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...
Cookies in the technology world are messages that web servers pass to one another when internet sites are visited. They don't taste nearly as good as your favorite, freshly-baked cookie though. That said, since the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the number of third-party cookies in use has dropped 22% on European news websites. The law has clearly taken a huge bite out of those cookies. The data shows customer privacy is serious business worldwide and it will only get more difficult in the future. This is especially true when you consider the high level
A study in Ecology and Evolution Journal finds a potentially scary situation. Researchers testing DNA from pythons in FL have found 3% of the snakes carry genetic markers that could create a "super snake" interested in moving from the swamps to higher dry ground. That is a potentially risky situation slithering around.Some technology researchers might say yet another risky situation developing in and around banking might be the Internet of Things (IoT).Look no further than a report jointly issued by the Department of Commerce and Homeland Security. It warns of the risks created by the increasing number of
SBA data points out that 28mm small businesses in the US accounted for 54% of all US sales and produced 67% of net new jobs. Community bankers provide huge support for this key customer group. So, keep up the wonderful work in your own community, no matter where you are in this great country of ours.People seem to ask from time to time what is going to happen to banks given so much digital activity is swirling around. To gain a better understanding of the forces at work, we point out that digital literacy improves with youth. This
People are so active online that businesses and banks alike must continue to adapt. For example, research by reviewtrackers.com finds while 53% of customers expect a business to respond to negative reviews within a week, 63% who left such reviews said the business never responded. That is just crazy when you hear 94% of people say a negative online review has convinced them to avoid a business. Data is easy to get and switching businesses is so easy, you have to wonder whether it is really any surprise that people are doing so more frequently. As people become increasingly reliant
Survey teams are constantly quizzing small businesses in an effort to gain insight. A survey by Infusionsoft finds the top two digital marketing priorities for small businesses are driving sales (51%) and building brand awareness (48%). Maybe there is an angle here for community banks to help small business customers, particularly when you consider a whopping 62% of those businesses said they either don't know or did not think their marketing efforts were effective.As you think about the best way to target your small business clients for the rest of the year, we provide a discussion of the results from
You have to love the British. It seems a robber who stuck his finger in the pocket of his jacket and pretended to have a gun did not get the response he intended. Instead, a couple of businesses he tried to rob called his bluff and told him to get lost. After trying a few times, he now spends time sitting in jail. In the business world though, there are many things to shackle a CEO's time. On this matter, we found a Harvard Business Review CEO survey interesting. It tracked how CEOs spent their time, in 15-minute
You probably saw Facebook's stock tank after reporting weaker than expected revenue growth in Q2 and warning of a slowdown for the rest of the year. The stock sank 19%, dropping more than $100B in a single day. Besides being the biggest single one day decline in US history, it was also larger than the total value of Costco, Lockheed Martin, Starbucks, CVS, Lowes and others, according to Bloomberg. While maybe not quite as jaw-dropping, community banks are on track to comply with FinCEN's new anti-money laundering (AML) beneficial ownership rule, according to a survey by ARC Risk
Well it looks like Amazon won't be the only player in the drone delivery business, if all things work out. Now, Airbus has jumped into the act, with an automated delivery drone service that it has dubbed "Project Skyways". The drones land on specially-designed parcel stations that have a robot inside. The robot senses when a package is dropped off or delivered to the station and either loads or unloads it automatically. Who knows where all of this goes, but it is certainly interesting.Another area of interest that banks are monitoring is all about cannabis. Local municipalities are trying to
Elon Musk sure seems to have an active mind. He has rolled out limited edition hats, flamethrowers and other things that seem to have nothing to do with his primary business activities. Given it is summer perhaps, he has now announced Tesla is selling limited-edition surfboards for $1,500 each, and they are so amazing looking that they have already sold out. We wonder what he will think up next.As you think about catching a big earnings wave this year, we zero in to alert you about how some big banks are bowing to pressure from fintechs and offering fee-free mobile-only
A Pew Research study highlights something you already know. When you go online you are likely to be harassed, so prepare yourselves. In fact, a whopping 41% of adults say they have been harassed online and 66% say they have seen it happen to someone else. It looks like if you want to stay sane, disconnecting now and again can be a good move.Unfortunately for community bankers, it is impossible to just disconnect from the world around you, as the Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL) standard draws closer. So, banks are trying to ready themselves for the change. According to
