your attention to your business continuity plan.Every banker knows that a well thought out and constructed business continuity plan (BCP) must be in place to protect the bank, should something unforeseen occur. But, when a power outage...
We all know the holiday rush can mean a lot of pushing and shoving, if we are not careful. But, did you know that Walmart has used virtual reality to train one million of its employees to deal with this sometimes high-stakes activity? Now you know.Speaking of pushing, the United States Postal Service (USPS) won't be getting pushed or pulled into the banking business just yet, according to a new report released by the Treasury. The report is the result of efforts begun in April focusing on how best to overhaul the USPS business model to make it...
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the average percentage of the US population 15Ys and older that is engaged in sports or exercise each day is about 19% overall. That has been roughly about the same over the past decade. In case you were wondering, the most popular sports or exercises people do in order are: walking (30%); weightlifting (13%); using cardiovascular equipment (13%); swimming, surfing or water skiing (8%); running (7%); basketball (5%); golfing (4%). Enjoy this info no matter your exercise of choice.Speaking of information to share, community bankers do great business with both small and midsized...
There is an old saying that 50% of marriages end up in divorce. This originally came from data in the 1970s, but it never got near that level and isn't even close today. The data keeper on this is the Census Bureau and it reports that 72% of people are still married to their first spouse. Of the 28% who aren't, a portion is because their spouse has died. In fact, it has been found that maybe 20-25% of first marriages have ended in divorce. So, now you know.As you ponder the data above, you might also want to take...
When you go through airport security, things can quickly get lost. CNN analyzed TSA data of items passengers have reported missing and the most common ones are: jewelry/watches, clothing, travel accessories, personal electronics, computers or accessories, and cosmetics or grooming. Hopefully, this helps you see how your stack up the next time you lose something while traveling.Today our topic is a very serious one though, namely workplace violence. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) tracks workplace violence. It describes such violence "as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at...
To get a better idea of when you might want to consider yourself getting old, look no further than a survey by Pew Research. It asked people this very question and ranking at the top were when you: turn 85 years old (79%), can't live independently (76%), can't drive a car (66%), turn 75 (62%) or frequently forget familiar names (51%). No matter your age, at least you now know a bit more about what others may be thinking, as you edge past certain mile markers in life.In community banking too, certain mile markers should be more closely monitored than...
At any given time in the US, some 4mm people are undergoing some form of orthodontic treatment, like braces, for their teeth. Of note, the American Dental Association (ADA) finds 70% of braces are on females and the majority of these patients are 12-15 years old. The perfect time to get braces is reportedly 10Ys old and it can take 18 months for braces to straighten teeth. Oh yea, one final tidbit for you this morning comes from a survey done a few years ago. It found 38% of Americans would rule out a second date with someone with misaligned
An AARP survey of adults 18Ys+ finds 76% of Americans 50Ys and older say they want to stay in their current residence and 77% would like to live in their community as long as possible. Also, while 33% of those who own a home say they expect it will need major modifications to accommodate their aging needs, 24% of those 50Ys+ plan to relocate and move instead.No matter your age or stage in life, when it comes to how banks are handling cyber breaches and threats, there is a lot more that can be done. Look no further than
You have heard the saying it takes much fewer muscles to smile than to frown. The truth is that no one really knows. What we do know is that there are 43 muscles in the face, and until science tells us otherwise, it may be worthwhile to try to smile. At least, it will make you and others around you feel better.To put a smile on your employees faces this time of year, most bankers go the vault, bring out a big pallet of money and start handing it out. That works, of course; it is the traditional way to
All banks want more customers, and mobile banking is a good way to get them. The key in all of this of course is to deliver a service customers want. That is why we share here the key reasons millennials said they abandoned mobile banking, from a Jumio survey. Those were: process too long (38%), forgot password (27%), authenticating myself was too time consuming (22%), process too complicated (19%) and difficult filling in forms on my mobile device (18%). This may give you some areas of focus, as you look to improve and ensure your mobile process is strong. As
