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Technology has innovated virtually every major sector in one way or another, from medical care to finance, and manufacturing to entertainment. Now it is the turn of the fashion industry, which is set to undergo seismic changes, instigated by advances in technology.
As technology has become more sophisticated, fashion designers have naturally embraced it in order to express their ideas. Let's take a look at how technology is innovating what we wear and how it is moving fashion forward.
There has been much discussion about wearable technology in recent years, from "smart" eyeglasses and watches to garments with built-in technological capabilities. There is now a high number of fashion designs that leverage new technologies to innovate the catwalk.
Imagine a dress that changes colour based on your heartbeat, a jacket that responds to the weather around you (changing design in response to a strong gust of wind for instance), or trousers with built-in solar panels to charge your mobile phone.
Such fashion ideas have been made a reality and the most exciting prospect is that designers are really only getting started regarding combining technology with what we wear.
This allows people to search for a piece of clothing online based on an image and find similar products. If you see a pair of shoes you like, you can take a photo of them and search for something similar.
Retailers have reportedly benefited from a higher return on investment, helping customers to find what they really want, often at more accessible price points. It is much more precise than traditional type search, without having to rely on a customer's ability to accurately describe a garment. It is more efficient, leading customers directly to returned results and where to buy them.
Purchases of clothing and other fashion products are increasingly processed online, away from bricks-and-mortar stores. Almost 70% of American customers make their clothing purchases online.
Some prominent outlets are exclusively accessible online whereas others are diversifying away from high street stores in order to focus more on their online activity. This is simply a response to customer behaviour, which is moving more online across the economy, not just in fashion. However, fashion is undergoing major disruption as a result.
This is only likely to increase in years to come as millennials - the most tech-savvy cohort in history - increase their purchasing power and technology becomes more sophisticated and entwined with fashion.
As fashion retailers look for ways to increase competitiveness in a saturated sector, they are constantly looking for ways to increase their margins and lower costs.
One costly area is returned items. When a customer returns a product, it raises the costs of manufacturing, transport and bricks-and-mortar overheads. To deal with this, shops are looking at the possibility of virtual changing rooms as well as applications that see if your size and fit is the same across different brands.
Machine learning is also increasingly coming into play, predicting what you might like based on your browsing and shopping behaviour. This is already evident in online stores, although smarter, more intricate systems are set to be used, where what you like is analysed to a much deeper level. In theory at least, your recommendations will be much more in tune with what you really like, and therefore, you will be more likely to make a purchase.
Then there are virtual shoppers and boutique companies trading online who choose your style for you based on your indicated preferences or through big data analysis. These advances will lower costs for retailers, manufacturers and customers. They are also aimed at making the entire purchasing process more efficient, from browsing and settling on an item, right through to purchase and delivery.
We have already seen how relatively straightforward technologies have changed the way we shop online. Now however, we are primed to witness a disruption-driven sea change in the fashion industry. This will encompass what we wear, how it is made, to how it is delivered and the after sale service.
Technology is truly pushing fashion forward. How we will technology and fashion combine in the next ten or twenty years is perhaps most exciting of all.
ACH same day payments were launched in the United States on September 23, 2016. ACH payments were typically processed on a next day basis prior to the launch of this speedier development. Payment fraud instances are predicted to rise following the same day ACH launch in the United States. The United Kingdom launched Faster Payments in 2008, leading to a 132% spike in fraud1. While UK businesses have benefitted from Faster Payments, they have come at the cost of greater instances of fraud and a need for more sophisticated fraud prevention systems that evolve with new techniques to game the payments system.
With ACH same day transactions, US businesses can have payments reach employee accounts in a matter of hours, or to suppliers. Like Faster Payments in the UK, it creates opportunity for streamlined cash flow and lowers the time that sums of money are tied up in transit between accounts. Individuals will benefit from same-day payments for mortgage, credit card and loan bills. It is simply much more efficient.
With same day payments systems, fraudsters have sought to target banks during high payment request levels. This is because when there are high numbers of payments to process, the chances of error and failing to catch a fraudulent transaction are higher, therefore, the con has a greater chance of success.
Three of the fraud risks associated with ACH same day payments:
1. An increase in operational risk2 - the failure of people, processes or systems to identify and nullify a fraudulent threat.
2. Settlement risk - the longer the settlement part of a transaction takes (typically the longest part of a transaction), the greater the risk of a payment default. With a high volume of payments to settle, delays are more likely, and thus, default risk is higher.
3. Cyber risk - the failure of an IT security system to deal with cyber threats. The general observations is that cyber threats will increase in number and sophistication. With a rise in online banking and the introduction of faster payment systems, there is clear opportunity for cyber attacks.
The implementation of Faster Payments in 2008 in the UK led to a sharp spike in payments fraud from £22.6 million to £52.5 million3. This rose higher still in 2009 before reducing steadily up to 2011. It did however rise year on year since 2011 to 2014, hitting record levels of £60.4 million in 2014. With the UK CHAPS (Clearing House Automated Payment System) payments system, a remittance can be made in 1.5 hours. Speedy yes, but more exposed to risk.
With same day ACH payments, businesses in particular will be more susceptible to fraudulent attacks. For example, there are many instances of fraudsters in the UK impersonating a company's supplier, providing correct supplier name, but different account details. Payments are then wired to the fraudster's bank account and withdrawn.
For banks and payment institutions, rigorous systems must be in place to ensure that higher volumes of same day payments can be processed without impacting on the capability of carrying out comprehensive screening and checks. Employees must be adequately trained and updated on new processes and fraud prevention measures. Investment in IT security systems must be on-going, in order to combat evolving fraud techniques.