It isn't anywhere near year-end right now, but that doesn't mean people aren't still working on their resolutions. Statista found earlier this year, people said their top resolutions were to eat healthier (37%), get more exercise (37%) or save more money (37%). If these are on your list, we hope you are making some progress at this point in the year. Shifting our discussion today to the markets and opportunity for bankers, things definitely are booming out there. Business is good and rates are rising, so profits are too. The Fed has slowly raised short rates, but longer maturities have
When high school kids head off to college, they often ask their parents and friends what sort of degree might make sense. That is why we found research by the National Center for Educational Statistics interesting. It looked at the most popular majors for bachelor's degrees and found the top ones were business (19%), health professions (11%), social sciences and history (9%), psychology (6%) and biological and biomedical sciences (6%). You might also be interested to find out more about how people are using bill payment these days. About $4T changes hands every year when consumers pay their
People love to drink coffee. Look no further than a survey by the National Coffee Association that finds 64% of Americans age 18Ys or older drink a cup of coffee a day. Interestingly, 79% did so at home, while the rest went to a caf? or some other location.As you sip your coffee this morning, we point out that community banks are not only the backbone of banking, but also the backbone of farming as well. After all, community banks provide 75% of all agricultural loans to American farmers. It is little surprise then, that many community banks are supporting
Is there anything anywhere that Amazon isn't into yet? This list certainly seems small, as they have announced a partnership with Marriott hotels. Amazon plans to drop an Alexa into every room to act as a personal assistant for weary travelers. That's right, guests will soon be able to order room service, get dinner recommendations, call housekeeping, and do other stuff simply by asking Alexa to do it.Speaking of speaking, we speak to a lot of bankers about their digital offerings. It seems that corporate CFOs aren't that much different from small business banking customers. Both are increasingly
People can be real fraidy-cats. At least, that is, if you believe a UK study on the percentage of adults who are afraid of the dark. Amazingly, the study found 64% of adults said they were still afraid of the dark, 67% don't like turning out the lights before jumping into bed and 36% said they regularly get the feeling that something or someone is in the room with them. That last one is creepy, so we are glad it is morning.In banking, no one is afraid of taking deposits or making loans, but that doesn't mean competitive pressures aren't
You may not know it but wrestling is considered to be the oldest competitive sport on the planet. It reportedly shows up on cave drawings dating back to 3,000 BC and in the Olympics around 708 BC. That is certainly an old sport, if not the oldest.Today we focus on how community bank technology teams are always wrestling with hackers who are working to take them down. Hackers seem to constantly find new ways to break into computer systems, so countermeasures are constantly evolving. This is an evolutionary cage match and neither hacker nor banker shows any signs of slowing
Research published in Nature Communications finds oxygen can now be extracted from water in zero gravity using star light and a semiconductor. This amazing discovery seems to provide a way for humans to take long space flights. So, suit up and get ready everyone!As you think about traveling to distant stars in the future, we bring our community bank readers back down to earth this morning as we delve into how wearable payment devices are gaining traction with some examples and discussion.Take, for instance, ABN Amro's Kerv payment ring. In early testing of its device, ABN Amro found
Let's face it - things cost money. Look no further than upper education. On the good news front, the Census Bureau reports 33% of Americans 25Ys or older have completed a bachelor's degree or higher vs. about 17% back in 1980. Since the data shows college educated people earn more than others that is good for the country. As for the bad news, consider that over the same time period, education costs have soared over 1,000%. It sure makes one think about the return on investment (ROI). When it comes to financial institutions, management teams, boards and investment bankers are
We thought it was interesting that CareerBuilder research found 58% of managers say they did not get any management training, and a survey by Harvard Business Review finds the same 58% say they trust strangers more than their own boss. This probably isn't the case at your institution, but training and trust are clearly very important. So, these might be worth a second look.Banks are constantly tweaking their product and service offerings in response to competitors and market conditions. Right now, this is especially true, given that short-term interest rates are rising, but longer ones seem to be barely budging.
