Innovation

5 posts
Overcharging the Poor: Why Do We Accept Banks’ Pricing Double Standard?

Consider this shopping horror story: You go to the supermarket to buy groceries, selecting your usual items. But when you arrive at the checkout line, the clerk asks for your annual income. Though the question seems rather intrusive, you tell her. As she begins scanning your purchases, you notice that each item has two price tags on it, one white and one red. The white tags reflect the regular prices,...

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Three Reasons to be Excited About the “Internet of Things” – and Three Reasons to be Very Afraid

Imagine the following scenario: Your neighbors have a loud party and you get a bad night’s sleep. But your bed detects your tossing and turning and takes action. It checks your schedule for the coming day, sets your alarm clock back an hour, then instructs your coffee maker to brew an extra-strong cup which is waiting for you when you get up. You put on a gray work shirt, which...

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Are We Ready to be a Cashless Society? The Next Great Debate

For years, people have been predicting the demise of cash, and with all the buzz around Apple Pay and cryptocurrency, bills and coins do seem headed toward extinction. Yet in the past month, two tech icons have demonstrated cash's continued vital role in the modern payments landscape--both in the U.S. and in developing countries. At its New York Hackathon, TechCrunch Disrupt awarded an app that bypasses ATMs by broadcasting cash requests to nearby users,...

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Forget Apple Pay: 4 Futuristic Innovations That Could Transform How You Spend Money

For decades, the global payments industry was rather boring – or, if you prefer, “stable and predictable.” Payment cards have been the default alternative to cash since 1950, when Diners Club introduced a small card – made out of cardboard – that let people pay for travel and entertainment expenses. By the 80s, payment cards had assumed their current form, function and ubiquity, and to this day, they dominate the...

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Three Reasons Banks Won’t Get “Uber-ized” – and One Reason they Actually Might

Everyone loves Uber – except for mistreated passengers, disgruntled drivers, local governments, certain tech journalists, and of course: the taxi companies disrupted by the popular ride-sharing app. Okay, perhaps “everyone” is a slight exaggeration. But in spite of its controversial reputation and recent PR troubles, Uber is on a roll. By the end of 2014, it was six times bigger than it was when the year began, and it continues...

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The Wrong Kind of “Kodak Moment”- Will Big Banks Become the Next Victims of Tech Disruption

Mention the phrase “a Kodak moment” to a Baby Boomer, and you’ll likely to be greeted with a knowing smile. Say the same thing to a Millennial, and you’ll likely see a blank stare. Used for decades to refer to photo-worthy moments, this once popular phrase signals how thoroughly Kodak once dominated the photography space. Kodak first introduced cameras to the masses in 1888, and built its business into a...

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ATM Innovations Will Transform the Way We Bank

Changes are afoot in the ATM tech space. Take a look at these innovations changing the way we use ATMs around the world. Did you know there are now ATM machines in India and the Philippines that dispense clean water instead of cash? Or that ATMs in the near future will be equipped with germ-fighting glass to prevent the spread of disease? How about ATMs with LCD panels that can be...

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4 Ways Banks Can Win Back Millennials (and the rest of us)

Newsflash: Millennials don’t like banks. And everyone in the banking industry needs to take at look at Viacom’s recent Millennial Disruption Index. The company surveyed over 10,000 U.S. Millennials about 73 companies spanning 15 industries, to determine which industries are ripe for disruptive change. Here’s what Millennials said: In five years, roughly 70% of Millennials expect to be accessing their money and making payments in a totally different way. 73%...

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Socially Conscious Banking

Alerting all banks! Last month, Cisco released a global customer survey revealing some alarming news for banks. In the 12 countries surveyed, nearly one in four bank customers intend to choose another provider for their next financial product or service. And four out of five would trust a non-bank to handle their banking needs. But perhaps the most noteworthy finding was this: almost 30 percent of bank customers do not...

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The Credit Scoring Industry is Ripe for Disruption

Last fall, a few months after leaving his job as chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke tried to refinance his mortgage. In spite of his prior position, a recent seven-figure book deal and the ability to earn a quarter-million dollars for giving a single speech, the bank turned him down for the loan. The amount: less than what he’d earn with three speeches. Bernanke’s experience highlights flaws in a...

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5 Challenges Facing Banks in the Digital Age

You’ve probably heard the statistic – 2.5 billion of the world’s adults don’t use formal financial services, including roughly 60% of adults in developing economies. With the challenges of reaching those markets profitably, most banks have traditionally focused their efforts elsewhere. But in Kenya, financial inclusion has grown from under 30% to over 65% in less than 10 years – due not to banks, but to M-Pesa, Safaricom’s wildly popular...

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Two Countries, Two Approaches to Mobile Payments

Mobile payments have become the latest battleground in the ongoing struggle for market share between America’s retail and tech heavyweights. Check out the latest headlines: Apple vs Walmart: Mobile Payments Reveal A Clash Of Titans Twitter Launches Mobile Payments Before Facebook Google And Softcard Versus Apple Pay: Benefits Are Overstated There’s a reason why so many major players want a piece of the same pie. Though exact estimates vary, a large...

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Ideas to Bank On

The term “financial innovation” often gets a bad rap, and it’s understandable. It tends to be associated with investor-focused innovations like mortgage-backed securities and collateralized debt obligations – two of the primary culprits behind the 2008 financial crisis. But in recent years, many big banks have turned their focus towards innovations that help consumers. In the past year alone, financial powerhouses like American Express, Capital One, MasterCard, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase...

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To Spend, or Not to Spend

It may not be a popular sentiment during the holidays, but there’s a benefit to saving more and spending less any time of year. Having savings reduces stress, providing a cushion when emergency expenses arise. And due to the power of compound interest, saving even modest amounts over the course of one’s working life can lead to a retirement that is more comfortable. Furthermore, surveys have found a link between...

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The Sharing Economy

Who could have predicted that in our consumer-driven world, buying stuff would one day seem passé? Yet, in the zeitgeist of the sharing economy, that’s where global commerce is headed. Called “the future of business” by its proponents, the sharing economy model is simple: companies use digital platforms to let customers use other people’s available assets or labor, either through one-off rentals or a subscription service. Users get affordable access...

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