Thanks for sharing the information! I agree, inclusion is a major issue, especially in South America. I’d be curious to see what such a role could bring to Bci. While it is true that in South America there is a relatively low penetration of mobile phones, there is great division too – and the people with good stable jobs and access to banking services tend to be well digitized, so the motivation for inclusion is low (those non-digitized, low income customers, usually get sent to the national bank). But as the bank grows its customer base and expands into lower segments, I agree that this could become a big thing to consider.
As for the digital process being masked from the customer – yes, it holds true as long as the system works. But in the end, that’s how it should be if you do it right. I think many pains come from the fact that not enough testing is done prior to roll out, especially under the new agile development philosophy in which you are constantly iterating the product. In our case, a lot of testing was done before roll-out, and the roll-out was done incrementally. It was first open to a specific set of customers, and only then expanded to the whole population.
Agreed! And the important thing to note is that while you digitize the experience, you still keep the option open for customers to go through the traditional channel should they prefer to. You do not shut down one in favor of the other on a given day, but rather open the digital channel and push for migration. Only when the critical mass has shifted do you actually close the physical channel (if you do it at all – they can coexist forever and that’s fine too). Just so you know what this particular bank is doing, it has set up branches with tablets so that any walk in customer can undergo the digital process with the assistance of a bank executive. It is being piloted in a few branches, and if it works, will be spread to the whole system.
I couldn’t edit my post, so I’ll leave it here – an interesting development in terms of recovering space junk. There appears to be a lot of work on the topic, but this shows just how complex and expensive it is to recover space junk!
Thanks Stefan! The first thing thought that came to my mind when reading this was: is there enough space for everyone?
As this, and many other developments move forward, I’m curious as to how orbits are allocated. Is it a first come, first served system? Or do countries/companies have designated slots in space? I know space is huge, but the “best” slots for satellite orbit are likely few in comparison. Wikipedia does not shed a lot of light into the topic… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_law#Geostationary_orbit_allocation
And second, what happens to the satellites after their useful life is done? You mention about SpaceX’s rocket recovery technology. Not only does it save cost, but also reduces the debris left in space. I looked a bit more into this topic, and was SHOCKED of the amount of debris in space. Nasa is actually tracking half a million pieces of space junk! And what’s worse, “They all travel at speeds up to 17,500 mph, fast enough for a relatively small piece of orbital debris to damage a satellite or a spacecraft.”
I’d be curious to hear how satellite technology firms are thinking about these threats to their business going forward.
Awesome post, thanks a lot!! I’m sure that many things can be done to improve the app and keep it growing, in spite of the increasing competition as raised above. But I want to point out a different dimension from your post – we all are in a position to capture a lot of the opportunities created in the digital world. Thanks for showing that it can be done!
I’m curious to hear about the main challenges you faced to set up the app, especially regarding it’s AI. How hard is it to develop the necessary algorithms, in terms of skills required, time, and cost? How do you manage to enable the self-learning with a strong feedback loop? And on a whole different aspect – how do you keep these algorithms safe, and for your own use only?
Thanks BAH! I also wrote a post regarding digital banking, this is a topic that I find very interesting. Regarding the future of banking in the midst of disruptive startups, I think the answer lies in successfully partnering with them! These startups can be seen as outsourced R&D, and incorporated into current services – if you can’t beat them, join them!
These partnerships are hard though, especially due to internal compliance in major banks.
Awesome example of technology being put at the service of society! I think these type of solutions should not only be limited to places with limited access to good medical services – sometimes places saturated with such services need help too!
For example, drone ambulance services could be a great tool to increase survival rates, particularly in cases of cardiac arrests. The type of drone developed by TU Delft can enable a defibrillator to reach your house in 1 minute, increasing survival rates from 8% to 80%. Mind blowing!
Thanks for the post Nikki! I haven’t had the experience of trying e-gate, but going through the pain of immigration I can totally see its advantage!
My only concern is with data protection. First, it scares me that the government can store such high a level of information of its residents, and I wonder what steps Dubai is taking in terms of data protection. First, what is the government using the data for? I’m fine as long as it’s simply to check my identity. But I don’t feel very comfortable knowing that policies can change, and all the data is out there. Second, in these days it seems that hackers manage to access almost any piece of data they are after. What would happen if my personal attributes were to be leaked? Could they be used against me?
