Here comes Wired Finance, the podcast to understand the economy in simple words

Here comes Wired Finance, the podcast to understand the economy in simple words

Here comes Wired Finance

For many it is an unexplored and impervious terrain, but finance is increasingly part of our lives: understanding its mechanisms can help keep dangerous bubbles away and seize the opportunities that technology and innovation make available to savers. Hence Finance, a podcast series by created in partnership with Invesco to tell the economy in simple words in the years of the Yolo generation: twenty-thirty year olds who accept the fluidity of the labor market, challenge the present and take up the most fascinating challenges of life because you only live once (you only live once, in fact). Finance will be online every Monday and for eight weeks on and on the main audio platforms ( Spotify, Apple Podcast, Spreaker, Deezer and other platforms).

A survey by the Bank of Italy revealed some time ago how necessary it is in Italy to work on financial education: experts are just 17% of the population and the competent 32%; all the others are divided between the excluded (21%) and the incompetent (30%). Emblematic numbers that make Italy one of the countries with the lowest financial literacy: the same research by Palazzo Koch always places Italy in the queue among the 26 countries (12 of which OECD) that participated in the survey: "The Italians however, they are aware of their modest financial knowledge. The percentage of individuals who believe they have knowledge below the average is about 20 percentage points higher than the OECD average ”, explains the same survey.

The themes of Finance Finance therefore begins by framing the needs of the younger generations who find themselves having to rethink their way of building a future, surfing between unstable contracts and an increasingly international market and competitive. Then we review the issues at the center of the economic-financial landscape such as investments, savings, public spending and the stock market.

Space also for the future with an analysis on the main trends related to the world of cryptocurrencies, Non-fungible tokens and the metaverse and an overview of sustainable investments: what they are, how they work and what impact they can have in the world real. The series will close with some useful advice for those who</a> want to become an entrepreneur and found their startup.

The series is produced by Michele Chicco for the editorial part and by Jennifer Keber for the production and audio editing, with the coordination of Luca Zorloni.

The episodes April 4th: La Yolo economy of the Generation 'everything and now', with Nicolò Andreula, globetrotting economist and founder of Disal consulting; Listen now April 11: What good is investing? , with Alessandro Cascavilla, an economist who divides himself between Italy and Spain with a passion for financial disclosure; Listen now April 18: Saving a little at a time, from apps to pacs, with Ginevra Zucconi, financial consultant in life and on Instagram with the page La finance donna; Listen now 25 April: GDP and public debt: what they are and what they are for, with Nicola Lipari, fellow of the Tortuga think-tank that brings together very young economists under 30; Listen now May 2: Stocks and Markets: How Does the Stock Exchange Work? , with Luca Tobagi, Investment Strategist of Invesco; Listen now May 9: Sustainability and the environment in the financial markets, with Claudia Segre, president of the Global Thinking Foundation; Listen now May 16: Cryptocurrencies, Ntf and Metaverse: Is the future digital? , with Leonardo De Rossi, Bocconi Blockchain and cryptoasset lecturer; Listen now May 23: How is a startup born? , with Maria Enrica Angelone, serial entrepreneur and CEO of Wallife. Listen now

The Future of Digital Banking Is Individualized Experiences

Digital banking and investing have reached record numbers thanks to new technologies like cashless payments, application programming interface (API) advancements, and super-apps that provide multiple services in a single online or mobile platform. Yet even with that level of technological innovation, it’s the most basic feature, customer service, that will define future success.

Today, the growth of online and mobile banking hinges on how financial institutions create individualized experiences that meet their customers wherever they are. “After the pandemic experience, consumers seem to be looking not only for instant gratification, increased convenience, and flexibility, but also more tailored services,” according to a 2021 industry survey. “That said, irrespective of the banking channel they use—the branch, phone, or a mobile app—one factor continues to remain important for them: the human touch.”

A leader in this new world of elevated service is Bank of America, among the most innovative institutions in finance, and one that was advancing personalization technology in the industry years before the pandemic brought about an abrupt shift in how consumers bank. That focus on innovation continues today. In 2021, for example, Bank of America recorded the most patents filed and granted in the history of the company—a total of 804. These included improvements in ATM technology, cybersecurity, the use of biometrics, and data monitoring using AI. Together, these solutions have helped create a better, more personal and seamless online experience for clients, and support the “high tech, high touch” mentality that so many financial institutions aspire to achieve.

