Millennials See Banks Differently from Other Generations

Millennials Are the Fastest Growing Customer Base.

Millennials are the fastest growing customer base. Their number, education, and exposure make them a target for businesses who are looking to woo clients. The story is no different in the banking industry where financial institutions consider them an asset that must be had.

Think about it; it has been predicted that millennials will represent about 75 percent of the global workforce by 2025, per Bankingly.com. Millennials also make up a more significant portion of the labor market. They may not be as wealthy as the boomers, but more workforce means more money at their disposal to contribute towards bank deposits. The millennials have it all, it seems. So it makes sense that they are a target for anyone who is looking to generate customers.

However, this generation tends to have different expectations from boomers when it comes to the financial services sector.

Understanding their Reasons and Preferences

It is no secret that consumer taste changes with each passing generation. For millennials, this means a preference for online banking over more traditional financial institutions. After all, they are a generation who practically live on their smartphones. Millennials are tech-savvy and consider their phones the new wallet because they expect digital convenience in all aspects of their lives.

The Bankingly report claims that 71% of millennials would rather go to the dentist than go to the bank. Also, around 33% of millennials are of the opinion that they do not need a bank. A further 53 percent of them believe that their banks offer the same products as any other.

This makes millennials more open to switching banks since they don’t see any differences between these financial institutions. Instead of sticking with brick-and-mortar banks, millennials prefer mobile banking. Baby boomers, on the other hand, prefer to stick with older banks due to concerns over the safety of their financial data. Such diverging attitudes create a huge problem for financial institutions.

With the boomers retiring, millennials are expected to fuel future growth for the banking industry through loans, mortgages, retirement accounts, etc. Nonetheless, it appears that banking needs of millennials are influenced by their lifestyles. And this creates uncertainty regarding what the future holds for older banks.

Two Main Reasons Millennials

  • The global financial crisis: The global financial crisis has made millennials skeptical of banks. The 2007 global financial crisis made it hard for older millennials who came of age at that time to secure jobs and pay off student loans. Also, they are educated enough to know that the global financial crisis was due to the greed and fraud that pervaded the banking industry at the time.
  • Millennials expect digital convenience: As mentioned earlier, millennials demand digital services because they seek convenience. The American Bankers Association reports that millennials are three times more likely to open a new account with their phone than in person. This causes them to lean more towards banks that offer digital services than the more traditional ones.
  • Millenials Are Distrustful of the Traditional Banking System World Wide. They Expect The Digital Convenience , Faster Service From Mobile Apps and Tablets For Their Banking Needs

 

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The Future of the Mobile App and You

One of the fastest growing industries of recent times is undoubtedly the app industry. Whether it’s helping us communicate with greater ease, play online games with added convenience, or even shop for the latest products with increased choice, there have been few more impressive start-ups in recent years than in the app domain.

Certain Development Trends

However, despite some impressive independent releases, it’s become clear that there are certain developing trends that have sidelined the ability of new developers to increase their position in the rankings of various app stores.

In particular, it’s the growing role of television advertising that’s becoming critical to the success of a mobile app. A recent VAB study found that there is a 77% correlation between commercials and traffic for mobile apps, and as mainstream exposure is incredibly important for any fledgling developer, it’s become clear how important a large marketing budget has become for any new release.

What’s New In Gaming

The gaming world is one of the most lucrative mobile app areas, and already there’s been a string of high-profile releases like Mobile Strike that have used glossy television advertising campaigns and celebrities to ensure that their strategic action game is kept high in the app store rankings.Such moves go in the face of independent success stories like Angry Birds that momentarily gave many fledgling companies hope that they could achieve overnight success thanks to the instant global accessibility of their gaming app products.

Mobile Platforms

Another increasingly important factor is how apps integrate into different mobile platforms. For example, there is still an ongoing spat between Snapchat and Microsoft that has meant that this popular messaging app is unavailable for Windows Phone users.