I still believe biometrics are the way of the future, but I will think very thoroughly to whom I am willing to give up this data. Government agencies are one thing, but private companies are another (eg: I’m not sure I would let an airline know my fingerprint, even if it meant paperless boarding – I don’t trust these corporations to protect my data properly). I hope that the right measures are taken to protect my data.
Very interesting article Paul! Do you know if apple is working towards a specific goal in terms of sustainability? I have read their Environmental Responsibility Report, and was surprised to find no mention of what target they are working towards to. I think it will be hard for Apple to achieve meaningful long-term change if they don’t have a big goal to pursue.
Thanks Orianne! Interesting post. I especially liked your question… “will guests actually pay more to save the planet?” You actually took me back to my consulting days, living in a hotel Monday to Thursday. We always stayed at the W hotel in Santiago, which had a green initiative by which it rewarded guests with additional starpoints or discounts if guests accepted to reuse towels and bedding. In my experience, very few people made use of this option – the hotel receptionist confirmed that it was unpopular because customers saw it as the hotel trying to cut corners at the customers’ expense. They eventually rolled back the program.
So in short, I don’t think customers are willing to pay more. They weren’t even willing to take a discount! I must admit I was one of them… if I’m paying +250 $/night, I want a fresh towel.
Great article Danny, thanks! I always thought of Southwest as one of the more proactive airlines in the sustainability front as well.
However, today’s IKEA class made me realize something I had never thought about – what if the sustainability practices translate into more, and not less, impact? Low cost carriers like Southwest play a major role in the stimulation of the air market. If the savings achieved through sustainability measures (like lower fuel consumption) are passed on to the customer in the form of lower fares or discounts for future flights, then the net effect could be even more passengers, and more GHG emissions. I guess this is another example of the tension between business and sustainability! If you were Southwest’s CEO, would you pass the savings to the customer?
Hey all! Great post and comments. As mentioned, several airlines have run trials into biofuel. My firm did a project on this topic for an airline in the Americas, and in the end the airline has not pursued it yet because there are a lot of concerns with consistent availability (the supply chain is very weak). One thing that was considered was vertical integration (buying a biofuel producer). Do you have any views on this front? Do you think there is any value the airlines integrating vertically? Is there an opportunity for Boeing to develop a supplier that can guarantee biofuel availability? I’m curious to hear your thoughts!
Very interesting post AJ! I guess not all is good in paradise 😉
I’d like to build up on Kelly’s point. If I’m reading this correctly, the option of switching from Oil to LNG is being pursued because it can leverage part of the existing infrastructure as opposed to requiring an entirely new development, thus reducing capital expenses. The argument is that this is still a step in the green direction because burning natural gas contaminates less than burning oil. Yet, I can’t help but feel that all that’s being done is replacing one type of fossil fuel for another. I’m curious to hear your opinion about it. Do you see this move as actually helping fight climate change, or is it a clever marketing ploy by Hawaii and the oil & gas companies?
Hi Kelly, thanks for your comment! As a matter of fact, UPS has done some effort to improve efficiency on both fronts (see below). The effort is more evident in trucks. I fully agree with you that a revamped pricing strategy could be used to decrease the appetite for next day delivery, but UPS runs the risk of having those customers switch to the competition instead of opting for a longer delivery time-frame. Like we discussed today in Ikea, this is the tension between business and sustainability. So far UPS appears to have opted for business (as most others).
In terms of trucks, UPS’s Sustainability Report states that they recently acquired a logistics company in the US (Coyote) which is highly complementary to the existing business, because it helps to fill trucks during re-positioning stages. Basically, trucks leave distribution centers full of packages to deliver, but usually return empty. Coyote’s volume is used to fill the trucks on the return stage, thus improving utilization.
In terms of flights, it has usually been the goal of logistics operators to operate flights with as high a payload as possible. There are many ways cargo airlines put this practice. One curious example is circular scheduling. Goods don’t fly round-trip like passengers. Imagine that you have certain goods that need to get from point A to point B (eg: flowers from Netherlands to New York), but there’s nothing flowing from point B to point A. Then to make flying more efficient, instead of flying an empty plane from B to A, you find a third point C to which point B is sending goods. This might be, for example, medication from New York to China. You then close the loop by sending electronics from China to the Netherlands. In the case of UPS this type of scheduling is not as evident as in “full” cargo airlines, since UPS has a significant courier business (small packages) which tends to have a higher bi-directional flow. This results in more out and back flying, which is less efficient if you do not have enough volume to justify it. In fact, UPS admits that the need to make many next-day deliveries results in having daily flight schedules on routes where airplanes might not fly at full capacity.