Having the right perspective is important. For example, you may have read a headline that said regulators want to loosen regulations for community banks. While that sounds great, we actually dove deeper for more insight. What we found is really sad. Basically, the article was referring to "community banks" that are $100B to $250B in assets. You heard right - the skew is so bad that pundits now seem to consider these massive behemoths as community banks. Next thing you know, you will see an article about helping really small retailers, like Amazon.If that isn't wild enough for you, today
You are probably still stuffed from your Thanksgiving fun yesterday and we are too. Here are some interesting facts about the holiday: 57% of people celebrated at home; 64% ate mashed potatoes; the most expensive item on the table was the turkey. As you gnaw on that leftover turkey leg, know that in the banking world, about 33% of Americans now rely on mobile and online fintech applications to manage their money. This includes everything from making payments, to applying for loans or even investing for retirement. Yet, despite the rising popularity of money management apps, the majority of people
The Census Bureau finds that pretty much from 2010 onward, the proportion of 18-24Y olds cohabitating with someone exceeded those living with a spouse (9.4% vs. 7.3%). Meanwhile, today about 14.8% of those ages 25-34Ys say they too cohabitate with a partner vs. 40.3% who live with a spouse. As the data clearly shows, cohabitation is a thing.Switching gears, we know that getting a loan from a large bank can be a challenge for a small business startup. Large banks have global standards for determining credit worthiness that can be difficult for these new business owners. This is good news
To give you something to talk about at lunch today, consider the Census Bureau reports the top countries that import the most into the US are: China (21%), Mexico (14%), Canada (13%), Japan (6%) and Germany (5%). Meanwhile, the primary countries we export to are: Canada (18%), Mexico (16%), China (8%), Japan (4%) and the UK (4%). No matter what your customers import into the branch when they visit, taking video on their phone is a definite no-no. Sadly, more and more customers are using their cell phones to videotape even routine commercial interactions. That increases risks for banks. Look
About 40% of the US adult population ages 18 to 69Ys old say they have a tattoo. Given the art of tattooing goes back some 6,000 years and there are more than 20,000 tattoo parlors in the US alone that seems to make sense. To avoid getting tattooed of another sort by your competition in the payments space, your community bank should get directly involved. Today we talk more about that.Through its faster payments project over the past 2Ys, the Fed collaborated with a diverse group of industry influencers and stakeholders. The goal was to develop suitable approaches and solutions
Community bankers know some people don't have a deep understanding of the financial world. Certainly, it can seem complex. On that note, we thought it interesting that Knowledge Academy found the financial terms people are the least sure about are: bitcoin (52%), index fund (49%), asset allocation (44%), endowment (42%) and stock options (42%). It just goes to show you that some unfamiliar terms can be confusing until you learn exactly what they mean and commit that to memory.Bankers have to absorb new words and phrases all the time and one of those is known as tokenization. In the security
Statista research finds the percentage of the US population with a social media profile is running at about 77% right now. Even more interesting perhaps is that it declined from 80%, as of the end of 2017. Maybe we aren't as social as we once were or maybe this is a result of the largest social media platforms deleting accounts they are unable to authenticate.Speaking of authentication, in banking, we note that many banks no longer rely solely on passwords anymore. Today, banks rely more on two factor authentication (2FA). This type of authentication checks a user's identity
People typically use a few tricks to remember their passwords. Pew Research finds the most common ones are: memorize the password (86%), write it down (49%), save it in a note on a computer or mobile device (24%), save them in their internet browser (18%), or use a password management program (12%).Passwords are one way to authenticate someone to maintain their privacy. In banking, stringent privacy laws that are being enacted in the US and abroad are starting to force banks to question what they need to do to prevent running afoul of regulators and law enforcement.Indeed, since General Data
Competition data can be interesting. eMarketer research finds that through the middle of this year, the top US company market share based on percentage of ecommerce sales belongs to Amazon. They have a whopping 49.1%, followed by much smaller players that include eBay (6.6%), Apple (3.9%), Walmart (3.7%) and Home Depot (1.5%). Now that is market share dominance!In banking, competition comes from inside and outside of the industry. In the competition for small business customers specifically, it is good to know that community banks still have close relationships with customers and that it is still a defining advantage. Yet, research
Community bankers hear all the time about how regulations are being eased, but we wanted to put it to the test. We went to one regulator's website and looked at the number of pages of regulations bankers had to absorb in the first half of the year and then doubled it to approximate the annual load. Drum roll please... your team will need to deal with about 1,500 pages of rules just to keep up. We thought you might be interested to know how much you were dealing with as a team this year, as you prepare for 2019. Good
