When statistics about international test scores started getting press a few years back, a wide range of individuals, foundations, and interest groups united to entice American students back to the  STEM  subjects, pouring energy and money into specialized fellowships and early childhood education.  Similarly, when the financial crisis in 2008 highlighted the gaping trade […]

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Wallet Wars, Real and Imagined   Google released a modest update of its digital wallet this week, sparking both positive and negative commentary and a fresh round of speculation about the future of the digital wallet. ACI Worldwide conveniently just turned around a survey of 225 professionals at the National Retail Federation, 53% of whom […]

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  Studies of the Week: Tablets on the Rise   This week the Filene Research Institute released a new report on how credit unions can engage members through tablet and smartphone applications. The report focuses on native applications, including some broad industry statistics, reviews of popular native banking apps, and information on how credit unions […]

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Learn more at our free webinar, “Serving the Underbanked: Prepaid Cards and Alternative Data” next Thursday, January 31st   What: Definitions   The term underbanked has become a bit of a buzz word in the past few months, so it’s good to start by clarifying its meaning. Different definers offer different definitions, but the authoritative […]

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A penny for your thoughts? I should’ve probably offered a quarter instead, since a penny won’t incentivize anyone to share much of anything these days. Honestly, they aren’t even worth the time you’ve wasted thinking about the proposition. So, let me suggest a more valuable proposition: let’s dump the penny. The penny has long been […]

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Launch of the Week: GoBank   In yet another sign that prepaid cards have arrived, Green Dot announced its becoming a bank with its new brand GoBank, this week. It’s not just any bank: GoBank aspires to make the holy duo of Simple and Movenbank into a trendy three. Like Simple, it’s mobile-centric checking account […]

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Today I’m reposting a thoughtful piece from banking.com on public perception of the banking industry, inspired by public backlash against AIG and Jon Stewart’s piece on HSBC. The topic resonates with me, because I know that banks and credit unions always need to play a difficult balancing game between complying with regulations and delivering superior […]

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Last Thursday I listened in on Celent’s Banking’s webinar, “The US Open: Account Opening Experiences at Top US Banks,” with content drawn from Celent’s report of the same name. In concept, the webinar was far from revolutionary; Celent senior VP Bart Narter did the leg work, literally, of visiting and applying for accounts at 12 […]

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  On Monday, I wrote an article called “Regulation You Can and Can’t Prepare For,” distinguishing “structural regulation” that provokes a fundamental change in the market, and regulation that only increases oversight without changing fundamentals. This week I’ve been reading a lot about both types:     A Win for Theory: Backup on Basel III […]

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There are two types of banking regulation: that which sparks a market change, and that which increases oversight without affecting the fundamentals of the business. Most landmark pieces of regulation fall into the former category and have sparked true market change.  For example, The Banking Act of 1933, also known as Glass-Steagall, mandated a separation […]

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