Why Alibaba’s Alipay and PayPal will, and should, destroy physical banks

first_imgby. Steven BertoniWho needs banks? I’m not questioning the basis of our financial system—I’m talking about  physical (high cost, low service) bank branches.Banks these days are just big databases—digital depots where our paychecks flow in electronically and out quickly to cover credit card and utility bills. Simply put, banks are just expensive and antiquated payment processors—especially since stashing cash in a savings account earns you zero interest. As for checking accounts–how many checks do you write a month? The banks that pay the most interest on savings are online-only banks (GE Capital, ING Direct, Ally) that can afford to do so only because they don’t have to operate branches.Someone will truly digitize the entire experience—and when they do, the product will look a lot like China’s Alipay. Controlled by Jack Ma and other Alibaba executives, the PayPal-like company processed $519 billion worth of digital payments in 2013 (Paypal processed $180 billion). Alipay offers a lot more than easy e-commerce payments. An in depth Wall Street Journal piece outlines how  the Alibaba’s payment platform is morphing into all-in-one banking tool:  a savings bank, wire service and investment house. Most importantly, it’s all done via mobile device. Load cash into you Alipay app and you can buy things online and in brick and mortar stores, send money to friends, make cross-border transactions, invest in stocks, and earn a healthy interest on your balance (at 17 times more than the going bank rate). Alipay turns your iPhone into a financial Swiss Army knife.This broad, mobile service doesn’t exist in the US, at least not yet. And when it does arrive, I bet it will come via PayPal. continue reading » ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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How to Make Deadlines Motivating, Not Stressful

first_imgThere’s no doubt that work deadlines can be stressful. When you have too many, you can feel overwhelmed. And looming deadlines have a habit of encouraging last-minute dashes for the finish line, like when students pull ‘all-nighters’ in an attempt to achieve weeks’ worth of essay writing in a handful of long, adrenaline-fuelled hours. Part of the motivating effect of a deadline, then, is that it provides you with constant feedback on how much further you have to go until task completion, enabling goal gradients to have their effect. Social psychologist Nira Liberman and her colleagues at Tel Aviv University have been studying the psychological effects of deadlines. To help us understand ‘goal gradients’, they give the example of how, when you read the first chapter of a 10-chapter book, it takes you just one tenth of the way to completing the book, yet when you have two paragraphs to go, the same or similar amount of reading effort will take you 50% further toward finishing. You can see evidence for the power of deadlines in the ‘real world’, too. For instance, in 2015, when the US National Science Foundation dropped its usual twice-yearly deadlines for grant submissions in geoscience, as part of an attempt to help the overburdened vetting system, the effect was dramatic. Annual submissions fell by 59%; without the pressure of a deadline, it seems many scientists lacked the urgency and motivation to deliver their applications. … Yet there’s no question deadlines can serve a positive psychological function – after all, without them, many students might never even finish their work. Another popular theory is that, as we approach a deadline, or get near to completing a task, this has the effect of reducing ‘opportunity costs’ – essentially, the lure of all the other things you could be doing instead. After all, if I have just one hour left before the deadline for finishing this article, there is not a great deal else I could use the time for, so I may as well plough on. However, without that line in the sand, there would be an almost infinite number of appealing things that I could be doing instead of working on the article.  “As less of the task remains to be done, each unit of effort is perceived as more effective in that it closes a larger proportion of the gap to the goal,” Liberman’s team write. (A similar principle also helps explain why charitable donations ramp up as a fund-raising effort nears its goal.) As new research findings shed light on the psychology of deadlines, we can learn ways that deadlines can be used to increase focus and boost perseverance. Now, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – as many of us adapt to unstructured days working from home – the lessons are particularly timely. Liberman’s team recently demonstrated the galvanising power of knowing when a task will be finished. They recruited dozens of undergrads to complete thousands of trials of a tricky computer-based mental task that required constant concentration. The whole boring exercise took about 90 minutes to complete. Crucially, the researchers provided half the participants with constant feedback on their progress through the exercise –  both how many trials they had to go in each block of 240 trials, and after each block, how many blocks they had left to go. The other participants, in contrast, had no idea how many more trials or blocks they had to do. … Read the whole story: BBC More of our Members in the Media > “We think that participants in our experiment who did not know when the task would end conserved their efforts,” Nira Liberman, one of the study co-authors told me. “Imagine going on a journey that is very long and tedious with no end in sight. In situations of uncertainty people tend to think of the ‘worst case scenario’ – so in our study they made a grim estimate of how much energy they needed to conserve.” In contrast, she added, because the other group knew when the task was going to end, they were able to perform an “end spurt”, similar to how runners are able to ramp up their effort for the final mile or when they see the finishing line in the distance. There was a striking difference in the performance of the two groups – the students who knew how much further they had to go reached a superior level of peak performance in terms of their speed and accuracy, and yet they said they felt less fatigued, and they took shorter breaks between blocks.last_img read more