We don't have to tell community banks that everything digital is all the rage. Look no further than statistics compiled by HubSpot: Wordstream research finds using videos on landing pages increases conversions by 86%, and according to Google, 50% of mobile users visit stores within 24 hours when using local search. In banking, digital has become more deeply embedded into lending than ever before. As such, many banks seem to be adding, extending, and upgrading online and mobile offerings to better compete. But a recent survey by the FDIC suggests small business lending may not be all things
We found some odd facts that show people really like to collect stuff. For instance, the LA Times reports the average American home has about 300,000 items and the NY Times reports 10% of Americans rent offsite storage to hold all of their junk. As if that weren't enough, the Department of Energy reports a whopping 25% of people with two car garages don't have room to park cars inside them. Materialism it seems is alive and well in America still.When it comes to materials of another sort in banking, consider that higher tariffs on steel and aluminum are pushing
The human voice is interesting. For instance, singing is believed to be right hemisphere dominant, while speaking is from the left. Further, conversational speech is about 60 decibels, but the loudest scream ever recorded reached 129 decibels. Finally, the English language has about 40 distinct sounds. Speaking of voices, you may also find it interesting that the rate of voice fraud has risen more than 350% from 2013 to 2017, according to an annual fraud report by Pindrop (voice security and authentication firm). Banks in particular have seen voice fraud rise swiftly. Consider that from 2016 to 2017,
As a reader of this publication, you know we enjoy pointing out interesting statistics to help keep you engaged. With that in mind, take a look around your office today. As you do, consider that about 10% of your coworkers are left handed, while a mere 1% are officially ambidextrous (no dominant hand whatsoever). Enjoy the day no matter which hand is dominant for you.Speaking of dominance, the ICBA reports that community banks make almost 50% of small business loans, so it remains big business. Just how big wasn't really known, until recently. A new FDIC survey found
A movie out now focuses on NASA's mission to land a man on the moon and in particular, it focuses on the life of astronaut Neil Armstrong. We aren't here to plug the movie, but it did get us thinking and researching. Did you know that there have been 536 space travelers (not including aliens) overall and 12 of those have walked on the Moon? When you next stare up at the stars, or at the Moon for that matter, consider that closer to home bankers travel daily to the world of ACH with customers. To catch up on the
According to a Bankrate study, the most valuable college majors are: actuarial science, zoology, nuclear engineering, health/medical programs and applied math. They were judged on average salary, rate of unemployment among graduates and percentage of higher degree holders. Although banking and finance weren't among the top five, they are still important - especially in a competitive banking environment.No matter your educational background, most community bankers are starting to prepare for the test of CECL and are collecting additional loan data. The good news is that extra data collected can not only be used for these calculations, but also for strategic
Using cumulative online surveys of the worst Halloween candy, candystore.com boiled it down to: circus peanuts; candy corn; wax cola bottles; Necco wafers; peanut butter kisses; tootsie rolls; smarties; and licorice. Whether you agree or not, it will be interesting to see how many make the rounds in your neighborhood tonight.Now that you are thinking of all things sweet, in the world of banking at least, some experts have turned sour on the amount of student loan debt in the US. After all, it has tripled over the past 10Ys and it also impacts many employees (who are still chipping
Dogs have an amazing sense of smell. That makes sense since they have about 300mm olfactory receptors vs. a measly 6mm for humans. Researchers have known for a very long time that dogs are really good at using their noses to sniff out drugs, bombs and other things. Now though, researchers are finding out they can also sniff out disease, such as malaria from socks worn by those infected and even cancer by smelling your skin. Dogs have truly pushed their snouts to the next level!When it comes to offering digital payments, small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) have gone to
Inc. Magazine's list of the hottest industries to start a small business is thought-provoking. They crunched data from experts, fast growing sectors, investors and entrepreneurs and identified the following as the best: canned wine, disaster relief, beauty tech, eSports, elderly care, alternative-protein food products, influencer agents (turning social media followers into profits), and women's reproductive health care. Now you know where to focus your lending efforts in the coming year!As you think about these interesting areas, we continue the conversation on small business lending and competition. To do so, we switch to data from the recently released Community
