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feel-good-sunday-simplify-your-writing
April 07, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Simplify your writing

Jim VandeHei, a co-founder of Politico and Axios, discusses the importance of concise writing in a digital age where attention spans are short.

In his TED Talk, he shares insights on how to effectively communicate by saying more with fewer words. By rethinking our approach to writing and focusing on #clarity and conciseness, we can engage readers more effectively and convey our message more efficiently.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jim_vandehei_how_to_write_less_but_say_more

curious-saturday-daylight-saving-are-we-actually-saving
April 06, 2024

Curious Saturday: Daylight saving – are we actually saving?

It’s not just about losing or gaining an hour of sleep each year.

This biannual time change can have some serious consequences that go beyond just feeling a bit groggy. Sleep expert Matt Walker dives into the surprising effects of DST, revealing how it can affect everything from stroke and car accident rates to stock prices.

The numbers don’t lie – losing an hour of sleep in the spring can lead to a 24% increase in heart attacks, while gaining an hour in the fall results in a 21% decrease.

So next time DST rolls around, remember that it’s not just about adjusting your clocks – it’s about taking care of your health too.

Check out the full talk for more fascinating insights!

https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_walker_how_daylight_saving_time_affects_our_bodies_minds_and_world

humans-vs-ai-new-technologies-indicate-our-ability-to-adapt-innovate-and-create
April 05, 2024

Humans vs AI: New technologies indicate our ability to adapt, innovate, and create

The looming clash between humans and AI in the workforce is a hot topic these days. Generative AI is set to shake up the tasks that employees do, impacting a significant chunk of the US workforce. But, not everyone is buying into the whole “robots are taking over our jobs” narrative. Some experts argue that history shows us that new technologies don’t always spell doom and gloom for employment. They point to our knack for adapting, innovating, and creating new opportunities.

Employers are already feeling the pinch in finding skilled workers in today’s tight job market. And let’s not forget that while AI may disrupt some jobs, it’s also likely to create new ones. Just look at how many job categories have popped up in recent decades that didn’t even exist back in the day. So, before we start panicking about AI stealing all our jobs, maybe we should consider that we might actually be facing a shortage of workers instead.

forget-ironman-entrepreneurship-is-the-ultimate-endurance-sport
April 04, 2024

Forget Ironman – Entrepreneurship is the ultimate endurance sport

apples-strategic-stand-on-generative-ai
April 03, 2024

Apple’s strategic stand on generative AI

Apple’s cautious approach to generative AI development is a strategic move that sets them apart from other tech companies. Unlike some competitors who are eager to dive headfirst into the world of AI, Apple is taking the time to carefully consider how best to integrate this technology into their products. Generative AI goes beyond just chatbots and has the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with technology.

Instead of relying on cloud computing like many other companies, Apple is focused on embedding generative AI directly into their devices. By investing in their own chip technology and prioritizing machine learning capabilities, Apple is positioning themselves as a leader in the AI space. While they may not be making flashy announcements about their progress, it’s clear that Apple is dedicated to getting generative AI right.

This strategic approach to AI development may give Apple the competitive edge they need in a rapidly evolving industry.

https://www.economist.com/business/2024/03/03/apple-is-right-not-to-rush-headlong-into-generative-ai

rethinking-the-fdic-approach-to-bank-rescues
April 02, 2024

Rethinking the FDIC approach to bank rescues

The FDIC is required by law to sell failed banks to mega banks, which can offer better prices than smaller bidders, leading to increased concentration in the banking system.

The “least cost test” mandates the FDIC to resolve failed banks in a way that minimizes costs to the deposit insurance fund. This could result in a “barbell” banking system with mega banks and small community banks dominating.

Congress could reinstate the FDIC’s emergency authority to guarantee large business transaction accounts to prevent this. Regulators should take action to prevent further concentration in the banking system.

https://www.ft.com/content/e1ce2ba6-89e3-4132-8061-02120cf8165d

how-to-navigate-risks-and-opportunities-associated-with-generative-ai
April 01, 2024

How to navigate risks and opportunities associated with Generative AI

To harness the full power of generative AI, organizations need to be proactive in identifying and mitigating risks, while also welcoming the transformative capabilities it offers.

This requires a strategic investment of time, resources, and a willingness to adapt traditional ways of operating. By approaching implementation with a focus on responsibility, companies can open new levels of productivity, innovation, and customer satisfaction through the strategic deployment of generative AI applications.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/implementing-generative-ai-with-speed-and-safety

March 31, 2024

Happy Easter!

curious-saturday-the-future-of-technology-seamless-screenless-and-sensing
March 30, 2024

Curious Saturday: The future of technology – seamless, screenless and sensing

Get ready to be amazed by the latest technology from Humane, a company co-founded by former Apple designer Imran Chaudhri. In a sneak peek at their groundbreaking new product, Chaudhri reveals a world where AI allows our devices to seamlessly blend into our surroundings. This screenless, seamless, and sensing experience promises to change how we interact with technology and the world around us.

Forget about bulky screens and clunky interfaces – Humane is paving the way for a more intuitive and humane way of interacting with technology. With their innovative approach, they are redefining the relationship between humans and technology. Get a glimpse of the future and witness the next evolution in device design.

Don’t miss out on this exciting vision of a world where AI is everywhere, making our lives easier and more connected than ever before. Check out the TED talk for more details:
https://www.ted.com/talks/imran_chaudhri_the_disappearing_computer_and_a_world_where_you_can_take_ai_everywhere

female-founders-are-the-missing-piece-in-the-unicorn-puzzle
March 29, 2024

Female founders are the missing piece in the unicorn puzzle

Despite the impressive growth of unicorns, the representation of #women founders is shockingly low.

With only 14% of unicorns having a female co-founder and a mere 5% with a female CEO, it’s clear that there is a significant disparity in representation.

This slow progress is alarming, especially when considering the overwhelming dominance of male founders in the field.

The main culprit behind this imbalance is the fact that 85% of VC investment decision-makers are men, according to All Raise and Crunchbase.

successful-product-integration-requirements
March 28, 2024

Successful product integration requirements

how-to-increase-banks-deposit-pools
March 27, 2024

How to increase banks’ deposit pools

To increase banks’ deposit pools, it is essential to enhance visibility into deposit activity by analyzing customer behavior and preferences.

Establishing a dedicated deposit command center can help streamline operations and improve efficiency. Developing a competitive pricing strategy and updating sales approaches can attract new depositors. Targeting deposits from cash-rich industries and implementing AI technology can also boost deposit growth.

Furthermore, banks can explore partnerships with fintech companies to offer innovative deposit products and services. Leveraging data analytics and investing in digital marketing strategies can help banks reach a wider audience and attract new customers. By continuously evolving and adapting to the changing financial landscape, banks can effectively grow their deposit pools and remain competitive in the market.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/winning-in-corporate-deposits-through-transaction-banking

small-businesses-deserve-better-banking-services
March 26, 2024

Small businesses deserve better banking services

The data from the 2023 Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey highlights the ongoing challenges faced by smaller businesses in accessing financing. Despite some improvement in approval rates from the previous year, the approval rate for loan, line of credit, and cash advance applicants remains below pre-pandemic levels.

The discrepancy in approval rates can be attributed to the risk management practices of large banks, which may not be well-suited for serving the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). Due to the potential regulatory risks involved, many mega banks may be hesitant to extend credit to smaller clients who represent a relatively small portion of their overall revenue.

This underscores the need for better banking solutions tailored specifically to the unique requirements of SMBs, in order to facilitate their growth and success in the current economic landscape.

generative-ai-for-banks-managing-risk-and-compliance
March 25, 2024

Generative AI for banks: Managing risk and compliance

Over the next five years, generative AI has the potential to automate and improve various aspects of risk control, from regulatory compliance to climate risk management.

It is crucial for risk and compliance teams to establish clear boundaries for the implementation of gen AI within their organizations.

By utilizing gen AI, banks can shift their focus from mundane tasks to strategic risk prevention and collaboration with business units. This approach allows risk professionals to provide valuable insights for new product development and business decisions, as well as proactively address emerging risk trends.

Key applications of gen AI include regulatory compliance, financial crime detection, credit risk assessment, data analytics, cyber risk management, and climate risk evaluation. By embracing gen AI, banks can streamline operations, enhance decision-making processes, and strengthen overall risk and compliance functions.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/how-generative-ai-can-help-banks-manage-risk-and-compliance

feel-good-sunday-how-to-keep-ai-under-control
March 24, 2024

Feel good Sunday: How to keep AI under control

With the rapid advancement of AI technology, there is a growing concern about the potential dangers of super intelligent AI. However, scientist Max Tegmark offers an optimistic outlook on how we can ensure AI works for us, not against us.

But what if the AI can’t create the necessary tools on its own? Tegmark suggests training one AI to learn your desired tasks and then using another AI to extract the learned algorithm and knowledge, similar to an AI neuroscientist.

This approach aligns with the progress being made in mechanistic interpretability, showing that creating safe AI systems is within reach.

For more insights on controlling AI, check out Max Tegmark’s TED talk:
https://www.ted.com/talks/max_tegmark_how_to_keep_ai_under_control

curious-saturday-how-one-click-can-cost-millions
March 23, 2024

Curious Saturday: How one click can cost millions

Join cybersecurity expert Ryan Pullen as he reveals the alarming ease of cybercrime and the human vulnerabilities that hackers exploit. Dive into his investigations of major digital breaches and learn how a simple link click can lead to devastating consequences. Discover the latest insights on protecting yourself from scams and safeguarding against cyber threats in today’s interconnected world.

Cybersecurity may seem tech-focused, but a staggering 95% of cyberattacks involve a human element, as revealed in IBM’s 2021 study.

Watch now: https://www.ted.com/talks/ryan_pullen_how_clicking_a_single_link_can_cost_millions

tech-jobs-gender-gap-in-tech-sector-narrows-across-advanced-economies
March 22, 2024

Tech jobs: Gender gap in tech sector narrows across advanced economies

The gender gap in tech jobs is finally starting to narrow across advanced economies. Thanks to increased demand, gender equality policies, and a more flexible work environment, women are now securing a larger share of tech jobs. According to an analysis of official data by the FT, the gender gap in the tech sector has decreased in the US, EU, and UK over the past four years.

While this progress is promising, men still hold the majority of tech jobs. This disparity highlights the need for more diverse hiring practices, especially as the industry continues to advance in artificial intelligence technologies.

Read the full article at: https://on.ft.com/49Bi3UL

2024-credit-unions-ready-to-take-on-banks-in-battle-for-deals
March 21, 2024

2024: Credit Unions ready to take on banks in battle for deals

Despite facing some challenges, credit unions are eager to expand their reach and expertise by acquiring banks. In 2023, credit unions were involved in a record number of bank deals, and this trend is expected to continue this year.

The interest in bank acquisitions is being driven by credit unions’ desire to diversify their offerings, especially in commercial lending. By acquiring banks, credit unions can tap into new #revenue streams and expand their services to include wealth management and trust services.

Although there may be some hurdles along the way, credit unions remain determined to pursue bank deals as a strategic move to strengthen their position in the financial market.

With the industry becoming more aware of the risks of concentration, credit unions see M&A as a way to mitigate these risks and ensure their long-term success.

https://www.spglobal.com/marketintelligence/en/news-insights/latest-news-headlines/credit-unions-to-face-stiffer-competition-for-bank-deals-in-2024-79807423

financial-institutions-are-building-competitive-advantage-through-partnerships-and-ma
March 20, 2024

Financial institutions are building competitive advantage through partnerships and M&A

Financial institutions are strategically positioning themselves through mergers and acquisitions to stay ahead in the competitive landscape. Despite the challenges in the financial services M&A market, there is optimism for growth in 2024.

The emergence of GenAI technology is pushing companies to take proactive steps to prevent their rivals from gaining an edge. Private equity firms are expected to play a more active role in M&A activities as the monetary policy outlook becomes clearer.

To navigate the evolving landscape, banks are increasingly turning to partnerships, acquisitions, and ecosystem development. A survey revealed that 51% of respondents prefer partnerships as a go-to-market strategy due to the limitations of in-house technology.

By collaborating with GenAI technology providers and building ecosystems, financial institutions can enhance their capabilities, drive innovation, and transform their business models.

https://www.ey.com/en_us/strategy-transactions/the-navigator-perspectives-on-financial-services-m-a

insights-for-credit-unions-in-2024-navigating-the-economy-and-interest-rates
March 19, 2024

Insights for Credit Unions in 2024: Navigating the economy and interest rates

In the upcoming year, credit unions should keep a close eye on the economy and interest rates. While higher earners may be less affected by deteriorating consumer financial health, it’s crucial for credit unions to monitor all income levels. Various factors like inflation, geopolitical instability, and supply chain disruptions could further weaken the economy and impact individuals across the income spectrum.

Despite recent inflation decreases, wages are starting to outpace price increases, particularly for lower-income individuals. While this is positive news, concerns remain about unsustainable spending and debt levels, especially among the lower income brackets.

Credit unions need to pay attention to rising debt levels, driven by significant growth in auto loans and credit card debt – key areas for credit union products. Managing these risks prudently will be essential in 2024 and beyond.

https://www.fiserv.com/en/insights/articles-and-blogs/what-credit-unions-should-know-about-the-economy-and-interest-rates-in-2024.html

how-ai-is-changing-banking
March 18, 2024

How AI is changing banking

The impact of AI on the banking industry is profound. It has the potential to significantly change the way banks operate, from investment advice to ESG considerations and combating financial crime.

The key idea is simple: by understanding customers better, banks can offer more tailored recommendations. This concept, long practiced in the traditional banking world, is now crucial in the digital era, especially in the realm of investment advising.

For instance, algorithms like “Next best offer” monitor Wealth Management Clients’ portfolios for potential risks, such as downgraded bonds or overexposure to certain regions, prompting advisors to take action.

In the fight against financial crime, AI models like “Black Forest” analyze transactions to detect suspicious activities based on various criteria.

While human oversight is still necessary, AI’s automated suggestions can greatly streamline decision-making processes, ultimately benefiting customers and the environment by reducing carbon footprints.

https://www.db.com/what-next/digital-disruption/better-than-humans/how-artificial-intelligence-is-changing-banking/index?language_id=1

feel-good-sunday-can-we-effectively-work-remotely-its-complicated
March 17, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Can we effectively work remotely? It’s complicated

In his TED Talk, organizational design expert Mark Mortensen delves into the complexities of the remote work debate. While opinions on remote work vary widely, Mortensen emphasizes the importance of considering the research on the subject.

He highlights the challenges that come with navigating the shift towards hybrid work models and suggests three key conversation topics that #workplaces should explore as they adapt to the changing landscape of work.

https://www.ted.com/talks/mark_mortensen_is_remote_work_better_than_being_in_the_office_it_s_complicated

curious-saturday-digital-ownership-as-a-must
March 16, 2024

Curious Saturday: Digital ownership as a must

Join technologist Yat Siu on a journey into the world of the “open metaverse” – a digital realm that promises a more equitable and innovative future.

Discover how web3 technology is reshaping our society by empowering digital ownership and changing the creator economy. Get ready to reimagine capitalism for the 21st century and explore the endless possibilities of this decentralized internet.

Watch the talk here:
https://www.ted.com/talks/yat_siu_the_dream_of_digital_ownership_powered_by_the_metaverse

traditional-stereotypes-of-career-paths-will-collapse-in-face-of-workforce-change
March 15, 2024

Traditional stereotypes of career paths will collapse in face of workforce change

Gone are the days of traditional career trajectories, where employees would climb the corporate ladder and retire at the pinnacle of their careers. Nowadays, many workers are choosing to delay retirement, switch careers, or explore different, potentially less lucrative opportunities.

A notable shift is seen in the increasing number of older Americans staying in the workforce, with Pew research revealing that 19% of individuals aged 65 and above were working in 2023, nearly double the figure from 35 years ago.

Furthermore, more employees are taking career breaks, transitioning between industries, and embracing non-traditional employment arrangements. Factors such as economic fluctuations, caregiving responsibilities, and technological advancements are also contributing to the disruption of traditional career paths.

Stay ahead of the curve and learn more about these trends shaping the future of work: https://hbr.org/2024/01/9-trends-that-will-shape-work-in-2024-and-beyond

human-by-design
March 14, 2024

Human by design

Human by design refers to the concept of integrating human-centered principles into the development of technology. This approach focuses on creating products and services that are intuitive, accessible, and user friendly, ultimately enhancing the overall user experience.

By putting humans at the center of the design process, companies can ensure that their technology meets the needs and preferences of their target audience.

Incorporating human-centric design principles can lead to increased #customer satisfaction, improved usability, and higher adoption rates for new technologies. It also helps to build trust and loyalty among users, ultimately driving business success.

As the digital landscape continues to evolve, companies that prioritize human-centered design will have a competitive advantage in meeting the ever-changing needs and expectations of their customers.

small-businesses-are-seeking-to-allocate-their-budget-to-technologies
March 13, 2024

Small businesses are seeking to allocate their budget to technologies

shift-in-the-market-presents-an-opportunity-for-banks
March 12, 2024

Shift in the market presents an opportunity for banks

The shift in the market towards refinancing in public markets is driven by the prospect of rate cuts, making it a more attractive option for borrowers looking to reduce their debt burden.

This trend is particularly evident in the private credit sector, where approximately $10 billion worth of loans have been refinanced in public markets. Bank of America’s data highlights the significant movement towards this alternative financing option, as borrowers seek to take advantage of lower interest rates.

For banks, this presents an opportunity to recover from losses incurred in 2022 when they financed deals that turned out to be unprofitable. By capitalizing on the current market conditions and offering more competitive loan options, banks can regain their footing and potentially increase their profitability in the future.

Read the full article at:
https://on.ft.com/4bPxgD8

upgrade-your-security-with-passwordless-authentication
March 11, 2024

Upgrade your security with passwordless authentication

Passwordless authentication methods, such as biometric authentication (e.g., fingerprint or facial recognition), security keys, and one-time passcodes sent to mobile devices, are gaining popularity due to their ability to enhance security and streamline user access.

By eliminating the need for traditional passwords, these methods reduce the risk of credential theft and unauthorized access. Additionally, passwordless authentication improves the user experience by offering a more convenient and seamless way for employees to access systems and applications. As remote work becomes more prevalent and #cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, businesses are recognizing the importance of implementing robust authentication measures.

feel-good-sunday-we-need-to-build-a-table-to-achieve-gender-equality
March 10, 2024

Feel good Sunday: We need to BUILD a table to achieve gender equality

Women are taught to strive for a “seat at the table,” but Lilly Singh argues that we need to build a better table for #gender #equality. In her TED Talk, Singh shares her journey from YouTuber to late-night talk show host and offers four ways to create a more inclusive society that empowers girls to succeed.

Lilly Singh: “A seat at the table” isn’t the solution for gender equity
https://www.ted.com/talks/lilly_singh_a_seat_at_the_table_isn_t_the_solution_for_gender_equity

curious-saturday-the-future-will-be-shaped-by-optimists
March 09, 2024

Curious Saturday: The future will be shaped by optimists

Optimism is not just a choice, but a responsibility we owe to ourselves and future generations, believes Kevin Kelly.

In his engaging TED Talk, he presents three compelling reasons to stay optimistic in turbulent times. By fostering a sense of hope, we can leave a positive legacy for the world and those who come after us.

Watch Kevin Kelly’s inspiring TED Talk:

https://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_kelly_the_future_will_be_shaped_by_optimists

international-womens-day-2024-inspire-inclusion
March 08, 2024

International Women’s Day 2024 – Inspire Inclusion!

gender-equality-in-power-dynamics-is-linked-to-wealth-distribution
March 07, 2024

Gender equality in power dynamics is linked to wealth distribution

Gloria Steinem urges us to confront the correlation between masculinity and financial success in order to move forward. This prompts a reevaluation of entrenched gender roles and societal norms that perpetuate inequalities in power and resources.

By dismantling these constructs, we can work towards a fairer #society where individuals are recognized for their talents rather than their gender. Steinem’s message serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing efforts required to attain genuine gender parity.

data-on-primises-vs-cloud
March 06, 2024

Data on primises vs. cloud

Data storage options include on-premises and cloud solutions.

On-premises storage involves storing data on physical servers within an organization’s datacenter, providing full control but requiring significant investment. Cloud storage, on the other hand, offers scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness, with data stored on remote servers maintained by a third-party provider.

Accessibility from any location and collaboration benefits make cloud storage ideal for remote work environments, but organizations must consider data security and compliance regulations when selecting a provider.

stay-informed-and-stay-ahead-check-out-gartners-latest-magic-quadrant-for-access-management
March 05, 2024

Stay informed and stay ahead: Check out Gartner’s latest Magic Quadrant for Access Management!

The report highlights the evolving landscape of workforce access management and the rapid innovation in Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM), creating new opportunities for B2B applications.

The report also emphasizes the need for support for passkeys and identity verification to enhance security measures.

Find out more at https://www.gartner.com/doc/reprints?id=1-2FMYDTDQ&ct=231115&st=sb&mkt_tok=NjcxLU1HSi01NzAAAAGRYYJ0Rx-nmWe9siIjqvq_DOd6GAY6WhHYO0Ap-UoWJngpMjKPybuvgFPXzhuWhO9GwSsj2CDwnro_EyDl4cIwoqrkDW5zqrHfU-XScoSmnv1hsOg

is-your-organization-on-board-with-passwordless-authentication
March 04, 2024

Is your organization on board with passwordless authentication?

According to the 2023 Workforce Authentication Report by Sapio Research, a whopping 92% of businesses have already adopted or are planning to implement passwordless technology.

The survey, which included 1,005 IT decision makers from the US, Germany, Australia, UK, and France, revealed that 95% of businesses are currently using a passwordless experience within their organization. Additionally, 89% of IT leaders predict that passwords will make up less than a quarter of their organization’s logins within the next 5 years.

Check out the full report here: https://fidoalliance.org/the-2023-workforce-authentication-report-embracing-the-passwordless-future/

feel-good-sunday-lessons-from-the-gender-transition-on-womanhood
March 03, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Lessons from the gender transition on womanhood

Join Paula Stone Williams as she shares her remarkable journey of self-discovery and empowerment. In this thought-provoking TED Talk, she fearlessly opens up about her gender transition and the invaluable lessons it taught her about womanhood.

With a conversational and light-hearted approach, Williams delves into the everyday experiences she gained, lost, and once took for granted as she embraced her true self. Her unique perspective offers a fresh and insightful understanding of the complexities of trans womanhood.

Prepare to be inspired as Williams challenges societal norms and invites us to reflect on our own preconceptions. Don’t miss out on this captivating talk that celebrates resilience, authenticity, and the power of embracing one’s true identity.

Watch the TED Talk here: https://www.ted.com/talks/paula_stone_williams_what_my_gender_transition_taught_me_about_womanhood

curious-saturday-want-to-change-the-narrative-start-changing-the-stories-we-tell-ourselves
March 02, 2024

Curious Saturday: Want to change the narrative? Start changing the stories we tell ourselves.

Why is good news so rare? In a TED talk, journalist Angus Hervey highlights the significant progress in environmental protection and public health. He argues that if we want to change the narrative of humanity, we must start changing the stories we tell ourselves.

https://www.ted.com/talks/angus_hervey_why_are_we_so_bad_at_reporting_good_news

are-mixed-race-individuals-truly-privileged-with-the-best-of-both-worlds
March 01, 2024

Are mixed-race individuals truly privileged with the “best of both worlds”?

Exciting news! The United States has taken a significant stride towards racial unity, as revealed by the 2020 census. The “multiracial” category has seen a remarkable increase of 20 million people, thanks to modifications in how the US Census Bureau collects information on ethnic backgrounds.

https://www.ft.com/content/563bd9fd-e05f-4e38-9334-897e2e325f7d

welcome-the-journey-of-life-where-beauty-blossoms-amidst-adversity
February 29, 2024

Welcome the journey of life, where beauty blossoms amidst adversity

us-lenders-debt-to-shadow-banks-passes-1tn
February 28, 2024

US lenders’ debt to shadow banks passes $1tn

The US banking industry is witnessing a concerning trend as lenders‘ debt to shadow banks has surpassed $1tn. This surge in loans to shadow banks has raised alarm bells among regulators due to the lack of information and oversight regarding the risks involved.

Shadow banks, including hedge funds, private equity firms, and direct lenders, are leveraging these funds to make investments and extend loans to borrowers that traditional banks have been discouraged from lending to directly.

This phenomenon highlights the growing role of shadow banking in the financial system and the potential risks it poses. Regulators are now grappling with the challenge of monitoring and regulating these non-traditional lenders to ensure financial stability.

boom-and-bust
February 27, 2024

Boom and Bust: US economy surpasses expectations with 2.5% growth in 2023, setting the stage for a healthier economic environment in 2025

preventing-ai-monopolies-is-crucial-for-fostering-innovation
February 26, 2024

Preventing AI monopolies is crucial for fostering innovation

OpenAI’s CEO is seeking a massive funding target of up to $7tn to reshape the semiconductor industry for AI. This highlights the concentration of generative AI in the market, which poses a threat to its importance in various fields.

The resources and talent required for advanced AI development are currently controlled by a small number of companies, creating a risk of dependency or missed opportunities for researchers and small businesses.

Efforts are being made in the US and EU to level the playing field by investing in public digital infrastructure and providing access to compute resources. However, legislative and regulatory interventions are also necessary to prevent AI monopolies, address bias and discrimination, and ensure transparency.

Investments in public digital infrastructure should increase, and state funds should be diverted from Big Tech. Preventing AI monopolies is crucial for fostering innovation and public understanding of the technology.

Read the full article at: https://on.ft.com/42FiOcH

feel-good-sunday-redefining-masculinity-for-a-better-world
February 25, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Redefining masculinity for a better world

Calling for a shift in perspective, gender equality advocate Gary Barker sheds light on the importance of cultivating a culture that promotes care, empathy, and meaningful connections among men. Barker emphasizes our innate capacity for compassion, asserting that it’s a skill that must be honed through practice.

Startling statistics reveal that one in three women worldwide falls victim to violence at the hands of a male partner. The overwhelming majority of perpetrators are men. Research conducted across various countries indicates that roughly two-thirds of men admit to experiencing physical violence from another male during their childhood. This exposure to male violence becomes an integral part of their journey to manhood.

Disturbingly, around 40 to 50 percent of men globally subscribe to a distorted version of masculinity. This toxic ideology revolves around outperforming others at any cost, suppressing vulnerability, viewing sex as conquest rather than connection, constantly projecting toughness, and resorting to violence as a means to achieve their desires. These beliefs are not mere rhetoric; they shape the reality in which men live.

Gary Barker urges us to redefine masculinity, placing empathy at its core.

https://www.ted.com/talks/gary_barker_a_reframing_of_masculinity_rooted_in_empathy

curious-saturday-simplify-your-business-speak-take-the-bs-out
February 24, 2024

Curious Saturday: Simplify your business speak — take the BS out

Ever found yourself drowning in the sea of business jargon, struggling to comprehend the obscure acronyms and phrases that permeate the workplace?

Fear not, for journalist and comedian Bob Wiltfong has a solution. With a touch of wit, he sheds light on the perplexing language that often alienates employees. Offering three valuable tips, Wiltfong encourages us to strip away the unnecessary fluff and communicate more effectively within our professional spheres.

However, let’s address the elephant in the room: the issue with this business-speak phenomenon. It’s a language that thrives on exclusivity, spoken fluently by those in positions of power.

Discover how Bob Wiltfong dismantles the BS in business speak: https://www.ted.com/talks/bob_wiltfong_how_to_take_the_bs_out_of_business_speak_dec_2023

regional-banks-risk-falling-behind-in-the-ai-age-of-banking
February 23, 2024

Regional banks risk falling behind in the AI age of banking

While they have excelled in combining technology and personal service, there is concern that they are underestimating the impact of AI and its rapid evolution.

The emergence of new regional banks with a strong relationship banking model has been validated by customer satisfaction scores. However, regional banks may not fully grasp the disruption AI will bring to the industry. They are focused on AI use cases like product recommendations, but AI has the potential to completely transform the current banking business model.

The speed of technological advancements, exemplified by the rapid increase in parameters in ChatGPT versions, is also being underestimated.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/ai-bank-of-the-future-can-banks-meet-the-ai-challenge

decode-your-emotions
February 22, 2024

Decode your emotions

By exploring the origins, triggers, and patterns of our emotions, we can develop a heightened self-awareness that allows us to navigate them more effectively.

This self awareness enables us to recognize when our emotions are clouding our judgment or driving us towards impulsive decisions.

Furthermore, understanding the nature of our emotions also helps us to cultivate empathy and compassion towards others. By recognizing that everyone experiences a wide range of emotions, we can develop a greater sense of understanding and patience when interacting with others.

the-fiserv-small-business-index-small-businesses-maintained-steady-sales-growth
February 21, 2024

The Fiserv Small Business Index – small businesses maintained steady sales growth

According to the Fiserv Small Business Index, small businesses have experienced consistent growth in sales. The index reveals a year-over-year increase of 1.7%, indicating a positive trend in the small business sector.

In terms of specific industries, the Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services sector has shown notable growth compared to the previous months of December and January 2023. This suggests that businesses in this field have experienced increased demand and improved performance.

Additionally, the retail sector has performed exceptionally well, with a January index of 143, marking a 1-point increase from December. This growth is attributed to various factors, including consumer spending on building materials, health and personal care products, and general merchandise. Retail sales have seen a month-over-month increase of 0.7% and a year-over-year growth of 1.9%. Furthermore, retail foot traffic has also risen by 4.2% compared to the previous year.

These findings from the Fiserv Small Business Index highlight the positive trajectory of small businesses, particularly in the retail and professional services sectors.

https://newsroom.fiserv.com/news-releases/news-release-details/fiserv-small-business-indextm-january-2024-consumer-spending

generative-ai-focus-the-journey-on-people-and-process-not-just-on-tech
February 20, 2024

Generative AI : Focus the journey on people and process, not just on tech

The adoption of generative AI has the potential to drive significant growth for financial institutions. However, simply focusing on #technology alone will not be enough to harness its full potential. According to a recent report by BCG, financial institutions need to broaden their perspective and prioritize people and processes in their AI journey.

The report emphasizes the importance of having a forward-looking AI vision that is supported by the right culture and people strategy. This means that organizations should not only focus on acquiring the necessary technological capabilities but also invest in developing the skills and expertise of their workforce.

While integrating generative AI into existing frameworks is essential, the report highlights the need for a complete AI transformation. This involves reimagining traditional operations and processes to fully leverage the benefits of generative AI.

The report also cautions against taking a tentative approach to AI implementation. Instead, financial institutions should be willing to embrace true change and commit to long-term transformation to gain a competitive edge.

For more detailed insights and guidance on implementing generative AI in the financial sector, you can refer to the full report by BCG: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/a-genai-roadmap-for-fis

place-the-emphasis-on-the-chat-not-on-the-bot
February 19, 2024

Place the emphasis on the chat, not on the bot

AI can improve work, but employees need to adapt and learn how to collaborate effectively with AI tools.

Teams using AI tend to produce fewer extreme answers, but those who achieve excellent results with AI find it more challenging than settling for average ideas. Underperforming teams often use AI as a problem solver instead of a conversation partner.

To improve, individuals should first think through a problem independently before engaging with AI. A neutral facilitator can help in organizing ideas during the final phase. Ultimately, the focus should be on the conversation rather than solely relying on the AI bot.

https://www.ft.com/content/8f99db8f-8565-4168-aae0-6245cafe9538

feel-good-sunday-how-to-maintain-emotional-self-control
February 18, 2024

Feel good Sunday: How to maintain emotional self-control?

Acceptance and cognitive reappraisal can be used interchangeably in order to maintain emotional self-control.

Difficult emotions can get under your skin if you’re not careful. Sport and performance consultant Jessica Garza calls this the “jumping cholla effect,” inspired by a sneaky kind of cactus that detaches and burrows its spines into unsuspecting passersby. In this empowering talk, she shares four mood-regulating strategies to help you gain self awareness of your feelings, avoid catching other people’s #emotions and perform at your peak — whatever the prickly situation may be.

Jessica Garza: How to avoid catching prickly emotions from other people
https://www.ted.com/talks/jessica_garza_how_to_avoid_catching_prickly_emotions_from_other_people

curious-saturday-what-is-the-future-of-internet
February 17, 2024

Curious Saturday: What is the future of internet?

Internet must be open, enquiring, cooperative and suspicious of authority

The future of the internet is threatened by mass surveillance and state-funded troll farms, warns Ordinary Things, an anonymous YouTube creator.

Privacy is at risk, while disinformation and chaos are being spread on platforms designed to connect us.

Ordinary Things emphasizes the importance of fighting for a free internet as it impacts our collective future.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ordinary_things_who_owns_the_internet_of_the_future

the-way-we-treat-prisoners-speaks-volumes-about-our-societys-values
February 16, 2024

The way we treat prisoners speaks volumes about our society’s values

The treatment of prisoners can be a revealing reflection of a society’s values and priorities. Norway, known for its progressive approach, has developed a prison system that sets an example for the rest of the world. With a capacity of approximately three thousand inmates, Norway’s prisons prioritize rehabilitation over punishment. Notably, the country has abolished capital punishment and life imprisonment.

In stark contrast to traditional notions of incarceration, the best prisons in the world provide prisoners with an environment that resembles a home rather than a punishment facility. These facilities aim to reform individuals by offering them comfortable and secure living conditions. The focus is on equipping prisoners with the necessary tools and skills to reintegrate into #society successfully once their sentences are completed.

Read more: https://yen.com.gh/facts-lifehacks/228168-prisons-world-confuse-a-home/

challenge-the-status-quo
February 15, 2024

Challenge the status quo

does-your-voice-matter-well-it-turns-out-that-for-female-executive-on-investor-calls-it-definitely-is
February 14, 2024

Does your voice matter? Well, it turns out that for female executive on investor calls, it definitely is.

The scrutiny faced by female executives during earnings calls can be relentless and unforgiving, particularly on Wall Street.

It goes beyond just analyzing numbers and company performance; their presentation style is also dissected. While men also face scrutiny, a recent study has shed light on the challenges faced by women in the hot seat. Surprisingly, the way they speak could potentially predict poor company performance.

The study also suggests that one unintended consequence of the MeToo movement was the rewarding of men who exhibited speech patterns traditionally associated with women.

Another paper by the same authors found that equity analysts are more likely to downgrade stock recommendations when companies appoint female chiefs, despite no evidence of underperformance.

Anjli Raval

Read the full article at: https://on.ft.com/3ujuoNY

artificial-intelligence-initiates-the-era-of-intelligent-agents
February 13, 2024

Artificial intelligence initiates the era of intelligent agents

Artificial intelligence (AI) is ushering in the age of intelligent agents, changing industries like healthcare, finance, transportation, and customer service.

In healthcare, AI-powered intelligent agents analyze vast medical data to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning, uncovering patterns and correlations for more accurate and personalized healthcare solutions.

In finance, intelligent agents transform investment strategies by analyzing market trends, predicting stock prices, and making real-time decisions, optimizing portfolios and maximizing returns.

Transportation systems are being reshaped by intelligent agents, with self-driving cars using AI algorithms to navigate roads, interpret traffic signals, and ensure passenger safety, potentially reducing accidents and congestion.

In customer service, AI-powered chatbots act as virtual agents, understanding and responding to customer queries instantly, providing 24/7 support and personalized assistance to improve customer satisfaction.

As AI advances, intelligent agents will continue to evolve, promising even greater sophistication in the future.

a-life-take-from-davo
February 12, 2024

A life take from Davos – banks and financial institutions have a crucial role to play in this interconnected world

Banks and financial institutions play a crucial role in the interconnected world, involving global trade, sustainability finance, supply chains, and regulatory movements. They are expected to detect challenges and identify value creation opportunities in the global economy.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/banking-matters-in-2024-a-live-take-from-the-wef

feel-good-sunday-are-you-sure-about-that
February 11, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Are you sure about that?

Questioning your own interests shouldn’t be frowned upon, according to Yara Shahidi.

The renowned actress and producer, known for her roles in popular shows like “black-ish” and “grown-ish,” shares her personal journey of recognizing the signs that pointed towards her #future. And guess what? You can do the same!

We all have a multitude of passions and responsibilities, constantly juggling various aspects of our lives. However, society often expects us to narrow down our focus and choose just one path. But why should we limit ourselves? Why can’t we explore multiple areas that captivate us equally? That lingering doubt of “Are you sure about that?” shouldn’t hold us back.

https://www.ted.com/talks/yara_shahidi_let_curiosity_lead

curious-saturday-what-is-your-body-language-communicating-to-mewhats-mine-communicating-to-you
February 10, 2024

Curious Saturday: What is your body language communicating to me? What’s mine communicating to you?

