Communicating in the new age of the digital banker

first_img 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Clay McNaught Clay McNaught is Vice President at GMC Software Technology, North America. With an impressive history of experience in document management, customer communication management and business intelligence, McNaught offers extensive knowledge … Web: www.gmc.net Details Much has been written about how banking organizations large and small have been caught flat-footed in the face of the digital disruptions taking place in the financial industry. On the bright side, a recent Accenture study concludes that, “Forward-thinking banks are differentiating themselves through continuous innovation such as beginning the digital journey, developing convenient mobile banking solutions and connecting with entirely new customer segments. None of this was even a thought just five years ago. This is an industry that’s on the move.”One thing is clear—simply offering online banking options or the ability to embed a PDF of a statement into an email does not constitute a digital member communications strategy. Credit union members want (and expect) more. True digital bankers will have the capability to follow their customers along their financial and increasingly digital journey, developing new touch points and digital offerings along the way.Mobile has changed the landscapeMobile is driving this trend and desire for instant access to all services, not just account transactions. For example, the Accenture study cites mBank of Poland’s Quick Loan program that allows customers to request a loan online or on a mobile device and receive a response approving or declining the loan from mBank within 30 seconds. Differentiation will require innovative capabilities like Quick Loan, including:Mobile onboarding and account openingE-signature applications that align with customer communication management systemsSingle capture of member information that populates and updates all relevant systems, andThe creation of dynamic (versus static) communications for member statements and other communications, enabling the member to create custom views and engage with videos as well as interactive charts and graphs.All of this highlights the shift taking place in the credit union customer experience from a transaction-centric focus to a value-added focus.Moving beyond multichannel Today’s customers no longer have a mere preference for multichannel interaction with their credit union, it is an expectation. Moreover, beyond the expectation for multichannel, members really want an omnichannel experience—for example, allowing them to begin a transaction on their smartphone and pick up the interaction on their PC. Credit unions need to leverage the latest technologies for responsive design that deliver a seamless, consistent online experience regardless of the channel the customer happens to choose. Delivering anything less will undermine member loyalty.Mining data for a personalized experienceAccenture aptly observes that “…banks have a wealth of customer data to guide them in shaping the next generation of customer experiences.” However, another Accenture study notes that while a majority of customers would like their banking organization to proactively recommend products and services that match their financial needs, they see a disconnect between the traditional and digital experiences they receive.Putting a Customer Communications Management (CCM) strategy in place that enables business users to easily leverage customer data will support your credit union’s efforts to forge lasting, multi-layered relationships with members through highly personalized and targeted communications delivered over digital or print channels. Implementing a CCM strategy of this kind will reduce confusion and service calls, promote education and build loyalty. Costs are reduced by eliminating the need to develop separate communications packages.With a recent survey commissioned by GMC Software Technology showing that 72 percent of banking customers want to request the format in which they receive information from their bank, along with 48 percent of them feeling their bank doesn’t value them, it is critical for all banking organizations to have modern, responsive customer communications capabilities that make them a partner in their customers’ digital lives.Differentiation in today’s competitive environment is a question of what you do to meet member expectations, as well as how quickly you can do it. Communicating as a true digital banker with customers who move at the speed of light means finding solutions that make it easy to transform valuable member data into relevant, personalized digital communications.last_img read more

Winter celebration returns to Cole Park after more than a decade

first_imgWoidt said that Saturday’s mild weather helped make the event a success. Organizers said they hope to continue holding the event each winter to help fight cabin fever and show off Broome County’s parks. “We’ve been having people come up to us all day and learning about ice fishing, asking us to help them out with things, so definitely a lot of newcomers to the sport,” he said. COLESVILLE (WBNG) — After a more than ten year hiatus, a winter celebration made a comeback in the Southern Tier Saturday. “We couldn’t have asked for a better day,” she said. “Colesville used to have an event like this, they would just have a big winter day at Cole Park,” Director of Broome County Parks and Recreation Liz Woidt said. “We were like hey, let’s make it a Broome County event.” One of those ice fisherman was Karl Schnabl from Endicott. The Broome County Parks Department teamed up with Broome County Executive Jason Garnar to make that idea a reality, now called Winterfest. “We brought back this tradition and there’s a ton of people out — what a great turnout, people are ice fishing, kids are sledding, we’ve got the zoo,” he said.last_img read more

