Tuesday, March 24, 2020
1. 4 CÃ¢â¬â¢s Stakeholder Analysis Ã¢â¬ ¢Customers Based on the background of Ã¢â¬Å"the era of the Digital lifestyleÃ¢â¬ , iTunes 3 target customers are; StakeholderStake in the projectPotential impact on ProjectGrowth percentage of online distributionPerceived attitudes and/or risks 12 Ã¢â¬â 24 yearsDownloaded an average of 12 tunes per month, housing libraries between 25 to more than 300,000 songs from the internetHigh59%Ã¢â¬ ¢Unlimited library of songs and videos by genre, artist and album Ã¢â¬ ¢Software design is attractive and easy to use Sound in industry standard Dolby Advanced Audio, allowing CD quality sound Ã¢â¬ ¢Better data compression allowing users to store more files more quickly Ã¢â¬ ¢There was no subscription fee but songs were not free Ã¢â¬ ¢The teens and children felt exploited by the escalating prices of music 25 Ã¢â¬â 34 yearsDownloaded at least one music file from the internetHigh43% 35 Ã¢â¬â 54 yearsDownloaded at least one music file from the internetMedium24% Online music was growing to be the best phenomena in the United States. Statistics show that by July 2003, 65 million people in the USA had downloaded a song from the internet. We will write a custom essay sample on Ã¢â¬Å"Apple Computer, Inc.: Think Different, Think Online MusicÃ¢â¬ or any similar topic specifically for you Do Not WasteYour Time HIRE WRITER Only 13.90 / page The growth rate by December 2002 was at 26% and by less than 5 months it had grown to more than 30%. Most consumers of this online music were children and teens. They felt exploited by the escalating prices of music from stores and sort to look for other free or cheaper means to own the music. (They do not have a dependable income). TodayÃ¢â¬â¢s music industry targets the younger generation. They like to be Ã¢â¬Ëdown with the latest releases (both audio and video)Ã¢â¬â¢, Ã¢â¬Ëthe newest kid on the blockÃ¢â¬â¢ and to be known to own it. ITunes interface as shown in exhibit 7; have the top albums, top songs, latest releases and favourites and a free 30 second full quality preview of any song. This will seize the tedious search on the internet, but have a one stop shop for all their preferences. Based on this, the target segment 12 Ã¢â¬â 24 years was the most valuable. Ã¢â¬ ¢Company ITunes fit AppleÃ¢â¬â¢s brand and capabilities because AppleÃ¢â¬â¢s brand already speaks for itself. It is associated with high level innovative products with end user capabilities from the time it began. Apple has for years tried to have products that are exclusive to Mac Computers. Although the market segment does not allow them to do that 100%, they had to have alternative similar products for Windows PC users. Apple always developed products that would be used first by Mac users, to dwell in the amazing features and resources. They were loyal to their customers. ITunes was launched into the already existing market that Apple carried. Its vision was to be a major player in the digital integration. At the time of its launch, iTunes came with the best services and features to all its competitions. Apple continuous to maintain a high standard of its products. Ã¢â¬ ¢Competitors Tunes CompetitorsWeaknessesOpportunities for iTunesStrengthsThreats for iTunes Peer to Peer Networks-Quality of downloads was poor -No guarantee of the file download was a full version -No guarantee of correct song or correct title -Trading of copyrighted files was technically illegal -RIAA strategy of legally attacking individuals made some reconsider using these services -The music for s ome networks were on rental basis-Provided CD quality sounds and better data compression -Guarantee of full version download and legal activities because the five largest music publishers licensed songs to iTunes. A ready market segment -The user owns the music -Networks were free, containing an unlimited library of songs and videos -Easy burning into CDs and MP3 players -Software design is easy to use and attractive -One can own songs in 5 minutes -Can create musical anthologies -Songs are stored directly on the Hard disk of all PC users, not limited to Mac users only. -Downloads costs about the same as a CD in the store, this can discourage the (12 Ã¢â¬â 24 years) target customers who do not have dedicated income and already think that the costs of a CD is expensive. -The song list is limited to about 200,000. This service is exclusive to Mac users, thus other PC users cannot access it. Buymusic. com-A range in cost for songs -Users had to go through end-use agreements before o wning a song -One cannot navigate their downloads -Songs were not compatible to the popular ipod player-One cost for all songs -Site is consumer friendly -Songs are searchable by title, artist, album and genre before downloading -The ipod player is an Apple brand. -300,000 song library -Costs as little as $0. 79 -Downloads available as individual songs or albums -Downloads are not limited directly to the desktop, but other media -Extensive peripheral memory devices store Different content and usage rules based on the number of computer transfers, CD burns and portable music transfers -Services offered to the larger PC users (Windows technology)-The song list is limited to about 200,000. -Costs $ 0. 99, Buymusic. com offers a lower rate. This can be more attractive to the (12 Ã¢â¬â 24 year olds) customer target. -Mass transfers of downloads are limited to ipods. -Apple users are at 4% computer market, failing to convert Windows PC users. BuyMusic. Com has a larger audience offerin g the same service. Music Stores-A song/ album costs more -Stores were located in specific areas The consumer does not have control of the playlist -Tedious to look different at prices from one store to another physically-A song is cheaper than an album -Consumers select their own playlist -Online stores like iTunes were a click away and available to all internet users -Easy to look at different prices online-The music industry supports them 100%; therefore there are no legal issues. -Available offers of lowered price to purchase music -A much larger selection of music-The Music industry could develop copyright issues at any given time, thus legal issues with RIAA -The song list is limited to about 200,000. Community The other external organization/ stakeholder that could affect whether iTunes succeeds are; -Government e. g. if it introduces by laws regulating the use of ecommerce or internet based stores. -Suppliers e. g. The 5 music distributors decide to discontinue the sale of their license, not to grant exclusive distribution, increase their price cost of the license. -Recording Industry Association of America with continuous threats of copyright issues. -Lobby groups; airing concerns on explicit music and video content that is exposed/ accessible to children and teenagers (12 Ã¢â¬â 24 years, market segment). The action of the following people can affect the perception of consumers at the media level and as a result, the Apple brand is compromised. 2. Positioning Map of iTunes 3. ITunes Marketing Mix Ã¢â¬ ¢Product BrandÃ¢â¬ ¢ITunes is a product from the Apple Brand. Apple is a major player in digital integration. AppearanceÃ¢â¬ ¢Attractive and user friendly interface as show in Exhibit 7. QualityÃ¢â¬ ¢The quality of the songs is industry-standard Dolby Advanced Audio coding format producing CD quality sound. PackagingÃ¢â¬ ¢Better data compression enabling users to store songs and allowing faster downloading speeds. Support ServiceÃ¢â¬ ¢Songs downloaded are legal with complete ownership Ã¢â¬ ¢A large library with capabilities of searching songs by artist, song title, album and or genre. Ã¢â¬ ¢A provision of 30 seconds preview FunctionalityÃ¢â¬ ¢Exclusive to Mac users only Ã¢â¬ ¢Price FinancingNarrow profit margin due to royalties Per song Royalties $ 0. 70 Admin Costs $ 0. 12 Profits $ 0. 17 Total $ 0. 99 List priceA single price for each tune, regardless of the genre, artist, album or hit. AllowancesAvailability of bonus tracks Place LocationÃ¢â¬ ¢Internet based website functioning as the interface for the online store Channel of motivationÃ¢â¬ ¢One click shopping service Market CoverageÃ¢â¬ ¢Available internationally, serving various customers at one given time Ã¢â¬ ¢Promotion MediaÃ¢â¬ ¢Abundance of positive press Ã¢â¬ ¢Apples stylish brand tones was continuous with many of the artists images Ad vertisingÃ¢â¬ ¢Attractive television advertising blitz with organic tones Ã¢â¬ ¢Ilife bundled software suite Ã¢â¬ ¢As the Strategic Director of iTunes, to create a barrier against the competition, I would: a. Launch a windows version without any more delays . Add an additional feature i. e. customer loyalty schemes tying customers to buy at iTunes only c. Customer management software tracking and monitoring consumers purchases needs d. Buymusic. com was exclusive to Windows PC users that were the larger percentage of the computer market. I would propose to acquire buymusic. com and gain their larger market share. Integrate the announcement to consumers with the launch of the Windows version with Apple quality and branding. I would retain the Mac users and acquire new clients with the windows PC users. This will give iTunes the exclusiveness they have been trying to gain. e. I would increase the brand equity by carrying out activities that would enhance the brand image i. e. targeting the 12 Ã¢â¬â 24 year olds f. To invest in strategic alliances with the 5 largest music publishers Ã¢â¬â so as to achieve exclusivity. This would imply that their competitors would have to buy from them or it locks them out that consumers can only buy from iTunes. However, one has to consider the cost implications and the positioning of the market, as exclusive distributors. 4. From a Strategic perspective, Apple launched iTunes because Ã¢â¬ ¢Computer products are technology based and have very short product life cycles. There are in an industry that always keeps changing. Because technology matures, it is prudent to come up with new ideas, resources and efficiency of processes. Ã¢â¬ ¢Apple has always remained focused on product innovations. It has increasingly looked to developing and controlling its own software. Using AnsoffÃ¢â¬â¢s Product Development, Apple was able to offer its existing customers and use the current markets new products. Apple relegated to niche status and took the opportunity to tap into an already existing market. The use of computers and internet based services was in the increase rapidly. This was a good opportunity to expand their revenue source from additional products. Bibliography Jisc Infonet (2008) Ã¢â¬ËStakeholders analysis templateÃ¢â¬â¢ Good practice and innovation www. jiscinfonet. ac. uk [accessed 5 June 2009] Da tabase Marketing Institute (2009) Ã¢â¬ËManaging Customer SegmentsÃ¢â¬â¢ http://www. dbmarketing. com/articles/Art134. htm [accessed 5 June 2009] Wikipedia (Modified 2009) Ã¢â¬ËStakeholders AnalysisÃ¢â¬â¢ The Free Encyclopedia http://en. ikipedia. org/wiki/Stakeholder_analysis [accessed 5 June 2009] Product positioning Maps (2009) http://www. tcdcconnect. com/content/blog/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/create-val ue-from-positioning-map. pdf [accessed 6 June 2009] Harvard Business publishing (2007) Ã¢â¬ËMapping your Competitive AdvantageÃ¢â¬â¢ Harvard Business Review http://hbr. harvardbusiness. org/2007/11/mapping-your-competitive-position/ar/1 [accessed 6 June 2009] 12 Manage (2009) Ã¢â¬ËStakeholder MappingÃ¢â¬â¢ The Executive Fast Track http://www. 12manage. com/methods_stakeholder_mapping. html [accessed 5 June 2009] 2 Manage (2009) Ã¢â¬ËMarketing MixÃ¢â¬â¢ The Executive Fast Track http://www. 12manage. com/methods_marketing_mix. html [accessed 6 June 2009] Wikipe dia (modified 2009) Ã¢â¬ËMarketing MixÃ¢â¬â¢ The Free Encyclopedia http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Marketing_mix [accessed 6 June 2009] 12 Manage (2009) Ã¢â¬ËProduct Market GridÃ¢â¬â¢ The Executive Fast Track http://www. 12manage. com/methods_productmarketgrid. html [accessed 6 June 2009] Wikipedia (modified 2009) Ã¢â¬ËTechnology lifecycleÃ¢â¬â¢ The Free Encyclopedia http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Technology_lifecycle [accessed 6 June 2009]
