The RIBBIT Blog

Getting Real with Financial Inclusion
Getting Real with Financial Inclusion

Financial inclusion matters not only because it promotes growth, but because it helps ensure prosperity ~ Sri Mulyani Indrawati

How arbitrary are the words ‘financial inclusion’; who’s in, who’s out and why is it so unfair? If a consumer is ‘in,’ there are financial opportunities for building a better life. If a person is ‘out,’ good luck with climbing out of a deep money pit. Today’s financial institutions think they are building a more inclusive process. However, many are still using information reflective of historical bias so if it didn’t work then, it ‘ain’t gonna work now’.

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Why Interpretation of Data Matters
Why Interpretation of Data Matters

When a man gives you a rose, what you see may not be what he intends~ Patrick Rothfuss

Assessing information is the foundation of most of life’s important decisions. Mistakes are made when the data is unavailable, unclear, inaccurate, insufficient, immaterial, or unjust. How many people have suffered throughout history by poor decision-making? Like it or not, today’s world is data driven, hopefully an information mecca for making insightful, educated, proven and unbiased decisions. However, data is just that, information on a page, it becomes meaningful only when it is wisely analyzed and interpreted.

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RIBBIT the Bank Behavior Experts
RIBBIT the Bank Behavior Experts

Nothing is more expensive than a missed opportunity ~ H. Jackson Brown Jr.

In today’s business climate, investors empowering innovative companies in the financial services industry, is a benefit for all. RIBBIT Inc., an AI-powered financial data and technology company providing instant bank behavior analytics, announced its Series A funding round led by ABS Capital, with participation from additional financial service industry experts. The funding accelerates RIBBIT’s hiring plan to support growth and innovate with behavioral analytics that powers the $9B financial services market. ABS Capital has a long history of supporting promising software and services providers that are innovating in the financial services industry.

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The Boom of Alternative Lending
The Boom of Alternative Lending

Every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a big idea turn into an innovation ~ Dean Kamen

The pandemic, a cruel influencer of the 21st century, left few unscathed in the business world; some were harmed, others obliterated, some were saved, others benefited, but all were impacted. One business’s misery was often another’s gain. In the financial arena, ideas that weren’t considered before, jumped to the forefront of people’s thinking, changing the way business is conducted. Alternative financing/lending, a great example of an industry segment rising from the pandemic ashes, faced great upheavals, stalling its progress until dramatic changes were instituted.

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Artificial Intelligence in the Banking World
Artificial Intelligence in the Banking World

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced ~ James Baldwin

What do you get when you cross a wall unit with artificial intelligence . . . shelf-awareness?! It’s finally here, the age of machine learning, digital ecosystems, universal data, and artificial intelligence (AI), all combined to influence business results and accelerate cultural changes. AI is the link that transforms massive amounts of data into valuable insights for business.

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The Valuable Penetration Test
The Valuable Penetration Test

All prayers in the business world should start “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord, my security is deep.” Don’t kid yourself, when it comes to structuring security for systems, protecting clients and their customers’ personal information, enough is never enough. When companies adopt an attitude of vulnerability rather than invincibility, ongoing penetration testing (pen testing) will become a huge part of their security strategy.

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The Days of Wine, Books, and Debt for Boomers
The Days of Wine, Books, and Debt for Boomers

Next time the youngsters make fun of Grandma’s lack of Internet expertise, take heed that baby boomers make more purchases via the Internet than any other generation. In fact, according to BabyBoomers.com and Pew Research, boomers spend substantially more on their online purchases than the average person.

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Remote Flexibility, the New Normal
Remote Flexibility, the New Normal

The word remote is such a lonely word, bringing up images of an isolated cabin in the woods, hungry wolves prowling about, and potentially a shortage of food and supplies. Today’s remote office/branch office (ROBO) is often the polar opposite of the Hansel and Gretel version. ROBO is usually set up in the employee’s house often located in a separate town, state, or country from the company’s main office.

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Challenges Propel Improvement
Challenges Propel Improvement

Never be afraid to fail. Failure is only a stepping stone to improvement ~ Tony Jaa

I remember my young daughter’s disheartening basketball coach yelling at the team “don’t shoot the ball unless you are going to make it.” Naturally, the team was afraid to shoot the ball so they never scored enough points to win. An enlightened coach would have said “shoot the ball until you make it.” Giving the girls permission to miss the basket without fear of blame would have released their potential. This same philosophy in the workplace is liberating: push yourself, learn from mistakes, and use your knowledge to improve. Slam dunk!

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Wisdom for the 2022 Workplace
Wisdom for the 2022 Workplace

It’s great to be great, but it’s greater to be human ~ Will Rogers

One of my father and husband’s favorite TV characters was Andy Rooney, who appeared at the end of every 60 Minutes episode with a short critique on the condition of the world. Andy was the dessert at the end of the informative and serious news program, culminating with a rise of his bushy eyebrows, a twinkle in his eyes, and his witty, often acerbic insights about the way things were. And was often said, he could say so much with just a few words.

