How Chat Banking is Transforming Financial Services Customer Experience

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The banking industry has seen a number of key technology advancements over the last several decades, as it has moved away from a brick-and-mortar strategy toward a more self-service-driven model.

• In the 1970s the rise of personal computers provided an alternative to traditional banking, though technology was still in its infancy
• In the 1980s, technology started to evolve, and ATMs were introduced – in addition to computer banking – as high-tech solutions to meet the needs of customers on the go
• The introduction of mobile phones in the 2000s brought consumers the ability to conduct mobile banking, accessing their account information and completing transactions on the go

So, the question we ask ourselves now is what’s the next step in the evolution of the banking customer experience?

The introduction of chat apps

The rapid evolution of smartphone technology and the rise of connected devices has led to

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South Plains Financial, Inc. Reports Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results

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LUBBOCK, Texas, July 29, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — South Plains Financial, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPFI) (“South Plains” or the “Company”), the parent company of City Bank (“City Bank” or the “Bank”), today reported its financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

Curtis Griffith, South Plains’ Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “I am very proud of our employees for their hard work and dedication to our customers and communities during this unprecedented time. They have kept the Bank’s operations running smoothly and maintained a high level of service and support for our customers. As the number of COVID-19 cases started to spike in Texas in June, we made the decision to close our branch lobbies once again to appointment-only service while keeping our drive-through windows in operation. Overall, we continue to operate very effectively through our drive-through windows and are successfully transitioning our customers to our digital banking platforms. Importantly, … Read More

A Financial Innovation That Could Accelerate The Carbon Transition

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Coal economics have passed the cost crossover point with renewables – 179 gigawatts (GW) of coal plants in the United States were more expensive to operate than replacing them with new local solar or wind energy in 2018. But even though opportunities abound for utilities to economically transition from existing coal to new renewables, annual coal plant retirement rates are closer to 10 GW.

When utilities and regulators fail to act upon this fundamental economic change, relentless consumer pressure will result, forcing utilities to adapt or risk losing customers.

An innovative new financial approach is accelerating the electric sector’s financial transition from coal to clean. “ Solar for coal swaps” could help refinance the 26 GW of

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Sunnova Reports Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results and Reaffirms 2020 Guidance

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HOUSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sunnova Energy International Inc. (“Sunnova”) (NYSE: NOVA), one of the leading U.S. residential solar and storage service providers, today announced financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2020.

“We are proud to report another quarter of strong results and to reaffirm our 2020 guidance,” said William J. (John) Berger, Chief Executive Officer of Sunnova. “Our response during the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how quickly our industry can adapt to not only survive this crisis but thrive. With our expanding dealer network and rising storage attachment rate, in the second quarter we believe we grew our customer base at a rate faster than any other public U.S. residential solar and storage service company.

“Based on our current customer growth trajectory, and driven by our business model and capitalization strategy, we are experiencing significant operating leverage and are at the tipping point of achieving the scale needed to

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Live Efficient: Customer aid continues as restrictions ease – Lifestyle – seacoastonline.com

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MANCHESTER — As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and New Hampshire slowly reopens, Eversource is reminding customers of the options and solutions available to support them during this uncertain time. The energy company continues to offer various ways to assist customers, including tips to help save money and energy, as well as a new COVID-19 Payment Program that allows customers up to 12 months to pay any past-due balances.

“As the pandemic continues to evolve and we all begin to adjust to a new normal, we’re here to help any customer facing financial hardship or uncertainty,” said Eversource Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Penni Conner. “We recognize how challenging these times are and remain committed to supporting our customers as we navigate through this unchartered territory. Any customer who may have had a difficult time paying their energy bill because of the pandemic can take advantage of

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CFPB to propose rules for how companies access customer data

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau plans to propose clearer standards on how fintech firms access consumers’ financial account information, the agency said Friday.

The bureau said it will release an advance notice of proposed rulemaking later this year that could prompt further inquiry into whether market participants — including banks, fintechs and data aggregators — are acting in consumers’ interest when it comes to accessing data.

The proposal is likely to draw enormous interest from both banks, which have at times been leery of app providers grabbing data, and the fintech firms themselves that rely on consumers’ ability to access their account information.

The proposal will focus, in part, on whether some emerging market practices among fintechs and data aggregators “may not reflect the access rights” described in the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB said. The proposal also could examine whether “regulatory uncertainty” may be affecting the market “to the potential

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American teachers are facing ‘a perfect storm’ of crises amid the coronavirus pandemic

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The compounding stresses of the coronavirus pandemic, the sudden transition to remote learning, and the politicization of schools reopening are burning out teachers.

“I was on the verge of leaving,” an art teacher from Connecticut, who teaches kindergarten through fifth grade but did not want to be identified out of fear of professional retaliation, told Yahoo Finance. “The reason why I stayed truthfully was because of my loan payments.”

According to a survey by Horace Mann of 2,490 educators in the U.S. in June, 34% of them are considering leaving the profession due to the financial stress they’re feeling. 

“It’s like a perfect storm happening right now because the federal government hasn’t passed any legislation to give states any money,” Tish Jennings, an associate professor at the University of Virginia who studies how stress affects teachers, told Yahoo Finance. “ And so when they don’t have enough money in the

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3 New York City businesses on what it’s been like reopening in the first U.S. epicenter of the pandemic

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New York City quickly became the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States this past spring. As the novel coronavirus has spread rapidly elsewhere nationwide, New York has been able to bring cases down and began to reopen businesses this summer, making it a possible blueprint for other American cities once they have the virus under control.

Anyone who has ventured out to a store or small business that is not a grocery store or a pharmacy (which are also quite different than they used to be but remained open during the shutdown) knows that retail experiences and services are not like what they once were. There are a lot of new rules put in place to keep customers and employees safe, which might look very different

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Supermodel and activist Joan Smalls pledges 50% of her wages to fight racial injustice

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Supermodel and activist Joan Smalls did not only put her voice forward in the battle against systemic racism, she also used her paycheck. Smalls is donating 50% of her salary for the remainder of 2020 to organizations advancing racial equality and justice. 

She joined Yahoo Finance’s “The Final Round” to discuss Donate My Wage, an online platform she launched to inspire people to make similar commitments.

“Like everyone else during the pandemic, it awakened an activist in all of us,” said Smalls, who called out the fashion industry, saying it’s time that it recognized racial injustice and systemic racism.

“Seeing an industry that I love so much, and be silent, in a time that is so important for all of us … I wanted to take action. And in order to do that, I just had to step up and lead by example,” she said.

MILAN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 21:

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Comic-Con 2020 ‘At Home’ Saturday Schedule

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To use the words of prophet and frequent convention attendee Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. This year, the professional weirdness of Comic-Con has taken a twist, as the four-day event will take place exclusively online.

To their credit, organizers are trying to replicate the commercialized fan-friendly confines of the San Diego Convention Center as much as possible: there is the traditional souvenir book featuring a pretty sweet drawing of Ray Bradbury on a T. Rex on the cover that is available for free .pdf download (and featuring click-through advertisements!), and you can print your own badge (sponsored by Amazon Prime Video!) to wear as you sit in front of your screen at home. The Comic-Con homepage also will take you to an online Exhibit Hall, where there will be interactive exhibits and events offered by vendors.

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