Emerging Technologies You Need to Know
Matching: banking X
March was the 1st month of the Roman calendar. The Caesars, Julius and Augustus, were honored with the naming rights to July and August relegating October (#8), November (#9) and December (#10) to their current slots of 10, 11 and 12 in the lunar batting order. Unquenchable ego, sloppy derivatives and hapless government intervention pre-dates the year 0.
As I prepare for a banking conference presentation (feel free to add your own punch line), I observe the following which could be extrapolated to a variety of industries: media, telecom, retail, transportation.
Bank of the Future predictions: let's keep copies of these in the files along with our stash of 'companies long-gone' memorabilia. IMO, banking in 5 years will be ubiquitously mobile, provided by highly trusted and broadly recommended sources (other customers) and regional in size and behavior.
Bank branches are models of the '*way it used to be.*' Going someplace so that someone else can enter some data into a computer is nearly completely anachronistic anyway. And espresso machines and elaborate video presentations won't entice many desirable customers. The financial disaster of today is good news for the Mint.coms, peer to peer lenders, Pay Pals and atypical financial services entities of the future.
I still contend that the Apple Store and IKEA are examples of what a bank should be. IKEA opened a store near Charlotte, North Carolina recently and people camped-out to be among the first through the doors. Customers want to belong to something not transact somewhere.
When the dust and smoke of the financial crisis clears, Google and China will retain their respective dominant positions as the more creative and the lowest cost producers, sharing the title of Best Capitalized. Now is the time to prepare for resumption of the related global competition.
Things aren't as foregone globally or even locally as one is stampeded into believing. 80%+ of the equivalent value of the stock market is on the sidelines, in cash, awaiting market stability. I envision this being like the starting line of the Oklahoma Land Rush. Every loud noise sends the 'Sooners' out 150 points or so. Do you add value? Can I trust you? Will I be associating with people like me? are questions to which every type of Financial Institution will have to answer 'yes' merely to earn the right to join the customer-rush line-up.
There are plenty of technically savvy, motivated and conscientious younger people out there (gen whatever, doesn't matter). They want to make a difference and are willing make to personal and professional investments before they reap attendant rewards (they elected a president, after all). Successful enterprises of the future will modernize the descriptions of their business challenges so that this talent generation can participate.
Some days I wonder what is in store for my teenaged sons over the next 30 years. Every day I wish that I was 30 years younger to be find out with them. Welcome to March. In like a lamb, out like a lion?
Internet Strategist, IBM jStart BusinessDevelopment Manager
While serving in the US Navy, our destroyer miscalculated the severity, course and speed of a typhoon. Compounding our misery was the decision to seek safety in port moored outboard a cruiser. For three days the winds pounded us into that cruiser puncturing her hull at the water line. Incredible was it to witness a warship at general quarters while sinking at her own pier.
The mood, behavior and weather of the prevailing financial crisis recalls that weekend in Subic Bay.
Here's what we could do to take advantage of the indecision and relative inaction of others: head for open water- meaning the environment where we are constructed to perform our best. Let's ensure that everyone across the extended organization, inside and outside of the firewall, understands what are our near-term intentions. This is not a recommendation for heroics or reckless behavior, but an opportunity for leadership and the beginning of the campaign to reinforce trustworthy relationships across our value chain of employees, shareholders, partners and customers.
While others are standing still or meandering waiting for the unpredictable market storms to pass, a 10% improvement in our performances could result in a 30% increase in relative advantage (distance from the pack).
Where's the web 2.0 component? Although I am eager to talk about the continuing progress in the mobile space with Microsoft's bid to be the search engine of choice in the Verizon mobile network (search, as Google knows, equals advertising dollars); the introduction of Blackberry (Storm); and the launch of the Google phone. Let's benefit from the victor's example in the U.S. presidential campaign.
Senator Obama maneuvered from not-yet-ready to the presidency, amassing an historic war chest in the process, by inspiring participation to build his financial network. His opponents throughout the extended contest waged a campaign of message control, the Web 1.0 publishing model.
There is a wide-range of Web 2.0 tools and principles to get us started and the first audience to engage may be within our own firewalls. Moving from Publication to Participation will help to build an extended culture of innovative and necessary change.
Best for the Thanksgiving holiday.
P.S. the USS Fox did not sink at that pier in Subic. And for the remainder of our deployment in the South China Sea, whenever there was more than the threat of a rainstorm, the USS Joseph Strauss lit-off her 4 boilers and got underway.
Internet Strategist, IBM jStart BusinessDevelopment Manager
I had the opportunity to see Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and a 2006 Nobel Peace Laureate speak in Austin this past weekend.
IBM is teaming up with the Grameen Foundation to tackle poverty by enhancing Mifos, an open-source microfinance software platform. Microfinance loans help disadvantaged entrepreneurs start small, self-sustaining businesses. By streamlining the lending process, the software is making a difference in places like India, Kenya, Tunisia and Honduras.
I am glad to see IBM is doing the right thing by contributing technology experts and resources to the project. It looks like the lending is currently done through MFIs (microfinance institutions). I wonder if a peer-to-peer lending system like Prosper.com could further help people in developing nations? Both approaches are about helping others via small (under $200) loans and are decent ways to set aside some money and also lend a helping hand to people in need.
Richard Branson of airline (Virgin Air), music (Virgin Music), mobile phone, (Virgin Mobile) fame announced a foray into the - should we say - virgin territory of P2P lending. This initiative takes advantage of Virgin Group's majority share of CircleLending, a Waltham, MA. firm organized to administer private loans (Mint.com, Wesabe.com, Prosper.com are in similar market). Virgin also in negotiations to purchase the recently troubled lender Northern Rock.
His the emphasis on 'friends and family' lending. We'll see. And the conjunction of banking, mobile devices, deep understanding of the consumer marketplace reminds me of eBay with its subsidiaries of PayPal & Skype, as well as its position as the second largest employer in the USA (if one considers secondary and tertiary (#3) sources of income).
Capital ($) has been mobile for a long while thanks to sophisticated IT systems. Now we are beginning to see the mobility of personal capital due to the ever increasing capability of not so sophisticated mobile devices.
Additional info in 10/15/07 NY Times, section c6. cperrien
I speak with many financial institutions about the potential for real CRM (customer relationship management) via Web 2.0 techniques and technologies. Often, nearly too often, the reply is that 'there is no money there' or 'that their business processes for security and privacy (I think that they mean control) prevent taking advantage of such capability to get to know their customers better.'
Last week I needed a cabinet hinge of an age and quality that would never be located in a big box hardware store (where CRM is 'find it yourself'). I searched on the web and my first hit led me to a supplier in San Diego. The website offered such a variety of hinges and descriptions that I did not trust my judgement for picking the correct model. Good news is that this vendor offered a service: email them 2 photos of the existing hinge, one with door open and the other with the door closed, and they will recommend the correct replacement. All of this service for a order that would not exceed $15.00 including shipping.
So how come my financial institution, with over $300,000 of my money, doesn't provide anything so personal in advising me about my retirement plans or savings plans for college?! I think it more a matter of desire than capability. Certain am I that if financial institutions of all sizes and types do not grasp the essence of Web 2.0, which is 'putting those who know in direct contact with those who need to know,' then they may be surprised by what sorts and sizes of competition will furnish these desired services. cperrien