Whereas other developers such as mrsmithcasino.co.uk have ensured that their mobile-friendly games of roulette, poker and slots are able to be played across a range of platforms and it’s this cross-platform appeal that’s becoming integral to any mobile app project.

But in the face of these impressive developments, there have been many who have stated that we could soon be entering the post-app era.Alongside reports that mobile app usage is down on a global level, there’s the fact that people commonly abandon their recently downloaded app after just one use that not only raises concerns that app development could be an unsustainable business model, but also that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for smaller developers to get a toehold in this increasingly competitive domain.

Businessman pressing colorful mobile app icons with bokeh background

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Tesla to Enable Full Self-Driving Features in August – Elon Musk

Transportation Around the world

It appears that transportation would soon look different after Tesla revealed its intention to enable full self-driving features in August. The move is part of the company’s long-term plans to make autonomous vehicles an essential part of the transport network. This, it believes will increase safety and reduce automotive fatalities, as the human element is eliminated.

Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk disclosed that the company would enable full self-driving features on all-electric cars to help the system understand lane merging and travel even further. Mr. Musk said that the latest update would be rolled out as part of the long-awaited Tesla Version Nine.

Enlarging the Coast

Until now, Tesla’s software releases were entirely focused on maximizing efficiency by conveying people or items to their destinations in the safest way possible. The new software is quite a change from that order, as it prioritizes full-driving features.

Musk confirmed this saying, “To date, autopilot resources have rightly focused entirely on safety. With V9, we will begin to enable full self-driving features.”

Tesla maintains that the full self-driving functionality will help ensure “substantially greater” safety than a human driver. That is because unlike human drivers, computers won’t get distracted, fatigued, or drunk. An article on the website of The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School revealed that human error is a significant contributor to around 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes.

In line with this, Tesla hopes that the yet-to-be-released software will help to overcome these challenges. Should the update roll out as planned, it will significantly boost the company’s efforts to make self-driving vehicles a reality.

Operation and Performance

Tesla’s self-driving system can conduct both short and long distance trips without the input of the individual in the driver’s seat. All the person in the driver’s seat has to do is give the vehicle an address and off they go. If the driver doesn’t instruct the car on where to go, the car will look at their calendar and convey them there. In instances where there is nothing on the schedule, the car will assume home as the default destination and take them there.

The impact of Tesla’s innovation will extend beyond self-driving features and safety, as tweets from Mr. Musk indicate that the Tesla Roadster – the organization’s most expensive electric vehicle yet – would be fitted with an improved top speed that should see it eclipse gas cars regarding performance. The company’s CEO hinted that the Roadster could go from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds, which should see it become the quickest production car in the world.

 

Elon Musk, it seems, never misses an opportunity to do something beautiful.

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Financial Technology in Colleges Today, What Students Think

 

Advances in Automation and Technology

Advances in computing, automation, and communication have shifted focus from traditional methods to the use of technology in payments, clearing, trading, and regulatory compliance. This has led to Financial technology (often referred to as Fintech) programs taking center stage in colleges as schools attempt to play an integral part in the fintech revolution by training students for jobs in today’s fast-growing financial technology industry.

These courses are designed to enable students to advance their knowledge in critical aspects of technology such as machine learning, data analytics, and blockchain technology, among others. FinTech programs aim to improve college financial literacy by making it possible for students to gain an understanding of various technologies and obtain practical experience working with them.

What is Financial Technology?

Financial Technology essentially refers to any technological invention in financial services. Individuals who are involved in Financial Technology typically develop new technologies to disrupt traditional financial markets.

These include several innovations that facilitate online transactions, such as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum, mobile banking applications like Venmo, and online payment solutions such as PayPal and Skrill.

Fintech also comprises tech-based financial services such as crowdfunding systems, automated financial planning, peer-to-peer lending marketplaces, as well as robo wealth managers such as Betterment.