How Messi and Stuani Begin Race for the Pichichi

first_imgOne of football’s best league in the world, the Spanish LaLiga returned to DStv last week. The new season has been nothing short of thrilling as players continue to up the ante game after game.Barcelona’s Lionel Messi made an impressive comeback last week, which he continued by scoring against Girona, many footballs fans saw him as the lone candidate for this season’s Pichichi title. Uruguayan professional footballer Cristhian Stuani, who plays for Spanish club, Girona and the Uruguay national team as a striker, is giving Messi a run for the title of LaLiga’s best this season. He started out at Danubi and was bought by Reggina in 2008 and now he is placing himself in the race for the title when his second goal placed him in a tie with the Argentine footballer. Messi got his chance to score his fifth goal this season with an impressive pass by Arturo Vidal and true to form, Messi wasted no time bagging another goal. Messi scored two goals against Alaves and another two against Huesca. Messi had been tied with French footballer, Karim Benzema, at four goals, however, the Frenchman was unable to score a goal for Real Madrid during their match against Espanyol last Saturday.While Messi’s performance during the 2018/19 LaLiga Santander campaign has been nothing short of exceptional, Stuani has been able to place himself on five goals after a stupendous second-half effort.We will be watching to see which of the footballers inches closer to the prestigious Pichichi title on the world of champions, SuperSport on DStv.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Seeing Is Believing, or v.v.

first_imgWhat you see is not what is out there in the world – not exactly, at least.  Scientists have shown that your brain is tweaking the light coming in from your eyes and making predictions about what you expect to see.    The “blind spot” experiment is well known to students.  That’s where it can be shown that your brain “fills in” the blind spot of each eyeball (where the optic nerve leaves the retina, with no photoreceptors) with imagery from the surrounding field.  A brick wall pattern, for instance, continues seamlessly into the blind spot even though your eye actually receives no light from that part of the retina.    Researchers at the University of Glasgow performed four experiments on participants, and monitored brain activity with functional MRI, to see what parts of the visual field were doing when shielded from visual input.  Their findings were published in PNAS.1  It appears that the context influences what we “see.”  The primary visual cortex (V1) uses context and memory to prepare the image presented to the mind.We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and pattern-classification methods to show that the cortical representation of a nonstimulated quarter-field carries information that can discriminate the surrounding visual context.  We show further that the activity patterns in these regions are significantly related to those observed with feed-forward stimulation and that these effects are driven primarily by V1.The way PhysOrg put it, “What our eyes can’t see, the brain fills in.”  And it fills it in from prior experience: “The results show that our brains do not rely solely on what is shown to the eyes in order to ‘see’.  Instead the brain constructs a complex prediction” of what it expects to see.”    One neuroscientist called this “predictive coding.”  Dr. Lars Muckli from U of Glasgow explained how this is helpful: “If you are driving a car and a pedestrian is suddenly obscured – say by a pillar box or your rear view mirror – your brain still knows where they are and where they will reappear in your line of vision.  Without that ability, we would be lost in everyday life.”    For more on image processing done by the eye and brain, see 05/22/2003, 12/30/2003, 05/12/2005, 07/27/2006 and 03/31/2008.1.  Smith and Muckli, “Nonstimulated early visual areas carry information about surrounding context,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, published online before print November 1, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1000233107 (open access).  Note: the paper was published Nov 1, 2010, but PhysOrg reported on it April 4, 2011.Unfortunately, Dr. Muckli tossed in this Darwin stinkincense bomb: “The brain’s main function is to minimise surprise – that is what it has evolved to do.”  Were you surprised?  That not only violates logic, it violates Darwin’s own principle of Stuff Happens.  Things don’t evolve to do anything in Darwinland; they just evolve.  Implying a purpose for anything invokes teleology – something Darwin and his disciples wanted to eliminate.  Enough of that distraction.    Findings like these bear on important philosophical questions about the relationship of our senses to external reality.  Philosophers have long wondered to what extent we can trust our senses.  There is a long chain of causal phenomena interceding between the photons emitted by an object and our perception of that object by the mind.  Here we see that our brains are manipulating reality for us in ways that can be tricked by experience or novelty.    Those who say they only believe what they can see should realize they cannot see the whole electromagnetic spectrum, for one thing, and the narrow range of visible light they can see is being transformed by their brains.  The only worldview that provides grounds for trusting our senses comes from the Bible.  Our eyes and brains were created by a Creator who loves honesty and truth, and has equipped his creatures with sufficient equipment to have reasonable, though not exhaustive, access to external reality.  Otherwise we would be “lost in everyday life” and unable to respond to him by perceiving his works.  Even so, we need to train our equipment to discern the truth, and not deceive ourselves.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Pupils have a blast with Mathletes