Friday, March 6, 2020
Crucible Good vs Evil Essays Crucible Good vs Evil Paper Crucible Good vs Evil Paper rGood at its best, Evil at its worse When good and evil clash, does good always triumph? In a theocracy, religion is the basis of their living politically, socially, and economically. Therefore in a place where theocracy is practiced, good should always conquer evil. However this is not the case in Salem during the witch trials. Religion in Salem is taken very seriously. All citizens work toward pleasing and serving the lord. They repent all evil and choose the way of the Lord instead the way of the devil. With a government system such as this, good should always conquer evil, but in the play Ã¢â¬Å"The CrucibleÃ¢â¬ , we learn that evil can sometimes get its way. The Salem witch trials prove that even in a place where religion is a number one priority, where all good is to be done, evil still lurks and can cause trouble instantaneously. Religion brings out the good in people such as Rev. Hale but yet can also provoke evil in people such as Abigail. In the play Reverend Hale was summoned to discover whether or not there are witches in Salem. Reverend HaleÃ¢â¬â¢s religion causes him to do what is right. He is always just and believes in working in the name of the Lord. Towards the end of the play when many have been accused of being witches, Rev. Hale knew that the people were not because he was able to see past the lies and evil that roamed the area. On the other hand Abigail Williams uses religion in the opposite way. When she began her plan for revenge, she used their religion as a cover up. Abigail knew that the people of Salem would instantly jump to her accusations because it had to do with something threatening their religion, and this was not tolerated. Immediately as Abigail and the other children began their claim of witch practices, this was when good and evil were hard to discover. Good and evil played a vital part throughout the entire play. Citizens in Salem had to make a decision on whether or not they would chose the way of the lord, or the way of the devil. An example of this taking place was when Mary Warren made a decision to choose evil over good for fear of her life. Mary Warren knew that Abigail and the children were lying. When John Proctor iscovered this, he made her go and confess to prove his wifeÃ¢â¬â¢s innocence because this was the right thing to do. However Mary Warren is overwhelmed when Abigail begins her accusations on her, and now Mary Warren is forced to go over to the evil side because she knows that in their religion acts such as lying is not tolerated and can ultimately lead to a greater consequence. Abigail has made it so that it is very difficult to tell her evil ways. Religion in Salem is something that is not taken lightly and practiced all the time. John Proctor was a huge rebel when it came to religion. He did not attend church weekly, but instead worked on Sundays. He did not get along with Rev. Parris, and was very discreet about his things. During ProctorÃ¢â¬â¢s trial, all these accusation were brought up against him thus making it look as if Proctor is the evil one. Religion takes a huge toll in choosing what is good and what is evil. These accusations allow Danforth and the court to perceive Proctor as more of a witch then a God-Fearing person. This same accusation would be difficult to prove against Abigail because she attends church regularly, pretends to be the victim, and shows a childish innocence that makes her very believable. Making her evil ways undetectable The Crucible has proven that good and evil can co-exist in a place as religious as Salem. Good conquered at times during the play, but evil also prevailed. When dealing with a theocracy as the one in Salem, it is especially hard to determine good from evil. Abigail proved this throughout the play. The crucible shows you that evil can live right under you. Abigail was least suspected and proceeded in beginning the witch trials. Citizens have to make the hard choice of determining whose right and whose wrong and decided who side they should be on. Not all can succeed in making the correct decision, especially when you are oblivious to evil because it seems as if it was good at first. Salem religious ways helped bring about good and evil within the town.
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Sustainability and Transational Business Ethics - Essay Example As a matter of fact, it is as a direct result of global concern over enhanced pollution that this term is becoming more and more relevant. (1) In fact, it was the US and the UK, with their norms of environmentalism, who were the pioneers, with regard to adherence to principles of sustainable development. This term (sustainable development) emphatically states that issues of environment are a highly important part of all cultural, social and economic interactions. The all-important aspect of sustainable development maintains that, manner of production and consumption needs to be modified. This is to make sure that environmental norms are not compromised upon. Likewise, it is equally essential that there is a change in the pattern of all cultural, social and economic relationships, lest the requirements of sustainable development are unmet. ... (1) Globalization and sustainability Ã¢â¬â Review of Literature and Other Studies It would now very much be appropriate to be succinctly reviewing some literature and researches, which emphasize on the fact that sustainability is indeed a vital element in the contemporary business ethics. In the book Ã¢â¬Å"Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the age of GlobalizationÃ¢â¬ the authors Andrew Crane and Dirk Matten elaborate on the vital aspects of sustainability, corporate citizenship and globalization. The book comprehensively enumerates on business ethics, from the point of view of globalization. Using some real instances as the basis, the authors argue that the modern-day business ethics do have sustainability as their integral feature. By highlighting things such as Middle East military companies and the UKÃ¢â¬â¢s sector of Islamic Finance, the authors stress that present-day business ethics are strongly linked with globalization. In fact, t his book provides details of several key topics like water, climate change and social enterprise, to cite a few. Crane and Matten also speak about the necessity of being an ideal corporate citizen, as well as the pattern in which this can be achieved. (2) The work Ã¢â¬Å"The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social ResponsibilityÃ¢â¬ , which has been penned down by Andrew Crane, Abagail McWilliams, Dirk Matten, Jeremy Moon and Donald S. Siegel, includes several essays on the crucial topic of corporate social responsibility. These essays throw light on the fact that the definition of this term (corporate social responsibility) has undergone a drastic change, on account of globalization. Corporate organizations are now entailed to aptly address several social
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Recession and Banking - Essay Example This was indicated by the McKinsey research which demonstrated that the competitive analysis proved how the banking industry was not adhering to set market dynamics anywhere in the world. With differences in performance between regions, structures and sub sectors, the use of the five forces of competition easily came across in the changing global dynamics of the banking sector. The McKinsey research further concluded that the next decade will herald a worldwide GDP growth reaching 16% by 2012. According to Deloitte, "The global banking industry weathered turbulent times in 2007 and early 2008. After rising interest rates and a decline in U.S. housing prices drove increased defaults among subprime borrowers, investors rapidly lost their appetite for securities based on subprime mortgages and soon for other securitized assets as well. Given the integration of capital markets, the impacts quickly ricocheted around the world, affecting banks, securities firms, and hedge funds in the Unit ed States, Europe, and Asia." (Global Banking Industry Outlook, 2008; Pp 1 to 12) This can be seen in the fact outlines by Deloitte according to which the AAA downward trends have affected the hedge funds the most. While commercial and investment banking institutions had announced write offs of almost $100 billion by January 2008, increased legal activity (double of what was seen in the previous year) became the trend for August 2008 onwards. (Global Banking Industry Outlook, 2008) In the face of these trends, this essay will seek to study the changing dynamics of the global banking industry according to the Pestel analysis and Porter's five forces of competition. PESTEL ANALYSIS Following are the features according to which the analysis has been carried out by taking the questions into consideration when studying the various pieces of literature to find a conclusion: Political What is the culture of the organization, How is the HR function viewed by other functions Who are the political champions of HR (or its adversaries) Shareholder views Economic What is the budgetary position of the department, Is more money available Are our customers likely to spend more or less money on the services we offer What is happening to the financial status of the organization Interest rates Inflation Salary trends in the sector Sociological Other departmental attitudes to HR Population shifts (age profile) Education Fads Diversity Immigration/emigration Health Living standards Housing trends Fashion & role models Age profile Attitudes to career Technological What changes may be coming our way What new technology/ systems, How do we record attendance, performance how might this change Use of and encourage home working Communications technologies changes of technology that will increase/ reduce the need for recruitment changes to HR software Legal What is happening in our sector that will impact what we do Minimum wage, Working time, Food stuffs, Under 18 working, Occupational/ industrial Training etc. What changes will impact the services of the organization Environmental Staff morale Staff engagement Need to reduce storage needs Management attitudes (inside dept/ function) Organizational culture Source: RapidBi - Pestel Template Findings The basic finding based on the PESTEL analysis points to the following trends as outlined in the various
Sunday, January 26, 2020
