We polled over 1,000 people about what they want from their mobile banking app. Here’s what they care about most — and least.

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Most and least desirable features- mobile banking

  • A Business Insider Intelligence study found that mobile banking customers rate security and control features as the most-desirable features in a mobile banking app. Some of these features are already in most banking apps, while others are very rare. 
  • Customers also highly value the use of fingerprint scans for login. As face scanning technology becomes more prevalent, that feature will likely replace fingerprint scans. 
  • They’re least interested in voice and chat features, even as half of banks in the study had at least one of those features in their app.

People use their phones to find dates, trade stocks, and even order helicopter rides. They are also, increasingly, using their phones to bank.

With myriad banking apps out there from Wells Fargo to Chime, both big banks and up-and-coming fintechs are racing to include features that are important to potential customers. But what do they want? It’s security and control features, according to a study conducted by Business Insider Intelligence of over 1,000 customers. 

As data breaches continue to make the news, it’s not totally surprising that customers are overwhelmingly focused on security. The most popular smartphone feature, putting a temporary hold on a card, was rated as extremely valuable by nearly half of people polled by BII. It allows customers to protect themselves from fraud while potentially avoiding the inconvenience of getting a replacement card.

Customers are hungry for products that can balance security with convenience. They rated both the ability to dispute charges and to view the status of disputed charges in their apps in the top five most popular features. These dreaded tasks can be stressful enough without the challenges of actually doing them in-person or over-the-phone. Even though consumer demand is high, only five banks allow you to dispute charges in their app (Capital One, Citibank, US Bank, USAA, and Wells Fargo) and only two allow you to view the status of disputed charges in app (Citibank and Wells Fargo). Wells Fargo was the only bank in the study to have all the security features found in the study.

Another very in-demand feature, the ability to login with a fingerprint scan, is directly tied to advancements in smartphone technology. With the coming ubiquity of face scan technology, expect that to become a main expectation for customers in coming years as well. Banks are ahead of customers; all but two banks offered face scans (Regions and BMO Harris were the outliers). 

But mobile banking customers said they’re less interested in voice and chat features, even as half of banks in the study had at least one of those features in their app. These features, including the ability to bank through an Amazon Echo or Google home and the ability to bank with a chatbot within a banking app, made up the four lowest spots in customer demand in the study. This may be because of security concerns; according to a previous Business Insider Intelligence study which showed that the main reason customers avoided voice payments was because of security concerns. Banks see this technology as a way to provide more personalized attention to their customers, without having to hire more human employees. Some banks are actually having their chatbots proactively reach out, in hopes that this will make customers feel more comfortable with the technology.

Check to see if you have access to the full report through your company or subscribe to a Premium pass to Business Insider Intelligence to get access to reports like this. 

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One designer went and redesigned the cheese-grater Mac Pro

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You’ve got to admit, whether you like or dislike the Mac Pro 2019, there’s no ignoring it. Especially if you’re from the design community. As a designer (turned writer) myself, here’s a couple of things I’ve learnt the hard way. There’s a general air of designers “knowing what they’re doing”. I’m just as complicit, when I defend my design to a client, or to a marketing team. Sometimes criticism, even if its constructive, can often deliver a slight blow to our ego, which comes from the philosophy that designers make the world a better place. Another very strong behavior that I’ve tried hard to unlearn is the fact that designers tend to look at everything through the lens of a designer… which means everything is a potential redesign project. With my negative feedback of the Mac Pro’s “disgusting” grille, I, for a second, became that person. I still think that Jony could do better (or different), but hey, he operates in a world of unlimited potential, zero constraints, and zero answerability (a part of me is jealous too, yes). My appreciation (or the lack of appreciation) has zero bearing on Ive’s strangely secretive design process. That being said, feedback for the Mac Pro has been extremely divisive, and Hasan Kaymak’s put together a design that he believes captures everything good about the Mac Pro’s 2006 and 2013 editions.

Hasan’s Mac Pro 2020 doesn’t deviate from the silhouette of the 2019 Mac Pro. In fact it embraces it, and comes in the 2013 Mac Pro’s black color, giving us the best of both worlds. The most noticeable change is the absence of the dual-side CNC machined grille detail, which Hasan replaced with a much more traditional slot and mesh. While the revised design detail isn’t particularly eye-catching, it plays it safe… and considering the grille never really faces the user, a relatively normal design detail seems like a fairly logical way to go. Besides, playing it safe would also bring down the relative cost of the Mac Pro by a couple of hundred bucks (given that you don’t have to have a complex CNC machining task), making it slightly less of a pocket pincher. On the opposite side of the grille, Hasan’s added 8 USB-C ports, for connecting all sorts of devices, from hubs, to the iPad Pro, to any other compatible devices you may have. Two audio jacks also sit right above the ports for good measure.

Another design detail change is the vault-lock mechanism on the top of the Mac Pro, which seems absent in Hasan’s concept. Rather than corrupting a clean surface with a fairly large clamp and handle, Hasan goes for something much more discreet, allowing you to simply remove the upper body by pressing down on the stainless steel rods on the top.