first_imgPeace Corps education volunteer Chris Ames with two pupils. The aim of Mathletes in South Africa is to alleviate the anxiety associated with maths by turning it into a fun competition for pupils.(Images: Peace Corps South Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Chris Ames   Education volunteer,   Peace Corps South Africa   +27 76 527 2492 RELATED ARTICLES • Education at the movies • SA education project wins top award • A winning open education system • Maths and science the fun way • Science education gets a boostCadine Pillay A pair of American university graduates is giving grade six pupils at two North West province schools a shot at success by incorporating a fun contest, run over two school terms, through which they can improve their mathematics skills.Volunteers for the Peace Corps in South Africa, Chris Ames and Genna Cummins, hold BSc degrees in maths and applied sciences respectively. Ames graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago, while Cummins studied at the University of the Cumberlands in Kentucky.After their arrival in South Africa in 2011, the two conceptualised the competition, called Mathletes for two schools where they currently volunteer, in the Thutlwane and Madibogo villages.  Mathletes is based on the popular US programme aimed at getting pupils competitive in maths.Removing the anxiety from learningTheir vision for participants, says Ames, is to remove the anxiety with which pupils often approach maths. Although there is no prize for the ultimate winners, the volunteers are encouraged by the fact that the pupils’ skills will be improved.“One of the many reasons that maths skills are so poor in rural South Africa is the amount of intimidation and anxiety the subject induces in pupils,” he says.The idea of Mathletes is already well known in the US, he adds, so they thought an adaptation for South African pupils would be helpful and fun.“For many students, competition is an effective way to encourage them to learn.”Six schools participated in the contest at the beginning of the second term around April 2012, with each sending six pupils to take part in three rounds of the contest. The teams meet at a central point after school every Wednesday, which is generally dedicated to sports activities at most public schools.Each team has to win as many points for their school as possible to avoid elimination and make it to the next round. The team with the highest score at the end of the day is the winner for that week.  In the first round, all of the players attempt to answer a multiplication question. The first student to answer the question correctly gains a point. In round two, the students answer questions in five different categories of varying degrees of difficulty and point values. In the third round, each team has five minutes to solve one final problem.The games are all based on the approved national curriculum for schools, Ames explains. “For this reason we had to focus on one grade when we designed the questions.”“We felt it would be best to target the highest primary school level to minimise language barriers.”The competition runs from around 1pm to 3pm, with the host school in charge of providing and setting up a projector. At least two teachers facilitate for the duration of the game, which is partly presented on Powerpoint.The only requirement for schools wishing to participate is that they be situated in the Madibogo and Setlagole areas. Those from outside these areas can contact Thutlwane Primary School to make arrangements.To keep the ball rolling, Ames and Cummins have designed a template that teachers will be able to use for the 2014 round, when the two volunteers will be back in the US. The pair will still be in South Africa for the start of next year’s contest in April.Using the template, the schools will be able to create their own games using a list of topics they should expect to be addressed in each game. Ames and Cummins also assisted teachers in the writing of maths problems to keep the challenge sustainable.Potential vs. opportunitiesWith time, the volunteers hope to create templates of the game for other grades as well. They also intend to expand the initiative to other schools within a reasonable distance, for logistical reasons.     “It has always been our goal to eventually have Mathletes run by the schools themselves without our aid,” says Ames. “I see potential in the pupils in South Africa, but opportunities for them seem scarce.”“By the time we leave we hope to have provided schools and communities with sustainable development in areas where our skills and their needs meet.”About Peace CorpsThe Peace Corps programme was established in South Africa in 1997, and more than 1 050 volunteers from the US have served all around the country to date. There are currently 183 volunteers placed in different areas where their expertise in health and education services is used daily to benefit disadvantaged communities.As part of their programme, volunteers are encouraged to learn as many of South Africa’s indigenous languages as possible to help make their work easier. The education focus is usually on primary schools in the country’s rural areas, while other volunteers work in health services at community health  and HIV/Aids centres as well as with home-based care organisations.    As education Peace Corps volunteers, Ames and Cummins were assigned to schools, and were tasked to help improve the proficiency of pupils in certain subjects. They will be based at their schools until September 2013.last_img read more