Ford Global Strategy Global business environment is now transforming in more competitive and intense, for companies to operate globally it is more difficult and strategically challenging to retain their competitive advantage and gain profits. When organizations are expanding and working in global environment they need to have a global business strategy that in order to not only be successful in their home country but also to remain competitive internationally, as there different strategic choice are present to be used by top management, still the challenge is to select such strategy that is not in line short term business objectives but also can be carried out to achieve long term business objectives. Successful companies while enjoying their success face strategic paradox in and fail to understand the global environment and foresee upcoming challenges caused by being global, this strategic paradox not only affects their global profitability but also challenge them locally (Bartlett and Ghoshal, 1989). To understand the global business strategies, strategic paradox and analyze that what challenges an organization has to face while operating in current diverse business environment and what are the problems that need to be taken care of while implementing global business strategy we have choose a leading automotive company based in USA, named Ford Motor Company. In below mentioned lines I shall be analyzing few incidents in the life of the organization that will help us to understand strategic paradox; I shall review the literature available on some global business strategies to sustain competitive advantage in longer run, I shall also try to suggest key business decisions that will be helpful for the organization in longer run, and at the end we shall see that what are challenges that are likely to be faced while implementing this global business strategy. About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company is USA based market leader in automotive industry with its operations in more than 6 continents, and they operate near 70 plants worldwide, with about 159,000 employees worldwide it has been leading the automotive industry in USA, and Europe. With their successful mergers with Volvo, Aston Martin and Jaguar they have been able to perform well in UK as well, their vision names one plan one goal shows their global thinking with the integration on suppliers, distributors and global works force they plan to become a true worldwide market leader in consumer vehicles. Their strategy of becoming on stop shop for all vehicle related things thats include purchasing, financing and maintaining shows their progressive thinking. After their success in USA and Europe market, they plan to conquer Asia Pacific and Middle East which is also an emerging market (www.ford.com, 2010). Strategic Paradox at Ford Ford, with its mission of becoming leading consumer good provider in automotive industry, had been a success story for decades, they had been leading USA, and Europe with their high quality, standard products and financial services. During the period of global economic crisis automotive industry also facing challenges in operating their business because of increased material costs, expensive labors and decreased demands. Due to all these circumstances Ford had to cut jobs in their North American operation and close down some plants and layoff around 30,000 employees, because their North American operation were suffering loses (Bordenave and Lung, 2000). Same was the case of their main competitor GM, they also had to cut jobs in order to remain profitable in highly competitive market, reasons for Ford to suffer losses in American market were not understanding their customers need that were changing and underestimating their non-American competitors like Toyota and Honda. Oil prices were increasing globally and heavy expensive cars were no more affordable of consumer markets, that is what Ford was unable to understand at that time, this was the time when Toyota and Honda entered into USA market and introduced low cost hybrid cars and started getting market share, Ford at that time were not into hybrid cars market and that is why started losing market share and revenue stated dropping causing them heavy losses in North American market. Before the time Toyota and Honda introduced hybrid cars models Ford was trapped in strategic paradox and was unable to predict future. At that time their business strategy was diversification with different operations for different markets with different standards and specifications, for example one Ford model called explorer was different for USA and Europe market (Bartlett, and Ghoshal1989). This strategy of having separated operation for different market caused them heavy costs in inter of high parts cost, separate RD for different markets and models, inefficient production cycle and no knowledge sharing among strategic business units resulting in silos instead of synergies, the above mention strategy was causing high costs and in the times of low demand and high competition this caused them revenue loses. To avoid this scenario and to stay competitive and profitable in business Ford launched their globalization 2000 plan that served as a way forward and made them again profitable and help them sustain their position as market leader. According to plan they shut down their some of the plants and came to the strategy of standardization, and that strategy help them reduce cost in terms of RD, as Research and Development was done at one place and at one product and applied everywhere, made their production efficient as after avulsion of Volvo, Aston Martin and Jaguar they were able to share knowledge and made their production more profitable and cost efficient by adopting each others best practices. They saved cost in parts as global purchase system helps them have more bargaining power on suppliers. Having this globalization plan applied, Ford was able to achieve low cost strategy and that increased their profitability (Buckley and Casson, 1976). Literature Review on Global Business Strategies By the growth of business when companies starts their operations in other countries they are called global or international companies, at that time of growth their business strategies that being used in their home countries are no more effective, since global business dynamics are different from local business environment and local business objectives are different from global business objectives, there is a need to have a global business strategy that is not able to achieve global business objectives but also able to make the organization perform in home country, at the same time that strategy should be able to meet short term and long term goals of the organization, while looking at goals shorts term goals can be managing cash flows, revenue targets, market share and cost management and long term goals can be having sustainable competitive advantage and brand building leading to continued profits and growth (Ahlstrom and Bruton, 2007). While looking at the literature available regarding global business management and having sustainable competitive advantage and profitability, there are strategies which are presented and commented, but the there are two most important and main strategies that are suggested by key practitioners and commentators, these two generic are called standardization and adaptation, these are the main strategies one business follow and other strategies like cost leadership and diversification are derived from them. Each of these strategies has their own advantages and disadvantages, some commentators are in favor of standardization and some commentators are in favor of adaptation. In below lines let us explore each of these strategies in detail and try to find out which strategy Ford is currently follow and what strategic change is required in order to thrive in global business environment (Buckley and Casson, 1976). Standardization has been in use from the early production era, basic philosophy of this strategy is to make a standardized product or service for every target market, the entire marketing plan remain one and unchanged for different market segments, this strategy has a building block which is the idea that all human beings have the same need and this need can be satisfied with the a standard product no matter what the geographical area is and other forces that are involved in decision making can be ignored. Standardization has be practiced by production oriented companies specially the FMCG sector and automotive industry, this strategy has its own benefits that makes strategists to advocate it, for example when company opt for standardization it produces the same product for every market, that gives the company with the advantage of economies of scale, companies following cost leadership strategies normally goes for standardization strategy and compete in market on the basis of price. One other benefit that company gets is regarding raw material, when company produces one product then they need one kind of raw material by doing this they comes in the position of having bargaining power advantage over their suppliers because they will be purchasing in bulk quantity and this way they also get preference over other suppliers, another benefit is related to channel of distribution, standardized products are easy and cost effective to distribute and manage (Hrebiniak, 2006). Standardized prod ucts and marketing plan also provides companies with global brand image and helps company to establish their brand as big giant. Some commentators advocate that standardization fails to understand the local variation of needs. In contrast to standardization there is a strategy called adaptation, this strategy follows the base line that needs differ from region to region and market to market, and there are some other variables that influence the decision making of any product or service that can range from economic forces to cultural variable and that is why every product cannot be sold to everyone or everywhere without making some small but valuable changes in them and entire marketing plan should be customized according to the factors available in the target market (Hrebiniak, 2006). Adaptation requires some customization of marketing plan according to the region or market that is targeted, according to some commentators adaptation increases the cost of operating in business as production processes are channel of distribution needs to be modified accordingly but on the other hand it is also an argument that since adaptation enhances the overall customer experience with brand and their acceptability of product it eventually results in increased profit. Modern day businesses are not transferring toward adaptation with some mix of standardization; this strategy increases the adaptation process by the consumers and increases the revenues in result, companies following adaptation also follow diversification and then compete local players in market. What is to follow entirely depends upon the business, industry and target market, in some industries standardization is more suitable where mass production is required, needs of customers do not vary significantly and same product is required worldwide, in some industries adaptation is best to follow where customers need are variable is geography and diversification is required to have competitive advantage. Currently we can say that no company is depending entirely on one strategy, there is a mix of standardization and adaptation which followed by most of global companies, whether it is FMCG or Telecom or Automotive sector, big organizations are mixing standardization with adaptation, where main product remains same and some small modifications are done in marketing plan to make it successful and acceptable in market (Hrebiniak, 2006). While looking at Ford, it is very interesting to find that ford has changed their strategy from adaptation to standardization; reason of such strategic shift was to reduce the high cost which were incurred due to adaptation and was negatively affecting profitability of Ford. By launching their Globalization 2000 plan they