Here are some of the highlights of digital banking’s transformation, now and into the future.

The Rise of Chatbots that Are More Human than Ever

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Today, the smartphone app is how most customers engage with their bank, and Bank of America has been a leader in this space for years. In 2017, the financial institution launched Erica®, the most advanced AI–driven virtual financial assistant in the market today. Erica combines predictive analytics with natural language processing (NLP) capabilities—the branch of AI that helps computers make sense of all the quirks and variations of human-to-human communication—to help mobile clients with tasks such as depositing checks remotely, searching for past transactions, and even applying for a credit card. Erica also helps with more complex needs like providing a weekly snapshot of spending habits, offering interactive insights into how to save money by paying down credit cards, and notifying clients when recurring charges—cell phone bills, streamer subscriptions—increase unexpectedly. Regularly updated with new enhancements, Erica provides a seamless client experience, one that makes going to the bank as simple as tapping a screen.

Data Analytics that Drive Personalized Insights

The banking industry generates an enormous amount of data, and advanced analytics software is changing the way this information is processed, making it possible to serve individual clients with personalized insights at scale. What does this mean for you as a consumer? All these advancements are also enhancing your day-to-day digital experience, making online interactions simpler, faster, and more seamless. Machine learning (ML) and AI, for instance, can also spot patterns in customer behavior to provide elevated levels of account security. Bank of America, however, builds on this safeguard to go even further for its more than 54 million verified digital users, using data proactively to make managing finances easier. Bank of America Life Plan®, for example, is a digital experience that helps clients set and track their short- and long-term financial goals. Available within the bank’s mobile and online platforms, Life Plan provides clients with guidance and steps they can take to help keep them on track.

Digital Person-to-Person Payments

Transferring money has long been one of the most basic transactions bank customers come into a branch to do, and historically it was one of the slowest—often taking days for a check or wire transfer to clear. In 2017, Early Warning Services, a fintech company owned by seven of the country's largest banks, introduced Zelle®, a digital service that enables clients to transfer money to another person’s registered account via a mobile app or website. The transaction process is almost instantaneous. Bank of America, a founding member of Early Warning, was one of the first companies to incorporate Zelle, and it now has more than 16 million clients actively using it. That’s a testament to how proactive the bank has been in working with technology partners to roll out new offerings that make life easier for its clients.

How AI Is Shaping the Future of Personal Finances

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Today, AI is ubiquitous throughout financial institutions, from NLP chatbots that enable frictionless, 24/7 customer service interactions, to ML programs that stop cybersecurity threats. At Bank of America, these technologies are also being used in innovative ways that make a difference for clients in their everyday lives. For example, in addition to keeping tabs on credit scores and providing a weekly snapshot of month-to-date spending habits, Erica provides enhanced bill reminders. These alert users about upcoming payments due, like a car loan or utilities, and even help schedule payments, ensuring users never have to worry about missing an important bill again. Merrill investing clients can use Idea Builder, an AI-driven feature that lets them easily research and monitor investing ideas, simplifying what’s often an overwhelming decision-making process.

Supporting Investments in ESG

Climate change and social justice are often major considerations among investors today, as many increasingly direct their investments toward companies that address environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues that align with their values. Now, with Idea Builder, clients with a Merrill Edge Self-Directed account can quickly and easily search for stocks and funds that align with specific criteria, including companies that support global issues and specific industries. Also, Stock Story, another Merrill Edge feature, enables clients to discover critical information about companies without a lot of complex industry jargon, making investment decisions easier. Best of all, these innovations are offered on one of the simplest, easiest-to-use investment platforms available.

Going forward, these and other innovations will continue to change the banking industry in ways we can’t fully predict. But one thing is clear: Bank of America is in a strong position to lead the way, thanks to the company’s long track record of investing in new ideas and people. Today, the company spends more than $10 billion annually on technology and employs more than 95,000 digital, technology, and operations teammates. Perhaps Bank of America’s biggest advantage, though, is its philosophy of innovation and client service—the idea that the true power of tech lies in its ability to create the best, most seamless experiences for clients.

Learn more and see important disclosures about banking with Bank of America and investing with Merrill.

This story was produced by WIRED Brand Lab for Bank of America.

Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner &amp; Smith Incorporated is a registered broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, and Member SIPC. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. MLPF&amp;S and Bank of America, N.A. are wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Investment products: [ Are not FDIC insured  /  Are not bank guaranteed  /  May lose value ]

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