The redesign touches upon a common public sentiment, that the Mac Pro doesn’t need to be outright revolutionary. Unlike the iMac or any of the laptops, Mac Pros usually either sit behind monitors, or under tables, or even in render farms. As a device, the Mac Pro has always aimed to look beautiful, but its intent has always been to be functional first… especially given that people are shelling out large sums of money not for looks, but for raw computing power. It doesn’t need to be made using a complex, thick, two-way machined aluminum grille. But hey, who am I to express distaste? I’m just a guy who uses WordPress on a Windows laptop.

Designer: Hasan Kaymak

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Scammed Out Of $340 Million By Couple Who Pulled Off $810 Million Ponzi Scheme

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Warren Buffett's investment company Berkshire Hathaway took a $377 million hit after investing in a solar panel company that ran a $800 million Ponzi scheme.

Getty Image / Alex Wong / Staff

Buffett is nicknamed The Oracle of Omaha and The Sage of Omaha and is widely regarded as one of the greatest investors of all-time. But it appears that Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway made an investment into a solar company that was actually a “Ponzi-type” scheme.

Buffett’s multinational conglomerate holding company Berkshire Hathaway invested $340 million into DC Solar between 2015 and 2018. The money was poured in tax-credit investment funds sponsored by the California-based clean energy company.

DC Solar was founded in 2008 by the husband and wife duo of Jeff and Paulette Carpoff. DC Solar built a line of mobile solar-generation equipment and light towers that could be placed on wheeled trailers. The portable power generators were used at sporting events and other outdoor venues and were solar instead of diesel, meaning that they were eligible for tax credits.

DC Solar boasted on how many of their generators were being leased, but in reality, a fraction of the generators were leased. DC Solar would typically sell mobile generators for $150,000 but only had to pay $45,000 in cash — the maximum amount of the tax credit they could claim. DC Solar was able to attract at least a dozen investors and raised funds with tax-equity funds.

DC Solar would lease out the equipment to companies such as telecom companies and the lease money would pay for the remainder of the $150,000 cost. The extra income from the leases went to the investors. DC Solar promised “very favorable tax consequences” to investors. The problem is that DC Solar allegedly inflated the number of generators they were leasing.

Government investigators found that DC Solar employees placed GPS transponders in various places, but “in truth, they were not located,” according to the government filings. Some of the mobile units that were said to leased out were sitting outside DC Solar’s offices and were not in use at all.

DC Solar claimed they built and leased more than 12,000 mobile generators, but the government discovered that most did not exist and there was only a fraction in use. Federal authorities said DC Solar “engaged in nearly no legitimate business.”

The solar company allegedly took on new investors without making new generators and then used the new investor’s money to pay for the old investors. Soon enough, DC Solar boasted that they had sales of over $60 million.

Authorities believe that DC Solar had fraudulently secured funds from investors totaling $810 million. The founders of DC Solar also took the money to finance a luxurious lifestyle that included rare supercars, world-class vacations and extravagant properties.

Before founding DC Solar, Jeff Carpoff was an auto mechanic, but saw the demand for solar power take off. Jeff and his wife, Paulette, launched DC Solar and soon were able to swindle powerful investors such as Berkshire Hathaway, half of a dozen regional banks and huge companies such as Sherwin Williams.

With their seemingly inflated corporation, the Carpoffs purchased more than 90 high-end cars. The couple won a charity auction by spending $1 million on a 2007 Ford Mustang GT 500 Super Snake.

Other expensive vehicles included two Bentleys worth $372,009 each, a $325,800 1969 Plymouth Road Runner, a 1930 Cord L29 Brougham that cost $300,000, and a $125,000 Prevost Outlaw Motorhome, just to name a few.

The Carpoffs bought 25 properties worth more than $29 million in total, according to court filings. The couple spent $500,000 on expensive jewelry and $783,000 on a luxury box at the Las Vegas Stadium, which is the new home of the Raiders. They even bought a professional baseball team, the Martinez Clippers outside of San Francisco.

“At staff meetings, Jeff Carpoff often would pull out a wad of cash from his pocket — at times more than $2,000 — and ask employees to guess how much he was holding, according to people familiar with the matter,” according to court filings. “The person who came closest, if within about $50, would get the money, one of the people said.”

At a DC Solar Christmas party, they featured the one, the only, Mr. 305… Pitbull. DC Solar even sponsored NASCAR driver Kyle Larson.

The FBI and IRS raided DC Solar’s headquarter in Benicia, California, in December of 2018. Authorities seized $1.8 million in a safe and in one of the couple’s offices. Then in February of this year, DC Solar filed for bankruptcy.

In the first quarter of 2019, Buffett’s Berkshire took a $377 million hit to reverse the tax benefit.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Scammed Out Of $340 Million By Couple Who Pulled Off $810 Million Ponzi Scheme

Getty Image / Jemal Countess / Staff

[Bloomberg]

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