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Faced with unprecedented challenges, banks have started racing to embrace AI to gain a competitive advantage. With the advent of chatbots, personal assistants, and robo-advisors, it may not be too hard to imagine that the next wave of technology could revolutionize the traditional style of banking. An Accenture report recently indicated that within the next three years, banks will deploy Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) as their primary method to interact with customers. In early 2016, Swedish-speaking Amelia became the first non-English deployment of IPsoft’s AI platform at SEB, one of Sweden’s largest bank. The bank adopted “digital employee” Amelia to integrate into its front-office. The cognitive agent solves problems just like humans “butRead More →

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Big Data tools not only simplify lengthy analytical procedures in any industry, but they also provide a competitive advantage to banks. With new regulations, banks are looking at ways to make compliance procedures more effective and accurate. Big data in banking is slowly gaining momentum and becoming an inevitable necessity across the banking industry. As traditional data management structures become obsolete, the community banks struggle to comply with external competitive and regulatory pressures. The need to execute analytics tools in the community banking system is gradually becoming more of a compulsion than an option. Gartner’s 2014 CIO survey shows that financial firms encourage investing inRead More →

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When Starbucks (SBUX) announced the closure of all of its 379 Teavana stores by the spring of 2018, it came as a warning signal to many analysts. But for long-term investors, Starbucks future growth prospects could look more promising. Acquired in 2012 for $620 million, Teavana stores are set to close due to declining foot traffic in malls. As a result of this retrenchment, Starbucks incurred asset impairment and goodwill charges of roughly $100 million during the third quarter. Following the news, Starbucks shares fell 1.2% to $58.80 in after-hours trading. For the 3rd fiscal year 2017, the Seattle-based company reported earnings of $691.6 million, downRead More →

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Social Media Platforms have become an important part of our daily lives. Over a period of time, the use of platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snap has evolved. Initially, the use of these platforms was meant more for connecting with friends and sharing information. But now these established firms are integrating activities that range from marketing and promoting to selling and buying. Not only that the stream alternative data available on such platforms are capturing real-time events. These alerts are allowing emergency teams to take immediate action. For markets, real-time alerts mean looking for events that potentially could be market movers.Read More →

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Twitter is a dynamic world that works in a confined space of 140 characters but the impact it can have on an audience is huge. Just like fake news, fake followers can be detrimental to the image of businesses and even to those individual users who rely heavily on social media marketing. Since Twitter places significant constraints on the type of communication that is possible, it becomes easier for bots to reconstruct the human behavior that is demonstrated in the limited Twitter dimension. Hence, results that we obtain in the form of social media metrics can often get skewed. So why is the detection ofRead More →

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In 2006, marketing commentator Michael Palmer had blogged, “Data is just like crude. It’s valuable, but if unrefined it cannot really be used.” After nine years, the statement still holds true across any industry that depends on large volumes of data. It is true that until and unless, data is not broken down into pieces and analyzed, it holds little value. As the world becomes more receptive to the advantages of big data, the oil industry does not seem to be far behind. If the huge amount of data is just stored, then it has little worth and so, for it to be useful, itRead More →

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Through Facebook Spaces, the company is set to enhance the VR experience for its Oculus Rift users. Recently, the social media giant dropped prices for Oculus Rift. According to a report by IDC, AR/VR market is expected to touch $143.3Billion by 2020. The news comes after Facebook recently released a video of its solar powered drone in remote areas beaming with an internet connection – all in an attempt to connect the world. A recent interactive video on Facebook’s official page shows friends sharing travel plans and apartment features with each other– all through virtual reality (VR). Facebook recently launched it’s social VR section calledRead More →

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Banking is getting branchless, contemporary and digital at a very fast pace. As banks compete to gain competitive advantage, the need for managing big data and analytics becomes more relevant. Big Data has transformed the way traditional banks worked in the past and has been very helpful in informing decision-making. Through associated big data tools, banks can gain greater visibility into customers’ behaviors, assess the probability of risk and help small businesses. Big Data combines various data sources like the company, its channel partners, customers, suppliers, social media and even external data suppliers. Typically, the data collected in banks is so complex that it isRead More →

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If you thought that startups like Uber and Lyft have changed the world of technology then there’s more. According to The Wall Street Journal, a recent funding sent a secret startup, Zoox’s valuation to a whopping $1.55billion. The billion-dollar firm aimed to work towards the concept of self-driving has managed to attract $50million in Zoox’s latest round of funding in October. The historic swing from traditional engines to electric and chip-controlled technology is happening through some of Silicon Valley’s best-financed startups. The worlds’ biggest automakers are strategically funding startups with the intention of expanding and competing in technology-driven markets. Valued at more than $1billion, establishedRead More →

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Facebook recently announced its ambitious Augmented Reality Platform in its annual F8 Developer Conference. The firm’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We’re going to make the camera the first mainstream AR platform.” Through the announcement, Facebook joined the long list of established firms that are already invested heavily in Augmented Reality (AR). A recent report by Bloomberg outlines Apple’s ‘big step’ towards the AR space through talented hires and acquisitions in the related field. According to the report, with the goal of making smart glasses, in the short term, Apple’s AR features may first show up on the iPhone. Bloomberg’s report comes after its November storyRead More →