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A New Study Shows Fake News May Benefit Your Memory

first_img… Read the whole story: Forbes But a new study says we shouldn’t throw out the baby with the bathwater. Not all news is fake, and even if a story turns out to be fake news, there’s value in it, according to a study in the journal Psychological Science. Thinking back on a time you encountered false information or “fake news” may prime your brain to better recall truthful memories. People who receive reminders of past misinformation may form new factual memories with greater fidelity. During the workday, we are flooded with emails, texts, and other social media. And with the advent of photo shopping and political leaders who don’t divulge the truth, it’s often difficult to know what to believe anymore. Hence, the term fake news has caused many people to become skeptical about what they read or see on television news feeds—even the authentic news.last_img read more

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CB Richard Ellis Bi-Monthly Research Report: Ireland

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Coronavirus: Reflections of an epidemiologist and public health practitioner

first_img(World Bank Blogs) Not a day passes without us being bombarded by the rapidly evolving medical literature and media on the hitherto unknown COVID-19. Rightfully so, as we now have an outbreak with more than 100,000 cases confirmed globally. Yet, I cannot help but wonder how the general public is dealing with such an onslaught of information, if I, as a trained physician, epidemiologist and a global public health practitioner, find it too much to take in and digest. How do we expect a lay person to sift through it all, separate the chaff from the grain, avoid fear mongering – No, you do not get COVID-19 if you receive a package from China, or eat in a Chinese restaurant – and stick with the most relevant information and the essentials for behavioral change? This is ultimately what counts the most:, arming people with the right messaging and instructions for compliance with the science-based best practice. With local community transmission in about 20 countries across several regions of the globe, we must ask ourselves could we have done better? To answer that question, let us rewind a bit to early January, and skip what caused the outbreak. Human ecology is increasingly overlapping with animal ecology – think of the clearance of the Amazon for farming and livestock, or of the felling of Kalimantan forest tapestry for palm oil production. Zoonoses are bound to emerge with more frequency as rapid environmental and climatic changes occur, and as we human beings encroach upon the territoriality of animals, including those that are vectors of zoonotic diseases. And we do trap, handle and consume many of those animals, often with total disregard for basic food hygiene. Oct 16, 2020 Six Eastern Caribbean countries deemed safe for travel – CDC CMO says Saint Lucia at critical stage of COVID-19 outbreak Oct 15, 2020 St. Lucia records more cases of COVID More deaths from COVID-19 recorded in CARICOM countries,… center_img Oct 16, 2020 Read more at: World Bank Blogs Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Oct 15, 2020 You may be interested in… Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