Lyft just announced a subscription based transportation plan. For just $299 per month, you can get up to 30 rides for up to $15 each. Lyft claims this would be cheaper than owning a car. The idea of course is to attract people of all ages, leverage the digital world and keep customers coming to Lyft. Just as Lyft is doing with its customers, bankers know that small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are also important to attract and keep. While SMB lending has long been the lifeblood of community banking, the appeal of this sector has made it a hard-fought
Have you heard about the eco-friendly sneakers, Allbirds? They are made of wool, eucalyptus and even sugar. This company started online over 2Ys ago and has now opened a 4,800 sq. ft. flagship store in NYC with a "service bar" and plans to open 8 more stores. Given the number of retail closures these days, this sure is interesting and positive to hear - even if small.No doubt, Allbirds has a smooth online process for its customers, which helped its success. This is something that banks are working on as well to attract and keep customers in this rapidly changing
If you were wondering which animals are the largest of their kind in the world - wonder no more. Live Science has ranked them and you might be interested to know the largest living animal in the world is the blue whale at 100 feet long. Other interesting critters include the biggest bird (albatross), rodent (capybara), fish (whale shark), marsupial (red kangaroo) and snake (reticulated python).In the world of banking, some employees may feel their salary is large, while others may not. To get a better perspective, we take a look at two recent surveys that show similar trends. A
The tallest mountains in the world are Mount Everest at 29,029 feet, followed by K2 (28,251), Kangchenjunga (28,169), Lhotse (27,940) and Makalu (27,838). While the readers who are climbers already probably knew that, we ran across it and found it interesting, so we wanted to share.As you prepare to climb your work mountain today, we delve into the world of biometric security. It wasn't that long ago that biometric security measures such as scanning an individual's iris or fingerprints were considered cutting edge. But, this is definitely not the case anymore.The capabilities of cybercriminals have improved quickly, so new security
The World Atlas ranks the most popular sports in the world based on the estimated global following. We note the top 5 are: soccer (4.0B), cricket (2.5B), field hockey (2.0B), tennis (1.0B) and volleyball (900mm). The strength of these sports globally is interesting, but doesn't necessarily translate to the US.As a community bank, your institution's strength is in its customer relationships. So, it seems natural to bring up personal microsites. These are individual web pages functioning within your bank's larger, existing website. These provide your bank with another way to enhance and solidify your customer relationships.Both community banks and larger
We talk quite a bit about technology because everyone is using it and it is definitely having a huge impact on banking. That's one reason we were interested to see research by Pew that found 99% of those 18-49Ys old own a cellphone, 97% use the internet and 82% use social media. That's a lot of socializing!In social circles around town, there is some good news for community banks when it comes to digital payment usage and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs). According to a recent survey, SMB usage of digital payments surged 38% from 2017 to 2018
If you like to eat your vegetables, you will be happy to know that the US Department of Agriculture tracks which ones are the most popular. In order, the favorites are: potatoes (48%), tomatoes (27%), onions (8%), head of lettuce (7%) and carrots (5%). For those who aren't big fans of the vegetable, at least you have some trivia to drop on your friends during lunch.It's no secret that Midwest agriculture has been hit recently. In other parts of the country, however, crops such as apples, peaches, berries, citrus, grapes, nuts, and avocados seem to be doing just fine. A
President Teddy Roosevelt once said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick." It seems Amazon's virtual assistant Alexa must have been listening, because it is getting a whisper mode. That's right, Alexa will whisper back when you speak softly to it. We are not sure about the stick part, but we are interested to try our quiet mode on this gizmo.In banking, the volume has been turned all the way up to loud though, when it comes to digital transformation these days. According to a report by The Economist, one of the top investment categories for bankers is
It seems our long lost relatives, the Neanderthals, were not just a bunch of grunting brutes. A study that analyzed bones found they had a precision grip very similar to our own more modern day variety. It seems we still have much to learn!In the world of cybersecurity, bank teams are always learning to keep up with bad actors too. After all, it is often difficult to know how much security is too much. This is important when you consider a recent survey from FICO. It shows how fed up consumers are with the security hoops they need
