The Entrepreneur Revolution

Five technology-driven trends that will redefine successful small businesses By William Atkinson No matter their age, experience or background, more people than ever are interested in starting their own business, entrepreneurial developers and researchers say. “There has been a real shift in the attention given to entrepreneurship since the recession,” observes Charisse Bowen, director of […]

Wading into the Prepaid Waters

Big retailers are making a splash in consumer prepaid cards. Should community banks dive into the same payment pool? By Viveca Y. Ware It’s unusual for prepaid to be a focal point in back-to-back payments columns, as it was in March and now is in April. But Facebook’s foray into branded gift cards, on the […]

A Payments Proliferation

Is P2P a valuable canary in the payments mine? By Collin Canright Consumers have more ways to make purchases than ever and will have even more choices over the next few years. This is creating a highly fragmented marketplace in which it’s difficult for any single payment option to gain traction. Yet the fastest, most […]

Trump Cards

Smart cards are the fast-approaching new billboards in your customers’ wallets By Diane Jackson Over the past few years, there has been a change in the way financial institutions view bank cards. Once seen as purely functional, it has become clear that a card with the right design and functionality can be one of a […]

Back to the Future

Co-op data centers—an idea whose time has come (again)? By Judith Sears In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon, and that same year the first two nodes of today’s Internet were connected between UCLA and Stanford Research Institute. Meanwhile at Lake-Osceola State Bank in Baldwin, Mich., Deborah Smith-Olson, working […]

Boosting Performance

Six ways to improve IT project execution and follow-through By Judith Sears Just about everyone’s done it—undertaken an IT initiative with soaring hopes only to sputter, stall, fail or never fully deliver on expectations. Unfortunately, as banking operations and IT systems converge, the consequences for faltering IT executions are rising steadily.

Test Drive

Kicking the tires of the new Bluebird prepaid card By Cary Whaley Like any true payments geek, I revel in a chance to get under the hood of new payment offerings and take them for a test drive. So when American Express announced that its new prepaid card, called Bluebird, was available exclusively at Wal-Mart […]

Evolutionary IT Alternative

Managed service providers sprout into an increasingly available option for greater IT outsourcing By Collin Canright It’s been a universal industry refrain for many years: Affordable access to current technology is a crucial competitive point for community banks, as it is with any financial services firm. The challenge is even greater with today’s mobile consumers. […]

Drawing a Crowd (Facebook)

How three community banks are making a big impact and attracting fans on Facebook Facebook is an electronic bulletin board of ideas that updates as a streaming News Feed. In the last Social Media Matters column, I talked about Facebook basics and how to start engaging fans. In fact, one of the first questions that […]