Internet Banking: Relevance in a Changing World

Surprising, but true – Internet-based activity is not the preserve of the young “digital native” generation alone. A 2008 survey says that Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976) uses Internet banking significantly more than any other demographic segment, with two thirds of Internet users in this age group banking online.

Gen X users have also professed their preference for applications such as Facebook, to share, connect and be part of a larger community.

This is some irony in this, since online banking, as we know it today, offers minimal interactivity. Unlike in a branch, where the comfort of two way interaction facilitates the consummation of a variety of transactions, the one way street of e-banking has only managed to enable the more routine tasks, such as balance enquiry or funds transfer.

It’s not hard to put two and two together. A clear opportunity exists for banks that can transform today’s passive Internet banking offering into one that provides a more widespread and interactive customer experience.

It is therefore imperative that banks transform their online offering, such that it matches the new expectations of customers. Moreover, Internet banking must journey to popular online customer hangouts, rather than wait for customers to come to it.

There are clear indications that the shift towards a “next generation” online banking environment has already been set in motion. It is only a matter of time before these trends become the norm.

Leveraging of Social Networks

Forward thinking banks are leveraging existing social networks on external sites to increase their visibility among interested groups. They are also deploying social software technology on their own sites to engage the same communities in two way discussions. Thus, their Internet banking has assumed a more pervasive persona – customers are engaging with the bank, along with its products and services even when they’re not actually transacting online.

Heightened visibility apart, banks can gain tremendous customer insight from such unstructured, informal interactions. For example, a discussion on the uncertain financial future among a group of 18 to 25 year olds could be a signal to banks to offer long term investment products to a segment that was previously not considered a target. Going one step further, a positive buzz around a newly launched service can create valuable word-of-mouth advertising for the business.

Collaborating through Web 2.0

The collaborative aspect of Web 2.0 applications has enabled banks to draw customers inside their fold more than ever before. Traditional methods such as focus group discussions or market research suffer from the disadvantages of high cost, limited scope and potential to introduce bias. Feedback forms merely serve as a post-mortem. In contrast, Web 2.0 has the ability to carry a vast audience along right from the start, and continue to do so perpetually. Thus, an interested community of prospects and customers participate in co-creating products and services which can fulfil their expectations.

The pervasiveness of Web 2.0 enables delivery of e-banking across multiple online locations and web-based gadgets such as Yahoo!Widgets, Windows Live or the iPhone. This means next generation online banking customers will enjoy heightened access and convenience

A New York based firm of analysts found that 15% of the 70 banks tracked by them had adopted Web 2.0, a number of them having done so within the last 12 months.

Standard Chartered Bank employees connect with their colleagues through Facebook and use the platform to share knowledge, clarify questions and participate in discussions on ongoing company activities.

Bank of America, Wachovia Bank and Commonwealth Credit Union have built a presence within interactive media to create awareness and keep up a dialogue with interested communities. They have employed a variety of methods, ranging from creating YouTube communities to launching campaigns on Current TV, a channel in which viewers determine content.

Personalisation of Online Banking

Vanilla e-banking divides customers into very large, heterogeneous groups – typically, corporate, retail or SME, with one type of Internet banking page for each. That’s in sharp contradiction to how banking organisations would like to view their clientele. Banks are moving towards customer-specificity, almost viewing each client as a “segment of one”, across other channels, and online banking is set to follow suit. For instance, a specific home page for home loan customers and another for private banking clients could well be a possibility in future.

Interestingly, National Bank of Kuwait had the foresight to do this several years ago – they enabled customers to determine which products they would view and access, and were rewarded with a dramatic increase in online transactions.

Money Monitor from Yes Bank allows customers to choose their landing page – for example, they can set “all transactions”, “net worth” or “portfolio” as their default view. Other features include the ability to categorise transactions as per customers’ convenience and the printing of custom reports.

Empowerment Online

Beyond doubt, Internet banking has created a more informed, empowered class of customers. This is set to climb to the next level once customers are allowed to proactively participate in many more transaction-related processes. The Internet has already made it possible for customers to compare product loan offerings, simulate financial scenarios and design custom retirement portfolios. Going forward, they would be able to consummate related transactions – which means, after comparing interest rates, they could originate a loan online, and once secured, they can begin to repay it online as well.

