How to Win the War on Talent in the Financial Services and Banking Industry

Achievers | June 18, 2019

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A recent study reports that turnover in the financial services and banking industry is higher than its been in a decade. To add fuel to the fire, this report also shows that more than two-thirds of employees leaving their jobs do so voluntarily. Add this to the fact, that the competition to identify and hire top talent is perhaps fiercer today than ever before. If banks and financial services institutions want to build a strong workforce that will help them advance well into the future, now is the time to develop a strategy to finally win the war on talent. The number one thing employers in the banking and financial services industry can do to win the war on talent is to improve employee engagement throughout the company.

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9 Best Fintech Apps to Use While at Home During the Coronavirus Lockdown

Article | March 31, 2020

With the threat of the global coronavirus pandemic upon us – knowing which ones are the best Fintech apps to use may get a little confusing for the average consumer. It is no doubt that the entire world has been impacted negatively by the coronavirus (COVID19) lockdown. Regardless of what industry you are in it has been impacted. The limited mobility of goods, services and travel is causing a strain on businesses and personal finance. Your ability to do physical banking, pay bills and basic financial transactions have no doubt changed. The negative financial effects of the coronavirus may change the way we interact with money for years to come. Digital currency and transactions are on the horizon.

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How Fintechs Expanding in Latin America Can Build Trust with SMEs

Article | February 10, 2020

Small businesses in emerging economies are notoriously underfinanced. Despite making up over 99.5% of the economy in Latin America, SMEs face a financing gap in the trillions of dollars. For example, up to 78% of small businesses in Argentina and 45% in Peru struggle to grow because of financial constraints. Numerous articles and institutional white papers point to the lack of trust between banks and SMEs as a major cause of this financing gap. Banks simply do not know how to accurately calculate small business risk, especially in volatile economies in Latin America, so they offer high interest rates or pass on providing credit altogether.

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Bitcoin, Rare & Gold Coins—Which Investment for You?

