When the future doesn’t live up to its hype

Data scientists have concluded at least half of all fintech articles contain the sentence: “Community banks are not known for being on the cutting edge of technology.” I’ve written it many times, and it hurts a little when I do. It happens to be true, but I’m wrong to be glum. Maybe the community of community bankers at large has seen too many tech promises fail to deliver, and so they remain skeptical of the Next New Thing.  [Continue]

Community banks can succeed using data analytics

A company called Aunalytics has a pitch specifically designed for community banks: You can analyze your bank data with the same sophistication as the big banks — at a SaaS price. BankBeat spoke with Katie Horvath, the group’s chief marketing officer, about what’s lurking in the data. [Continue]

Can bank ATMs be adapted to offer Bitcoin?

I recently visited my neighborhood bodega for some paper towels. Okay, okay, it was for some beer, but this trip held a surprise. Still covered in its protective plastic film was a yellow, beehive-themed machine wedged next to the Haagen-Dazs freezer: The Bitcoin Depot. On second thought, maybe the design theme is hornet. Using this machine, you can buy a number of differently branded crypto currencies with other currencies. I had read about them like one reads about UFOs, but I’d never seen one in the wild.  [Continue]

Right to repair: Nerds get their revenge in the farm field

The next time you meet with one of your ag customers, please thank them on behalf of your IT department. By adding their political clout to a much broader technical issue, farmers have helped achieve a Federal Trade Commission policy breakthrough heretofore unreachable: The right to repair. If the FTC follows through properly with its new directive, this will help your perennially struggling ag customers’ bottom lines — as well as perhaps lower your bank’s computer equipment costs over time.  [Continue]

Look beyond your footprint when recruiting for tech

Joe McIntyre, senior vice president with Robert Half’s technology solutions group, speaks about the difficulty banks are having filling tech positions. “We’re seeing less than a 1 percent unemployment rate for IT professionals, which is creating a real problem for banks trying to hire,” he said. “The supply and demand is really out of whack. There are simply many more jobs than there are candidates.” Digitalization efforts are driving up a demand for experienced IT professionals. [Continue]

AI tools speed, secure M&A processes

Founded in 1968 in St. Paul, Minn., Datasite specialized in financial printing, marketing and communications for regulated industries. In 2018, the company went through a major transformation, divesting its legacy businesses to focus solely on its M&A platform. Jenna Kroll, Datasite regional sales manager, based out of Chicago, describes how tech is changing M&A. [Continue]

Understanding encryption (and why it’s not enough)

Bankers keep a lot of secrets, and they are able to do this in our modern world with encryption. For most, encryption is a mystery and taken for granted. We know it’s important. We know we’re doomed to be a criminal’s mark without it. Yet, we probably have little sense of when it’s in use or not.  [Continue]

Open banking provides competitive edge

Bryan Wilken, chief information operating officer at Bank Midwest, based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, can be found online these days extolling the virtues of open banking. Wilken shares his thoughts on how the pandemic accelerated banks’ demand for cutting edge tech.  [Continue]

Hey buddy, who are you calling fungible?

Join me now for another trip into the beyond, to the world of international mystery, art, crime, computers and (probably) robots. Did I mention crime? The latest head scratcher has come in the form of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs). Out of nowhere come reports of individuals (Elon Musk’s girlfriend Grimes for instance), who are using NFTs to sell digital art. Though new, the value of these “tokens” is jaw-dropping. [Continue]

Decentralization is new but emerging way to think about finance

Decentralized financing (DeFi) is now part of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. Jason Wu, CEO of Minneapolis-based DeFiner, a crypto bank fintech that facilitates savings and loans using cryptocurrency, weighs in on whether its service is a tool for traditional banks — or their new competition. [Continue]