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The Gift of Giving
The Gift of Giving

Tomorrow doesn’t matter, for I have lived today ~ Horace

A young, grey cat with the greenest eyes wandered into our yard last week and made serious eye contact appearing to ask for my assistance. Not particularly a cat lover, I hoped she would go away, but after hours of continual pacing and meowing, I poured some milk into a bowl. Needless to say, Greyling knew she had found a friend and yes, I did name her.

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Same Day ACH Payments Just Got a Booster
Same Day ACH Payments Just Got a Booster

Success is a ladder than cannot be climbed with your hands in your pockets ~ American proverb

In a country often filled with broken promises and lip service, it’s refreshing to look at the track record of the Electronic Payments Association (NACHA), who introduced Same Day ACH for credits 5 years ago. NACHA, the rule maker and governing body, for most financial transactions in the U.S., promised yearly enhancements to Same Day ACH including adding debits, expanding the hours to submit payments, and increasing the dollar limit for each payment. The payment’s world salutes NACHA for their honesty, transparency, commitment, and follow-thru.

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The Crumbling Credit Score
The Crumbling Credit Score

You say you want a revolution, Well, you know, We all want to change the world. ~ Lohn Lennon

Without question, the most important number in a U.S. citizen’s life, one that controls home and car ownership, the size of your TV screen, loan acceptance, interest rates, and often, the type of employment is the legendary credit score. The FICO score created in 1956 by William Fair and Earl Issac and COmpany, became the industry standard in 1989 to determine a consumer’s credit worthiness according to: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, types of credit used, and recent credit inquiries. The score is omnipotent!

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The Global Expansion of Online Business
The Global Expansion of Online Business

Human experience depends on everything that can influence states of the human brain ~ Sam Harris

Close your eyes, use your imagination, look out there into the payments’ world, and what do you see – a state, a country, or the whole world? Online businesses in the U.S, reacting to the expansion of digital commerce, can reach a worldwide market today. Technology is solving sales tax obstacles, opening global marketing channels, modifying regulations, and accurately meeting the needs of consumers globally.

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Scary Debt Insights for Halloween
Scary Debt Insights for Halloween

Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream that you have in your sleep or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake ~ Justin Alcala

Like many life-altering issues in our country, we are keen on understanding, but unfortunately, laissez-faire on action. How many times has our country raised the debt ceiling avoiding a government shut-down rather than resolving the debt problem? The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data reports that in August 2021, the U.S. Public Debt was 28.23 trillion dollars, 1.7 trillion higher than last year, more than quadrupling since 2000. Yikes!

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The Lending Maze
The Lending Maze

When you know a thing, to hold that you know it and when you do not know a thing, to allow that you do not know it: this is knowledge ~ Confucius

Maneuvering through a maze often reflects the highs and lows of daily life, sometimes ending with a treat, other times a blocked pathway. Borrowing money or making purchases on credit may feel like crawling through a maze, but the good news is the barriers are coming down. The lending industry is reinventing itself in the aftermath of Covid, where mobile shopping surged, credit scores became unreliable, and creative opportunities for new lending entrants emerged.

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Lay-A-Way on Steroids Buy Now Pay Later
Lay-A-Way on Steroids Buy Now Pay Later

A man should first direct himself in the way he should go. Only then should he instruct others ~ Buddha

Old fashioned lay-a-way made so much sense, a way to reserve your product, and pay for it when you actually had money, thus taking possession. It gave consumers time to rationally think about the necessity of the purchase and time to budget the appropriate money. Lay-a-way was a safeguard against impulse buying and going into debt, a fear today that doesn’t resonate as much with consumers or merchants. As a result of Covid, online shopping grew-up, and the Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) market arrived or rather exploded on the POS scene giving credit cards a run for their money.

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The Enchantment of Disruptive Innovation
The Enchantment of Disruptive Innovation

Whoever acquires knowledge and does not practice it remembers him who plows his land and leaves it unknown ~ Sa’di Gulistan

What could possibly entice Rick Fiorito, a just-retired, financially secure, new Floridian, and renowned payments-guru to even consider leaving the beach for an opportunity to disrupt the financial services landscape? Rick, at least, let the dust settle from your recent industry-wide retirement announcement from Mastercard. “Joining RIBBIT.ai as their COO is an opportunity I simply couldn’t miss,” Rick knowingly smiles.