Believe it or not, body language not only influences how others perceive us but also has the power to shape our self-perception. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy introduces the concept of “power posing” – assuming a confident posture, even in moments of self-doubt – as a means to enhance our confidence levels and potentially impact our chances of success.

It’s all about rewiring our brains to handle situations with utmost efficacy. By boosting testosterone levels and reducing cortisol, we can avoid leaving encounters feeling like we failed to express our true selves. Instead, we can depart with a sense of accomplishment, having effectively showcased our authentic identity.

This knowledge is invaluable, particularly for those lacking resources, technology, status, or power. By sharing this insight, we empower individuals to harness the power of their bodies in private, with just two minutes to spare. The potential to transform their lives significantly is within their grasp.

https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_cuddy_your_body_language_may_shape_who_you_are

banks-should-consider-becoming-a-one-stop-shop-for-all-kinds-of-products-and-services-valued-by-smes
February 09, 2024

Banks should consider becoming a one-stop shop for all kinds of products and services valued by SMEs

Small businesses are valuable for banks as they tend to keep their deposits even during difficult times, unlike larger companies.

When SME clients do withdraw their money, they usually choose another bank within the sector.

Banks that successfully serve SMEs have tailored their offerings to meet their specific needs, such as strong relationship management and seamless digital experiences. Other banks should strive to improve their offerings and build better relationships with SME clients.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/banking-matters/five-ways-for-banks-to-better-serve-small-business-clients

i-can-only-make-you-think
February 08, 2024

I can only make you think

Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, is renowned for his unique approach to teaching and knowledge. He believed that true learning could not be achieved through the mere transfer of information from teacher to student. Instead, Socrates emphasized the importance of critical thinking and self-discovery in the learning process.

Unlike traditional educators of his time, Socrates did not claim to possess all the answers. Instead, he saw himself as a facilitator, guiding his students towards deeper understanding by encouraging them to question and examine their own beliefs and assumptions. By engaging in thoughtful dialogue and debate, Socrates aimed to stimulate intellectual growth and provoke individuals to think for themselves.

Socrates’ teaching method, known as the Socratic method, involved a series of probing questions that challenged his students’ existing knowledge and forced them to reevaluate their perspectives. Through this process, Socrates aimed to uncover the truth and promote intellectual humility.

Socrates’ philosophy of teaching has had a profound impact on education throughout history. His emphasis on critical thinking and self-reflection continues to influence modern pedagogy, reminding us that true learning is not about passive absorption of information, but rather an active engagement with ideas that stimulates independent thought and personal growth.

herd-on-the-street-the-plight-of-unicorns-with-limited-cash
February 07, 2024

Herd on the street: The Plight of unicorns with limited cash

The start-up world is teeming with billion-dollar companies, commonly known as unicorns. But here’s the reality check: only a minuscule fraction of them, less than 1%, are actually generating a billion dollars in both revenue and cash. This is the true measure of sustainable success, and it’s not as prevalent as one might think.

What sets apart the truly successful unicorns is their unwavering focus on building industry-disrupting companies that can thrive on their own, even at scale. These founders aren’t just obsessed with raising capital; they are determined to make a lasting impact.

It’s remarkable how these founding teams have managed to achieve such monumental success in such a short span of time. On average, they have conquered these significant milestones within a mere decade of their launch. However, it’s important to acknowledge that many of these companies are still in the early stages, and there’s no guarantee that their triumphs will continue indefinitely.

https://www.bain.com/insights/herd-on-the-street-so-many-unicorns-so-little-cash/

product-leaders-mastering-the-dance-of-short-term-gains-and-long-term-opportunities
February 06, 2024

Product leaders: mastering the dance of short-term gains and long-term opportunities

Product leaders in 2024 are navigating the intersection of technology, economy, customers, and competition. As pandemic-related restrictions ease, familiar challenges and new opportunities arise.

GenAI is a dominant force shaping tech providers, impacting growth strategies and everyday tools. However, technology leaders must also address friction in growth plans, fusion in #marketing and sales, and new relationships with TSPs.

Balancing short-term opportunities and long-term advantages, product leaders must consider strategies based on economic recovery or recession.

https://www.gartner.com/en/industries/high-tech/trends/top-trends-for-tech-providers

googles-alphageometry-can-ai-discover-new-mathematics
February 05, 2024

Google’s AlphaGeometry: can AI discover new mathematics?

Google DeepMind’s AI system, AlphaGeometry, has demonstrated impressive problem-solving skills in geometry, nearly matching those of top students.

In a recent study published in Nature, AlphaGeometry correctly answered 25 out of 30 questions from the International Mathematical Olympiad.

This neuro-symbolic system combines language learning and deductive reasoning, offering a balanced approach to problem-solving.

While this development is significant, there is still a greater challenge ahead: determining whether AI can discover new mathematics to solve previously unanswered questions.

https://www.ft.com/content/c4153a8e-8eeb-4000-b16e-fa09c828bd72?shareType=nongift

feel-good-sunday-let-us-cast-aside-the-limitations-of-conventional-thinking
February 04, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Let us cast aside the limitations of conventional thinking

Throughout history, we’ve witnessed economists stumble in their attempts to predict the future. From the chaos of World War I to the devastating 2008 #economic collapse, their crystal balls have proven flawed.

Economist David McWilliams invites us to break free from this cycle of misguided forecasts. Drawing inspiration from the words of W.B. Yeats, McWilliams advocates for embracing the unconventional thinkers among us – the poets, artists, and musicians.

In their unique perspectives lie the keys to a world unburdened by confirmation bias and enriched with profound understanding.

As we navigate these extraordinary times, McWilliams encourages us to ponder: How do we make sense of it all? Let us cast aside the limitations of traditional analysis and venture into a realm where creativity reigns supreme.

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_mcwilliams_the_power_of_unconventional_thinking

curious-saturday-why-does-motivation-seem-so-fickle-and-what-even-is-it-in-the-first-place
February 03, 2024

Curious Saturday: Why does motivation seem so fickle? And what even is it in the first place?

Motivation, a complex phenomenon, has always intrigued us. Defined by psychologists as the desire or impetus to initiate and sustain a specific behavior, it’s the fuel that propels us forward. Yet, it can be frustratingly elusive. Even when we possess a deep passion for a goal or hobby, summoning the motivation to act upon it can prove challenging. So, why does motivation play hide and seek with us?

https://www.ted.com/talks/ted_ed_how_to_get_motivated_even_when_you_don_t_feel_like_it

smes-fueling-growth-innovation-and-jobs
February 02, 2024

SMEs: Fueling growth, innovation, and jobs

By 2030, a staggering 600 million jobs will be required to accommodate the ever-expanding global workforce. This pressing need has placed a significant emphasis on the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by governments worldwide.

SMEs are vital drivers of economic growth, innovation, and job creation. Their distinguishing characteristics include their remarkable flexibility, adaptability, and ability to swiftly respond to market dynamics.

The impact of SMEs extends beyond economic realms, as they play a pivotal role in reducing poverty and fostering social development. These enterprises often provide employment opportunities for marginalized groups, including women, youth, and minorities.

Furthermore, SMEs are renowned for cultivating entrepreneurship and nurturing a culture of creativity and innovation. They serve as fertile grounds for groundbreaking ideas and technologies that have the potential to disrupt traditional industries and propel economic transformation.

Consequently, governments are intensifying their efforts to create a favorable ecosystem for SMEs to flourish. This entails implementing policies that facilitate access to finance, business development services, and skills training.

we-are-what-we-repeatedly-do
February 01, 2024

We are what we repeatedly do

Aristotle’s timeless wisdom reminds us that our character is not defined by occasional moments of brilliance, but by the patterns we establish through our daily choices. It is the habits we cultivate that ultimately determine our level of excellence. This profound insight challenges us to reflect on the power of consistency and the impact it has on our lives.

Instead of seeking fleeting moments of success, let us embrace the idea of making excellence a part of our routine. By instilling positive habits and consistently striving for improvement, we can unlock our true potential.

Aristotle’s words serve as a gentle reminder that true greatness is not an elusive achievement but a lifelong #journey of growth and self-improvement.

banking-bolder-strategies-to-service-customers-and-society-are-essential
January 30, 2024

Banking: bolder strategies to service customers and society are essential

Banks must adapt to disruption in the global financial ecosystem by redefining their competition, partnerships, and value delivery. They need support from governments and regulators.

To succeed, banks should prioritize higher productivity, reduce complexity, and embrace a digital-first approach. Adopting a zero-based business model can increase productivity by 40%.

To enhance value, banks should exit low-return assets and invest in growth areas with favorable returns on equity.

A simplified business model, actively managed balance sheet, modern platform operating model, and digitalization are crucial. Banks should leverage data, technology, and strategic partnerships to build competitive capabilities.

Banks should adopt a “tech product company” mindset, empowering business teams as “product owners” to prioritize customer-centric iterations and collaboration with technical teams.

Incremental transformation is no longer enough. Banks must break free from legacy setups and take a holistic approach to drive economic growth, finance the climate transition, and create lasting shareholder value while fulfilling their obligations to customers and society.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2024/how-banks-can-navigate-disruption-in-the-global-financial-ecosystem

ai-a-catalyst-for-transforming-the-global-economy-lets-ensure-humanity-reaps-the-rewards
January 29, 2024

AI: A catalyst for transforming the global economy. Let’s ensure humanity reaps the rewards.

In an insightful analysis, IMF experts delve into the potential impact of AI on the worldwide job market. Numerous studies have foreseen the possibility of AI replacing human workers. However, it’s important to note that AI can also complement human skills in many cases. The IMF’s analysis takes into account both sides of this coin.

The findings are remarkable: nearly 40 percent of global employment faces exposure to AI. While automation and information technology have traditionally affected routine tasks, AI stands out for its ability to impact even high-skilled jobs. Consequently, advanced economies face greater risks but also have more opportunities to harness the benefits of AI compared to emerging markets and developing economies.

In advanced economies, around 60 percent of jobs may be influenced by AI. Approximately half of these jobs could benefit from integrating AI, leading to enhanced productivity. However, the other half might witness AI taking over key tasks currently performed by humans, potentially reducing labor demand, wages, and hiring. In extreme cases, certain jobs may vanish altogether.

https://www.imf.org/en/Blogs/Articles/2024/01/14/ai-will-transform-the-global-economy-lets-make-sure-it-benefits-humanity

feel-good-sunday-uncover-the-untold-stories-around-you
January 28, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Uncover the untold stories around you

Prepare to be captivated by the extraordinary tales that lie within the hearts of those around you. Dave Isay, the visionary behind StoryCorps, has meticulously gathered and shared thousands of interviews, unveiling the hopes, fears, and dreams that connect us all.

In 2003, Isay established the first StoryCorps booth in New York’s bustling Grand Central Terminal. This serene space was designed as a sanctuary, where individuals could pay tribute to the important people in their lives by listening to their stories.

Since then, StoryCorps has blossomed into an unparalleled collection of #human voices, forming the largest archive of its kind. Isay’s TED Prize wish is to expand this digital treasure trove, preserving the collective wisdom of humanity. Discover his ambitious plan to take StoryCorps global, and find out how you can contribute to this remarkable endeavor by utilizing the StoryCorps app to conduct your own interviews.

https://www.ted.com/talks/dave_isay_everyone_around_you_has_a_story_the_world_needs_to_hear

curious-saturday-simple-effective-tech-to-connect-communities-in-crisis
January 27, 2024

Curious Saturday: Simple, effective tech to connect communities in crisis

In a world where connectivity seems ubiquitous, it’s disheartening that certain communities still suffer from isolation, lacking essential resources such as electricity and healthcare.

Enter Johanna Figueira, an activist determined to find solutions. In her thought-provoking talk, Figueira delves into her work with Code for Venezuela, a platform that unites tech-savvy individuals to tackle the country’s pressing needs for information and medical supplies.

She goes beyond that, proposing a replicable model that can extend its reach to other communities in distress. Figueira’s passionate activism and #innovative ideas shed light on the potential of technology to bridge the gaps and uplift communities in crisis.

https://www.ted.com/talks/johanna_figueira_simple_effective_tech_to_connect_communities_in_crisis

use-storytelling-to-inspire-commitment-to-a-new-product-vision
January 26, 2024

Use storytelling to inspire commitment to a new product vision

Communications that solely focus on the product roadmap and features risk disengagement, confusion, or disagreement among specific stakeholder groups. To avoid this, it is important to appeal to the emotional and purposeful reasons behind the product vision, putting the audience at the center and fostering a meaningful connection.

Creating a product vision that only caters to the product team can alienate stakeholders in other functions and hinder #customer and partner alignment. This can create barriers to accepting the vision, especially when there is a significant change in direction.

To address the diverse needs of different audiences, it is necessary to build a tailored storyline that addresses their wants, needs, issues, and concerns.

https://www.gartner.com/en/doc/797171-use-storytelling-to-inspire-commitment-to-a-new-product-vision

progress-relies-on-unreasonable-man
January 25, 2024

Progress relies on unreasonable man

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

George Bernard Shaw

more-small-businesses-are-owned-by-males-than-females
January 24, 2024

More small businesses are owned by males than females

According to recent data, the ownership of small businesses in the United States is still predominantly male-dominated, with males owning a larger share than females. However, it is worth noting that the gap between male and female ownership is gradually decreasing. Currently, females own 43.2% of small businesses, indicating a significant increase in female entrepreneurship in recent years.

In terms of racial diversity, minorities own 19.4% of small businesses. Among these, Hispanics constitute a significant portion, owning 13.8% of small businesses. This highlights the growing entrepreneurial spirit within the Hispanic community, contributing to the overall diversity of small business ownership.

On the other hand, veterans are one of the least represented groups in small business ownership, accounting for just 6.4% of small businesses. This statistic sheds light on the need for increased support and opportunities for veterans to transition into entrepreneurship after their military service.

Overall, while progress has been made in diversifying small business ownership, there is still work to be done to ensure equal representation and opportunities for all individuals, regardless of gender, race, or veteran status.

igniting-prosperity-the-power-of-investment
January 23, 2024

Igniting prosperity: The power of investment

Investment plays a crucial role in fostering economic growth and development, particularly in emerging market and developing economies. By injecting capital into various sectors, such as infrastructure, education, healthcare, and technology, investment stimulates productivity, creates jobs, and improves living standards. Moreover, it has the potential to reduce poverty by providing opportunities for income generation and improving access to essential services.

In addition to its positive impact on economic prosperity, investment also holds the key to addressing pressing global challenges, such as climate change. By channeling funds towards sustainable and clean technologies, renewable energy projects, and climate adaptation measures, investments can contribute significantly to mitigating the adverse effects of climate change and transitioning towards a low-carbon future.

Furthermore, investment is closely linked to achieving other important development goals, such as reducing inequality, promoting gender equality, and enhancing social inclusion. It can support initiatives that empower marginalized communities, promote education for all, and foster entrepreneurship, thereby creating a more equitable and inclusive society.

Overall, investment is a powerful tool that can drive positive change and pave the way for a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects?intcid=ecr_hp_headerA_2024-01-09-GEPReport

utilize-digitalization-to-improve-business-outcomes
January 22, 2024

Utilize digitalization to improve business outcomes

Digital business optimization involves identifying areas within the organization that can benefit from digitalization. This could include streamlining internal processes, automating repetitive tasks, or implementing data-driven decision-making systems. By harnessing the power of technology and data, companies can optimize their operations, improve efficiency, and ultimately drive better business outcomes.

feel-good-sunday-stop-being-a-bystander-in-your-own-life
January 21, 2024

Feel good Sunday: Stop being a bystander in your own life

In her captivating TED Talk, Tracy Edwards MBE shares her remarkable journey from being a teenage misfit to becoming a sailing legend.

She not only achieved the incredible feat of becoming the first woman to win the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy but also made history by leading the first all-female crew in a grueling ocean race.

The moment of adventure and no turning back encapsulates the spirit of Tracy’s journey and the message she wants to convey: stop being a bystander in your own life.

https://www.ted.com/talks/tracy_edwards_stop_being_a_bystander_in_your_own_life

curious-saturday-how-many-leadership-languages-do-you-speak
January 20, 2024

Curious Saturday: How many leadership languages do you speak?

Rosita Najmi, a seasoned professional with a diverse background in corporations, governments, nonprofits, and philanthropy, sheds light on the importance of developing a leadership language.

Throughout her extensive global career, she has become adept at translating between different sectors, recognizing the significance of effective communication in leadership.

Rather than focusing solely on one’s leadership style, Najmi emphasizes the value of being fluent in various leadership languages. By doing so, leaders can successfully adapt to different audiences and industries, fostering collaboration and achieving collective goals.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rosita_najmi_what_s_your_leadership_language

which-economy-did-best-in-2023
January 19, 2024

Which economy did best in 2023?

Greece’s impressive performance as the top economy in 2023 is particularly noteworthy considering its previous reputation for mismanagement. This marks the second consecutive year that Greece has achieved this feat, indicating a remarkable turnaround for the country.

While South Korea also stands out as a top performer, it is worth noting that many other economies in the Americas have also excelled.

The United States secures a respectable third place, closely followed by Canada and Chile.

On the other hand, several northern European countries, including Britain, Germany, Sweden, and Finland, have struggled to keep pace, placing them among the slower-growing economies.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2023/12/17/which-economy-did-best-in-2023

life-must-be-understood-backward-but-it-must-be-lived-forward
January 18, 2024

“Life must be understood backward. But it must be lived forward .”

Søren Kierkegaard

when-is-the-next-investment-boom
January 17, 2024

When is the next investment boom?

Since the 1950s, countries worldwide have experienced nearly 200 investment booms characterized by per-capita investment growth of 4% or more sustained for over six years. These successful episodes were triggered by a comprehensive policy package that included government finance consolidation, increased trade and financial flows, strengthened fiscal and financial institutions, and an improved investment climate for private enterprise.

https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/global-economic-prospects?intcid=ecr_hp_headerA_2024-01-09-GEPReport

cfos-rethink-digital-investment-leadership-for-better-outcomes
January 16, 2024

CFOs: Rethink digital investment leadership for better outcomes

  1. Develop dynamic project charters as a basis for regular operating reviews, outlining project parameters.
  2. Evaluate costs for non-financial KPIs to assess project progress earlier, considering the long-term benefits of digital investments.
  3. Incorporate lessons from previous projects into new initiatives, aligning resource plans, timelines, and metrics with the specific needs of digital projects.
digitalization-requires-a-clear-vision-and-deliberate-execution
January 15, 2024

Digitalization requires a clear vision and deliberate execution

Digitalization is a complex process that encompasses various aspects of an organization’s operations. It involves not only implementing new technologies but also rethinking business models, processes, and customer experiences. To successfully embark on a digital transformation journey, organizations need to have a clear vision of what they want to achieve and develop deliberate execution strategies.

One crucial aspect of digitalization is the need for strong leadership and commitment from top management. Leaders must drive the digital agenda, communicate the vision to all stakeholders, and ensure that the necessary resources and capabilities are in place. Additionally, organizations should prioritize building a digital culture that promotes innovation, agility, and collaboration.

Another important consideration is the scale and scope of digital #transformation. It can range from incremental changes in specific areas to a complete overhaul of the entire organization. Regardless of the extent of digitalization, organizations should carefully plan and prioritize initiatives based on their strategic goals and expected outcomes.

Furthermore, digitalization requires a holistic approach that considers the integration of various technologies and data sources. This includes leveraging emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and the Internet of Things to drive innovation and improve operational efficiency.

https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/topics/digital-transformation

feel-good-sunday-when-ai-can-fake-reality-who-can-you-trust
January 14, 2024

Feel good Sunday: When AI can fake reality, who can you trust?

In the age of advanced technology, the rise of deepfakes poses a significant threat to our perception of reality. Sam Gregory, a renowned technologist and human rights advocate, highlights the impending consequences of this phenomenon. As deepfakes become increasingly realistic and widespread, there is a growing concern about the erosion of trust in what we see and hear. The implications for democracy are profound, as the ability to discern between genuine and synthetic content becomes increasingly challenging.

To address this issue, Gregory emphasizes the importance of taking proactive measures to protect our ability to differentiate between human and AI-generated content. He outlines three key steps that can help safeguard our perception of truth in an AI-infused future. By fortifying our understanding of reality, we can combat the potential manipulation and distortion of information.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_gregory_when_ai_can_fake_reality_who_can_you_trust

curious-saturday-why-businesses-need-a-dreamers-magic-and-a-doers-realism
January 13, 2024

Curious Saturday: Why businesses need a dreamer’s magic and a doer’s realism

In the workplace, dreamers are often celebrated for their grand ideas, yet their detachment from reality can sometimes frustrate the doers who strive to achieve tangible results. However, it is the harmonious collaboration between these two distinct personalities that sparks true #business magic, according to culture strategist Beth Viner. Offering a pragmatic roadmap, she unveils the secret to effectively harnessing the dreamer’s imaginative thinking and the doer’s practicality.

https://www.ted.com/talks/beth_viner_why_businesses_need_a_dreamer_s_magic_and_a_doer_s_realism/

small-business-owners-defining-success-beyond-the-bottom-line
January 12, 2024

Small business owners: defining success beyond the bottom line

Small business owners have a unique perspective on success that extends far beyond mere financial gains. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 small business owners proudly define their ventures as successful. Their drive stems from a deep sense of purpose and a genuine desire to serve others. For them, success means more than just making money; it means improving the lives of their customers (90%), providing for their loved ones (91%), and doing what they truly love (91%).

However, the path to success is not without its challenges. While 88% of small business owners find fulfillment in their work, a staggering 83% admit to feeling stressed due to their heavy workloads and lack of time. This demanding lifestyle often takes a toll on personal relationships, with over half of small business owners losing touch with close friends and family (52%) or becoming less attentive romantic partners (51%).

Fortunately, digital solutions offer a glimmer of hope. A significant 82% of small business owners believe that investing in digital tools and technologies would alleviate their stress levels on a day-to-day basis. Despite the hurdles they face, an overwhelming 87% of small business owners remain optimistic about the future of their enterprises.

everything-we-hear-is-an-opinion
January 11, 2024

Everything we hear is an opinion

Aurelius, a Stoic philosopher and Roman Emperor, suggests that our understanding of the world is subjective, influenced by our opinions and perspectives. It is important to differentiate between opinions and facts, as opinions are personal and can vary, while facts are verifiable and objective. Our perception of reality is shaped by our unique vantage point and can be influenced by emotions and beliefs. Being aware of the subjective nature of our perceptions allows for critical thinking and fosters a more inclusive society.

cyber-resilience-4-key-principles-for-new-businesses
January 10, 2024

Cyber resilience: 4 key principles for new businesses

Merely relying on a tool is insufficient; a combination of process, people, and technology is necessary. Here are key principles to guide you:

  1. If a concept merits investment, executives should dedicate time to consider and mitigate risks. Establish a framework to identify major risks and mitigation measures, keeping future growth and user experience in mind.
  2. Forward-looking companies view cybersecurity as a core element of their business architecture. They seek external expertise to accelerate delivery and coordinate controls, ensuring cyber experts closely collaborate with the business.
  3. The role of the parent company in cybersecurity varies based on leadership engagement, crossover potential, and priorities. A collaborative approach is ideal, exceeding established risk and security standards while leveraging parent company resources when appropriate.
  4. Embed risk management and cybersecurity from product ideation to final delivery. For tech-based companies, adopt DevSecOps principles, integrating security testing at every stage of software development. Tailor tools for specific operational focus areas to protect key investments.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/new-business-building-six-cybersecurity-and-digital-beliefs-that-can-create-risk

top-global-brands
January 09, 2024

Top Global Brands

US companies dominate the global top 20 list, with only two European businesses included.

Amazon is the world’s largest brand in 2023, valued at around $299.28 billion (€273.49 billion), despite a $51 billion drop in value over the past year.

According to a study by TradingPedia, Amazon surpassed last year’s leader, Apple, which saw a 16% decrease in value to $297.51 billion.

Google secured the third spot, with an increase in value of almost $18 billion compared to last year, reaching $231.38 billion.

the-secret-to-success-finance-and-it-shared-ownership-of-digital-delivery
January 08, 2024

The secret to success – Finance and IT shared ownership of digital delivery

Unlocking the secret to a triumphant transformation lies in a powerful alliance – where the realms of Finance and IT unite to conquer the digital realm.

Traditionally, Finance teams have relied on external consultants and internal IT departments to execute technology projects, a process that can drain finances, devour time, and disrupt operations. However, as the digital landscape grows in complexity and magnitude, it becomes increasingly arduous for finance to effectively allocate resources. CFOs who take an active role in digital delivery stand to reap the bountiful rewards of digital transformation, surpassing those who simply delegate or collaborate with IT.

https://www.gartner.com/en/finance/trends/finance-top-priorities-for-cfos

feel-good-sunday-what-is-a-strategic-life-portfolio
January 07, 2024

Feel good Sunday: What is a strategic life portfolio?

Ever wondered how you can take control of your life and design it exactly the way you want? Well, that’s where a strategic life portfolio comes into play! It’s like being the CEO of your own life, making smart decisions and taking charge of your personal growth.

Creating a strategic life portfolio involves some serious planning and reflection. You need to set clear goals, assess where you currently stand, and chart a course towards your desired future. It’s all about making conscious choices that align with your aspirations across different areas of life.

But it doesn’t stop there! Managing your strategic life portfolio requires ongoing evaluation and adjustment. You need to identify your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and use that knowledge to improve and overcome obstacles.

So, are you ready to embrace the power of a strategic life portfolio? Get ready to prioritize, allocate resources wisely, and make intentional choices that shape your future. It’s time to take action and create the life you’ve always dreamed of!

https://hbr.org/2023/12/use-strategic-thinking-to-create-the-life-you-want

curious-saturday-one-more-reason-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep
January 06, 2024

Curious Saturday: One more reason to get a good night’s sleep

Did you know that the brain, despite accounting for only about two percent of the body’s mass, utilizes a staggering quarter of the body’s entire energy supply? This remarkable organ is constantly at work, even while we sleep, engaging in crucial housekeeping functions that are essential for its proper functioning.

During sleep, when our body is at rest and our #mind wanders in the realm of dreams, the brain undergoes a fascinating process of cleaning and maintenance. This intricate machinery tirelessly works to rid itself of waste products and toxins, ensuring the optimal functioning of this unimaginably complex organ.

Understanding these fundamental housekeeping functions of the brain is not only intriguing but also holds immense importance for the prevention and treatment of various mental illnesses in the future. By delving into the mechanisms behind these processes, researchers hope to unlock valuable insights that can revolutionize our approach to brain health.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_iliff_one_more_reason_to_get_a_good_night_s_sleep

is-gender-parity-in-investing-within-reach
January 05, 2024

Is gender parity in investing within reach?

Gender parity in investing refers to the equal representation and participation of both men and women in the investment industry. While progress has been made in recent years, there is still a significant gender gap in this field.

Studies have shown that women are underrepresented in investment roles, both as professionals and as investors. This can be attributed to various factors, including societal norms, unconscious bias, and lack of access to opportunities and resources.

However, it is important to note that women have proven to be successful investors when given the chance. Research suggests that women tend to take a more long-term and risk-averse approach to investing, which can lead to better outcomes in the long run.

Efforts are being made to promote gender parity in investing. Organizations and initiatives are working to increase the representation of women in investment firms and provide support and mentorship to aspiring female investors. Additionally, there is a growing recognition of the importance of diversity in investment decision-making, as it can lead to better outcomes and mitigate groupthink.

Overall, achieving gender parity in investing is crucial for creating a more inclusive and equitable investment landscape.

life-is-never-made-unbearable-by-circumstances-but-only-by-lack-of-meaning-and-purpose
January 04, 2024

“Life is never made unbearable by circumstances, but only by lack of meaning and purpose.”

Victor Frankl

how-the-young-should-invest
January 03, 2024

How the young should invest

A recent analysis conducted by Vanguard, a prominent asset-management firm, sheds light on the investment habits of different generations. The study, which examined 7 million retail accounts at the end of 2022, reveals an interesting trend: younger generations tend to allocate a higher percentage of their portfolios to #cash compared to their older counterparts. Specifically, Generation Z, those born after 1996, had an average cash allocation of 29%, while baby boomers only allocated 19% to cash.

https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2023/11/16/how-the-young-should-invest

lessons-from-37-years-of-financial-journalism
January 02, 2024

Lessons from 37 years of financial journalism

In the world of finance, there are several key lessons that have emerged over the course of 37 years of financial journalism. One important lesson is the recognition that individual incentives can lead to collective instability. This means that when individuals within the financial system are driven by their own self-interest, it can have negative consequences for the overall stability of the system.

Another crucial insight is the understanding that big banks are fundamentally different from conventional businesses. They operate within a heavily regulated environment, enjoy state guarantees, and can be considered quasi-public franchises. Their primary function is to create and distribute money on behalf of governments and central banks.

The role of CEOs in times of corporate turmoil is also worth noting. While they can have a significant impact in protecting or creating value during periods of crisis, their influence may be less pronounced during more stable times.

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that stock analysts often have a narrow focus when it comes to evaluating companies. They tend to focus on specific metrics and may not always consider the broader perspective or long-term implications.

Lastly, debt holds greater significance than equity in the financial world, which is unfortunate but true. Debt can have a profound impact on the stability and performance of companies

https://www.ft.com/content/2d92cb41-9381-44f7-b71f-e859131c7c2e

without-music-life-would-be-a-mistake
January 01, 2024

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

Friedrich Nietzsche

December 31, 2023

Happy New Year!!!

curious-saturday-exploring-the-fascinating-world-of-synesthesia
December 30, 2023

Curious Saturday: Exploring the fascinating world of synesthesia

Daniel Tammet, renowned for his exceptional abilities, possesses a rare condition known as synesthesia. With linguistic, numerical, and visual synesthesia, his perception of words, numbers, and colors intertwine, creating a unique way of experiencing and comprehending the world around him. Tammet, a celebrated author known for his memoir “Born on a Blue Day,” not only delves into his personal journey but also shares his remarkable artistry and deep passion for languages.

In his captivating TED Talk, Tammet invites us to peer into the intricate workings of his beautiful mind. He takes us on a mesmerizing journey, shedding light on the extraordinary ways in which his synesthetic experiences have shaped his understanding of the world. By intertwining language, numbers, and colors, Tammet’s perception offers a fresh perspective on the interconnectedness of different forms of knowledge.

https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_tammet_different_ways_of_knowing

what-is-the-equivalent-of-a-business-unit-in-life
December 29, 2023

What is the equivalent of a business unit in life?

Companies often rely on portfolio analysis as a strategic tool to evaluate the performance of their various business units and make informed investment decisions. One widely recognized framework for portfolio analysis is the Boston Consulting Group’s (BCG) 2×2 growth-share matrix, which categorizes business units based on their market growth and share.

However, when it comes to personal development and goal setting, what can be considered as the equivalent of a business unit in life? How can individuals apply strategic thinking to create the life they desire?

Strategic thinking in a personal context involves evaluating different aspects of our lives, such as career, relationships, health, and personal growth, and making deliberate choices to allocate resources effectively. It requires understanding our own strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, and then formulating strategies to maximize our potential and achieve our goals.

By adopting a strategic mindset, individuals can assess the growth potential and current position of different areas in their lives, prioritize their objectives, and allocate their time, energy, and resources accordingly. This approach enables individuals to make purposeful decisions, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately create a more fulfilling and successful life.

https://hbr.org/2023/12/use-strategic-thinking-to-create-the-life-you-want

never-let-your-sense-of-morals-prevent-you-from-doing-what-is-right
December 28, 2023

“Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

Isaac Asimov

financial-literacy-a-key-to-improve-the-financial-wellbeing
December 27, 2023

Financial literacy – a key to improve the financial wellbeing

According to a recent OECD report, which covered 39 countries including various G20 and developing nations, the level of financial literacy among adults is alarmingly low. The report reveals that only 34 percent of adults in the participating countries meet the criteria to be considered financially literate. Additionally, it highlights that nearly one in six people have fallen victim to financial #fraud, indicating a lack of awareness and understanding in this area. Another startling revelation is that less than half of the respondents (41 percent) are aware that cryptocurrencies are not legal.

The OECD emphasizes that the ultimate goal of financial literacy policies and programs is to improve individual financial wellbeing. While measuring this benefit can be challenging, the research shows that when individuals surpass the passmark for financial literacy, there is typically a 10 percentage point increase in their financial wellbeing scores. On average, the financial literacy rate stands at 42 percent, with Germany emerging as a standout performer in both financial literacy and financial wellbeing. These findings underscore the importance of improving financial literacy worldwide to enhance individuals’ financial security and protect them from fraud.

https://www.ft.com/content/14b20d6e-e983-4f6c-9670-d051754dc897

what-kept-ceos-awake-at-night-in-2023
December 26, 2023

What kept CEO’s awake at night in 2023

CEOs faced a multitude of challenges as they embarked on the new year. The CEO Excellence survey conducted by McKinsey in early 2023 shed light on the top concerns that kept these leaders up at night: disruptive digital technologies, the economy, and geopolitics. It comes as no surprise that these issues took center stage, given the prominence of generative AI, the ongoing war in Ukraine, and the prevailing economic uncertainty. To tackle these hurdles head-on, CEOs devised strategies such as advancing AI #technologies, fortifying supplier networks to ensure resilience, and implementing cost-cutting measures. Additionally, these leaders recognized the importance of addressing talent #management, redefining work practices, and taking action against climate change.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/2023-year-in-review/2023-the-year-in-charts

December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!

feel-good-sunday-the-beauty-of-being-a-misfit
December 24, 2023

Feel good Sunday: The beauty of being a misfit

For those who feel like they don’t quite fit in, take heart. There is something truly extraordinary about being a misfit. Lidia Yuknavitch, a talented author, bares her soul through a heartfelt collection of stories that celebrate the beauty of being different. In her moving talk, she reminds us that even in moments of failure, we possess an inherent beauty. We may not realize it yet, but we have the remarkable ability to constantly reinvent ourselves. That, my friends, is where our true beauty lies.

Misfits, we often struggle to hope, to say yes, or to seize the opportunities right before us. We carry a burden of shame, believing we don’t deserve the admiration of those we admire. But let me share a different perspective, a myth known as the misfit’s myth. It teaches us that even in our failures, we are still beautiful. We possess the power to reinvent ourselves endlessly. Embrace your #uniqueness, for it is your greatest strength.

https://www.ted.com/talks/lidia_yuknavitch_the_beauty_of_being_a_misfit

curious-saturday-the-era-of-blind-faith-in-big-data-must-end
December 23, 2023

Curious Saturday: The era of blind faith in big data must end

Algorithms, those powerful decision-makers that determine loan approvals, job interviews, and insurance coverage, may not always guarantee fairness. Renowned mathematician and data scientist, Cathy O’Neil, has brilliantly coined the term “weapons of math destruction” to describe algorithms that are secretive, influential, and harmful. Prepare to uncover the concealed motives lurking behind these seemingly neutral formulas.

Creating an algorithm requires two essential components: historical data and a definition of success. By scrutinizing the past, we can train algorithms to identify patterns associated with triumph. Intriguingly, algorithms are not exclusive to computer code; we all employ them in our daily lives. For instance, even when preparing a meal for my family, I rely on an algorithm of sorts. I consider the ingredients available, the time I have, and my culinary aspirations. However, I don’t consider those measly packages of ramen noodles as genuine sustenance.

Join Cathy O’Neil as she enlightens us on why our blind faith in big data must come to an end. Link: https://www.ted.com/talks/cathy_o_neil_the_era_of_blind_faith_in_big_data_must_end

use-strategic-thinking-to-create-the-life-you-want
December 22, 2023

Use strategic thinking to create the life you want

Amidst turbulent times, it’s natural to question our happiness, security, goals, relationships, and impact on the world. But too often, these important thoughts slip away, drowned out by the noise of our busy lives. We’re left making important decisions based on gut feelings alone, without any solid direction.

But what if we could apply the same strategic thinking model used by organizations to help individuals design more fulfilling futures? The answer is a resounding yes, and the outcome is a program known as “Strategize Your Life,” endorsed by Harvard Business School. Over 500 individuals, ranging from students and young professionals to seasoned executives and retirees, have undergone this transformative experience to craft their own life strategies.