Article | March 19, 2021

Coin Conundrums: Expert vets 3 popular ‘flight to safety’ coin assets amid forecasted financial strife As the financial markets strive to rebound from what has been a hugely trying and tumultuous period, courtesy of a deadly global pandemic, we may need to brace ourselves for yet more trouble ahead. This as an ongoing Harvard Business School study predicts a 40% probability of a financial crisis in the next three years, which is largely based on unprecedented growth in credit coupled with the reality that interest rates will eventually rise, making debt service unbearable. “Now factor in over $10 trillion in global economic stimulus, as well as increases of 26% in the M2 money supply and 78% in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet over the last year, and the lack of sustainability becomes readily apparent,” says alternative investment pundit Thomas Neptune, Esq. “As the economy artificially recovers and we inch toward full employment over the next few years, the reality is that the Federal Reserve is trapped. It only seems logical that the Fed will, at some point, be forced to raise interest rates to combat inflation, while doing so could put a giant pin in several asset price bubbles.” When financial markets collapse, it’s known that non-correlated “flight to safety” assets generally perform very well. Due to the heightened level state of uncertainty in the current climate, many investors are already increasing allocations to alterative investment vehicles like Cryptocurrency, U.S. rare coins and gold bullion coins while prices are relatively modest (depending, of course, on whom you ask). The question then becomes, which of these distinctive “coins” is right for you relative to your situational needs for downside protection, upside opportunity, inflation hedging and overall utility? Below, Neptune offers his analysis of all three. ** Bitcoin In simple terms, Bitcoin is a decentralized peer-to-peer payment system that utilizes an accounting ledger called the blockchain. Bitcoin is the unit of accounting. It can be used as a medium of exchange for some goods and services, but there has not been universal acceptance of Bitcoin as a form of payment. It has recently garnered attention as an asset class as the price has skyrocketed. Almost anyone can own a tiny fraction of a Bitcoin through sites such as Coinbase. Downside Protection The supply of Bitcoin is capped at $21 million, with approximately $18.5 million currently in circulation. The annual supply increases similar to that of gold, unlike monetary and fiscal policies that promote unlimited growth through the printing press. With 78% of the circulating Bitcoin classified as illiquid and not changing hands, there is not a high likelihood of sellers flooding the market. That being said, the price has been historically volatile as demand varies and competitor cryptocurrencies enter the market. Theoretically, the price could plummet to near-zero if demand shifts elsewhere or regulators step in with force, although Bitcoin has institutional traction and its loyal following is most likely here to stay. Upside Opportunity It is no secret that the price of Bitcoin has unlimited upside opportunity based on its supply and demand dynamics. Now almost everyone is getting in on the action. What might have been shocking news only a few years ago, even college endowments like Harvard, Yale, Brown and others have been placing bets on Bitcoin as have influential business leaders such as Elon Musk. It will be interesting to see whether Bitcoin can sustain its meteoric rise. Inflation Hedging As an inflation hedge, Bitcoin does not have a long track record, as it was created in 2009 just prior to a market expansion where we saw little inflation for the last decade. Although the supply may increase now at a rate consistent with inflation, its demand and the ensuing price history have been extremely volatile. As such, buyers are placing a bet that, regardless of their entry price, the performance of Bitcoin will outpace inflation over the long-term, despite high volatility. Overall Utility The technology around how Bitcoin is stored, sent and received is rapidly advancing. For example, the Bitpay wallet can now be added to Apple Pay to use Bitcoin as payment anywhere that accepts this type of monetary exchange. This is a significant development as there are over one billion active iPhones and these crypto-wallets can automatically settle transactions in the users’ currencies, potentially eliminating the risk of price volatility for transactions. Two other major benefits include portable wealth and instant liquidity for retail buyers. ** U.S. Rare Coins Collecting financial artifacts of various civilizations has been in high demand for over 2,000 years, from when wealthy Romans were collecting Greek coins up to the present day. Representing the birth of the United States economy, its sovereignty on the world stage and notable events throughout the nation’s history, the U.S. rare coins that have survived in spectacular condition have been in high demand from wealthy global collectors and investors since the birth of this young nation. Downside Protection There is a finite supply of high-end U.S. rare coins, which can be publicly verified on the census reports of the two major authentication companies: Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. These historical artifacts are not known to flood the market, as wealthy individuals with holding power generally do not need to liquidate them for less than their purchase price. Further, there is immense passion and competition to own the best trophies—why this market is known as the Hobby of Kings—which has evolved to sport for the affluent to locate and own these elusive artifacts in a private market. This passion-driven market with an extremely long track record has attracted investors to hold these highly sought-after assets as a long-term wealth protection strategy. As such, the market has demonstrated long term stability and steady price appreciation for well over a century based on these driven collectors and investors. Upside Opportunity The U.S. rare coin market has benefited from numerous advances in technology and other innovations, most recently the introduction of the two major certification companies in the 1980s, followed by the ubiquity of the Internet in the 2000s. Although the market has largely flown under the radar from institutional investors, there has been a massive increase in demand for U.S. rare coins over the last decade, which has ramped up during the pandemic, as wealthy individuals have more time to pursue their interests and compete (via a publicly available points system) to own the finest rare coin portfolios. According to Michael Contursi, Partner at Contursi Rare Coin Investments, “The high end of this market is currently dominated by ultra-wealthy, sophisticated