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Happy 5th Birthday Same Day ACH
Happy 5th Birthday Same Day ACH

Don’t just count your years, make your years count~ George Meredith

Well, well, ACH, what an accomplished, agile 5-year-old you have grown into along with the support of your NACHA parents, encouraging your growth and enhancing your skills every year. Since September 23, 2016, you have matured, up from “13 million payments the first year to over 141 million payments in just the first quarter of 2021, valued at $187.6 billion, increases of 88% and !33% respectively from a year earlier,” according to Payments Post. Motivating Americans to use Same Day ACH has created an addiction for speedy payments which may push payments over 600 million this year.

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Identity Theft, Catch Me If You Can
Identity Theft, Catch Me If You Can

The biggest problem in the world could have been solved when it was small ~ Bynner

Identity theft is running rampant; my husband was recently a victim when someone tried to take out a loan in his name. Thankfully, the lender turned the thief down and sent my husband a letter explaining the refusal. Good luck with that scam. It felt offensive on two levels: one with the sleazy thief, another with the clueless lender since my husband died five years ago.

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Coaching Employees into Winners
Coaching Employees into Winners

Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be ~ John Wooden

Have you ever noticed how some criticism can play havoc with your hearing and scrambles your brain? Words are suddenly hard to decipher and the ego is instantly drawing up offensive plays to counter act the severe disapproval. It becomes almost impossible to achieve a workable solution when one party is on the attack while the other is strategizing a bloody coup d’état.

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Non-traditional Credit Scoring Using Alternative Data
Non-traditional Credit Scoring Using Alternative Data

Be curious always! For knowledge will not acquire you; you must acquire it ~ anonymous

Come on, don’t judge me based on a few of my personal traits, it’s just not fair, rather look at the whole me, then decide if I am worthy. And if you are evaluating my credit worthiness, impacting the rest of my life, the analysis better be meticulous, expansive, insightful, and timely.

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Biden Launches Rocket to Open Banking
Biden Launches Rocket to Open Banking

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle – Kahlil Gibran

Open banking just got a giant goose from the President of the United States. In an executive order, President Biden strongly suggested that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) endorses guidelines forcing banks to loosen their grip on consumers’ bank data. Time for banks to “give it up” to the actual account owners so they can download their banking information and share it with other banks and 3rd party service providers. Wow, this is big!

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Artificial Intelligence in the Banking World
The POWER of AI and Credit Decisioning

The universe is always sending us gifts, all we have to do is open them. ~ Di Princell

Artificial Intelligence (AI) may well be the supportive superhero for credit decisioning in the current decade: slaying machine-learning systems, disrupting financial services, fighting against biased algorithms, demanding more accurate predictions, and destroying the way credit risk is measured. Combining AI with financial data creates knowledge out of confusion and sees into the future: changing status quo, paving the way for innovation in the financial arena, and tearing down closed doors to credit.

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The Boom of Alternative Lending
Building Trust in the Financial World

Reach out and touch somebody’s hand, make this world a better place
~ Diana Ross

Am I old fashioned to think that face-to face meetings with handshakes, eye-to-eye contact, positive body language, shared dinners, friendly cocktails, and warm conversation builds personal trust and unyielding loyalty in a business relationship? That “touchy-feely” type of intimacy disappeared during the pandemic replaced by teleconferencing, emailing, and phone calls, the only communication alternatives that made sense and felt safe, all critical vehicles for conducting remote business. But did the business world just get a little more anonymous?

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RIBBIT the Bank Behavior Experts
Financial Inclusivity – Building for the Future

“We’re all part of an interconnected system and once we see that, our responsibility becomes very clear. We have to help those in need today, AND ensure the world emerges a stronger, more resilient place—because doing the right things for society will lead to the right outcomes for business.”
~Ajay Banga Executive Chairman, Mastercard

Relying on money in our pockets to buy food, pay rent, purchase gas, and support daily living would be a dangerous game, but that’s how the unbanked lives. . . . not a good scenario for financial success.

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Lay-A-Way on Steroids Buy Now Pay Later
Can I Afford It Index?

You can’t always get what you want, But if you try sometimes you just might find, You get what you need ~ Rolling Stones

As a kid, I loved the Magic 8 Ball and believed, if you held it just the right way, it had all the answers. As adults, we have all stewed over a purchase wondering whether we should buy it, can we afford it, and what are the consequences of nonpayment? Often, the wrong answer to these practical questions can put individuals into debt, plummet their credit ratings, and impact all future financial opportunities.

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All Aboard the Fast Payments Money Train
All Aboard the Fast Payments Money Train

We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are ~ anonymous

The country is not living at warp-speed yet, but today’s need-for-speed influences many of our activities: Internet speed, mobile connectivity, automated payments, buy-now-pay-later, fast foods, instant messaging, zoom meetings, in-home movies, speed dating, 5-minute pizzas, supersonic jets, etc. The Internet has turned us into speed-and-convenience seeking consumers with very little patience, unable to tolerate delays in our digital world, inevitably spilling over into our retail world.