What is the value of wheat straw?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Wheat harvest will soon be underway; we often get questions about the nutrient value of straw. The nutrient value of wheat straw is influenced by several factors including weather, variety, and cultural practices. Thus, the most accurate values require sending a sample of the straw to an analytical laboratory. However, “book values” can be used to estimate the nutrient values of wheat straw.In previous newsletters, we reported that typically a ton of wheat straw would provide approximately 11 pounds of N, 3 pounds of P2O5, and 20 pounds of K2O. Michigan State University reports similar numbers for a ton of wheat straw: 13 pounds of N, 3.3 pounds of P2O5 and 23 pound of K2O. A 2013 analysis of wheat straw collected at the OARDC farm in Wooster contained 14-18 pounds of N, 3-4 pounds of P2O5, and 20-23 pounds of K2O. These values were across four wheat varieties and three spring nitrogen application rates (60, 90, and 120 lb N/acre). The 2013 values corresponded fairly well with the previously reported “book values.” Nitrogen values in 2013 were slightly greater than “book values” which may have been a result of wheat height/size. If plants are shorter/smaller, percentage nitrogen tends to be greater than taller/larger plants due to a dilution factor as the plant grows. Regardless, the 2013 analysis provides validity to the nutrient value of straw given in previous newsletters.The nitrogen in wheat straw will not immediately be available for plant uptake. The nitrogen will need to be converted by microorganisms to ammonium and nitrate (a process called “mineralization”). Once the nitrogen is in the ammonium and/or nitrate form, it is available for plant uptake. The rate of which mineralization occurs depends on the amount of carbon and nitrogen in the straw (C:N ratio). The USDA reports a C:N ratio of 80:1 for wheat straw which means there are 80 units of carbon for every unit of nitrogen. Mineralization rapidly occurs when the C:N ratio is ≤ 20:1. At a C:N ratio of 80:1, mineralization will be much slower. (For comparison, corn stover is reported to have a C:N ratio of 57:1.) Rate of mineralization is also influenced by soil moisture and temperature. Since mineralization is a microbial-driven process, mineralization will be slowed (halted) in the winter when temperatures are cold. Thus, no N credit is given for wheat straw since it is not known when the N will mineralize and become available to the following crop.Besides providing nutrients, straw has value as organic matter, but it is difficult to determine the dollar value for it. Removal of straw does lower soil potash levels. If straw was removed after heavy rainfall, some of the potash may have leached out of the straw, lowering the nutrient value of the straw. However, a soil test should be done to accurately estimate nutrient availability for future crops.last_img read more

