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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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At the Mobile World Congress, Mastercard recently announced that it was teaming up with Facebook to provide small businesses in Africa and Asia with an affordable and simple on-ramp for accepting mobile payments. The partnership will help unbanked retailers and merchants in the regions open bank accounts through Facebook Messenger. At the launch, Kahina Van Dyke, director of Payments and Financial Services Partnerships at Facebook, said, “Brands and developers around the world are turning to messaging to connect with the 1.3 billion people who use Messenger each month. We are pleased that Mastercard is developing a service on the Messenger platform to help small merchants use messagingRead More →

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Originally Published on Digitalist Magazine With the advent of robo-advisors, artificial intelligence (AI), and virtual assistants, the next wave of the financial technology revolution could arrive sooner than anticipated. A report by EY, “Unleashing the Potential of Fintech in Banking,” highlights that collaborations with startups (and not competition) can provide fresh tech solutions for banks. Shared services and knowledge will improve product offerings through data analytics tools like predictive analytics, offering deeper engagements with customers. How are banks currently leveraging fintech? Albeit independently, banks are building in-house technology in response to the growing fintech challenge. In 2017, JPMorgan appointed a new team for the automation ofRead 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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Chatbots may soon be your personal stylist. A recent report by MasterCard and Mercator research shows that 66% of US adults use voice assistants or chatbots, and 87% are aware of the technologies. With a growing demand for chatbots, fashion brands are introducing ways to keep the in-shop customers engaged offline too — in an organic manner that does not look automated. With the advent of chatbots, fashion brands are racing to embrace virtual stylists, ensuring that shopping experience for customers goes beyond the usual traditional experience. So far, automation for the fashion industry has meant browsing through styles that relied heavily on previous search history thatRead More →

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Apple Inc.’s next breakthrough may be powered by 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 story published last year, which highlighted Apple’s wearable expansion into ‘digital glasses’. The AR industry is gaining momentum and could be a huge global market worth $90 million by 2020. For Apple, an AR adoption could mean a new dimension to its existing products, possibly resulting inRead 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 →