Bitcoin: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em

Bitcoin can’t stop making the news. One week it is everyone’s darling. The next Mt Gox is crashing on your head. The values are pretty volatile, but if they could just behave, they solve so many problems with the current payments system. So you have to ask yourself if Bitcoin is just sowing some wild oats while it grows up? Will it eventually make the best financial partner that payments has ever known? On today’s #BreakingBanks, Brett welcomes back fellow innovator and futurist Robert Tercek, to discuss Bitcoin and the disruption problems it creates and solves. Join the discussion at noon PST! To learn more about Robert Tercek, his site is here:

Tech Allows Small Business to Bank Big

Running a small business can be a sisyphean undertaking and in the current economic conditions, you need to be able to get the investment and capital quickly in order to take advantage of opportunities as they present themselves. Technology can help level the playing field, optimizing the formerly slow process of getting a loan and allowing small businesses to get the capital influx they need quicker, smarter, and tailored to their individual needs. Today on Breaking Banks, Brett is speaking with Ami Kassar, the CEO of Multifunding and Victoria Treyger, the CMO of Kabbage- two innovators that utilize technology and mobility in the mission to help small businesses find the funding they need as they need it so they can grow and prosper.

Money Anxiety

With the serious ups and downs of the economy in recent years, consumers have reacted with understandable concern for the security of their economic circumstances. The recession caused many to rethink their priorities, tighten their belts and save. As consumers feel more safe about their financial futures, they begin to spend more. Predicting consumer behaviors helps financial institutions to understand the products and services that are in demand, protecting financial institutions from the volatility of the feast or famine cycle. On this episode of Breaking Banks, Brett will talk with Dr. Dan Geller, who developed Behaviorology to define the different behaviors of consumers depending on their level of financial anxiety. They will be discussing his new book MONEY ANXIETY( which provides financial business with a model projecting the demands for their products, and what to look for to buffer themselves against possible downturns. Also joining the show is the NY Moneycoach, Carrie Birgbauer, to discuss how anxieties about money change emotional behaviors and how that can be re-channeled into a healthier relationship with money.

A Penny Saved (in a bank) is a Penny Earned

An axiom of banking is that access to the financial system is universally beneficial. Once people have bank accounts, they begin to save and their long term financial health improves. But the current financial situation in the US has changed customer’s outlooks on what is beneficial and beyond their means, and the financial crisis and has created a more permanent crisis of confidence in the financial industry. Meanwhile, developing nations have struggled to increase overall access to banking for their working poor, and found huge infrastructure barriers. But today, technology, particularly mobile, has paved ways allowing for greater access than ever before. In the developing world, mobile phones outnumber toilets. The opportunity to help consumers take advantage of participating in the financial system, and the subsequent rewards of that, has never been greater. But can banking be flexible enough to recognize this opportunity, and if it can’t, do we need traditional banking in order to help consumers gain greater financial inclusion? Today, Brett will be speaking to Kosta Peric, Deputy Director of Financial Services for the Poor at The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and to Jennifer Tescher, President & CEO, The Center for Financial Services Innovation about the exciting developments to help the poor gain greater access and how technology could be the key to greater inclusion.

Innovation is a Small Banks Best Friend

In Malcolm Gladwell’s latest offering, David And Goliath, he takes a fresh look at the story and examines whether David’s relatively small stature and skills as a slinger might actually have been an advantage in his battle against Goliath. In a similar vein, today’s episode of Breaking Banks is going to examine what kind of innovation and practices mid-size banks can adopt to compete against their bigger global competitors. As digitilization has brought radical shifts in customer expectations and behavior, could mid-size banks have better agility and opportunity to create comparable or better services than larger counterparts? Today on Breaking Banks, Brett will be talking to JP Nicols, the CEO of Clientific and the co-founder of the Bank Innovators Council about the need for innovation in an industry that hasn’t substantially changed in centuries. Then he will be talking with Brad Leimer of Mechanics Bank about the challenges of innovating for smaller and mid-size banks. Join us today at 3pm ET, Noon PT.

