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BankingTech FinTech

Out of office: what the homeworking revolution means for our cities

February 27, 2021 at 04:00PM

Employees’ reluctance to return to full-time commuting after a year of Covid means change is afoot for companies

Susanna* has spent most of lockdown in back-to-back Zoom meetings. It is a major change for the senior banker, who used to commute to London from her home in rural Lincolnshire and regularly travelled across the country to meet business customers face to face.

The 55-year-old does not miss the 5.30am alarms or spending three nights a week away from her husband and son. And she appreciates the way the bank’s management has banned calls between noon and 1pm – now dubbed “golden hour” – and cuts video meetings off after 50 minutes to give staff a brief buffer. But working from home has felt relentless, and after nearly a year she is longing to return to some sort of normality.

I have been really impressed with how productive we can be without being together in a building

Continue reading… via Banking | The Guardian https://bit.ly/2Mu94zq

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BankingTech FinTech

United India Insurance reclassified as public shareholder of Axis Bank

February 27, 2021 at 03:33PM
State run United India Insurance Company has been reclassified as a public shareholder of Axis Bank from its earlier position as a promoter shareholde
via Business Line – Money & Banking https://bit.ly/3syGXym
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FinTech Payments

The Risks And Rewards Of Making Every Day A Holiday

February 27, 2021 at 09:00AM

Did you remember to skip the straw yesterday (Feb. 26)? Or eat your pistachios, or write a letter to your grandmother? Did you make your chili on Thursday, or the clam chowder the date so clearly called for? Have you paid your proper respects to a polar bear yet today (Feb. 27), eaten a strawberry, played Pokemon or properly appreciated the role protein plays in your diet?

Many reading this list are no doubt confused at this point, and wondering how exactly we came up with such a strange list of activities for the last weekend in February — but we at PYMNTS are nothing if not festive. So festive, in fact, that we keep abreast of all the #NationalDaysOnThe Register — all 1,500 of them. And if you find yourself noting that 1,500 is roughly four times the number of days in a year — well, that’s why chili and clam chowder both share a celebration day, as do National Write Your Elders Day and National Pistachio Day.

Now, some “national days” are more official than others, with a select few created by presidential proclamation: National Grandparent Day (first Sunday after Labor Day), National Good Neighbor Say (Sept. 28) and National Ice Cream Day (third Sunday of National Ice Cream Month, declared as July by Ronald Reagan in 1984). The proclamation (No. 5219) declared ice cream “a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over 90 percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food.”

Ice cream is no doubt delicious and deserving of its month of honor — but surely other snack foods somewhat less perfect in form and presentation deserve a day all their own. Twinkies are rumored to have a shelf life longer than human civilization — surely that warrants a national day of recognition. As it turns out, it’s April 6, reportedly the day Twinkies first rolled off the line and into the hands of the American people in 1930.

A presidential proclamation isn’t the only way to get a national day. Like most things of value in this world, it is also possible to buy one. The good folks at the National Day Calendar will sell one to you, starting at the bargain price of $25,000, plus an annual commitment of $2,500 in products or services for prize giveaways. And that’s just the baseline price to be considered for a National Day submission — their packages go up to $50,000 and $100,000, depending on how much additional marketing support a  buyer wants to invest in.

For those looking for less expensive and less marketing-intensive packages, other options exist that start as low as $99, though that only gets you a national proclamation day. The bargain-basement price to be included in a National Day archive seems to be around $500.

And notably, being willing to show up and pay isn’t always enough to make it. According to the National Day Archives, the process is somewhat selective. According to the website, “only 30 new days are added annually from over 20,000 submitted applications.” Getting into the National Day spotlight, as it turns out, requires both a large amount of money and a worthy cause for celebration.

So imagine our shock here at PYMNTS when we learned that payments doesn’t have any kind of a national day all its own. Well, there was National Equal Pay Day, but that seemed more about bringing attention to the gender pay gap than celebrating the wonder of modern payments technology. And so we have some suggestions for a few holidays and how we should celebrate them, for any payments peeps out there looking for creative ways to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

National Cryptocurrency Day: Celebrated by eating cupcakes. If the cupcakes are purchased at the start of the day, they cost 13 cents apiece. If bought at 10 a.m., they cost $10,000. At noon, they cost $50,000. At 3 p.m., they cost $500. At 7 p.m., they cost $75,000. And at closing time at 9 p.m., the baker pays you $20 apiece to take them.