It has long been known that cats eat rats. But, a new study finds that is not the case in New York City. It seems these rats are bigger, so scientists found the cats were scared of them and were instead seeking prey that would not fight back. Strange!Bankers that grade loans have occasionally been known to mutter "rats" too, probably because this activity has so many intricacies. When community banks evaluate commercial loan risk exposure, a key element is how each loan is graded. But, you may be surprised to hear that banks don't necessarily have a uniform loan
In technology news out there, it seems an analyst at Goldman Sachs estimates Google will pay Apple $9B this year for the privilege of being the default search engine in the Safari web browser on the iPhone. If true, that would equate to roughly $10 per iPhone user. That is something to think about.While not on such a huge scale, community bankers too have much to think about when it comes to technology. Here, almost half of the senior executives and directors responding to Bank Director's 2018 Technology Survey say their bank's technology budget increased between 5% and
Maybe this year is the year to get a flu shot. Look no further than last year's data from the Centers for Disease Control that found last season's flu epidemic is estimated to have killed 80,000 Americans. That is the highest level in 40Ys. No matter what, protect yourself and your family this flu season by frequently washing your hands with soap and water, just in case.While not as bad, there are plenty of risks in banking too, so preparation is important. For example, export finance might seem risky to some bankers, yet, done properly it can benefit your bank
Too much technology can fry your brain. At least that is what a new study seems to point out. Canadian researchers have released the results of a 10Y study on how children's brains develop over time and found kids that spend less than 2 hours each day watching screens scored better on cognitive tests than those who spent more time watching screens. Take care.As you ponder how much screen time you can handle, we continue our discussion on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, along with some tips to help safeguard your bank and customers. When it comes to digital wallets that some
Did you hear about the team of scientists that created a massively strong magnetic field? Unfortunately, this group of Russian scientists also blew up their laboratory in doing so. Apparently, the field was a real scientific whopper!For a while now, bankers have been hearing about another scientific breakthrough known as blockchain. While not as exciting as a magnetic field perhaps, blockchain has been advancing too. But, how should community banks approach it today?One way to track whether and when it's safe to look at this technology is by monitoring the regulatory and legal world. These days, there's plenty to watch,
The political scene has certainly become very toxic. We aren't going to ruin your morning by plunging into it, but we did find a recent survey on the subject quite interesting. A Pew Research survey found a whopping 68% of Americans surveyed said the news media favors one side when covering political and social issues; the same percentage lacked confidence that news organizations would be willing to acknowledge any mistakes made. No matter the news going on around us, as bankers, it is part of our job to stay on top of the latest ways criminals try to steal money.
Sadly, Pew Research finds a whopping 59% of teens in this country say they have been bullied or harassed online and have experienced abusive online behaviors. The top three forms of cyber bullying include offensive name calling (42%), spreading false rumors (32%) and receiving explicit messages they did not ask for (25%). Be alert parents!Social media has become ubiquitous in everyone's lives and BSA/AML has done the same in the lives of bankers. We have mentioned this before, but it is worth repeating - thanks to advanced technology and rising government mandates for fighting money laundering, Anti Money Laundering (AML)
As Halloween gets closer, we share that the candy corn was invented way back in the 1880's and was originally called "chicken feed". Today, the candy corn is 3x the size of an actual corn kernel and 35mm pounds of candy corn are sold each year. That is certainly sweet indeed!As kids soon flood into the streets with bags in hand seeking to capture the best Halloween candy, we are reminded that bankers are always looking to sweeten their business too by capturing more small business clients. According to a recent survey, one in five small to medium
All things old become new. If you are old enough, you may remember the refillable milk bottles back in the day. Well, now you can refill your beer bottles in Oregon. Specially formulated refillable beer bottles are being filled, returned, cleaned, and filled again by seven breweries. As the breweries scale up, cost savings are expected and customers could benefit from lower prices. Stay tuned to see if it catches on elsewhere.Community bankers have more to worry about than refilling their beer bottle though when it comes to natural disasters. Hurricanes and tropical storms are also problems that aren't going
You have probably seen people sitting on planes wearing masks to protect others or themselves from illness. Pollution in some cities worldwide is also a problem. That is why we were intrigued by a new invention known as breaze. You charge it up each night so its fans and filters can work all day as you go about your business. Who knows if this will take off, but it might help people stay healthier perhaps.On the banking front, the focus is always on keeping healthy, particularly when it comes to cybersecurity. Given October is National Cybersecurity Month, we wanted to
