Top 5 Predictions for @BankSmartCarrie in 2016

Wow, How is it 2016 already? It seems like just yesterday I was writing Carrie Sage, Grade 4, Room 301 on all my checks. [Thanks, Tina Fey for the awesome and appropriate opening line].

Well, now is the time of year that all the 2016 predictions are rolling in. One of my fav follows, The Financial Brand, published a huge compilation of Top 10 Retail Banking Trends and Predictions for 2016, sampling quotes from the best and brightest in the banking and fintech industry. Slowly after that, the 2016 predictions flooded my twitter feed. I shared a few interesting ones but started getting overwhelmed with predictions. It was as if people were writing predictions just for the sake of making a prediction.

Listening to my new favorite award-losing #FintechFightClub Podcast, Host Nick Holland and Guest James Wester talked about their predictions for 2016. This one was interesting. They offered up their thoughts for 2016 and dished out a recipe for the perfect year-end recap. ICYMI — Let’s Pick a Fight: End of Year Predictions [29:10] (Seriously, you need to listen to it but here is my dramatic recap.)

Nick — on his predictions for 2016: I’m predicting there’s going to be some end of year predictions! I predict we’ll hear the words fintech and blockchain quite a lot next year as well as probably omnichannel.

James — On the making (and importance) of a good prediction:
There is this tradition of everybody offering up their end of year rundown and they tend to be very tepid. “Next year there will be mobile payments! Next year we will see more electronic payments! Next year…” That kind of stuff is — Not very actionable, not very insightful and not very valuable. But we have to have them. We have to have all these end of year predictions.

On what happens to predictions: …Nobody ever goes back to somebody next year and says, “You know you predicted XYZ and the exact opposite happened. Turn in your prediction card; you don’t get to make them this year!” Nobody is ever held accountable for them.

And his predictions for 2016: My prediction is that– Next year, No one will be held accountable for the predictions they make this year that are absolutely wrong.

I got a good chuckle and thought… why not write some 2016 predictions of my own? This year brought amazing coverage to my organization and some of the really cool things we are doing in banking, payments and social media. Now seemed like the perfect time to reflect on an amazing year and look ahead, setting goals for what’s to come. Could 2016 really rival the likes of 2015? And, like Nick and James said — predictions ARE important (and no one will notice if they go absolutely wrong).

So, here we go. My Top 5 Predictable-Predictions for @BankSmartCarrie in 2016:

5) More Selfies

You can bet I’m going to take more selfies. In 2016, I will continue to master the art of camera angles and Instagram filters to make my online pics look even more awesome than before. There will be #JeansDay selfies, #Community Event selfies and even random office selfies. Your fav @BankSmartCarrie (along with the rest of the #AvidiaSmarties) will be all up in your social media feed like an eager R + F Executive MMXVI-Level Consultant just trying to fit her “amazing opportunity” into “15 minute pockets here and there” while “juggling 3 kids and a dog.”

I may even change my profile picture! Is it possible that the world will see a different side of @BankSmartCarrie? In 2016…we are going to find out!

FYI — I take profile picture changing very seriously. In 2015, two of my fintech favs @RAlexJimenez and@JimMarous changed their profile pictures to a new angle and it was like I didn’t even recognize them…

Like, Seriously. Who are the guys on the right? A scruffy stranger and a hipster with goggle-glass? Because, that’s what I see.

Thank you to my other favs @leimer and @dmgerbino for holding strong with the same pics (at least for as long as I can remember). You keep rockin’ those stage-left-glances at least through the first quarter of 2016 — for my sake!

4) Swag

The Olson Twins, Jessica Simpson, and the Kardashians ALL did it. Now, it’s time for @BankSmartCarrie to shine! In 2016, I’m taking my career to the next level with a full out fashion line. (Ok, more like I might bedazzle a zip-up hoodie with my name on it — while sitting in my living room watching reruns of Downton Abby on Amazon Prime.)

You may remember that in 2015, I dabbled a bit in #FintechFashion with my#CardlessCash Swag. Watchout, @FintechMafia! Your swag is cool… but you’ve seen nothing yet.