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Lundin Petroleum: Johan Sverdrup Appraisal Well Finds Oil Column

first_imgLundin Petroleum has informed that the Johan Sverdrup appraisal well 16/5-4, located in the south western part of PL501,in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, found an oil column of approximately 6 metres in excellent quality sandstone of Upper Jurassic age. The well is successfully completed.Appraisal well 16/5-4 is located at the south-western flank of the Johan Sverdrup discovery. It was drilled approximately 4 kilometres south-west of appraisal well 16/5-2S and approximately 3 kilometres south-east of well 16/5-3 (PL502). The well found an oil-filled 6 metres gross reservoir section of excellent quality sand with very high net to gross ratio. The top of the reservoir was found according to prognosis and 16 metres above the probable oil water contact of 1,922 metres (Mean Sea Level). The reservoir sequence is entirely of late Jurassic age resting on Triassic sediments. No oil water contact was established.The well was drilled to a total depth of 2,075 metres below mean sea level into sediments of most likely Triassic sediments. A comprehensive coring and logging program has been successfully completed. A pressure gauge is installed in the hole to monitor the reservoir pressure for a period of 2-5 years. The well is permanently abandoned.Ashley Heppenstall, President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum comments: “The major uncertainties associated with this appraisal well were the time-depth conversion to the top of the reservoir and the presence of reservoir. In this respect we are pleased to have proved the extension of the reservoir at this location with excellent sand quality.”The well was drilled using the semi-submersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin. The rig will now drill appraisal well 16/3-7 at the south-eastern flank of the Johan Sverdrup discovery, also located in PL501.Lundin Norway is the operator in PL501 with 40 percent interest. The partners are Statoil Petroleum AS with 40 percent interest and Maersk Oil Norway AS with 20 percent interest.[mappress]September 30, 2013last_img read more

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Thank heavens for the Olympics

first_imgStay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Subscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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StreamLines appoints Scandi agent

first_imgStreamLines, which operates two weekly services between Europe and the Caribbean and one weekly service from the Caribbean, Colombia and Costa Rica to Europe, has been working with Scandinavian Shipping & Logistics in Sweden since January 2014.StreamLines carries breakbulk cargo, automobiles, yachts and boats, machinery and also specialises in temperature-controlled cargoes. www.streamlines.infowww.scandinavianshipping.selast_img

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Blue Water in chopper flight

first_img“The project was challenging because it involved many parties,” explained Jesper Nielsen, business development manager at Blue Water.”The coordination was a comprehensive task in itself and we were working with tight time slots. These kind of projects often include very valuable cargo and leave no room for mistakes.”Blue Water secured the project through its membership of The Aerospace Logistics Alliance (TALA), which the company joined in 2013 and says gives it access to the knowledge and expertise required for airborne transport.Blue Water’s control tower for airfreight in Scandinavia, which supervises all airfreight shipments and ensures high standards are upheld, is located in Copenhagen.   www.bws.dklast_img read more

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Broker pledges PII product based on firms’ long term history

first_imgA broker claims a new indemnity insurance product can give law firms a more bespoke quote based on their long-term performanceInternational broking business Marsh says it has agreements with two leading – as yet unnamed – insurers to help small and mid-sized firms manage their PII risks. It claimed this week that analytics and independent performance data can model a law firm’s individual risk profile, producing tailored pricing based on performance and claims histories.The product is developed to address particular insurance risks such as conveyancing exposes and disciplinary matters, with a liability limit of up to £3m.Whether the market needs any extra help to reduce the burden of indemnity insurance is open to question: experts suggest there has never been so much choice for small practices, with the collapse of certain insurers a couple of years ago now a distant memory.But John Kunzler, senior risk adviser for Marsh’s law firms practice, says many small and mid-size frms operate in challenging business conditions. ‘Even those firms that have excellent claims records and robust risk management processes and systems in place can experience some difficulty in securing PI insurance at reasonable terms,’ said Kunzler. ‘By utilising analytics and independent statistical data, Marsh’s new PI solution enables insurers to offer our clients equitable cover based on their long term performance.’The Marsh offer includes additional defence costs cover for disciplinary matters, dedicated face-to-face risk management support and access to a 24-hour helpline for firms’ compliance officers. Both insurers signed up have at least an A rating from Moody’s, Fitch, and Standard & Poor’s.last_img read more

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