collectors and investors who can afford to own multi-million dollar portfolios. Imagine if these assets could be fractionally owned by the masses. We are already currently seeing this in collectibles such as fine art and baseball cards. The upside for U.S. rare coins is astronomical when you consider the potential for an exponential increase in demand.” Inflation Hedging With unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, coupled with a finite supply of U.S. rare coins with intrinsic value, these assets have proven to be an excellent hedge against inflation due to this disequilibrium of supply and demand. As the least volatile of the three “coin” markets here, the high end value of the U.S. rare coin market can be a safe diversification tool for those seeking an inflation hedge, largely based on historical price appreciation data from the last 125 years. Overall Utility The two major certification companies secure these little treasures in sonically-welded holders with a certification number, barcode and other methods for protecting against counterfeit threats. Due to the weight and size of these items, owners can transport large amounts of wealth with extreme ease. Further, there are no reporting requirements for owning these assets, which makes them extremely private and can be a great way to retain wealth outside of the banking system in case of a financial meltdown or digital economy. ** Gold Bullion Coins There are many ways to participate in the gold (and silver) bullion markets, some of which include owning mining company stocks, futures contracts on the commodities exchanges, ETFs, or physical control. To this extent, gold bullion can be owned as both a digital asset (like Bitcoin) or a physical asset (like U.S. rare coins). Downside Protection Many people forget that from 1933 to 1975 it was illegal for Americans to own gold in the United States. Since then, investors have been making small allocations to gold as a diversified investment. It is globally-accepted that gold is a non-correlated, flight-to-safety asset during times of great uncertainty, such as The Great Recession of 2007-09 or the current global coronavirus pandemic. However, the spot price of gold is also extremely volatile, similar to Bitcoin, and the price could move significantly lower depending on one’s entry level to the market. Upside Opportunity The value of the U.S. dollar, as well as virtually every other major fiat currency, has drastically declined in its purchasing power over the last century. Since the gold market is currently transacted in U.S. dollars, it becomes cheaper for international buyers (mainly governments or large institutions) to own gold as an alternative to holding dollars or their own currencies as the currency continues to decline. For the retail investor, it is clearer than ever that fiat currencies will continue to decline as governments print an unlimited supply of money to monetize their debts. Similar to the masses that have already entered the Bitcoin frenzy, and those poised to enter the various collectibles markets such as U.S. rare coins, the upside opportunity for gold has already been demonstrated by the Reddit black swan event last month that caused silver spot prices to soar. The same could happen for gold, perhaps in a more sustained trajectory. Inflation Hedging Gold is known as an inflation hedge, which to some extent creates a self-fulfilling prophesy—as inflation expectations increase, institutions purchase gold and the increasing spot price protects their purchasing power. In addition, only approximately 2,500 to 3,000 tons of above ground gold are added to the global supply each year, with the majority used for jewelry. These relatively small increases to supply (similar to Bitcoin and finite rare coins) are a significant benefit when compared to printing binges for fiat currencies, thus helping protect against inflation. Overall Utility The utility of owning physical gold is primarily as a store of value where the owner maintains direct control and access to a tangible asset. Many believe they can use their gold to transact during a doomsday scenario, as these are uniform products owned globally. The downside is that gold is very heavy, making it difficult to store or transport. Nonetheless, it is highly liquid and easy to turn into cash during times of need, like an insurance policy. Which Coin is Right for You? All three of these “coins” have either a finite or slowly increasing supply, making them very attractive during times of economic uncertainty, as even relatively small increases in demand can move prices higher. Depending on needs, there is a case to be made to own any of these assets, including small positions in all three. According to Neptune, “Many of the families who invest with us side by side in the U.S. rare coin space also own small positions in cryptocurrencies and precious metals. Bitcoin is fun and people are speculating on its tremendous upside, whereas gold bullion is highly liquid and has a long track record as an inflation hedge. People have preconceived notions of all three markets, but I think with education and more transparency you will find more portfolios containing small allocations to all three of these assets.” As investors become more comfortable with the idea that they do not have to be renowned experts to own these tangible assets—similar to the idea that they do not need a Ph.D. in mechanical physics to drive a car—investors can utilize all three markets for various needs in a diversified portfolio. Since many financial advisors don’t yet know how to access or offer these types of alternative assets, they simply aren’t included in the investment mix and, thus, clients can’t reap the benefits—ostensibly suffering opportunity loss. Therefore, the prudent entrée to owning one (or all) of these “coins” is engaging with reputable companies or trusted experts. They will certainly help wealth-seekers make heads or tails of the burgeoning coin category. ~~~ Forbes Business Council Member Merilee Kern, MBA is an internationally-regarded brand analyst, strategist, futurist and marketplace trends pundit who reports on industry change makers, movers, shakers and innovators across all B2C and B2B categories. Connect with her at www.TheLuxeList.com / Instagram, Twitter & Facebook @LuxeListReports Sources: https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=58289 https://www.federalreserve.gov/releases/h6/current/default.htm https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/bst_recenttrends.htm https://cryptoguidepro.com/buy-fraction-piece-percentage-bitcoin/ https://news.bitcoin.com/data-shows-78-bitcoin-supply-illiquid-only-4-2m-btc-constant-circulation/ https://www.coindesk.com/harvard-yale-brown-endowments-have-been-buying-bitcoin-for-at-least-a-year-sources https://bitpay.com/wallet/ https://www.gold.org/about-gold/gold-supply/gold-mining/how-much-gold