There have been some really interesting inventions this year. One that adds a new member to your family is known as Temi. This $1,500 robot runs around the house with you or your family as you do things during the day. It is intelligent, mobile and links to and leverages smart home devices, online content and video communications and is driven by your voice. Temi can turn on lights, order pizza, play music, make a video of what you are doing and call someone on its screen so you can talk to them.While Temi may not yet do everything banks
Siemens Healthineers is using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to try to predict how a heart responds to therapy. The idea is to get better diagnoses by simulating well in advance how patients will react best to which therapy. By capturing scans, pictures of the heart and tons of patient data, they are able to create a digital heart that can be compared to real outcomes. This is pretty interesting new technology and we hope it works out well. As bank technology ages, many are faced with a choice: should you keep your older mainframe going, replace an older mainframe with
Segway, the company that brought you the self-balancing scooter back in the day, has now ventured into roller skates. You simply jump on the skate without strapping in your shoes and off you go. They have 45 minutes of drive time on one charge and have a single wheel design. This could be the replacement for the hover board perhaps.As you roll forward through your day today, we delve into various ways banks are increasingly automating their way to greater efficiency, with a closer look at managing exceptions. For many community banks, the tedious task of managing exceptions is still
It takes a lot of work to keep your teeth clean. Most people use a plastic toothbrush, but a new startup is now offering a disposable variety made of recycled paper. This approach in theory will mean less plastic in landfills worldwide and it reportedly looks, feels, and works just like the plastic variety. It looks like plastic toothbrushes may eventually be going to the dogs...you have to love human ingenuity.In the banking industry, there has been a ton of change and ingenuity as well. One area in particular where this has occurred has been in mobile banking. As the
People all over the world are rejoicing the fact that an underwater autonomous drone using vision based technologies and artificial intelligence is out there hunting a specific kind of coral killing starfish. Humans have been doing this, but now this drone can do it 24 hours a day 7 days a week so it is much more effective. Good news for coral and reefs.This sort of technology is interesting and similar sorts of technological advancements are happening in the banking space. While not of the underwater variety, our fintech world means banks are racing to keep up. During the first
Researchers have found that people who nod off during the day are more likely to develop dementia. It seems falling asleep when you are supposed to be awake is a sign of having too many beta amyloid proteins in the brain (3x as many as those who stayed awake). These proteins have been found to trigger dementia. As you jolt yourself awake this morning, we shift our focus to online gaming. If you've ever played a free online game, you know that in most of them, players need resources to advance through the game. Those who play lots of online
How crazy is it that a woman who reportedly made it a habit to bite her nails had to have her thumb amputated after developing cancer. It seems the young woman of only 20 had contracted a rare form of skin cancer. Doctors say the chronic trauma and inflammation of biting her nails likely led to the skin cancer.For community banks, small business customer habits can also be a struggle. Between navigating separate platforms for banking, enterprise resource planning, human resources, and accounts payable, your small-business banking customers have a lot on their plates. As such, perhaps your bank could
A new study by the National Institute on Aging finds mice who fasted between meals lived longer and were healthier than those who snacked during the day. Even more interesting perhaps, the mice that lived the longest and were the healthiest ate only one single meal per day. This all runs counter to common understanding of what many consider to be human healthy habits, so more analysis will likely be forthcoming.No matter what you eat or when you do so, it usually requires reviewing some options. In banking, it is important to review options when it comes to employee benefits
Leave it to researchers to take away yet another dietary product people think is healthy. A study from Israel finds probiotics believed to be good for digestion and health, may not be all they are cracked up to be. The study found in 50% of people tested, the good bacteria from the probiotics went in the mouth and straight out the other end. In the rest, the good bacteria hung around briefly before being pushed out by existing microbes. As bankers, we know many things can give us discomfort and that hindsight is often 20/20. So, today we provide some