National Contactless Payment Day: Celebrated by staying as far away from other people as possible and waving vigorously at them while tapping a card, scanning a QR code or picking up a meal curbside.

National Delivery on Demand Day: Celebrated on Zoom, a holiday for Americans to show off their recent delivery to friends and family, followed by the streaming of the traditional holiday meal ordered from Uber Eats or DoorDash.

National Buy Now, Pay Later Day(s): One holiday with its celebration broken into four parts, to be celebrated monthly.

And, of course ….

National Payments Day: We even have a date for this one — Oct. 20, a spot currently held by Brandied Fruit. We have nothing against brandied fruit, but we think payments has a special claim on the 20th day of October. That is the day in 2014 when Apple Pay officially launched — and, we would modestly argue more importantly, it is the day in 2009 when PYMNTS.com made its online debut.

We’re just saying: A holiday that could be successfully celebrated by buying or selling literally anything? Well, there are worse reasons to eat cake.

The Risks And Rewards Of Making Every Day A Holiday …

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[Discussion] Need to make a new account with another bank, but have no clue on how that would effect money coming in?

February 27, 2021 at 08:13AM

Hi all, I understand very little about how banks function but I'm in a bit of a situation. I'm also not sure if this is the right subreddit to ask but it's worth a shot.

When I was 15 or 16, I opened an account under my guardians account and used that for all of my money. Now I'm 18 and everything was going fine up until the last stimulus where my stimulus money went to his account and not mine. He didn't tell me about this until he had spent it all, and now I'm worried that he might have some sort of "power" over my money or something, again I'm not exactly sure how it all works.

To avoid this, I wanted to just open an account with a completely different bank and have any money that comes in, including any future stimulus checks, go in the new one and then completely close the old one.

How exactly would that work? Is it possible to have a stimulus go into the new account and not the old? What exactly determines where it goes?

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[Discussion] opening bank accounts and credit score – need advice – thanks

February 27, 2021 at 08:05AM

recently ive been applying to new banks thru their promotional offers.

my question is, does opening new bank accounts or brokerage accounts effect my credit score?

i have really poor credit score and ive seen posts saying banks will run hard/soft pull on your credit score if you open new bank accounts, loans, insurances, etc. What does that mean?

can somebody clarify my confusion?

thanks.

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FinTech Payments

Roblox Gaming Platform Pursues Older Users; Readies For Direct Listing

February 27, 2021 at 03:59AM

Digital entertainment platform Roblox is going after adult users as it readies to go public via a direct offering scheduled for March 10, CNBC reported on Friday (Feb. 26).

Roblox Founder and CEO David Baszucki said that he wants people to see the company as more than a gaming site, and one that can provide live events like entertainment and educational programming. “When we experience concerts together, we dance together, we chat with our friends, we dress up,” he said in an investor presentation, per CNBC. “Concerts aren’t just something we consume. They really are naturally something we do together.”

Roblox hosted the rapper Lis Nas X for a virtual show that attracted more than 30 million visitors on two nights in November 2020. The Silicon Valley firm has become one of the top-grossing iOS and Android apps. It features millions of user-created games that let youth interact with their friends while playing.

The pandemic helped fuel a revenue surge for Roblox in 2020, when it escalated 82 percent to $923.9 million. Users spent more than double the number of hours on the platform in 2020 compared to the prior year, logging 30.6 billion hours. As the company looks to the future, it aims to target older users and non-gamers. “We’re increasingly appealing to an older user base,” said Roblox CFO Mike Guthrie, per CNBC, noting that people over the age of 13 now comprise 44 percent of all active users.

Baszucki said that beyond entertainment and events, he thinks schools could make use of Roblox for unique, captivating lessons instead of having everyone listening on a crowded video call. 

Roblox had been exploring an initial public offering (IPO) last year, but scrutiny by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had it look toward a direct listing instead. The company raised $520 million in January in a funding round led by Altimeter Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group. The company’s valuation after the round reached $29.5 billion, up from $4 billion in January 2020.

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[Discussion] What is March 1rst deadline?