The night is full of caches

first_imgAnother way to learn about the best Night Caches is to ask a fellow geocacher about their favorites. They can create a list with their recommendations and share it with you. We did so ourselves and created this list of some of the most favorited Night Caches and other haunted hides.Which spooky Night Caches are on your list? Share in the comments or on social media using #hauntedhides.Ready to go to the dark side? Browse Night Caching equipment in the Geocaching Shop or at International Retailers.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedNight Caching: It’s not just for Vampires anymoreOctober 13, 2014In “Geocaching Weekly Newsletter”Creepin’ it real: Add geocaching to your HalloweenOctober 30, 2017In “Community””We Come in Peace” GC1DA0H GEOCACHE OF THE WEEK – May 16, 2011May 14, 2011In “Community” Bananaaaa Nightclub Nachtcache (GC5BW4D)center_img Shorter days and autumn weather might make you want to curl up on the couch and let caches be caches — but the shadows of the night can be the best time to seek some of the most exciting geocaches around: Night Caches.MEGAPHOBIA (GC5ENHV)Night Caches are best searched for in the dark. Not for the easily spooked, these caches come in all types — Traditional, Multi, Mystery, Wherigo caches amongst others — and often feature scary tales.Thriller! (GC5ENHQ) and Curse of the Pharaoh (GC4Q1K7)If you’re intrigued to go on a ghostly geohunt at night, make sure to come prepared with a flashlight or headlamp, some extra batteries, and maybe even a glow-in-the-dark pen.To find Night Caches, you often have to follow reflectors that guide you to the hide or glow-in-the-dark ink that can only be seen in the dark and requires a UV flashlight.Some geocache owners include ‘Night Cache’ in the cache’s title to make it clear that their cache is best found at night. Others can be identified through one or more of these attributes:Night CacheRecommended at NightFlashlight RequiredUV Light Requiredlast_img read more

Sleepless in Seattle as they hunt for smart city program head

first_imgSurveillance at the Heart of Smart Cities Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#Jobs#Seattle#sensors#Smart Cities#smart city#Washington How IoT Will Play an Important Role in Traffic … David Curry How Connected Communities Can Bolster Your Busi…center_img Seattle, one of the finalists in the Department of Transportation’s Smart City Challenge, is on the hunt for a smart city coordinator to oversee the city’s strategy and start dialogues between the city and private partners.The coordinator will also be responsible for making sure smart city programs across multiple departments mesh, to reduce inefficiencies and avoid departments tripping over each other.See Also: San Diego gets its smart city on with GE Current hookup“We’re creating the smart cities coordinator role to help drive collaboration across these stakeholders and to make sure we have basic consistency in our smart cities deployment,” said Seattle Chief Technology Officer Michael Mattmiller to Government Technology.Understanding what to do with smart city programs is a necessity for the job, as Seattle already has some programs that may require upgrades. One of those is RainWatch, a network of sensors that monitor precipitation in the city. This could do with an upgrade in the near future to smaller, cheaper, and more efficient sensors, which should be installed in more places, according to Mattmiller.Trying to keep everyone on the same pageAs Seattle becomes more infatuated with smart city technologies, it will be the coordinator’s job to reign-in overzealous departments that work on too many programs. They will also need to ensure the various programs don’t break the budget, either by reducing the amount of programs or enlisting the help of private organizations.Standardising the platforms for smart city programs and making sure departments are following the best practices will also be a key role for the coordinator, according to Mattmiller.It is one of the first job titles specifically for smart cities, but don’t expect other metropolitan cities to be far behind. Internet of Things (IoT), traffic, and networking tech is entering into the public domain and a lot of cities want to be ahead of the curve, as seen by the massive response to the DoT’s smart city challenge last year. Related Posts For Self-Driving Systems, Infrastructure and In…last_img read more