Portalisation

The emergence of Web 2.0 technology coupled with banks’ desire to personalise their e-banking to the highest degree is likely to result in “portalisation” of Internet banking. The idea of banking customers being able to create their own spaces online, filled with all that is relevant to them, is not that far-fetched. Customers can personalise their Internet banking page to reflect the positions of multiple accounts across different banks; they could include their credit card information, subscribe to their favourite financial news, consolidate their physical assets position, share their experiences with a group and do more – all from one “place”.

Money Monitor enables customers to add multiple “accounts” (from a choice of 9,000) to their page. Accounts could be savings or loan accounts with major Indian banks, or those with utilities providers, credit card companies, brokerage firms and even frequent flyer programs. Users can customise their pages as described earlier.

As banks seek to develop their Internet banking vision for the future, in parallel, they will also need to address the key issues of security and “due defence”. While it is every marketer’s dream to have customers work as ambassadors, adequate precaution must be taken to prevent the proliferation of malicious or spurious publicity. Therefore, before an individual is allowed to participate in a networking forum, he or she must have built up a favorable track record with the bank. The individual must be a recognized customer of the bank, having used a minimum number of products over a reasonable length of time. Qualitative information about the person’s interaction with the bank’s support staff (for example frequency and type of calls made to their call centre, outcome of such interaction and so on) may be invaluable in profiling the “right” type of customer who can be recruited as a possible advocate.

Collaborative Web 2.0 applications may necessitate opening up banks’ websites to outside technology and information exchange with third party sites, raising the spectre of data and infrastructure security. A robust mechanism of checks and balances must be built to ensure that the third party sites are secure, appropriately certified and pose no threat to the home banks’ sites. Likewise, before a third party widget is allowed to be brought on to a site, it must have passed through stringent security control.

Due diligence must be exercised before permitting users to place a link to another site to guard against the possibility of inadvertent download of malicious software, which could, in the worst case, even result in phishing originating from the banks’ sites.

It is equally important for a bank to guard its customers against invasion of privacy, data theft or misuse. The concept of portalisation envisages deploying technology to bring information from other banks’ or financial service providers’ websites into the home bank’s site. The home bank must ensure that its customers’ personal or transaction related information, which may be shared with the other providers, is not susceptible to leakage or outright misuse.

Banks will do well to partner with an Internet banking solution provider which has not only the expertise to translate their vision into a cutting edge e-banking experience for the user, but also the foresight to define boundaries for safety. With security concerns adequately addressed, next generation Internet banking is full of exciting possibilities. Banks that seize the opportunity may find that Internet banking can become a means of differentiating themselves from competitors, rather than a mere cost cutting tool. Clearly, providing a more powerful and interactive e-banking experience, is the way forward.

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What You Need To Know About Bathroom Remodeling

Bathroom and kitchen remodeling are very popular ways to prepare any home for sale. During the days, many people believe that only kitchen remodeling can add value to a home. But now, bathroom remodeling is also considered as something essential. You should know that a bathroom remodeling is a usual jump start that will really set the tone of any bath. It is highly suggested that you start shopping for the materials today since there is a wide variety of bathroom remodeling products that are available in the market which will really let you buy the most elegant and functional products.

You need to know that color is something emotional for humans. So when it comes to bathroom remodeling, it is important to have an emotional appeal of colors. You need to have a color scheme before you start remodeling your bathroom.

The color schemes that will awaken lively emotions are yellow and red. They are best in small doses. If you want more restfulness, then blue and green colors should be your choice. The blues of water can be adapted easily to your bathroom remodeling project. While the greens that you find outdoors will complement the blue color.

Once you have chosen the right colors for your bathroom remodeling, the next thing that you will do is to choose the ideal lighting. You might want to change the lighting that you currently have.

Atmosphere and emotion can also be brought by light fixtures. It is important for you to consider your current light fixtures first before you will start the bathroom remodeling project. If you want to add more value to your home via a bathroom remodeling, then you need to check out the new stocks from the lighting store in your area.

After a bathroom remodeling project is done, you might still feel that there is something that is not right. It might be that the colors don’t work well. It might be the lighting. But you need to know that black is the answer. Even if black is not a color, it is still one bathroom remodeling option that you need to take note of.

