So today started off strongly. Eskander Matta from Wells Fargo gave a very good presentation of some of the things they’ve done for business customers. People back at Vancity will be happy to know that business banking is a big focus here this year, and I don’t remember anyone addressing it last year. Some good info to take back with me, including the keynote address from Michael Donalson from HSBC. Everyone’s moving on business customers.
Also some great new research from James Van Dyke from Javelin Strategy & Research on online banking trends and stats. He was great last year and his info was strong and relevant this year too.
James McGuire from Royal Bank of Canada also had a great presentation, which I’m hoping to get my hands on. Great to meet the Canadians down here, and there are plenty of us. Everyone comments how the Canadian banks are so far ahead, which is nice to hear, though not altogether believable.
At the cocktail reception, I met Jim Bruene, which was great. I’ve followed his blog for a while and am a subscriber to his extremely useful Online Banking Report. Nice to put faces to names of the bloggers I follow.
The conference just isn’t as strong as it was last year. It’s good, and I am getting some great ideas to bring back with me, but last year by this time my head was already swimming with new ideas and I had taken a ton of notes of relevant material to bring back with me.
Looking forward to Michael Seaton tomorrow from Scotiabank talk about crowdsourcing, and of course I’m super excited about Thursday. Evidently a bunch of people are leaving tomorrow night, as Thursday’s an optional day, but 100 new people are coming in just for that day’s presentations.
I was speaking to some people at Vancity about the issue of serving the underbanked and underserved, both of which are areas where we focus strongly. Two interesting things came back.
1> Someone in our Sustainability division (who shall remain nameless) came back with this nugget:
Money is like sex, you can have a lot of it or none of it and still have an unhealthy relationship to it.
2> Catherine Ludgate in our Community Business Banking division told me this story:
I was at a conference last week with a woman from Micro Business USA, and she was talking about the different mindsets of folks along the income spectrum. In her 30+ years of doing microlending and setting up savings programs, she said she has learned that poor and low income folk generally think of what they earn only in terms of their hourly pay (and certainly not about savings). An income cut above, the lower middle class earners think about their weekly earnings. Middle class earners think in terms of their monthly income, and upper middle class earners think in terms of annual income. The truly wealthy (however that is defined) think ahead in terms of three to five to ten year investments they will make.
Her argument was that changing how folks identified their value (hourly to weekly to monthly to annually to forward looking) is the first step in changing other behaviours, like the ability to save. And that change in thinking can lead to movement out of an income group, as the woman in the case study in the NY Times article moved.
I thought those were two good and valuable insights.
After a lovely four day weekend, I arrived back at my desk at work this morning to find out that ChangeEverything.ca had won the status of Official Honoree at this year’s Webby Awards.
From their site:
Congratulations on being selected as an Official Honoree
Your submission has been selected as an Official Honoree of The 11th Annual Webby Awards. As a result of the exceptional quality of submissions this year, the Academy has chosen to recognize work exhibiting remarkable achievement that was not selected as a Nominee. Out of more than 8,000 entries submitted to the 11th Annual Webby Awards, less than 15% are deemed Official Honorees.
After years of producing web sites, this is my first Webby. Needless to say, I’m extremely excited. And just in time for my Net.Finance presentation next week!
Thanks and cheers to Kate Dugas and the team at Social Signal for making this happen.