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12:38 PM

The recently released Federal Reserve report on mobile banking shows a significant increase in adoption of the mobile channel for banking

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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 http//
2:40 PM
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Welcome to the Lobster Shift.  Also known as the graveyard shift, it's when you live your life backwards, or contrary,  to everyone else.  Here you'll find interesting analysis and commentary on business issues in the tech sectors, especially payments and healthcare,  that may be a little contrary to how others are looking at them. 
2:26 PM
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Hiring a Consultant
There are many reasons to hire a consultant. Here are a few of them. As well as Information on finding a good consultant, selecting a consultant who is the best fit for your organization, how to budget for a consultant’s fees, and how to unpack a consultant’s bill to understand the charges.

What a consultant can do for you.

First and foremost a consultant will quickly fill in gaps in your staff’s knowledge. These are generally sub-tasks of a job that require specializes experience or knowledge. For example, you may have a staffer who writes press releases but unless she has worked in a newsroom she may not know the best days of the week to sent that release. Similarly, she may not know the mandatory information to include and what to exclude. Or the best format to use.

Expand your organization’s skill level. For example, if your company is bidding on a competive-procured contract, and you meet most of the mandatory requirements, but lack expertise in one or two areas, plugging in a consultant or two is one way to fill those holes in your proposal.

To build the organization’s credibility through the addition of qualified experienced resources.

Before hiring a consultant ask your team the following questions.

Exactly what is it that you want the consultant to accomplish?
What level of experience should the consultant have in these areas?
Where will the consultant be within the organization chart?
What must the consultant do to fit in to the organization?

Where to find a consultant

If you are searching for marketing, PR or government-payments consultant look no further. Chaddsford Planning Associates provides 30 years of experience in these areas. Our clients have included financial institutions, manufactures, state and federal government agencies, trade associations, and technology companies, and other consultants.

Other consultants may be located through references, directories within specific verticals, trade shows and publications.

Selecting the right consultant

Ask your team the following questions before retaining any consultant, in order to made sure she is a good fit within your organization.

  • Exactly what is it that you want the consultant to accomplish?
  • What level of experience should the consultant have in these areas?
  • Where will the consultant be within the organization chart?
  • What must the consultant do to fit in to the organization?
  • Is anyone here threatened by our bringing a consultant on board?

Define the consultant’s role with the greatest possible specificity including
  • The overarching goals of the project or plan the consultant will work on.
  • How you expect the consultant to help the team reach those goals.
  • How work will be divided between the team and the consultant.
  • What outcomes do you expect from the plan or project.
  • The project plan for completion of the task including deadlines, milestones, total estimated time to completion, manpower requirements, and total estimated budget including labor.

Defining the cost of a consultant

The first step in figuring what a consultant will cost is to define the exact scope of the work you want the consultant to accomplish.

The second step in figuring the cost of a consultant is to put financial parameters on the project by deciding how much money you have to spend on the consultant’s contract.

The third step is finding a source to fund the consultant’s contract once you have put parameters around the cost.

The fourth step is to do some simple market research. This will involve locating 2 or 3 potential consultants who have successfully completed work similar to your scope. It is also a good idea to interview references for each candidate to get a feel for which candidate would be the best fit will your organization. You can compile a list of prospects from references, LinkedIn, or professional directories.

Having defining the exact scope of your work, and established a budget, found a source of funding, and identified some potential consultants, you are now ready to select a consultant.

Picking the right consultant for the job

Step 1 is to empower the staff that will be responsible for working with the consultant to defined the consultant’s role and to help make the selection. This will help ensure that the working relationship between the consultant and staff is smooth and will help avoid staff jealous that could lessen the effectiveness of the consultant.

Step 2 is to ensure that the selection committee represents a diverse array of opinions of the project’s execution.

Step 3 is to decide who should have the final word on hiring the consultant.