shut down their few plants, and merge their some departments and made standardized processed and products for all markets, following this strategy they created synergies in different strategic business units and made them do work towards one goal and on one marketing plan for whole global market, this strategy reduced their operational costs and enhanced their profitability, and was a success move for them. Key Decisions for Ford Ford has emerged as market leader in automotive industry globally, they has been able to sustain their position for a longer period of time, in 1994 they changed their strategic focus, from standardization to adaptation, and up till now this strategy has been paying them, to stay competitive in coming years and not to get trapped in strategic paradox, they are required to make some critical business decisions, below are the areas where Ford would be required to focus and make decision in order to improve its business locally and globally. Invest in Brand Since automotive industry is related to the products in which buying behavior of consumer involves sensitivity with product performance and safety, this decision making is also complex because it involves a heavy amount of money from ones pocket. That is why is industry is dependent upon good word of mount and favorable brand image can positively affect companies revenues, such complex decisions are always associated with opinion leaders and positive brand image helps getting positive word of mouth, in this regard Ford need to invest heavily in their brand especially there they are newly entered, and planning to enter (Freyssenet, Shimizu Volpato ,2002). Efficient Distribution Channel While operating globally and having standardization strategy in mind Ford need to have an efficient distribution channel in place, auto market is also dependent on a good channel of distribution, as customers rely heavily on the opinions of dealers, their product information and persuasion abilities play a vital role in decision making of consumers. The more efficient the dealer is and has reliable know about product the more likely is consumer to trust them and depend upon their opinion. Efficient channel of distribution also helps save costs and Ford should improve their geographical management of channel in way that costs are reduced (Bordenave and Lung,2000). Cash Flow Management Automotive industry is characterized with heavy cost and capital investments, for this reason organizations need to have a good cash flow management to supports their operational expenses, to improve their cash flow Ford can get help from their finance SBU as the provide financing to consumers for their automobile purchase. But the key area to look into is an overall cash flow management system to help them operate successfully, and in scenario of global standardization strategy this is even more critical. Compliance with Standards As companies go global standards of production varies from country to country and region to region, and having a standardization strategy may be a challenge to continue as there may be difference in local and international rules and regulations, however this challenge can be faced by making small modifications in production standards but this be again a challenge to keep these modification under controlled and bearable costs, this may also require to have a strategic shift and if not this factor stand alone but mixed with others can be significant to require a strategic move (Bordenave and Lung,2000). Changing Needs In todays business scenario, consumers needs are changing more rapidly than ever, automotive industry where consumers need where pretty much stagnant as compared to other industries this sector is also starting facing this challenge of rapidly changing needs, now every market has their own set of need that will eventually lead the industry to customization according to geographical region, and this can affect their strategic decisions of remaining on standardization, there may be a strategic shift required to cater to this changing paradigm of market dynamics. Ford may have to have their customize options open in order to keep the customers and stay competitive in market, their standardization is right now is serving as competitive advantage but maybe there will be a strategic shift required to sustain their competitive advantage (Freyssenet, Shimizu Volpato, 2002). Organizational Size Management Fords organizational size may be key factor for them, they have already shut their plants and laid off their thousands of employees, this was an obvious result of strategy they were about to follow, as they were about to create synergies and sharing of resources of among different strategic business units, to keep up with the same strategy they may have to create more synergies and change their organizational size, since they need to reduce their cost further, there may be decisions required to reduce their organizational size, may be from Europe, and USA. Mergers Ford has been doing some successful mergers and these mergers has been improving their profitability and enhancing their corporate image as market leader in the industry, Ford may be required to have more merger in order to go in untapped markets, they may be required to have merges with local players in order to penetrate in market more rapidly and get more swift acceptance, while moving in emerging economies like India Ford can have some alliances with local industry that can win them more market share then their competitors, this can serve as good idea as this will also save some cost to the market leader (The Economist, 2005). New Markets Ford has been market leader in USA and Europe, but now to be a true global market leader in automotive industry Ford should go for un served markets , these un served market can provide them with first movers advantage, easy penetration and more profitability; India and some other countries of Asia Pacific and Middle East can be good markets for their new ventures, some countries in Asia Pacific are now considered as emerging economies and there are great potential for Fords products, company should consider having new ventures and grab the market before their competitors do. Strategic Way Forward This is may be one the most important decisions that Ford may have to make, as described above there are certain factors that are interrelated and changing with the market dynamics, Ford at this point in time will have to make certain strategic decisions regarding their future business strategy and way forward, they will have to make strategic choice that what global business strategy they are going to follow in the future, standardized adaptation could be their choice but this decision is critical and will decide their future as market leader (The Economist, 2005). Strategic Implementation Challenges Whenever a company decides upon its global business strategy, there comes another challenge of successfully implementing this strategy, same will be the case with Ford, below are challenges that are, in my point of view, can be challenging for Ford in the process implementation. Formulation of Strategy First challenge will be making of viable, clear and successful business strategy, this first has the utmost importance and this is going to be the most important decision. Creating Synergies Since ford is adopting the standardization strategy, there will be a requirement of creating synergies among departments to share resources and knowledge, however most of the time creating synergies become a challenge for the management, people with different knowledge and cultural back ground, different implementation of systems and processes and ability to mold systems and streamline operation create hindrances in creation of synergies, and same will be a challenge for Ford in the short run, and making synergies work in longer run. To have this concept implemented top management will have to present on ground and pay special attention on this because this is the first step in strategy implementation and will provide ground for other steps (Hrebiniak, 2006). Commitment of Managers The middle and lower level manger play a vital role in success and failure of any strategy, because they are the one are going to actually execute the process of implementation, their commitment level and understanding of strategy is very important, as mentioned above if we take synergy creation as example, the role of middle management is very vital in this regard, if they do not understand the concept and rationale of synergies, does not possess the knowledge and skills to actually create synergies they total strategic plan is going to result in a failure, same is the case with other aspect of strategic plan, for better implementation of strategy it is vital to have the required human resources that have the capabilities of having this done (Hrebiniak, 2006). Communication of Plans This is a important and usually ignored aspect in organizations that strategy and plans are not properly communicated throughout the organization and that is why the whole organization cannot come on one frequency and strategy fails, Ford has to make sure that all are aboard and on the same frequency before making the execution part happen, they will have to make sure that line managers and even support staff understand what is organizational direction and how they are going to achieve that direction, failure to do so will result in failure of strategy as happened with many organizations (Allio, 2005). Consensus Is another challenge that many organizations has to face and same would be the case with Ford, there is a strategic shift at hand and many stake holders may be not agreed to it, and once they are not agreed to do what is required there will be a failure in the implementation process, getting everyone ready and agreed on one strategy will be a challenge that is likely to be faced by Ford top management, however this challenge can be overcome by better communication of strategy and having everyones concerns listened and addressed (Allio, 2005). Top Management Commitment Consistency Having and strategy formulated and executed is one thing and being committed to one strategy is another thing and at the same time vital thing, while implementing a strategy top managements commitment is not only necessary to be there but also it needs to be visible in order to make middle management believe in what they are doing and having faith in their strategic direction. Such strategies, about which managements commitment is not visible are not properly executed and does not result in success (Allio, 2005). Organizational Structure Having a strategy implemented requires a structure that support the strategy, if Ford is going to have standardization in place then they requires such organizational structure that supports this kind of plans, in order to remain in modern business Ford will be required to have more flatter organizational structure that empowers people with their own decision making (Okumus, 2001). Conclusion Global businesses require global strategies and there are few options available to global businesses to follow, so there this strategic choice should be made with care and keeping all factors in mind, Ford has been successfully using standardization strategy for last one decade, but to be successful in coming years they need to make some crucial decisions and then the challenge will be to implement these challenges, top managements vision and commitment will play a vital roles this and at the same time middle managements commitment to executions will also be of much importance.