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Analyzing Data Helps Consumers Make Smarter Financial Decisions
Analyzing Data Helps Consumers Make Smarter Financial Decisions

When I think back on all the crap I learned in high school, it’s wonder I can think at all ~ Simon & Garfunkel

Even at my wise age, I still feel ill-equipped for all of life’s financial situations, and somewhat resentful that my K-12 primary years didn’t even prepare me to write a check. Today’s teachers are focusing a majority of efforts on prepping students for academic and IQ test-taking, rather than teaching critical life skills especially in financial readiness. According to a 2020 survey by the Council for Economic Education (CEE), “only 6 states require stand-alone personal finance courses in high school.” Financial preparedness in the formative years can be a game changer that may eliminate the lifelong consequences of poor financial decisions.

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What is a Cryptocurrency in Laywoman’s Terms?
What is a Cryptocurrency in Laywoman’s Terms?

There are 2 worlds: the world we can measure with line and rule, and the world that we feel with our hearts and imagination ~ Leigh Hunt

Good grief, am I really going to try and explain cryptocurrency when Elon Musk was at a loss on SNL? After researching various descriptions, it’s obvious that we humans are not meant to understand it, rather accept it at face value, and buy into it or not .

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Wisdom for the 2022 Workplace
Team Chemistry in the Digital Workplace

Temptation usually comes in through a door that has been deliberately left open ~ anonymous

Having just returned from a 2-week family vacation, I am reminded about the importance of a life outside of the workplace, and how relaxation of the mind is a self-perpetuating energy source.

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Open Banking in the UK – the Fox and Guinea Pig
Open Banking in the UK – the Fox and Guinea Pig

Success is never final and failure never fatal. It’s courage that counts ~ anonymous

Please don’t put me in the front line of a battle, charging forward where the arrows are coming towards me; no time to think, only react. Sometimes coming in second has its advantages especially when there is a learning curve like open banking in the European financial market.

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The Enchantment of Disruptive Innovation
Does Data Privacy Even Exist?

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers ~ Voltaire

As a typical consumer of goods/services, I wonder if my personal data is genuinely protected from the daily occurring breaches. As an owner of an AI-based, data analytics provider, I know that RIBBIT.ai’s number one priority, at all costs, is protecting our clients and their customers personal information. However, the data breach is every business’s worst nightmare, and if a representative tells you its security is 100% fail safe, turn around, run fast, and locate an honest company.

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The Emerging World of Data Science
The Emerging World of Data Science

If we can choose, we can change. If we can’t change, then choice means nothing. ~The Rhythm of War

Defining data science is challenging enough, so let’s cut to the chase and focus on the goal – show me the money! Utilizing data science in business is the future, the now, and the forevermore. It’s an insightful and complex process that merges statistics with businesses acumen to make smarter decisions so that profitable opportunities can be expanded, examined, measured, and implemented. As technology advances, so does the scope and storage of data, increasing prospects for more accurate and relevant customization of products/services.

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Wisdom for the 2022 Workplace
The Unfettered Start-Up

Anyone who is just ‘coasting along’ is probably going downhill. ~ Anonymous

Just think if you could start life over, a clean slate, while retaining all your years of experience and knowledge. And if you believe, as I do, that obstacles are the building blocks of learning, wow, we would all be masterminds.

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Make ALL America Credit Worthy
Make ALL America Credit Worthy

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ~Anonoymous

As the virus starts to lose its punch, the destruction resembles the aftermath of a hurricane, an unrecognizable landscape with splintered pieces of yesterday scattered about. Overwhelming doesn’t do it justice; it’s a prayer away from being hopeless, yet thankfully, we live in a country that knows how to recover under the harshest odds.

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NACHA Says Don’t Wait . . . Validate
NACHA Says Don’t Wait . . . Validate

Doing beats stewing ~ Arnold Glasow
Forget the rear-view mirror, I want a mirror that lets me prepare for the upcoming traffic. NACHA warned us in 2018 that March 19, 2021 would be upon us sooner than expected and here we are, ladies and gentlemen . . . gooo time!

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Lay-A-Way on Steroids Buy Now Pay Later
No Credit Score?

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm. ~ Anonymous

The younger generations are fearful of going into debt unlike mama and papa so a majority stick with their debit cards when purchasing goods and services. In the short run, paying with a known quantity of funds contributes to a realistic budget and reduces financial stress, but it doesn’t build a reliable credit score. No information = No credit scores = No loans.

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The Lending Puzzle
The Lending Puzzle

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere. ~ Frank Clark

It’s a rough time to be a consumer who needs a loan. But on the flip side, it’s also a rocky time to be a lender who is afraid to offer it. The economic dilemma unfolds – – For lenders, it comes down to who is a good bet to pay us back – – For consumers, can they really pay it back?

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