While you can embark on this #journey at any point, certain milestones such as graduation, career advancements, empty-nesting, retirement, or significant life events like health scares, divorces, job losses, midlife crises, or bereavements may call for a well-crafted life strategy.

https://hbr.org/2023/12/use-strategic-thinking-to-create-the-life-you-want

create-the-future
December 21, 2023

Create the future

gen-ai-bankings-multi-trillion-dollar-opportunity
December 20, 2023

Gen AI: Banking’s multi-trillion dollar opportunity

The McKinsey Global Institute has estimated that the rise of gen AI could bring immense value to various industries, ranging from $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually. In particular, the banking sector stands to benefit significantly, with a potential annual value of $200 billion to $340 billion, equivalent to 9 to 15 percent of operating profits. This surge in #value will primarily stem from increased productivity. All segments and functions within the banking industry are expected to experience economic growth, with the corporate and retail sectors reaping the highest absolute gains of $56 billion and $54 billion, respectively. It is worth noting that while banks have prioritized productivity in their initial gen AI trials due to economic pressures, this technology has the potential to revolutionize job roles and customer interactions, potentially leading to entirely new business models.

https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/financial-services/our-insights/capturing-the-full-value-of-generative-ai-in-banking

what-is-the-role-of-a-chief-transformation-officer
December 19, 2023

What are the three types of CTO roles?

The CTO role can be categorized into three types based on the specific circumstances and level of change required:

  1. Responder: These CTOs address crises or setbacks and focus on stabilizing the business and achieving rapid financial improvements through increased discipline and execution capabilities.
  2. Revitalizer: CTOs in this role aim to drive performance improvements in organizations that have experienced a decline over time. They focus on mobilizing and empowering the workforce to bring about sustained, long-term change.
  3. Reinventor: These CTOs guide organizations through significant strategic changes, such as digital transformations or entering new markets. They emphasize articulating a clear vision and building new capabilities to support that vision.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-does-a-chief-transformation-officer-do

decoding-technology-buying-behavior-unveiling-the-who-why-and-how
December 18, 2023

Decoding technology buying behavior: Unveiling the Who, Why and How

In the fast-paced world of tech products, it is crucial for leaders to have an intimate understanding of the buying organization. This knowledge empowers you to seal the deal on high-quality, regret-free technology purchases on a grand scale.

Harness these invaluable insights from Gartner to conquer buyer’s remorse head-on and reap the following benefits:

  • Turbocharge the speed of buying cycles
  • Minimize friction that hinders growth opportunities
  • Drastically reduce the likelihood of indecisiveness
  • Foster stronger, more collaborative relationships with your esteemed clientele.

https://www.gartner.com/en/industries/high-tech/topics/technology-buying-behavior

feel-good-sunday-the-power-of-an-image-and-the-mind-behind-it
December 17, 2023

Feel good Sunday: The power of an image — and the mind behind it

In his TED Talk titled “The Power of an Image and the Mind Behind It,” Misan Harriman, a self-taught photographer, shares his inspiring journey and the impact of images on our lives. As a neurodivergent child, he found solace and inspiration in the vast world of the internet, which he describes as an “endless library of the extraordinary.”

Harriman’s photography career has taken him on a remarkable path, from capturing the essence of significant civil rights movements to breaking barriers as the first Black man to shoot a cover for British Vogue. His work serves as a testament to the transformative power of images and their ability to evoke emotions, challenge societal norms, and spark conversations.

Through his talk, Harriman emphasizes that each person has the potential to contribute to creating a better world. By harnessing their unique talents and passions, individuals can make a difference and inspire positive change. Harriman’s story serves as a reminder that no matter our background or circumstances, we all possess the ability to create a meaningful impact in our communities and beyond.

https://www.ted.com/talks/misan_harriman_the_power_of_an_image_and_the_mind_behind_it

curious-saturday-ideas-worth-spreading-unveiling-the-oceans-outlaws
December 16, 2023

Curious Saturday: Ideas worth spreading – unveiling the ocean’s outlaws

The ocean, once a haven of tranquility, is now under siege by relentless foes: pirate fishermen, oil spills, and other covert criminals. Their actions have wreaked havoc on delicate marine ecosystems. Tony Long, a distinguished ocean conservation expert and proud recipient of the prestigious 2023 Audacious Project grant, unveils the world’s first-ever live map showcasing all human industrial activity at sea.

Thanks to remarkable strides in #technology and AI, we have finally cracked the code. This invaluable information is now freely accessible to the world, empowering us all to make a difference.

https://www.ted.com/talks/tony_long_the_outlaws_of_the_ocean_and_how_we_re_reeling_them_in

migrants-the-quest-for-a-better-life
December 15, 2023

Migrants – The quest for a better life

The majority of migrants, a whopping 80%, embark on their journey to greener pastures in search of better opportunities in their chosen destination. These movements are often gradual, mirroring the shifts in economic and demographic trends.

Most migrants are fueled by the desire for higher wages and improved access to essential services. Some individuals also brave the journey in pursuit of personal safety, the rule of law, and the chance to revel in personal freedoms.

Astonishingly, in 2020, around 84% of migrants found themselves residing in countries with significantly higher incomes than their countries of origin.

However, it’s worth noting that migration levels are not solely dictated by the magnitude of welfare disparities. Instead, they are primarily influenced by the demands for specific skills in destination country labor markets, historical or geographic connections, and the costs associated with migration.

success-is-a-journey
December 14, 2023

Success is a journey

chief-risk-officers-how-to-prepare-for-the-future
December 13, 2023

Chief Risk Officers: how to prepare for the future

In the face of multiple crises and disruptions, financial institutions are increasingly realizing the strategic importance of risk management and resilience. Chief Risk Officers (CROs) are proactively preparing for the future by undertaking various long-term initiatives. They are prioritizing the acceleration of digital transformation within their function, recognizing its potential to enhance risk management practices. Additionally, CROs are actively working to attract and retain top risk talent, understanding the critical role skilled professionals play in effective risk management.

Moreover, CROs are focused on building expertise in several key areas. This includes staying up-to-date with evolving regulations, as compliance is crucial for mitigating risk. They are also investing in cybersecurity measures to safeguard against potential threats. Furthermore, CROs are recognizing the value of analytics and digital innovation in risk management, utilizing these tools to enhance decision-making processes.

Rather than perceiving fintechs and other new market entrants as adversaries, forward-thinking risk leaders are embracing their innovative approaches. They understand the potential for collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships with these disruptors.

Overall, CROs are taking a holistic approach to risk management, recognizing the need for a comprehensive and agile strategy in today’s rapidly changing landscape.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/risk-and-resilience-priorities-as-told-by-chief-risk-officers

is-your-organization-prepared-for-the-challenges-of-information-security
December 12, 2023

Is your organization prepared for the challenges of information security?

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, the significance of information security cannot be overstated. It has become increasingly evident to senior executives that inadequate security measures can result in irreparable harm to businesses. In fact, it is projected that by 2026, 70% of corporate boards will include at least one member with cybersecurity expertise.

To enhance security capability and effectiveness, security and risk management leaders must develop and execute a comprehensive information security strategy that aligns with the organization’s goals of creating digital value and managing security risks. This entails implementing a mature framework that encompasses planning, architecture, reporting, and adaptive security measures, taking into account both internal and external factors.

Without a well-defined security program, an organization’s security initiatives would merely consist of disparate technical implementations that fail to systematically address risks and countermeasures. Therefore, it is imperative for #businesses to prioritize the establishment of a robust security program to safeguard their assets and mitigate potential threats in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

https://www.gartner.com/en/publications/roadmap-for-maturing-cybersecurity-program

u-s-small-business-health-index
December 11, 2023

U.S. Small Business Health Index

The U.S. Small Business Health Index (SBHI) provides valuable insights into the health of small businesses in the United States. It does so by measuring payment patterns, failure rates, and credit use at both the Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) and Industry (SIC) level. The SBHI focuses on active #smallbusinesses with fewer than 100 employees, offering a representative snapshot of the sector.

The index is calculated quarterly and uses 2004 as the base year, assigning an index value of 100. Any value above 100 indicates improvement in business health. The SBHI takes into account both pro-cyclical and counter-cyclical elements, combining them into a single number for simplicity.

The four factors considered in the SBHI are average #credit card utilization, the percentage of #creditcards with outstanding balances that are 61+ days past due, a ratio based on the number of failures in the past 12 months compared to the prior 12 months, and the percentage of delinquent dollars that are 91+ days past due out of all outstanding balances.

By analyzing these factors, the SBHI provides a comprehensive assessment of the overall health and stability of small businesses across the country.

https://www.dnb.com/perspectives/analytics/us-business-economic-trends.html

feel-good-sunday-simplify-for-happiness
December 10, 2023

Feel good Sunday: Simplify for happiness

In this captivating talk, Graham Hill, a writer and designer, challenges our conventional views on happiness and urges us to reevaluate the importance of material possessions. He encourages us to embrace a minimalist lifestyle and consider the benefits of living with less.

Hill prompts us to reflect on moments of true contentment during our travels or stays in hotel rooms with minimal belongings. These instances make us question the necessity of the excessive stuff we accumulate in our homes. By reducing our possessions and embracing smaller living spaces, Hill argues that we can unlock more freedom and time for the things that truly bring us joy.

This talk presents a compelling case for minimalism, leaving us with a thought-provoking question: Is it time for all of us to edit our lives? By reassessing our priorities and simplifying our existence, we may uncover a path to greater happiness and fulfillment.

https://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_less_stuff_more_happiness

curious-saturday-the-power-of-storytelling-and-data
December 09, 2023

Curious Saturday: the power of storytelling and data

Ever wondered how the most exceptional leaders and visionaries gain trust? They don’t rely solely on presenting cold, hard data; they weave captivating stories. Karen Eber, a leadership consultant, unravels the enigma behind effective storytelling and reveals how anyone can harness its power to evoke empathy and ignite action.

Interestingly, Karen discovered that regardless of gender, generation, or geographical location, stories have a universal impact and yield results. However, in my experience working with leaders, I’ve noticed a reluctance to embrace storytelling. They often struggle to locate compelling narratives, unsure of how to convey them, or believe that data-driven presentations leave no room for storytelling.

The true magic lies in the amalgamation of storytelling and data. Together, they construct ideas, unveil the unseen, communicate values, and tap into the emotional realm that influences our decisions. As you venture forth in shaping the passions and purposes of others as leaders, don’t limit yourself to data alone. Embrace the power of storytelling. And remember, there’s no need to wait for the perfect story; take your story and make it perfect.

https://www.ted.com/talks/karen_eber_how_your_brain_responds_to_stories_and_why_they_re_crucial_for_leaders

new-business-applications-a-sign-of-economic-recovery-and-growth
December 08, 2023

New business applications: A sign of economic recovery and growth

The U.S. Census Bureau provides valuable insights into the state of new business applications, which are indicators of individuals seeking tax IDs for potential business ventures. This data, available since July 2004, helps forecast future business formations.

In a surprising turn of events, the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a significant surge in business applications. This development is incredibly promising for entrepreneurship, as it plays a crucial role in driving economic recovery and growth.

The latest figures reveal that total business applications reached unprecedented levels. In 2021 alone, there were a staggering 5.4 million applications, reflecting a strong desire for new business ventures. Additionally, high-propensity business applications, which are more likely to involve payrolls, also hit a record high of 1.8 million.

These remarkable numbers point towards a potential wave of entrepreneurial activity, highlighting the resilience and determination of individuals to rebuild and thrive amidst challenging circumstances.

https://sbecouncil.org/about-us/facts-and-data/

migration-a-fundamental-human-right
December 07, 2023

Migration – a fundamental human right

As a global community, we face a choice. Do we want migration to be a source of prosperity and international solidarity, or a byword for inhumanity and social friction?

—António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, 2018

migration-unveiling-the-global-tapestry
December 06, 2023

Migration: Unveiling the global tapestry

Step into the vibrant world of migration, where borders blur and stories intertwine. This dynamic phenomenon knows no bounds, embracing people from all walks of life. From bustling metropolises to remote corners, countries of all stripes play host to this incredible human tapestry.

Why do people migrate? The answer lies in the intricate web of global imbalances. Driven by dreams of prosperity and access to better opportunities, economic #migrants seek greener pastures. Astonishingly, a whopping 84 percent of migrants in 2020 found themselves in wealthier nations than their own.

Yet, let’s not forget the hurdles and sacrifices that migration entails. For those hailing from low-income backgrounds, the costs can be insurmountable. Most migrants fall somewhere between the extremes, navigating the delicate balance between their homeland and new beginnings.

Globally, a staggering 184 million migrants paint this diverse picture, including 37 million refugees. Their stories span #economic migrants, families, students, and more—each seeking a better tomorrow.

Discover the captivating world of migration: https://www.worldbank.org/en/publication/wdr2023

how-to-tie-data-and-analytics-initiatives-with-business-success
December 05, 2023

How to tie data and analytics initiatives with business success

In today’s digital landscape, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of data and analytics in driving successful growth. According to the Gartner 7th Annual Chief Data Officer Survey, it is predicted that by 2023, the majority of successful Chief Data Officers (CDAOs) will have business backgrounds rather than IT backgrounds. This shift in focus reflects the growing emphasis on leveraging data for digital value.

To achieve digital success, organizations are aligning their data and analytics initiatives with measurable business outcomes and stakeholder objectives. This strategic approach allows them to effectively measure the impact of their data-driven efforts and make informed decisions based on insights gained from analytics.

Furthermore, automation plays a crucial role in driving efficiency and reliability in data and analytics processes. By automating repetitive tasks and implementing reliable, repeatable processes, organizations can streamline their operations and free up valuable time for more strategic initiatives.

In addition, data-driven organizations understand the importance of data governance, collaboration, and sharing. They recognize that data is a valuable asset that needs to be managed, protected, and utilized effectively. By implementing robust data governance practices and fostering a culture of collaboration and sharing, organizations can maximize the value of their data assets.

https://www.gartner.com/en/publications/the-it-roadmap-for-data-and-analytics

how-to-success-as-a-finance-transformation-leader
December 04, 2023

How to success as a finance transformation leader?

Succeeding as a new finance transformation leader requires more than just basic skills and knowledge. It demands thorough preparation, meticulous assessment, confident planning, proactive action, accurate measurement, and effective communication.

To start off, preparation is key. Get acquainted with the organization’s current financial landscape, goals, and challenges. Conduct a comprehensive assessment to identify improvement areas and potential obstacles. This will enable you to develop a well-informed plan that aligns with the organization’s objectives and addresses its specific needs.

Once the plan is in place, it’s time to take action. As a #finance transformation leader, you must be proactive and decisive. Implement the necessary changes and initiatives, ensuring you have the right resources and support. Regularly measure outcomes and progress to track effectiveness and make adjustments as needed.

However, success in finance transformation is not just about technical aspects. Communication is crucial. Engage and collaborate with key stakeholders, including senior #management, department heads, and employees, to ensure a shared understanding of transformation goals and progress.

https://www.gartner.com/en/finance/trends/finance-transformation-first-100-days

feel-good-sunday-unveiling-the-unsung-heroes-assisting-syrian-refugees
December 03, 2023

Feel-good Sunday: Unveiling the unsung heroes assisting Syrian refugees

Our society has a knack for constructing narratives about refugees, painting a picture of who they are and what they represent, laments Feras Fayyad, a TED Fellow and accomplished documentarian. His tireless efforts seek to dismantle the misconceptions surrounding these displaced individuals, serving as a form of resistance against prejudice—for himself, his daughter, and the countless Syrian refugees scattered worldwide. This poignant account serves as a rallying cry against injustice, highlighting the profound impact of storytelling.

However, forging this cinematic universe has been an arduous odyssey, fraught with challenges. Fayyad has faced an uphill battle against the rampant racism and #discrimination entrenched in the film industry.

Those in power, presuming to know the desires of the audience, have perpetuated #stereotypes about superheroes and refugees. Yet, refugees are ordinary people, just like Fayyad himself. These remarkable individuals shattered societal expectations and defied the status quo.

And so, he refuses to surrender. He owes it to them, to his daughter—a symbol of resilience—to amplify the stories of these extraordinary heroes who bear an uncanny resemblance to her. For her sake, he will persist in his resistance.

Feras Fayyad: The real-life superheroes helping Syrian refugees
https://www.ted.com/talks/feras_fayyad_the_real_life_superheroes_helping_syrian_refugees

curious-saturday-the-minds-enigma-do-we-shape-reality
December 02, 2023

Curious Saturday: The mind’s enigma: Do we shape reality?

Humans have a deep fascination for enigmas, and there’s one particular unsolved puzzle in the realm of science that captivates many. It’s a personal quest to unravel the mystery of our own existence.

The crux of the mystery lies in understanding the intricate connection between our brains and our conscious experiences. You know, those moments when you savor the taste of chocolate or feel the velvety touch against your skin.

Cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman is on a mission to shed light on a profound question: Do we perceive the world as it truly is, or do we shape it to fit our needs? Prepare to have your mind gently nudged, as he delves into the profound ways our minds construct our reality.

Donald Hoffman’s research revolves around how our visual perception, molded by millions of years of natural selection, meticulously crafts every aspect of our everyday reality. While science has made strides in understanding #brain activity, the elusive link between brain activity and conscious experiences remains shrouded in mystery.

Dive into the mind-boggling research of Donald Hoffman and discover the enigmatic connection between our consciousness and the world around us.

Watch now: https://www.ted.com/talks/donald_hoffman_do_we_see_reality_as_it_is/

un-adaptation-gap-report-wake-up-call-to-climate-crisis
December 01, 2023

UN Adaptation gap report: Wake-up call to climate crisis

The UN Adaptation Gap Report sheds light on the alarming consequences of the slow and inadequate response to climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. It emphasizes that our failure to take decisive action is now resulting in severe limitations to our ability to adapt to the changing climate. In fact, some of these limits may have already been reached, posing a significant threat to our future.

When the COP28 rolls around, the pressure will be on the wealthier nations to fulfill their previous funding commitments and support developing countries. They also need to step up and meet the promise they made at COP26 in Glasgow, where they pledged to provide around $40 billion annually in adaptation finance support by 2025.

Furthermore, countries are currently locked in tough negotiations on establishing a loss and damage fund. This fund aims to assist nations in dealing with the most severe impacts of climate change. The stakes are high, and finding common ground won’t be easy.

https://www.unep.org/resources/adaptation-gap-report-2023

master-the-art-of-leadership
November 30, 2023

Master the art of leadership

Leadership involves inspiring, motivating, and guiding others towards a shared goal. Leaders possess critical thinking abilities, analyze situations, and devise effective strategies.

Mohandas K. Gandhi exemplified effective leadership through his promotion of nonviolent resistance. He believed that true leaders focus on solutions instead of complaining about problems.

esg-a-sustainable-investment-framework
November 29, 2023

ESG: A Sustainable Investment Framework

ESG, an abbreviation for Environmental, Social, and Governance, is a handy framework used to assess the sustainability and ethical impact of investments. It takes into account various factors, both economic and non-economic, to evaluate the performance and potential risks associated with companies.

The environmental aspect of ESG focuses on how companies impact the natural environment. It scrutinizes their carbon emissions, water usage, waste management, and biodiversity conservation efforts. Companies that prioritize environmental practices tend to attract investors who value sustainability and are genuinely concerned about climate change and resource depletion.

The social aspect of ESG analyzes a company’s impact on society. It delves into factors like labor rights, employee diversity and inclusion, community engagement, and product safety. Companies with positive social practices tend to foster strong relationships with their employees, customers, and communities, ultimately leading to long-term success.

The governance aspect of ESG evaluates a company’s leadership, management structures, and transparency. It examines factors like board diversity, executive compensation, shareholder rights, and ethical business practices. Companies with robust governance practices tend to have effective risk management strategies and are accountable to their stakeholders.

By considering both economic and non-economic factors, ESG offers a comprehensive approach to assessing investments.

re-thinking-growth-strategies-in-software-industry-hybrid-approach
November 28, 2023

Re-thinking growth strategies in software industry: Hybrid approach

McKinsey is challenging the conventional wisdom surrounding growth strategies in the software industry. The long-held belief that product-led growth (PLG) is only suitable for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and tech-savvy consumers, while sales-led growth (SLG) is the preferred choice for enterprise customers, is being put to the test.

Based on extensive research and experience, McKinsey & Company is pushing back against the notion of a strict divide between these two approaches. They argue that most B2B software companies can incorporate elements of a product-led approach to varying degrees. The lines between PLG and SLG are increasingly blurred, with pure PLG companies now employing sales teams to target larger enterprises. At the same time, more traditional SLG-driven companies are investing in product-led experiences to attract SMBs.

Discover the full article here:
https://www.mckinsey.com/industries/technology-media-and-telecommunications/our-insights/from-product-led-growth-to-product-led-sales-beyond-the-plg-hype

generative-ai-the-white-collar-frenemy
November 27, 2023

Generative AI: The white-collar frenemy

The infiltration of AI into white-collar jobs has become a cause for concern among many individuals. A recent study conducted by US researchers has shed light on this issue, revealing some intriguing findings. It appears that the introduction of #ChatGPT has resulted in a significant decline in job opportunities and earnings for copywriters and graphic designers on popular online freelancing platforms. This implies that generative AI is not only taking over their tasks but also devaluing their work.

Interestingly, the study discovered that even the most skilled freelancers, who previously earned the highest income and completed the most projects, were not exempt from these negative effects. In fact, they faced even worse outcomes, indicating that superior skills do not guarantee protection against job loss or decreased earnings.

However, it is important to note that this study specifically focuses on a particular group of individuals.

On the other hand, #employees across the skills distribution spectrum experienced benefits, with the greatest performance gains observed among the less highly skilled workforce. This can be attributed to the fact that large language models excel at regurgitating and summarizing existing human knowledge available in the public domain. The closer one’s own knowledge is to that limit, the smaller the advantage gained from utilizing these models.

feel-good-sunday-try-out-family-democracy-meeting-system
November 26, 2023

Feel good Sunday: try-out family-democracy meeting system

The realm of politics should be open to all, starting right at home, asserts activist Hajer Sharief. She introduces a remarkable concept: parents can instill political awareness in their children by involving them in household decision-making through candid family gatherings. These meetings provide a platform for everyone to express their opinions, negotiate, and find common ground. Sharief believes it is crucial to convey that political matters are just as relevant as personal and family affairs, urging us to question whether we can truly afford to be disinterested or uninvolved in politics.

Political decision-making necessitates diverse perspectives, encompassing individuals from various backgrounds, interests, #beliefs, genders, races, ethnicities, and ages. Everyone should have an equal opportunity to contribute and influence decisions that directly or indirectly shape their lives.

https://www.ted.com/talks/hajer_sharief_how_to_use_family_dinner_to_teach_politics

curious-saturday-alison-killing-a-beacon-of-truth-through-data-driven-journalism
November 25, 2023

Curious Saturday: Alison Killing: a beacon of truth through data-driven journalism

Data-driven journalism is a powerful tool that uncovers human rights abuses by merging online investigations with traditional journalistic techniques. By analyzing social media data, satellite imagery, and other sources, a comprehensive picture of injustice emerges.

This approach not only validates eyewitness accounts but also provides concrete evidence to hold perpetrators accountable. Through the utilization of reliable open source data, such as satellite and social media imagery, journalists can expose the darkest corners of our world.

Alison Killing, an esteemed journalist and TED Fellow, advocates for the increased use of trustworthy open-source data, like satellite and social media imagery, to illuminate the patterns of injustice that plague our #society. Her groundbreaking work sheds light on the truth and inspires action for a more just world.

https://www.ted.com/talks/alison_killing_how_data_driven_journalism_illuminates_patterns_of_injustice/

small-businesses-fueling-the-american-dream
November 24, 2023

Small Businesses: Fueling the American Dream

America has a deep-rooted love for small businesses, which play a significant role in shaping the nation’s economy and communities. These enterprises, often family-owned or operated, are the backbone of the American Dream, embodying the spirit of entrepreneurship, hard work, and innovation.

Small businesses contribute extensively to job creation, employing millions of Americans across various industries. They foster local economies by keeping money circulating within communities, supporting other local businesses and services. These enterprises also provide unique products and services, adding diversity and vibrancy to the marketplace.

Furthermore, small businesses foster a sense of #community and personal connection. Customers often develop relationships with the owners and employees, creating a personalized shopping experience. Additionally, small businesses tend to prioritize exceptional customer service, going the extra mile to meet individual needs and preferences.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence in supporting small businesses, driven by a desire to preserve local culture, promote sustainability, and reduce reliance on large corporations. This support is evident in initiatives like Small Business Saturday, where consumers are encouraged to shop locally.

Overall, America’s love for small businesses stems from their essential role in the economy, their ability to create jobs, their contribution to community development, and the unique experiences they offer to customers.

happy-thanksgiving-from-the-loquat-team
November 23, 2023

Happy Thanksgiving from the Loquat Team!

the-2023-2024-women-peace-and-security-index
November 22, 2023

The 2023 / 2024 Women, peace and security index

The Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Index, curated by Georgetown University’s Institute for Women, Peace and Security (GIWPS) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), meticulously evaluates and ranks 177 countries based on the status of women within their societies.

The comprehensive analysis carried out by the WPS Index sheds light on a significant correlation between improved conditions for women and various positive societal outcomes. Countries that prioritize women’s well-being tend to exhibit higher levels of peace, democracy, prosperity, and resilience against climate change. The index takes into account a wide range of factors, including economic participation, health indicators, vulnerability to violence, educational opportunities, safety perceptions, parliamentary representation, maternal mortality rates, legal protections, and proximity to armed conflicts.

Given the pressing global challenges we face today, such as the climate crisis, authoritarianism, forced displacement, armed conflicts, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the WPS Index underscores the critical importance of investing in women’s empowerment. By doing so, we can ensure the security and well-being of all individuals, fostering a more equitable and harmonious world.

https://www.prio.org/publications/12900

can-ceos-conquer-chaos-to-achieve-growth
November 21, 2023

Can CEOs conquer chaos to achieve growth?

In the fast-paced and unpredictable world of business, CEOs have faced an array of challenges in recent years. From the disruptive impact of the COVID-19 pandemic to soaring inflation rates, geopolitical tensions, and environmental crises, it’s been a rollercoaster ride for corporate leaders. However, amidst this chaos, some brave CEOs have managed to steer their organizations towards growth and outperform their competitors.

McKinsey’s latest research sheds light on the strategies employed by these courageous leaders. By adopting an aspirational mindset and fostering a growth-oriented culture, CEOs can set their organizations on a path to success. The study outlines six key strategies that aspiring leaders can leverage to reach the pinnacle of growth in their industries and maintain their position.

If you’re a CEO looking to navigate these turbulent times and achieve continuous growth outperformance, this insightful research is a must-read.

Read more: https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/growth-marketing-and-sales/our-insights/courageous-growth-six-strategies-for-continuous-growth-outperformance#/

is-the-tide-turning-for-interest-rates
November 20, 2023

Is the tide turning for interest rates?

The policymakers at the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, and Bank of England have been on a relentless spree of increasing interest rates for the past couple of years. As a result, borrowing #costs in Europe and the US have reached their highest levels since before the financial crisis.

In the US, these aggressive rate hikes have successfully tamed #consumer price inflation, which currently stands at a modest 3.7 percent, significantly lower than the peak of nearly 10 percent. However, the Federal Reserve is still grappling with an unexpectedly buoyant economy, with a staggering annualized growth rate of 4.9 percent in the latest quarter.

Despite the rising prices and dwindling savings, consumer spending has not yet experienced a significant slowdown. This can be largely attributed to a resilient job market, although a recent jobs report for October fell short of expectations, indicating some potential moderation in the future.

feel-good-sunday-the-art-of-choosing-a-cultural-perspective
November 19, 2023

Feel good Sunday: The art of choosing – a cultural perspective

Sheena Iyengar explores the art of decision-making and our perceptions of choice. She challenges the belief that American practices of choice are universally desirable and highlights the importance of understanding different cultural perspectives.

Regardless of our backgrounds, we should welcome a broader understanding of choice to appreciate its true potential and achieve the #freedom it promises. By fostering communication and appreciation for diverse perspectives, we can uncover the complexity and beauty of choice.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_the_art_of_choosing

curious-saturday-are-athletes-truly-becoming-faster-better-and-stronger
November 18, 2023

Curious Saturday: Are athletes truly becoming faster, better, and stronger?

If we take a closer look at the progression of sporting achievements in recent decades, it may appear that humans have made remarkable strides in every aspect. However, let’s not get too carried away with self-congratulation, shall we? In this talk by David Epstein, he challenges our assumptions and presents a refreshingly unconventional perspective.

Undoubtedly, technology has played a significant role in transforming athletic performance across various sports. But let’s not forget that there are other factors at play. While we haven’t undergone a radical evolutionary transformation in the past century, the composition of athletes within competitive sports has indeed undergone changes. In the early 1900s, the prevailing belief was that the average body type was optimal for all sports, resulting in a homogeneity among athletes.

However, times have changed. Sports that favor larger physiques have seen a surge in the size of athletes, whereas sports that benefit from smaller statures have witnessed a decrease in size. Additionally, the search for exceptional athletic abilities has led to the inclusion of previously untapped populations, such as Kenyan distance runners, into the competitive world.

But it’s not just physicality that sets today’s athletes apart. They possess a different mindset. Our brain acts as a safety mechanism, holding us back from tapping into our full potential to protect us from harm. But the more we learn about how that limiter functions, the more we learn how we can push it back just a bit, in some cases by convincing the brain that the body won’t be in mortal danger by pushing harder. Endurance and ultra-endurance sports serve as a great example.

https://www.ted.com/talks/david_epstein_are_athletes_really_getting_faster_better_stronger

welcome-the-magic-of-inglese-farlocco
November 17, 2023

Welcome the magic of “inglese farlocco”

Fluency in ‘inglese farlocco’ is now a necessity in Italy as hybrid words and #unconventional meanings continue to grow.

From its origins in World War II to its modern-day ubiquity, this linguistic phenomenon has become a must-know for anyone wanting to stay in the loop. Discover the intriguing world of “fake English” where words take on a life of their own, often leaving native English speakers scratching their heads.

While some worry about the infiltration of English, others see it as a vibrant expression of Italy’s adaptability. Business jargon, pandemic lingo, and even the younger #generation’s slang all contribute to this linguistic hybrid. From “schedulare” to “cringiata,” the creativity knows no bounds.

Purists may be appalled, but to Corbolante it’s linguistic dynamism. “Italian is a vital language,” she tells me. “We take foreign material and adapt it to our needs.” All right!

https://on.ft.com/3Q43IsS

migration-to-rich-countries-at-all-time-high
November 16, 2023

Migration to rich countries at all time high

International migration to rich countries reached an all-time high last year, driven by global humanitarian crises and demand for workers, the OECD said on Monday.

The Paris-based organisation estimated 6.1mn new permanent migrants moved to its 38 member countries last year, 26% more than in 2021 and 14% higher than in 2019, before the pandemic brought an enforced pause to much cross-border movement.

Preliminary figures for 2023 suggested a further increase, the OECD said, indicating that last year’s surge was not solely a post-Covid rebound.

This total did not include a further 4.7mn displaced Ukrainians who were living in OECD countries as of June this year; an increase in temporary migration for work; or a record 1.9mn permits issued to international students — with the greatest number of new students going to the UK.

Both humanitarian and labour-related flows of people look set to continue at high levels, with the latter accounting for a growing share of total migration, driven by a widespread scarcity of workers, the OECD said.

“Most OECD countries are experiencing #labour shortages,” José Luis Escrivá, the Spanish minister responsible for migration, said at the launch of the OECD’s report. “The situation can only get worse in future.”

Simply to stabilise its population, given demographic trends, the EU would need at least 50mn people to come from abroad in the next 25 years, Escrivá said, adding that this created “an absolute need” for significant migration “simply for the maintenance of the welfare state”.

Humanitarian migration to Germany and the US — the top two countries for granting asylum — nearly doubled in 2022, with the largest numbers of applications coming from Venezuela, Cuba, Afghanistan and Nicaragua.

Labour migration through routes that could lead to permanent settlement reached a 15-year high in many countries, the OECD said, including a doubling in the UK. There was a rise of 59 per cent in Germany, 39 per cent in the US and 26 per cent in France. Inflows to New Zealand, meanwhile, were triple the previous record, owing to a one-off policy allowing temporary residence to labour-seeking migrants.

This offset the slower post-pandemic recovery in flows of workers within the EU’s free movement area, and between Australia and New Zealand, and meant labour-related migration now accounted for more than a fifth of cross-border movement, the OECD said.

The migrant employment rate reached its highest on record, with more than 70% in work and fewer than 8% unemployed — in many countries, beating the employment rate of domestic worers.

https://www.ft.com/content/e1cabc36-d050-4674-a16c-fff60c548174?accessToken=zwAGCGh4LrG4kdPhyrw20FBGdNOhbP_2DFSBdA.MEYCIQCUYC025XVgdBGN_EHcqe6uasK-hOm-nfLknFhDQxR0nQIhAMwtMX3bScGJRx5Fc6tXz_RKmUymTAxBhcI05mIeGr3Q&sharetype=gift&token=d137e5a8-5904-40c6-b8f4-6deece95f4b3

global-recovery-slow-and-divergent-little-room-for-error
November 15, 2023

Global Recovery: Slow and divergent, little room for error

The global recovery continues to trudge along at a sluggish pace, with noticeable disparities emerging across different regions. This lackluster growth leaves no margin for policy mistakes, as any missteps could have significant consequences. According to IMF projections, global growth is expected to decelerate from 3.5 percent in 2022 to 3.0 percent in 2023 and 2.9 percent in 2024. These figures fall well below the average growth rate of 3.8 percent seen between 2000 and 2019.

As economies tighten their policies, advanced economies are anticipated to experience a slowdown from 2.6 percent in 2022 to 1.5 percent in 2023 and 1.4 percent in 2024.

Meanwhile, emerging market and developing economies are predicted to witness a modest decline in growth from 4.1 percent in 2022 to 4.0 percent in both 2023 and 2024. To curb inflation and maintain stability, it is crucial to employ effective monetary policy measures and frameworks.

https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/Issues/2023/10/10/world-economic-outlook-october-2023

microbusinesses-explosions-spells-opportunities-for-credit-unions
November 14, 2023

Microbusinesses explosions spells opportunities for credit unions

The rapid growth of microbusinesses has created both risks and opportunities for credit unions. These small-scale enterprises, often run by a single individual or a small team, have seen a significant surge in recent years. This trend can be attributed to various factors such as advances in technology, the rise of the gig economy, and the desire for individuals to have more control over their work-life balance.

For credit unions, this microbusiness explosion presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. On one hand, these small businesses often have limited financial resources and may require specialized financial products and services tailored to their needs. Credit unions have the opportunity to fill this gap by offering microbusiness loans, business checking accounts, and other financial solutions specifically designed for these enterprises.

However, credit unions must also be cautious as they navigate this new landscape. The inherent risks associated with lending to microbusinesses include higher default rates, limited credit history, and potentially volatile cash flows. It is crucial for credit unions to conduct thorough risk assessments and implement robust underwriting processes to mitigate these risks.

Overall, the rise of microbusinesses presents credit unions with an exciting #opportunity to expand their member base and support local entrepreneurship.

https://www.cutimes.com/2023/10/20/microbusiness-explosion-exposes-risks-opportunities-for-credit-unions/

fed-extends-rate-pause-but-for-how-long
November 13, 2023

Fed extends rate pause, but for how long?

The Federal Reserve (Fed) recently announced that it will maintain its current interest rate levels, signaling a continuation of its cautious approach to monetary policy.

Despite maintaining the current interest rates, the Fed did not rule out the possibility of future rate hikes. The central bank emphasized that it will closely evaluate incoming data to determine the appropriate timing for any adjustments. This flexibility reflects the Fed’s commitment to supporting inflation targets and maximum employment.

Additionally, the Fed has been gradually tapering its bond-buying program, which was implemented to stimulate the economy during the pandemic. This reduction in asset purchases indicates the central bank’s confidence in the economy’s ability to sustain its recovery.

Overall, the Fed’s decision to maintain interest rates while remaining open to future adjustments highlights its cautious approach to ensure a balanced economic #recovery amidst ongoing uncertainties.
https://www.wsj.com/economy/central-banking/fed-extends-rate-pause-but-keeps-door-open-to-another-hike-0fa978f8

tom-penton-is-attending-american-bankers-small-biz-banking-conference
November 12, 2023

Exciting news, everyone! Tom Penton, our Head of Partnerships is attending American Banker’s SMALL BIZ BANKING conference, coming up November 13–15 in Nashville.

It’s going to be a great opportunity to connect with other banking leaders to discuss what’s working and what’s not for small business clients.

