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2:00 PM
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History was made April 17 when American Martin Frey became the first person to climb the highest summit on each of the seven continents and sail the seven seas of the world.

56-year old Martin Frey finished his quest to climb the highest mountains and sail the deepest seas by skippering a sailboat across the Pacific Ocean from China to Seattle. This was the sixth leg of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race covering 6,000 nautical miles.

The grueling, month-long race was one of Frey’s toughest challenges in his marathon quest.  He and his crew were constantly buffeted by storms with wind speeds at times exceeding 120 miles per hour.

The skipper called the sailings conditions, which included massive waves, a truly hostile environment. Upon completion of the voyage, Frey said “spending the last month at sea has been a challenge, and I am grateful to be back on solid ground no longer soaking wet, cold or seasick.”

In addition to the Clipper race Frey sailed across the Arctic Ocean and circumnavigated the world.

Frey began his 7 Summits adventure in 2005 at Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro. By the time he climbed Mount Vinson in Antarctica in 2012 he had conquered the highest peak on all seven continents.

Leadership is being able to accomplish your goals in the face of adversity.

With his unprecedented mountaineering and sailing accomplishment behind him, Frey hopes to inspire others through speaking engagements that will blend tales of his adventures with stories from his 30 years of experience as a business executive, including a long stint in Silicon Valley and service as a state economic-development officer, and as an angel investor.

For more information, visit

12:57 PM
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You could be the next victim of a $2 billion criminal enterprise

Another unintended consequence of fraud-fighting. As banks issue more and more EMV-compliant cards in order to reduce the counterfeiting of credit and debit cards, fraudsters are turning to other less protected avenues to get their hands on your money.

This is according to a new report titled “Contact Centers: The Fraud Enable Channel.” by Boston-based Aite Group LLC.

One such avenue is your bank’s contact center, the place you call when you have a problem with your card or account. Fraudsters will order replacement cards on your account and thus take it over. Sometimes this requires your personal information stolen in another crime like a data breach or easily poached through social media.

Perpetrators of this type of crime can also request that a new person be added to your account with a new card being issued to him. He could also ask to open a new account in your name using your personal data, which he has already stolen.

Because these ID thieves have already stolen your personal data they know where you live and can stake out your mailbox and intercept the new card while you are at work, before you ever see it. Thus, adding mail theft to his list of criminal offenses.  And the nature of the crime is such that you would never even know that a new card was on its way.

One of these thieves might also call the help desk and pretend he is you while traveling and claim to need your account number in order to make an online purchase.

Counterfeit cards is a $2 billion a year illicit business is the U.S. ¾ of financial institutions contacted by Aite about contact-center fraud said this type of fraud is on the upswing.  Of the institutions that have seen a rise in fraud. 17% say it has jumped at least 25% in the prior year. For the report Aite interviewed 25 executives from 18 of the 40 largest financial institutions.

To read the Aite report on contact center fraud, visit the Aite website at
1:34 PM
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Why consumers continue to resist mobile payments

Banks, retailers, phone and tech companies have spent millions of dollars developing and marketing systems that will allow us to make purchases using our mobile phones. All of this effort rests on a belief that buyers will arrive at the conclusion that paying by phone is faster and more convenient than pulling out a wallet in the checkout line and paying with cash.

Despite this massive technology push, only the smallest fraction of in-store sales are paid for by customers using mobile phones. According to data gathered by research firm eMarketing. the  percentage of in-store sales in the United States made using mobile phones in 2015 was 0.02

 Some of the reasons mobile purchasing has been slow to catch on include security concerns as well as doubts that mobile is faster or more convenient than paying with a debit or credit card. A Peter Eavis story in the New York Times provides a deeper understanding of this issue.

Adoption of mobile pay has also been slowed by technology hurdles. For example many mobile pay applications use a technology called near field communication or NFC. Many older payment terminals do not have NFC capability. This means that customers wishing to use their mobile pay app at those merchant locations will be out-of -luck.

Mobile pay services also may offer other services to allay security concerns. For example 2-factor authentication using a biometric can harden a purchase transaction to the point where it is sounder than cash.

Some services use technology that permits the phone to transmit a credit card payment without sending certain card elements to the store’s  payment system.

But because federal law insulates credit and debit card holders from responsibility for most fraudulent charges, securing the mobile pay app may not be enough of an incentive to spur the growth of the market.
4:02 AM

The State of Working Moms

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The State of Working Moms

With Mothers Day fast approaching, examining how working moms fare from state-to-state is a timely exercise. According to WalletHub moms who are the sole support of their families make up almost three-quarters of all working women.

WalletHub offers the following state-by-state analysis of conditions for working moms.

Best States for Working Moms

North Dakota
New Jersey

Worst States for Working Moms

New Mexico
South Carolina

Comparing states based on issues of concern for working moms

Day Care

The survey rated New York as having the highest day care quality, 5 times better than Idaho, the state rated the worst for day care quality.

WalletHub rates Mississippi as having the lowest child care costs as a share of the median women’s salary, 12 percent. This is twice as low as Florida, the state with the highest. WalletHub estimates that in the Sunshine State child care consumes 27 percent of the median women’s salary.

Medical Care

The District of Columbia has nearly 50 pediatricians per 100,000 residents.  This is almost 18 times the ratio in Wisconsin, the state will the fewest, less than 3 per 100,000 residents.


The District of Columbia has the highest ratio of female executives to male executives, at just under 66. This is about 3 times more than the mark in Utah, the state with the lowest ratio of female to male executives, just under 26.

Maryland has the lowest percentage of single-mom families with minor children in poverty. At 26 percent, Maryland’s marker is about half that of Mississippi, the state with the highest percentage at nearly 52 percent.

Virginia sets the mark for the highest inflation-adjusted median women’s salary at nearly $45,500. This is two times higher than in Hawaii the state with the lowest, at less than 23,000.

The state with the lowest female unemployment rate is North Dakota. Its unemployment rate of just under 3 percent is about one-third that of the District of Columbia, the place with the highest woman unemployment rate at almost 8.5 percent.

For the full report, visit
7:38 AM
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The recently released Federal Reserve report on mobile banking shows a significant increase in adoption of the mobile channel for banking.

The growth in mobile banking parallels the broad proliferation of smartphones across American society, as well as a desire for convenience. The report is the Fed’s fifth annual study of mobile banking in America.

In the online survey 43 percent of adults with mobile phones and bank accounts reported having used mobile banking. This was a 4 percent lift over the report of the prior year.

Most commonly, mobile bankers used the channel to check account balances. Other popular mobile banking tasks were transferring money between accounts,  or receiving electronic alerts from their Fi.

The report shows that an impediment to adoption of mobile banking and payments continues to be security concerns.

Over half of mobile banking adopters cited the mobile channel as one of the three most important ways they interact with their banks.

Use of mobile payments continues to lag adoption of mobile banking.

The complete 2016 report as well as a video summary can be obtained at