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Matt Hamblen for ComputerWorld (@matthamblen) covers Sen. Mark Warner's (D-Va.) call for "improved tools to better protect American consumers, manufacturers, retailers, internet sites and service providers” after a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack in late October affected 80 websites, including Spotify, Twitter, and Netflix. President Obama commented on the matter during a Jimmy Kimmel Live show, saying the issue facing future presidents will be "how do we continue to get all the benefits of being in cyberspace but protect our finances, protect our privacy. What is true is that we are all connected. We're all wired now."
The bank scandal looming over Wells Fargo has ushered newly appointed CEO Tim Sloan into the crosshairs of public scrutiny. The scandal is far from over as prosecutors in three states have opened investigations. The bank must answer for a reported 2 million phony accounts created with customers’ names. The New York Times reports: “Wells Fargo had been celebrated for years as the nation’s best-run bank, but it took less than 40 days for that sterling reputation to evaporate. Since regulators announced a $185 million settlement with the bank in early September, Wells Fargo has been consumed by the scandal.”
Stephen Gandel (@stephengandel) for Fortune describes how Citigroup plans to disrupt itself before anyone else has the chance. An intracompany startup, Citi FinTech, will keep an eye on the competition and experiment with how to serve up elements of fintech to traditional bank customers. Citigroup’s startup will more easily assimilate and anticipate challenges posed to banks as a direct result of outside fintech disruption. While the bank may not be floundering as a result of fintech just yet, Stephen Bird, CEO of global consumer banking for Citigroup thinks traditional financial institutions are already in the fight to stay relevant. “I describe it as the extinction phase,” he says. “What happens in an extinction phase is that you either rapidly adapt and new means of competition are created, or you go extinct.”
Alexandra Mondalek (@amondalek), for Time, helps us imagine texting a virtual assistant to find out how much you’ve spent at Starbucks this month instead of crunching the numbers yourself. This is the kind of technology-enabled experience that companies like MasterCard, and others, hope to create with chatbots. The ability to check spending levels and account balances are the expected basic features of a bot; behaviors that would grow to help consumers avoid overdraft fees, an area where banks make millions. A bot that helps you avoid pesky bank fees could be a form of artificial intelligence that everyone would grow to love.
Simple is focused on making banking easier for people in relationships and its latest “no-fee” joint account is aimed at the diverse ways Millennials spend and transfer money. As Mary Wisniewski (@MaryMWisniewski) for American Banker describes it: “Rather than just for married couples, it is being marketed as a tool for a broad range of relationships involving financial transactions, such as roommates or parents and children.” Simple is catering to the emotional bond people form in relationships and helping people find new and better ways of moving their money.
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