Reach out!

feel-good-sunday-the-secret-sauce-to-success
November 12, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: the secret sauce to success

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

Duckworth started studying kids and adults in all kinds of super challenging settings, and in every study her question was, who is successful here and why?

It wasn’t social intelligence. It wasn’t good looks, physical health, and it wasn’t IQ. It was grit. The reality is; #talent does not equate to success.

Have a listen and uncover more about the traits of successful people: https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_grit_the_power_of_passion_and_perseverance

curious-saturday-are-you-consuming-forever-chemicals
November 11, 2023

Curious Saturday: Are you consuming “forever chemicals”?

When it comes to PFAS, short for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or “forever chemicals” in some plastic recyclable bottles, this group of synthetic chemicals widely used in various industries due to their water and grease resistance properties are also known to persist in the #environment and have adverse health effects.

Studies have shown that PFAS can leach into food and beverages from packaging materials, including #plastic bottles. This raises concerns about the potential exposure to these harmful chemicals, as plastic bottles are commonly used for storing and consuming drinks.

While recycling is generally seen as a sustainable solution, the presence of PFAS complicates the process. Recycling facilities struggle to effectively remove these chemicals, leading to the risk of PFAS entering recycled plastic products and perpetuating their presence in the environment.

This calls for stricter regulations and guidelines regarding PFAS in plastic packaging and the importance of consumer awareness and demand for safer alternatives. Overall, the presence of PFAS in plastic recyclable bottles underscores the urgent need for sustainable and non-toxic packaging solutions.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2023-09-28/pfas-forever-chemicals-present-in-some-plastic-recyclable-bottles?srnd=industries-v2

ai-systems-have-benefits-but-risks-to-stability-must-be-managed
November 10, 2023

AI systems have benefits but risks to stability must be managed

Will reliance on AI extend its power into the hands of technology companies? Tech companies are increasingly make inroads into finance but are not subject to strict oversight. There are parallels with the world of cloud computing in finance. In the west, the triumvirate of Amazon, Microsoft and Google provides services to the biggest lenders.

This concentration raises competition concerns, and affords at least the theoretical ability to move markets in the direction of their choice. It also generates systemic risk: an outage at Amazon Web Services in 2021 affected companies ranging from robot vacuum producer Roomba to dating app Tinder. An issue with a trading algorithm could trigger a market crash.

Watchdogs have pushed back against the awkward nexus of technology and finance in the past, as with Meta’s digital currency, Diem, formerly known as Libra. But to mitigate the risks from AI requires expanding the perimeter of financial regulation or pushing authorities across different sectors to collaborate far more effectively. Given the potential for AI to affect every industry, that co-operation should be broad. The history of credit default swaps and collateralised debt obligations shows how dangerous “siloed” thinking can be.

AI is not inherently negative for financial services. It can be used to speed up the delivery of credit, support better trading or combat fraud. It can ultimately be a friend to finance, if the watchmen have the right tools to keep it on the rails.

https://www.ft.com/content/f05c5bbb-4d05-45b3-a4a7-01f522803015?accessToken=zwAGCGjLnDz4kdPwXFu7TQVFs9OkpwH1IoAwFQ.MEUCIGi3GCEIA4fUPprBgbL0sklvBVWKKjKvy1QPYAWnd4PDAiEA5ZBidCsh80Dw5-F2kSdk2xHoXDhH6IgiDhxevxrWy-4&sharetype=gift&token=191be8d4-7b2e-4a59-9f61-cf3b48261fc7

loquat-ceos-insights-on-leadership
November 09, 2023

Loquat CEO’s insights on leadership

Zarina Tsomaeva, the CEO at Loquat Inc. believes that true leaders are not defined by their ability to possess all the answers, but rather by their skill in asking the right questions. With an unwavering commitment to curiosity, Zarina Tsomaeva encourages leaders to remain open-minded, always seeking innovative solutions.

4-of-the-6-large-banks-will-see-q3-profits-fall-after-loan-growth-stalls
November 07, 2023

4 of the 6 large banks will see Q3 profits fall after loan growth stalls

Net interest income — the difference between what banks pay on deposits and what they earn from loans and other assets — has in the past 18 months lifted earnings for the likes of JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup.

The biggest US banks have benefited from charging more for loans in lockstep with the Federal Reserve lifting benchmark rates without significantly raising interest rates for savers.

While weekly data from the Fed has shown credit card borrowing by consumers is still growing, albeit at a slower pace, corporate borrowing has fallen in the past six months, likely from rising rates.

Analysts forecast that the net charge-offs — the portion of loans with losses that are marked as unrecoverable — will rise for JPMorgan, BofA, Citi and Wells to pre-pandemic levels.

“At some point, presumably, even the strongest consumers will begin to fold under the pressure of higher rates,” said Scott Siefers, a bank analyst at Piper Sandler.

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, the 25 largest US banks by assets had loan growth slow considerably since the start of the year to about 1.5 per cent from a year earlier, when it had been tracking at 8 per cent.
https://on.ft.com/3PNQJdf

the-fed-sheds-light-on-structured-debt
November 06, 2023

The Fed sheds light on structured debt

The Federal Reserve has clarified rules around capital treatment of a type of structured #debt which involves the sale of #credit-linked notes that carry the risk of losses on U.S. bank loan portfolios to investors.

These trades, also known as Total Loss-Absorbing Capacity (TLAC) or long-term debt (LTD) trades, are mechanisms that allow banks to issue debt that can be converted into equity in the event of a financial crisis. This helps ensure that banks have sufficient capital to absorb losses and maintain stability in the financial system.

The Federal Reserve’s new guidance states that these bank capital relief trades will be allowed until the end of 2023, after which they will be phased out. This decision aligns with the international regulatory framework set by the Financial Stability Board and the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision. The goal is to promote financial stability and reduce the risk of taxpayer-funded bailouts.

Such transactions, done privately, have been difficult to get done in the U.S., said Michael Bright, CEO of the Structured Finance Association.

Data on them are not public but banks supervised by the European Central Bank (ECB) completed a record 174 billion euros ($189 billion) of such deals last year, the regulator told Reuters in April.

A bank can normally transfer risks of losses equivalent to around 7% to 12% of a loan portfolio in a European trade, market sources previously said.

These clarifications come after growing calls for clarity on which of these bespoke trades issued by U.S. banks would qualify for capital relief, the banking industry sources said.

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/fed-shines-light-path-us-bank-capital-relief-trades-2023-10-02/

globalization-a-catchy-take-on-the-worlds-economic-shift
November 05, 2023

Globalization: a catchy take on the world’s economic shift

Motivated by a belief in market power, globalization surged in the 1990s as governments relaxed travel, investment, and trade controls. China joining the World Trade Organization in 2001 further boosted trade between Asia and the West. While globalization brought benefits like poverty reduction and political freedom, it also presented problems.

The 2007-09 financial crisis was expected to prompt reforms, but ultimately globalization continued largely unchanged. In response to economic, geopolitical, energy, and AI shocks, the concept of homeland economics emerged.

This approach aims to reduce risks to economies and create a safer, fairer, and greener world. However, this report argues that it may have the opposite effect.

For more information, visit: www.economist.com/special-report/2023/10/02/governments-across-the-world-are-discovering-homeland-economics

curious-saturday-from-fear-to-fearless-through-unexpected-change
November 04, 2023

Curious Saturday: from fear to fearless through unexpected change

Unexpected change like an accident, an illness or a relationship that suddenly ends is inevitable — and disorienting. With a heartfelt and optimistic take on life’s curveballs, cognitive scientist Maya Shankar shares how these challenging moments can inspire transformation, offering three questions to ask when facing uncertainty, so you can let go of rigidity and embrace change.

  1. How might change change what you value?
  2. How might a change change what you’re capable of?
  3. How might a change change how you define yourself?

Be sure to have a listen and discover how unexpected challenges might change what you are capable of, what you value, and how you define yourself:
https://www.ted.com/talks/maya_shankar_why_change_is_so_scary_and_how_to_unlock_its_potential

ceos-embarrassing-behavior-will-it-destroy-the-companys-reputation
November 03, 2023

CEOs embarrassing behavior: will it destroy the company’s reputation?

What is the difference between a hook-up, a fling and a relationship? For a board director of a big company in 2023, this may now be required knowledge.

Global companies president’s are departing more frequently, often due to their failure to disclose past relationships with employees to the board.

This raises the question of how closely directors need to scrutinise the personal conduct of top executives — from workplace relationships, bullying and inappropriate use of social media, to an individual’s tax affairs and embellished CVs.

Reputational risk has become as high a priority as financial risk, but board discussions have historically tended to focus on issues such as product reliability, service quality and compliance, rather than personal conduct. Directors are now increasingly having to make judgments based on what is socially acceptable, as well as legal and ethical, to ensure they maintain the confidence of staff, investors and customers.

In the event that governance processes and HR functions do not catch bad behaviour, there has to be a way for the average employee to take action. Well publicised and effective codes of conduct and properly functioning whistleblowing mechanisms without fear of reprisals are essential. Some companies have ethics champions throughout the company that individuals can turn to.
https://www.ft.com/content/ec803e88-d575-4ce3-a086-70562ea07323?accessToken=zwAGBtUr2Cg4kdPsgD6I1XVM49OghnBWLqBzIw.MEUCIQDFOwe6H4q0kjeFXp-nVqwH6jc0KLMF2eZtavfr9JIExAIgH0sHI8K_MZ1jddohMz6U70Ymp0UGHDl-LzglWimxhWU&sharetype=gift&token=b7be04b4-ffcc-418a-af14-3e729ac9af2c

LOQUAT, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

the-most-powerful-women-in-banking-for-2023-or-is-it
November 02, 2023

The most powerful women in banking for 2023 – Or is it?

At first glance, one might think women are breaking the glass ceiling when looking at the American Banker’s list “The most powerful woman in banking 2023,” but upon closer inspection, it turns out that Fraser remains the only female CEO among the largest banks. For the 21st century, this is not an outstanding achievement and not what most would expect in 2023.

While Loquat supports this prestigious list celebrating the outstanding achievements and leadership of women in the banking industry, it uncovers one thing: there should be further progress since women have risen into top positions within their respective organizations, serving as CEOs, CFOs, COOs, and other influential roles.

This list should emphasize the importance of continued efforts to promote diversity and empowerment for women in all sectors of society:
https://www.americanbanker.com/list/the-most-powerful-women-in-banking-2023

At Loquat, we support the diversity and inclusivity of women from different backgrounds and experiences, their leadership skills, strategic vision, and dedication to driving innovation and growth. We hope more women will be given the opportunity to lead their organizations to success and inspire the next generation of female leaders in banking.

whats-dividing-the-c-suite-on-generative-ai
November 01, 2023

What’s dividing the C-Suite on generative AI?

The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about significant concerns and challenges for C-suite executives across industries. According to a report by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), these leaders are grappling with various aspects related to the adoption and integration of AI technologies into their organizations.

One of the primary concerns highlighted in the report is the ethical implications of AI. C-suite executives are increasingly aware of the potential risks associated with AI, such as bias in algorithms, privacy concerns, and job displacement. They are actively seeking ways to ensure responsible and ethical AI practices within their organizations.

Additionally, the report sheds light on the challenges faced by executives in terms of talent acquisition and development. The report emphasizes the need for effective AI governance and strategy.

C-suite executives are tasked with developing a comprehensive AI strategy that aligns with their business goals and ensures a smooth integration of AI technologies. They are also responsible for establishing governance frameworks that address issues like data privacy, security, and compliance.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/c-suite-genai-concerns-challenges

As we explore and try to understand what AI solutions are, it is imperative to understand how it could be implemented in the Financial Institutions to drive performance improvements.

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

6-powerful-strategies-to-slash-cloud-costs
October 31, 2023

6 powerful strategies to slash cloud costs

Cloud cost management is a multifaceted challenge for SaaS companies, demanding a broad and in-depth understanding of the factors driving these costs. From the deployment architecture to the culture among engineering teams, from pricing strategies to the choice of technologies, every facet contributes to the overall cloud expenses.

To confront these challenges head-on, software leaders can take six immediate actions, including:

  1. Formalize an agile cloud cost governance program
  2. Foster cloud transparency
  3. Align pricing models with customer usage
  4. Emphasize cost considerations in decision-making
  5. Educate customers about resource consumption
  6. Optimize deployment architecture

By taking these proactive measures, SaaS companies can enhance their cloud expenses, make accurate cost predictions, and achieve significant savings while ensuring financial sustainability and continued growth.

https://www.ey.com/en_us/tmt/strategy-consulting/cutting-costs-in-the-cloud-six-strategies-for-saas-companies

bank-fintech-partnerships-digitizing-your-reality
October 30, 2023

Bank-fintech partnerships: digitizing your reality

Once viewed as a disruptive force in traditional banking, bank-fintech partnerships have become increasingly common and highly effective.

These partnerships unlock value for parties on each side of the equation. Banks provide fintechs with backend infrastructure, knowledge, compliance, and regulatory controls. Fintechs help banks access new markets, enhance and accelerate the rollout of digital offerings, and deliver a better, more customer-friendly overall experience.

These partnerships help drive down the costs of financial services with improved efficiencies, better and faster decision-making with data analytics, and expanded access to banking and financial offerings. Incumbent financial institutions would not have eliminated or reduced overdraft fees without fintechs like Chime and other digital peers entering the marketplace.

Bank-fintech partnerships are an excellent example of harnessing technology to improve banking, resulting in faster, expanded access to services and capital. Regulators deserve credit for finalizing the third-party guidance and acknowledging the power of these partnerships.

Looking ahead, we welcome regulators’ commitment to deliver more clarity on the expectations for community banking organizations in managing these risks. Banks and fintechs working together can provide even more benefits to consumers, small businesses, and the economy if the laws on the books – and the regulatory mindset – catch up to the digital reality.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/pennylee/2023/10/04/how-bank-fintech-partnerships-make-banking-better-for-consumers-and-small-businesses/?sh=30f4f6ea7b76

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind. Our end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience. Learn more: www.loquatinc.io

feel-good-sunday-4-kinds-of-regret-and-what-they-teach-you
October 29, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: 4 kinds of regret and what they teach you

Regret: a word often associated with negativity, yet it holds profound lessons for us all. Join Daniel H. Pink’s captivating TED Talk as he unveils the four distinct types of regret, each carrying invaluable insights.

Daniel delves into the regrets we experience: regrets for actions taken and actions not taken, both with and without remorse. Remarkably, each type offers a unique window into our values, priorities, and decision-making processes.

Rather than shying away from regret, Daniel emphasizes its importance as a teacher. By reflecting on our regrets, we gain a deeper understanding of ourselves, our desires, and our motivations.

Have a listen:
https://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_h_pink_4_kinds_of_regret_and_what_they_teach_you_about_yourself

Do you find time to reflect and find the silver lining? At Loquat we aim to help small business banks and credit unions find the silver lining with technology that enables them to thrive. Through our transparent portal, we want to make decisionmaking easier and allow them to be future-ready.

curious-saturday-lessons-learned-from-being-a-nerd
October 28, 2023

Curious Saturday: lessons learned from being a nerd

Jordan’s favorite word is “fandom” and how fandom can enrich your life and build a community of people that you might not have always talked to, right?

She also shares that “Star Wars” taught her that her world can be as big as a galaxy far, far away. Whether that is real or fake.

In this Ted Talk, Jordan shares 10 lessons she’s learned nerding out on all kinds of things and unpacks the joy, creativity and community that comes from being a fan.

Have a listen: https://www.ted.com/talks/jordan_dinwiddie_10_lessons_i_learned_from_being_a_nerd

At Loquat, we nerd out on serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

despite-the-hype-sustainability-progress-is-stalled-at-most-companies
October 27, 2023

Despite the hype sustainability progress is stalled at most companies

Despite the growing desire to embed #sustainability goals, a recent study reveals that progress is stagnating at most companies.

The study, conducted by a leading consulting firm, examined data from over 500 companies across various industries. It found that while many companies have established sustainability initiatives, they struggle to make significant progress in implementing them effectively.

One of the main challenges identified is the lack of a clear roadmap. Many companies set ambitious goals but have not developed a detailed plan to achieve them. This lack of clarity leads to fragmented efforts and prevents companies from making meaningful strides towards sustainability.

Additionally, the study highlights the need for stronger accountability and measurement systems. Without proper tracking and reporting mechanisms, companies struggle to assess their progress accurately and identify areas for improvement.

https://www.instrategia.com/our-insights/sustainability-progress-is-stalled-at-most-companies

At Loquat, we know that blending employees’ environmental and social values is the only way to achieve any sustainable progress, but like all initiatives, they take time.

clement-ogujiofor-gets-real-about-the-effectiveness-of-generative-ai
October 26, 2023

Clement Ogujiofor gets real about the effectiveness of Generative AI

Generative AI holds potential for driving enterprise value, but its effectiveness depends on the skills of those who utilize it. The true value of generative AI may be realized when enterprises can deploy enterprise-specific language models that assist employees in accessing and utilizing private information relevant to the organization. This has the potential to unlock substantial value for certain businesses.

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

data-breaches-strike-half-of-financial-service-providers-are-you-at-risk
October 25, 2023

Data Breaches strike half of financial service providers: are you at risk?

In a revelation that highlights the vulnerabilities of content management systems (#CMS) in the financial services sector, a new report has disclosed that 50% of organizations have fallen victim to data breaches over the past three years.

Three-quarters of financial organizations are currently using a CMS, with Adobe, WordPress and HubSpot being the most popular, according to a report released by Forrit, a provider of next-generation CMS solutions. Many – 88% – are also using multiple CMS systems posing an increased security risk.

Half of those surveyed by Forrit admitted to suffering a data breach within the past three years, a number that increased in the banking (61 per cent) and wealth management (68 per cent) sectors.

https://thefintechtimes.com/data-breaches-strike-half-of-financial-service-providers-via-cms/

At LOQUAT Inc. we believe that data privacy is a fundamental human right and democratic societies have a duty to #respect and #protect this right through their respective institutions.

We envision that individuals shall decide “what becomes #data in the first place, what we share, with whom, and to what purpose”.

customer-service-is-getting-worse-and-so-are-customers
October 24, 2023

Customer service is getting worse and so are customers

Many businesses have shifted towards automated systems, chatbots, and self-service options, reducing human interaction and leaving customers feeling frustrated and unheard. Additionally, the outsourcing of customer service operations to low-cost countries has resulted in language barriers and cultural differences that further hinder effective communication and resolution.

However, it is important to note that customers themselves have also contributed to the decline in customer service. The advent of social media and online review platforms has given customers a powerful voice to publicly air their grievances and criticism. While this has led to increased accountability for businesses, it has also fueled a culture of entitlement and impatience among customers, who often resort to public shaming and unrealistic demands.

https://www.economist.com/business/2023/09/28/customer-service-is-getting-worse-and-so-are-customers

At Loquat, we are in a constant search of HOW we can make our customer’s journey a personal, pleasant and up-to-date experience. We believe in the future of Web3 and its chance to democratize the online experience, and enable users to reclaim control of their data

Learn more how at: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

eu-placed-cap-rules-for-payday-lenders-in-2014-when-will-usa-do-the-same
October 23, 2023

EU placed cap rules for payday lenders in 2014. When will USA do the same?

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a case that targets the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a regulatory agency created in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. The case, which is scheduled for argument in the court’s upcoming term, challenges the constitutionality of the CFPB’s structure.

The CFPB was established by legislation signed by Democratic former President Barack Obama to curb the type of predatory lending that contributed to the financial crisis. The agency has delivered $16 billion of relief to consumers as a result of its 300-plus enforcement actions from 2012-22 including a $3.7 billion settlement last year with Wells Fargo (WFC.N).

The New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year ruled that the CFPB’s funding structure violated the appropriations clause. The 5th Circuit also invalidated a CFPB regulation opposed by payday lenders that stops them from trying to charge a borrower’s bank account after two unsuccessful attempts due to insufficient funds.

Many conservatives and their Republican allies see the CFPB as part of an unwieldy “administrative state,” the network of agencies responsible for the array of federal regulations affecting businesses and individuals.

EU placed price caps on payday lenders 9 years ago to ensure fair lending practices. It begs the question when the USA will try to catch up: https://www.reuters.com/legal/us-supreme-court-hear-case-targeting-consumer-financial-watchdog-2023-10-03/

At Loquat, our mission is to serve small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering fair lending options, all while preventing fraud and without sacrificing on the user experience.

Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right Banking as a Service partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

feel-good-sunday-unveiling-my-true-self-how-i-discovered-me-by-becoming-others
October 22, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Unveiling my true self — How I discovered me by becoming others

In this captivating TED Talk, the talented comedian and impressionist, Melissa Villaseñor, takes center stage to share her remarkable tale of self-discovery through the art of impersonation.

Melissa opens up about her lifelong passion for mimicking voices and imitating celebrities, which initially served as a refuge from her shyness and anxiety. However, as she delves deeper into her craft, she unveils a profound realization – her impressions are not merely an escape, but a powerful means of self-expression.

Through impersonating various celebrities, Melissa discovers an extraordinary way to connect with different aspects of her own identity. By embodying their voices and mannerisms, she courageously explores and embraces the diverse facets of her personality, leading to a profound understanding of herself.

Have a listen to learn how Melissa found her unique voice:
https://www.ted.com/talks/melissa_villasenor_how_i_found_myself_by_impersonating_other_people

At Loquat, we encourage all individuals to lean into their own unique personality and embrace their own ideas of freedom.

can-we-slow-down-aging
October 21, 2023

Can we slow down aging?

Our bodies, remarkable machines that they are, possess the power to create and repair themselves. But why do they fall short of perfection?

more-than-50-of-credit-union-ceos-are-women-vs-3-in-banks
October 20, 2023

More than 50% of credit union CEOs are women vs. 3% in banks

In a recent study conducted by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA), it revealed that 51% of credit union CEOs are now women, marking a significant increase in female leadership within this sector.

Still, “Women are significantly underrepresented in executive positions across all industries, particularly within the financial services sector,” said CUNA Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Samira Salem.

The study highlights the efforts made by credit unions to promote inclusivity and equal opportunities for women in leadership positions. Additionally, it emphasizes the importance of mentorship programs and professional development initiatives that have helped women advance in their careers.

It suggests that credit unions with a higher representation of women in executive roles tend to perform better in terms of member satisfaction, employee engagement, and overall organizational success.

https://news.cuna.org/articles/119416-cuna-study-finds-51-of-credit-union-ceos-are-women

In the 21st century, this is not to be expected. At Loquat, we focus on diversity and inclusion, promoting fair labor practices, and supporting women and diverse backgrounds. Learn more about our inclusive approach: https://loquatinc.io/about/

cloroxs-cyberattack-a-593mm-wake-up-call
October 19, 2023

Clorox’s Cyberattack: A $593MM wake-up call

In July SEC Adopts Rules on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure by Public Companies.

On August 14 Clorox became one of the first companies to disclose via an SEC filing that the company had “identified unauthorized activity on some of its Information Technology (IT) systems” that was “expected to continue to cause disruption to parts of the Company’s business operations.”

Then, on September 18, Clorox filed another SEC report stating it believed the hack was contained but resulting in slower production rates and “an elevated level of consumer product availability issues.” News of the filing spread widely throughout the press and Clorox’s stock price dropped roughly 2% between market close on September 18 and market open the following day.

The incident has shed light on the new SEC rules that mandate disclosure of

It’s a textbook example for why no company wants to advertise a cybersecurity breach and also suggests why manufacturers are so likely to pay ransomware bounties and eliminate the problem.

https://www.industryweek.com/technology-and-iiot/article/21274431/the-clorox-co-recovers-from-severe-cyberattack

This unfortunate event underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures for all businesses. It’s a clear signal that no company is immune to cyber threats, and the consequences can be severe. As organizations strive to protect their data and maintain customer trust, investing in modern data architecture.

Learn HOW LOQUAT Inc. can help to make financial institutions more secure, #innovative and #successful: https://loquatinc.io/

agility-is-key-for-being-future-ready
October 18, 2023

Agility is key for being future-ready

Agile operating models have emerged as a game-changer for risk and compliance functions in organizations. These models, traditionally associated with software development, are now being applied to various business areas, including risk management and compliance. With their emphasis on flexibility, adaptability, and collaboration, agile operating models enable risk and compliance teams to respond swiftly and effectively to the evolving regulatory landscape and emerging risks.

One of the key benefits of an agile operating model for risk and compliance functions is enhanced responsiveness. By breaking down work into smaller, manageable tasks or “sprints,” teams can quickly address compliance issues or regulatory changes, reducing the time and effort required for implementation. This iterative approach allows for continuous improvement and learning, ensuring that risk and compliance strategies remain up-to-date and effective.

When businesses bring together individuals from different departments, such as legal, IT, and operations, organizations can leverage diverse expertise and perspectives to develop comprehensive risk and compliance solutions. This collaborative approach also promotes transparency and communication, enabling teams to identify and address potential risks more proactively.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/how-agile-operating-models-benefit-risk-and-compliance-functions

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit:  www.loquatinc.io

credit-unions-can-lead-todays-digitally-disruptive-era
October 17, 2023

Credit Unions can lead today’s digitally disruptive era

Credit unions have the opportunity to not only continue their tradition of exceptional service but also lead the era of digital disruption.

By implementing innovative technologies and digital solutions, credit unions can enhance their member experience and stay competitive in an increasingly digital world. For instance, implementing mobile banking apps, online loan applications, and digital payment solutions can provide members with convenient and seamless access to their accounts and services.

By leveraging data analytics and artificial intelligence, credit unions can gain valuable insights into their members’ needs and preferences. This information can be used to personalize offerings, provide targeted financial advice, and proactively address potential issues.

Additionally, credit unions can collaborate with fintech startups and other industry players to foster innovation and develop more member-centric solutions. By forging strategic partnerships, credit unions can tap into the expertise and resources of these companies, enabling them to stay at the forefront of digital transformation.

https://www.cutimes.com/2023/09/29/credit-unions-can-lead-the-era-of-digital-disruption/

LOQUAT, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can help the diverse needs of customers, allowing credit unions, banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

middle-market-economic-sentiment-remains-elevated
October 16, 2023

Middle market economic sentiment remains elevated

Middle market businesses are bullish about the future for their companies and the economy. They are planning to put money behind that optimism, adding new employees and expanding their infrastructure. However, a tight labor market and credit restrictions could dampen those plans. Policymakers can help by expanding the workforce and by ensuring that new regulations don’t limit access to credit.

Seventy percent of Middle Market Business respondents expect revenue to rise over the next six months, while 68% anticipate an improvement in net earnings over the same period.

Should these trends hold, they will provide more evidence that the American economy will muddle though and avoid a recession.

https://rsmus.com/middle-market/mmbi.html

LOQUAT Inc.’s modern data architecture can help financial institutions manage large volumes of data while improving the customer experience and profitability.

Learn HOW LOQUAT Inc. can help to make financial institutions more #innovative and #successful: https://loquatinc.io/

feel-good-sunday-companies-driving-social-good-in-2023
October 15, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: companies driving social good in 2023

Fast Company recently released its annual list of the “Most Innovative Companies for Social Good” in 2023, a list of organizations that are making a positive impact on society through their innovative approaches and solutions.

The companies featured on this list are driving change in various sectors, including healthcare, education, sustainability, and technology.

In the education sector, several companies are reimagining traditional learning methods by incorporating gamification, virtual reality, and personalized learning platforms. These advancements are making education more engaging, accessible, and inclusive for learners of all ages and backgrounds.

Not surprisingly, many companies on the list are dedicated to sustainability and are actively working towards creating a greener future. They are developing innovative solutions to combat climate change, reduce waste, and promote renewable energy sources.

This list of companies serve as inspiring examples of how businesses can drive positive change and make a meaningful difference in the world.

https://www.fastcompany.com/90849070/most-innovative-companies-social-good-2023

curious-saturday-are-we-the-last-generation-or-the-1st-sustainable-one
October 14, 2023

Curious Saturday: are we the last generation — or the 1st sustainable one?

In this TED Talk, Hannah Ritchie explores the pressing question of whether we are the last generation to witness the Earth’s beauty and resources or the first generation to build a sustainable future. She highlights the urgent need for action to address global challenges such as climate change, deforestation, and inequality.

Ritchie concludes by emphasizing the importance of collective action and individual responsibility. She urges us to use our voices, vote for sustainable policies, and make conscious choices in our daily lives. By doing so, she believes we can be the first sustainable generation.

Have a listen:
https://www.ted.com/talks/hannah_ritchie_are_we_the_last_generation_or_the_first_sustainable_one

While Ritchie examines this large scale issue, the truth is “sustainability” gets thrown around a lot these days. But what does it actually mean for humanity to be sustainable? When you look at how much the global population has grown, the number of areas sustainability ties into (consumption, recycling, batteries, pollution, etc.), it’s all relative.

success-story-georgias-credit-union-boosts-audit-efficiency-by-66
October 13, 2023

Success Story: Georgia’s Credit Union boosts audit efficiency by 66%

Credit unions are constantly seeking ways to improve their audit processes and increase efficiency. Georgia’s Own Credit Union recently achieved a significant milestone by increasing their audit throughput by 66%. This impressive improvement was made possible through the implementation of innovative technologies and strategic process enhancements.

By leveraging advanced auditing software and automation tools, the credit union was able to streamline their audit procedures and reduce manual efforts. This not only saved time but also minimized the risk of errors and improved accuracy. Additionally, the credit union implemented a centralized data management system that allowed for easy access and retrieval of audit-related information.

Furthermore, the credit union invested in employee training and development programs to ensure that their staff members were equipped with the necessary skills to effectively carry out audits. This investment in human capital played a crucial role in achieving the increased audit throughput.

Overall, Georgia’s Own Credit Union’ success story serves as an inspiration for other financial institutions looking to optimize their audit processes. By embracing technology, implementing process improvements, and investing in employee development, credit unions can enhance their audit capabilities and drive greater efficiency.

https://www.americanbanker.com/creditunions/partnerinsights/aces/video/credit-union-increases-audit-throughput-by-66?mvt=i&mvn=e1b73f95fd4f4d10b480fdd5c00b0baf&mvp=NA-AMERBANK-11239200&mvl=%20%5BNative%20In-Latest%20-%20NEW%20DESIGN%5D

LOQUAT Inc.’s modern data architecture can help financial institutions manage large volumes of data while improving the customer experience and profitability.

Learn HOW LOQUAT Inc. can help to make financial institutions more #innovative and #successful: https://loquatinc.io/

the-potential-of-data-the-new-game-in-financial-planning-and-analysis
October 12, 2023

The potential of data — the new game in financial planning and analysis

“FP&A (financial planning and analysis) used to hold all the cards; they had all the data at their fingertips. Nowadays, valuable data resides across the business. It’s a battle to find out who has the best data, much less what this data is. Otherwise, a vacuum will develop that smart executives will fill up with their own data. The CFO has to be on top of information flow at all times.”

– Mark Partin, CFO of BlackLine

level-up-your-business-with-tech-transformation
October 11, 2023

Level up your business with tech transformation

In today’s fast-paced world, technology is the key to staying ahead. But who are the true leaders in this digital revolution? Look no further than the tech-savvy experts who are shaping the future of business.

Inside PwC’s Pulse Survey on Technology Leaders, this report unveils the secrets of top-performing companies that have successfully reinvented themselves through technology.

From AI and automation to cybersecurity and cloud computing, this survey provides insights into leveraging cutting-edge technologies and adapting to changing market dynamics.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/library/pulse-survey/business-reinvention/technology-leaders.html

Today’s trends require financial institutions to invest in digital transformation initiatives, optimize their products and services, and cooperate with other players in the ecosystem to serve customers better. Loquat platform uses AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

Learn more how at: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

what-does-open-banking-mean-for-the-financial-industry
October 10, 2023

What does open banking mean for the financial industry?

Open banking is changing the financial industry by allowing customers to securely share their financial data with third-party providers through application programming interfaces (APIs). This allows customers to access a wide range of innovative financial products and services, ultimately leading to a more competitive and customer-centric banking landscape.

In the US, open banking is gaining momentum, driven by regulatory initiatives such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) proposed rule on consumer access to financial records. This rule aims to establish clear guidelines for financial institutions to provide consumers with secure and convenient access to their financial data.

US banks must proactively prepare for this transformative shift. They need to invest in robust API infrastructure, ensuring seamless connectivity with third-party providers while maintaining the highest standards of security and data privacy. Additionally, banks should prioritize customer education and transparency, clearly communicating the benefits and risks associated with open banking to build trust and encourage adoption.

In order to unlock new opportunities, banks can collaborate with fintech startups, offer personalized financial solutions, and improve the overall customer experience.

https://www.forrester.com/blogs/us-banks-must-get-ready-for-open-banking-now/

Banks must act now and drive their strategies for transformation, remembering to think positively and proactively about it as an avenue to compete. Loquat, an end-to-end-platform, allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit:  www.loquatinc.io

ai-in-finance-overcoming-hurdles-for-transformation
October 09, 2023

AI in Finance: Overcoming Hurdles for Transformation

Generative AI holds the potential to help financial services firms re-imagine their entire businesses around the needs and desires of their customers.

There are several areas where generative AI can help firms dramatically improve their operations.

First hurdle: Generative AI poses unique risks that traditional AI systems don’t have to contend with. One is defamation: programs inadvertently producing defamatory content. Another is hallucinations and opaque logic and processing. Generative AI also creates confidentiality concerns such as data leakage and copyright issues. To address these, financial institutions need to beef up their governance, data quality, talent functions and other dimensions.

Second hurdle: regulators. The potential perils of AI span the enterprise, including operations, technology, legal, compliance, process, data, technology and reputational risks. Banks need an enterprise-wide framework to holistically manage these risks. Government bodies have offered guidelines on best practices in the US, the EU, the UK and Hong Kong. When these guidelines turn into hard rules, we estimate fines for lack of governance could approach 6% of the industry’s global revenue.

Third hurdle: the technology itself. Today’s models lack desires and self-directed learning. They have extensive knowledge of the world, but don’t “know what they know,” and lack any sense of truth. As for reasoning, models’ abilities remain brittle and likely to fail unexpectedly, especially when asked to apply logic and knowledge in new contexts. And they don’t yet offer predictability, with unwanted outputs creeping into models frequently.

As a result, significant productivity improvements from generative AI will take time. Learning curves are steep, there is still insufficient scale of adoption, and model tweaks and redesigns have been slow. Firms must navigate a collision course: In one direction, ongoing advancements are likely to drive more widespread use as tools become integrated into our daily lives.

https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2023/sep/ai-can-transform-finance.html

At Loquat we believe in the transformative power of AI in finance.

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

feel-good-sunday-does-more-freedom-at-work-mean-more-fulfillment
October 08, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Does more freedom at work mean more fulfillment?

In this TED Talk, Sarah Aviram delves into the concept of work freedom and its impact on employee fulfillment. Aviram, a renowned organizational psychologist, argues that traditional workplace structures often stifle creativity and limit employees’ sense of autonomy, leading to decreased job satisfaction and productivity. She emphasizes the need for organizations to embrace a more flexible and empowering approach to work, allowing employees the freedom to make decisions and explore their passions.

Aviram draws on various studies and real-life examples to illustrate how increased autonomy and trust in the workplace can lead to greater job satisfaction, innovation, and overall well-being. She also highlights the importance of aligning individual values and purpose with the organization’s mission to foster a sense of fulfillment and engagement among employees. Aviram’s talk challenges the traditional notion of work and offers insights into creating a more fulfilling and empowering work environment.

Have a listen:
https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_aviram_does_more_freedom_at_work_mean_more_fulfillment_sep_2023

ceos-role-shaping-decisions-not-making-them
October 07, 2023

CEO’s role: shaping decisions, not making them

The CEO’s role is not about making every decision but rather shaping them. With countless decisions to be made daily, it would be impractical for the CEO to be involved in all of them. Instead, the CEO’s focus should be on enabling others to make decisions that they can support. While there are instances where the CEO must make final decisions, it is generally better to minimize their involvement.

To shape decisions, CEOs have various tools at their disposal. They can align the organization around a shared purpose, establish priorities and goals, develop a clear strategy, create an effective organizational structure, foster a strong culture, and implement a performance measurement and reward system.

However, CEOs cannot completely distance themselves from decision-making. They must choose where and how they personally engage in decision-making. By categorizing decisions based on their nature and the organizational level they pertain to, CEOs can determine their level of involvement. This includes designing the decision-making process, deciding when to participate directly, monitoring progress, and clarifying who will make each decision.