Saturday, January 18, 2020
Introduction Many banks have established presence on the Internet and many others are in the process of doing so. Using telecommunication systems and networks, a bank can reach out to customers and provide them with not only general information about its services but also the opportunity of performing interactive banking transactions. In electronic banking, bank customers can request information and carry out most banking services (e. g. balance reporting, inter-account transfers, and bill payment) via a telecommunication network without the need to go at the bankÃ¢â¬â¢s branch offices.Electronic banking comprises all electronic channels customers use to access their accounts, including the Internet and recently mobile phones (WAP- Wireless Application protocol, SMS- Short Message Service, SIM Toolkit, PDAs-Personal Digital Assistants). The cell phone handset can be used as a terminal in much the same way as an ATM (Automatic Teller Machine). Currently, almost everyone in the devel oped countries carries a mobile phone.So, customers can access their bank accounts through the bankÃ¢â¬â¢s website using not only a computer but also mobile devices. M-banking is not only another channel for banking services, but there is the possibility for becoming the primary channel. What is Mobile Banking? Mobile banking is a Banking process without bank branch, which provides financial services to unbanked communities efficiently and at affordable cost. To provide banking and financial services through mobile technology device by mobile phone is called Mobile banking.Mobile banking (also known as M-Banking, mbanking, SMS Banking) is a term used for performing balance checks, account transactions, payments, credit applications and other banking transactions through a mobile device such as a mobile phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA). The earliest mobile banking services were offered over SMS. With the introduction of the first primitive smart phones with WAP support ena bling the use of the mobile web in 1999, the first European banks started to offer mobile banking on this platform to their customers. A mobile banking conceptual model Mobile Banking refers to provision and availment of banking- and financial services with the help of mobile telecommunication devices. The scope of offered services may include facilities to conduct bank and stock market transactions, to administer accounts and to access customized informationÃ¢â¬ . According to this model Mobile Banking can be said to consist of three inter-related concepts: * Mobile Accounting * Mobile Brokerage * Mobile Financial Information Services Most services in the categories designated Accounting and Brokerage are transaction-based.The non-transaction-based services of an informational nature are however essential for conducting transactions Ã¢â¬â for instance, balance inquiries might be needed before committing a money remittance. The accounting and brokerage services are therefore of fered invariably in combination with information services. Information services, on the other hand, may be offered as an independent module. Trends in mobile banking The advent of the Internet has enabled new ways to conduct banking business, resulting in the creation of new institutions, such as online banks, online brokers and wealth managers.Such institutions still account for a tiny percentage of the industry. Over the last few years, the mobile and wireless market has been one of the fastest growing markets in the world and it is still growing at a rapid pace. According to the GSM Association and Ovum, the number of mobile subscribers exceeded 2 billion in September 2005, and now (2009) exceeds 2. 5 billion (of which more than 2 billion are GSM). According to a study by financial consultancy Celent, 35% of online banking households will be using mobile banking by 2010, up from less than 1% today.Upwards of 70% of bank center call volume is projected to come from mobile phones. Mobile banking will eventually allow users to make payments at the physical point of sale. Ã¢â¬Å"Mobile contactless paymentsÃ¢â¬ will make up 10% of the contactless market by 2010. Another study from 2010 by Berg Insight forecasts that the number of mobile banking users in the US will grow from 12 million in 2009 to 86 million in 2015. The same study also predicts that the European market will grow from 7 million mobile banking users in 2009 to 115 million users in 2015.Many believe that mobile users have just started to fully utilize the data capabilities in their mobile phones. In Asian countries like India, China, Bangladesh, Indonesia and Philippines, where mobile infrastructure is comparatively better than the fixed-line infrastructure, and in European countries, where mobile phone penetration is very high (at least 80% of consumers use a mobile phone), mobile banking is likely to appeal even more. Mobile banking business models A wide spectrum of Mobile/branchless banking models is evolving.However, no matter what business model, if mobile banking is being used to attract low-income populations in often rural locations, the business model will depend on banking agents, retail or postal outlets that process financial transactions on behalf telcos or banks. The banking agent is an important part of the mobile banking business model since customer care, service quality, and cash management will depend on them. Many telcos will work through their local airtime resellers. However, banks in Colombia, Brazil, Peru, and other markets use pharmacies, bakeries, etc.These models differ primarily on the question that who will establish the relationship (account opening, deposit taking, lending etc. ) to the end customer, the Bank or the Non-Bank/Telecommunication Company (Telco). Another difference lies in the nature of agency agreement between bank and the Non-Bank. Models of branchless banking can be classified into three broad categories Ã¢â¬â Bank Focused , Bank-Led and Nonbank-Led. Bank-focused model The bank-focused model emerges when a traditional bank uses non-traditional low-cost delivery channels to provide banking services to its existing customers.Examples range from use of Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) to internet banking or mobile phone banking to provide certain limited banking services to banksÃ¢â¬â¢ customers. This model is additive in nature and may be seen as a modest extension of conventional branch-based banking. Bank-led model The bank-led model offers a distinct alternative to conventional branch-based banking in that customer conducts financial transactions at a whole range of retail agents (or through mobile phone) instead of at bank branches or through bank employees.This model promises the potential to substantially increase the financial services outreach by using a different delivery channel (retailers/ mobile phones), a different trade partner (telco/chain store) having experience and target market dist inct from traditional banks, and may be significantly cheaper than the bank-based alternatives. The bank-led model may be implemented by either using correspondent arrangements or by creating a JV between Bank and Telco/non-bank Non-bank-led model The non-bank-led model is where a bank has a limited role in the day-to-day account management.Typically its role in this model is limited to safe-keeping of funds. Account management functions are conducted by a non-bank (e. g. Telco) who has direct contact with individual customers. Mobile banking services Mobile banking can offer services such as the following: Account information * Mini-statements and checking of account history * Alerts on account activity or passing of set thresholds * Monitoring of term deposits * Access to loan statements * Access to card statements * Mutual funds / equity statements * Insurance policy management Pension plan management * Status on cheque, stop payment on cheque * Ordering cheque books * Balance ch ecking in the account * Recent transactions * Due date of payment (functionality for stop, change and deleting of payments) * PIN provision, Change of PIN and reminder over the Internet * Blocking of (lost, stolen) cards Payments, deposits, withdrawals, and transfers * Domestic and international fund transfers * Micro-payment handling * Mobile recharging * Commercial payment processing * Bill payment processing * Peer to Peer payments Withdrawal at banking agent * Deposit at banking agent A specific sequence of SMS messages will enable the system to verify if the client has sufficient funds in his or her wallet and authorize a deposit or withdrawal transaction at the agent. When depositing money, the merchant receives cash and the system credits the client's bank account or mobile wallet. In the same way the client can also withdraw money at the merchant: through exchanging SMS to provide authorization, the merchant hands the client cash and debits the merchant's account.Kenya's M-P ESA mobile banking service, for example, allows customers of the mobile phone operator Safaricom to hold cash balances which are recorded on their SIM cards. Cash may be deposited or withdrawn from M-PESA accounts at Safaricom retail outlets located throughout the country, and may be transferred electronically from person to person as well as used to pay bills to companies. One of the most innovative applications of mobile banking technology is Zidisha, a US-based nonprofit microlending platform that allows residents of developing countries to raise small business loans from web users worldwide.Zidisha uses mobile banking for loan disbursements and repayments, transferring funds from lenders in the United States to the borrowers in rural Africa using nothing but the internet and mobile phones. Investments * Portfolio management services * Real-time stock quotes * Personalized alerts and notifications on security prices Support * Status of requests for credit, including mortgage appr oval, and insurance coverage * Check (cheque) book and card requests * Exchange of data messages and email, including complaint submission and tracking * ATM location.Content services * General information such as weather updates, news * Loyalty-related offers * Location-based services Based on a survey conducted by Forrester, mobile banking will be attractive mainly to the younger, more Ã¢â¬Å"tech-savvyÃ¢â¬ customer segment. A third of mobile phone users say that they may consider performing some kind of financial transaction through their mobile phone. But most of the users are interested in performing basic transactions such as querying for account balance and making bill payment. Benefits of Mobile Banking * Real time on-line banking Available anytime, anywhere throughout the country * It is convenient, affordable and secure * It is much more effective in developing savings habits * It will make access to banking and advanced payment transactions at affordable cost * It is m uch safer, specify and safeguard against fraudulent transactions. Process of Mobile Banking: The concept is different from SMS Banking which was discussed previously. The architecture is based on the specific requirement that the facility is provided through GRPS, GSM, CDMA, EDGE, 3G and CSD enabled mobile phones.With Mobile banking, the following services can be availed of, but is not restricted to, * Viewing A/C statement * Viewing Cheque Status * Stopping Cheque Payment * Cheque Book Request * Fixed Deposit Enquiry * Bill Payment * Shopping/ Purchasing items The services can be provided to customers directly by the bank or through a 3rd party vendor; and explanations for both are followed. Architecture 1: When the bank provides the service directly to the customer The setup will have a web server, application server and the database at the ankÃ¢â¬â¢s premises. We shall call this the mobile banking server for ease of understanding. The application will ensure what services are t o be provided to the customer. Based on the banking services provided to the customer, the security of the infrastructure has to be built in. The database can be the same as the Core banking database, having another table for mobile banking users. The customer uses his/her mobile phones to transact through the mobile network.The Mobile banking server in turn talks to the Core banking systems of the bank for user authentication, processing transactions, authorization, etc. Architecture 2: When banks outsource this facility to 3rd party vendors This is the more popular architecture as Banks can quickly roll out their mobile banking solutions by connecting to a 3rd party. This is also the architecture with more security issues as interconnection with a 3rd party is involved. In this architecture, the mobile banking