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In April 2012, Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) acquired 18-month-old Instagram, which had only 30 million users and no revenue. At that time, $1 billion worth of deal seemed too big for a small startup like Instagram. But years later, the photo filter app boasts of having more than 600 million users and is proving to be a strong growth engine. Instagram is giving stiff competition to market debutant Snap (NYSE:SNAP). Shares of Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, fell 1.2% at $19.97, after Instagram announced its Snapchat-like Stories app has more daily users – as many as 200 million daily active users. In 2013, FB offered SNAPRead More →

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Greece has been struggling hard to meet the requirements needed to be a member in the Eurozone. Moreover, following the 2008 financial crisis in the US, Greece’s economy got smaller by 25% since 2009. Germany, France, Italy and Spain are the most important economies accounting for most of the Union’s GDP.Read More →

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Eurozone Debt Crisis and Regulation of Credit Rating Agencies (World Scientific).   The credit rating agencies (CRAs) have received a great deal of media, political, and regulatory attention since the early summer of 2007. With 2008 financial crisis, there was a common argument that CRAs had not been held accountable for the poor performance that resulted in flawed outcomes. Literature review on CRAs’ role in the Europe sovereign debt further strengthened this argument. Through an in-depth study of extensive literature available, we focus on how the rating announcements affected the markets. We also highlight the EU regulations that came into force after a series ofRead More →

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The changing relations of China and Russia are also not based purely through partnerships but also through their support in each another’s projects. Russia has been supporting China’s ambitious infrastructural projects like the Silk Road project and the Eurasian integration project, which connects China with Europe via Russia.Read More →

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June 30th 2015 could be an important turning point for Greece: an exit or a repayment of the debt as it reaches its debt repayment deadline. A crisis in Greece will affect markets all across the globe. In fact, they are already reflected in the stock exchanges across the world. The country is heading for a default and market reactions are the first sign that nothing is going good with Greece. Clearly, market perceptions are that Greece will be unable to meet 1.6 billion euro of loan repayment to the International Monetary Fund. The widespread panic happened last week due to the failing talks between Greece and its creditors.Read More →

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China’s leaders now aim to transform China into one of the world’s leading industrial powers by 2045 and for this, a new business model will be designed. By doing this, it aims to reduce and eventually overcome the country’s dependence on cheap manufacturing and instead focus on advanced industrial goods for markets. Not only this, China has for long been building knowledge-based economy, driven purely by innovation and domestic consumption. But its real estate sector still consists of ghost towns and dozens of unleased commercial spaces.Read More →

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Big banks have been subject to a lot of scrutiny after the global financial meltdown in 2008. During the crisis, banks remained huge and posed systemic risks that were large enough to take down the entire financial system and eventually the economy. The question that is very important is whether pleading guilty to manipulation solves the problem that big banks face. The bitter truth remains that the big bank theory leads to bigger scams and if found guilty, leads to bigger fines but nothing really changes. The increased evidence of unethical behavior in the banking system is just a small chapter in the history of many banking scandals.
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The whole purpose of BRICS New Development Bank is to be self sufficient and rely less on western economies. The world’s reserves has shrunk from 90% (2004) of dollar denominated securities to 60% in 2014. But, the growing tension individually in the member countries could easily defeat the purpose for which it was originally formed. Some debate that this small initiative (formation of BRICS) could be a big challenge for the advanced economies. Read More →

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The creation of AIIB, China has opened its closed doors to many countries. In committing to contribute up to 50% of the AIIB capital, it will be taking the lead in assisting the development of other Asian countries. There will be a lot of rising challenges in the development of the bank but this could be a great opportunity for China to prove itself as a global leader. Read More →

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The Eurozone comprises of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. Established in 1999, these countries have adopted a common currency called the ‘Euro’. ‘Euro’ itself was introduced as a single currency no later than 2002. By sharing a common currency, the countries follow common economic and fiscal policies. Monetary policy decisions are taken by the independent European Central Bank , also known as the ECB. Entry to join the eurozone is controlled by the so-called Eurogroup.Read More →

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Greece’s bailout extension expires in May this year and its inclination towards the members of BRICS seems inevitable. For long, Greece’s economy has been bringing troubling news to the Eurozone. The EU members have time and again tried their best to keep Greece in the common currency zone but bailouts and downgrading has got the worse out of Greece. However, the debt crisis in Greece seems to only deepen and has taken a different turn with some new developments in the Greece’s strategy – mostly captured in the statements of Greek Defense minister, Panos Kammenos.Read More →

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Banking sector has witnessed many technological changes in recent years that offer more personalized services. The shift towards getting more digital just got more exciting with the introduction of many user-friendly technologies. As banks try to make banking quicker and secure, the option for digital innovations keeps getting more and more competitive. The first quarter of 2015 introduced some very interesting banking innovations that could revolutionize the banking experience for customers. Read More →

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State-owned banks have long dominated banking in China but China wants to do things differently now. The Chinese government wants improve its financial sector by creating more confidence and responsiveness towards private customers. China has lately seen a lot of changes in its banking system, which could see some big changes in Chinese banking sector in 2015. Read More →