E-Scan offers digital marketing insights

The Credit Union National Association recently released the 2017-2018 Environmental Scan. The E-Scan offers insights in 10 primary areas affecting credit unions, including lending, economics, technology and of course marketing. The E-Scan is a must-read for any credit union executive and is also an outstanding planning tool to use.

The marketing section is entitled “The Big Deal Behind Social Media.” It also mentions many of the other top marketing trends for credit unions, including disruptors, regulations, Generation Z, the evolution of marketing, highly personalized marketing, consumer preferences and the humanization of digital. But the bulk of the section centers around social media and engagement.

According to the E-Scan, there are five factors that come into play when brining engagement into your social media efforts:

(1)    Bring value first

As the E-Scan notes, “social media isn’t always about direct response…..once you’re identified as a serial promoter, people will shut you off and tune you out.” Look for ways to engage—not sell—on your social media platforms.

[“Source-cuinsight”]

From Wallets and UPI to Blockchain, How Digital Payments are Evolving in India

From Wallets and UPI to Blockchain, How Digital Payments are Evolving in India

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The government has played a key role in the digitisation of cash in India
  • Digital payments went down in February but are rising again
  • Upcoming payments firms will have to expand reach via new channels

Most accounts of successful digitisation feature technology providers or tech-hungry consumers in the lead role. But in the story of digital payments in India, it is the government that is the unlikely hero.

In his budget speech this year, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley set the nation a target of 25 billion digital transactions for 2017-18. And enabling this, we have the creation of a new category of financial institutions, namely the Payments Banks. Telecom/ e-commerce companies have turned into payments banks, and are processing huge numbers of low-value transactions via digital wallets and other electronic prepaid instruments for their subscribers and customers, many of whom never had the benefit of formal financial services.

ALSO SEECash Is Culture in India, but It’s Not Going to Be the Future

In August 2014, India’s financial inclusion agenda got a huge boost with the launch of the “Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana”, devised to provide every Indian easy access to basic banking services. In just over two and a half years, the Jan Dhan Yojana has garnered a record breaking 282.3 million “no-frills” bank accounts and deposits worth Rs. 640 billion. From here, the next step is to enable these accounts to make and receive digital payments. Aadhaar, India’s unique identification program, is the perfect platform for that because it links to bank accounts to enable both Direct Benefit Transfer (of government payouts) and a host of simple financial transactions via the Aadhaar Enabled Payment System.

aadhaar card reuters 548

Another government initiative that ended up promoting digital payments, even though that was not its primary intent, was the overnight demonetisation of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1,000 currency notes in November 2016. With about 86 percent of cash instantly going out of circulation, consumers from all segments, and even tiny, unorganised businesses were forced into digital transactions, shooting that number from 672 million in November 2016, to 958 million just a month later. Even after the new notes flowed into the system and digital transactions dipped considerably, they remained at higher than pre-demonetisation levels at 763 million in February 2017, and were at 844.7 million in June 2017, as per the RBI.

But arguably, the government’s crowning achievement is the Unified Payments Interface, which has transformed the fragmented mobile payments landscape with an environment where money can move from any bank or financial provider to any other, instantly, cheaply, securely and transparently.

The path ahead
Although the average Indian consumer is way more financially empowered today than a few years ago, as a nation, India still has a long way to go. Getting the one billion plus largely feature phone subscribers to use their device for simple financial transactions is one thing, educating them into financially responsible, informed consumers, quite another. Although India’s payments infrastructure is looking solid, there is a need for a massive effort to build awareness about basic financial management as well as safe financial practices to protect customers from fraud. The fact that India is deemed a favourite target for cyber-attack underlines the seriousness of the problem.

Viability is a big challenge for India’s niche digital payment providers, who are pouring large sums of money into acquiring customers and keeping them happy. At present, almost all digital payment services are being offered free of cost or with attractive incentives – for instance Paytm Payments Bankcharges no fees on any online transaction, while Airtel Payments Bank offers free talktime. Once the honeymoon is over, providers will certainly look at charging these services, which might put the brakes on growth.

payent1

One way to keep costs (and hence fees and charges) down is to leverage Blockchain and other open source technologies to facilitate digital payment transactions. Actually, Blockchain fells several challenges in one go – it collapses transaction time and cost, improves transparency, and provides virtually impenetrable security. It can also scale up to meet India’s requirements with ease.

The last point is crucial because it is also the key to viability. Niche payment providers will need to extend their services down to the very last mile and feature phone to sustain the business; banks, although under less pressure, should also look at expanding reach via mobile and other channels, such as micro ATMs and business correspondent agents carrying handheld devices for delivering digital payments to the doorstep.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Boltt Wants to Be Your Digital Fitness Coach With an AI Play

Boltt Wants to Be Your Digital Fitness Coach With an AI Play

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Boltt is offering a range of hardware products
  • The companion app comes with AI-enabled coach
  • Boltt products now available to pre-order in India

Although the fitness wearable craze seems to be slowing down now, you’ll still frequently run into people wearing some kind of device on their wrist, which tracks data such as steps, heart rate, and so on. One of the big problems is that the user tends to be clueless about what this data means. An Indian company, Boltt, wants to address this, with a companion app that quantifies and measures the recorded data, and then uses an AI-enabled coach to guide the user on the next steps, in order to cut down the abandonment rate for wearables.

“We saw was that over time, people were buying wearables but they didn’t know what to do with the data,” says Aayushi Kishore, co-founder at Boltt. “What do you do with 10,000 steps a day or burning 500 calories a day? This is where Boltt steps in.”

