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5 Signs that Your Disaster Recovery Program Is In Trouble

Posted by Eric Flick

Jun 7, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Disaster Recovery (DR) is one of those topics that businesses, including financial institutions, don’t like to talk about with much of a recurring frequency, although recent events show that this topic should be discussed with much greater regularity. Here in my part of the country, there’s a series of TV commercials airing for a regional insurance company that provides auto, home, and life insurance. The 60-second commercials run through a flurry of activities in the character’s life, showing you just how much things can change over a couple of decades, and that hopefully, you have (or the character has) kept all insurance policies up-to-date to stay in sync with all of life’s happenings. And, it just so happens that this insurance company offers an annual review to make sure that their coverage is keeping up with your life.

For a lot of you, your DR program is viewed as insurance. In case something happens, there’s a program in place to bail you out when that bad thing happens. In today’s world, it’s really more of a question of when, not if, that bad thing will happen. (Ransomware, anyone?) But, is your insurance (DR program) potentially as outdated as an insurance policy that hasn’t been examined over the past decade?

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Topics: Risk Mitigation, Data Management

Digital Marketing Trends: A Primer for Financial Brands

Posted by Chelsea Fisher

Jun 2, 2017 11:00:00 AM

As a marketer working in the financial sector, I know as well as you that our approach to marketing must be nimble if it’s going to keep up with product innovations, disruptive technologies, and the ever-changing demands of customers. It’s a daily battle to stay current!

That’s why I recently attended a marketing conference heavily focused on digital marketing. The event brought together some of the sharpest, most creative minds in the business to provide inspiration and practical advice. It was information too good not to share.

So, here are my takeaways from the conference, a primer on the latest digital marketing trends, fully applicable to the financial space.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

To Pay Or Not to Pay… And Then What?

Posted by Tammy Bangs

May 31, 2017 11:55:00 AM

 

I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about the meaning of Cyber Resiliency.

What is Cyber Resiliency?

Wikipedia’s definition: “Cyber Resilience refers to an entity's ability to continuously deliver the intended outcome despite adverse cyber events.” In other words, it’s a migration from the strategy of protection by prevention only – into a posture of proactive readiness to address a cyber security breach or hack on every level, when it occurs, in a manner that is much less reactive than previously deemed acceptable. It’s not if you experience a breach … it’s when.

Identifying the steps that are necessary to recover and resume your business operations once a breach occurs is absolutely critical for your FI. Having rehearsed those steps, answered the myriad of questions, and identified multitudes of “what ifs” is a huge part of what could equate to your successful recovery from such an incident. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is never as true as in the incident of recovery from some kind of catastrophe – cyber or otherwise. As the rate of malware infections rise exponentially, and the rate of ransomware reaches an all-time high, we understand the duty you have to protect your customers’ information and to resume your operations as swiftly and efficiently as possible after the event.

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Topics: Cybersecurity, Data Management

Mining the Most Valuable Commodity in the World

Posted by Kevin Moland

May 24, 2017 11:45:00 AM

During the week leading up to New Year’s Day of 2016, I was a domestic all-star. On New Year’s morning, after I had nailed everything on her “honey do” list, my wife showed her appreciation by sending me off to spend the day “doing something I wanted to do.” The combination of her generosity and my lack of previously developed hobbies led to the discovery of a new love in my life: hiking.

I now spend at least a couple Saturday mornings each month at a local state park that happens to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. What I’ve learned over the last 18 months is that this state park also has rich deposits of the most valuable commodity in the world, and it’s easily accessible to those who stroll along its paths.

Make no mistake, this commodity is priceless. Without it, art, innovation, and excellence are impossible. Without it, persistence, durability, and consistency lose a good deal of their value. From a business perspective, this commodity is responsible for the success of companies as large and diverse as Apple, IBM, and Tesla. And yet, it’s a commodity that far too many businesses have no plan to develop or acquire.

The commodity is insight. And even though mining it is extremely cost effective, many companies just don’t take the time.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

The Bank – Business Disconnect ... What is Your Application Process Saying to Borrowers?

Posted by Corey Jaeger

May 19, 2017 11:00:00 AM

In today’s highly-connected, technological landscape, you probably think your financial institution is already providing everything that small business owners are looking for. Right? I mean, when you consider the incredible innovations in recent years, there can’t possibly still be gaps.

Well, the data is telling us otherwise.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

How to Build Rapport with Your Customers

Posted by Shane Purnell

May 18, 2017 1:16:10 PM

There is an old adage attributed to Sir Austen Chamberlain, a British politician who heard it from a British diplomat who had spent time China. The old diplomat told him that there was a Chinese curse which stated, “May you live in interesting times.”

We are certainly living in interesting times. Think back over the last 20 years. Do you remember when you first heard the term, “world wide web”? Do you remember when websites first allowed you to create customized home page portals? They branded these portal pages with the prefix “my” so your experience of the world wide web was customized to you. It sounds passé now, but at the time it was innovative. Looking back over the last 20 years, it’s easy to see we’ve moved into a time of mass disruption and customization of our experience.

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Topics: Customer Experience

Loan by Robot?

Posted by Jonathan Patrick

May 10, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Does “Robo-advice” Include Lending?

By now, financial services consumers have gotten used to the idea of a robot handling their money. In fact, according to Accenture, seven out of 10 consumers even welcome “robo-advice” for their banking, insurance, and retirement services.(1) So clearly, consumers are at least open to the notion of a robot handling their assets – but what about their liabilities? Are consumers ready for a loan processed entirely by a robot?

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Topics: Lending, Tomorrow's Technology

Unraveling the Mysterious Risk of Healthcare Lending

Posted by Richard Owens

May 5, 2017 11:00:00 AM

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (cms.gov), national health spending is expected to grow at an average of 5.6 percent per year from 2016-25 and 4.7 percent per year on a per capita basis. The projected growth rates are 1.2 percentage points faster than Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per year over that same period. As a result, healthcare’s share of GDP is expected to rise from an already high 17.8 percent in 2015 to a staggering 19.9 percent by 2025.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

The Interconnected Future of Open Banking

Posted by Eric Wilson

May 3, 2017 11:30:00 AM

Over the next year, European Union Member States will be scrambling to implement the revised Payment Services Directive (PSD2) which goes into effect in January 2018. In a nutshell, PSD2 is an EU directive that will require all banks operating in Europe to expose customer account data for retrieval and provide payment services for use by authorized external entities. These Third Party Providers will be empowered to retrieve customer account information as well as initiate payments directly to bank systems if their customer provides them the authorization to do so. European banks are now on the hook to develop and provide programmatic interfaces (API’s) for outside organizations to tap into, whether the banks like it or not.

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Topics: Data Management, Tomorrow's Technology

Frictionless Payments: The Never-Ending Pursuit

Posted by Penny Webb

Apr 26, 2017 11:30:00 AM

“Frictionless payments” is an industry concept that has been around for many years. The phrase is used to describe a desire to limit the amount of customer interaction during a transaction, making the purchase process as smooth as possible from start to finish.

While the payment portion of a purchase can be the more laborious aspect of retail transactions, merchants and financial institutions must also focus on the end-to-end user experience when looking for ways to simplify the act of making a purchase. Streamlining the purchasing process should be a top priority for retail establishments and nonprofit organizations that want to attract new customers or contributors, or drive existing users to return more often.

No matter the industry or organization, there are essential gains to be made by applying the frictionless payments approach to customers’ purchase or donation experiences.  

The following techniques are often used to reduce friction in the payments process...

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Topics: Payments

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