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7 FinTech Challenges and Ways to Overcome Them

Article | March 12, 2021

2020 has been a challenging year for all industries. As COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty, many FinTech brands are under stress for a number of reasons. However, FinTech brands can use this opportunity to build their reputation and emerge as a substantial entity after the crisis has passed. Many FinTech organizations are putting in their thoughts on big ideas and innovative digital offerings that meet customer demand for a frictionless and seamless banking experience. This article aims to list down the challenges faced by FinTech brands and effective ways to resolve them: Challenges Faced by FinTech Brands in Generating Demand In this unprecedented time, lead generation is on high priority to acquiring new customers. The pressure is to get on board with working remotely, adapting to new challenges, changes, and dealing with customers having urgent & new requirements. FinTech companies have faced unique challenges over the past year. They are using complex technologies to develop better products & services for businesses. Replacing traditional methods to improve financial services need strategic planning, technological advancement, and original content marketing ideas to survive in the digital age. Read on to find out the challenges faced by FinTech brands in generating demand for their solutions. Impact of Covid-19 COVID-19 continues to create uncertainty due to the widespread lockdown. Many FinTech brands are under the stress of counting recent losses, cost-effectiveness, and rethinking their offerings to adapt them to changing needs. The banking & finance industries are now shifting from response to recovery. They are now investing in introducing new FinTech apps for the post-pandemic world. According to a recent survey, almost 82% of the citizens don't want to visit their banks and try digital apps to carry out financial transactions. FinTech brands are grabbing this opportunity to reach out to a new demographics by testing and adding new product range. Today, popular FinTech apps include mobile banking, e-wallets, contactless payments, international money transfer, retail banking, stock trading, FinTech loan app, InsurTech, etc. Go mobile Go digital. As a FinTech brand develops innovative solutions to be used during the pandemic, they also need to figure out ways to promote these products and services to reach their target audience. You are getting acquainted with various social media platforms, and understanding your target audience will help you reach wider. Identifying the top social media platform that works best for your product and service through content marketing will boost your customer base, reduce churn, and attract potential customers. Other functional content marketing solutions that you can think of includes web – content syndication, social media, mobile app – advertisements, and brand awareness content. Inefficiency to maintain a healthy lead pipeline Several FinTech brands are reassessing their approach, their budget, goals, and their offering. Those quickest to adapt to this change will lead the market and continue to grow. According to a research report, B2B specialists make 48% purchases online, up from 38% before the COVID-19 outbreak; this trend is likely to increase. FinTech companies need to generate more new leads than ever to maintain a healthy lead pipeline. To do so, they need to be where their audience is. • Finding the best social media platform for your industry • Rethinking events – Online & Offline • Exploring online opportunities – Webinars/Podcasts/Live Streaming/ Live Q&A/Online Sessions/ Live Feeds • Publish demo videos Building trust One of the most significant issues and struggles with a FinTech brand is to gain the trust of their consumers. Consumers usually select financial service providers as they are trusted by their families for generations. These financial brands should be able to handle issues such as security, confidentiality, and digital fraud. The brand should also comply with the latest financial regulations that need to be communicated. Social media is an ideal platform for brands to connect with their existing and potential customers. To build trust & loyalty between the company and the end-user, brands must focus on helping their customers rather than selling. Inadequate tech stacks to work remotely The inability to work remotely gave rise to new entrepreneurs with knowledge of finance who developed innovative solutions to help FinTech brands connect remotely. Another essential aspect that has evolved this industry is remodeling the user interface and customer experience. FinTech brands are largely coming out with innovative solutions that can help with: - Financial close - More visibility and transparency to financial transactions - Centralized data - Cloud support Cybersecurity Cybersecurity is a common problem across industries. With the advent of advanced technologies rises the need to develop stronger security. Considering the threat posed by cybercriminals and fraudsters, the financial system needs to handle this risk smartly. All the financial information remains sensitive, whether it's your social security number, card number, PINs, or password. With the growing number of smartphone users, FinTech becomes cheaper and easy to use. The process and services that were once monopolized by the banking sector are now available for all, helping develop innovative solutions, lower operating costs, and improve financial organizations' efficiency. Reaching Millennials FinTech brands should target millennials. They are fueling the market among money transfer applications and personal investment applications. Financial brands need to focus on financial management, lending, financing, and insurance applications. According to a report, 33% of millennials believe they won't need a bank at all in 5 years. Expanding FinTech press/media The increasing use of financial technology has given rise to a number of media houses covering them. Over the year, dozens of FinTech focused media sites, podcasts, and newsletters have been launched. Several authoritative publications have hired beat writers to pump up stories on trending topics and subject interest. Final Thoughts The FinTech market is growing in numbers, and the industry is heading towards the trillion-dollar industry. To grow as a FinTech brand, you need to ensure that you are better than your competitors. These challenges are temporary and can be overcome through practical approaches and technological advancements. While the challenges in deploying a FinTech firm continues, we have given a clearer perspective on how to overcome them in this blog. Overall, digital transformation for customer satisfaction is what is necessary. FAQs Q1. What risks are associated with FinTech products and/or services? A1. Cybersecurity, consumer data privacy & security, consumer data rights, online frauds and scams; cross-border transactions, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing; and digital identity risk are the key factors in the FinTech market. Q2. What are the benefits of FinTech? A2. FinTech has helped us drive positive change in the traditional financial services and foster innovation by creating products and service that benefits customers and small and big enterprises. Some of the benefits of FinTech products and services include convenience, digital resolutions, hassle-free practices, flexibility, high rate of approval, upgrade payment systems, customer services, and revenue, user-centric, transparency, and many more. Q3. What are the challenges for the financial services industry? A3. As mentioned in the blog, there are 7 key challenges faced by the FinTech Market they are: Pandemic situation Inefficiency to maintain a healthy lead pipeline Building trust Inadequate tech stacks to work remotely Cybersecurity Reaching Millennials Need to expand FinTech press/media { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What risks are associated with FinTech products and/or services?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Cybersecurity, consumer data privacy & security, consumer data rights, online frauds and scams; cross-border transactions, anti-money laundering and countering terrorist financing; and digital identity risk are the key factors in the FinTech market." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What are the benefits of FinTech?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "FinTech has helped us drive positive change in the traditional financial services and foster innovation by creating products and service that benefits customers and small and big enterprises. 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Intact is the largest provider of home, auto and business insurance in Canada, distributed through a nation-wide network of insurance brokers...

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