By Frank J. Diekmann
Not sure why there is so much attention to so-called “fake news” when the real news is so much more entertaining, confounding and frustrating. Here’s a sampler:
Congress Also to Examine Bombing at Pearl Harbor
Congress gets a lot of grief for always arriving at the fire after the ashes are cold and then offering fire prevention tips, so good to see the national legislature is still on top of its game as summed up in this recent headline: “Lawmakers Press For Tighter Oversight of Medallion Lending.”
Epidemic of Bad Hot Water Tanks
Here’s another recent headline to add to your “Frankly, I’m Shocked” file: “Consumer Group Says Letters on CFPB Proposal ‘Suspiciously Duplicative’
The headline ran over this story in CUToday.info: “A consumer advocacy group is reporting its examination of comment letters submitted to the CFPB related to a payday loan proposal found more than 7,000 pro-payday comments used suspiciously duplicative language.” The comments represented more than 27% of the total comments, according to Allied Progress.
Allied Progress called on CFPB Director Kathy Kraninger to respond with “extreme skepticism to comments likely manufactured by the payday industry, including the over 200 comments from purported borrowers who all claimed verbatim that a payday loan was ‘needed to replace my hot water tank.’”
The consumer group said the payday industry has “a history of using deceptive tactics” to push law and policymakers to support or oppose” regulations, including the use of “fake personal’ stories.”
“What we don’t want to see is a situation where hundreds of copy-and-pasted phony sentiments are used to justify the Trump administration’s final payday rule that could put millions of Americans at risk of financial ruin,” said Jeremy Funk, a spokesperson for Allied Progress.
Is there a better name, btw, for someone taking on the payday loan industry than “Funk?”
Turns out it isn’t just an epidemic of bad hot water tanks plaguing low-income Americans. At least 221 comments claimed, verbatim, “I have a long commute to work and it’s better for me financially to borrow from Cash Connection so that I can still make it to work than to not take care of my car and not lose my job because of absences.”
Just imagine if you lose your job at the same time your hot water heater fails.
Are You Being Abandoned?
You’ve likely invested a vault’s worth of members’ money to build out and maintain your mobile application, and have been told to keep the vault door open in the future. But while you may be happy with your offering, are you tracking how many consumers/members enroll in your various services only to drop out?
According to one new survey featured in CUToday.info, more than 80-million consumers abandoned online enrollment for various services over the past year, while for first time consumers also opened more new accounts on mobile phones than on computers, according to a new survey.
The survey, compiled and released by IDology, found the last 12 months have brought significant shifts in the way consumers engage with businesses and think about their identities. This shift caused approximately 83 million consumers to abandon online enrollment due to additional effort or friction, IDology reported.
IDology’s said its second annual Consumer Digital Identity Study found that for first time, consumers opened more new accounts on mobile phones than on computers.
The study also found a 19% increase in abandonment during account openings compared to last year due to high consumer expectations for convenience and low tolerance for friction.
Not surprisingly, when you ask consumers what they want, the answer is everything—and when they’re asked how much they’re willing to invest in it, the answer is…
As CUToday.info reported, “The study also found that consumers want you to find a way to deliver higher levels of security without additional burdens.”
Which may want to make you drop out of the process.
A Troubling Finding
And here are a couple of other findings in the IDology survey, the first of which is just a wee bit troubling:
- Sixty million Americans consider their mobile phone number and email a greater part of their identity than where they work or their family information. According to the study, 51% of consumers identified their mobile phone number as a key part of their identity, a 21% increase over last year.
- Americans opened new accounts on mobile devices more than on computers. For the first time, Americans opened more new accounts online with their mobile devices (61%) than on a computer (56%) in the past 12 months.
Headline of the Year?
I began by pointing to headlines, so here are a few more news-related items, including this candidate for Courageous Stand Headline of the Year from a CFPB press release: “Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Recommends Financial Institutions Report Suspected Financial Exploitation of Older Adults.”
Ironic Lack of Comment
Finally, this news on the news, as reported recently by CUToday.info: “SAN ANTONIO–Members of Express-News FCU here were told the credit union is considering a merger with Randolph-Brooks FCU in Live Oak, Texas.” Fittingly, the news was first reported by the Express-News.
Later in the story, in a final bit of irony, the credit union’s CEO declined to comment, because who can trust the fake news, even if they are your primary sponsor?
Frank J. Diekmann is Cooperator in Chief at CUToday.info and can be reached at Frank@CUToday.info.