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Have you ever heard of fintech?
Maybe not, but many people are familiar with companies like Lending Club and SoFi – two of the most successful Fintech financial services.
This article is going to discuss how Fintech has changed the mortgage industry.#1 Fintech has made it easier for people to shop around for the best rates and terms on loans
One of the biggest problems people face when applying for a mortgage is knowing how much they’re qualified for, let alone which banks offer what rates.
What fintech has done (and continues to do) is make it easier for people to shop around for mortgages by accessing multiple offers at once.
It’s also made it easier for people to see how much money they’re qualified for by organizing the mortgage process into a series of simple questions.#2 This increased competition is driving down prices and making mortgages more accessible to everyone
Equally important as knowing what you’re eligible for is knowing where banks are offering their best rates. Fintech has made this possible by allowing people from all over to compete for one another’s business.
This increased competition has made it so that banks aren’t just competing with the bank down the street but with lenders from around the country and around the world.
And while some argue that this is unfair to local banks, it can also be argued that it’s a good thing because it creates competition and drives down prices.
Plus, even people who are self-employed or had a bankruptcy in their past can now qualify and get a mortgage thanks to loans for self employed and bad credit home loans.#3 Fintech companies are also innovating in other ways by bringing new products like home equity lines of credit (HELOC) or reverse mortgages into the market, which were previously unavailable options
Even though fintech has successfully brought affordable rates to consumers, there are still a number of products that have been difficult to access for people without the required credit or documentation.
But fintech has been gaining traction in new areas, such as giving consumers more access to home equity lines of credit (HELOC) and reverse mortgages.
That’s because these two loan options have largely been bank products, which means that they are only available to those who already have good credit or substantial assets.#4 Successful startups that have made waves in this space
Some of the most successful startups in the space include Lending Club, OnDeck capital, and SoFi.
In contrast to fintech startups lending money directly to consumers, OnDeck Capital lends money specifically to small businesses.
SoFi was initially started as a social network for graduate students but created mortgages and other types of loans for graduates looking to purchase homes.
While Lending Club and OnDeck Capital remain successful companies today, SoFi has since become a traditional banking institution after going public in 2023.Conclusion
All in all, Fintech has made a big impact on the mortgage industry by increasing competition between lenders and giving consumers access to more information about available products.
In the future, Fintech companies will continue to innovate and create new products that benefit consumers and the financial industry as a whole.
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Cloud computing is revolutionizing the fintech and healthcare industries in enormous ways
During the early phase of the epidemic, several businesses were compelled to substantially alter their operations. Rapid digital transformation is vital to thrive financially, meet changing customer requirements, and keep staff engaged. In this article, we will see how the cloud revolutionized the fintech and healthcare industry. Read to know more about the role of cloud computing in industries like FinTech and the healthcare industry.Using Cloud Computing to Overcome the Office and Lab Work Model
Cloud computing platforms have enabled businesses, schools, and government agencies to overcome pandemic-related obstacles and significantly increase innovation and market agility.
The cloud computing business is predicted to reach almost $500 billion in 2023, up from US$243 billion in 2023. Amazon Web Services alone is increasing at a 33% annual rate. In the previous year, this accounted for 75% of the company’s operational profits.
Rather than retreating to the status quo, corporate leaders must continue to use emerging technologies to challenge industry stagnation. Here’s how the cloud is transforming the health and finance industries.Cloud-Based Services are Ripe for Disruption
“On-premise” storage, or in-house systems that can restrict scalability and storage, has historically been a problem for business leaders in the dental and healthcare industries. On-premise servers and an aging infrastructure severely limit providers’ ability to implement new tools and make use of the data they already have as diagnostic systems become more sophisticated.
Additionally, the limitations present difficulties on the patient’s side. Accessing health records, making online appointments, and connecting with various healthcare providers for multi-system health needs are among these difficulties.