Students Clamor

The use of digital technology is fast becoming the norm, leading to a revolution that is rapidly transforming the financial industry. This has led to calls by students for financial technology courses to be introduced in colleges. This, they believe, will enable them to understand the complexity of the payment infrastructure and be acquainted with critical payment instruments and how they function, among others.

A good example of students’ interest in innovation can be seen in the case of New York University (NYU) where the fintech undergraduate course attracted enrollment from twice as many students as expected.

Students demand, coupled with the far-reaching disruption in the financial industry has the schools themselves making conscientious efforts to teach students how to master financial technology.

Institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management, Columbia University’s business school, and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, etc. have all adopted fintech programs in their curriculum.

Fintech in Colleges: Effectiveness and Challenges

So far, fintech courses have proven to be highly effective as colleges scramble to bring together leading academics to educate students on the impact of technology on business, finance, and society. Various innovative research has been conducted and new courses introduced, all in a bid to develop the next generation of fintech experts and re-educate students in new financial technologies.

In spite of the opportunities, however, schools and students face challenges in their attempt to venture into this new area of research. Students who are interested in specializing in fintech may be limited by the lack of textbooks and other teaching materials on the subject. Similarly, most professors have limited knowledge of fintech.

Nonetheless, scholars hope to construct school curriculum and develop real-life cases that will enable students to become knowledgeable enough to make inventions of their own. For now, it looks like fintech finally has its place in academia, which makes for exciting times ahead.

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Hot Small Business Tech Trends That Will Improve Efficiency

Technology for Small Business

Technology is a valued resource for small businesses. Adopting the right technology helps give brands more flexibility and opportunities for innovation in product design and improves their business and operating income.

For most small businesses, technological advances are lowering transaction, transport, and communication costs, enabling firms to invest where they can be most productive and find the best combination of skills, investment opportunities, and business environment.

Here are some of the major technology trends that will streamline small business efficiency and productivity:

Internet

The advent of the internet offers small businesses more control over marketing, brand development, customer engagement and improves sales opportunities. Thanks to the internet, firms can now offer clients a more comprehensive value proposition that is tailored to their needs. What’s more, the incredible growth of the internet has helped position it as a powerful driver of economic growth, giving businesses the chance to streamline and consolidate their business operations with custom online solutions.

For instance, businesses now have the opportunity to improve business efficiency through a centralized database, which makes data easily accessible for all needs. Small business owners can also build an online presence by developing websites and utilizing various social media platforms to create awareness for their product and boost sales by reaching more people faster. Further, the internet offers businesses the chance to outsource labor they are too busy for or those they are not very conversant with.

E-Commerce

E-commerce is one of the major trends that are shaping the small business landscape. The growing number of internet users worldwide has necessitated businesses to be selling more online than through traditional brick-and-mortar stores. This is because owning an e-commerce store makes it easier than ever before for small businesses to reach tech-savvy clients who now prefer to shop and buy items through digital channels across industries.

Also, it is easier and cheaper to set up an e-commerce store than to maintain a physical storefront. E-commerce platforms such as Shopify, 3dcart, and Magento enable brands to develop an e-commerce store without breaking a sweat.

If you are on a budget, you can utilize a point of sale system such as Vend to create a cloud-based, mobile-friendly online store within a short time. Doing so will enable you to reach many consumers who due to convenience, addiction, and impulsivity, prefer to make secure purchases online. More so, e-commerce gives small businesses an opportunity to adopt technology that supports real-time commerce.

Digital Banking

Many tech-savvy clients nowadays value banking convenience. For this reason, they prefer to bank online than visit a physical bank location. This is gradually shifting transactions away from traditional banks to digital ones. And with millennials expected to rule the market, the switch might happen faster than predicted.

Blockchain

The blockchain technology is capable of causing significant shifts in the way small businesses are conducted. Its application in payments and money transfers, digital identity, distributed cloud storage, smart contracts, etc., is expected to cause shifts that will change the small business arena.