There are so many available bathroom remodeling options for you in the market today regardless of the style, preference, and the budget that you have. But every time you will be looking for bathroom vanities, it is important that you should take note of some important things first in order to make sure that you will be getting one that will fit your home. It is also important for you to have a list of the right dimensions in order to have a clear picture on the layout of the room. There are actually so many different available styles when it comes to single and double bathroom remodeling options. Aside from your personal style, you also need to consider the d?cor and theme of your bathroom. If you want to learn more about these bathroom remodeling options, then you should consider checking out this link right here.

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Things to Know about Commercial Tenant Eviction Laws as a Landlord

Not all tenants are capable of paying their rent is it is required. You can think of how your tenant will face the difficult eviction practice if he or she may no longer pay the rent as it is required. Before you begin to conduct the eviction you should ensure you do it in the right way so that you can limit the loss of revenue. Since you will only be required to evict a tenant in the right way, as a landlord you should ensure you know all the essential things on how to evict a tenant. If your tenant has failed to pay the rent, then you can think of knowing all the discussed crucial things about commercial tenant eviction laws before you begin the eviction process.

Before you begin the litigation process the first essential thing to know that is explored in this article is that the tenant who is sued for unpaid rent will be required to pay it during the litigation. Therefore, for you to remain in space if your case has been taken to court, you must ensure you pay the unpaid rent whether you will like it or not since this is a law and it must be followed. You should also know that if you sue a tenant he or she will be allowed to dispute the unpaid amount it seems that it is not the correct figure so that it may be determined by the court. With these reasons, all the tenants who will feel like they must be in space will pay the amount due as you might have expected.

The second thing that you should know about commercial tenant eviction laws is that self-help eviction is not allowed. For you to remove the defaulting tenant as a landlord, you should ensure you first go through the legal process that is explored in the eviction laws. The illegal things that you should avoid as a landlord even though you might have a tenant who is no longer paying the rent are to change the locks of the premises and more so to remove the tenant’s property without any order from the court. Landlords may be accountable to the court costs and more so the lawyer’s fees if they will tend to evict a tenant without going through the legal process.

Thirdly, you are required to know that lease can be modified default through communications between the landlord and a tenant. Most of the landlords prefer working things out with their tenants other than going through the litigation process since it consumes a lot of time and requires a lot of cash. For the best agreement with the tenant the landlord will have to waive the default and think of changing the lease. Note that all the agreement should be written down for reference.

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The Types of Stretches That Runners Can Do

Running is an important activity that you can be able to do on a daily basis especially because it gives you an opportunity to be healthy. One thing you realize is that running gives you an opportunity to exercise quite a number of muscles in the body. Because of deciding to run, you’re going to have a lot of freedom in terms of your health. This process is never going to be easy and you can be very sure of that. One thing you’ll notice is that you have to be properly prepared for the running exercises every time. In order to get the best results with running exercises, you have to be very careful about which types of stretches that you’re going to do. It is good for you to do every exercise that is actually going to be of benefit to you and that is the reason why stretching is going to be a very good idea. Getting to do the stretches is going to be a good thing but first, you have to learn them. These stretches are going to be more than one, you are going to be powerful for your body.

The pyramid pose is one of the types of stretches that is going to be very good for your body. The reason why you have to do this is because it is going to allow you to have an easier time especially with your hands and your legs. You can even decide to do this exercise a number of times and you’ll be able to get very good results with your body. Another option that is available today is to do mobility lifts. If you are stretching for plantar fasciitis, this kind of exercise is very good for you. By stretching for plantar fasciitis, you’ll be able to strengthen your muscles in a very big way. Another advantage that you be able to get for stretching for plantar fasciitis is that is going to give you an opportunity to losing your muscles around ankles. By doing this, you’ll be able to have an easier time and that is why you have to do the stretching for plantar fasciitis.

In fact, doing the stretching for plantar fasciitis is going to allow you to have wonders in terms of results. If you know that you have the condition then, stretching for plantar fasciitis is very important because you will be helping your body. You’ll be able to have much better running experiences when you decide to do stretching for plantar fasciitis.

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