You ever wonder about the person working just down the hall from you? Sure they are a colleague and very nice, but something sees a bit off too. After probing a bit more, you realize you have finally put your finger on it. They appear to be among the 7% of Americans who believe chocolate milk comes from brown cows or even worse the 485 who said they had no idea where it comes from! Moo.As you work each day to capture more customers, perhaps a discussion around chocolate milk with prospects (including a cookie) might be a great ice
Did you know that we are all so addicted to all things internet and social that 77% of us go online at least daily? That is just one finding of Pew Research that also found 26% of us go online almost constantly, 43% do so several times a day and 8% check things out 1x per day. As you think about your marketing efforts to capture and retain customers, this data is no doubt helpful, we would imagine.While many small and mid-sized business (SMB) customers of community banks most often focus within their geographic region, an increasing number
A new survey by EdenFantasys looked at how prevalent sex is in the workplace. What - good morning! Now that we have your attention, the survey found 14% of people say they have had sex at their place of work and of those, 19% have been caught doing so. While 44% have had a workplace romance, 70% of those said they hid their fling from coworkers and bosses. Finally, while 60% of all work relationships have ended in a breakup within 1Y, 25% of such relationships ended in marriage. Have fun out there, but not too much - at least
It is well known that many Americans are just not healthy and that shifting habits are a big underlying issue. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finds only 33% of kids are physically active every day and spend more than 7.5 hours daily in front of a screen. Meanwhile, there is a 25% adult obesity prevalence rate in 32 states now. Staying healthy takes work. But it also makes you feel better, so good luck to everyone. It is also well known that checks are going the way of the dinosaur. Interestingly though, while digital banking is pushing
Earlier this year, Pew Research did some work around social media. Since community banks want to stay connected to customers, we thought you might like to know a few things here. Americans use YouTube (73%) and Facebook (68%) the most, then Instagram (35%), Pinterest (29%), Snapchat (27%), LinkedIn (25%) and Twitter (24%). By age though, younger Americans (18-24Ys) use YouTube (94%), Facebook (80%), Snapchat (78%), Instagram (71%) and Twitter (45%). As is supported with the above, there's no denying that data has always been an integral part of the banking industry. Unfortunately, as it turns out, the data that many
The Urban Institute found millennial homeownership is only 37% at this point, a whopping 18% below the level of Gen X and boomers when they were the same age. Reasons vary, but include: getting married later in life (30% later); holding off on having babies by 32% (a driver of homeownership); renting in more expensive locations (down payment takes longer) and holding more student loan debt (46% of graduates back then vs. 75% now). As you figure out how to get this cohort as a customer, it always helps to have some raw data to lean on.Banks are always seeking
People are weird about germs at times. We looked at what people do in bathrooms to avoid germs and found: 64% operate the flusher with their foot, 60% use paper towels to open the door, 48% open and close the door with their butt and 39% use their elbow to avoid all contact. Think about that the next time you go to the loo.The good news for bankers is that customers don't exhibit nearly as much strange behavior when they open new accounts. In fact, customers that can open new accounts easily and relatively quickly are more loyal and usually
As pointed out yesterday, almost everyone checks their smartphone when waking up or just before going to bed, and few are successful at limiting their usage. To help, the same Deloitte research finds top ways people try are: keep phone in handbag or pocket while meeting people (38%), turn off audio notifications (32%), keep phone in bag or pocket when alone (27%), delete apps (26%) and turn off phone at night (26%). Hope this helps.When it comes to construction lending, there are other tips that can help even those bankers who are tied to their phones. As any banker involved
Perhaps not surprisingly, Deloitte research found people on average check their smartphone 47x per day and more than 80% do so within 1 hour of getting up or before going to sleep (35% do this within 5 minutes). What's more, almost half of people have tried to limit their smartphone usage in the past, but only 30% actually succeeded. Your customers too, surely are heavy smartphone users, but that aside, bankers are always trying to figure out how to better attract and retain the most profitable customers. The latest way has banks switching from product-centric pricing to customer-centric pricing driven
Summer is here and people are thinking of traveling. That is always fun, but it got us thinking about whether there are any angles around this to think about. We uncovered research by Expedia that finds boomers travel 27 days per year or about the same as Gen X at 26 days. Interestingly, millennials travel 35 days per year. By type of vacation, most boomers do so to visit family (67%), compared to relaxing for Gen X and millennials at 51% and 55%, respectively. Have fun out there this summer!As you travel, you will certainly casually note any bank branches
Data by Funders and Founders finds people live on average 78Ys and like dogs and cats, we spend most of our time sleeping (36%). Rounding out the other major ways we spend time: working (13%), social networking, TV, video (12%), doing chores (8%), eating and drinking (5%), education (4%), grooming (3%), shopping (3%), child care (2%), & commuting (2%). Now you know, so spend your time wisely!While commuting doesn't take much out of your life, it is still important to think about, as the workplace changes and telecommuting becomes more prevalent. Consider this:A perk most want - A
We were intrigued by a Hill Holiday study that looked at what matters most to single women, ages 30 to 45. It found the biggest life milestones they wanted were: living on their own (44%), establishing a career (34%) and financial security (27%). We will let you think about and discuss this data, to draw your own conclusions. But, it is interesting. Speaking of interesting things to customers and banks, today we tackle the topic of Open Banking. This concept revolves around the idea of "opening up" access to banks using software programs called application programming interfaces (APIs). The
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