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Best of the Best: Google’s Newest Projects

Google and Technology

Google’s impact on the technology industry knows no bounds. The multinational technology company is setting new trends that will impact and shape the future of the internet, computing, and automation. While its position at the top of the technology world cannot be disputed, the California-based tech giant continues to work to ensure that it remains streets ahead of the market by taking a more prominent role by embarking on new projects that are too important to ignore.

Here are some of the Google projects you should know about:
  1. Self-Driving Cars

Google is out to ensure that people get to their destinations safely. Alphabet Inc.’s (Google’s parent company) autonomous car project, Waymo, isn’t exactly new but continues to lead the way regarding self-driving car technology. The project is in line with company’s drive to make traffic safe and to enhance traffic and fuel efficiency. Since the cars are automated, it is expected that there will be fewer accidents, as the human element is eliminated. The vehicles will also help improve fuel efficiency and lower carbon emissions.

  1. AI for Everyone

Google continues to push the boundaries and set new standards in the artificial intelligence world. To provide consumers with innovative solutions that help them keep ahead of their time, the tech giant is making the voice-activated Google Assistant more conversational and visible. The feature, called Continued Conversation, has been improved to sound more natural and enable users to have a conversation with it. Google declared that the updated Assistant knows when a user is talking to it and can respond accordingly.

Further, Google has updated its artificial intelligence to make the Assistant sound less like a robot. Six new voices have been added to the system, including John Legend’s, to make it sound more natural. A “Pretty Please” functionality has also been equipped to teach kids how to treat others with decorum and respect. Meanwhile, Duplex, a robocall feature for the Google Assistant is still under development. The system is designed to enable the Assistant to call and talk to humans to request for basic things such as restaurant reservations, hair appointment, etc.

  1. Google Smart Jeans (Project Jacquard)

Wearable technology keeps expanding thanks in part to Google’s continual ability to reinvent itself and push beyond the boundaries of what’s possible in the technology world. The project, which was announced some years ago, offers tech fabric in the form of a smart jacket thanks to a collaboration with Levi Straus.

Project Jacquard is built to hand cyclists more control over their mobile experience. Users can connect to several services including maps and music directly from the Commuter Jacket sleeve. This means that they can get directions, reject phone calls, change music, or view nearby places without pulling their phone from their pocket. The feature can also read messages aloud to allow you to focus on what you are doing.

 

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INTERNATIONAL COMPANIES CUTTING COSTS – Wall Street

Cost Cutting Drive to Continue in Most International Businesses

Over the next few years, a large majority of international businesses are expected to experience a cost cutting drive in order to adjust to lower prices, increasing competition and an unpredictable economy. There are many reasons as to why international businesses are deciding to embark on huge cost cutting drives, with one of the most significant being as a method to significantly transform the company and work towards development and growth. So, how are international businesses choosing to cut costs? Here are just some of the most common cost-cutting methods that those working for international companies can expect to see.

Performance Tracking

Many companies are taking on the lean method of business as a way of cutting costs over time. This involves ongoing performance tracking, something which is laid out as one of the key components of six sigma certification (see 6 Sigma for more information). This type of ongoing performance tracking will help international companies to better determine which costs are necessary, and which are not. Ongoing tracking and evaluation of performance gives businesses a better chance to discover which product lines and/or services are not profitable enough, so that they can cut the cost of these as soon as possible.

Employee Training

Smart employee training is going to see a surge as the cost cutting drive continues for many international businesses. As more and more businesses realize that employee training on a regular and ongoing basis is a smart investment to make, there will be less costs as employees are better equipped to deal with their tasks or any problems which might arise that are not a standard part of their day to day tasks. Although this method of cost cutting may seem more like an extra expense, smart business owners internationally are realizing that in order to cut costs, it is often necessary to make some investments.

Increased Efficiency

International businesses worldwide are attempting to increase efficiency significantly in order to be in with the best chance of effective cost-cutting. Increased efficiency using methods such as replacing manual labour with machines, is likely to speed up hundreds of different business processes, reduce wages, and allow more to be completed in a shorter amount of time. Because of this, investing in methods to create more efficiency in a business is expected to increase among many international companies as the cost-cutting drive continues.