February 27, 2021 at 02:42AM

What is March 1rst deadline for TFSA/RRSP in Canada? Is it considered as the end of the financial year? If I do a withdraw on my TFSA before March 1rst could I reinvest the same amount in an other TFSA on March 2nd for example? Or the end of the year is December 31rst? Thanks

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[Discussion] My experience at the bank regarding a savings bond for my daughter

February 27, 2021 at 01:43AM

So I went to the bank to deposit a $100 savings bond for my daughter. I asked the associate if it had matured and he said "yes." I received a call a few weeks later and they said, sorry – instead of $100, your bond wasn't mature and it was only worth $55 and I'd have to repay $45 so the bank could balance their books. When I said that it wasn't my fault, the manager took a tone with me and said "I can't believe you don't realize it was a mistake and that you expect the bank to eat the charges." I got pissed and said it wasn't my fault, and words ensued. I couldn't believe she would talk to me that way, and would press me to let her debit my account.

I asked to speak with her boss, and was waiting on a call until she called back. She said a complaint was filed and she needed to debit the account. I said "fine" against my better judgement. So now she was able to balance her books (end of month) and I feel a little like "the check's in the mail." I don't know if I'll get a call to discuss the incident.

I'd like to call the corporate office and file a complaint. (1) I'd like to get the money back and (2) I want to make sure I share my experience. Customer service is not meant to be like that. And, I just opened a business account there! Pathetic! I'm getting anger and anger the more I type.

Anyway, has anyone here had any experience with something like this? I mean I went to the bank because I thought they would know. What are my options?

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Humana Partners With Mercy To Advance Virtual Healthcare 

February 27, 2021 at 01:36AM

Health insurance firm Humana is teaming with the Mercy healthcare system to expand virtual medical services to Humana’s Medicare Advantage members.

“This agreement unites two organizations striving to offer care that is more accessible, personalized and coordinated — a commitment that is more important than ever right now,” Jeremy Gaskill, Humana’s regional Medicare president, said in a press release on Friday (Feb. 26). He added that the partnership will help the company’s mission to “improve the health and well-being of people in the communities we serve, and that that Mercy “shares our dedication to innovation in healthcare.”

The collaboration offers Humana’s Medicare Advantage members access to Mercy Virtual,  the healthcare system’s “hospital without beds,” according to the release. Mercy Virtual has more than 300 clinicians and offers round-the-clock care, including virtual primary care.

The new service will be available to any Humana Medicare Advantage member who has in-network use of one of Mercy’s 4,000 primary and specialty care clinicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.

As part of the partnership, Mercy is also entering into a value-based care arrangement with Humana. The new service expands on the existing network contract between both companies, which continues to provide in-network access at all Mercy hospitals, outpatient facilities and physician practices.

“Mercy is committed to working with our communities to improve healthcare while also reducing the total cost of care,” said Shannon Sock, Mercy executive vice president, chief strategist and chief financial officer. “Strong payor relationships, like this one with Humana, will help in our long-term journey to provide more seamless care for our patients. Together we can make a real difference for patients, which is especially critical during this pandemic.”

Humana’s total Medicare Advantage membership reached more than 4.8 million members in January, the release said.

Humana recently backed the Los Angeles digital health startup Heal with a $100 million investment. Heal said it made 200,000 home visits over the past five years

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Next Congressional Hearing Set For Robinhood-GameStop Debacle

February 27, 2021 at 01:07AM

The U.S. House Committee on Financial Services will hold a second hearing on the Wall Street trading debacle that involved GameStop, Reddit, Robinhood and hedge fund traders, Crowdfund Insider reported on Friday (Feb. 26).

The virtual hearing will take place on March 17 and final details about who is testifying will be made public a week before the hearing. Rep. Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the committee, had said there will be three separate hearings about the trading incident that rocked Wall Street and caused big losses for hedge funds.

The second hearing is anticipated to call industry experts to testify. The third hearing could result in final opinions about what happened and if new legislation is necessary, the news outlet indicated. 

Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev testified at the first hearing and expressed regret for placing trading restrictions on GameStop stock. He maintained, however, that it was a necessary response to meet clearinghouse demands. 

The other witnesses at the first hearing included hedge fund chief executives, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman and a Reddit user from the platform’s community WallStreetBets. Users of WallStreetBets were said to have played a major role in running up GameStop stock. 

So far this year Robinhood added 6 million new users for its cryptocurrency services. Bitcoin hit record highs, topping $58,000 with a market capitalization of over $1 trillion. The cryptocurrency dogecoin also saw values escalate during the Gamestop trading frenzy.

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