This perspective on the CEO’s role is based on years of experience teaching CEO workshops at Harvard Business School and advising CEOs as a board member and advisor.

https://hbr.org/2023/09/the-myth-of-the-ceo-as-ultimate-decision-maker?ab=HP-topics-image-15

coco-gauff-the-tennis-sensation-leading-the-way
October 06, 2023

Coco Gauff: The tennis sensation leading the way

Coco Gauff, the sensational tennis prodigy, continues to astound the world of sports with her awe-inspiring achievements. At a tender age of 17, she has already etched her name in the annals of tennis history while captivating the hearts of fans across the globe. Gauff’s unwavering determination and unparalleled talent have propelled her to go head-to-head with tennis giants like Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka, leaving spectators in awe.

Hailing from the sunny state of Florida, Gauff’s journey to stardom began at a young age, showcasing her extraordinary prowess on the court. However, it was her remarkable victory over Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2019 that truly propelled her into the limelight, securing her place as the youngest player to triumph at the tournament since 1991. Since then, she has consistently proven herself as an unstoppable force.

But Gauff is more than just a tennis sensation; she’s a true inspiration. Using her platform to fight for social justice and equality, she fearlessly takes a stand against racial injustices. Her maturity and activism at such a young age have earned her immense respect from fans and fellow athletes alike.

“Yes, on the court, track, field or wherever they compete, women can be as challenging, ornery, competitive and controversial as men. That needs to be celebrated.” – https://www.nytimes.com/2023/09/17/sports/tennis/coco-gauff-women-sports-streeter.html?smid=nytcore-ios-share&referringSource=articleShare

LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

african-american-and-louisiana-credit-union-league-partner-up
October 05, 2023

African American and Louisiana Credit Union League partner up

The African American Credit Union Coalition is teaming up with the Louisiana Credit Union League to foster talent and promote diversity within the industry. This partnership aims to address the underrepresentation of African Americans in leadership positions and create more opportunities for them to excel in the credit union sector.

The collaboration will involve various initiatives, including mentorship programs, leadership development training, and networking opportunities. These programs will not only provide guidance and support to aspiring African American professionals but also help them build valuable connections within the industry.

By working together, these credit union groups hope to break down barriers and create a more inclusive environment that reflects the diverse communities they serve. This partnership is a significant step towards achieving greater representation and equality in the credit union sector, which has historically faced challenges in promoting diversity.

The African American and Louisiana credit union groups are committed to nurturing talent, empowering individuals, and fostering a culture of inclusivity within the industry. Through this collaboration, they aim to inspire other credit unions and organizations to prioritize diversity and create opportunities for underrepresented groups.

https://www.americanbanker.com/creditunions/news/african-american-and-louisiana-credit-union-groups-partner-to-foster-talent

At Loquat, we focus on diversity and inclusion, promoting fair labor practices, and giving back to the Earth.

LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

the-customer-journey-needs-to-continuously-adapt-and-innovate
October 04, 2023

The customer journey needs to continuously adapt and innovate

The digital age has revolutionized the banking industry, transforming the way customers perceive and interact with financial institutions. In this era, customer value has become a crucial factor in determining the success of banks.

In the digital age, customer value encompasses various aspects. It goes beyond traditional banking services and encompasses personalized experiences, convenience, and seamless integration of digital platforms. Banks must adapt to the changing needs and expectations of customers by leveraging technology to enhance their offerings.

BCG’s report highlights the importance of data analytics in understanding customer behavior and preferences. By harnessing the power of data, banks can gain valuable insights into customer needs, enabling them to tailor their products and services accordingly. This data-driven approach allows banks to create personalized experiences, build stronger customer relationships, and ultimately drive customer loyalty.

Moreover, the report emphasizes the significance of agility and innovation in the digital age. Banks need to continuously innovate and adapt to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving landscape. This includes embracing emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain to streamline processes, enhance security, and deliver innovative solutions to customers.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2022/customer-value-and-banking-in-the-digital-age

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you: https://loquatinc.io/about/

bcg-global-payments-report-urgent-action-required-by-payment-leaders
October 03, 2023

BCG Global Payments Report: urgent action required by payment leaders

Financial institutions must modernize their technologies promptly for long-term advantage. Key highlights:

  1. Total payments revenues: $1.6 trillion
  2. Expected annual revenue growth rate until 2027: 6.2%
  3. Projected growth rate for transaction revenue: 7.1%
  4. Projected growth rate for non-transaction revenue: 5.7%
  5. Factors causing slower revenue growth: changes in retail payments mix and macroeconomic factors
  6. Payments-focused fintechs contribute: $100 billion
  7. Over 90% of central banks actively experimenting with digital currencies; operational in 5-10 years
  8. Technological advancements and GenAI transforming payments industry
  9. Regulatory authorities increasing scrutiny on risk management and compliance practices
  10. M&A focus shifting towards capability-led moves, alternative payment methods, software vendors, value-added services, and loyalty
  11. Leaders must refresh strategy, revisit partnerships, and modernize tech infrastructure to navigate disruption and preserve shareholder value.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/bcg-global-payments-report-2023

LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

calling-all-bankers-your-voice-matters-in-regulatory-proposals
October 02, 2023

Calling all bankers: Your voice matters in regulatory proposals

Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman recently urged bankers to actively participate in the regulatory process by providing feedback and comments on proposed regulations. Speaking at a conference, Bowman emphasized the importance of industry input in shaping effective policies that balance safety and soundness with innovation and economic growth.

Bowman highlighted that the regulatory process is not just an exercise in compliance but an opportunity for banks to share their expertise and insights. She encouraged bankers to engage constructively with regulators, offering specific suggestions and data-driven analysis to support their viewpoints. This engagement, according to Bowman, can help regulators better understand the potential impact of proposed rules on banks of different sizes and business models.

The governor also stressed the need for banks to be proactive in identifying potential regulatory challenges and proposing solutions. She emphasized that regulators value the industry’s perspective and rely on it to make informed decisions that foster a resilient and efficient financial system.

Bowman’s call to action comes at a time when the banking industry is facing a multitude of regulatory changes, including potential reforms to capital requirements, stress testing, and anti-money laundering rules. By actively participating in the rulemaking process, banks can help shape regulations that are both effective and tailored to their unique needs and circumstances.

https://www.americanbanker.com/news/feds-bowman-urges-bankers-to-comment-on-regulatory-proposals

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

feel-good-sunday-same-berns-philosophy-for-a-happy-life
October 01, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Same Berns philosophy for a happy life

Born with a rare genetic disorder called progeria, Sam Berns knew he’d be facing more obstacles in life than most. This didn’t stop him from taking charge of his own happiness. In this moving and inspirational talk, Berns lays out the three principles of the personal philosophy that allowed him to do so.

https://www.ted.com/talks/sam_berns_my_philosophy_for_a_happy_life?referrer=playlist-the_most_popular_ted_talks_of_all_time&autoplay=true

curious-saturday-how-to-hack-your-brain-when-youre-in-pain
September 30, 2023

Curious Saturday: How to hack your brain when you’re in pain

In this TED Talk, Amy Baxter, researcher and physician, delves into the fascinating world of pain management and introduces us to her innovative device, Buzzy.

Buzzy is a handheld device that uses a combination of cold and vibration to alleviate pain. Amy Baxter explains how this unique approach can help disrupt the pain signals being sent to the brain, providing relief for various types of discomfort, including needle pain, chronic pain, and even migraines. She goes on to discuss the science behind this technique, highlighting the gate control theory of pain and the role of distraction in pain management.

Amy not only provides valuable insights into pain management but also encourages us to think outside the box when it comes to finding solutions for common problems. It serves as a reminder that innovation and curiosity can lead to groundbreaking discoveries that have the potential to change lives.

To think outside the box when seeking relief, have a listen: https://www.ted.com/talks/amy_baxter_how_to_hack_your_brain_when_you_re_in_pain

sec-climate-risk-disclosures
September 29, 2023

SEC climate risk disclosures

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has become increasingly focused on climate-related disclosures, recognizing the importance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors in investment decision-making. In response to growing investor demand for transparency and accountability, the SEC has been actively working on updating its guidelines for climate-related disclosures.

The SEC’s efforts aim to provide investors with consistent, reliable, and comparable information on climate-related risks and opportunities. This includes encouraging companies to disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, climate-related risks, and strategies for mitigating these risks. The SEC is also considering the establishment of a mandatory reporting framework for climate-related disclosures.

Furthermore, the SEC has been engaging with stakeholders to gather insights and perspectives on climate-related disclosures. This includes seeking input from investors, companies, and other interested parties through public comment periods and roundtable discussions.

The SEC’s focus on climate-related disclosures aligns with global initiatives, such as the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD), which promotes the disclosure of climate-related risks and opportunities in financial filings. By enhancing climate-related disclosures, the SEC aims to empower investors to make more informed decisions and promote sustainable investments.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/esg/library/sec-climate-disclosures.html

LOQUAT Inc.’s modern data architecture can help #financialInstitutions manage large volumes of data while improving the customer experience and creating transparency.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help to make financial institutions more #innovative and #successful: https://loquatinc.io/

risk-is-neutral-without-it-theres-no-reward
September 28, 2023

“Risk is neutral. Without it, there’s no reward. We have to shift the finance team’s mindset from “no risk taking” to “taking the right risks”. Yes, you will fail from time to time, but you will also learn from it.” – Anders Liu-Lindberg, COO and Partner at the Business Partnering Institute

consumers-will-share-financial-information-if-they-perceive-benefits
September 27, 2023

Consumers will share financial information if they perceive benefits

Consumers today are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of data privacy and are more cautious about sharing their personal information. However, a recent study conducted by CCG Insights reveals that consumers are still willing to share their data if they see value in doing so, particularly for the purpose of personalization.

The study found that 68% of consumers are willing to share their data with companies if it results in a more personalized experience. This indicates that consumers are willing to trade their data for customized recommendations, tailored offers, and personalized communication. However, it is important to note that there are limits to the extent to which consumers are willing to share their data.

The research suggests that consumers are more likely to share their data if they have control over what information is being collected and how it is being used. Additionally, transparency and trust are key factors in determining whether consumers are comfortable sharing their data. Companies that are transparent about their data collection and usage practices and prioritize data security are more likely to gain the trust of consumers.

In conclusion, while consumers are becoming more cautious about data privacy, they are still open to sharing their data if they perceive a benefit in terms of personalization.

https://www.ccginsights.com/research-snapshot/consumers-will-share-data-for-personalization-within-reason/

At Loquat, we believe that data privacy is a fundamental human right and democratic societies have a duty to respect and protect this right through their respective institutions. We believe in the future of Web3 and its chance to democratize the online experience, and enable users to reclaim control of their data.

Learn more how at: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

opportunity-for-small-and-medium-sized-businesses-in-insurance
September 26, 2023

Opportunity for Small and Medium sized businesses in Insurance

Small commercial insurance is a sector that holds immense potential for profitability and growth. Oliver Wyman, a leading global management consulting firm, has identified ten key opportunities within this space. One such opportunity lies in the niche markets that are often underserved by traditional insurers. By catering to the unique needs of these niche industries, insurers can tap into a previously untapped customer base and establish themselves as leaders in these specialized sectors.

Additionally, digital transformation presents a significant avenue for growth in small commercial insurance. Embracing technological advancements such as artificial intelligence and data analytics can streamline processes, enhance underwriting capabilities, and improve customer experience. Insurtech startups are already leveraging these technologies to disrupt the market, and traditional insurers must adapt to stay competitive.

Furthermore, the rise of the gig economy and the increasing number of small businesses present another promising opportunity. Insurers can develop tailored coverage options for gig workers and micro-entrepreneurs, providing them with the necessary protection against potential risks.

In summary, small commercial insurance offers numerous profitable opportunities for insurers. By targeting niche markets, embracing digital transformation, and catering to the evolving needs of the gig economy, insurers can position themselves for success in this dynamic sector.
https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2023/sep/small-size-commercial-insurance-10-profitable-opportunities.html

At Loquat Inc, we believe small businesses are the roots of a diverse society that drives innovation forward and there should be no barriers or limits to their growth.

Learn more: https://loquatinc.io/about/

fed-signals-higher-for-longer-rates-with-hikes-almost-finished
September 25, 2023

Fed signals higher-for-longer rates with hikes almost finished

The Federal Reserve has recently indicated that it is nearing the end of its interest rate hikes, signaling a “higher for longer” approach to monetary policy. This decision comes as the central bank aims to support the economic recovery and address inflation concerns. The Fed’s move suggests that it will maintain interest rates at their current levels for an extended period, allowing for sustained economic growth and stability.

By adopting a more patient stance, the Federal Reserve aims to strike a balance between supporting the economy and preventing excessive inflation. The central bank has been gradually raising interest rates over the past couple of years to counter inflationary pressures and ensure that the economy does not overheat. However, with recent signs of moderating inflation and concerns about global economic growth, the Fed is now signaling a pause in its tightening cycle.

This decision has important implications for businesses and consumers alike. Lower interest rates can stimulate borrowing and investment, which can drive economic activity and job creation. Additionally, it can provide relief for consumers with variable-rate debt, such as mortgages and credit cards.

Overall, the Federal Reserve’s decision to halt interest rate hikes suggests a cautious approach to monetary policy, prioritizing sustained economic growth and stability while closely monitoring inflationary pressures and global economic conditions.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2023-09-20/fed-signals-higher-for-longer-rates-with-hikes-almost-finished?srnd=economics-v2#xj4y7vzkg

feel-good-sunday-how-to-enter-flow-state
September 24, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: How to enter flow state

Flow state, also known as being “in the zone,” is a mental state of complete immersion and focus in an activity. It is characterized by a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process rather than the outcome. Achieving flow state can lead to increased productivity, creativity, and overall well-being.

To enter flow state, it is important to choose activities that match our skills and interests. Engaging in activities that are too easy can lead to boredom, while activities that are too challenging can cause anxiety and frustration. Finding the right balance is key.

Creating a conducive environment can also help us enter flow state. Minimizing distractions, having a clear goal, and setting aside dedicated time for the activity can enhance our focus and concentration.

Additionally, being mindful and present in the moment can facilitate the experience of flow. By fully immersing ourselves in the activity and letting go of any worries or distractions, we can tap into our innate potential and experience the joy of flow.

In this TED Talk, explore what steps to take to increase your chances of finding flow. [Directed by Leah Putnam, narrated by Alexandra Panzer, music by Salil Bhayani, cAMP Studio]: https://www.ted.com/talks/ted_ed_how_to_enter_flow_state

the-molecular-love-story-that-could-help-power-the-world
September 23, 2023

The molecular love story that could help power the world

In her captivating TED Talk, Olivia Breese introduces us to the fascinating world of molecular love and its potential to revolutionize our energy sources. She begins by highlighting the urgency of finding sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels, given the environmental challenges we face today.

Breese then delves into the concept of molecular love, explaining how it involves manipulating the interactions between molecules to harness energy. She provides examples of how this phenomenon occurs naturally in living organisms, such as during photosynthesis, where sunlight is converted into chemical energy.

But what if we could harness this molecular love for our energy needs? Breese shares her groundbreaking research, where she and her team are exploring ways to recreate and enhance these molecular interactions in artificial systems. By doing so, they aim to develop efficient energy storage and conversion technologies that could potentially replace traditional batteries and fuel cells.

Furthermore, Breese emphasizes the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration in this field, as scientists, engineers, and chemists work together to unlock the full potential of molecular love. She also highlights the ethical considerations surrounding this technology, urging us to approach its development responsibly and with a focus on sustainability.

Have a listen:
https://www.ted.com/talks/olivia_breese_the_molecular_love_story_that_could_help_power_the_world

the-new-sustainability-mandate
September 22, 2023

The new sustainability mandate

With growing concerns about climate change, resource depletion, and social inequality, companies are under increasing pressure to adopt sustainable practices.

Sustainability is no longer just a buzzword; it has become a strategic imperative. Businesses are recognizing that embracing sustainability is not only good for the planet but also for their bottom line. Consumers are demanding eco-friendly products and services, and investors are increasingly considering environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions.

To meet this new sustainability mandate, companies are implementing various initiatives. They are investing in renewable energy sources, reducing waste and carbon emissions, and implementing responsible supply chain practices. Additionally, businesses are focusing on diversity and inclusion, promoting fair labor practices, and giving back to the communities in which they operate.

The benefits of embracing sustainability are numerous. Not only does it help protect the environment and improve social conditions, but it also enhances brand reputation, fosters innovation, and drives long-term profitability. Moreover, sustainable businesses are better equipped to navigate regulatory changes and mitigate risks associated with climate-related events.

How is your business adopting sustainable practices and creating a positive impact?

SOURCE: https://strategybusiness.pwc.com/the-new-sustainability-mandate/p/1

camille-soulier-cfo-at-germinal
September 21, 2023

“If you want the team to move in the same direction, you need to show them how the work they do every day translates into numbers and facts.”

– Camille Soulier, CFO at Germinal

responsible-genai-adoption-in-the-financial-services-sector
September 20, 2023

Responsible GenAI Adoption in the Financial Services sector

The adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) and genetic algorithms (GenAI) in the financial services sector has been gaining momentum in recent years. These technologies offer immense potential to revolutionize various aspects of the industry, from customer service and risk management to fraud detection and trading strategies.

However, it is crucial to ensure responsible and ethical implementation of GenAI in order to mitigate potential risks and maximize the benefits. Financial institutions must prioritize transparency, fairness, and accountability in their AI systems, as well as comply with regulatory requirements and data privacy regulations.

To achieve responsible GenAI adoption, financial institutions should establish clear governance frameworks that outline the decision-making processes and responsibilities related to AI systems. This includes involving diverse stakeholders, such as data scientists, compliance officers, and legal experts, to ensure a holistic approach to AI implementation.

Additionally, continuous monitoring and auditing of AI systems are essential to identify and address any biases or unintended consequences. Regular assessments should be conducted to evaluate the accuracy, fairness, and robustness of AI models, and appropriate measures should be taken to rectify any issues that arise.

Furthermore, collaboration and knowledge sharing among financial institutions, regulators, and industry experts are crucial to establish best practices and guidelines.

https://www.ey.com/en_us/financial-services/responsible-genai-adoption-in-fs

As we explore and try to understand what AI solutions are, it is imperative to understand how it could be implemented in the Financial Institutions to drive performance improvements.

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

google-deepmind-co-founder-calls-for-us-to-enforce-ai-standards-financial-times-reports
September 19, 2023

Google DeepMind co-founder calls for US to enforce AI standards, Financial Times reports

In a recent development, the co-founder of Google DeepMind has reportedly urged the United States to take decisive action in enforcing standards for artificial intelligence (AI).

The Financial Times sheds light on this call, highlighting the significance of regulating AI technologies. The co-founder’s plea comes at a time when AI is rapidly advancing and permeating various aspects of our lives. With its immense potential for both positive and negative impacts, it is crucial to establish a robust framework that ensures ethical and responsible AI practices.

By implementing clear standards, the United States can lead the way in shaping the future of AI, promoting innovation while safeguarding against potential risks. This call serves as a reminder that as AI continues to evolve, it is essential for governments and organizations to work together in establishing guidelines that prioritize the well-being and interests of society as a whole.

SOURCE: https://www.reuters.com/technology/google-deepmind-co-founder-calls-us-enforce-ai-standards-ft-2023-09-01/#:~:text=Sept%201%20(Reuters)%20%2D%20The

At Loquat we believe it is imperative to understand how AI can be implemented in Financial Institutions to drive performance improvements. Our platform uses AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

Learn more how at: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

oecd-sme-and-entrepreneurship-outlook-2023
September 18, 2023

OECD SME and entrepreneurship outlook 2023

The OECD recently released its SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook report, shedding light on the current state of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs around the world. This comprehensive study provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by these crucial players in the global economy.

The report highlights the resilience of SMEs, which have proven to be key drivers of job creation and economic growth. However, it also emphasizes the need for policymakers to address the barriers that hinder SMEs’ full potential. These barriers include limited access to finance, skills shortages, and burdensome regulations.

Furthermore, the report underscores the importance of fostering innovation and digitalization in SMEs. By embracing new technologies and adopting digital strategies, SMEs can enhance their competitiveness and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions.

Ultimately, the SME and Entrepreneurship Outlook report serves as a call to action for governments, urging them to create an enabling environment that supports SMEs and entrepreneurs. By implementing targeted policies and providing adequate support, countries can unlock the full potential of SMEs and drive inclusive economic growth.

https://www.oecd.org/publications/oecd-sme-and-entrepreneurship-outlook-8d707502-en.htm

Loquat’s end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

feel-good-sunday-how-to-nurture-curiosity
September 17, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: How to Nurture Curiosity

Curiosity is a fundamental human trait that drives learning, creativity, and personal growth. It ignites a sense of wonder and empowers us to explore the world around us. Nurturing curiosity is not only important for children, but also for individuals of all ages.

One way to foster curiosity is through the exploration of nature. Encouraging children to engage with their surroundings and discover the beauty of plants and animals can spark their curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world. For instance, introducing them to unique fruits like loquats can pique their interest and open up conversations about different cultures and ecosystems.

Another effective method is to nurture imagination. Providing children with open-ended toys and encouraging pretend play allows them to explore their creativity and develop problem-solving skills.

Motivation is also crucial in nurturing curiosity. Recognizing and celebrating a child’s efforts and achievements can encourage them to continue exploring and learning. This can be done through praise, rewards, or even small incentives, which can fuel their curiosity and drive to discover more.

How do you fuel your curiosity?

https://psyche.co/ideas/this-is-how-to-nurture-curiosity-in-children-and-yourself

curious-saturday-the-first-ever-cargo-ship-powered-by-green-fuel
September 16, 2023

Curious Saturday: The first-ever cargo ship powered by green fuel

In a groundbreaking development for the shipping industry, a Danish company has successfully launched the world’s first cargo ship powered by green fuel. Morten Bo Christiansen, the CEO of the company, recently gave an inspiring TED Talk, where he shared the remarkable journey of creating this innovative vessel.

The cargo ship, equipped with cutting-edge technology, runs on a sustainable fuel made from plant waste and residues. This groundbreaking initiative aims to significantly reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change, as traditional cargo ships are notorious for their heavy reliance on fossil fuels.

Christiansen highlighted the challenges faced during the ship’s development, including the need for extensive research, collaboration with scientists and engineers, and securing funding for the project. He emphasized the importance of thinking outside the box and taking risks to drive positive change in the shipping industry.

The successful launch of this green-powered cargo ship marks a significant milestone in the quest for sustainable transportation. It serves as a shining example of how innovation and determination can reshape entire industries and contribute to a greener future.

Have a listen to learn more: https://www.ted.com/talks/morten_bo_christiansen_the_first_ever_cargo_ship_powered_by_green_fuel

people-continue-to-work-from-home-does-it-matter
September 15, 2023

People continue to work from home: does it matter?

This article from the Financial Times highlights the ongoing prevalence of remote work. It emphasizes that even as restrictions ease and businesses gradually reopen, a significant number of individuals continue to work remotely. This shift has not only affected employees but has also prompted organizations to reevaluate their long-term strategies and consider the potential benefits of maintaining remote work options.

The article further explores the challenges and opportunities associated with remote work, discussing the impact on productivity, employee well-being, and the future of office spaces. It also delves into the potential implications for cities and urban planning, as remote work may lead to changes in commuting patterns and demand for office space.

Overall, the article underscores the enduring nature of remote work and its potential to reshape traditional work environments in the post-pandemic era.

https://www.ft.com/content/3ea0fae8-f72d-4abd-9754-a04d40c65e0f?accessToken=zwAGBBFKufFYkc8-oPro9y1KvdOXVKBNQMZeDw.MEUCIQD2Qcsc81Uw8UCPbBe1WDVvqP3pXrmFttPwOoZUi_WP_gIgLKH5Uy3vu_I5-3r6YUhK2t93sls-r8XWLONKVtYVi34&sharetype=gift&token=5ac8edb2-17cc-4c74-9452-5b92bea639a2

cybersecurity-a-common-threat-but-smbs-and-large-enterprises-require-different-responses
September 14, 2023

Cybersecurity: A common threat, but SMBs and large enterprises require different responses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and large enterprises are both facing a common threat in the form of cyber attacks. However, they often require separate response routes to effectively mitigate these risks. The increasing digitization of business operations has made organizations of all sizes vulnerable to cyber threats, which can result in data breaches, financial losses, and reputational damage.

SMBs, due to their limited resources, may struggle to invest in robust cybersecurity measures. This makes them attractive targets for cybercriminals looking for easy prey. Therefore, it is crucial for SMBs to prioritize cybersecurity by implementing basic measures like strong passwords, regular software updates, and employee training on recognizing phishing attempts.

On the other hand, large enterprises face a different set of challenges. They often possess a larger attack surface due to their complex systems and networks. This requires a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes advanced threat detection systems, network segmentation, and incident response plans. Large enterprises should also consider investing in cybersecurity insurance to mitigate potential financial losses.

In conclusion, while SMBs and large enterprises share the common threat of cyber attacks, they need tailored approaches to address their unique vulnerabilities and protect their digital assets. Prioritizing cybersecurity and adopting appropriate measures is essential for businesses of all sizes.

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/small-biz/security-tech/security/cyber-security-challenge-smbs-and-large-enterprises-face-common-threat-but-separate-response-routes/articleshow/102489083.cms?from=mdr

Loquat platform is built on three pillars: Data Privacy and Information Security, Transparency, and Simplicity. We use AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

ai-interest-in-financial-services-hits-upswing
September 13, 2023

AI Interest in Financial Services Hits Upswing

The financial services industry is experiencing a significant surge in interest and adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. According to recent research, the use of AI in financial services has reached new heights, with companies seeking to leverage its capabilities for improved efficiency and decision-making.

The incorporation of AI into various aspects of financial services has proven to be highly beneficial. AI-powered algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, enabling businesses to make more accurate predictions and identify trends. This technology has the potential to revolutionize risk management, fraud detection, and customer service in the financial sector.

Furthermore, AI has the capacity to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up valuable time for employees to focus on more complex and strategic endeavors. It also has the potential to enhance customer experiences by providing personalized recommendations and faster response times.

As the interest in AI continues to grow, financial institutions are actively exploring ways to integrate this technology into their operations. The future of finance is undoubtedly being shaped by the transformative power of AI.

https://www.ccginsights.com/research-snapshot/ai-interest-in-financial-services-hits-major-upswing/

Loquat’s platform uses AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

Learn more how at: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

bank-of-america-leader-shares-why-miami-small-businesses-are-bullish-on-revenue-growth
September 12, 2023

Bank of America leader shares why Miami small businesses are bullish on revenue growth

In a recent interview with the Bank of America regional leader, it was revealed that Miami small businesses are experiencing a significant surge in revenue growth. This positive trend can be attributed to various factors, including the transformation of the local business landscape and the adoption of digital banking solutions.

The article highlights the impact of community banks, credit unions, fintech companies, and traditional banks on the growth of small businesses in Miami. These financial institutions have played a crucial role in providing access to credit, offering innovative financial products, and fostering a supportive environment for entrepreneurs.

Moreover, the rise of Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) and technological advancements in the financial sector have contributed to the success of small businesses in Miami. The integration of tech solutions has allowed entrepreneurs to streamline their operations, enhance customer experience, and expand their reach.

The Bank of America regional leader further emphasized the importance of strong leadership and financial expertise in driving small business growth. By providing guidance, resources, and personalized financial solutions, banks have become valuable partners for Miami’s small business community.

https://www.bizjournals.com/southflorida/news/2023/05/26/boa-regional-leader-shares-small-biz-growth.html

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you: https://loquatinc.io/about/

what-do-smbs-want-in-a-small-business-bank-account
September 11, 2023

What do SMBs want in a Small Business Bank Account?

In today’s competitive business landscape, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are increasingly recognizing the importance of choosing the right bank account to support their financial needs. While traditional banks have long been the go-to option, the rise of digital banking has opened up new possibilities and expectations for SMBs.

As noted in this Forbes article, SMBs are looking for banks that understand their unique challenges and provide tailored solutions. This includes personalized customer support, specialized business lending options, and tools to help them track and analyze their financial performance.seeking a bank account that offers convenience, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

SMBs also want the ability to easily manage their finances online or through mobile apps, with features like real-time transaction notifications and easy integration with accounting software.

In conclusion, SMBs are demanding more from their bank accounts. They want a banking partner that not only offers basic services but also understands their specific needs and provides innovative solutions to help them thrive in today’s competitive market.
https://www.forbes.com/sites/ronshevlin/2023/08/21/what-do-smbs-want-in-a-small-business-bank-account/?sh=52e4cbd4d965

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

feel-good-sunday-morning-routines-that-can-set-you-up-for-joy-and-productivity
September 10, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Morning routines that can set you up for joy and productivity

CEOs often share their morning rituals, and exercise seems to be a common thread. Research indicates that engaging in morning exercise enhances mood, cognitive function, and triggers the release of those delightful endorphins, known as “feel-good” hormones.

Of course, breakfast cannot be overlooked when discussing morning routines. Some prefer to eat immediately upon waking, while others opt for a beverage-only start. Did you know that Ludwig van Beethoven brewed his coffee with precisely 60 beans?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution here. The key is to find the combination of morning activities that bring you the most joy and productivity. And remember, your routine doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you find yourself lacking energy, a simple tweak can make all the difference.

If you’re seeking inspiration and a peek into the mindset of influential figures, I highly recommend diving into this article. It explores the strategies employed by these successful individuals, offering valuable insights to optimize your mornings and set yourself up for triumph.

https://www.ft.com/content/7e47ff11-e533-490f-9286-54ad628aac08?accessToken=zwAGA_2SPBA4kc9-R_8R5TNJD9OShlStYoqsCA.MEYCIQDOEUUcikwD-U77Q7xftN7z50zhbIcx5QSb77t9hc6w2AIhAKceMqDuwgTar5M0H-v9Btj0ANQt7T8htiFP9dWudkzS&sharetype=gift&token=03bf93f3-084e-4a4a-9773-4740e494c3c9

the-adjacent-possible-and-how-it-explains-human-innovation
September 09, 2023

The “adjacent possible” — and how it explains human innovation

Check out this captivating TED Talk by theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman. Kauffman explains that the “adjacent possible” refers to the set of all possible next steps or potential innovations that are achievable from the current state of things. It encompasses the ideas, technologies, and possibilities that are just within reach, waiting to be discovered or created.

According to Kauffman, innovation occurs when individuals or societies explore the adjacent possible by combining existing elements in new ways. By constantly pushing the boundaries of what is currently possible, humans expand the adjacent possible and create new opportunities for further innovation. This concept emphasizes the interconnectedness of ideas and the importance of building upon existing knowledge and resources.

Have a listen to learn how to unlock new realms of innovation: https://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_kauffman_the_adjacent_possible_and_how_it_explains_human_innovation/transcript

american-mothers-are-re-entering-the-workforce-at-high-rates
September 08, 2023

American Mothers are Re-entering the Workforce at High Rates

According to a recent article in the Financial Times, there has been a significant increase in the number of American mothers re-entering the workforce.

The article highlights that many mothers are choosing to return to work due to financial pressures brought on by the pandemic. With job losses and reduced income, families are facing increased financial strain, leading mothers to seek employment opportunities to support their households.

Additionally, the article mentions that some mothers are motivated to return to work to regain a sense of personal fulfillment and professional identity. Many women have put their careers on hold to prioritize childcare and family responsibilities, but are now eager to re-engage in the workforce.

Overall, the increasing number of American mothers re-entering the workforce reflects the resilience and determination of women in the face of challenging circumstances.

https://www.ft.com/content/deb96102-06f1-4c3c-aabc-84b135c4b673?accessToken=zwAGA_7b9ZQokdPeuWECBvFMPNOqvISxNcS2cw.MEUCIDQI7EyvbVvwxzMd-b6mrVUbqELv_LmNRDK-UJrqKs9MAiEAyuDWSMUH4-pztmGepmtf4E3n29DmWhAiTFLAV_Mg0AA&sharetype=gift&token=f8a04eb5-6777-4681-b535-0e232d7c3a23

the-financial-impact-of-diversity-and-culture
September 07, 2023

The Financial Impact of Diversity and Culture

Diversity and culture, two powerful forces that can significantly impact a company’s financial success. It’s not just about ticking boxes and meeting quotas; it’s about embracing the unique perspectives and experiences that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring to the table.

Research has shown that diverse teams are more innovative and creative, leading to better problem-solving and decision-making. By fostering an inclusive culture where everyone feels valued and respected, companies can attract and retain top talent from a wide range of backgrounds.

This not only enhances the overall performance of the organization but also opens up new markets and opportunities. It turns out diversity is not only the right thing to do; it’s the smart thing to do.

SOURCE: https://impaxam.com/insights-and-news/blog/the-financial-impact-of-diversity-and-culture/

More than a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, LOQUAT Inc. is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment to inspire positive action and drive meaningful change for all.

LOQUAT Inc. can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

deloittes-study-on-banking-as-a-service
September 06, 2023

Deloitte’s study on Banking-as-a-Service

As customers continue to feel dissatisfied, Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) offerings are rapidly gaining ground — here are a few key stats on the state of the market:

  • 30% of customers are considering switching banks
  • 42% of customers have used a Buy Now, Pay Later service
  • 2x ROAA for banks focused on BaaS offerings

https://www2.deloitte.com/cn/en/pages/financial-services/articles/importance-of-banking-as-a-service.html

humans-the-secret-ingredient-for-retail-banking-success
September 05, 2023

Humans: The Secret Ingredient for Retail Banking Success

In today’s digital age, it may seem that technology is the be-all and end-all of retail banking. However, we firmly believe that humans are the secret ingredient for success in this industry. While technology has undoubtedly transformed the way we bank, it is the human touch that truly sets banks apart.

Customers crave personalized experiences and genuine connections. They want to be understood, valued, and supported in their financial journey. This is where human bankers excel. They possess the empathy, intuition, and interpersonal skills necessary to build trust and foster long-term relationships.

Moreover, humans bring a level of expertise and problem-solving ability that technology cannot replicate. They can navigate complex financial situations, provide tailored advice, and address unique customer needs. By combining the power of technology with the human touch, banks can deliver exceptional service and create a competitive edge.

In conclusion, while technology plays a vital role, it is the human element that truly drives retail banking success. Investing in skilled and empathetic bankers will undoubtedly pay off in the long run, ensuring satisfied customers and a thriving industry.

https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2023/jul/why-humans-are-key-to-retail-banking-success.html

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

deloittes-pov-on-the-future-of-financial-services
September 04, 2023

Deloitte’s POV on The future of Financial Services

Deloitte recently published an insightful article discussing the 7 forces that are shaping the future of the financial services industry. This thought-provoking piece provides a comprehensive overview of the key trends and challenges that financial institutions must navigate in order to stay relevant in the ever-evolving landscape.

Deloitte’s analysis sheds light on the increasing influence of technology and digitalization, emphasizing the need for financial institutions to embrace innovation and adapt to changing consumer preferences. The article also highlights the importance of regulatory compliance and risk management in an era of heightened scrutiny.

Will the industry rethink its traditional business models and explore new opportunities for growth? Anyone interested in understanding the forces that will shape the future of financial services won’t want to miss this read:
https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/financial-services/articles/future-of-financial-services.html

feel-good-sunday-the-secret-to-a-happy-life
September 03, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: The Secret to a Happy Life

Check out this captivating TED Talk by psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who leads the Harvard Study of Adult Development. According to Waldinger, the happiest and healthiest people are those who have warm relationship. In this TED Talk, he delves into how relationships matter in our lives, how they affect our health, what kinds of relationships give us this big benefit in happiness, and which tools you can start using today to make your relationship stronger.

When asking people, when they got to be in their 80s, to look back on their lives and to tell us what they were proudest of, almost everybody said something about their relationships. They didn’t say, “I made a lot of money” or “I won some big awards.” They said, “I was a good mentor,” “I was a good friend,” “I raised healthy kids,” “I was a good partner.” And so what we find is that what seems to mean the most to people when they get to the end of their lives is the strength and the warmth of their connections to others.

If you are curious about how to approach life and your own pursuit of happiness, have a listen:
https://www.ted.com/talks/robert_waldinger_the_secret_to_a_happy_life_lessons_from_8_decades_of_research?language=en

curious-saturday-what-is-your-version-of-diversity
September 02, 2023

Curious Saturday: What is your version of diversity?

At Loquat Inc, we believe that diversity encompasses a mix of women, men, backgrounds, cultures and mindsets. This combination lends itself to an incredible combined culture. We are driven by social responsibility, transparency, and an inclusive approach. But that’s not all. We also believe that communication is the key to implementing transformative change.

Loquat helps small business owners of different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, sexual orientations and gender identities put their dreams into action.