Why Cut Costs?

For a business which is experiencing a positive cash flow, it’s often still necessary to cut costs. This could depend on a number of different reasons, for example the business’ future predictions, their current sales trends, and whether or not there are simply any costs in existence which are unnecessary to the running of the business and can be gone without. This allows businesses to cut as many costs as is possible in order to keep profitability at the maximum.

Is your business planning a cost-cutting drive? Why, and how do you plan to cut costs? Join the discussion in the comments below.

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How the Blockchain Could Disrupt the Music Industry

The Passion For Good Music

The passion for good music and accurate reproduction has led industry leaders to work together for years in the design and production of innovative acoustic solutions. In their pursuit of the joys of producing great music, however, content creators faced one problem: they weren’t receiving commensurate pay for their efforts.

With the coming of the blockchain, it appears all of that is about to change for the better. Blockchain, the technology that runs cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, could create disruptions in media-content distribution, allowing creators to receive payments for their work.

How Will the Blockchain Ensure Transparency Around Royalty Payments?

In theory, streaming services like iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify pay artists a certain sum per play. The amount artists receive for their work is determined by a very complicated formula which measures the amount of revenue accruable to each rights holder (such as music labels, musicians, producers, etc.) based on their contribution to the development of the content.

Metadata, which helps to organize, find, and understand the music data, holds information regarding the rights holders to any musical piece. But while it does a fantastic job of holding data, the data can be altered, which may result in an artist not getting paid for their work.

The blockchain could potentially solve this extraordinarily complex and contentious revenue-sharing issue by replacing the old formula with a new procedure that ensures transparency when distributing income. Thanks to the blockchain, music enthusiasts could choose to pay for a song using digital currency such as bitcoin or a smart contract platform like ethereum.

Payments made using the ether currency, the ethereum token, are split automatically among rights holders. This is because the smart contract element of the blockchain makes it possible to determine what percentage of the proceeds goes to which collaborator. By putting content on the blockchain and entering all rights holders to that specific content, content creators make it possible for anyone to view the database.

Benefits of Blockchain for Music Fans and Artists

Asides helping to ensure transparency around royalty payments and rights management, the blockchain technology is beneficial for both fans and artists in some ways. For music lovers, it could generate benefits such as lower prices for content. On their part, music creators could see their revenues increase significantly, thanks to the technology.

The blockchain also helps make copyrights easier to impose, as people around the world could view copyright data on the ledger. Also, it helps provide evidence of ownership of music. The blockchain’s consensus mechanism, which allows users to preserve a digitally shared truth, enables content producers to distribute their work directly to end users. By so doing, it eliminates the long chain of intermediaries, which in turn reduces content cost and improve the speed with which content is delivered.

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6 Tips for Business Success

Marketing is an Investment

  • In order for your business venture to thrive, people need to know about it. Marketing is an essential component of business success. If you do not put in the time and resources that are required for marketing, it will be difficult for you to sustain a business.
  • Online resources are available for everyone to cost effectively market their businesses. Although there are numerous opportunities to market your business for free online, you still need to consider investing money through other affordable options to accommodate your growing business needs.
  • With gradual business growth, you will have access to more funding that you can use to market your business effectively. Businesses that are successful invest significantly in marketing.

Create a Marketing Plan

  • Business and marketing plans are equally important. Your business cannot go far without consumers who buy your products or use your services.
  • When you market your business effectively you attract more prospects and customers. This enables you to make sales and profits that are necessary for you to cover your costs. Marketing plans require research and compel you to come up with business strategies that are aimed at growth and development.
  • Your marketing plan is a vital reference point that you can use to guide your marketing efforts. There should always be some time set aside each day for marketing.