servers are located at the 3rd party vendorÃ¢â¬â¢s data centre.These servers will talk to the Core Banking servers of the bank through a secured channel (dedicated or shar ed link) for authentication, authorization and transaction processing. Pre requisites to using this facility The customer has to first register with the Bank for using Mobile banking facility by linking the userÃ¢â¬â¢s mobile number with the account number. Application functionality The mobile banking facility can be provided to mobile phone users through a client or a web based access. Using the client or web browser, the necessary security features are to be built.Customer performs banking transactions based the services like check account balance, fund transfer, bill payment, shopping, etc provided by the bank. User requesting a transaction * The user selects the service he wants to perform like check account balance, bill payment, etc. * The mobile banking server asks for re-authentication for critical transactions. a) Re-authentication with the mobile banking sever ensures that critical transactions are verified and mapped to the user. b) The re-authentication can be estricte d with the vendor only; the user need not authenticate with the bank every time a transaction is performed. Again this depends on the role played by the vendor. * User re-enters the credentials. * Server authenticates the mobile user and forwards the data to the bank on how to process the mobile userÃ¢â¬â¢s service request. For e. g. , checking the account balance service, the mobile banking server will contact the bankÃ¢â¬â¢s server on how to process the request. Bank processing the transaction * The bank server will ask for details required to service the user request. Taking the above example, the bank will ask for cheque number and this is forwarded by the mobile banking server to the end user. * The end user enters the details and sends it to the mobile banking server. * The server again asks for authentication. Once authenticated, the mobile banking server will forward the cheque number to the bankÃ¢â¬â¢s server. * This can be an optional check based on the criticality o f the service requested. For e. g. , if the bank provides fund transfer service, then it may be a good idea to again check for the userÃ¢â¬â¢s credentials.Again this is purely based on the criticality of the service provided * The bankÃ¢â¬â¢s server will check the status of the cheque and provide the details to the mobile user via the mobile banking server. Finally, this is just an example to show how the application should process requests from the mobile user. Based on the services provided by the bank, the security of the application can be built-in. For e. g. , if the application allows fund transfer or bill payment, then the required security threats should be identified and mitigated.Future functionalities in mobile banking Based on the Ã¢â¬ËInternational Review of Business Research Papers' from World business Institute, Australia, following are the key functional trends possible in world of Mobile Banking. With the advent of technology and increasing use of smartphone a nd tablet based devices, the use of Mobile Banking functionality would enable customer connect across entire customer life cycle much comprehensively than before. With this scenario, current mobile banking objectives of say building relationships, reducing cost, chieving new revenue stream will transform to enable new objectives targeting higher level goals such as building brand of the banking organization. Emerging technology and functionalities would enable to create new ways of lead generation, prospecting as well as developing deep customer relationship and mobile banking world would achieve superior customer experience with bi-directional communications. Illustration of objective based functionality enrichment In Mobile Banking * Communication enrichment: Ã¢â¬â Video Interaction with agents, advisors. Pervasive Transactions capabilities: Ã¢â¬â Comprehensive Ã¢â¬Å"Mobile walletÃ¢â¬ * Customer Education: Ã¢â¬â Ã¢â¬Å"Test driveÃ¢â¬ for demos of banking services * Connect with new customer segment: Ã¢â¬â Connect with Gen Y Ã¢â¬â Gen Z using games and social network ambushed to surrogate bankÃ¢â¬â¢s offerings * Content monetization: Ã¢â¬â Micro level revenue themes such as music, e-book download * Vertical positioning: Ã¢â¬â Positioning offerings over mobile banking specific industries * Horizontal positioning: Ã¢â¬â Positioning offerings over mobile banking across all the industries * Personalization of corporate banking services: Ã¢â¬â Personalization experience for multiple roles and hierarchies in corporate banking as against the vanilla based segment based enhancements in the current context. * Build Brand: Ã¢â¬â Built the bankÃ¢â¬â¢s brand while enhancing the Ã¢â¬Å"Mobile real estateÃ¢â¬ . Challenges for a mobile banking solution Key challenges in developing a sophisticated mobile banking application are: Handset operability There are a large number of different mobile phone devices and it is a big challenge for banks to offer mobile banking solution on any type of device. Some of these devices support Java ME and others support SIM Application Toolkit, a WAP browser, or only SMS.Initial interoperability issues however have been localized, with countries like India using portals like R-World to enable the limitations of low end java based phones, while focus on areas such as South Africa have defaulted to the USSD as a basis of communication achievable with any phone. The desire for interoperability is largely dependent on the banks themselves, where installed applications (Java based or native) provide better security, are easier to use and allow development of more complex capabilities similar to those of internet banking while SMS can provide the basics but becomes difficult to operate with more complex transactions. There is a myth that there is a challenge of interoperability between mobile banking applications due to perceived lack of common technology standards for mobile banking .In practice it is too early in the service lifecycle for interoperability to be addressed within an individual country, as very few countries have more than one mobile banking service provider. In practice, banking interfaces are well defined and money movements between banks follow the IS0-8583 standard. As mobile banking matures, money movements between service providers will naturally adopt the same standards as in the banking world. On January 2009, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) Banking Sub-Committee, chaired by Cell Trust and VeriSign Inc. , published the Mobile Banking Overview for financial institutions in which it discussed the advantages and disadvantages of Mobile Channel Platforms such as Short Message Services (SMS), Mobile Web, Mobile Client Applications, SMS with Mobile Web and Secure SMS. SecuritySecurity of financial transactions, being executed from some remote location and transmission of financial information over the air, are the most complicated challenges that need to be addressed jointly by mobile application developers, wireless network service providers and the banks' IT departments. The following aspects need to be addressed to offer a secure infrastructure for financial transaction over wireless network: 1. Physical part of the hand-held device. If the bank is offering smart-card based security, the physical security of the device is more important. 2. Security of any thick-client application running on the device. In case the device is stolen, the hacker should require at least an ID/Password to access the application. 3. Authentication of the device with service provider before initiating a transaction. This would ensure that unauthorized devices are not connected to perform financial transactions. 4.User ID / Password authentication of bankÃ¢â¬â¢s customer. 5. Encryption of the data being transmitted over the air. 6. Encryption of the data that will be stored in device for later / off-line analysis by the customer. One-tim e password (OTPs) are the latest tool used by financial and banking service providers in the fight against cyber fraud. Instead of relying on traditional memorized passwords, OTPs are requested by consumers each time they want to perform transactions using the online or mobile banking interface. When the request is received the password is sent to the consumerÃ¢â¬â¢s phone via SMS. The password is expired once it has been used or once its scheduled life-cycle has expired.Because of the concerns made explicit above, it is extremely important that SMS gateway providers can provide a decent quality of service for banks and financial institutions in regards to SMS services. Therefore, the provision of service level agreements (SLAs) is a requirement for this industry; it is necessary to give the bank customer delivery guarantees of all messages, as well as measurements on the speed of delivery, throughput, etc. SLAs give the service parameters in which a messaging solution is guarante ed to perform. Scalability and reliability Another challenge for the CIOs and CTOs of the banks is to scale-up the mobile banking infrastructure to handle exponential growth of the customer base.With mobile banking, the customer may be sitting in any part of the world (true anytime, anywhere banking) and hence banks need to ensure that the systems are up and running in a true 24 x 7 fashion. As customers will find mobile banking more and more useful, their expectations from the solution will increase. Banks unable to meet the performance and reliability expectations may lose customer confidence. There are systems such as Mobile Transaction Platform which allow quick and secure mobile enabling of various banking services. Recently in India there has been a phenomenal growth in the use of Mobile Banking applications, with leading banks adopting Mobile Transaction Platform and the Central Bank publishing guidelines for mobile banking operations. Application distributionDue to the natur e of the connectivity between bank and its customers, it would be impractical to expect customers to regularly visit banks or connect to a web site for regular upgrade of their mobile banking application. It will be expected that the mobile application itself check the upgrades and updates and download necessary patches (so called Ã¢â¬Å"Over the AirÃ¢â¬ updates). However, there could be many issues to implement this approach such as upgrade / synchronization of other dependent components. Personalization It would be expected from the mobile application to support personalization such as: * Preferred Language * Date / Time format * Amount format Default transactions * Standard Beneficiary list * Alerts Mobile banking in the world Mobile banking is used in many parts of the world with little or no infrastructure, especially remote and rural areas. This aspect of mobile commerce is also popular in countries where most of their population is unbanked. In most of these places, banks can only be found in big cities, and customers have to travel hundreds of miles to the nearest bank. By 2012, it is estimated that there will be 1. 