The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed nearly every facet of American day-to-day life to where most citizens do not see our daily routines ever returning to what we once considered “normal.” When we say every facet, we mean every facet. Mental, physical, familial, financial, personal, and professional. A lot of the effects we’ve felt from the pandemic have been less than savory, but this pandemic is also changing some things for the better. Below are just a few life lessons many Americans have learned from this pandemic (so far) regarding banking and finances.
It has been several days since the second round of PPP loan processing began. Bankers were hoping for a smoother ride this go-around, but many of the same problems that plagued the first round of the Paycheck Protection Program are still on the scene in round two.
Just thirteen days after its launch, the $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program fund (part of the $2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package) had exhausted all funds. There have been talks of more funding coming, but this has left questions circulating like: Are more funds coming? How much more? When?
If you’re in the banking or small business industry, you’re more than likely aware of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that begins today, Friday, April 3rd, 2020 as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This program is designed to help small businesses.
Scams are always abundant in this day and age, but COVID-19 has quickly brought about societal shifts full of financial and economic uncertainty and of scared and vulnerable people, and scammers are already working the cause. Scam artists are always looking for opportunities to steal money and data from people and businesses, especially financial institutions. And this time is no different.
We’re getting a lot of mixed messages about a coming recession. On one hand, the Gross Domestic Product is higher than expected and the unemployment rate is at a historic low. We’ve been seeing a lot of economic growth that suggests we’re headed in the right direction. But on the other hand, many experts suggest we are at risk for a recession.
“Fintech” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services.” This takes shape in a broad array of products and services.
Traditional thinking says that the risk banks make lending to small companies rarely outweighs the profits. Recent relationships between the small business community and fintech startups are causing lenders to reevaluate this line of thought.
In July 2016, in the small town of Duncan, Arizona, the last bank branch in the town closed its doors. They direct traffic to their nearest branch… 40 miles away. It is a popular belief nowadays that bank branches are on their way out and digital banking is taking its place, but are we looking at the whole picture? Don’t community banks offer a lot more to the communities they serve than just a place to make deposits?
First Principles thinking is an idea popularized by entrepreneur Elon Musk, although it has roots with other minds like philosopher Aristotle, inventor Johannes Gutenberg, and military strategist John Boyd.3 First principles thinking is like taking a scientific approach to your thought processes. A first principle was defined by Aristotle as, “the first basis from which a thing is known.”3 As Musk describes, “you kind of boil things down to the most fundamental truths […] and then reason up from there.”2