The Census Bureau collects household information in order to understand the nation’s people and economy. The data describes where people live, their living arrangements, ages, income, education level, commuting patterns, and occupations.1 This information helps all members of the community in different ways. Following the constitutional mandate of equal population representation, the data is used to apportion seats in the House of Representatives and draw district boundaries. Conducting a census every ten years is required by the U.S Constitution.
For the first time in ten years, the Federal Reserve cut interest rates this past July. Then again in September… and then again in October. Prior to these cuts, rates had been steadily rising. The quick and sudden shift in the direction of interest rates has left financial service providers re-strategizing how to grow deposits in the coming year.
Amidst the digital age, we continue to search for traditional banking’s place in the financial industry. Community banks, naturally, have less resources and smaller staff than larger competitors, but their small size offers agility and flexibility. To compete in today’s technology-dominated market, community banks must stay strong in these offerings in order to keep their edge.
On Wednesday, December 4th, The University of Arkansas in Fayetteville hosted a distinguished lecture by Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a non-profit that offers learning opportunities in computer science skills, build confidence, create career pathways, and be a support system for girls in grades 6-12. Saujani is an advocate for education and gender equality in the workplace, specifically tech fields.
It’s long been known that the traditional banking system just doesn’t work for the lifestyle of today’s consumers. Fintechs have noticed these problems and created digital solutions to almost all banking needs but there is still a lot of hesitation for community financial institutions to partner with these companies—but why?
How do we describe the holiday season? Magical, wonderful, exciting, warm… busy, stressful, distracting. If we’re being completely honest, the holidays make it really hard to stay focus and remain productive among the crammed schedules and extra time off. Aside from the hustle and bustle of family plans and travel, you’re likely finding your schedule filled holiday parties, charity drives, and many other events the season brings.
We often see challenges as a new generation grows and begins to integrate itself into adulthood. It’s not news to anyone that the Millennial generation at large has struggled to integrate with older generations. With the rising trends and news stories of the war between the Baby Boomer generation and Millennials, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that institutions like banks must appeal to adults with a wide variance of expectations, preferences, and needs.
It started with Black Friday. Now we have Small Business Saturday, Flannel Friday, Cyber Monday… so many fun things to end our Thanksgiving holiday with. On the tail end of this list we have Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving each year.
Small Business Saturday is an annual tradition that occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Locals are encouraged to “shop small” and show support to the diverse businesses in their community. The holiday was created by American Express in 2010 and has seen rapid growth every year since.
Community banks today are finding themselves under mounting pressure. The battle for deposits is more critical than ever before, new entrants to the space are creating unprecedented competition, customer expectations continue to climb and technology is evolving at a rapid rate. Not to mention, these institutions are expected to effectively manage and maintain regulatory requirements, security protocols and growing their portfolios – all within set budgets.