Even though these problems have been around for a long time, the healthcare crisis brought on by the pandemic overwhelms them and makes them worse, making it even harder for many patients to get the care they need.Upgrading EHR to Better Cloud Systems
Upgrading to better systems that can work faster, save money, and adapt to consumers’ and patients’ needs is necessary to solve these issues. In a recent case study, MIT Sloan looked at how Intermountain Medical Center in Utah updated its out-of-date electronic health record (EHR) system to deal with common issues.
By upgrading the technology that powers its 22 hospitals and 185 clinics, Intermountain was able to save millions on procurement and internal IT costs while also significantly improving patient outcomes. What we already know is confirmed by the MIT analysis: Cloud-based systems can simplify patient management, which can lower attrition rates, recoup revenue lost, and build stronger, more long-lasting relationships with patients.How Updated Version of EHR Work for the Dental Industry?
One of the highest rates of attrition in the healthcare industry is experienced by dental practices, where the average practice loses 20% of its patients. Attrition could be reduced by as little as 3%, which could add US$73,000 to annual production. Cloud-based services help patients remember their appointments, streamline communications, and replace outdated booking systems. Long wait times are avoided when outdated systems are replaced, resulting in tangible improvements in dental providers’ retention rates.Finance & the Cloud
Cloud-based technologies are helping banks scale in the financial sector to better track fraud, expedite loan applications, and respond to market fluctuations-based surges in customer activity. New mobile banking features, money laundering patterns, and AI-automated underwriting decision analyses are all made possible by cloud-based tools.
Sadly, many banks lack cloud adoption because they rely on internal servers that have inherent limitations. Only 12% of tasks performed by North American banks are currently handled in the cloud. 90% of U.S. banks have digital transformation plans in place but haven’t switched over to them. Bank of America built its cloud, whereas giants like Wells Fargo and Capital One are either already using cloud technologies or in the process of migrating over. The refreshed and further developed cloud-based innovation has saved Bank of America billions of dollars.Highly Regulated Systems are Slow to Adapt
Data has historically been reluctantly moved from on-premise servers and data centers by businesses in highly regulated industries, which are notoriously slow-moving sectors.
What is it like to serve on a board after the tumultuous few years of the global pandemic? The short answer is that it’s unlike anything people have experienced before. Here, Stephen Conmy interviews Juliet Taylor (pictured above), CEO of executive and non-executive search firm Starfish.
Starfish recently interviewed 60 chairs, board members and CEOs currently addressing complex issues in their boardrooms and organisations to discover what has changed in ‘post pandemic’ boards
To see the complete list of contributors and read the full report, you can download The post pandemic board report.
The key takeaways of the report are:
1: Volatility is here to stay; constant change will remain a reality in chairing organisations.
Chairs who relate governance to their organisation’s purpose and who take a longer-term view in which their teams are developed to flourish in uncertainty are ahead of the game.
2: The formerly rigid dividing line between non-executive and executive is now more porous.
A new spirit of collaboration and co-production between Chairs, non-executive board members and their top executives emerged due to closer working in 2023; many organisations have embraced this as a permanent feature.
3: Inclusive board cultures are critical for survival.
Boards set to thrive have moved beyond notions of representative diversity to become truly inclusive cultures.
4: It’s time to recognise changes in the experience of chairs and ensure that they are valued and supported both now and in the future.
Organisations should be upfront about the new realities of the chair role. Chairs indicate they value personal support and peer validation, especially concerning the big judgement calls they need to make. Prior chairing experience is currently considered more useful than ever before in navigating complexity and nuance; however, we cannot afford to delay the development of our future chairs and must continue to invest in and coach this community.
5: How you influence, take people with you and use your judgement now matters more than what you have achieved in your career alone.
Those suited to chairing organisations in 2023 and beyond may also have a more robust change orientation than those who preceded them, higher energy levels, higher levels of availability and personal engagement, and a sharper curiosity about the future.
What is it like chairing a board after the pandemic?
The most interesting thing about this report is how shaken many boards and chairs have become post-pandemic. The air of uncertainty is palpable.