7 billion people with a mobile phone but not a bank account and as many as 364 million unbanked people could be reached by agent-networked banking through mobile phones.In Iran, banks such as Parsian, Tejarat, Mellat, Saderat, Sepah, Edbi, and Bankmelli offer the service. Banco Industrial provides the service in Guatemala. Citizens of Mexico can access mobile banking with Omnilife, Bancomer and MPower Venture. Kenya's Safaricom (part of the Vodafone Group) has the M-Pesa Service, which is mainly used to transfer limited amounts of money, but increasingly used to pay utility bills as well. In 2009, Zain launched their own mobile money transfer business, known as ZAP, in Kenya and other African countries. In Somalia, the many telecom companies provide mobile banking, the most prominent being Hormuud Telecom and its ZAAD service.Telenor Pak istan has also launched a mobile banking solution, in coordination with Taameer Bank, under the label Easy Paisa, which was begun in Q4 2009. Eko India Financial Services, the business correspondent of State Bank of India (SBI) and ICICI Bank, provides bank accounts, deposit, withdrawal and remittance services, micro-insurance, and micro-finance facilities to its customers (nearly 80% of whom are migrants or the unbanked section of the population) through mobile banking. In a year of 2010, mobile banking users soared over 100 percent in Kenya, China, Brazil and USA with 200 percent, 150 percent, 110 percent and 100 percent respectively. Mobile Banking in Bangladesh Starting: Mobile banking is a new technology in Bangladesh which started from 31st March 2011.Dutch Bangla Bank Limited pioneered in mobile banking services in Bangladesh. Most people heard about it but not have a clear idea. According to my survey almost 94% people heard about mobile banking and 6% havenÃ¢â¬â¢t heard a bout mobile banking. Interest to use: Many people heard about mobile banking. But they yet have not felt that they should use it as they are happy to use traditional banking system. Some people feel interest to use it. About 55% people feel they should use it and 45% people havenÃ¢â¬â¢t feel to use mobile banking according to the survey. Takes time by mobile banking than traditional banking: Mobile banking is real time on-line banking.As it is on-line banking it takes less time than traditional banking. It will make access to banking and advanced payment, transactions at affordable cost People have not to wait by standing in a long line which is happen in traditional banking system. But some people think it takes higher time and some people think it takes same time as traditional banking. According to the research only 5% people think it takes higher time, 34% people think it takes the same time and 61% people think it takes lower time than traditional banking system. Time saving: Mobile banking is available anytime, anywhere throughout the country. So it can save oneÃ¢â¬â¢s time. But all people not think the same.About 70% respondents think that mobile banking can save their time, where as 30% think it cannot save time. Cost: It is convenient, affordable and it is much more effective in developing savings habits, it will make access to banking and advanced payment transactions at affordable cost. All people know that its cost is not higher than traditional banking. Around 56% respondents say its cost is lower, 20% say same and 24% say it is affordable than traditional banking. . A positive aspect of mobile phones is that mobile networks can reach remote areas at low cost. Trust worthy: It is much safer and safeguard against fraudulent transactions. One can trust mobile banking as traditional banking system.It has secured pin code which is known by the user, and also has a check digit without it no one can deposit money. But in Bangladesh traditional branc h-based banking remains the most widely adopted method of conducting banking transaction. The poor often have greater familiarity and trust with mobile phone companies than formal banking institutions. Furthermore a mobile handset can easily be adapted to handle banking transactions. But it is not commonly known by all. From the survey it is found that 63% respondents think mobile banking is trust worthy and 37% respondents feel it is not trust worthy. Use: It is much more effective in developing savings habits. Its using system is also easy. Anyone can use it.Poor people are often not considered viable customers by the formal financial sector as their transaction sizes are small, and many live in remote areas beyond the reach of banks branch networks. Informal banking services such as microfinance and village savings and loan associations remain limited in their reach. So, mobile banking system develops to bring poor people into banking system. 83% respondents face or heard no prob lem to use mobile banking. But 17% respondents heard or face problems to use it like-sometimes transaction do not reach at time, cannot operate it easily as traditional banking, not trust worthy. Prospect of mobile banking in Bangladesh:Mobile Banking is a Banking process without bank branch which provides financial services to unbaked communities efficiently and at affordable cost. The aim of the service is to bring more people under the umbrella of banking service. Bangladesh Bank governor Dr Atiur Rahman inaugurated the service through -Journal of Arts, Science ; Commerce Ã ¦ E-ISSN 2229-4686 Ã ¦ ISSN 2231-4172 International Refereed Research Journal Ã ¦ www.. researchersworlld.. com Ã ¦ Vol. Ã¢â¬â III, Issue Ã¢â¬â1,Jan. 2012  deposit and withdrawal of money from two banking outlets in the city. Government thinks it has a great prospect as it is a new technology in digital Bangladesh.But in Bangladesh many people think traditionally, because they cannot think it has any facility to use mobile banking. 69% people feel mobile banking has prospect in Bangladesh whereas 31% think it has no prospect in Bangladesh as many people will not feel interest or have belief on mobile banking. Suggestion to other to use the: 55% feel interest to use mobile banking but most people do not want to give suggestion to other to use it. As it is a new method of banking people havenÃ¢â¬â¢t 100% faith on it. So, people donÃ¢â¬â¢t want to take any risk by giving suggestion to use it. 68% respondents say they do not want to give suggestion and 32% respondents say they want to give suggestion to use mobile banking. Make life easier:Mobile banking is real time on-line banking, available anytime, anywhere throughout the country, it is convenient, affordable and secure, it is much more effective in developing savings habits, it will make access to banking and advanced payment transactions at affordable cost, it is much safer, speedy and safeguard against fraudulent tra nsactions. All of the characteristics of mobile banking make life easier. But 43% respondents feel it will not make life easier as it may not be trust worthy, but 57% respondents feel the facility which mobile banking give will make life easier. Security: In mobile banking a confidential pin code is used by the user. PIN ensures security of money and protects fraudulent transactions. So mobile banking is fully secured. It also believed by 70% respondents, but about 30% respondents say it is not secured as they cannot fully trust on online banking than traditional banking system.Speedy process: One benefit of mobile banking is a very speedy process. Transaction can be done anytime anywhere quickly in less time. So 100% people believe that it is a speedy process. Class of people: Mobile banking started with the idea to bring the poor under the umbrella of banking sector especially rural poor as there are not much bank facilities, also there savings is low so they feel shy to go to ban k. But according to my survey 38% respondents feel upper class, 21% respondents feel middle class people can use mobile banking. But 41% respondents say mobile banking can be used by all class of people. Problems encounted in collecting data:The researcher had to face the following problems in collecting data from the respondents: i. Generally most of the respondents have not enough idea about mobile banking. So it was very difficult to collect actual data. Because the information of the respondents was supplied from their idea. ii. Most of the respondents were not fully use mobile banking which caused another problem to data collection to the researcher. iii. Sometimes respondent could not answer to questions accurately and to the point. iv. The respondents were usually remaining busy with their work. So, the researcher had to visit some of them even at the work place and researcher sometimes had to pay more time to meet the respondents. v.Most of the respondents did not feel comfo rtable to answer questions. So researcher had to pay more time to gain their confidence. The banks that provides mobile banking, sms banking in Bangladesh: * Dutch-Bangla Bank Ltd. * BRAC Bank Ltd. * Premier Bank Ltd. * Bank Asia Ltd. * HSBC * Dhaka Bank Ltd. * Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. * Mutual Trust Bank Ltd. * Trust Bank Ltd. * One Bank Ltd. * EXIM Bank Ltd. * IFIC Bank Ltd. * First Security Bank Ltd. * City Bank Ltd. * Islami Bank Bangladesh Ltd. * Mercantile Bank Limited. Dutch-Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL) has for the first time introduced its mobile banking service, expanding the banking service from cities to remote areas.Bangladesh Bank Governor Atiur Rahman inaugurated the service in July, 2011 by depositing Tk 2,000 and withdrawing Tk 1,500 through Banglalink and Citycell mobile networks in Motijheel area. Bangladesh Bank has already allowed 10 banks to initiate mobile banking. Of them DBBL kicked off first. Ã¢â¬Å"Mobile banking is an alternative to the traditional banki ng through which banking service can be reached at the doorsteps of the deprived section of the society,Ã¢â¬ the central bank governor said at an inaugural press briefing at Hotel Purbani. Atiur Rahman said through mobile banking various banking services including depositing and withdrawing money, payment of utility bills and reaching remittance to the recipient would be possible.By going to the DBBL-approved Citycell and Banglalink agents throughout the country, the subscribers can open an account provided they show the necessary papers and pay a fee of Tk 10. To use the banking service, subscribers must own a cell phone from any provider. The bank gives subscribers a four-digit PIN. By using the PIN, subscribers can use a number of banking services, including depositing and withdrawing money, while maintaining account security. Customers may hand over cash to agents in the bank's network, and agents can coordinate the transaction from their mobile phones, helping account holder s securely complete banking tasks using their PINs.Customers can deposit or withdraw money up to five times per day, up to Tk 5,000 per day. One percent of the transaction account or Tk 5, whichever is greater, will be deducted as a cash-in charge. The charge for cash-out is 2 percent of the transaction amount or Tk 10, whichever is greater. There are no fees for registration, salary or remittance disbursement services. Mobile Banking at BRAC Bank The service will enable millions of banked and unbanked people to deposit, withdraw and transfer money through mobile phones. bKash, a joint venture between BRAC Bank and US-based Money in Motion, will provide mobile banking with a fully encrypted VISA technology platform for transactions through mobile phones.Any mobile user can register and open up a bKash account and then do transactions through their mobile phones in easy, convenient and reliable way. Ã¢â¬Å"bKash will fundamentally change the way people now do transactions, as all tra nsactions will be possible through mobile phones in future,Ã¢â¬ said Syed Mahbubur Rahman, managing director of the bank. Ã¢â¬Å"Customers will not need to come to the bank; rather the bank will go to them,Ã¢â¬ he said at a press conference in Dhaka on the occasion of its 10th founding anniversary. The bank said a bKash account will act as a digital mobile wallet and anybody can take the service. Ã¢â¬Å"Your mobile phone will become your wallet.Customers can get financial services through phones, even by the handset that costs the lowest,Ã¢â¬ Rahman said. Under a partnership with UNDP and Local Government Division, bKash is rolling out mobile banking in 4,501 union parishads in the country. It has already signed a deal with a leading mobile operator and is in talks with others to enable all mobile users Ã¢â¬â currently around 7. 