More than a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and collaborative environment to inspire positive action and drive meaningful change for all.

LOQUAT Inc. can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

banking-for-people-with-disabilities
September 01, 2023

Banking for People with Disabilities

Accessible banking is a critical aspect of ensuring equal opportunities and financial inclusion for people with disabilities. While significant progress has been made in recent years, there is still a long way to go in terms of making banking services truly accessible for all.

One key area of focus is physical accessibility. For example, teller counters and ATMs should be designed at a height that can be easily reached by individuals using wheelchairs.

Moreover, digital accessibility is becoming increasingly important as more banking services are being offered online. Websites and mobile applications should be designed with accessibility in mind, including features such as screen readers, magnification options, and compatibility with assistive technologies.

Training staff members on disability awareness and inclusive customer service is another crucial aspect. Bank employees should be knowledgeable about the specific needs of customers with disabilities and be able to provide assistance and support when required.

Overall, accessible banking is not just a legal requirement but also a moral imperative. By ensuring that banking services are accessible to all, we can empower individuals with disabilities to manage their finances independently and participate fully in the economy.

SOURCE: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/financial-services/articles/accessible-banking-for-people-with-disabilities.html

messis-takes-time-to-get
August 31, 2023

“Messi’s” takes time to get!

The journey of David Beckham and his Inter Miami project has been a true testament to perseverance. It took him 9 years to get to his first Inter Miami Trophy.

This trophy is a testament to David Beckham’s unwavering commitment and the immense effort he has put into making his vision a reality.

Entrepreneur Myth: If you build it, they will come

Have you ever heard the phrase “if you build it, they will come”? This is a myth.

Being an entrepreneur has many trials and tribulations before success. Research asserts that more than 21% percent of startups fail the first year, 30% in the second year, 50% in the fifth year, and 70% in their 10th year. Many have built their dream for years, invested their time, energy and life savings, believing that their sponsors will notice their hard work and come for them to no avail.

Most people notice the success of companies like Google and Facebook. People just see a free website that people flock to and this only gives a false sense of confidence to entrepreneurs who think building something and putting it out in the market is all you need to do to attract users. They fail to realize that Google floundered for years before getting noticed. Facebook was not very popular at Harvard University — and took several iterations to gain traction. The point is — we only see the tip of the success iceberg.

The real journey of Entrepreneurship often means overcoming struggles, iterating your business plan, and having a steadfast determination to succeed.

credit-union-members-maintained-spending-in-july
August 30, 2023

Credit Union Members Maintained Spending in July

Credit union members demonstrated responsible spending habits in the month of July, according to recent data. Despite the ongoing economic uncertainties, individuals showed commendable restraint and maintained their card spending levels. This is a positive indicator of financial prudence and responsible money management within the credit union community.

The data suggests that credit union members are making conscious decisions to prioritize their financial well-being amidst the current economic climate. By not exceeding their usual spending patterns, individuals are displaying a commendable level of fiscal discipline. This behavior is not only beneficial for their personal financial stability but also contributes to the overall strength and resilience of the credit union sector.

https://www.cutimes.com/2023/08/18/cu-members-maintain-card-spending-in-july/

Loquat is a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, which allows FIs to open small business checking account, get a virtual card and secure a loan within minutes. Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

fednow-presents-opportunity-of-instant-payments-for-credit-unions
August 29, 2023

FedNow Presents Opportunity of Instant Payments for Credit Unions

The launch of FedNow by the Federal Reserve has brought instant payments into the mainstream. This service allows payment transfers to be available for use by the receiving party within seconds, making it a crucial consideration for credit unions.

Among 57 early adopters of the FedNow Service, six credit unions and seven corporate credit unions have already embraced this technology. To facilitate the processing of FedNow instant payments, several service providers familiar to the credit union movement have stepped up, including Fiserv, FIS, ACI Worldwide Corp., Alacriti, Jack Henry, and Juniper Payments (a PSCU Company). This diverse range of vendors ensures that credit unions have access to a variety of options when it comes to implementing FedNow.

As the adoption of instant payments continues to grow, credit unions must stay informed and prepared to leverage this technology to meet the evolving needs of their members.

Besides the initial adopters, the Federal Reserve continues to work with and onboard financial institutions and service providers planning to join later in 2023 and beyond, as the initial step to growing a robust network aimed at reaching all 10,000 U.S. financial institutions.

Curious to see the early adopters? Here’s the list:
https://www.frbservices.org/financial-services/fednow/certified-organizations

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

credit-unions-step-up-to-the-plate-for-small-office-loans
August 28, 2023

Credit Unions Step Up to the Plate for Small Office Loans

Banks are growing more hesitant when it comes to office lending. However, credit unions are taking a different approach by seeing this as a chance to make a positive impact.

https://www.americanbanker.com/creditunions/news/credit-unions-pick-up-small-office-loans-as-banks-retreat

Wells Fargo recently raised concerns about office lending, as evidenced by its decision to increase its allowance for credit losses in commercial real estate to $3.6 billion in the second quarter. This represents a significant 64% rise compared to the previous year. In contrast, credit unions are stepping up to fill the void left by retreating banks. Recognizing the importance of supporting small businesses, credit unions are offering innovative solutions to help office owners secure the financing they need.

By leveraging their community-focused approach, credit unions are able to provide personalized service and flexible terms that cater to the unique needs of small office owners. They understand that these businesses are the backbone of local economies and play a vital role in job creation.

Moreover, credit unions are not just providing loans; they are actively partnering with small office owners to ensure their success. Through financial education programs and business support services, credit unions are empowering these entrepreneurs to thrive in a challenging economic landscape.

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

feel-good-sunday-in-the-age-of-ai-art-what-can-originality-look-like
August 27, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: In the age of AI art, what can originality look like?

Check out this captivating TED Talk by Eileen Isagon Skyers, an expert on digital art and culture. According to Skyers, AI can stretch the scope of human imagination and help create worlds we could never design alone.

From an AI model trained on classic works to generate a seemingly infinite stream of portraits to a neural network that envisions otherworldly life forms in extensive detail, media art curator Eileen Isagon Skyers showcases mind-bending art that embraces our increasingly technological future.

Have a listen: https://www.ted.com/talks/eileen_isagon_skyers_in_the_age_of_ai_art_what_can_originality_look_like?language=en

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

curious-saturday-the-brain-changing-effects-of-exercise
August 26, 2023

Curious Saturday: The Brain Changing Effects of Exercise

According to Neuroscientist, Wendy Suzuki, exercising not only boosts your mood and memory, but it protects your brain against neurodegenerative diseases.

“As a curious neuroscientist, I went to the literature to see what I could find about what we knew about the effects of exercise on the brain. And what I found was an exciting and a growing literature that was essentially showing everything that I noticed in myself. Better mood, better energy, better memory, better attention. And the more I learned, the more I realized how powerful exercise was. Now, after several years of really focusing on this question, I’ve come to the following conclusion: that exercise is the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today.”

https://www.ted.com/talks/wendy_suzuki_the_brain_changing_benefits_of_exercise/

women-disproportionately-affected-by-tech-layoffs
August 25, 2023

Women disproportionately affected by tech layoffs

According to a recent report, the tech industry is currently experiencing a wave of layoffs, and unfortunately, women are being disproportionately affected. This trend highlights the ongoing gender disparity within the sector.

The impact of these layoffs on women goes beyond just job loss. It also exacerbates the existing gender pay gap and hampers efforts towards achieving gender equality in the tech industry. Furthermore, the loss of female talent in the sector hinders diversity and inclusion initiatives, which have been proven to enhance innovation and drive better business outcomes.

In conclusion, the disproportionate impact of tech layoffs on women is a concerning issue that highlights the need for greater gender equality and inclusivity in the industry.

SOURCE: https://www.axios.com/2023/07/06/tech-layoffs-2023-female-workers

federal-reserve-impacts-on-economic-activity
August 24, 2023

Federal Reserve Impacts on Economic Activity

In July, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 25 basis points and made the decision to continue reducing the Fed’s securities holdings, both with the intention of bringing down inflation.

The Fed has raised its benchmark rate for the 11th time in 17 months in its ongoing drive to curb inflation. Gain further insight into the financial outlook here:
https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/speech/bowman20230807a.htm

realizing-the-digital-promise-transformation-in-an-ecosystem
August 22, 2023

Realizing the Digital Promise: Transformation in an Ecosystem

In the pursuit of digital transformation, organizations need to embrace the power of ecosystems. By participating in an ecosystem, businesses can leverage the strengths of others to drive innovation, enhance customer experiences, and achieve sustainable growth.

However, successfully navigating this digital ecosystem requires a strategic approach. Organizations must identify their core competencies and determine how they can contribute to the ecosystem. They need to establish strong partnerships and develop a collaborative mindset to effectively share resources and knowledge.

To fully realize the potential of digital transformation, organizations must also prioritize data and analytics. By harnessing the power of data, businesses can gain valuable insights, make informed decisions, and create personalized experiences for their customers.

How can organizations be agile and adaptable in this rapidly evolving digital landscape? They should continuously monitor market trends, examine emerging technologies, and be willing to experiment and learn from failures.

Ultimately, by adopting the digital ecosystem, organizations can seize new opportunities, drive innovation, and create sustainable value for all stakeholders involved.

SOURCE: https://www2.deloitte.com/cn/en/pages/financial-services/articles/realizing-the-digital-promise-transformation-in-an-ecosystem.html

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your digital transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

uncovering-value-in-embedded-finance
August 21, 2023

Uncovering Value in Embedded Finance

Embedded finance, previously limited to services like rental car insurance, has emerged as a transformative force in the financial sector, driving innovation and growth. It now encompasses diverse applications such as seamless payments in online stores, personalized insurance, instant credit options, and pay-per-use services. As non-financial platforms integrate banking tools, the embedded finance market is set to expand from $54.3 billion in 2022 to $248.4 billion by 2032.

This rapid evolution presents an opportunity for established players to reshape their business models for renewed growth. Neo-banks, agile insurers, and Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) schemes are disrupting the industry, with BNPL transactions expected to reach $596.7 billion by 2026.

Fintech enablers, particularly those offering APIs, are facilitating intricate communication between financial and non-financial entities. Meanwhile, major tech platforms are leveraging their reach and financial prowess to drive extensive integration, extending customer ecosystems through digital identity and payment wallets. This is projected to exceed 5.2 billion global wallets in 2026, up from 3.4 billion.

In this dynamic landscape, some ambitious platforms, including select fintech companies, are actively pursuing and obtaining banking licenses, marking a noteworthy shift in the financial industry.

SOURCE: https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/financial-services/publications/embedded-finance-challenging-common-assumptions.html

feel-good-sunday-rory-sutherland-insights-from-an-advertising-guru
August 20, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Rory Sutherland: Insights from an Advertising Guru

Check out this captivating TED Talk by Rory Sutherland, where he shares his unconventional perspective on the power of advertising. According to Sutherland, advertising doesn’t just sell products, it alters our perception of their value. He challenges the notion that only tangible value matters and suggests that perceived value can be equally fulfilling. This shift in mindset has profound implications for how we approach life.

Let’s face it, advertising often gets a bad rap for creating intangible value. But think about it: if we aspire to live in a world with fewer material possessions, we have two choices. We can settle for a poorer existence, which most people wouldn’t prefer. Alternatively, we can embrace the idea that intangible value holds a significant place in our lives. In fact, intangible value can be a remarkable substitute for consuming limited resources or labor.

https://www.ted.com/talks/rory_sutherland_life_lessons_from_an_ad_man

curious-saturday-blindness-isnt-a-tragic-binary-its-a-rich-spectrum
August 19, 2023

Curious Saturday: Blindness isn’t a tragic binary — it’s a rich spectrum

In his thought-provoking TED Talk, Andrew Leland delves deeper into the concept of blindness, challenging the common perception of it as a binary condition. He shares his personal experience of gradually losing his vision and highlights the paradoxical truth that blindness is not simply a black-and-white distinction.

Leland emphasizes that while blindness is often seen as a clear-cut state, it is, in fact, a diverse spectrum. Within this spectrum, individuals experience varying degrees and styles of blindness. For instance, some people have limited vision, only perceiving the world through their peripheral vision while having no central vision. Others may have blurred or distorted vision, as if looking through smeared glasses or a hazy fishbowl.

By shedding light on this nuanced perspective, Leland challenges our preconceived notions and encourages us to reconsider how we perceive blindness. His insights prompt us to appreciate the complexity and diversity within the blind community, fostering a more inclusive and understanding society.

https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_leland_blindness_isn_t_a_tragic_binary_it_s_a_rich_spectrum

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

tap-into-the-power-of-smes-integrated-finance-holds-92-billion-potential
August 18, 2023

Tap into the Power of SMEs: Integrated Finance Holds $92 Billion Potential!

A recent Accenture survey highlights the immense potential of integrating financial services into offerings for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). By doing so, global bank revenues could witness a remarkable increase of up to US$92 billion by 2025.

This finding comes at a crucial time when commercial banks are facing tough competition from digital platforms and specialized fintech firms. Chris Jaggard, Commercial Banking Lead for Australia and New Zealand, stresses the urgency for commercial banks to swiftly adopt embedded finance as a countermeasure against these competitors.

Accenture’s research, which involved studying over 2,500 SMEs across the globe, further underscores the enormous revenue growth opportunities that await commercial banks catering to SMEs. To capitalize on this potential, it is imperative for commercial banks to promptly integrate embedded finance into their distribution channels. By embracing this approach, banks can tap into a lucrative market and secure their position in the evolving financial landscape.

https://bankingblog.accenture.com/big-banks-need-to-embrace-embedded-finance-and-fast

“Successful transformation requires innovating from the top, building a thriving culture, achieving technological flexibility, and balancing risk and reward.” – Zarina Tsomaeva, CEO & Founder at LOQUAT Inc.

injustice-anywhere-is-a-threat-to-justice-everywhere-mlk-jr
August 17, 2023

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – MLK Jr.

In his famous letter from the Birmingham Jail in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. made a powerful statement that resonates even today: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” These words encapsulate the idea that when injustice is allowed to prevail in one place, it has the potential to undermine justice in all other areas. King’s letter was a response to the criticism he faced for his nonviolent protests against racial segregation and discrimination. He argued that the fight for civil rights was not confined to Birmingham alone, but rather a universal struggle for equality and justice. By emphasizing the interconnectedness of injustice and justice, King highlighted the importance of addressing and confronting injustice wherever it may be found. This quote serves as a reminder that no one can remain indifferent to injustice, regardless of its location or target. It urges individuals and societies to actively challenge and rectify injustice in order to uphold the principles of justice and equality for all.

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion for all.

how-baas-will-scale-in-2023-and-beyond
August 16, 2023

How BaaS will scale in 2023 and beyond

According to Sherri Haymond, EVP of Global Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, the convergence of Banking as a Service (BaaS) and embedded finance is playing a significant role in shaping the future of the financial industry. The ongoing pandemic has drastically transformed customer expectations, with a growing demand for seamless digital financial experiences. BaaS, in collaboration with non-banking platforms, is projected to become a massive $7 trillion opportunity by 2030. This approach allows companies to offer financial services within the context of their own platforms. On the other hand, embedded finance is revolutionizing the industry by providing real-time personalized credit and payment options. A prime example of this is the co-branded credit card offered by Chase Bank in partnership with Instacart. The integration of BaaS and embedded finance is expected to bring about significant advancements in the financial sector, catering to the evolving needs of customers and enabling businesses to provide enhanced financial services.

https://www.pymnts.com/digital-first-banking/2023/mastercard-how-banking-as-a-service-will-scale-in-2023-and-beyond/

LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

the-banking-battleground
August 15, 2023

The Banking Battleground

CCG Catalyst’s 2023 US Banking Study, called The Banking Battleground, presents insights from C-level bank executives. The study surveyed 122 executives, categorized as traditional or progressive, and focused on their perspectives in three key areas: business trends and priorities, technology and innovation, and new frontiers.

The report reveals that progressive banks prioritize integration with fintechs, while traditional banks are more customer-centric. Both groups feel less technologically prepared compared to last year. The study also explores emerging areas like open banking, Banking-as-a-Service, cryptocurrency, cannabis banking, and sustainability. It’s important to note that the findings are directional and not prescriptive, as each bank will apply them based on their own strategy. Source: https://www.ccginsights.com/research/the-banking-battleground-2023-pulling-back-and-pushing-ahead/

Loquat is a banking-as-a-service platform, which allows FIs to open small business checking account, get a virtual card and secure a loan within minutes.

Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

traditional-banking-vs-embedded-finance
August 14, 2023

Traditional banking VS Embedded finance

The emergence of non-banking platforms as customer-centric hubs for user-friendly and customizable financial applications is reshaping the banking business model. These platforms, part of the embedded finance landscape, offer seamless access to financial services, creating a contrast with traditional banking.

Embedded finance involves various roles like platforms, enablers, and license holders, diverging from the integrated process of traditional banking. Some banks are partnering with these platforms, but they need to carefully assess the pricing pressure and advantages of such collaborations.

Banks face the challenge of potentially being relegated to capital-intensive and highly regulated backend activities, with limited user interaction. To counter this, some banks are expanding their platforms to collaborate with non-banks or extending their offerings, like embedded insurance and concierge services, to adjacent sectors such as travel and mobility.

https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/industries/financial-services/publications/embedded-finance-challenging-common-assumptions.html

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

feel-good-sunday-a-30-day-challenge
August 13, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: A 30-Day Challenge

Have you ever found yourself putting off something you’ve always wanted to do? Matt Cutts has a brilliant solution: the 30-day challenge. In his inspiring TED Talk, he encourages us to break free from our comfort zones and commit to trying something new for just 30 days.

Cutts emphasizes that the next 30 days will pass, whether we take action or not. So why not seize this opportunity to embark on a personal journey of growth and self-discovery? By dedicating ourselves to small, sustainable changes, we can pave the way for remarkable transformations.

Imagine the sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes with completing a 30-day challenge. It’s a chance to explore untapped potential, conquer fears, and broaden our horizons. Moreover, these challenges provide us with unforgettable memories that would otherwise fade into oblivion.

So, what are you waiting for? Take a leap of faith and choose something you’ve always wanted to try. Whether it’s learning a new instrument, adopting a healthier lifestyle, or starting a creative project, the possibilities are endless. Embrace the power of 30-day challenges and unlock the extraordinary within you.

To learn more, watch Matt https://www.ted.com/talks/matt_cutts_try_something_new_for_30_days?language=en

curious-saturday-mental-health-care-health-for-all
August 12, 2023

Curious Saturday: Mental Health Care — Health for All

Mental illness affects a staggering 450 million individuals worldwide, highlighting the pressing need for better care and support. Unfortunately, only about half of those in affluent nations receive the appropriate treatment, while an alarming 90 percent in developing countries go without any form of care due to the scarcity of psychiatrists. This glaring disparity calls for innovative solutions.

Enter Vikram Patel, who proposes an incredibly promising approach to address this global challenge: training members of communities to provide mental health interventions. By empowering ordinary individuals to care for others, this strategy, known as task shifting, has the potential to revolutionize mental healthcare delivery. Its impact extends beyond developing countries, as it democratizes medical knowledge, empowers communities, and brings us closer to the vision of “Health for All.”

Patel’s advocacy for the rights of those living with mental illness to lead lives of dignity resonates on a global scale, urging us to recognize the transformative power of community-based mental health care.

Watch Vikram Patel’s insightful TED Talk on this topic: https://www.ted.com/talks/vikram_patel_mental_health_for_all_by_involving_all

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

Learn more about LOQUAT Inc.: https://loquatinc.io/about/

August 11, 2023

We believe small businesses are the roots of a diverse society that drives innovation forward, and there should be no barriers or limits to their growth.

attention-urgent-action-required-sea-levels-rising-at-an-alarming-rate
August 10, 2023

Attention: Urgent Action Required! Sea Levels Rising at an Alarming Rate!

Sea level rise is a pressing issue that demands immediate attention. The latest measurement, taken in February 2023, indicates that sea levels have risen by approximately 99 (± 4.0) mm. This increase is alarming, as it surpasses any recorded rates in the past 2,500-plus years. The primary cause of this rise is the global warming induced by human activities.

Melting ice sheets and glaciers contribute significantly to the rising sea levels. As temperatures rise, these frozen bodies of water melt and release water into the oceans. Additionally, the warming of seawater itself leads to its expansion, further exacerbating the sea level rise.

The consequences of sea level rise are far-reaching and pose a threat to coastal communities, ecosystems, and infrastructure. Increased flooding, erosion, and salinization of freshwater sources are just a few of the impacts already being observed. Urgent action is needed to mitigate these effects and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to slow down the rate of sea level rise.

bcgs-study-on-financial-giants-are-they-missing-out-on-ecosystem-power
August 09, 2023

BCG’s study on financial Giants: Are they missing out on ecosystem power?

BCG has conducted a comprehensive analysis of the top 100 financial institutions in terms of market capitalization for 2021. Their objective was to evaluate how these institutions are interacting with business ecosystems and how it affects their financial performance and valuation. The results of the study are quite interesting: – Surprisingly, only 27% of the top banks are actively engaging with ecosystems, while the majority, 52%, are still in the experimental phase. Another 21% have limited involvement. – The banks that fully embrace ecosystems have a clear competitive advantage and are able to generate significant value. – However, there is a need for more targeted and strategic engagement with ecosystems in order to fully capitalize on the available opportunities. For more detailed information, you can refer to the following link: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/exploring-digital-financial-ecosystem-opportunities

At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the strategic alliances between banks and fintechs.

By working together and successfully leveraging each other resources, two businesses will thrive in meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.

mastering-the-ecosystem-game-execution-is-everything
August 08, 2023

Mastering the Ecosystem Game – Execution is Everything

Achieving a triumphant ecosystem strategy entails more than just having brilliant ideas; it requires the art of effective execution. Banks can follow a few key steps to master this art. To begin with, a thoughtful and deliberate approach is essential. Taking the time to carefully assess the bank’s capabilities and market aspirations is crucial in determining the most suitable strategy archetypes. While there may be a sense of urgency to jump into the ecosystem game, hastily rushing through the planning phase can lead to half-hearted investments and disappointing outcomes. It is imperative to thoroughly consider the intricate details and business viability to ensure optimal returns.

https://www.ccginsights.com/research/the-banking-battleground-2023-pulling-back-and-pushing-ahead/

LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, can with help the diverse needs of customers, allowing banks and financial institutions to offer a range of products and services with varying fees, features, and requirements.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

banking-success-in-the-digital-era-champion-the-ecosystem-transformation
August 07, 2023

Banking Success in the Digital Era: Champion the Ecosystem Transformation

Banks face a crucial decision in the digital financial ecosystem transformation. Collaboration and innovation are key in this game-changing era. By 2030, digital ecosystems could determine banking success, but only a few big players are taking advantage.

BCG’s analysis shows a strong connection between adopting ecosystems and financial performance. Banks must adapt and fully welcome digital transformation to thrive in this new landscape. Source: https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/exploring-digital-financial-ecosystem-opportunities

At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the strategic alliances between banks and fintechs. By working together and successfully leveraging each other resources, two businesses will thrive in meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.

feel-good-sunday-staying-calm-in-stressful-situations-tips-from-daniel-levitin
August 06, 2023

Feel good Sunday: Staying Calm in Stressful Situations — Tips from Daniel Levitin

In stressful situations, our brains release cortisol, hindering rational thinking. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin suggests a pre-mortem approach to avoid critical mistakes caused by clouded thinking. By anticipating potential failures, we can prepare and minimize damage. It’s important to remember that stress shuts down various systems in our body, prioritizing survival. Therefore, training ourselves to think ahead and implement preventive measures is crucial.

www.ted.com/talks/daniel_levitin_how_to_stay_calm_when_you_know_you_ll_be_stressed

curious-saturday-why-do-we-work
August 05, 2023

Curious Saturday: Why do we work?

Barry Schwartz, a renowned scholar studying the link between economics and psychology, sheds light on the broken perception of work in his captivating TED Talk titled “The way we think about work is broken.” Schwartz believes that the answer to why we work lies in the realm of technology, but not in the traditional sense of automation and machines. He introduces the concept of “idea technology,” which he defines as the creation of ideas and ways of understanding through science.

While technology has undeniably transformed our lives, Schwartz emphasizes that it is the technology of ideas that significantly influences how we think, what we aspire to, and how we act. He refers to the social sciences as a prime example of this idea technology, as they create frameworks for understanding ourselves and our society.

With his deep insights into the intersection of economics and psychology, Schwartz challenges conventional notions about work and encourages a reevaluation of our relationship with it. By exploring the profound impact of idea technology, he prompts us to reconsider the purpose and meaning of work in our lives.

https://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_the_way_we_think_about_work_is_broken

miami-the-epicenter-of-us-sports-messis-grocery-store-stroll-and-fifas-world-cup-blitz
August 04, 2023

Miami: The Epicenter of US Sports – Messi’s Grocery Store Stroll and FIFA’s World Cup Blitz!

As Miami continues to magnetize finance and tech companies, it was the iconic moment when Lionel Messi casually wheeled a trolley through a Publix grocery store that marked this city as the ultimate hotspot. But that’s not all! FIFA, the football governing body, is now in talks to secure a Miami property ahead of the thrilling 2026 World Cup. And they’re not alone. CONCACAF, the football federation for North and Central America, and the Caribbean, has already set up shop in this vibrant city.

Miami’s transformation into the US sports capital is undeniable, attracting both global football icons and major sporting organizations. With these developments, it’s clear that Miami has solidified its status as the place to be for sports enthusiasts, leaving no doubt that the city’s sporting legacy is only just beginning.

https://www.ft.com/content/f8b180dc-f1aa-4445-87fd-37ae0e4cc144

Loquat Inc., a Miami based financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

banking-as-a-service-baas-the-future-of-banking
August 03, 2023

Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS): The future of banking

“BaaS enables financial institutions to access a diverse range of services, expanding possibilities for personalized financial experiences.

It is not just an option, but an imperative that will define the success of modern financial institutions in an ever-evolving digital landscape.” – Minesh Valera, CTO, Loquat Inc.

Loquat platform is built on three pillars: Data Privacy and Information Security, Transparency, and Simplicity. We use AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

transforming-customer-experiences-addressing-real-time-needs
August 02, 2023

Transforming Customer Experiences — Addressing Real-time Needs

According to a recent survey conducted by EY teams, the global fintech industry is increasingly recognizing the importance of offering financial products that cater to customers’ real-time needs. In fact, a staggering 94% of fintech leaders believe that this is the key to success in the industry. This finding highlights a significant shift from traditional financial products that often fail to meet the immediate demands of customers.

As a result, there is a growing interest among both nonfinancial and financial institutions to develop embedded propositions. These propositions involve integrating financial services seamlessly into nonfinancial platforms, such as e-commerce websites or social media platforms. This approach allows customers to access financial products and services at the exact moment they need them, without having to navigate away from their current activities.

The emergence of embedded finance presents exciting opportunities for both nonfinancial and financial institutions. By leveraging this trend, they can tap into significant growth potential and provide customers with personalized, real-time financial solutions. This shift towards addressing real-time needs is reshaping the customer experience and revolutionizing the way financial services are delivered.

To learn more about this transformative trend in the fintech industry, you can visit the following link: https://www.ey.com/en_us/banking-capital-markets/fintech-ecosystems/how-banks-are-staking-a-claim-in-the-embedded-finance-ecosystem

Loquat is a banking-as-a-service platform, which allows FIs to open small business checking account, get a virtual card and secure a loan within minutes.

Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

responsible-by-design-five-principles-for-generative-ai-in-financial-services
August 01, 2023

Responsible by Design: Five Principles for Generative AI in Financial Services

As financial service institutions embrace generative artificial intelligence (AI) models and witness the rapid adoption of this technology by consumers, it has become imperative for companies to understand the risks and opportunities associated with it. While managing and mitigating risks is not new for financial institutions, the introduction of generative AI brings forth both familiar concerns and novel challenges.

One significant risk is the potential for bias in AI applications. Previously, bias was managed through fairness policies and compliance efforts. However, with generative AI, there is a possibility that bias could unknowingly be embedded into applications based on these models. The extent of risk faced by each company will depend on how and where they implement generative AI, as well as the maturity of their AI governance framework.

To effectively navigate these risks, companies utilizing generative AI must proactively identify emerging risks, align their applications with existing and upcoming regulations, and strengthen internal functions such as machine learning engineering, technology, and legal expertise. By doing so, they can ensure responsible and ethical use of generative AI in the financial services sector.

https://www.bain.com/insights/five-principles-for-generative-ai-in-financial-services/

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

discover-your-path-to-success-strategies-for-banks-in-the-shifting-financial-landscape
July 31, 2023

Discover Your Path to Success: Strategies for Banks in the Shifting Financial Landscape

Banks are facing a significant challenge as customers increasingly prefer embedded channels for their basic financial needs, leading to a decline in traditional bank channel usage. To prevent customer attrition, it is crucial for banks to actively engage with customers through embedded channels. However, embedding complex products presents a greater challenge and is not easily replicated.

To navigate this shift and capitalize on the embedded finance trend, banks can adopt various distribution strategies. Firstly, a customer- or product-centric approach entails focusing on innovation and gaining a deeper understanding of customers to extend the product range and cater to a wider audience. Secondly, an enabler approach involves embracing a platform business model, selecting suitable products to embed, and forming partnerships with third-party platforms to expand offerings.

Additionally, the builder approach entails owning the platform and effectively coordinating in-house and third-party products to deliver exceptional services, albeit with significant technology investments and collaboration. Lastly, the owner orchestrator approach involves taking full ownership of the platform, orchestrating various products, and controlling customer distribution channels. This strategy may involve investing in non-financial services sectors and creating direct points of interaction with customers.

https://www.ey.com/en_us/banking-capital-markets/fintech-ecosystems/how-banks-are-staking-a-claim-in-the-embedded-finance-ecosystem

At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the strategic alliances between banks and fintechs. By working together and successfully leveraging each other resources, two businesses will thrive in meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.

neurodiversity-lessons-from-a-maverick-entrepreneur
July 30, 2023

Neurodiversity: Lessons from a Maverick Entrepreneur

Neurodiversity and innovation are often a dynamic duo, but does that mean visionary entrepreneurs can do and say whatever they please without consequences? Andy Dunn, the founder of Bonobos and a mental health advocate, shares his personal journey with bipolar I disorder while successfully managing his startup. He imparts valuable lessons he learned along the way towards achieving wellness and emphasizes the importance of accountability in creating a future where everyone can pursue audacious dreams.

In the workplace, Dunn believes that therapy should be strongly encouraged for team leaders. Furthermore, granting second chances to unethical leaders should be a decision made with utmost care and deliberation.

https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_dunn_lessons_from_losing_my_mind/transcript

the-power-of-global-talent-dont-let-your-business-fall-behind
July 29, 2023

The power of global talent: Don’t let your business fall behind

Why aren’t more businesses tapping into the power of international talent if it leads to a stronger company? Johann Daniel Harnoss, an expert in innovation and migration strategy, sheds light on the benefits of embracing global talent and provides guidance on creating an inclusive environment for immigrants within your workforce.

Johann, who spearheads research on global migration at BCG and advises governments and companies on migration strategy, highlights the immense economic impact migrants already have on local economies. In fact, their contribution is projected to reach a staggering $20 trillion per year by 2050, up from $9 trillion in 2020.

Migration presents a remarkable opportunity for all of us, and it’s a chance that businesses cannot afford to miss. By embracing the most educated and globally diverse generation in history, companies can gain a significant advantage in the marketplace. Those who choose to remain on the sidelines, however, risk being left behind.

https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_daniel_harnoss_how_your_company_can_gain_a_global_talent_advantage/transcript

breaking-barriers-financial-inclusion-for-all
July 28, 2023

Breaking Barriers: Financial Inclusion for all

The world is witnessing a groundbreaking transformation through digital financial services. These services have the potential to revolutionize the way people access and manage their finances, making it easier and more convenient for individuals to save, invest, and transact. However, despite the progress made, millions of people are still left out of the financial system.

To address this issue, tech pioneers, governments, and aid organizations are coming together to bridge the gap and bring financial services to the underserved. They are leveraging technology to develop innovative solutions that can reach even the most remote areas, ensuring that everyone has access to basic financial services.

While the push for financial inclusion is commendable, it is important to be cautious of the risks involved. With the rise of digital transactions, the threat of fraud has also increased.

It is crucial to understand that financial inclusion is not solely about joining the digital revolution. It goes beyond technology and requires addressing the underlying issues that prevent individuals from accessing financial services. This includes factors such as financial literacy, affordability, and cultural barriers.

Read more: https://carnegieendowment.org/2023/07/13/limits-of-accelerating-digital-only-financial-inclusion-pub-90175

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion

stay-ahead-of-the-game-safeguarding-your-finances-in-the-digital-age
July 27, 2023

Stay Ahead of the Game: Safeguarding Your Finances in the Digital Age

It is crucial for banks to educate their customers about potential threats and how to protect themselves. This can be done through regular communication channels, such as newsletters, emails, and social media. Banks should also provide resources, such as online tutorials and guides, to help customers understand the importance of strong passwords, secure internet connections, and the risks associated with sharing personal information.

Moreover, investing in advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, can greatly enhance fraud detection and prevention capabilities. These technologies can analyze vast amounts of data in real-time, identify patterns and anomalies, and flag suspicious activities. By leveraging these tools, banks can stay one step ahead of fraudsters and protect their customers from financial losses.

Furthermore, collaboration between banks, regulatory bodies, and law enforcement agencies is crucial in combating digital banking fraud. Sharing information and best practices can help identify emerging threats and develop effective countermeasures. Regular audits and assessments can also ensure that banks are continuously improving their security measures and addressing any vulnerabilities.

In conclusion, as digital banking continues to evolve, so does the risk of fraud. By adopting a proactive and comprehensive security approach, educating customers, leveraging advanced technologies, and fostering collaboration, banks can effectively mitigate the impact of fraud and safeguard their customers.

Loquat is a banking-as-a-service platform, which allows FIs to open small business checking account, get a virtual card and secure a loan within minutes. Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

banking-as-a-service-takes-a-center-stage-in-the-transformation-of-financial-services
July 24, 2023

Banking-as-a-Service takes a center stage in the transformation of financial services, offering a fresh approach to deliver better products to consumers.

BaaS seamlessly merges the resources of regulated banks with fintech providers, resulting in an improved and accessible banking experience for customers. However, traditional banks face significant hurdles in fulfilling the promises of BaaS. Outdated legacy systems and slow processes hinder their ability to swiftly adapt to market changes and meet customer demands. In contrast, fintech companies, with their modern technology and agile practices, are designed to quickly develop and modify their offerings to cater to their clients’ needs.

Learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

feel-good-sunday-jonathan-haidt-the-moral-roots-of-liberals-and-conservatives
July 23, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Jonathan Haidt: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Jonathan Haidt delves into the fascinating realm of moral values that shape our political choices, regardless of whether we identify as left, right, or center. Through his thought-provoking talk, he uncovers the core moral values that liberals and conservatives typically hold dear.

Let’s explore the concept of innateness, where the brain’s initial organization is not solely dependent on experience. Nature provides a foundation, which experience then refines. It’s important to note that “built-in” doesn’t imply rigidity; rather, it signifies an organization pre-established before encountering life’s experiences, as Gary Marcus aptly explains.

Take a moment to step outside the confines of your own moral perspective. Recognize the ongoing struggle in which everyone believes they are right, even if their beliefs differ from yours. Each person has their reasons. So, let’s challenge ourselves to step out of the moral matrix and gain a broader understanding.

Step out of the moral Matrix, just try to see it as a struggle playing out, in which everybody thinks they’re right, and even if you disagree with them, everybody has some reasons for what they’re doing. Step out.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_the_moral_roots_of_liberals_and_conservatives

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

curious-saturday-tom-graham-the-mesmerizing-realm-of-deepfakes-and-the-disconcerting-trajectory-of-ai
July 22, 2023

Curious Saturday: Tom Graham: The mesmerizing realm of deepfakes — and the disconcerting trajectory of AI

Prepare yourselves, for the infiltration of AI-generated media that mirrors reality is imminent. How can we brace ourselves for its arrival? AI developer Tom Graham delves into the astonishing power of this rapidly progressing technology, showcasing cutting-edge examples on the TED stage. In a captivating discussion with TED’s head honcho Chris Anderson, Graham explores the boundless creative potential of this hyperreal content, commonly known as “deepfakes,” while shedding light on the risks of exploitation and the need for new legal rights to safeguard our control over AI-generated replicas of ourselves.

