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How to Email an Executive: Six Tips from Senior Management

Posted by Shane Purnell

Feb 22, 2017 11:30:00 AM

It’s not unusual for Russ Bernthal, President of ProfitStars, to check email from his phone when he’s on the road. But scrolling through long threads looking for the point of an email is a fate he doesn’t suffer well.

“Long threads drive me nuts,” he shares with me. “They’re particularly annoying when I’m traveling and looking at emails on my phone.”

Stacey Zengel, President of Jack Henry Banking, is no different. Each day, he receives anywhere from 150-250 emails of which approximately 100 require responses. Lengthy, rambling texts are the source of his email pain.

“I like to get straight to the point unless foundational information is required to make a decision  .... most of the emails I get are usually lengthy and require reading time.”

Dealing with hundreds of emails is part of every executive’s job, but that doesn’t mean they understand why they have to be included in so many.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

You Failed Your Disaster Recovery Test! Now What?

Posted by Eric Flick

Feb 15, 2017 11:15:00 AM

Picture this: As you make preparations for your test, you decide what you want to test, you gather sample transaction and maintenance activities, and you grab a large capacity, secure USB device, and you start backing up all of data from your various platforms and applications that you’ll need for your test. You do this all at the same time, so that you know everything you need is nice and neat, well-coordinated, and all in one place.

While this all may sound great, and be eerily similar to what you’re doing – there’s a big problem here. Unfortunately each year, I see customers taking action that leads them to that first fatal step during their test that brings into question the likelihood of a successful recovery whenever they have an actual disaster.

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Topics: Business Continuity, Data Management

“The Long and Winding Road” of Commercial Lending

Posted by Kristin Zell

Feb 10, 2017 11:00:00 AM

When Paul McCartney wrote the lyrics to “The Long and Winding Road” in late 1968, it’s safe to say he was not talking about commercial lending. But he very well could have been. Many business owners can relate to the lyrics, especially the line “you left me standing here a long, long time ago.” There are no less than a dozen steps associated with application, analysis, underwriting, approval, and eventual funding of a commercial loan. That leaves a lot of room for process improvement. 

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Topics: Commercial Lending

Higher Rates = Happy Days?

Posted by Bill Kirsten

Feb 8, 2017 11:30:00 AM

"Happy days are here again
The skies above are clear again
So let’s sing a song of cheer again
Happy days are here again"

(From FDR’s theme song for the 1932 presidential campaign)

The Federal Reserve increased interest rates … finally! Market rates are rising too. And more are to come, so they say. Let the good times roll!

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Topics: Payments, Risk Mitigation

Urgent Advice: Leverage Payments to Win Digitally-Dependent Customers - Part 2

Posted by Deborah Matthews Phillips

Feb 1, 2017 11:30:00 AM

If you recall last week’s blog post, the impact of this digital dependency has been indelible on our industry. For at least half of consumers, technology is a key factor in selecting their financial institution. More than half say mobile banking will change the way they bank in the future. But how will this impact your financial institution moving forward?

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Topics: Mobile Banking

CECL Requirements…Our Modern-Day Y2K?

Posted by Gary Lewis

Jan 27, 2017 11:00:00 AM

Flash back to the late 90s when Y2K was all the rage. I remember the panic that transcended virtually all segments of the software market. Will our interest calculate correctly? How will we track maturities? Will the coffee maker work? The sky was falling! Whoever thought that having a two-digit data field representing the calendar year would be such a big deal? Well, it was a big deal. Or at least it appeared to be at the time.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

Urgent Advice: Leverage Payments to Win Digitally-Dependent Customers - Part 1

Posted by Deborah Matthews Phillips

Jan 25, 2017 11:32:54 AM

An ice breaker question at a meeting I recently attended read, “What technology innovation has made the most impact on your life?” Not surprisingly, a large majority of people held up their smartphone. Even though it was only ten years ago when Apple unleashed the iPhone, in the fast-paced world of technology, ten years feels like a lifetime. Most of us can’t imagine what our existence would be like without it.

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Topics: Mobile Banking

The Value in FinTech Conferences

Posted by Danny Payne

Jan 18, 2017 11:15:00 AM

At most FinTech companies, banks, and credit unions, the start of a new year means planning for conferences. And for some odd reason, there seem to be two groups of people when it comes to conferences and trade shows. It’s a love/hate relationship – you either fall on the side of seeing all the good in conferences or you think they’re complete wastes of time and resources.

I for one fall into the “love” category, and I’ve been this way since I started working in FinTech almost 15 years ago. The company I worked for was a small startup and we just started selling payments in the utilities marketplace. I was a new account rep and it was my first tradeshow. It was magical! I stood in a booth; people came up to me and asked questions about my product; and I talked to them about it. In 10 minutes I could present the value proposition and product differentiation, show a demo, and set a follow-up meeting. It was like speed dating for sales … and I loved it.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Customer Experience

The Five Most Meaningful Impacts of Lending Efficiency

Posted by Patrick True

Jan 13, 2017 1:00:00 PM

Since 2010, competition for commercial loans has increased significantly. More lenders have been chasing a limited number of loans during a slow growth environment. Alternative lenders of every shape and size have crowded the space, especially for small-dollar loans. More importantly, technology has shifted, resulting in greater pressure to meet the client online and to speed up loan approvals and turnaround times. Loans that previously would have taken two to three weeks from application through funding now take only a few days, or less. It reminds me of something Bill Gates once said - 

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Topics: Commercial Lending

Do You Make These PowerPoint Mistakes in Your Presentations?

Posted by Shane Purnell

Jan 11, 2017 11:15:00 AM

If you took a speech class before Microsoft® PowerPoint existed, you likely know what a “visual aid” is. Before PowerPoint, a visual aid was a drawing on a flip chart or a product you held. What made visual aids effective was you had to decide what to say about them and how to use them in your presentation before you presented.

Today, slide decks have replaced visual aids. Unfortunately, many presenters think step one of a presentation is to fire up PowerPoint and start creating slides. They don’t think about how they’ll use them or how they’ll impact the audience. Instead of using PowerPoint to create visual aids, they write their whole presentation in it.

If you want to create a great presentation, don’t start in PowerPoint. Starting in PowerPoint encourages two common presentation mistakes.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

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