5 crore Ã¢â¬â to have individual digital wallets, said Mamdudur Rashid, deputy managing director of the bank. Recently some Bangladeshi banki ng companies and mobile network provider companies have launched mobile banking in Bangladesh. A new door of technology is opening in Bangladesh.Now people of Bangladesh can use their mobile phone as a bank account with balance transfer, payment, money upload and many more facilities at a low cost . I will give you some useful info about these services: * BKash Limited is a joint venture between BRAC Bank Ltd. , Bangladesh, and Money in Motion LLC, USA. Ensuring access to a broader range of financial services for the people of Bangladesh is the ultimate objective of bKash. It has a special focus to serve the low income people of the country and promote sustainable micro-savings to achieve broader financial inclusion by providing financial services that are convenient, affordable and reliable. * bKash is working both as an extension of BRAC Bank and as a full-scale mobile phone-based payment switch.This will highly benefit the country as 83% of the population lives under $2 a day and access to finance can help in improving their economic situation. Less than 15% of Bangladeshis are connected to the formal financial system whereas 44% of total populations are having mobile phones. Providing financial services using this mean can make the service more accessible and cost effective for the vast population of Bangladesh. How to open an account: 01. Go to any of your nearby bKash agent along with- a. Your mobile phone with active Robi number b. A copy of your Photo ID (National ID/Passport/Driving License/Other valid Photo ID) c. 2 copies of Passport size photographs 02. Upon successful registration you need to activate your wallet in following manner- Kash authorized agent will help you throughout the process and confirm registration. You will also receive a confirmation SMS in your mobile. Conclusion: Some policy Implications, Mohammad Mizanur Raman,(www. ampublisher. com) Mobile Phone Banking offers the potential to extend low cost virtual bank accounts to a larg e number of currently un-banked individuals worldwide. Change is being driven by falling costs of mobile phones including airtime, by competition and by the ability of electronic banking solutions to offer customers an enhanced range of services at a very low cost. Text-a-payment (TAP) builds upon the familiarity and comfort that people around the world have with sending text messages via their mobile phone.Instead of traveling to the bank to make their loan payment, clients can -Journal of Arts, Science & Commerce now text their loan payment directly to the bank; saving them both travel time and money. This is also beneficial for the bank, since they can increase their outreach to rural areas while reducing their costs. (Catching the Technology Wave: Mobile Phone Banking and Text-a-Payment in the Philippines, John Owens, Anna Bantug Herrera,www. bwtp. org) M-Banking technology has become one of the most familiar banking features throughout the world. Nowadays millions of inhabitant s of Bangladesh are within a network through mobile network coverage.But in the commercial sectors like banking, m-Commerce technology has not been adopted broadly yet. In context of Bangladesh where almost 95% of geographical areas including Chittagong Hill tract region is under cellular coverage and having sufficiency in Internet infrastructure in remote regions, m-Banking via mobile phones can be the right choice for the promising banking sector. Considering m-Commerce and m-Banking perspective in Bangladesh, a Push Pull services offering SMS (Short Messaging Service) based m-Banking system has been proposed which is able to provide several essential banking services only by sending SMS to bank server from any remote location. They are Broadcast, Scheduling, Event, and Enquiry and m- Commerce services.Fifteen push pull services underlying these categories are implemented in this proposed system which are most desired to customers. The proposed system not only brings banking trans action in handÃ¢â¬â¢s grip but also makes it easier, robust and flexible with highest security. Moreover, modified data failover algorithm handles unexpected SMS server failure with any congestion or service request loss. At last, after evaluating each module of our proposed system a satisfactory accuracy rate 94. 95% has been obtained. Abstract The main objective of the study is to find out the problem and prospect of mobile banking in Bangladesh. For this research primary data were used. This study adopts with descriptive in nature.Total respondents were 120 within that 61 % respondents think it saves time than traditional banking, the highest number of respondents use mobile banking for Ã¢â¬ËAir-time top-upÃ¢â¬â¢ service, that is 21%, out of 120 respondents 56% replied it is less costlier than traditional banking, 100% respondents did agree that it is speedy, and 38% respondents are upper class. Although this concept is new in Bangladesh but its potentiality is high. From t his research, other researchers and policy makers will get an insight about the problems and prospects of mobile banking in Bangladesh. Keywords: Problem, prospect, Mobile banking. References: * Dhaka Bank Ltd. , Banani branch. * Dutch Bangla Bank Ltd, Banani branch. * BRAC Bank Ltd, Banani branch. * www. thedailystar. net * Wikipedia * www. enterpriseinnovation. net * www. wikipedi www. marketresearch. com * www. bwtp. org * www. ampublisher. com * www. scribd. com/doc/54509127/28/MOBILE-BANKING-IN-BANGLADESH * www. researchersworld. com/vol3/Paper_05. pdf * bankinfobd. com/banks * www. dhakabankltd. com/ * www. bracbank. com/platinum_card. php * www. businessnewsbd. com/index. php? option=com_content&task=view&id=3619&Itemid=88 * www. dutchbanglabank. com/electronic_banking/PDF/MobileBankingBrochureEnglish. pdf Index: WAP Ã¢â¬â Wireless Application protocol SMS Ã¢â¬â Short Message Service PDA Ã¢â¬â Personal Digital Assistants ATM Ã¢â¬â Automatic Teller Machine M-bankin g Ã¢â¬â Mobile Banking Telco Ã¢â¬â Telecommunication Company Mobile Banking The Future of Mobile Banking by Rob Berger in Banking * Photo: BankSimple INTRODUCTION Communication is the exchange of information and feeling or ideas, which allow the majority of people to get the news of all sides. In addition, we are used the communication every day to let people know what we are doing or thinking even feeling which people are received that by voice, picture or chat. Moreover, communication technologies have made it simple to communicate to friends in the other side of the world by calling them using mobile phone, e-mailing them and writing in our web pages using social networks, such as Face book, Twitter or Messenger.Additionally, many other recourses are used by the majority of people to keep in touch with the world, which they can watch television or listen to the radio especially when they go to work. Therefore, communication technologies are considered one of the most important elements in our lives and that is why this essay is going to define the advanta ges and disadvantages of communications technology in terms of our health, education and relationships. This essay will elucidate firstly, the advantages and disadvantages of communications technology in health.Secondly, the advantages and disadvantages in education. Thirdly, the advantages and disadvantages in relationships. Finally, what scope should people be bothered about our grandchildrenÃ¢â¬â¢s world if these technologies still run on to develops in the future? Mobile banking apps make banking and managing finances more convenient and less time consuming. They also reduce the need for working with loads upon loads of paper, like all those forms you need to fill out in brick-and-mortar banks.The most common activities performed by mobile banking app users include scanning and depositing checks, monitoring account balances and, for some, managing travel or hotel bookings. Many banks also offer online banking options for those who want an easier way to control their cash flow, pay their bills, and locate ATM stations. Some even allow person-to-person payments Mobile banking apps have actually been around for years. The first bank to ever offer their clients the convenience of doing banking-related activities on their mobile phones was Wells Fargo.Today, according to a research firm in Boston, more than 6,500 financial institutions in the US have developed mobile banking services for people who want to keep track of their finances on the go. Since more and more people rely on their smartphones (at least 70% of Americans who own smartphones use banking apps), app development is expected to increase even more. Developers will continue to come up with more innovative ideas for mobile banking. These apps will slowly change the course of regular banking. Just last January, a new kind of bank was introduced to the public.GoBank, created by prepaid reloader Green Dot, is a mobile banking app of a different kind. Unlike existing apps, GoBank is not connected to a ny brick-and-mortar bank. It is a Ã¢â¬Å"stand aloneÃ¢â¬ app; a mobile bank in the real sense of the word. In other words, if you want to make a deposit or check your account balance, you will need to open the app on your phone. GoBank is the answer to the appeal of people who are practically glued to their mobile phones even when walking down busy streets. It can perform all basic bank functions, like paying bills and depositing checks.This development is not surprising. Developers often try to outdo each other in producing an app Ã¢â¬â or apps Ã¢â¬â that can easily catch the consumersÃ¢â¬â¢ fancy; especially consumers who use mobile banking every day of their lives. In the coming months and years, more apps like GoBank will be spotlighted in the market, and people will continue to want more. At this point, though, developers should also work on coming up with better security features for mobile banking. Security is the main reason why a good number of smartphone users d o not yet use mobile banking facilities on their device.So before anything else, this should be prioritized. Mobile Deposits Already available with many banks, users can deposit a check by taking a picture of it with their smartphone. IÃ¢â¬â¢ve used the feature now with Capital One 360 and absolutely love it. Called mobile remote deposit capture (RDC), my daughter uses this feature to deposit her paychecks into her Money account with Capital One 260. And I use it to deposit the occasional checks we receive. ItÃ¢â¬â¢s a snap (pun intended). While not all banks offer this feature, yet, they will. Mobile Bill PayAs the person who pays all the bills in my family, this feature is really exciting. Imagine taking a paper bill you receive in the mail and paying it by taking a picture of it. Similar to RDC, Mobile Photo Bill Pay is on the way. U. S. Bank is already testing this functionality. ThereÃ¢â¬â¢s a hidden benefit to mobile bill payÃ¢â¬âit will make switching banks easier. R ather than having to re-enter all your payee information and automatic payments, you can just snap a picture of each of your bills. Security The security risks of mobile banking are minimal.Mobile banking apps do not work with third party programs, as they deal directly with you and the bank they are linked to. Your banking privacy is not compromised or shared with anyone else. In addition, banks also require their mobile clients to provide the right username and password before performing any kind of transaction. Since apps are becoming more and more complicated and technologically advanced, however, security measures will need to keep pace. Leading the example is Wells Fargo, which is already working on using voice and speech recognition for carrying out banking transactions.This is an interesting development because it offers not only convenience, but also added security. Smartphone as Your Wallet Eventually, weÃ¢â¬â¢ll pull out our Smartphone to pay for things rather than our wallet. This is already a reality to a limited extent. Individual retailers like Starbucks offer apps that allow you to pay for products. And Google Wallet has made some progress. But overall we are still a long way from cutting up our cash and plastic. Rob Berger. The Future of Mobile Banking. March 10, 2013.
Friday, January 10, 2020
Questions 1. What are the three ways that students may receive counseling services through the LRC? 2. What heading are the Health Tools and Health Challenges found under? 3. Where is the Assess Your Health tool located? 4. What are the five categories on the Live Healthy Page? 5. Where can resources and articles about good nutrition be found on the LRC? 6. What are three of the health topics that can be found on the LRC? 7. What are two categories found under the Medical Care heading? 8. Where on the LRC would a person find information on addiction and recovery? 9. Where on the LRC would a person find information about health issues related to aging? 10. What are three psychosocial health topics that are available on the LRC? Answers 1. Three ways that students can receive counseling services through the LRC is free and confidential resources of your Life Resource Center. If someone would like to speak to a Counselor over the phone or meet with a local counselor in-person, please call 866-320-2817 or use the online Request Appointment section located on the right side of this page. 2. The heading that the health tools and health challenges is found under the thriving heading 3. The asses your health tool is located under the thriving health tools category 4. The five categories that are listed on the live healthy page is How Healthy Are You, Lifestyle Change, Physical Fitness, Prevention and Screening, and Tips for Healthy Living. 5. The resources and articles about good nutrition can be found under the thriving tab under the good nutrition guidelines. 6. Three of the health topics that can be found on the LRC are Aging, Balancing, and Thriving. 7. Two categories that are found under the Medical Care heading are Dental care and Recuperation. 8. A person would find information on addiction and recovery under the Balancing Tab. 9. A person would find information about health issues related to aging under the Balancing tab/ Personal Growth 10. Three psychosocial health topics that are available on the LRC is Mental Health, Grief and Loss, and Addiction and Recovery.