Technology

Do You Feel the Payments Love?

Mobile aps, Big Data, and new payment solutions are changing the financial services landscape.

February 17, 2014
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Each day, more Americans are smitten not by Cupid’s arrow but by their smartphones.

Remember that anxiety attack when you became separated from your device? A bit more dramatic than being separated from your spouse during your last business trip, right?

I had a Blackberry for the longest time. Recently, I made the jump to an “Android” device—now I’ve become even more smitten.

The Android operating system has exposed me to a world of apps I had never experienced. I can find an app for just about anything—turn on my TV set, make a reservation at my favorite restaurant, hail a cab, and even keep track of my vitals as I work out at the gym.

So, as you can imagine, I’m thinking there must also be an app that could manage all my finances in a way that would help me optimize my savings.

For the concept to work, the app would have to know and analyze my transactional behavior—my spending habits and where I shop, dine, and vacation. Gathering the data would require my approval, of course.

The app should also keep tabs on the performance of my 401(k) investments, as well as the latest trends in the markets and economy that affect those investments.

Consider the value this app would offer. Purchasing a car would be easier. The app would suggest how much I could afford to spend and if the time was right to make such a transaction given all my other expenses.

It would provide insights and analysis on how I could proportion the individual investments making up my 401(k). By allowing access to my transactional behavior, I might even receive vendor discounts and coupons specifically tailored to my needs.

While I’m uncertain whether such an app exists, I am certain that all the resources are already in place to make it a reality. This isn’t the future I speak of; it’s the present.

In the March issue of Credit Union Magazine, my feature article, “A New Payments Paradigm,” examines payment solutions, the growing sophistication of mobile apps, and the impact of Big Data on today’s banking paradigm. All three are teaming up in a way that will produce sweeping changes across the financial services landscape.

Question is, are credit unions positioned to innovate and incorporate these changes into the way they do business—or will they be brushed aside by new players in the game such as Amazon, Walmart, and Google?

Check out my feature article—and then let’s talk. If you feel as strongly as I do about credit unions I know you’ll have something to say. Send me your comments and let’s get the conversation going—Off the Record.

WALT LASKOS is Credit Union Magazine’s editor-in-chief.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory (www.appreciationatwork.com/assess) will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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