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February 9, 2016
I had the opportunity to attend the National Retail Federation annual conference, the “Big Show,” last week, and my first observation is that it is indeed a big show. It fills every corner of the Javits Center in New York, and it took a full day just to wander through the exhibit space. Wandering around the hall, I saw a few consistent themes coming out of this year’s show: IOE—The...
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February 1, 2016
Many large personal U.S. auto insurers made time in 2015 to refresh their policies and address the issue of ridesharing by offering ridesharing endorsements. Rolling those endorsements out nationwide and getting more insurers to offer them is still a work in progress, and insurers need to consider three pitfalls. Lack of data: Most endorsements have no telematics strings attached. Insurers...
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January 26, 2016
Previous posts in this series looked at the FinCEN guidance’s potential impact to institutions serving marijuana-based businesses. The first took a high-level view of how the guidance impacts institutions and the decisions that need to be made. The second was a deeper look at what the guidance really says and how it impacts institutions in CDD, then we moved on to transaction monitoring and...
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Ben Knieff
January 26, 2016
It is no secret that banks struggle to effectively serve small businesses. Internal battles to serve these clients have existed within financial institutions for quite a while: battles between commercial banking teams claiming to offer more of the functionality these customers need and the consumer teams promising greater solution ease of use. Unfortunately, in recent years, the size of the...
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January 19, 2016
The FinCEN guidance provides substantial clarification around filing SARs and CTRs for marijuana-based businesses. In essence, the guidance states institutions should file SARs and CTRs as if the customer is an illegal business, though not necessarily terminate the account. This could easily cause some confusion, since this deviates from the normal practices; in most cases, an entity known to be...
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Ben Knieff
January 14, 2016
Transaction monitoring Most organizations have rather mature and effective transaction monitoring systems in place, but they may not be ready for these new types of businesses and their transaction patterns. For example, with a marijuana dispensary or retailer, many of their customers choose to pay in cash, which will result in large daily cash deposits (more on this later). Transaction...
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Ben Knieff
January 12, 2016
In a previous post we looked at some of the challenges posed by the interplay between state and federal laws and the guidance that impacts how banks could service marijuana business that are legal at the state level but not at the federal level. Both the New York Times and the BBC have published pieces about these businesses’ challenges in obtaining banking services because financial institutions...
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Ben Knieff
January 11, 2016
We are only several days into the new year and life insurance executives everywhere are scurrying to figure out how to meet their 2016 goals (or catch up on any 2015 goals). As life insurance companies shift their focus to the customer—the policyholder/prospect and not the agent—improving underwriting has been front and center. Surprisingly, though, many insurers remain unaware of the full extent...
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Samantha Chow
January 5, 2016
As we ring in 2016, the new year promises to be an active year for financial institution (FI) fraud executives. We’re still in the thick of the U.S. migration to EMV, and many FIs are still scrambling to get their cards out the door. FIs that are ahead of the game are already reaping the results—one executive who I interviewed from a large FI said its migration is 90% complete, and it already saw...
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January 5, 2016
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released guidance for financial institutions on servicing marijuana-related businesses in early 2015. While no doubt appreciated by the banking community, it may not make financial institutions more confident in servicing these businesses. The New York Times did a nice article on the guidance, explaining what...
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Ben Knieff

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