Raising awareness about manipulated media is of paramount importance. We must establish robust institutions that can authenticate the veracity of media. Once we achieve that, we can delve into the exciting possibilities that lie ahead.

Securing property rights over data is paramount when discussing real-world data powering these advancements. We should not relinquish ownership through terms of service or give it away. By retaining ownership, we can maintain control and be at the forefront of the economic and historical implications that will arise. It’s a challenging journey, but progress is underway.

At LOQUAT Inc. we believe that data privacy is a fundamental human right and democratic societies have a duty to respect and protect this right through their respective institutions.

We envision that individuals shall decide “what becomes data in the first place, what we share, with whom, and to what purpose”.

https://www.ted.com/talks/tom_graham_the_incredible_creativity_of_deepfakes_and_the_worrying_future_of_ai

the-second-edition-of-microsoft-stores-small-business-state-of-mind-report-delves-into-the-thoughts-and-concerns-of-small-business-owners
July 21, 2023

The second edition of Microsoft Store’s “Small Business State of Mind” report delves into the thoughts and concerns of small business owners. Through a comprehensive survey of 1,000 individuals running businesses with 0-24 employees, the report sheds light on their top challenges and priorities. Moreover, it explores their outlook on the potential impact of AI on their own ventures and other small businesses.

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2023/06/21/microsoft-study-small-businesses-intrigued-by-ai-and-the-opportunities-it-brings/

LOQUAT Inc. was founded with a passion to connect local financial institutions with small businesses who need a fast, secure and convenient digital banking experience.

loquat-inc-welcomes-clement-ogujiofor-to-its-team-2
July 20, 2023

Loquat Inc. welcomes Clement Ogujiofor to its team!

Loquat Inc., an innovative financial technology company today announced that Clement Ogujiofor has joined the company’s Leadership Team as the Head of Product.

Clement, a seasoned business strategy executive, brings over 15 years of experience in technology and telecommunication industries. He has successfully led digital transformations, cost optimizations, financial due diligence, and product delivery. With a strong focus on the intersection of technology and business, Clement ensures a clear business strategy that guides any technology transformation.

“We are excited to welcome Clement Ogujiofor to our team. His proven track record of delivering results in various engagements and transformations will be invaluable to us as we continue to expand our business and strengthen our market position. We are confident that Clement will help us continually improve on our already stellar platform and take Loquat to the next level.”

– Zarina Tsomaeva, Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Loquat

Please read our full Press Release: https://loquatinc.io/news/loquat-inc-welcomes-clement-ogujiofor-to-its-team/

impact-of-ai-on-banking-potential-productivity-lift
July 19, 2023

Impact of AI on Banking: Potential productivity Lift

The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about a significant transformation in the banking industry, promising a potential productivity lift. AI technologies, such as machine learning and natural language processing, have enabled banks to automate various tasks and streamline their operations.

One area where AI has made a substantial impact is customer service. Chatbots powered by AI algorithms can handle customer queries and provide personalized assistance, reducing the need for human intervention. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances the overall customer experience.

Moreover, AI has proven to be a valuable tool in risk management and fraud detection. Machine learning algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to identify patterns and anomalies, enabling banks to detect fraudulent activities in real-time. This proactive approach helps minimize financial losses and protect customers’ assets.

Additionally, AI has revolutionized the lending process. By leveraging AI-powered algorithms, banks can assess loan applications more accurately and efficiently, reducing the time and resources required for manual underwriting. This not only speeds up the lending process but also enhances the accuracy of credit decisions.

Furthermore, AI has the potential to revolutionize investment management. Robo-advisors, powered by AI algorithms, can offer personalized investment advice based on an individual’s financial goals and risk tolerance.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#business-value

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

generative-ai-transforming-the-banking-industry
July 18, 2023

Generative AI: Transforming the Banking Industry

Prepare to witness a thrilling transformation in the banking industry as Generative AI steps onto the scene. This groundbreaking technology is set to transform the sector, taking on mundane risk management tasks and freeing up precious resources for more crucial endeavors.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#business-value

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

artificial-intelligence-a-journey-of-hope-and-triumph
July 17, 2023

Artificial Intelligence: A Journey of Hope and Triumph!

Artificial intelligence, an academic discipline born in 1956, has experienced its fair share of highs and lows. It has witnessed cycles of hope, followed by disappointment and funding setbacks, commonly known as “AI winters.” However, with every setback, the field has emerged stronger, with new approaches, achievements, and increased financial support.

AI research encompasses various sub-fields, each with its own objectives and tools. These include reasoning, knowledge representation, planning, learning, natural language processing, perception, and object manipulation. The ultimate goal is to achieve general intelligence, enabling AI to solve any problem it encounters.

To tackle these challenges, AI researchers have adapted and integrated diverse problem-solving techniques. These techniques include search algorithms, mathematical optimization, formal logic, artificial neural networks, and statistical, probabilistic, and economic methods. AI draws inspiration from computer science, psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and many other disciplines to pave the way for future breakthroughs.

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

feel-good-sunday-hilarious-truth-of-american-dream
July 16, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Hilarious Truth of American Dream

Harrison Scott Key guy knows how to entertain. He’s the genius behind books like Congratulations, Who Are You Again? and The World’s Largest Man: A Memoir, which even won the prestigious Thurber Prize for American Humor. But here’s the twist: he’s about to challenge all those motivational speakers out there. Prepare yourself for some truth bombs, because Harrison Scott Key is here to reveal the mildly outrageous reality of achieving the so-called American Dream.

Join Harrison Scott Key on his extraordinary journey from a simple country boy to a literary star (according to his mom, at least).

Watch the hilarious Harrison Scott Key on “The Funny Thing About the American Dream” here: https://www.ted.com/talks/harrison_scott_key_the_funny_thing_about_the_american_dream

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

curious-saturday-ian-bremmer-the-next-global-superpower-isnt-who-you-think
July 15, 2023

Curious Saturday: Ian Bremmer: The next global superpower isn’t who you think

Who truly holds the reins of the world? According to political scientist Ian Bremmer, it’s not as straightforward as it once seemed. With thought-provoking inquiries about the essence of leadership, he urges us to ponder the consequences of the ever-changing global order and the choices we make as active participants in shaping the future of democracy.

However, in today’s world, our identities are shaped by a combination of nature, nurture, and algorithms. Challenging the system requires more than simply questioning authority, as we were taught in our formative years. Nowadays, we must also question the algorithms, and this grants an astonishing amount of power to technology companies.

Don’t miss out on Bremmer’s enlightening talk that sheds light on the true forces shaping our world.

https://www.ted.com/talks/ian_bremmer_the_next_global_superpower_isn_t_who_you_think

microsoft-study-small-businesses-intrigued-by-ai-and-the-opportunities-it-brings
July 14, 2023

Microsoft study: Small businesses intrigued by AI and the opportunities it brings

Microsoft conducted an internal study called the “Small Business State of Mind” report in May 2023. The report reveals that small businesses, which make up 99% of all businesses in the U.S. and employ nearly half of the workforce, are facing increased pressures and limited resources. However, with the emergence of AI, small businesses have the opportunity to benefit from next-generation tools and resources. The study highlights key findings, including the growing pain points of inflation and data security, small business owners being overwhelmed with mundane tasks, the optimism surrounding AI as a game-changer, and the need for small business owners to become more knowledgeable about AI.

https://blogs.windows.com/windowsexperience/2023/06/21/microsoft-study-small-businesses-intrigued-by-ai-and-the-opportunities-it-brings/

Loquat, an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

cruelty-does-not-bring-order-when-it-comes-to-refugee-policy
July 13, 2023

Cruelty does not bring order when it comes to refugee policy

The capsized boat off the coast of Greece that resulted in the death of 78 people, with 500 still missing, is a tragedy beyond measure. It is a clear indication of the failure of governments to fulfil their international legal obligation to save drowning people. The situation is further exacerbated by the fact that almost 110 million people are currently fleeing conflict and disaster around the world, with one in 74 of the global population affected.

https://www.ft.com/content/35326258-3506-461c-b8a5-207594f6ed16?shareType=nongift

generative-ai-impact-on-marketing
July 12, 2023

Generative AI: Impact on Marketing

One of the most significant benefits of generative AI for marketing is the ability to create high-quality content in a fraction of the time it would take a human. This technology can analyze data and consumer behavior, which helps businesses optimize their SEO strategy and personalize product discovery for customers.

However, there are also risks involved in using generative AI for marketing. One of the biggest concerns is copyright infringement and brand recognition. Businesses need to ensure that the content generated by AI aligns with their brand image and messaging. Additionally, there is a risk that AI-generated content may not resonate with the target audience, leading to a negative impact on sales.

In terms of sales, generative AI can help businesses identify potential leads and improve their follow-up strategy. This technology can analyze customer data and behavior to determine which leads are most likely to convert into paying customers. By automating the lead development process, businesses can increase the probability of sale and generate additional revenue.

The benefits of generative AI are vast, and it’s up to businesses to harness its potential while mitigating the risks involved.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

generative-ai-impact-on-banking
July 11, 2023

Generative AI: Impact on Banking

The banking industry is on the brink of a technological uplift with the emergence of Generative AI. This innovative technology has the potential to transform the industry by taking on lower-value tasks in risk management.

In addition to cost savings, Generative AI can also improve customer satisfaction, decision-making, and mitigate risks. The banking industry is already technology-enabled and has benefited significantly from AI applications. With a vast customer-facing workforce and a stringent regulatory environment, Generative AI can streamline content generation, create personalized marketing, and sales content.

However, integrating Generative AI into operations requires careful consideration of factors such as regulation, end-users, intended level of work automation, and data constraints. Banks must be strategic in their approach to reap the full benefits of this technology.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

the-future-is-here-generative-ai-for-unmatched-creativity-and-efficiency
July 10, 2023

The Future is Here: Generative AI for Unmatched Creativity and Efficiency

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as images, videos, and even text, based on a set of rules or parameters. Unlike traditional AI algorithms, it doesn’t just analyze data, but it can also generate new data based on a set of rules and parameters. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for businesses and individuals alike.

What’s truly exciting about generative AI is its ability to learn and improve over time. As more data is fed into the system, it becomes more sophisticated and can create even more complex and creative content. The economic potential of this technology is limitless, and it has the power to transform the way we live and work in the future.

In a world where content is king, generative AI can help businesses create unique and engaging content at scale. It can also be used to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for more strategic work. This means that the economic potential of generative AI is virtually limitless, and it has the potential to transform the way we live and work in the future.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

why-i-must-come-out-geena-roceros-journey
July 09, 2023

Feel good Sunday: “Why I must come out” – Geena Rocero’s Journey

Model and filmmaker Geena Rocero reveals her journey of self-discovery, breaking down the complexities of gender identity. Assigned male at birth, Rocero always knew she was a woman, and now she’s inviting you to join her on her journey. She shares how important it is to create a space where people can self-identify and encourages conversations about gender identity. The transgender community is just beginning, and Rocero is leading the way with her inspiring story. She invites you to be her ally and approach the topic with curiosity and an open mind. Gender is a complex and fluid concept, and Rocero’s story is a reminder to embrace and accept people for who they truly are. Join Rocero on her journey of self-discovery and learn how to be an ally to the transgender community.

https://www.ted.com/talks/geena_rocero_why_i_must_come_out

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

why-ai-is-incredibly-smart-and-shockingly-stupid-a-ted-talk-by-yejin-choi
July 08, 2023

Curious Saturday: Why AI is incredibly smart and shockingly stupid – A TED Talk by Yejin Choi

Are we creating a new intellectual species with AI? In her captivating TED talk, computer scientist Yejin Choi reveals the problems and challenges we face with massive artificial intelligence systems. She highlights the three key issues with cutting-edge large language models, including their inability to reason with common sense. But that’s not all – extreme-scale AI models come with a hefty price tag, leading to power concentration and a lack of transparency. Plus, their carbon footprint is massive, and their safety and effectiveness are questionable. So, what’s the solution? Choi suggests democratizing AI by making it smaller and safer, teaching it human norms and values. Drawing an analogy from “David and Goliath,” she urges us to know our enemy, choose our battles, and innovate our weapons.

https://www.ted.com/talks/yejin_choi_why_ai_is_incredibly_smart_and_shockingly_stupid/c

Request a demo to see how LOQUAT Inc. is leveraging AI and ML: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

why-do-competitors-cluster-together-the-surprising-game-theory-behind-your-favorite-stores
July 07, 2023

Why Do Competitors Cluster Together? The Surprising Game Theory Behind Your Favorite Stores

Have you ever wondered why all the gas stations, cafes, and restaurants are in one crowded spot? Or why fast food chains, clothing boutiques, and mobile phone kiosks are all at the mall? It turns out, there’s a game theory behind it. In this fascinating TED Talk, Jac de Haan explores the Nash Equilibrium and how it informs the retail hotspots we see today. Discover how two competitive cousins vying for ice-cream-selling domination on one small beach can teach us about the power of clustering. While customers may benefit from distributed services, businesses prefer to keep their competition close. Learn how marketing strategies, product differentiation, and price cuts all play a role in the competitive landscape.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jac_de_haan_why_do_competitors_open_their_stores_next_to_one_another/

Loquat is a banking-as-a-service platform, which allows FIs to open small business checking account, get a virtual card and secure a loan within minutes. Learn more how LOQUAT Inc. is the right partner: https://loquatinc.io/financial-institutions/

loquat-executive-interview-series-mitch-blaser-digitizing-relationships-in-a-post-pandemic-world
July 06, 2023

Loquat Executive Interview Series: Mitch Blaser | Digitizing relationships in a post-pandemic world

Loquat Inc. is an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

Schedule a demo today and learn how LOQUAT Inc. can help: https://loquatinc.io/demo/

transform-your-customer-service-with-generative-ai
July 05, 2023

Transform Your Customer Service with Generative AI: Elevate Efficiency and Enhance Customer Satisfaction

According to McKinsey & Company‘s latest research paper, “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier” by utilizing digital self-service and enhancing agent skills, generative AI has the ability to improve the customer experience and boost productivity. The technology has already proven successful in automating interactions with customers using natural language, leading to increased issue resolution and reduced handling time. In one company with 5,000 customer service agents, the application of generative AI resulted in a 14% increase in issue resolution per hour and a 9% decrease in handling time. Additionally, agent attrition and requests to speak to a manager decreased by 25%. Interestingly, less-experienced agents benefited the most from AI assistance, as it helped them to communicate more effectively and improve their skills. Overall, generative AI has the potential to revolutionize the customer service industry and improve the quality of service provided to customers.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction

Learn how Loquat Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/about/

happy-4th-of-july
July 04, 2023

Happy 4th of July!

generative-ai-the-next-trillion-dollar-frontier
July 03, 2023

Generative AI: The Next Trillion-Dollar Frontier

According to McKinsey & Company ‘s latest research paper, “The economic potential of generative AI: The next productivity frontier”, this technology could add trillions of dollars in value to the global economy. The research found that generative AI could address specific business challenges in ways that produce measurable outcomes across 63 use cases, adding between $2.6 trillion to $4.4 trillion annually. This could increase the impact of all artificial intelligence by 15 to 40 percent.

The four areas where generative AI could deliver 75 percent of the value are customer operations, marketing and sales, software engineering, and R&D.

By understanding the technology’s potential, companies can make critical decisions about how to implement it and reap the benefits. McKinsey’s research provides valuable insights into where generative AI can deliver the biggest value and how big that value could be.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/the-economic-potential-of-generative-ai-the-next-productivity-frontier#introduction

Learn HOW Loquat Inc. can help to make financial institutions more #innovative and #successful: https://loquatinc.io/

stella-young-im-not-your-inspiration-thank-you-very-much
July 02, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Disabled? Not Your Inspiration

Meet Stella Young, the hilarious comedian and journalist who refuses to be reduced to a mere inspiration for others just because she uses a wheelchair. In her TED Talk, Young takes on society’s tendency to turn disabled people into “inspiration porn” and challenges us to view them as complex individuals with their own unique experiences and personalities. With wit and charm, Young breaks down the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding disability, urging us to see disabled people as they truly are: human beings with their own strengths, weaknesses, and quirks. Don’t miss this eye-opening talk that will challenge your perceptions and leave you laughing out loud. Watch it now on TED.

https://www.ted.com/talks/stella_young_i_m_not_your_inspiration_thank_you_very_much

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

transgender-healthcare-the-knowledge-gap-thats-costing-lives
July 01, 2023

Curious Saturday: Transgender healthcare – The knowledge gap that’s costing lives

Kristie Overstreet is a passionate advocate for transgender healthcare. Her TED Talk debunks myths and provides a primer on gender identity. Overstreet believes that everyone deserves respect and dignity when seeking medical care. Unfortunately, many healthcare providers lack the necessary training to work with transgender patients. This knowledge gap can lead to discrimination, violence, and a lack of medical care. Overstreet’s mission is to change this by educating healthcare providers on transgender health care. She emphasizes that transgender individuals are human beings who deserve competent and trained health care providers. In 2015, a survey found that 72% of healthcare providers did not feel well-informed on the health care needs of the LGBT community. This gap in education and training must be addressed. Overstreet invites everyone to face fear together as we walk into a brave new world.

Kristie Overstreet is on a mission to ensure that the transgender community gets their health care needs met. In this informative, myth-busting talk, she provides a primer for understanding gender identity and invites us to shift how we view transgender health care — so that everyone gets the respect and dignity they deserve when they go to a doctor.

Kristie Overstreet: What doctors should know about gender identity
https://www.ted.com/talks/kristie_overstreet_what_doctors_should_know_about_gender_identity

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

its-time-for-men-to-step-up-in-a-fight-for-gender-equity
June 30, 2023

It’s Time for Men to Step Up in a Fight for Gender Equity

Jimmie Briggs, an essayist and intersectional justice advocate, urges men to confront their traditional notions of masculinity and promote personal safety, dignity, and empowerment for all. It’s not just a matter of being politically correct; it’s about understanding that equity, justice, inclusivity, and safety for women, girls, and nonbinary people ultimately benefit us all. We need to acknowledge that broken masculinity harms societies and work towards creating safe environments where everyone is treated with mutual respect. Men around the world are already taking steps towards a true gender reckoning, but we need more men to join the fight.

https://www.ted.com/talks/jimmie_briggs_3_things_men_can_do_to_promote_gender_equity

At Loquat we stand for humanity, respect for all people, individual freedoms and financial inclusion.

dont-let-success-make-you-complacent
June 29, 2023

Don’t let success make you complacent

As Andy Grove famously said, “Success breeds complacency, complacency breeds failure.”

As a CEO, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the game and continually improve performance. So, how can you do this? McKinsey & Company research https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/strategy-and-corporate-finance/our-insights/staying-ahead-how-the-best-ceos-continually-improve-performance and experience in CEO excellence has shown that the following strategies can greatly increase the odds:

  1. Enhance your learning agenda by seeking new knowledge and skills to stay on top of industry trends and advancements.
  2. Take an outsider’s perspective by seeking feedback from stakeholders and experts outside of your organization.
  3. Collaboratively define the next S-curve to identify new opportunities for growth and innovation.
  4. Future-proof your organization by anticipating and adapting to potential disruptions.

“Successful transformation requires innovating from the top, building a thriving culture, achieving technological flexibility, and balancing risk and reward.” – Zarina Tsomaeva, CEO & Founder at Loquat Inc.

us-labor-productivity-and-productivity-growth-2007-2019
June 28, 2023

Labor productivity growth has been the key driving force behind the US economy’s success and prosperity since World War II. It has contributed 2.2% annually to economic growth and played a crucial role in the 1.7% annual gain in real incomes. However, the productivity growth rate has been declining in the past 15 years, averaging only 1.4%, despite incredible advances in digital technology. This decline is not unique to the US, as most OECD countries have experienced a drop in labor productivity growth since 2005.

To confront the challenges of workforce shortages, debt, inflation, and the cost of the energy transition, the US economy needs to regain historical rates of productivity growth. This would add $10 trillion to the GDP, a boost that is essential for the country’s economic stability and growth.

Currently, seven states lead the way in productivity growth:California, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Texas, and Washington. These states are not only more productive than the US average, but they are also increasing productivity faster. Together, they provide nearly one-third of the nation’s jobs and 40% of GDP.

https://www.mckinsey.com/mgi/our-research/rekindling-us-productivity-for-a-new-era#introduction

Learn how Loquat Inc. can help you with your transformation: www.loquatinc.io

how-do-you-know-if-a-digital-transformation-is-working
June 27, 2023

How do you know if a digital transformation is working?

According to McKinsey & Company, https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-digital-transformationthe first step is to identify what to measure. Digital transformations usually have three key performance indicators (KPIs):

  1. Value creation: Digital solutions aim to improve operational KPIs that translate into financial benefits.
  2. Team health: Many digital transformations progress slower than planned due to understaffing, outdated work methods, and lack of critical capabilities. High-performing teams can be five times more productive than low-performing teams.
  3. Change-management progress: These metrics measure the progress of building new capabilities and the transformation’s health. Are teams mobilizing as planned? Are people engaged? Are we building talent and capabilities? Are people seamlessly using the technology and tools developed?

Managing change requires balance. The perfect is the enemy of good, and progress should be celebrated.

Learn how Loquat Inc. can help you with your transformation: https://loquatinc.io/

transform-your-organization-and-gain-a-competitive-edge-in-the-digital-age-with-digital-transformation
June 26, 2023

Transform your organization and gain a competitive edge in the digital age with digital transformation

The new book, Rewired: A McKinsey & Company Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI, emphasizes the importance of deploying technology at scale to enhance customer experience and reduce costs. But how can you achieve successful transformation? The book provides a roadmap with six critical capabilities, including crafting a clear strategy, building a strong in-house engineering team, and implementing robust adoption and change management. By establishing these capabilities, you can scale your operating model, enable independent innovation with distributed technology, and leverage valuable data.

https://www.mckinsey.com/featured-insights/mckinsey-explainers/what-is-digital-transformation

Learn how Loquat Inc. can help to make financial institutions more innovative and successful: https://loquatinc.io/

in-a-captivating-ted-talk-j-marshall-shepherd-delves-into-the-three-kinds-of-bias-that-shape-our-worldview-when-it-comes-to-science
June 25, 2023

Expand your radius — Expand your World View

In a captivating TED Talk, J. Marshall Shepherd, a renowned meteorologist and expert in weather and climate, delves into the three kinds of bias that shape our worldview when it comes to science.

He explains how confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect, and cognitive dissonance can impact what we think we know about science. Confirmation bias occurs when we seek out information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs, while the Dunning-Kruger effect is when we overestimate our knowledge and expertise on a subject. Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort we feel when we are presented with information that contradicts our beliefs. Shepherd emphasizes the importance of replacing these biases with knowledge and expanding our radius of understanding.

He believes that expanding our radius is not just about creating a better future but also about preserving life as we know it. By recognizing and addressing these biases, we can develop a more accurate and informed understanding of science.

https://www.ted.com/talks/j_marshall_shepherd_3_kinds_of_bias_that_shape_your_worldview

is-normal-really-normal-yana-buhrer-tavanier-explores-the-concept-of-normality
June 24, 2023

Is “normal” really normal?

We’ve been conditioned to think that “normal” means typical, expected, and correct. But what if we’ve been wrong all along? Yana Buhrer Tavanier explores the concept of normality and why it may not be as straightforward as we think.

In statistics, a normal distribution follows a bell curve, with most values falling within the hump. But when we apply a standard of normal to all of humanity based on non-representative data, we’re choosing from the wrong distribution. A lot of behavior science research draws from samples that are pretty WEIRD — meaning Western, educated, industrialized, rich, and democratic. These features can skew norms even in research that doesn’t have an obvious link to them.

To this day, people are often targeted and discriminated against on the basis of disabilities, mental health issues, sexual orientations, gender identities, and other features deemed “not normal.”

But the reality is that the differences in our bodies, minds, perceptions, and ideas about the world around us — in short, diversity — is the true normal.

Yana Buhrer Tavanier: What is “normal” and what is “different”?

https://www.ted.com/talks/yana_buhrer_tavanier_what_is_normal_and_what_is_different

your-sex-was-likely-one-of-the-first-things-ever-said-about-you-but-who-you-are-is-much-more-complex-than-that
June 23, 2023

Gender and Sex: More Than Meets the Eye

Your sex was likely one of the first things ever said about you. But who you are is much more complex than that. Sexual orientation and gender identity can take years to fully understand.

According to the Human Rights Campaign, sexual orientation is an enduring emotional, romantic, or sexual attraction to other people. Gender identity is one’s innermost concept of self as male, female, a blend of both, or neither. Gender expression is the external appearance of one’s gender identity. Transgender is an umbrella term for people whose gender identity and/or expression is different from cultural expectations based on the sex they were assigned at birth. Gender transition is the process by which some people strive to more closely align their internal knowledge of gender with its outward appearance. Gender dysphoria is clinically significant distress caused when a person’s assigned birth gender is not the same as the one with which they identify.

Understanding these concepts is key to creating a more inclusive society that respects and celebrates diversity.

https://www.hrc.org/resources/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-terminology-and-definitions

im-baffled-by-the-obsession-some-people-have-with-other-peoples-sexual-preferences-zarina-tsomaeva
June 22, 2023

Celebrate Diversity this Pride Month: Why Are People Still Fixated on Others’ Sexual Preferences?

“I’m baffled by the obsession some people have with other people’s sexual preferences. At the end of the day, it’s a personal choice that doesn’t affect anyone else’s life. It’s long overdue to move beyond that dogmatic thinking and embrace the beauty of diversity.” — Zarina Tsomaeva

the-future-of-cryptocurrencies-secure-and-stable
June 21, 2023

The Future of Cryptocurrencies: Secure and Stable

The future of cryptocurrencies appears to be stable and secure, with crypto technology and blockchain infrastructure being transferred to more reliable hands. The global financial world recognizes the significance of this technology, which has become a protagonist in the industry. However, no sector is free of risks, especially when it involves money. The good news is that crypto technology penalizes wrongdoers quickly, leaving them with few places to hide.

Despite the occasional bad actors, crypto and blockchain will continue to be integral parts of the modern economic toolkit. With the right people at the helm, the future of cryptocurrencies is looking brighter than ever.

At LOQUAT Inc., we are in a constant search of HOW we can make our customer’s journey a personal, pleasant and up-to-date experience. We believe in the future of Web3 and its potential to democratize financial services.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2023/01/future-of-cryptocurrencies-davos2023/

defi-is-a-rapidly-growing-sector-that-is-poised-to-transform-the-financial-industry
June 20, 2023

What is Decentralized Finance (DeFi)?

DeFi has been gaining momentum in recent years due to its decentralized nature, which allows users to transact directly with each other without the need for intermediaries. This not only reduces costs but also increases transparency and security, as all transactions are recorded on a public blockchain ledger.

DeFi applications include decentralized exchanges, lending platforms, stablecoins, and prediction markets, among others. These applications are built on open-source protocols, enabling developers to create new financial products and services that are accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

The growth of DeFi has been driven by several factors, including the increasing adoption of cryptocurrencies, the rise of blockchain technology, and the growing dissatisfaction with traditional financial institutions. DeFi has the potential to disrupt the financial industry by providing more accessible and inclusive financial services to individuals and businesses worldwide.

Moreover, DeFi is not limited to a single geographic location, making it a truly global phenomenon. It has already gained significant traction in emerging markets where traditional financial services are often inaccessible or unaffordable. DeFi is also attracting institutional investors, who are looking for new ways to diversify their portfolios and generate higher returns.

DeFi is a rapidly growing sector that is poised to transform the financial industry.

https://www.fisglobal.com/en/global-innovation-report/fs

web3-is-the-new-buzzword-in-the-tech-industry-and-its-not-just-a-concept-anymore
June 19, 2023

Web3: Is the Future Decentralized?

Web3 is the new buzzword in the tech industry, and it’s not just a concept anymore. Web3 is a term that refers to the third generation of the internet. It is a decentralized and more secure version of the internet that uses blockchain technology to create a more transparent and democratic online environment. The goal of Web3 is to shift the power from large corporations to individuals, allowing them to own and control their data, content, and digital identity.

Web3 is not just a concept, but it is already being implemented in various ways. For instance, decentralized finance (DeFi) is one of the most popular use cases of Web3 technology. It allows people to access financial services without intermediaries such as banks.

In addition to DeFi, Web3 also includes other technologies such as decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs), non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and decentralized storage systems. These technologies are still in their early stages, but they have the potential to revolutionize the way we interact with the internet.

To prepare for the Web3 era, businesses need to understand the underlying technologies and the potential applications of Web3. They also need to be aware of the regulatory challenges that come with this new version of the internet.

feel-good-sunday-from-tragedy-to-forgiveness-a-story-of-hope-and-redemption
June 18, 2023

Feel Good Sunday – From Tragedy to Forgiveness: A Story of Hope and Redemption

In 1995, a tragic event occurred that changed the lives of Azim Khamisa and Ples Felix forever. Khamisa’s son was murdered by Felix’s 14-year-old grandson in a gang initiation fueled by drugs and alcohol. However, instead of seeking vengeance, Khamisa and Felix chose the path of forgiveness. They both embarked on a journey of deep meditation and eventually met to forge a lasting bond. Their story is a testament to the power of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Khamisa is now a renowned speaker on nonviolence, forgiveness, and peace-building. He firmly believes that nonviolence can be learned, but it must be taught. Children are not born violent, and it is up to us to teach them the values of goodwill, friendship, trust, empathy, compassion, and peace.

Their TED Talk, “What Comes After Tragedy? Forgiveness,” is a must-watch for those seeking inspiration and hope. As Khamisa says, “Peace is possible,” and he knows this to be true because he has found peace within himself.

Sustained goodwill creates friendship, sustained friendship creates trust, sustained trust creates empathy, sustained empathy creates compassion, and sustained compassion creates peace. I call this my peace formula. It starts with goodwill, friendship, trust, empathy, compassion and peace.

Azim Khamisa, Ples Felix: What comes after tragedy? Forgiveness
https://www.ted.com/talks/azim_khamisa_and_ples_felix_what_comes_after_tragedy_forgiveness

curious-saturday-unmasking-racial-bias-how-to-disrupt-it-and-create-change
June 17, 2023

Curious Saturday: Unmasking Racial Bias: How to Disrupt It and Create Change

Join psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt in a thought-provoking TED talk that exposes the pervasive nature of unconscious bias and its devastating impact on Black people. From schools to the justice system, our brains are wired to categorize and make snap judgments based on patterns, perpetuating bias. Eberhardt challenges us to create friction points that disrupt our biases and make us aware of our assumptions. She urges us to question who our biases protect and who they put at risk. By reflecting on the evidence of our assumptions, we can demand change from institutions and create a safer, more equitable society.

Don’t miss this powerful talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/jennifer_l_eberhardt_how_racial_bias_works_and_how_to_disrupt_it

how-do-we-encourage-a-constructive-conflict
June 16, 2023

How do we encourage a constructive conflict?

Are you tired of being surrounded by people who always agree with you? Margaret Heffernan, former CEO of five businesses, reveals how disagreement can be the key to progress. In her TED Talk, she explains how the best partners are not just echo chambers, and how great research teams, relationships, and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.

But how do we encourage constructive conflict? First, we need to seek out people who are different from us. Instead of sticking to our comfort zones, we must engage with people from different backgrounds, disciplines, and ways of thinking. Unfortunately, most executives are afraid to raise issues or concerns at work, leading to stagnation and missed opportunities.

Openness is just the beginning. To truly harness the power of disagreement, we must develop the skills, habits, and moral courage to use it.

https://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_dare_to_disagree

as-the-digital-age-continues-to-evolve-financial-institutions-fis-are-faced-with-the-challenge-of-ensuring-security-and-compliance-in-their-operations
June 15, 2023

As the digital age continues to evolve, financial institutions (FIs) are faced with the challenge of ensuring security and compliance in their operations.

To address this issue, Loquat, has developed a range of solutions that act as checkpoints to reduce data breaches and fraud for the FIs they work with. The company’s Chief Compliance Officer, Pawneet Abramowski, offers her insights into how FIs can approach security concerns in the digital age.

In a recent executive interview, Abramowski highlights the importance of Business as a Service (BaaS) solutions for reducing fraud risk and maintaining compliance in banking. She emphasizes that FIs need to be proactive in their approach to security, and that BaaS solutions can provide the necessary tools and support to help them achieve this.

By leveraging the latest technologies and best practices, FIs can stay ahead of the curve and ensure that their operations remain secure and compliant. With Loquat’s expertise and solutions, FIs can achieve their security and compliance goals with confidence.

Tune into our executive interview with Loquat CCO Pawneet Abramowski: https://loquatinc.io/blog/baas-is-the-secret-weapon-to-reduce-fraud-risk-and-maintain-compliance-in-banking/

loquat-is-a-banking-as-a-service-baas-technology-platform-that-is-committed-to-esg-initiatives
June 14, 2023

In today’s world, businesses are expected to operate with social impact and environmental sustainability in mind. And the financial sector is no exception. Many companies now expect banks to offer sustainable financing products and incorporate ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) principles into their operations, from investments to partnerships.

Loquat is a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) technology platform that is committed to ESG initiatives. We believe in social responsibility, diversity, and financial inclusion, and we strive to promote these values throughout our business. We work closely with financial institutions that share our commitment to ESG, and we are dedicated to providing a platform that helps small business owners succeed.

At LOQUAT Inc., we believe that incorporating #ESG into a financial institution’s strategy is essential for several reasons. First, it helps to mitigate risks and improve long-term financial performance. Second, it aligns with the values and expectations of customers, employees, and other stakeholders. Third, it promotes sustainable growth and supports the transition to a low-carbon economy. And finally, it helps to build trust and reputation, which are critical for success in today’s business environment.

To learn more about why financial institutions must have an ESG strategy, visit our blog at https://loquatinc.io/blog/4-reasons-financial-institutions-must-have-an-esg-strategy/

if-it-were-up-to-smbs-they-prefer-to-bank-with-local-financial-institutions-to-the-tune-of-89
June 13, 2023

If it were up to SMBs, they prefer to bank with local financial institutions – to the tune of 89%!

However, when it comes to conducting business, convenience and innovation reign supreme. 45% of SMBs primarily bank with large national banks due to the availability of digital banking tools.

69% shared that the pandemic and resulting economic crisis have accelerated the dire need for convenient, digital banking solutions.

To meet the tech expectations of banking users, local banks need to make some changes.

If you’re interested in learning more about the future of small business banking and how local banks can adapt to meet the needs of their customers, check out this informative blog post: https://loquatinc.io/blog/small-business-banking-of-the-future-what-we-need-to-know/

discover-the-future-of-banking-banking-as-a-service-baas-is-transforming-the-financial-industry
June 12, 2023

Discover the Future of Banking: Banking as a Service (BaaS) is transforming the financial industry

One of the key advantages of BaaS is that it allows credit unions and smaller banks to remain competitive by improving the customer experience, which is crucial in today’s highly competitive market.

BaaS platforms like Loquat help combat potential revenue loss and member churn, reduce fraud and customer acquisition costs, and increase speed and efficiency.

Additionally, BaaS simplifies time to market, enabling banks to scale at the speed they desire.

By leveraging BaaS, financial institutions can offer a range of innovative services to their customers, including mobile banking, digital payments, and more.

Learn more about how LOQUAT Inc. is revolutionizing the banking industry: https://loquatinc.io/blog/how-baas-is-revolutionizing-the-banking-industry-four-fast-facts/

feel-good-sunday-dont-feel-sorry-for-refugees-believe-in-them
June 11, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: Don’t Feel Sorry for Refugees — Believe in Them

Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent, shares her inspiring stories of hope and resilience in her TED Talk, “Don’t feel sorry for refugees — believe in them.”

As the founder of the first accredited school for refugees in the United States, Mufleh is helping young people from war-torn countries navigate the difficult process of building new homes. We should not be stopping refugees from coming into our countries, but rather, we should be focusing on not forcing them to leave their own. Mufleh’s talk is a reminder that we need to do more to prevent the escalating anti-refugee sentiment that is spreading globally.

With 65,3 million people forced out of their homes due to war, it’s time for us to create a world where refugees are welcomed and embraced, not shamed and rejected.

Check out Mufleh’s inspiring talk and join the movement towards a more compassionate world.

https://www.ted.com/talks/luma_mufleh_don_t_feel_sorry_for_refugees_believe_in_them

is-working-hard-really-all-it-takes-to-be-a-good-person-azim-shariff-says-no
June 10, 2023

Is Working Hard Really All It Takes to Be a Good Person? Azim Shariff Says No!