In a good news story, Bloomberg is reporting that the Great Barrier Reef is now showing signs of recovery, following a mass coral bleaching back in 2016. A milder summer along with huge coordination among public and private enterprises has apparently turned the tide on this issue. For our scuba diver readers and ocean lovers, this is refreshingly good news.Many community bankers we know now feel refreshed and in full recovery mode too following such strong economic activity. That said, many also say they continue to struggle in the battle vs. the fintechs.For some time now, fintechs like Square and
Sharks are normally really scary with all of their big teeth and ferocious appetites. But, consider a variety of shark known as the bonnethead that appears to be vegan! Yes, you heard us right - this shark eats seagrass from the bottom of the ocean and avoids other animals entirely. It is truly strange and obviously nothing for humans to fear.As that swims around in your brain, let's shift gears to a discussion on social media marketing by community banks. An ABA survey finds 76% of banks (95% of which had assets under $10B) believe that social media
A study by the University of Cambridge in the UK has found a way to split water into oxygen and hydrogen by mimicking photosynthesis in nature. The approach is scalable, so it is great for usage worldwide, as it both collects and stores energy in a much bigger way. This one looks like an interesting advance.In banking, technology and customer behavioral changes are driving changes to branches. Today though, most community bank branches have regular hours, but customers not so much. So, while one branch might have a steady daily stream of customers lining up for tellers, another might have
Goat yoga is all the rage, but we weren't expecting it to take goat research in another direction. A university in the UK did some research and found goats not only respond to human facial expressions, but also prefer smiles to frowns. It seems 51% of goats tested approached a happy human face first, while 30% went to the angry face. The remaining 19% did not seem to care. While not directly goat related, the average community banker would likely say BSA/AML (AML) compliance has become brutally tough over the years. Things are so tough now that many employees and
Engineers at MIT have done it again. This time around they figured out a way to get sprayed droplets to stick to whatever the target is. The issue they were trying to solve was that typically less than 5% of sprayed liquids actually stick to the target. The solution was surprisingly simple. Just spray the bigger drops through a fine mesh to break them into smaller ones, about one thousandth in size. The smaller droplets stick better when they land, thereby solving this problem. This approach has practical applications in painting, agricultural pesticides, among others. The impact of this interesting
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have found that taking more than 3 weeks of vacation each year may lengthen your life. The more than 40Y study found that people who took less than 3 weeks off in a year were 37% more likely to die than those who took more than that. This could be a good reason to extend your vacation time this year.As you calculate how many weeks of vacation you have already taken this year, we point out that Americans rarely add up the number of trinkets they collect on these vacations either.Between moving, collecting, inheriting,
Scientists have published a paper that finds long before the age of dinosaurs, a huge volcanic eruption that lasted for 1 million years wiped out the ozone layer, 96% of marine life and 70% of terrestrial species. Life that lived on land took 10 million years to recover from this extinction event that was more impactful than the one that killed the dinosaurs millions of years later.To community bankers and businesses operating in states throughout the country, worries over the extinction of personal privacy have led to a bevy of legislation lately. Add to the list CA, which passed the
In an interesting technology advance, Microsoft said it will now allow users to sign onto their accounts using its Authenticator app and an Apple Watch. No password is needed and authentication can occur right from the person's wrist. New things keep popping up in the technology world and the same could be said about interest rates in the banking world. In fact, now that interest rates are on the rise, people naturally are looking for a greater yield on their deposit accounts. Interestingly, the data shows people seemingly don't want to lock up all of their money to get a
Well, it seems you just cannot get any privacy these days. Researchers appear to have found a way to reveal the contents of a remote screen by using what is known as a side-channel attack. These researchers used machine learning with audio picked up by computer microphones to get sensitive information from the remote screen. The audio was from emissions leakage of the electronic components of the LCD screens. This type of audio eavesdropping goes to show how far machine learning has come! We are not sure it will help much in this regard, but the world of
To keep employees happy, it makes sense for management teams at community banks to keep an open mind. That is why we were amused to see Google has launched a new way for people to create a sticker version of themselves using selfies. The feature uses artist illustrations with machine learning, neural networks and other fancy tech. With these selfie stickers, you can customize face shape, hairstyle or other fun options. Enjoy this, as you test it out with employees and customers, perhaps.As you think about this, we point out that you don't need a sticker to know