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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

The New Reality of Incident Response Plans

Posted by Jennifer Roland-Vlach

Jan 4, 2017 11:15:00 AM

You may have noticed 2016 was quite the busy year for IT regulatory compliance. OK, that’s probably a bit of an understatement.

Last year saw the release of Appendix E on Mobile Financial Services, the new InTrex exam format, the updated Information Security Handbook, and the promise of more to come in 2017. With this plethora of information being directed at financial institutions (FIs), I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight one particular factor that is already coming under examiner scrutiny-incident response. I have written about incident response a couple of times in the past. In fact, in my previous blog I provided some best practice items for FIs to consider in their Incident Response Plans. But with increasing attention on this subject, I think it is necessary we re-visit a couple of established incident response standards and acknowledge a new best practice.

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Topics: Risk Mitigation, Data Management

Why Financial Institutions Shouldn't Ignore Marketing Lenders

Posted by Susan Griffin

Dec 30, 2016 9:15:00 AM

The following is an excerpt from Susan Griffin’s full article.

Traditional financial institutions (FIs) such as banks and credit unions have been challenged by new entrants into the lending market from as far back as the early 1900s when finance companies, like Household Finance, introduced an alternative way for consumers to borrow money. Fast-forward a hundred years, and FIs are still faced with “disruptors” looking to serve the consumer and business markets by fundamentally changing the way borrowers seek out and apply for loans. Whether you call them “fintechs” or “marketplace lenders,” they are making their mark on traditional lending.

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Topics: Commercial Lending

People, Process, Product: What if “the Profit” Paid a Visit to Your Bank?

Posted by Clarke Farmer

Dec 28, 2016 11:30:00 AM

One of my favorite TV shows is CNBC’s The Profit. In the show, Marcus Lemonis (aka “the Profit”) invests and partners with small businesses that typically need dramatic changes to their business model in order to improve performance and profitability.

The Profit’s method focuses on three primary elements: people, process, and product. It is quite entertaining. The people he gets involved with are usually even more interesting than the business challenges faced in each project. I suspect that any banker who has seen the show can nod their head and chuckle in agreement that many of their commercial loan customers fit a similar profile.

That said, do you wonder what the Profit would say if he paid a visit to a community bank? We may never know, but here are a few thoughts specific to the commercial lending side of the shop.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Lending

The Top 5 Strategically Speaking Posts of 2016

Posted by Strategically Speaking

Dec 21, 2016 11:15:00 AM

Whether you're traveling this weekend to visit family or staying in with your loved ones, take a moment to view some of the most popular Strategically Speaking posts of 2016.

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Topics: Financial Services Industry

Ditch the Map!…Navigating a Changing Portfolio

Posted by Ken Summar

Dec 16, 2016 9:15:00 AM

 

In discussing strategic objectives with financial institutions across the United States, a common theme that I hear from CEOs and Chief Credit Officers is the need to diversify their loan portfolios so they aren't so concentrated in commercial real estate. And a common solution they are considering is to increase commercial and industrial (C&I) lending. 

What is that old saying? …“Easy to say. Hard to do.” 

Why is diversifying your loan portfolio difficult? Is it because businesses in your area don’t need working capital financing to help them thrive and create employment? I doubt that. 

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Topics: Commercial Lending

Work Smarter - Not Harder

Posted by Brynn Ammon

Dec 14, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Systems are smarter today than ever before. Yet, at financial institutions everywhere, there are still employees working from paper reports daily. Technology has the ability to provide snapshot data at a moment’s notice for review, but your users still use processes that create work for themselves and others in the institution. Efficiency is not always about shiny new tools and robust software solutions. Very often, you already own the shiny, robust tools needed to operate efficiently… you just need someone in the organization to point them out. 

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Topics: Financial Services Industry, Processes & Procedures

3 Ways Credit Unions Can Make Their MBL Troubles All but Disappear

Posted by Jonathan Patrick

Dec 7, 2016 11:30:00 AM

Some credit unions didn’t get the news they wanted regarding recent changes by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA) to the Member Business Lending (MBL) regulations. The announcement included the removal of the requirement for personal guarantees from business loan borrowers. What the announcement didn’t include, to the chagrin of some credit unions, was the removal of the so-called “MBL cap.” If you aren’t familiar with this part of the regulation, Section 723.16(a) states “The aggregate limit on a credit union's net member business loan balances is the lesser of 1.75 times the credit union's net worth or 12.25% of the credit union's total assets.”

The MBL cap has long been a regulatory sore spot with some credit unions and some government officials. As far back as 2010, there were U.S. Congressmen sponsoring legislation to increase the MBL cap. Even as recent as May 2016, there were Congressional leaders expressing their desire to see the cap increased to encourage credit unions to expand lending to small business owners. (1) But the reality is that raising the cap would only positively impact a small number of credit unions. Credit Union Journal pointed out that of the 5,954 federally insured credit unions, only 106 credit unions were relatively close to the cap. (2)

Why then is the MBL cap such a “hot button” for some credit unions, especially when there are several ways, other than new legislation, to work around the cap?

 

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Topics: Regulatory Compliance, Credit Unions

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