Boltt’s AI-enabled personal coach is called ‘B’, and is analyses data gathered by the wearable, including sleep, fitness, nutrition, and activity, offering customised guidance.

boltt coach boltt

Boltt’s AI fitness coach is available in the app as a text- and voice-based coach, offering insights when any of the company’s fitness devices (a smart band, shoes, and stride sensor) is connected with the app. The AI-enabled coach can provide customised and real-time coaching to users without the hassles of time or geography. The company is also offering third-party integration, which means that if a user has been using a Fitbit then that data can be synced to Boltt.

“A company in wearable segment usually has three elements: hardware, software, and services,” says Boltt’s founder, Arnav Kishore, a former tennis player. “Within the hardware part, we have about three categories of fitness wearables. We have got a form of sensor which is on your wrist for 24×7 tracking, second is a bunch of heart rate sensors as well, which can be on your chest, and the third one is stride sensor which tracks user’s biomechanical data like how fast one runs, and similar data.”

“The Stride sensor can be clipped on to your regular shoe or it could be within the embedded solution which is the smart shoe product that we have in our portfolio,” added [Arnav] Kishore.

“The sensors on our wearables are fundamentally tracking biomechanical data in the raw form,” he said. “But, the real magic lies within the software. Once the data is transmitted to your mobile application, all the inference and intelligence is happening from there on.”

boltt shoes 2 boltt

By focusing on the software guidance, Boltt wants to address one of the bigger issues in the wearables market – many people buy fitness trackers with the best intentions, but then simply stop using them.

“The idea behind this is using the raw data to dig out patterns,” says Arnav. “We believe that the only way a user will improve – or at least try to improve – is with utilisation of the data.”

There have been companies in India like Goqii that have tried coaching routes where they offered human coaches, but then there are limitations. The human coach’s biggest limitation is that they can comprehend only so much data in limited time.

“If at a software level, we can connect all the dots and give you automated feedback in a fraction of a second that’s where we think the future lies,” says Aayushi.

“We have tried to replicate the process of human thinking in the form of an artificial intelligent coach,” adds Arnav. “How that works is all the data that comes is typically seen by an expert who would take into account your current condition and how well are you performing. What’s your current fitness level is. This is, however, very limited when it comes to human mind.”

“The more we have injected this intelligence in the form of AI, machine learning, and cognitive computing that’s the reason why we are able comprehend so much data in fraction of second and give a user guidance in return,” he said.

boltt app screen boltt

At the same time, the Kishores reiterated that user privacy is of the utmost importance, and all data is stored locally on your device. “We can assure that the data cannot be seen by anyone except the Boltt team, to prevent misuse in any way,” says Arnav.

The current lineup of products covers ‘connected sneaker’, with embedded sensors, a stride sensor, which can be clipped to any shoe, and a fitness tracker smart band, which can track movement, sleep, and give activity reminders.

Boltt recently started taking pre-orders for its products via the company’s site, Boltt.com, instead of other e-commerce channels. However, the Kishores say that Boltt will be opening channels both online and offline as it progresses and that there is also a B2B component to its go-to-market strategy.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

UK AIMS TO BECOME BEST PLACE TO START AND GROW A DIGITAL BUSINESS

Image result for UK AIMS TO BECOME "BEST PLACE TO START AND GROW A DIGITAL BUSINESS"

The UK Government has set out its strategy to grow the economic contribution of digital businesses from £118bn to £200bn by 2025 in a wide-ranging document aiming to make the UK the best place to start and grow a digital business.

The raft of objectives covering infrastructure, education, data and security, public services and other areas aims to accelerate growth of the UK’s estimated 200,000 digital enterprises which are believed to support 1.4m UK jobs.This includes fast-growing digital centres in Southhampton, West Cornwall and Dundee and key northern cities, as well as the the biggest cluster of digital businesses in London and south east. Digital sectors also attracted a record £1.57bn of equity finance in 2015, more than four times the level of 2011.

The report lists six UK sectors in which the country is globally leading – artificial intelligence, cyber security, Fin  Tech, gaming, virtual reality, and Gov Tech – and other sectors, such as advertising and design, in which a fusion of digital and creative expertise give the UK an international lead. Developing areas such as the Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicle Technologies, Health Tech and Ed Tech are seen as providing further opportunities.

As part of its seven strand digital strategy, the Government aims to:

  • Improve digital infrastructure by completing the rollout of 4G and superfast broadband, and giving every individual, business and premise the right to request  affordable high speed brodband;
  • Establish a new digital skills partnership and adopt the recommendations of a review to ensure computer science students have up to date, real world skills;
  • Use its Autumn 2016 pledge to invest £4.7bn in R&D funding by 2020-21 to ensure British business benefits from scientific and technological breakthroughs;
  • Support the work of a new Productivity Council to encourage appropriate use of technologies across the economy;
  • Support the National Cyber Security Centre and introduce new active cyber defence approach;
  • Implement the Government Transformation Strategy, including by working towards 25m GOV.UK users by 2020;
  • Act to make the UK a world-leading, data-driven economy, including by implementing the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation by May 2018.

The strategy applies the framework set out by the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy green paper, published in January 2017.

Announcing the digital strategy, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP said:“This Digital Strategy applies this framework to the digital economy across the whole country. It will boost our world-leading digital sectors and overcome barriers to growth and innovation, creating more of the high-skilled, high paid jobs of the future. It will deliver the first-class digital infrastructure and advanced skills base that businesses across the country need to be able to take advantage of digital tools.”

[Source:- thecreativeindustries]