How Crafters Transformed a Company

first_imgThis guest post is written by Paul Gillin , writer, speaker, and online marketing consultant. Catch Paul speaking at the Inbound Marketing Summit in Boston, MA this October. Register with the code HUB200 and get $200 off the ticket price. If you follow social media marketing closely, you’ve probably heard the story of Fiskars , the Finnish maker of fine cutting tools that has used a private social network to dramatically boost specialty store sales. What’s less well-known is how customer communities have transformed the way this 300-year-old company does business.I wrote about Fiskars’ remarkable community of crafting enthusiasts called the Fiskateers in the introduction to my latest book, Secrets of Social Media Marketing. The company has leveraged this group to take its message to the under-utilized channel of small retailers. Reaching these merchants would have been prohibitively expensive if done by a core marketing team. So Fiskars let its customers do the talking. The result: a threefold increase in year-over-year sales.I recently caught up with Suzanne Fanning, Director of Communications at Fiskars Americas, to see how the program was going. In a word, very well. What I hadn’t understood from earlier interviews was the degree to which quality customer feedback comes to pervade everything the company does. The Fiskateers demonstrate why social media should be thought of as much more than just a marketing program.Some basics: Prospective Fiskateers must fill out an application form to gain entry. While the company rarely turns down applicants, this requirement gives members a feeling of belonging. Once you’re a Fiskateer, you’re special to Fiskars.And boy, are you special! When my wife, a hopeless crafting enthusiast, heard about this program, she immediately applied. A few months later, the company invited her to a local member meeting. Some 30 Fiskateers spent an entire day swapping techniques, trying out new tools and generally bonding with each other. Dana came home that day laden down with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise. It’s safe to say she will be a Fiskars customer for life, and she’s not shy to share her enthusiasm.More Than a WebsiteThe company does plenty of live events at the local and national level to connect members with each other and with Fiskars. Its overarching goal isn’t to sell more scissors as much as to “have that emotional bond with consumers,” Fanning told me. “Customers didn’t have that bond with Fiskars the company, but scrapbooking and crafting is a very personal and intimate thing. We wanted to tap into that and say “We understand. We get you.”The meeting Dana attended was hosted by two Fiskars representatives, one from communications and the other from engineering. In fact, nearly every meeting of the Fiskateers now involves someone on the product development side. The value of the Fiskateers as a driver of product innovation was the great unexpected dividend of the whole program, Fanning said.At first, people on the business side resisted the idea of bringing customers into the product development process. There are competitive concerns, and frankly, engineers aren’t known for inclusiveness.Once the dialogue began, however, that resistance quickly melted. “We started with small projects to make Fiskateers feel like they were giving input and quickly they realized we were getting fabulous insight,” Fanning said. “They really wanted a voice in our company.”Speak, Customer!That voice of the customer now pervades nearly everything Fiskars does. Fiskateers are polled for advice early in the development process and the group has even taken responsibility for naming some new products. Engineers, who initially doubted the value of the community, renamed themselves the “Fiskaneers.”Fiskars now channels most of its first-line market research through the group, saving money and time. It no longer conducts expensive focus groups. Research has shown that the Fiskateers almost perfectly reflect the larger community of crafting enthusiasts.Fanning remembers one product manager who approached her looking for ideas for new shapes to head to the company’s line of cutting templates. Fanning posted the request to the Fiskateers and gathered 70 good ideas within 12 hours.Next LevelWith a hit on its hands, Fiskars is running with it. Some Fiskateers have been qualified as official product demonstrators. A new website now lets members submit and rate ideas for new products. Product managers hold live chat sessions to get feedback. Vendors of sewing machines and magnifying glasses devices have offered to buy advertising on the site.The lesson: social media is about much more than marketing. Anyone who touches or serves customers in any way can benefit from a closer relationship with those people. Recent McKinsey research revealed that a majority of companies that have bought into Web 2.0 marketing are finding benefits in other areas of their organization. Many say social media is changing the way they do business. Just like it has at Fiskars.Not every company can create a community like the Fiskateers, but then again, Fiskars never expected its program to be such a runaway success. Instead of looking for people who were passionate about cutting tools, it focused its energy on people who cared about what you could do with cutting tools. The results were more than a pleasant surprise. The company originally expected to recruit no more than about 200 Fiskateers. It will soon welcome its 6,000th member. Paul Gillin is a writer, speaker and online marketing consultant who specializes in social media. He’s a veteran technology journalist and the author of two books: The New Influencers (2007) and Secrets of Social Media Marketing (2008). Fiskars is an example of the kind of new media success stories the Inbound Marketing Summit will showcase. Discounted Inbound Marketing Summit Pass Marketing thought leaders will converge on Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA, October 7-8. Reserve your place at the conference now . Use the code HUB200 to get $200 off the ticket price. Topics: Social Mediacenter_img Originally published Sep 9, 2009 8:15:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more