Shall I Continue?

It has been sooo long since I have posted on this blog.  The biggest reason for my absence is due to the fact that I left my small bank position and went back to (gasp!):  Big Bank!  Well the best big bank in the world entered my market and when a co-worker and I heard about it, we set out to join that bank.  My interest level was very high because I know how technologically advanced they are in Treasury Management.  Well it has been almost one year and I have not had a second of regret.  My last assignment at a big bank was in a sales management position.  I pretty much have learned my lesson that management is not where I want to be.  I do think I am a good leader – I had a great team reporting to me but the worst part was not managing my team but rather managing up.  I suspect that this might not be the case at every big bank but I am very gun shy about having to be in the middle of all that “spin” again.  So I am loving life and living back in the trenches.  I have my own little world that stays in balance as long as I get the job done.  That leads me to this blog.  Its genesis was to tout the benefits of being a client in a small bank.  I am still a very firm believer that a small bank can be a very wonderful place for a small business to bank. Small business bankers are a great lot.  And community banks make it their mission to take care of their business clients.  But I can’t take sides anymore.  The best bank for your business is the one that best meets your needs.  And that can cover a whole lotta’ ground!

Now that I have determined that I can still get into WordPress, and if I can find the time, I might continue posting here.


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I Wish My Bank Could P2P

While home for summer break, my 20-year old college student daughter recently made a visit to our dentist.  She was slightly confused when they asked her to (gasp!) make a payment for services rendered.  Turns out she had a procedure done that was not fully covered by insurance.  Luckily she had a credit card with her.  It was actually her personal card as she is working diligently on establishing credit through Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU).  She used her own savings account to get a cash-secured card.  She knows she needs to use it to establish a track record but she is a bundle of nerves if she has a balance on it (I only wish my 19-year old felt the same way!).  My point here is that she used her credit card to pay the $151 fee and she promptly called me to let me know that they “made” her pay for this.  The next day she headed back to college to work on a summer project so I couldn’t get her to deposit a check at NFCU and I needed to figure out how to pay down her credit card.  She and I both have accounts at NFCU but I don’t have access to her credit card.  She and I both have an account with Big Bank but it isn’t easy to get $ transferred over to NFCU from there.  So I ended up writing a check off my account at Big Bank, then using my Online Deposit Voucher from NFCU.  NFCU allows you to make an online deposit just by entering the info on their website and forwarding the check in a special envelope.  This allowed me to deposit it into my checking account at NFCU and two days later I went online and transferred it from my NFCU checking account to my daughter’s NFCU savings account, which I could do because I am a joint owner.  She could then turn around and do an online transfer from her NFCU savings account to her NFCU credit card to paid for the dental visit.  It seems convoluted but anything I can do from the comfort of my big home office chair is preferrable to running around town to stand in line to make a deposit.

Given that whole pain-in-the-rear scenario, I was very interested in a service I came across in my blog-surfing.  It was about a P2P (person to person) service called POPmoney (Pay Other People) and despite the fact that it has been around for about 2 years, I had not heard of it.  It is provided by a company called CashEdge and apparently a lot of banks have made this service available to their customers.  POPmoney works by doing two payment transactions:  The first is an ACH debit (electronic withdrawal) out of the sending consumer’s account, and the second is an ACH credit (electronic deposit) to the recipient’s account.  CashEdge is able to monitor and mitigate the risks involved with such transactions.  The best part about the service is that the only thing the sender needs to know is the email address or the mobile phone number of the recipient.  Once the payment is sent, the recipient will get an email or text message stating “you’ve received funds from (name).” They will then be directed to go to their bank or the hub to collect the payment.

So….if my bank offered POPmoney, getting that dang dentist bill would have been a lot quicker and a lot easier.


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Ladies – a banking career could be hazardous to your livelihood

In reading some of the news outlet articles and blogs I follow, I was struck recently by two stories around the misfortunes of women in banking.  The first article referred to a “Hit and Run Bandit” who has been knocking down women bank employees and stealing the money bags they were carrying.  Apparently 9 such crimes have occurred in California since May 19th.  One of the women attacked is in her 70s and she suffered a broken hip after being knocked to the ground.  They have a suspect in custody.  I am trying to think of what these women would be doing with bank bags outside of the branch and the only thing that comes to mind is restocking an outside ATM.  Aren’t 2 people required to handle this function?

The second article discusses female bank employees but they were not innocent victims in this case.   The “Don Juan” bandit has been convicted in Philadelphia after apparently running a large ID theft ring with the help of girlfriends working on the inside at various banks.  These women ended up providing him with account information which allowed him to steal more than $1 million.  Included among the implicated was a Wachovia Bank teller and a PNC bank branch manager.  He must have been some Don Juan.

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Get Ready for New Internet Addresses

Internet domain endings such as .com, .org, and .net are expanding from the current 22 offerings to possibly hundreds of new domains.  A plan was approved by the governing body of internet names (ICANN) on June 20 which will create an exponentially larger universe of website names.  One of those new domain endings will be “.bank” which has the banking industry aflutter as they want to make sure that the use of such a financial domain will protect the interest and security of banks and bank customers.  The American Bankers Association is actually looking into whether they may want to apply to become a registrar for “.bank” to prevent misuse of the domain.  According to ICANN, any entity expecting to secure rights to and run a new domain can expect to pay a $185,000 application fee in addition to spending up to $2 million in start-up costs and $2 million a year on operations and infrastructure costs.  At that price tag it will be interesting to see if there are any takers. 

According to ICANN, they have “opened the Internet’s naming system to unleash the global human imagination. … We hope this allows the domain name system to better serve all of mankind,” said Rod Beckstrom, President and Chief Executive Officer of ICANN.  “We have provided a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration,” said Peter Dengate Thrush, Chairman of ICANN’s Board of Directors.

Internet address names will be able to end with almost any word in any language, offering organizations around the world the opportunity to market their brand, products, community or cause in new and innovative ways.

This is some lofty talk here:   unleash the global human imagination, better serve all of mankind, provide a platform for the next generation of creativity and inspiration.…Gosh, I’m tingling all over just from reading the words.

The application period will be from January 12, 2012 until April 12, 2012.

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