For example, one chair said:
“We’re in a new age of fragility: the best boards are getting this and recognising it in more supportive challenge to their organisations.”
What they mean by this is that, In stark contrast to the remote, transactional boards of the past, the post-Covid board has to recognise the strength in unity and collaborative endeavour. As one chair said:
“If it wasn’t already, it is now a fundamental consideration to believe in what you are doing. The best boards have challenging and supportive members who aren’t there for themselves”.
Another chair, when asked about the corporate landscape, said:
“This is the decade when organisations will be forced to get it right. After that, the workforce will be fundamentally different, and people in their 20s will be in managerial positions. We’ve got eight years left to sort it out.”
The boards that thrive have a few things in common
What the report highlights most is that boards have changed – life in the boardroom has changed forever. The mindsets of chairs and directors have also evolved.
The task of governing organisations, and the collective skills required to do it properly, are constantly evolving.
Governance must be seen as inextricably linked to an organisation’s purpose to remain effective.
Organisations are responding to the changing context by increasing their risk appetite and balancing an interest in financial stability with the need to change their business models ‘outside in’.
Whether a public service or a retail product, they have no option but to meet changing consumer or stakeholder expectations.
By and large, boards thriving in the post-pandemic era seem noticeably free-thinking, open to new ideas and characterised by a higher degree of flexibility on every level.
They are necessarily more outward-facing, constantly balancing the internal governance focus with the implications of a rapidly changing external context.
Listen to the interview with Juliet Taylor, CEO of executive and non-executive search firm Starfish, below.
2023 has been a busy time for space launches—with the first all-private space mission taking off last week and NASA and SpaceX’s Crew-4 launch to the International Space Station rescheduled for later this month. Of a more international note, there’s a new player emerging in the space industry. Launching this year on a SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Finland will soon send its first science satellite, Foresail-1, into space.
Finland has developed radar satellites in the past, but Foresail-1 will be the first to collect data for science. Developed by the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Research of Sustainable Space, the nanosatellite, which weighs about nine pounds and resembles a metal milk carton, will seek new details about the radiation environment in Earth’s atmosphere. This unique area padding the planet is where different space radiation fields coexist. Exposure to these rays have been known to put astronauts at risk for radiation sickness, increased risk of cancer, and degenerative diseases.
The next generation of space exploration is all about sustainability, says Jaan Praks, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Aalto University whose team helped plan the mission and built Foresail-1. That’s why Finland is starting their foray into space on a smaller scale.
“We are pushing the borders with platform technology,” he says. “We are looking [to] operate the satellite for at least five years and even beyond, which is unusual for such a small satellite.”
Because the pandemic made it difficult to acquire the components they needed to build the technology, Praks says Foresail-1 took about four years to be completed, and its original launch date had to be pushed back by a year. But the extra time gave the team room to further develop and integrate tools that will improve the odds of mission success.
[Related: Ukraine was about to revive its space program. Then Russia invaded.]
Foresail-1’s primary payload is a particle telescope, which will be used to measure electrons exiting the radiation atmosphere in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Its second, and arguably more impressive equipment, will be an electrostatic plasma brake, a device which will prevent the craft from becoming space debris by pushing it down out of orbit to burn up in the atmosphere. It usually takes years for space debris to fall into Earth’s atmosphere, but using a plasma brake can flip that time into two months.
One of Foresail-1’s technological goals is to demonstrate the usefulness of this plasma brake. The way the plasma brake works is it “increases the drag by using electromagnetic fields,” explains Praks, which by slowing it down, brings the satellite’s orbit close enough to Earth that it falls and eventually burns in the atmosphere.
After a few months of scientific observation, researchers will use the brake and about 200 feet of tether, to lower the satellite a few dozen miles further down into LEO, where it will stay for the rest of its mission life.