Market Consistently

The business word is competitive and staying ahead involves constantly spreading awareness about the products and services you offer. Business owners who make an effort to market consistently are able to generate new opportunities and gain prospective customers.

Create a Niche

A niche market will enable you to focus and prevent you from doing too many things at the same time. The advantage of focusing on a single niche is that it allows you to use your skills accordingly and work more efficiently.

As time goes on, you can include additional activities when you are ready to take on more challenges. Creating a niche for your business is a good way to achieve sustainability and stand out from the rest of the competition.

Networking

Be ready to work hard and prepare for the responsibility of being your boss. Having your own business is a rewarding experience but you it requires dedication and discipline. Whenever you start a business, it is important to network. Networking helps to promote sales and keep you on track.

Effective networking involves being responsive, reaching out to people in the industry, attending networking events and being accessible.

Maintain Contact with your Customers

Remaining in contact with your customers is essential for retaining customer loyalty. Keeping in touch with customers shows that they are valued. Keep records of their contact details so that you can inform them about new products or promotional offers. The customers that you already have are just as important as the new ones that you want to attract. Read more about debt review here.

All entrepreneurs want to be successful and watch their business concepts turn into reality. Operating a business requires time and effort as well as determination. There are various things that you can do to reach your goals and keep your business running. Check this chart below.

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Three ways to manage your money more productively

 

Managing your personal finances isn’t as easy as it seems. Rising prices and an uncertain economic climate makes the challenges even greater, which is why it’s important that you take steps to get a firm handle on your money needs, assessing your situation, and making the appropriate changes. The key is simplification, and with the right steps, it’s much easier to manage your money more productively and safely. If you’re looking for ways to keep your finances organized, here are the top three tips that might just keep your wallet full and your financial worries at a minimum.

Record your expenditures

It may sound almost redundant in the days of online banking and mobile phone consumerism, but making a note of what and where you are spending your money can be hugely beneficial. Being able to see just where you’re spending your money (and the amounts) will go a long way to giving you a much greater insight into your monthly budget. Budgeting needn’t be a complicated process, and it doesn’t have to mean denying yourself treats either. It’s more a case of simply knowing how much money you have coming in, and how much is going out. It sounds basic perhaps, but far too many people have higher outgoings than income, and that’s where the problems start. Look at your list of purchases over the last month and see if there are any regular buys which are simply not necessary, and make adjustments to ensure that your money coming in is not overshadowed by the money that then goes out over the course of the month.

Use a personal finance advisor

Having a personal financial advisor is essential if you’re looking at investments or are wondering about your future. Depending on your needs, the right financial advisor can help you to manage even the most complicated of situations and is very well-placed to help you make long-term targets. The right financial advisor will start with a fact-finding check that will cover the full scope of your situation and give them a greater insight into your potential financial growth. There are a variety of financial advisor types, and finding the one that best suits your situation is the first step to a better, more stable future. Look for specialists in your area of interest, and browse a dedicated portal like Buffert (Buffert.se) so that you are better able to take advantage of a dedicated level of experience and insider insights. Those insights will not only mean that you gain access to better advice but also give your finances an extra layer of added protection as well.

Balance your rent/buy costs

It can be very tricky to weigh up the cost benefits of either renting or buying goods and services. Buying items is often (but not always) cheaper in the long-term, whether it’s property, a car, or an entertainment system in your living room. Is it worth spending money on a lawnmower if you only use it for two months of the year? That’s where your initial cost analysis will come in handy. Check your expenditures and make sure that you are not paying out for something that you simply don’t need. Taking the lawnmower as an example, it might be much cheaper to rent one from a local garden center (or even a neighbor). Cost analysis is essential when it comes to making a final decision between renting and buying, and the larger the cost value, the more important that decision becomes.

 

Money Matters

When it comes to your money matters, the most important thing is being honest with yourself about your current situation and where you want to be in the coming years. Having the facts will make all of your decisions considerably easier, and you’ll stand a much better chance of being able to build a comfortable bank balance that will protect your future.

 

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