3) Write More
I’m not so sure the world can handle @BankSmartCarrie in more than 140 characters? But, in 2016 we’re going to find out! I might write once a month, or once all year — but either way it’s going to be more than 2015! And in the interest of full disclosure, it may not be all that interesting.

Just giving the people what they want! #BlogSmartCarrie

2) Disruption

What is disruption? An excerpt from Dictionary.com:
Disruption [dis-ruhp-shuh n], Noun

1. Forcible separation or division into parts.
2. A disrupted condition.
3. A radical change in an industry, business strategy, etc., especially involving the introduction of a new product or service that creates a new market.

This year, disruption was all the buzz. One could argue that it was the Word of The Year — however, the 2015 Word of The Year was not a word at all but an emoji. Had it been a traditional element of speech written in alphabetical characters, the word would have been “disruption.” (Actually, the fact that the Word of The Year it is an emoji is the epitome of disruption!)

At the beginning of the year, fully sick of the status quo, I jokingly vowed to stir up some trouble and “be disruptive” in 2015. Now, I warn you in the Central-Massachusetts community banking world, not tying your lobby pens to the counter with a string is considered “disruptive” so the tolerance around here is pretty low.

All year long I pushed the limits, I did some things that were pretty out there (Seriously, YOU try talking your facilities department into having an ATM hoisted into the lobby of your main office — for a PR stunt), and I challenged traditional thinking — and it was AMAZING! I had such a productive year full of excitement and innovation. As the close of Q3 rolled around, I was (awfully full of myself and) beginning to think I was in the clear! This being disruptive thing wasn’t so bad after all. And. Then. It. Came.

Late 2015, with all its glory and awesomeness, brought about a horrific scandal (known in this circle as #Tweetgate2015). In short– I tweeted about something super awesome that was available to all customers of my organization, however unbeknownst to me it was technically still in development. And the tweet — despite its epic share and worldwide reach — was quickly squashed by a dreaded Naysayer. (Gasp! I know.)

I’ll spare you the boring (read: juicy) details because this could really be a blog post all in its own. But, for now I [proudly] wear the scarlet “T” that comes with the shame (read: honor) of being a rogue tweeter! This is a “T” that I will carry through with me into 2016 (…perhaps incorporated into my new fashion line?).

So, when it comes to disruption? Yeah, you’ll be seeing more of that in 2016.

1) Feature Story

No good year-end-recap goes without one RIDICULOUS prediction — something to show that these truly are the words of an industry guru. Something SO provocative that it acts as a counter indicator of what is ACTUALLY going to happen. (If you listened to #FintechFightClub Podcast, these words will sound rather familiar. Thanks, guys!)

Well here it is. In 2016, I predict that I will be picked up by a major publication. I might have my own story on the Finovate Blog (#FeatureFriday, anyone?), The Financial Brand (2016 “Best & Brightest” list?), or FemTechLeaders! (And if you’re wondering, YES — in my circle… these are considered major publications).

One of my favorite banking and fintech writers has always been Jim Bruene (aka @NetBanker), but in recent months blog posts have been filled with more Funding announcements and less Bank/Feature highlights. Like, really — where are the Black Friday deals? Jim, give the people (me) what they (I) want! Or, proposed alternative — I’d be happy to guest write one (or two)!

So — there is my radical prediction for 2016. Anyone looking to make this dream come true, you know where to find me! (Twitter, LinkedIn)

In Closing

My fourth grade English teacher (of aforementioned Room 301), also taught me to end every writing piece with a proper summary of my thoughts (although, truth be told, she would be horrified at my writing style here). In her honor, let’s recap to see if I met all the criteria for a proper year end recap.

Were my predictions:

Not very actionable? — Check!
Not very insightful? — Check!
Not very valuable? — Check!

But — like Nick and James said — we have to have them. We have to have all these end of year predictions.

And, if I’m wrong? Next year, No one will be held accountable for the predictions they make this year that are ab-solute-ly wrong.

Best Wishes for a Happy (& Snarky) New Year!

CarrieAnne Cormier, @BankSmartCarrie

Photo: A Framed Tweet. My Office.

Disclaimer: These opinions are mine and mine alone. They do reflect any of the awesome individuals or organizations mentioned above. I cited pictures where I could.

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