The keys to fighting fraud?

September 8, 2016
/   Insights

We're constantly being warned that fraud is one of the biggest threats facing the banking industry, but the true scale of this was revealed by a recent survey that suggests it could make up...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

We Americans are pretty bad with money. Global economic data show that on average we are saving less than 5% of our disposable income. Our rate of savings has been in decline for decades, and we’re nowhere near the rate of savings of most Euro-zone countries. Here in the US, we have more debt and “own” more stuff, but have less money saved for retirement.

My Selfish Motives

I’ve been studying this trend and wondering about it a lot. Partly it’s been driven by personal interest. I have an eight-year old daughter, and I’d like her to understand how money works – what to do with it – how to become “good” with money. I’ve surveyed other parents, studied the available data, read books, and started dozens of conversations. My own parents didn’t really talk about money. We kids knew there was money for college, and that our folks ‘had our back’ financially speaking. Frankly, I graduated with a B.A., and not one clue of how to manage my personal finances. It was blissful.

What Can Parents Do?

While there’s no magic wand for creating financial awareness, one of the biggest mistakes parents make is NOT talking about money at all. In a March 2016 Parents Survey, 100% of responders had a savings account for their child. Yet 50% of the kids in those families had little or no knowledge of the account. Here are a few suggestions for parents:

  1. Start early – kids at age 7-9 can begin managing “piggy bank” money and earning an allowance or money for doing chores.
  2. Talk about control – kids can set special “goals”. Deciding what to spend, save, and even donate to charity is an important concept to introduce. Create a plan with your child for short-term gratification and reachable goals.
  3. Get interested in interest – middle schoolers can understand the cost of borrowing money, and the flip side, long-term investing. A cool book and concept to check out is David Owen’s The First National Bank of Dad – he pays his children (generous) interest on their savings.
  4. Be consistent – whatever you decide to do, make it simple enough, with the right incentives to keep it going. Money management is a marathon, not a sprint.

What Can Bankers Do?

  1. Develop tips for parents – or direct them to relevant online resources. When I opened a savings account for my daughter, it was just “here’s the paperwork, sign here, and see you later!” At most banks the account opening process takes a while. What a great opportunity to start a dialogue, strengthen the client relationship, even point parents to a relevant post on your bank’s website (or elsewhere on the web).
  2. Host a seminar – how about something on college savings plans, kid savings strategies, or young entrepreneurship?
  3. Inform parents on the basics – do you have clients with UTFM accounts that were established 10 years ago or more? Those kids might be ready for an account of their own. Know the age requirements for accounts at your institution – when can someone begin as a checking customer, etc.?

Money-Smart Kids

So often as parents we are surprised and delighted with how quickly our kids learn new concepts. There are dozens of cool apps and ways to get kids interested managing their money at an early age – whether your customers use an app, a paper chart on the wall, or other methods, getting on the road to raising money-smart kids is a worthwhile venture.

Ada Vaughan is a Mom and serial entrepreneur. She recently became CEO of a startup tech company called Chore Check that has developed an app/website for families. Chore Check is a useful and fun tool that gets parents and kids thinking about the value of a dollar earned, and how to manage it, at an early age. Ada earned her MBA at Georgetown University, lives in the Chicago area, and is working on raising a money-smart daughter. Find out more at


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James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Brad Strothkamp

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.