May 10, 2021
In a recent blog post I addressed pandemic-driven changes in consumer payment behavior and the apparent confusion over both health factors and the economics of various payment instruments. Since then the plot has only thickened- with lawsuits filed, misinformation propagated, and no sign of clarity on the horizon. Allow me to update the situation through a variety of personal anecdotes and news items.
May 02, 2021
Elon Musk and Jack Ma have both publicly stated that their biggest concern for the future is not over-population, but rather under-population. Many thought leaders have raised similar concerns, noting that our current societal structures are ill-equipped to handle such a scenario.
Apr 27, 2021
As Americans gradually emerge from quarantine- whether self-imposed or government mandated- it remains to be seen how consumers’ relationship with Main Street merchants has changed for the long run. Conventional wisdom holds that existing market trends toward digitization received a 12- to 18-month jolt forward from the pandemic. These changes encompass higher e-commerce volumes and order-ahead app usage as well as shifting payment preferences (contactless, cash-free) at the point of sale.
Apr 13, 2021
A recent Best Innovation Group webinar focused on the three things your credit union can do now to prepare for the pace of accelerated change. The insights shared by industry leaders John Best and Kevin Sarber are well worth an hour of your time. Here, however, I’ll drill down on one key point that particularly resonates for me.
Mar 23, 2021
John Best readily admits he had no idea where the CU Digital Town Halls would head when he launched them in mid-March last year- he only knew he had to do something. Households were moving into pandemic lockdown- taking the economy with them- and credit union branches were being shuttered out of public health concerns.
Mar 16, 2021
I’ve been flying the “can’t we all just get along?” banner for some time. Credit unions and community banks?- there’s a lot more that should unite than divide us. Fintech firms as friends or foes of financial institutions?- sure, some will choose to compete head on but there are plenty of mutually beneficial avenues for collaboration.
Mar 09, 2021
I think we can all agree that the pace of change impacting credit union operations in 2020 was- without the risk of hyperbole- unprecedented. Branches closed for extended periods. Employees performed core duties from home that conventional wisdom long held were impossible to move off-premise.
Mar 01, 2021
My barometer for when an arcane finance topic has crossed into the mainstream tilts when my twentysomething artist daughter asks me about it. We’ve already had two such events this year- first came the “short squeeze” around the GameStop fiasco. Now we have Special Purpose Acquisition Corporations (SPACs), which even Hollywood celebrities are suddenly embracing as the “it” investment vehicle.
Feb 16, 2021
Like virtually every aspect of life, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered our relationship with cash- perhaps permanently in some aspects, but temporarily in others. This makes it an intriguing time for an industry conference titled The Future of Cash. I’m sure some snarky folks will quip that cash has no future.
Feb 09, 2021
If I gave you a tip in early January on a stock that proceeded to triple in price in less than a month you’d be pretty happy, right? That’s hardly the prevailing attitude about GameStop, however. Of course, this is because the until-recently disregarded stock was briefly up more than twenty-fold in the interim.