He says that this new de-orbiting technique will allow Finnish researchers to “probe more versatile regions of earth’s environment.” If successful, it will be the first time a propellant-less nanosatellite will demonstrate this maneuver. The satellite’s plans will also be available as an open-source project that can be used in future missions.
[Related: Hermes will be NASA’s mini-weather station for tracking solar activity]
While the satellite is Finland’s first to make scientific observations, the country does have an extensive history of space collaboration. The small nation has been a member of the European Space Agency since 1995, but has only recently become an important partner in many large-scale, international space operations. For instance, Finland is one of the largest providers of commercial radar imaging satellites in the world, and at times, NASA has used Finnish technology to provide Mars missions, like Perseverance, with pressure sensors to help take atmospheric measurements on the Red Planet.
Currently, Finland lacks its own space agency—the Finnish Space Committee only handles national space policy and strategy, not mission creation or development. The new satellite mission marks the first step towards building a more robust agency that can support a number of ambitious projects, says Praks.
“I hope we are driving towards our own Finnish space program,” says Praks. “Having our own small program will provide even more material for future missions with the bigger satellites [to reach further out] in the solar system.”
Correction (April 18, 2023): This story has been updated to correct the amount of tether that will be used in the braking mechanism, from 60 feet to 200 feet. We regret the error.
Google has officially announced the Android 5.0 Lollipop version of Android along with the Nexus 6 and Nexus 9. We’ve been using the beta version of Android Lollipop as Android L for the past few months, so we already know most stuff about it. But Android L was a beta release and the Android 5.0 is its final release, so obviously there are some changes and added functionality with the final release. SDK or Factory images for the Android 5.0 aren’t available yet, but Google’s Android 5.0 features page offers a glimpse of some of the changes made in the final release.
Android L was a very early build for sure, and missed a lot of things even from KitKat that it almost felt a step backward at some places. But that’s okay, since, after all, it was a developers only release. We hope Google has addressed everything that felt wrong with the Android L developer preview with the final release, Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Judging by the looks of things at the Android 5.0 feature page, here are the few things that have changed from Android L developer preview release to Android 5.0 Lollipop final release.
DIALER AND PEOPLE APP
The new dialer in Android L dev preview was cool and probably the only thing in Android L that looked perfect, but it seems Google has made some changes to it in the Android 5.0 final release. As per the Material design color styles, the Cyan color scheme seems to have changed to the darker shades of Light Blue color and the Yellow highlight on tabs has changed to white. Also, the fonts are slightly smaller.
Also, when you open a contact from dialer, it doesn’t opens in a popup anymore like the KitKat and Android L release. On Android 5.0 when you select to open a contact from dialer, it directly opens in the People app, which itself is transformed drastically. The new People app now also shows recent conversations from Hangouts with the selected contact along with basic contact details.
NEW RECENTS SCREEN
Recents screen now has a fixed Google Search bar at the top on Android 5.0. And there are colorful headers too for all apps in the recents screen, but we guess this feature is app dependent since the Photos app on L preview also shows a colorful header.
NEW STATUS BAR ICONS AND SMALLER NAVIGATION BAR ICONS
You must have already noticed it in the screens above. The icons in status bar have updated to flat design and the navigation bar icons look smaller in the Android 5.0 Lollipop. However, the smaller navigation bar icons could also be the result of the higher display resolution of Nexus 6.
PRIORITY RINGING RULES
The Do not disturb feature on the Android L seems to have renamed to Priority mode with slight changes in UI and functionality now with the Android 5.0 final release. Here’s what google has to say about it:
For fewer disruptions, turn on Priority mode via your device’s volume button so only certain people and notifications get through. Or schedule recurring downtime like 10pm to 8am when only Priority notifications can get through.
These are just the few things that we were able to spot from the Android 5.0 Lollipop features page. We’re sure there will be a ton of more changes since the developer preview release was incomplete in a lot areas. The SDK for Android 5.0 Lollipop is coming on Oct. 17th so we’ll have more details on the changes made in the final release, until then let’s just sit tight.
