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Why Demanding Diversity is Wrong

I'm not a big TV watcher, but one show I've grown to really like is The Voice. The Voice is a singing competition where the judges only hear participant's voices at first; in other words, they can't see them. The result is a very diverse group of people competing in the show, something I really enjoy watching.

Demanding diversity is not the same as nurturing diversity. One is a short-term solution, the other is where permanent change takes place. 

Read the rest of my article on LinkedIn: 

 

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-demanding-diversity-wrong-patricia-hewitt/

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The co-branded card market in the US is a well-oiled machine with large enterprise issuers like American Express, Chase, and Capital One working with large enterprise retailers like the Delta, Marriott, and Kohl's. Apple Card has broken new ground in shifting these relationships; taking over control of key issuing functions like underwriting in the quest to get a credit card in every wallet - literally. US issuers are taking note, most recently Bank of the West partnering with Brex for their new co-brand corporate card.
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The Little Fintech Bank Charter that Could(n't)

For now, the OCC has lost its battle against the banking industry to establish a fintech bank charter in the U.S. and will need to regroup. Establishing a regulatory definition and operating rules for fintechs that are continuing to grow their account bases in this country does not seem like an illogical next step in our banking evolution. But that depends on where you're sitting. In a country that is intensely competitive, it is ironic how noncompetitive our markets really are.
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Apple Card is About Apple, Not Credit

The Apple Card is so much more than mere credit card. It's Apple's entry point to delivering real financial services to consumers through its iPhone Wallet. This strategy is based on becoming the centralizing agent for financial services and in my opinion, that's the future of competitive banking services. Piece by piece, Apple has been quietly building out its wallet to become not just usable, but indispensable. This is the big threat for traditional financial institutions and their depository accounts, not the credit card. Apple doesn't quite have all the puzzle pieces in place yet, but the Apple Card has pushed their strategy way down the road.
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Have financial services finally come to their lifestyle branding moment? Or, are we simply confusing brand with eco-system? Recent happenings like MasterCards' new restaurant and Barclay Banks' device store and Apple's credit card are all fun to think about, but profits still lie in transactions. How financial services capture transactions is very different from what it has been. But elevating the user experience into a lifestyle brand is a big reach.
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ACH is an incredibly durable transaction type with an ubiquitous reach and user familiarity combined with an ultra-low cost of acceptance. Faster Payments is an exciting new scheme promising to upend clearing and settlement in a whole new way. But faster plays out for good and for fraudsters. Thinking through the potential impact of instant payments requires the input of those experienced in the way that our complicated industry actually works. That's what this conversation is all about.
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In a recent blog post, I gave some thought to how payment hubs are evolving and where these complex, but increasingly necessary, technologies fit into our present-day financial institution eco-systems. To gain more insight into the subject, I had the opportunity to talk to Trevor LaFleche from Fiserv. Trevor is the Director of Product Management and Marketing, Enterprise Payments Solutions, for the company and has extensive experience in designing and building platforms of this kind, Trevor and I spent some time talking about how these enterprise solutions are integrated by financial institutions and why he agrees the time is right for organizations to think seriously about implementing a Payment Hub.
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Addressing our industry's problems with digital solutions is not just the purview of start-ups, but also breathes new life into mature businesses. Case in point - commercial payments. There is no hotter segment in the industry today than commercial payments. It’s here we find deep pockets of inefficiency that can be addressed through digital payments, creating an economic powerhouse with the capability to generate highly profitable margins. The expanse of this market is also attractive, covering a wide range of potential customers from micro-business to small business to commercial and finally, large enterprise corporates. In this interview with U.S. Dataworks CEO, David Peterson, we discuss how the opportunities in this market can be hit - or missed - by financial institutions.
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The question I want to explore here though is why, other than driving down the cost of acceptance, is it so important for an entity like Uber to control its financial services? I believe it's because financial services are an integral part of the company's infrastructure and as a result, Uber could be poised to show large corporates with highly complex payments profiles how they can control much of the assets they need to efficiently operate their business.
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Deconstructing the Core Banking Platform

Open Banking, by definition, is an environment where a third party is given permission to access a bank account or account-related data in order to provide services direct to the user. That's not where the real technical evolution in banking is going to take place. Instead, I look for technologists to begin figuring out how to desconstruct core banking systems into their individual account components and then deliver them through a integration portal that allows a financial services entity to pick and choose the ones relevant to their offering. We're seeing this in the new crop of API farms that banks are accessing to deliver new services to their customers, but this takes these concepts down to the core level and that's where real innovation in banking is going to take place.
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Organizations making business decisions regarding potential new vendors, technology investments or new partnerships have to invest a great deal of time and resources in the effort. Creating a set of meaningful Guiding Principles can support a more efficient and effective decision-making process.
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What's really hard about AI or any other fintech infrastructure play is defining an implementation path that makes good business sense and then investing in that vision. Many stakeholders view these technologies as competitive differentiators and so lock their learnings up in closed rooms. Increasing the tide of information about the real experience of integrating, testing, and implementing these technologies will serve to improve and strengthen the market as a whole.
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Even though Faster Payments are taking a lot oxygen out of the room at industry conferences, the opportunity in Cannibas banking is tremendous and growing. Distributed Ledger Technology or DLT may be boring, but it's going to be an important part of our future infrastructure,. Notes from the NACHA Payments 2019 conference.
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Of all the big tech companies, Apple is the only one that's been chipping away at creating a real payments eco-system. By that, I mean successfully addressing the needs or Unlike Amazon or Google, that have healthy, functioning payment solutions for merchants and corporates or Facebook that has squandered its opportunity in financial services by becoming the company no one trusts with their information or Microsoft that continues to toy with financial services as a side hustle, Apple has to make it work.
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