The Crystal Ball for 2014 says…

What kind of futurist show would be be if we didn’t talk about what changes this year will bring to Fintech and banking in general?? To talk about the trends and innovations from this year Brett will be chatting with two notable speakers and authority on financial marketing and strategic solutions in the banking guests Chris Skinner, Author of Digital Bank and Chair of The Financial Services Club, and Jim Marous of New Control Direct and Digital and publisher of the popular Bank Marketing Strategy Blog. The show is live so tweet #breakingbanks or call us with questions!

Where The Mobile Bank Account is Born

Banking in Africa has become a prime example of necessity breeding ingenuity. When the global financial crisis hit in 2008, Africa’s regional banks turned their focus closer to home and embraced technology as a means to reach the hugely diverse unbanked populations of the region. With a virtually untapped market, relatively unburdened by out-of-date computing infrastructures, and embracing the expansion of financial technologies, Africa’s regional banks are often on the cutting edge of making banking “something you do, not somewhere you go.”. Today, Brett speaks with two of the major players in Africa’s regional banks- John Owens, Director at Chemonics International and a Senior Policy Advisor at the Alliance for Financial Inclusion and Zwelibanzi Manyathi, CE of Personal and Business Banking for Standard Bank, as they discuss how they are embracing technology and beginning to eliminate banking deserts.

Seamless Transitions: Omnichannels

Since banking has transitioned from somewhere you go to something you do, people expect to access all their accounts through many portals and platforms. Whether they access their accounts through the branch, atms, computers, tablets or smartphones, they want a unified experience. They also want to access different accounts through the same universal access point. This is the current banking challenge: to create omnipresence- horizontal and vertical uniformity- of experience through every platform. On today’s show we have two leaders in the field from Kony- Bjorn Hildahl, VP of Product Management, and Amit Aghars, VP of Solution Engineering- to talk about this challenge and the many ways that the Fintech industry is helping banks negotiate the needed changes.

Will Financial Advisers be replaced by the Crowd?

Financial Advisers emerged in the US in the 1970s, but hit their stride in the 1980s with new professional designations, associations and regulation emerging to create an industry that is just over 300,000 persons strong. The US alone manages more than $13 Trillion in Assets under Management (AuM) in Mutual Funds, and the US Stock Market has close to $20 Trillion in Aum. But investor behavior is changing. The number of financial advisers in the US shrank by almost 2% last year, as more an more people use technology, investment tools and platforms and seek advice from less traditional sources. And then we have Gen-Y… This group looks for advice on investments, on savings and on financial products in a very different way. Blogs, collaboration tools, even YouTube videos increasingly are part of their reference point before making an investment decision. In this week’s show we talk to three experts in the personal financial advice and personal financial management space who are actively involved with the 20-30 year old investor, and have seen significant shifts in the way they plan, save and invest. Ashley Jacobs is the community coordinator, social media editor, and the college finance writer for Lou Carlozo, based in Chicago, is a personal finance contributor for Reuters Money, a columnist with, and a primary contributor at Money Under 30. Mary Beth Storjohann, CFP®, is the Founder of Workable Wealth and works as a writer, speaker and financial coach for individuals and couples in their 20s and 30s Join this unique group as they discuss the future of financial advice powered by social, mobile and collaboration.

The Future is Here- just not Widely Distributed

Apologies to William Gibson from whom this quote is taken, but this week’s Breaking Banks is all about the disruptive future that is coming fast upon the banking sector. This week we speak to two global leaders and futurists who have enlightening views on the forces that are driving change in the consumer front-end of the business, and in the banking ecosystem. From a fundamental shift in what we think of when it comes to “Trust” to the impact of the quantified-self movement on the way we think about our finances and about our financial health. Alex Lightman author of “Brave New Unwired World”, the first book ever published on 4G and LTE technology, is a futurist who previously served as the CTO of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Organization, and has advised the US government on the IPv6 protocol. JP Rangaswami is the Chief Scientist for, a well respected futurist and blogger who was named CIO of the Year in 2003 by Waters Magazine, and CIO Innovator of the Year by the European Technology Forum in 2004. Together they explore how the future of banking is fast becoming distributed.

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