On Monday, January 21st, Social Media specialists from all over the country gathered to pick up tips and tricks for maximizing Google Plus from guest expert, Annalise Kaylor (@annabelleblue). Ms Kaylor is Director of Social Media at Intrapromote. She built her first social network in 1992, back when 14.4 was considered fast and the “internet” was $8/hour. She was the editor for “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Pinterest Marketing” (Penguin, 2012), and speaks at many social media conferences including SXSW, SMX Social Media, SMX West, and PubCon.
What follows is a recap of Annalise Kaylor’s personal walk through of all things G+.Q1 @annabelleblue Let’s start with the profile. What are the benefits and tips for establishing a G+ personal profile?
Annalise: Many reasons, but search integration is amongst the highest. You want spaces you control to dominate search engine results pages (SERPS). The quality of audience is stellar, and think of Google+ as Google socialized, not a social network. For tips, definitely connect all social profiles in your G+ profile. Also, keywords and phrases in your profile help searchers in G+ as well as via Google search itself.Q2 @annabelleblue Communities, what are they and how can we use them?
Annalise: Communities are new; they allow you to interact with people around a topic G+ communities. They also provide insight into target markets, inspiration for content mktg, etc. The beauty of G+ is that you can post so easily to different groups – having a personal AND professional ID thanks to circles and communities. Communities have been around the internet for a long time in other forms, but they work with the G+ crowd who tend to be early adopters and tech geeks. G+ communities can be public or private, too. My agency is vastly virtual and communities allow us to connect and share anywhere.Q3 @annabelleblue What are some great marketing uses for Circles?
Annalise: Custom content for your elite influencers, invite-only hangouts or sneak peeks, definitely events. Brands that do G+ circle marketing well: @MNTimberwolves , @CadburyUK , @hellokitty Use circles to identify people who interact with you across many social channels. If they do on 3 or 4; they’re your people. Also, “What’s Hot” on G+ is algorithmically determined, so when your circles LOVE your content, take note and keep creating.Q4 @annabelleblue Why do businesses need Pages on G+?
Annalise: SEO SEO SEO. Search and social are closer than ever and personalization is not going away anytime soon. In particular it’s great SEO visibility for business. Again, you want to have everything on Page 1 of the SERPs to be a digital space YOU control.Q5 @annabelleblue What is the difference between Local and Pages?
Annalise: A G+ Page is a social profile. G+ Local ties to search results and Maps. You can MERGE the two for better SEO. If you had a “place” page at one time, it’s now Google Local. Merging your G+ Page with G+ Local makes your listing more dynamic and enhances your organic SEO efforts. When I said G+ is “Google socialized,” it’s that dynamic result in SERPs that I was referring to.Q6 @annabelleblue How do we establish Authorship & why do we need to?
Annalise: Authorship connects your original content ANYWHERE on the web to you, and G+ Authrshp provides enhanced search results like a rich snippet & aids in control of content thievery. Your friends see you, and then when their friends connect, they see you, too. Authorship is validity, relevance. Authorship is not quick and easy to set up, but in the end that’s a good thing. The best guide I’ve seen for establishing authorship is by @marktraphagen – How to Establish Google Authorship
If you would like to meet and learn more from Annalise Kaylor, she will be speaking at SMX West in San Jose, CA March 11-13. The hosts of SocialChat, Alan K’necht and Michelle Stinson Ross, are bringing all the interactive learning of SocialChat to SMX Tornonto March 18-21. On March 18th Alan will be teaching a full day workshop on SEO with Digital Always Media partner, Jim Hedger. On March 19th Michelle and Alan will be team teaching a full day workshop on Social Media Marketing. They will both be presenting on the panel sessions during the conference March 20 and 21. Early bird pricing has been extended, so don’t miss the opportunity to take your internet marketing game to the next level.
On Monday, January 28th, #SocialChat will be celebrating its 2 year anniversary with an open forum discussion of the best platforms for reaching men and women. You don’t want to miss a moment.
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