We’ve all heard the phrase “hard work pays off,” but what if that’s not entirely true? Social psychologist Azim Shariff challenges the notion that working hard equates to being a good person. He explores the roots of this belief and proposes a shift towards valuing meaningful effort over labor for labor’s sake.

Imagine your job being replaced by a computer, but you still have three years left on your contract. Would you continue to work or take advantage of the situation and stay home? Shariff reveals that those who choose to keep working are often seen as more moral, even if they add no extra value.

We’re all searching for the best collaborators in life, and we want to show others that we are that person too. But what if we’re asking for the wrong thing? Shariff suggests that we should focus on producing something meaningful instead of just putting in effort.

If what we ask from each other is to produce something meaningful, we will create a world full of meaning. And what could be more moral then that.

https://www.ted.com/talks/azim_shariff_does_working_hard_really_make_you_a_good_person/c

robin-hausers-ted-talk-womens-leadership-are-women-leaders-competent-or-likable-why-cant-they-be-both
June 09, 2023

Women’s Leadership: Are women leaders competent or likable? Why can’t they be both?

Robin Hauser’s TED Conferences Talk delves into the issue of bias against women in leadership roles. She highlights the dilemma faced by women in leadership positions, where competence and likability are often at odds with each other. Hauser uncovers the unconscious beliefs and gendered thinking that distort the perception of what makes a good leader.

Bias is an inherent part of our survival instinct, but it’s also unconscious. We often believe that we’re open-minded and unbiased, but we’re limited in our ability to recognize our biases. Women in leadership positions are judged more harshly because of the association of leadership with masculine traits.

Hauser suggests that we need to redefine what it means to be a leader and a woman. We need to disrupt stereotypes and focus on being smart, compassionate, and effective leaders. We need to speak up against gender bias and question comments made about a woman’s appearance or personality. We need to slow down and reconsider our snap judgments.

Hauser’s talk is a reminder that leadership and likability should not be mutually exclusive for women or men. We need to value each other for the unique contributions we bring to the table, regardless of gender.

https://www.ted.com/talks/robin_hauser_the_likability_dilemma_for_women_leaders_jan_2022

even-the-smartest-economic-policymakers-are-going-to-make-mistakes-mit-economist-daron-acemoglu
June 08, 2023

“Even the smartest economic policymakers are going to make mistakes. And when those mistakes involve very powerful technologies, and some people control that, and they can shape them in a way that empowers them further or makes them the beneficiaries, makes them the takers, that’s when you’re going to have a lot of trouble”. – Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economist Daron Acemoglu

https://www.ft.com/content/67e49261-d046-424e-adf7-7cef5cb00292?shareType=nongift

the-importance-of-community-banks-cannot-be-overstated
June 07, 2023

The importance of community banks cannot be overstated

Community banks are more than just financial institutions; together with the credit unions they are pillars of their communities. They are locally owned and operated, which means they understand the unique needs of their customers and are committed to supporting the local economy.

With their unique ability to build strong relationships with their customers, community banks have become major players in small-business lending, accounting for 36% of all small-business loans and 31% of farm-sector debt, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

Furthermore, community banks are often more resilient during economic downturns than larger banks. They tend to have lower levels of debt and are less exposed to risky investments. This stability helps to ensure that they can continue to serve their customers even during difficult times.

To preserve the diversity of the banking system and ensure that small businesses and agriculture can access the funding they require, supporting community banks is critical.

protect-your-data-from-falling-into-the-wrong-hands
June 06, 2023

Protect your data from falling into the wrong hands

Data privacy is a crucial aspect of our digital lives that demands serious attention. It is an inalienable human right that empowers individuals to take charge of their personal information. With the growing dependence on technology, it has become more critical than ever to shield our data from potential misuse or exploitation.

It is essential to recognize that we should have the power to determine what constitutes data, what details we disclose, to whom, and for what purpose.

Data privacy is a fundamental right that deserves utmost respect and protection, and it is our duty to take appropriate measures to safeguard our personal information.

LOQUAT Inc.‘s Small Business Banking Platform is built on three pillars: Data Privacy and Information Security, Transparency, and Simplicity. We use AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.

Learn more HOW at: loquatinc.io

gartner-a-top-research-and-advisory-firm-has-recently-published-a-report-that-outlines-over-100-predictions-on-data-and-analytics-through-2028
June 05, 2023

Gartner, a top research and advisory firm, has recently published a report that outlines over 100 predictions on data and analytics through 2028. The report provides insights into emerging trends and opportunities in this rapidly evolving field, offering valuable guidance for organizations looking to harness the power of data and analytics to drive growth and innovation.

The report emphasizes the increasing importance of data and analytics in driving business strategy and creating value. With the rapid acceleration of digital transformation, organizations have access to vast amounts of data that can be used to develop data-driven business strategies and information products.

However, many organizations struggle to adopt a data-centric approach, highlighting the need for data and analytics leaders to elevate their strategies and develop a new vision of problem-solving. This shift also requires a rethinking of enterprise competencies and management ethos, potentially leading to significant workforce change management impacts.

https://www.gartner.com/en/doc/over-100-data-and-analytics-predictions-through-2028

experience-a-feel-good-sunday-with-elif-shafak-the-revolutionary-power-of-diverse-thought
June 04, 2023

Experience a Feel Good Sunday with Elif Shafak: The Revolutionary Power of Diverse Thought.

Discover the unique voice of novelist Elif Shafak. Blending East and West, feminism and memory, the local and the global, Shafak’s writing champions complexity and diversity. Her work gives voice to the voiceless and disempowered, connecting us across borders and reminding us of life’s fluidity and ambiguity. In a world where some promote division, Shafak reminds us of the indispensability of democracy, the need for global solidarity, and the beauty of cosmopolitanism. Don’t miss out on the insights of this thought-provoking author.

https://www.ted.com/talks/elif_shafak_the_revolutionary_power_of_diverse_thought/transcript

are-you-tired-of-telling-stories-that-put-your-audience-to-sleep
June 03, 2023

From Snooze to LOLs: The Secret to Turning a Sad Story into a Hilarious Hit!

Are you tired of telling stories that put your audience to sleep? Jodie Houlston-Lau has the answer! In this animated TED talk, she reveals how to add humor to your stories and make them unforgettable.

By incorporating comedic relief, you can create a balance between emotions and keep your audience engaged. Jodie shares tips on how to use characters, situations, and language to create a humorous effect. But, timing and contrast are essential!

https://www.ted.com/talks/jodie_houlston_lau_how_to_make_a_sad_story_funny

protect-your-business-in-the-digital-age-dont-overlook-the-human-factor
June 02, 2023

Protect Your Business in the Digital Age: Don’t Overlook the Human Factor!

In today’s fast-paced digital world, cybersecurity has become an essential aspect of any organization. However, it is crucial to note that human error is the leading cause of cybersecurity breaches. It is vital to remain vigilant and not let cybersecurity fatigue set in. When designing cybersecurity controls, it is essential to consider human factors and involve senior leadership to mitigate insider risks.

Deepfakes and misinformation are also emerging threats that can harm your business. Fortunately, AI can help you stay ahead of these threats. By incorporating AI support for human decision-making, you can outsmart these emerging threats. However, it is essential to be cautious when discussing zero trust beyond the security team to protect employee trust.

If you are looking for a banking platform that prioritizes DataPrivacy, InformationSecurity, Transparency, and Simplicity, Loquat is the perfect choice for you.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

innovation-is-not-just-a-buzzword-it-is-a-vital-component-of-business-success
June 01, 2023

Innovation is a crucial aspect of business growth and success. It is a process that involves generating new ideas, products, or services that can help a company stay ahead of the competition. However, it isn’t just about adopting the latest technology or trend. Innovation is about addressing the most pressing business challenges and finding solutions that can provide tangible results that boost the bottom line.

Innovation can take many forms, from introducing new products or services to improving existing ones. It can also involve enhancing internal processes, streamlining operations, and reducing costs. To be truly innovative, companies must be willing to take risks, experiment, and embrace change.

Innovation is essential in today’s fast-paced business environment, where disruptive technologies and market forces can quickly render existing models obsolete. By focusing on innovation, companies can stay ahead of the curve, anticipate future trends, and better serve their customers.

In conclusion, innovation is not just a buzzword; it is a vital component of business success. Companies that prioritize innovation and invest in it will be better equipped to navigate the challenges of the future and thrive in today’s competitive landscape.

banks-must-be-able-to-adapt-quickly-to-changing-market-conditions-and-customer-preferences
May 31, 2023

In today’s fast-paced business environment, banks need to stay abreast of the latest technological advancements to remain competitive. While a bank’s core technology may have served it well in the past, it may not be suitable for the future.

With the rise of fintech products, banks are being forced to compete in new and innovative ways. This means that banks must be able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer preferences. One way to achieve this is by upgrading their core technology.

have-you-heard-of-dtaas
May 30, 2023

Have you heard of DTaaS?

DTaaS is an all-in-one solution that uses advanced technologies like cloud computing, AI, machine learning, big data analytics, and IoT to help businesses transform seamlessly and continuously. DTaaS providers offer a range of services, from consultation to ongoing support, so businesses can implement digital transformation strategies without the need for in-house expertise. This approach helps businesses avoid the common pitfalls of traditional IT projects, such as cost overruns, delays, and failed implementations.

LOQUAT Inc., an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners.

The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

To learn more about Loquat, visit: www.loquatinc.io

evaluate-your-current-technology-infrastructure-and-explore-new-technologies-like-ai-and-blockchain
May 29, 2023

Is your outdated core banking system holding you back? It’s time to consider an upgrade! But before you take the leap, make sure you’re prepared for the future.

Evaluate your current technology infrastructure and explore new technologies like AI and blockchain.

A core upgrade can bring improved efficiency, enhanced customer experience, and increased flexibility. But beware of potential risks and challenges like data migration issues and system downtime.

To ensure success, a core banking upgrade should be part of your overall technology modernization plan. Don’t let an outdated system inhibit your business and operations. Keep up with market changes and stay competitive by upgrading your core banking system. Ask the right questions and make an informed decision that supports your long-term goals.

LOQUAT Inc. entered into a Strategic Partnership with FIS (NYSE:FIS) to enhance and accelerate the delivery of its end-to-end digital small business banking platform to credit unions and community banks.

The Loquat | FIS Partnership will allow financial institutions to expedite and reduce the cost of new customer onboarding including KYC and KYB, streamline information flow, maximize data security, and manage information privacy throughout the entire customer journey.

find-inspiration-this-sunday-have-you-ever-asked-yourself-what-youre-doing-with-your-life
May 28, 2023

Find Inspiration this Sunday: Have you ever asked yourself what you’re doing with your life?

Diana Nyad, a record-breaking long-distance swimmer, is here to inspire you to pursue your wildest dreams.

In her TEDMED talk, Nyad shares the story of her most impressive feat yet: attempting to swim from Cuba to Florida at the age of 60. She provides insight into her mental preparation and encourages viewers to chase their own extreme dreams.

Nyad’s talk is both powerful and humorous, leaving you feeling motivated to make the most of your life. So, take a moment to reflect on your own aspirations. What do you want to achieve? Let Nyad’s words inspire you to take action and pursue your biggest goals.

https://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_extreme_swimming_with_the_world_s_most_dangerous_jellyfish

get-ready-to-level-up-your-learning-game
May 27, 2023

Curious Saturday: Get ready to level up your learning game!

Video games have a natural ability to captivate our attention and track our progress towards specific objectives. Kris Alexander, a video game design expert and avid gamer, believes that these same elements can be harnessed in traditional education to cater to diverse learning styles and engage students worldwide, whether in-person or online.

With their dynamic blend of audio, text, video, and interactivity, video games are a potent tool for intensifying focus. And Kris knows firsthand – he earned his PhD studying the impact of these elements on gameplay. Now, he’s on a mission to bring the power of video games to the classroom and beyond. So, whether you’re a seasoned gamer or a curious learner, get ready to unlock your potential and achieve your goals with the help of video game-inspired education.

https://www.ted.com/talks/kris_alexander_how_video_games_can_level_up_the_way_you_learn/c

unleash-the-power-of-community-a-new-playbook-for-business
May 26, 2023

Unleash the Power of Community: A New Playbook for Business!

Spreadsheets can only tell us so much. It’s time to shift our focus from numbers to the people who make it all possible. The old playbook for businesses and CEOs is outdated and ineffective. We need a new playbook that prioritizes people and communities.

The future of business is all about community. Let’s stop asking what a community can do for us and start asking what we can do for the community. The most successful businesses are the ones that are deeply rooted in their communities and actively seek ways to help.

Collaboration is key! It’s time to break down the walls and start working with the communities we serve. We need to listen to their needs and work together to achieve success. Are you ready to embrace a new way of doing business that puts people first?

Check out Hamdi Ulukaya’s TED Talk on “The Anti-CEO Playbook” for more inspiration!

https://www.ted.com/talks/hamdi_ulukaya_the_anti_ceo_playbook

our-imagination-is-what-drives-us-to-pursue-our-goals-and-aspirations-and-it-is-what-keeps-us-motivated-and-inspired
May 25, 2023

Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds in human history, believed that imagination was the key to unlocking the mysteries of the universe. He recognized that imagination was not just a fanciful notion, but a powerful tool that could help us to envision and create the future we desire.

Imagination is the ability to form mental images or concepts that are not present in our immediate surroundings. It allows us to explore new ideas, create new possibilities, and envision a better world.

Our imagination is what drives us to pursue our goals and aspirations, and it is what keeps us motivated and inspired.

small-business-optimism-index-hits-new-low-but-dont-panic
May 24, 2023

Small Business Optimism Index Hits New Low, But Don’t Panic!

The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) recently reported that small business optimism has hit its lowest level since 2013. While this may sound concerning, it’s important to remember that sentiment doesn’t always reflect reality.

The good news is that 30% of small businesses reported having all their credit needs met, and 59% were not interested in a loan. Plus, a net 6% of small businesses found their last loan easier to obtain than previous attempts.

So, while the NFIB’s report highlights some challenges, it’s not all doom and gloom. Don’t panic, keep a level head, and remember that sentiment isn’t always a reliable indicator of economic activity.

https://www.reuters.com/markets/us/us-small-business-optimism-deteriorates-april-nfib-says-2023-05-09/

dont-wait-for-the-storm-to-hit
May 23, 2023

Don’t wait for the storm to hit!

According to McKinsey, banks can stay ahead of the game during economic uncertainty by developing early warning signals at an industry level. By keeping a close eye on customer behavior, supply chain disruptions, and market demand, banks can proactively mitigate credit risks and maintain financial resilience.

Don’t leave your bank’s success up to chance! By taking a strategic and proactive approach to credit risk management, you can position your bank for long-term success. Don’t let economic uncertainty knock you down – be prepared with early warning signals and stay ahead of the game.

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/navigating-economic-uncertainty-new-guidance-for-credit-risk-management

banks-hit-the-brakes-on-lending-are-small-businesses-at-risk
May 22, 2023

Banks Hit the Brakes on Lending: Are Small Businesses at Risk?

The latest Senior Loan Officer Opinion Survey (SLOOS) conducted by the Federal Reserve has revealed that banks are slamming the brakes on lending, with credit terms becoming more stringent. This trend is particularly evident for small businesses, with almost half of banks surveyed reporting tighter credit conditions than in previous surveys.

What does this mean for the economy? While the survey suggests that demand for loans has declined, it remains to be seen whether this will have a significant impact on the wider financial system. Nonetheless, it is clear that banks are taking steps to manage risk and ensure the stability of the financial system.

Are small businesses at risk? With credit conditions tightening, it may be harder for small businesses to secure the financing they need to grow. Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/data/sloos/sloos-202304.htm

feel-good-sunday-pardis-parker-im-tired-of-people-telling-me-to-grind
May 21, 2023

Feel Good Sunday: I’m tired of people telling me to “grind”

They sleep – I grind.. Why?… May be you would not need to grind so much if you sleep at night..

Check out this TED Talk by Pardis Parker on why we need to reevaluate our obsession with grinding and embrace a healthier approach to success. Let’s make self-care a priority and stop glorifying burnout culture.

https://www.ted.com/talks/pardis_parker_i_m_tired_of_people_telling_me_to_grind

curious-saturday-the-physics-of-surfing
May 20, 2023

Curious Saturday – Surf’s Up: The Physics of Catching the Perfect Wave

What’s holding you back from catching the perfect wave? If you’re curious about the physics of surfing, then you’re in for a treat! Join Nick Pizzo as he takes you on an educational and exciting ride on what it takes to catch the ultimate wave.

From weather patterns in the South Pacific to tectonic geology and fluid mechanics, Nick uncovers the science behind the art of surfing. Get ready to be amazed at how much goes into catching that perfect wave!

Don’t miss out on this cool and informative animation that’s sure to make you appreciate the sport of surfing even more. Watch “The Physics of Surfing” now on TED and get ready to hit the waves like a pro!

https://www.ted.com/talks/nick_pizzo_the_physics_of_surfing

May 19, 2023

We believe smallbusinesses are the roots of a diverse society that drives innovation forward, and there should be no barriers or limits to their growth

the-world-without-small-businesses-would-be-a-very-boring-place
May 18, 2023

Small Businesses are the Heart and Soul of our Communities!

Small businesses are the backbone of our society, adding a unique flavor to our neighborhoods that cannot be replicated. Without them, the world would be bland and uninspired, lacking the diversity and vibrancy that makes it so special. These small ventures symbolize the grit and determination of individuals who dared to pursue their dreams and passions.

“The world without small businesses would be a very boring place. Their mere existence makes communities unique and the world more diverse.” – Zarina Tsomaeva, CEO & Founder, LOQUAT Inc.

They offer us a chance to explore new and exciting products and services that are not available from large corporations. By supporting small businesses, we not only sustain our local economies but also invest in the creativity and innovation that propels our society forward.

in-the-latest-state-of-ai-report-2022
May 17, 2023

The “State of AI Report 2022” by Nathan Benaich & Ian Hogarth is a fascinating read, offering insights into the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence. The report aims to spark an informed conversation about the state of AI and its implications for the future.

One of the most intriguing observations in the report is the race for compute power, with companies building computers bigger than national supercomputers. OpenAI CTO, Greg Brockman, believes that whoever has the biggest computer will reap the most benefits.

Overall, the “State of AI Report 2022” is a must-read for anyone interested in the future of AI and its impact on society.

https://oracleblog.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/State-of-AI-Report-2022-ONLINE.pdf

in-a-volatile-world-the-predictive-power-of-existing-approaches-is-limited
May 16, 2023

The world is changing rapidly and the traditional methods of predicting outcomes are no longer reliable. Banks need to adapt and develop new metrics that enable them to identify risks and opportunities quickly and efficiently. McKinsey’s guidance on credit risk management highlights the need for forward-looking approaches to navigate economic uncertainty.

LOQUAT Inc., a fintech company, has developed a banking as a service platform that caters to small businesses. The platform is designed by a team of experts in banking, fraud prevention, technology and digital transformation, and business ownership. It provides credit unions and community banks with an end-to-end solution that streamlines digital banking functionality for small and medium-sized businesses. The platform offers new account onboarding, lending options, and fraud prevention without compromising user experience.

To learn more about Loquat and its innovative banking solutions, visit our website at http://www.loquatinc.io

https://www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/risk-and-resilience/our-insights/navigating-economic-uncertainty-new-guidance-for-credit-risk-management

successful-transformation-requires-innovating-from-the-top
May 15, 2023

In today’s world, businesses need to keep up with the fast-paced digital landscape to remain competitive. However, transformation is no walk in the park, and there are many factors to consider to ensure success.

One of the most critical factors is innovation from the top. It’s essential for leaders to embrace change and foster a culture of innovation within the organization. Prioritization is also crucial, as businesses need to focus on the most critical areas for transformation. A thriving culture is vital to ensure employees are engaged and committed to the transformation process. Technological flexibility is another critical factor, as it enables businesses to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. Finally, businesses need to balance risk and reward, as transformation involves taking risks, but the rewards can be significant.

At LOQUAT Inc. we understand the challenges of transformation and can help you navigate the process successfully. We offer a range of services, including digital banking, community banks, credit unions, fintech, banks, small business, BaaS, tech, leadership, workforce development, and career coaching. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you with your transformation journey.

https://www.bcg.com/publications/2023/why-the-prioritization-stage-is-key-to-success

fun-fact-sunday-how-everyday-interactions-shape-your-future
May 14, 2023

Fun Fact Sunday: How everyday interactions shape your future

As a social psychologist and professor, Mesmin Destin designs experiments illuminating experiences that change how we see ourselves in ways that inspire and support possibilities.

“What if schools and systems that we’re in as we’re growing up supported everyone’s vision and potential?

What if they encourage people to see that there is a path to the goals that they’re working towards and that there are ways that the circumstances of their lives, whatever they may be, are setting them up for success as they see it, building up their identities rather than shrinking them.”

These messages can be backed up by the policies that are necessary to make the financial resources that you need to reach these goals actually available for every kid, without taking on crippling debt.

https://www.ted.com/talks/mesmin_destin_how_everyday_interactions_shape_your_future

At LOQUAT Inc. we are driven by social responsibility, transparency, and an inclusive approach. We stand for humanity and financial inclusion.

Learn more about our story: https://lnkd.in/dgMaytDn

loquatinc-an-innovative-financial-technology-company-developed-and-operates-a-proprietary-banking-as-a-service-platform
May 13, 2023

LOQUAT Inc. an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners.

The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.

Learn more about Loquat platform: https://loquatinc.io/

psychological-tests-can-help-firms-hire-better-but-accuracy-is-not-guaranteed
May 12, 2023

Psychological tests might help companies hire better — but they cannot be used to predict job performance.. at least yet…

“Only 10-15 per cent of companies on the Fortune 500, FTSE 100 and S&P 500 indices did not use some kind of pre-employment testing, according to Chamorro-Premuzic. Yet there is no guarantee such hiring tools work.”

in-march-more-than-1800-signatories-called-for-a-six-month-pause-on-the-development-of-systems-more-powerful-than-gpt-4
May 11, 2023

In March more than 1,800 signatories — including Musk, the scientist Gary Marcus and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — called for a six-month pause on the development of systems “more powerful” than GPT-4. Few weeks later Elon Mask set up a new company to compete with Open AI.

what-is-ai-alignment
May 09, 2023

What is AI Alignment?

In the field of artificial intelligence (AI), AI alignment research aims to steer AI systems towards their designers’ intended goals and interests.

“Alignment is an unsolved research problem. We don’t yet understand how human brains work, so the challenge of understanding how emergent AI “brains” work will be monumental.” Jan Hogarth

https://www.ft.com/content/03895dc4-a3b7-481e-95cc-336a524f2ac2

at-loquat-we-are-seeing-applications-of-ai-far-beyond-a-chatbot
May 08, 2023

At LOQUAT Inc. we are seeing applications of AI far beyond a chatbot. 2022 was pivotal in laying the foundation for what is to come in 2023 and beyond where we have progressed from text-to-image to ChatGPT.

As we explore and try to understand what AI solutions are, it is imperative to understand how it could be implemented in the Financial Institutions to drive performance improvements.

https://www.ft.com/content/03895dc4-a3b7-481e-95cc-336a524f2ac2

fun-fact-sunday-what-if-we-let-algorithms-randomize-our-lives-how-random-is-random
May 07, 2023
Fun Fact Sunday: What if we let algorithms randomize our lives? How random is random?..
 
In this very cool talk Max Hawkins shares his experience when he let algorithms randomize his life for two years.
 
The speaker talks about his perfect routine in San Francisco when he was working as a software engineer at Google until he read a research paper on predictive analytics that made him question his choices. He decided to create an app that would randomly choose a place for him to go, taking him out of his comfort zone and into places he would not have gone otherwise. This led to him building several other experiments that involved randomness, such as a random YouTube video generator, random diet club, and a random Facebook event generator.
 
May 06, 2023
Curious Saturday: Architecture that repairs itself?
 
Venice is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make architecture that grows itself.
 
The speaker talks about the importance of sustainable architecture and the use of metabolic materials to connect buildings with nature. She explains that her team is working on creating these materials from scratch, and they are interested in protocells, which are living-like chemical batteries.
 
The speaker believes in bottom-up construction approaches and gives examples of metabolic materials used in ancient times. He shows an example of how protocell technology could be used to sustainably reclaim Venice by growing a limestone reef underneath the city.
 
at-loquat-we-believe-in-the-hybrid-workplace-model
May 05, 2023
At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the Hybrid workplace model.
 
When thinking about jobs and tasks we try to understand the critical drivers of productivity and performance for different roles. We want to make sure that these hybrid arrangements are also able to drive the company’s success and support its culture.
ignoring-technological-change-in-a-financial-system
May 04, 2023

“Ignoring technological change in a financial system based upon technology is like a mouse starving to death because someone moved their cheese.” – Chris Skinner

42-of-banks-place-a-high-priority-on-collaborating-with-non-banking-startups-to-provide-new-products-and-services
May 03, 2023
42% of banks place a high priority on collaborating with non-banking startups to provide new products and services. https://emtemp.gcom.cloud/ngw/globalassets/en/doc/documents/769256-embedded-finance-is-driving-innovation-and-differentiation-in-banking.pdf
 
At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the strategic alliances between banks and fintechs.
 
By working together and successfully leveraging each other resources, two businesses will thrive in meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.
 
tools-serving-small-businesses-will-be-a-killer-use-case-for-generative-ai
May 02, 2023
Tools serving small businesses will be a killer use case for generative AI. There are 32 million small businesses in the U.S., and they represent more than half of net new jobs created since 2000. They play a crucial role in our economy, but they’re often short-staffed and overwhelmed, especially given recent labor shortages.
 
Most of these businesses operate entirely online, which makes it easy for them to integrate AI tools into many parts of their workflow. And in a world of rising customer acquisition costs, brands are eager to try products that might help them lower costs, convert more shoppers, and increase retention.
 
LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, is a next-generation multi-cloud hybrid architecture that allows for streamlined customer journeys and faster innovation of new products for financial institutions.
consumer-financial-protection-bureaucfpb-finalizes-rule-to-create-a-new-data-set-on-small-business-lending-in-america
May 01, 2023
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau(CFPB) Finalizes Rule to Create a New Data Set on Small Business Lending in America.
 
The new rule aims to achieve several goals, including providing a comprehensive view of small business lending and covering diverse forms of credit by all types of lenders. The rule will use straightforward definitions and streamlined forms to make it easy for lenders to collect data from small business credit applicants, and it will phase in implementation for the largest lenders first.
 
Under the rule, small businesses will be able to self-identify as women-, minority-, or LGBTQI+-owned, and loan officers will not be required to make their own determinations of an applicant’s race, ethnicity, or any other demographic information. The rule also reduces duplicative reporting requirements and allows for the use of new digital tools developed by industry and technology partners.
 
The CFPB intends to issue a supplementary proposal that would provide additional implementation time for small lenders that have demonstrated high levels of success in serving their local communities, as measured by their performance under relevant frameworks like the Community Reinvestment Act and similar state laws.
 
 
LOQUAT Inc., an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.
 
Loquat platform is built on three pillars: DataPrivacy and InformationSecurity, Transparency, and Simplicity. We use AI and ML technologies to remove biases that exist within the financial industry.
 
Learn more about Loquat platform: https://loquatinc.io/
April 30, 2023
Fun Fact Sunday: Does AI actually understand us — sometimes we attribute more intelligence than might actually be there…
 
«We are meaning-making humans, and we are going to continue to look for meaning and interpret the world around us. And we will need to remember that if we only look at the input and output of AI, it’s very easy to be fooled. We need to get inside of the metaphorical room of AI in order to see what’s happening. It’s what’s inside that counts.» – Alona Fysher
April 29, 2023
Curious Saturday: Where do all the myths about the Middle Ages come from?
 
Medieval Europe. Where unbathed, sword-wielding knights ate rotten meat, thought the Earth was flat, defended chastity-belt wearing maidens, and tortured their foes with grisly gadgets. Except… this is more fiction than fact. So, where do all the myths about the Middle Ages come from? And what were they actually like? Stephanie Honchell Smith debunks common misconceptions about the time period.
 
«Ideas about the Middle Ages have varied depending on the interest of those in later times.»
 
publicis-sapient-hosted-female-leaders-from-major-financial-institution
April 28, 2023
Publicis Sapient hosted female leaders from major financial institutions to discuss the importance of diversity, inclusion, and a consumer-first approach in the future of investing.
 
The participants stressed that diverse teams are a competitive advantage, but inclusion is also important. Understanding clients’ needs and having empathy is critical to driving innovation and tailoring services to unique client needs. Empathy is also an essential leadership tool for guiding the next generation of financial services professionals.
 
Leaders need to practice self-reflection, and employees looking to grow into leadership positions must speak up about their career ambitions. https://www.publicissapient.com/insights/diversity-and-empathy-in-financial-services
 
At LOQUAT Inc. we are driven by social responsibility, transparency,
and an inclusive approach. We stand for humanity and financial inclusion.
 
Learn more about our story: https://lnkd.in/dgMaytDn
gartner-has-developed-a-framework-for-embedded-finance
April 27, 2023
Gartner has developed a framework for embedded finance that includes four strategy approaches: augment, productize, contextualize, and diversify.
  • The augment approach involves adding financial components sourced externally or from other parts of the enterprise to existing or future financial services offerings.
  • The productize approach involves distributing financial components as products to other enterprises.
  • The contextualize approach involves addressing specific customer issues or problems that may not align with traditional banking products or services.
  • The diversify approach involves distributing nonfinancial components to third parties.
 
The framework can be used by CIOs from all types of banks to develop insight and envision fundamental changes to the business model. Real-world examples are provided in Gartner’s Embedded Finance Use Cases for Your Digital Transformation.
sixty-two-percent-of-banks-said-they-viewed-creating-new-products
April 26, 2023
«Sixty-two percent of banks said they viewed creating new products and services in partnerships with fintech operators within the banking industry as a high priority.» – Gartner https://emtemp.gcom.cloud/ngw/globalassets/en/doc/documents/769256-embedded-finance-is-driving-innovation-and-differentiation-in-banking.pdf
 
At LOQUAT Inc. we believe in the strategic alliances between banks and fintechs.
 
By working together and successfully leveraging each other resources, two businesses will thrive in meeting and exceeding their customer expectations.
the-article-discusses-the-concept-of-a-platform-which-is-a-digital-ecosystem-that-offers-products-and-services-to-both-producers-and-consumers
April 25, 2023
What is a platform?
 
Alan Ravy from Publicis Sapient describes it as «not just flexible data and technology…; it must also provide useful functions/services, third-party access and governance, the right business strategy, and product assortment and support for producers and consumers.»
 
Platform product teams need to consider value generation for both producers and consumers, increasing the number of stakeholders.
 
Established enterprises need to shift to a platform model to adapt to digital disruption, which can be complex due to the many existing stakeholders and product capabilities across their value chain. The article recommends that companies invest in collaborative, creative, long-term, holistic thinking and be mutually incentivized around a clear vision. Finally, the article encourages companies to design for the uncertainty of tomorrow by understanding their customers and investing in what will not change.
 
LOQUAT Inc., an innovative financial technology company, developed and operates a proprietary banking as a service platform designed with the small business customer in mind by a world-class team of former banking executives, fraud specialists, technology and digital transformation experts, and business owners. The end-to-end-platform allows credit unions and community banks to improve or launch a streamlined digital banking functionality aimed at serving small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) from new account onboarding through delivering lending options, while preventing fraud without sacrificing on the user experience.
 
Learn more about Loquat platform: https://loquatinc.io/
banks-have-been-struggling-to-implement-successful-ai-programs-to-improve-client-experiences-and-compete-with-fintech-and-big-tech-rivals
April 24, 2023
4 Ways Banks can successfully implement AI to protect their market share:
  1. Developing AI across their enterprises
  2. Thinking like tech companies
  3. Improving data practices
  4. Creating AI factories
LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, is a next-generation multi-cloud hybrid architecture that allows for streamlined customer journeys and faster innovation of new products for financial institutions.
April 23, 2023
Fun Fact Sunday: How horses have changed history?
 
Horses have been an integral part of human history for thousands of years, from their evolution in North America to their domestication on the western Eurasian steppe around 2,000 BCE.
 
Cavalry appeared in combat around 1000 BCE, and riding technologies like stirrups were spread by steppe horsemen between the 4th and 8th centuries CE. The Mongol Empire relied heavily on the well-being of their horses, and equestrian empires eventually spread to the south of the Sahara.
 
Horses were reintroduced to the Americas by the Spanish in the 16th century and were spread around the globe through colonization and trade, but issues of hygiene and animal welfare emerged.
 
Nevertheless, people continue to maintain their relationships with horses today.
 
April 22, 2023
The speaker, a self-proclaimed «body architect» explores how technology can transform the human body through various experiments, collaborations, and projects.
 
They discuss their work at Philips Electronics, their obsession with blurring the perimeter of the body, and their collaboration with Swedish pop star Robyn. The speaker also explores the idea of merging biology with technology and creating a swallowable perfume that redefines the role of skin.
 
They conclude by stating that they feel they have just begun and have a limitless platform for discovery.
what-gen-z-wants
April 21, 2023
What Gen-Z Wants: How To Appeal To This Dynamic Workforce:
 
The dismissive language used by older generations towards Gen-Z can harm companies’ ability to attract and retain digital-native talent. Gen-Z values innovation, flexibility, and creativity and may prefer a sports team analogy over traditional corporate language. Companies must adapt to these expectations and offer incentives, creative space, and a sense of ownership to retain Gen-Z employees. Gen-Z seeks career advice on TikTok and desires a work-life balance, but companies should still set boundaries. Failure to adapt to Gen-Z’s preferences may result in losing talent to start-ups.
 
“The rate of change has been staggering… we are no longer walking, we are running at 1,000 miles an hour and the normal of today is going to be obsolete tomorrow. That ability to be flexible, agile and open to change is the only way to succeed.” https://www.oliverwyman.com/our-expertise/insights/2022/oct/what-gen-z-wants-how-to-appeal-to-this-dynamic-workforce.html
 
LOQUAT Inc., a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) platform, is designed for the future by keeping in mind what Gen-Z wants. Our platform is flexible and agile to accommodate the changes ahead of us.
 
Learn more about the Loquat platform at: https://loquatinc.io/
small-businesses-remain-underserved-by-financial-institutions-especially-in-terms-of-digital-capabilities
April 20, 2023
Small businesses remain underserved by financial institutions, especially in terms of digital capabilities.
 
“Credit unions that prioritize small businesses’ needs and provide the digital, self-service capabilities they need to succeed will be well positioned to deepen and grow member relationships.” – https://www.cutimes.com/2022/11/18/5-steps-for-credit-unions-to-better-serve-small-businesses/
 
5 ways Credit Unions can step up and better serve small business members:
  1. offering services tailored to small business needs
  2. streamlining digital account opening and onboarding
  3. providing sophisticated self-service capabilities
  4. prioritizing payments with a higher level of security and accuracy
  5. putting financial wellness at the center by providing personalized guidance and messaging.
we-believe-that-technology-will-never-fully-replace-human-connection-it-will-just-assist-us-to-live-better
April 19, 2023
We believe that technology will never fully replace human connection – it will just assist us to live better.
 
According to Andreessen Horowitz paper “Generative AI: The Next Consumer Platform”
  • AI enables products to personalize the user experience
  • AI has a significant potential in enterprise-oriented applications for internal search
  • AI can augment or even spark human relationships
  • AI can help us connect with people who are no longer around or available
at-loquat-we-believe-in-the-future-of-web3
April 18, 2023
What we have learned from Bain on Technology Trends to watch in 2023, Identity Verification and Fraud continues to be a critical area of concern for Financial Institutions and customers. Web3 can no longer be ignored. It has sizable funding and clear targets to disrupt.
 
“Enabled by digital identity and powered by blockchain technologies, the Internet’s third iteration is more open and decentralized – ushering in an entirely new digital economy.”
 
At Loquat, we are in a constant search of HOW we can make our customer’s journey a personal, pleasant and up-to-date experience. We believe in the future of Web3 and its chance to democratize the online experience, and enable users to reclaim control of their data.
digital-banking-is-likely-to-continue-evolving-and-transforming-the-financial-industry-in-the-years-to-come
April 17, 2023
Digital banking is likely to continue evolving and transforming the financial industry in the years to come, as technology continues to advance and customer expectations change.
 
By 2025, digital banking is expected to see increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, greater adoption of blockchain technology, more widespread use of mobile banking apps and contactless payment options, the integration of digital assistants and chatbots, and the expansion of open banking initiatives. These changes will likely transform the financial industry as technology advances and customer expectations change.
April 16, 2023
Fun Fact Sunday: What happens to gas stations when the world goes electric?