Paul Hickman, Arizona Bankers Association

Banking on Banking
from Paul Hickman

Business today — indeed, all aspects of our lives — relies on a complex network of services. Yet, banking remains a core element; banking enabled the early emergence of regional commerce. Practices, products and platforms have evolved but, still, without banking, there could be no commerce. The financial services industry is indeed the cardiovascular system of any modern economy.

The changes technology has imposed on the industry in recent years have been profound, disruptive and fascinating. Think about it: We can now use our mobile phones for purchases in the store, online or at the kiosk. This, however, represents a direct threat to the debit and credit card revenue model.

The evolution of crypto-currencies raises fundamental questions about how to integrate them into the global payments system while simultaneously preventing their use for financing illegal enterprises in the underground economy.

The use of advanced analytics and big data can now shorten the timeframe for underwriting and approving a small-business loan from weeks to minutes. This permits a financial institution to increase the availability of those products without sacrificing any bandwidth currently dedicated to larger markets, which has an immediate and positive local economic impact.

To discuss some of the “hot topics” in the banking industry — from FinTech to “banking on the border” — whose heat is, then, felt in the business communities the banks serve, In Business Magazine turned to leaders in our banking community. They share their perspective, insights and expertise in this edition’s cover story.

Change, whatever the industry, puts pressure on the workforce not just to implement it but, first, to accept it. That is the issue Bob Rosone and Tim Murphy address in the feature “Tools for a Changing Workforce.”

Speaking of change, an aspect of business operations that is garnering increased attention has to do with the business’ environmental footprint. In this November edition is a feature article on how businesses can green up their workplace and lessen their footprint.

Also generating increased interest is the concept of artificial intelligence and its application in business. The Roundtable feature offers a surprising perspective on this.

In addition to the wide variety of relevant content found in every edition of In Business Magazine, this November one includes the annual Business Owner’s Lending Guide.

It has been my pleasure to be Guest Editor, and I hope you enjoy this November edition of In Business Magazine.

Sincerely,

Paul Hickman
President and CEO
Arizona Bankers Association

Paul Hickman is the president and CEO of the Arizona Bankers Association, which represents more than 55 banks and credit card companies across the state. The industry employs more than 65,000 Arizonans. He oversees the government relations operations of the Association, and acts as the chief spokesman for the industry in Arizona. 

Hickman holds juris doctorate, bachelor of science and bachelor of arts degrees — all from Arizona State University. 

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