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The Highs and Lows of Marijuana Banking

By Alaina Webster, Managing Editor

When I was in high school (some indeterminate number of years ago), the idea of legal marijuana consumption was unthinkable. Fast forward a couple decades, and cannabis legalization is not only being talked about, it’s a reality in several U.S. states. However, it’s still not legal federally, and therein lies the rub for many banks and marijuana-related businesses (MRBs).

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How to Play the Name Game

What should banks consider before rebranding with a new name?

By Alaina Webster, Managing Editor

In today’s “always on” environment, many consumers have seemingly unlimited choices, and companies, including banks, often struggle to differentiate themselves from competitors. Rebranding or relaunching can be one way to stand out from the herd, and changing a company’s name is one of the most straightforward approaches. For instance, have you heard of BackRub? You have, actually — you just call it Google. Want a Brad’s Drink to go with your burger and fries? You do if you’re a Pepsi drinker.

Companies rebrand all the time, with varying levels of success, but there are right ways and wrong ways to do it, and the motivation behind the shift can determine the success of an endeavor.

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Phishing, Vishing and Smishing

Social engineering is the latest trend in cyberthreats.

By Alaina Webster, Managing Editor

Is the title for this column a quote from a Dr. Seuss book? No. But you’d be forgiven for making that assumption. None of those words (except for “and”) even looks like an actual word, certainly not one you’d find in a professional publication. They’re all real, though, and all types of social engineering fraud your institution could be facing soon.

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To Hack or Be Hacked

That may be the question.

By Alaina Webster, Managing Editor

“Hacker” is something of a dirty word, striking fear into the hearts of many executives, particularly in the financial industry. In today’s cultural climate, there are few things more damaging to banks than a data breach. Still, it’s undeniable that some hackers possess legitimate skills — and perhaps banks shouldn’t be wasting that talent.

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Is AI Customer-Approved?

By Alaina Webster, Managing Editor

Begin a conversation about technology, and you’ll immediately hear that artificial intelligence will be driving banks in the near future. From chatbot companies, to the fintechs that help integrate the chatbots into core and legacy systems, a push is being made to establish AI as not only useful but inevitable. Phrases like “Banks MUST” and “Consumers EXPECT” are tossed about with abandon (sometimes even in this magazine). But is AI inevitable, and do customers really expect it?

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