Author Archives: Caroline Eilman

Digital habits driving banking shifts

The latest quarterly consumer trends research from Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), a leading global provider of financial services technology solutions, shows that as the importance of digital engagement has grown, so has consumer comfort using non-financial companies to conduct financial activities.
While consumers remain most comfortable with traditional financial organizations, a growing number of consumers say they would use a technology company such as Apple or Google to pay bills, take out a loan and conduct other financial activities.

Conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of Fiserv, Expectations & Experiences is one of the longest-running research studies of its kind and builds on years of consumer survey data. Results from the 2018 Expectations & Experiences: Channels and New Entrants survey of 3,050 consumers show:

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How Blockchain Is Set To Transform The Healthcare Sector

By 2020, global annual health spending is expected to go over US$8.734 trillion. In spite of that, there is a lot of dissatisfaction regarding the quality of services and the high cost that people face in order to access them. The healthcare industry had long been identified as being one of those that had the most potential to be disrupted by blockchain technology, but actual implementations were few and far between, possibly due to the industry’s traditional reluctance to incorporate new technologies, until they have been proven to be reliable and safe enough. Nowadays though, there are myriad blockchain use cases coming to the fore, changing things up and future-proofing the industry.

Records management

One of the foremost attractions of the blockchain and many of the currencies it spawned is the accurate record-keeping it facilitates, so it’s no surprise that the same feature is a major draw for the healthcare industry where there is a need for professionals and patients to have absolute confidence in the correctness of the information that is presented at any given time.

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Why Cyber-Criminals Are Attacking Healthcare — And How To Stop Them

The last five years has seen a surge of attacks on the healthcare industry, with the largest breaches impacting as many as 80 million people. In July this year, it was revealed that 150,000 NHS patients’ data was shared over a three-year period following a major breach.

Over in the US, the 2015 cyber-attack on Anthem saw hackers steal 78.8 million patient records, claiming highly sensitive data, including names, social security numbers, home addresses and dates of birth.

Meanwhile, this year, hackers breached the Singapore government’s health database with a targeted cyber-attack, accessing the data of 1.5 million patients.

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Place your bets: Delaware takes sports wagers, others close

DOVER, Del. (AP) — The market for legal sports gambling in the United States widened significantly on Tuesday with expanded betting in Delaware, putting legal wagering within driving distance of three major East Coast cities less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for states to accept the bets

Instead of flying to Las Vegas or betting illegally, fans in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington can make a short drive to legally bet in Delaware on the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup Final or the World Cup. More states are likely to join the action by the time the NFL starts its season in the fall.

“Giants and Yankees, all day, every day,” Manhattan native Karriem Keys said Tuesday after betting on the New York Giants to win the Super Bowl next year.

Keys, 53, who now lives in Dover, was one of a couple of dozen people laying down early wagers at Dover Downs as Delaware became the first state outside Nevada to offer legal gambling on individual sporting events.

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U.S. job growth surges, unemployment rate falls to 3.8 percent

Source: Thinkstock

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. job growth accelerated in May and the unemployment rate dropped to an 18-year low of 3.8 percent, pointing to rapidly tightening labor market conditions, which could stir concerns about inflation.

The closely watched employment report released by the Labor Department on Friday also showed wages rising solidly, cementing expectations that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates this month and boosting the probability of two more hikes later in the year. It renewed fears about the economy overheating.

“The strength of the labor market supports our forecast for the Fed to raise rates three more times this year,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “The Fed is going to get antsy that the labor market will blow too far past full employment.”

Nonfarm payrolls surged by 223,000 jobs last month as warm weather bolstered hiring at construction sites. There were also big gains in retail and leisure and hospitality payrolls. The economy created 15,000 more jobs than previously reported in March and April.

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Why the NFL Stopped Seeing Gambling as a Threat—and Started to See a Windfall

Even ahead of the Supreme Court’s ruling, the league had shifted its focus to how sports betting could help grow football in the NFL’s most coveted demographics

The arrival of legal gambling comes at a moment when the NFL’s grip on the American public is weakening. PHOTO: PAUL KURODA/ZUMA PRESS

By Andrew Beaton

For decades, the NFL’s high-level conversations about legalizing sports betting centered only on how problematic it would be. Now that the reality of legal wagering is here, the league is suddenly shifting its focus to how gambling can help stanch the erosion of its audience—and grow its sport to even greater heights.

The NFL was long resolute in its belief that legal sports gambling would be a threat to its integrity, even as the NBA and others warmed to the idea. Just last year, when NFL owners approved the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, commissioner Roger Goodell made the league’s stance clear: “We still strongly oppose, in that room and otherwise, legalized sports gambling,” he said.

But when the owners met this March, the conversation had completely shifted. A future with legalized sports betting was on the horizon, whether they liked it or not. That future shifted into the present Monday when the Supreme Court struck down the law that prohibits the practice in most parts of the country.

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Jobless claims fall 12,000 to 215,000 and hit lowest level since 1973

Rapid hiring, low unemployment reflect strong labor market

America works: The U.S. unemployment rate is at a 17-year low and layoffs are near the lowest level in 50 years.

By Jeffry Bartash

The numbers: The rate of layoffs in the U.S. fell again in late March and dropped to the lowest level since 1973.

Initial U.S. jobless claims declined by 12,000 to 215,000 in the seven days ended March 24, the government said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 230,000.

The more stable monthly average of claims dipped by 500 to 224,500.

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, rose by 35,000 to 1.87 million.

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You Can Be Banned From Making Returns at Sephora

The beauty brand is using a service to track customer returns and behavior.

Photo: Jeff Greenberg / Getty Images

By Chavie Lieber

Do you love shopping at Sephora because of the company’s generous and convenient return policy? Well, those returns might not have been as carefree as you thought.

Today, The Wall Street Journal wrote about a service called The Retail Equation, or TRE, which tracks customer returns and gives stores the ability to ban shoppers from returning future items if their return patterns are deemed problematic. According to TRE’s website, over 34,000 stores, including department stores and footwear, jewelry, and fashion brands, use the service. And while it doesn’t list the full roster of clients, the Journal confirmed some of the stores that use the service include Best Buy, the Home Depot, Victoria’s Secret, J.C. Penney… and Sephora.

For years, there have been suspicions and rumors on beauty message boards that Sephora bans shoppers who return things too frequently. Officially, Sephora allows returns, both opened and unopened, within 60 days of purchase, and items without a receipt are accepted in exchange for store credit. But shoppers have recently been sharing on Reddit that they were banned from returning products at Sephora, with or without receipts, and the Journal’s report about Sephora’s official partnership with TRE confirms every shoppers’ worst fears. Sephora confirmed shoppers with egregious return habits could see consequences, issuing the following statement to Racked:

Sephora is dedicated to providing all of our customers with an excellent shopping experience. We make every effort to accommodate returns, but a small fraction of customers take advantage of our policy, in many cases returning more than twice as much merchandise as they purchase. This limits product selection and unfairly impacts other clients. When we identify excessive return patterns, we notify those customers that we may limit future returns or exchanges if no proof of purchase is provided.

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