To lower the threat of fraud, merchants must set up a robust system for all incoming and outgoing payments. Internal remittance systems should be regularly reviewed and updated where necessary and care should be taken for the successful completion of ACH same day payments.
It has to be stressed that banks don't seek to eliminate fraud, but rather, to control and minimise its frequency. An impregnable system does not exist and it is unrealistic to think that it will. Banks did not previously have to process payments so quickly, so there was less need for more rigorous, technologically superior fraud check systems and less threat from all types of risk, including operational, settlement and cyber.
ACH same day payments will bring numerous advantages in remittances for both individuals and businesses in the United States. In order to fully reap the benefits, heed must be paid to the experiences of the UK. It is a major benefit to have the UK, a country with a complex and sophisticated financial system, to have gone before. The US must take advantage.
The modern world has its roots in the Industrial Revolution that began in Great Britain in the late 18th century.1 The technological advances of this period established the ground on which all subsequent developments were built.
The Industrial Revolution marked the start of a period of rapid technological change, which continued through the 18th and into the 19th century. Out went hand production processes and in came machine manufacturing. In came factories and production lines. Steam and water power replaced replaced horses and donkeys. A little later, in came the telephone and electricity.
The respected technology scholar Carlota Perez identifies four major technology shifts after the Industrial Revolution: the Age of Steam and Railways (1829); the Age of Steel, Electricity and Heavy Engineering (1875); the Age of Oil, the Automobile and Mass Production (1908); and the Age of Information and Telecommunications (1971).
Today, the "post-industrial" economy depends less on manufacturing and more on services that combine human capital - knowledge and skills - with technology. As factories are progressively replaced with offices, blue collar jobs are declining in number, replaced by more skilled white collar jobs. To support the new knowledge economy, educational levels are improving across the board.
In the UK, the first industrialised country in the world, the manufacturing sector accounted for 48% of the UK economy in 1948. By 2014 it had dwindled to a mere 14%. Services, in contrast, rose from 46% to 79%.3 The rest of the G7 group of nations has seen similar changes in the makeup of their respective economies.
Most recently, technological change has brought innovation to virtually every sector in the economy. The music, airline, and newspaper industries have all undergone seismic changes. Advances in finance technology are making financial services more efficient. Even education has been disrupted. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are driving the proliferation of distance learning.
Then there is "big data" - massive sets of data that can be analyzed by sophisticated computer programs to identify trends, traits and patterns, giving companies and governments information on human social behaviour that can help them decide the direction of business and policy for the future.
The manufacturing industry continues to evolve as robotics and automation gradually replace human workers. In the last five years, 75% of smaller manufacturers and 97% of larger manufacturers have invested in some kind of automation.4
Around the world, there is an unprecedented demographic shift. The proportion of elderly in the population is rising as birth rates fall and longevity rises. There will be a growing need for home automation systems, and for new medical and transport technologies, to address the needs of an older population. Automation of elderly care is growing in prominence, and nowhere more so than Japan, where the demographic shift is most pronounced.
Two particular technological advances, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), are set to have an enormous impact on society.
Common, everyday objects will be powered by AI and linked together over the internet into something resembling a hive mind - the IoT. Sharing of data by the linked objects will allow them to become "smart", acting proactively and responsively to human signals. We are already seeing fundamental changes in the way we work driven by smart organisational tools that time and manage human activity. In the future, AI and the IoT seem likely to transform the way we live.
Smart fridges will tell us when we need more food. Smart home heating will regulate temperature based on our behavioural patterns or the weather. We will rely on robots to grow food, look after our elderly and our children, and perform delicate surgical operations beyond our capability. AI will manage our transport systems, monitor our health, maintain our social networks.
But will we connect everything we use to the internet - or will we choose to keep some things private and dumb? Will IoT affect every industry, from manufacturing, travel and healthcare to retail, finance and construction, or only certain sectors? Will AI become so all-pervasive that human brains are no longer needed - or will we work collaboratively with our smart creations?
Automobiles were scorned by many, thought never to have a hope of replacing the horse as the principal means of transport. More recently, the same was true of the television; microwave ovens; mobile phones; personal computers and the internet.
The technology of tomorrow points us towards a smart, automated, robotic world. This is the investment trend that has been growing rapidly in recent years and is finally ready to go mainstream.
And it all began with the Industrial Revolution, over two hundred years ago.
1: The secret history of the Industrial Revolution - Gregory Clark
2: Technological revolutions and techo-economic paradigms - Carlota Perez
3: An International Perspective on the UK - Gross Domestic Product - ONS
4: Manufacturers investing in automation due to supply chain pressures - Spend Matters Network
The term "Baby Boomers" refers to the surge in babies born across the western world in the post-WWII period. It differs between countries, but in general, it refers to the period of 1946 to the mid-60s.
By the end of the baby boom period, the generation of newborns accounted for between 20% to 40%1 of a country's population at the time. In France and the United States it was 37%, whereas in Germany and the UK it was 20%. The baby boomer cohorts are now approaching the end of their working lives. They will need care in their advancing years, and technology will provide much of it.
This generation is the richest in history, and they are technologically savvy compared to earlier generations. Baby boomers want technological solutions to improve their quality of life in retirement - and they are willing to pay for them.
In Freudian psychoanalysis, the "pleasure-unpleasure" principle is said to govern all human action.2 Put simply, we chase pleasure and do what we can to avoid pain. Like all of us, the baby boomer generation want to pursue pleasure while avoiding pain as best they can. So they want to maintain or improve their quality of life. Advances in automation and robotics will increasingly facilitate this pursuit.
Many baby boomers want to remain in their own homes for as long as possible in their declining years. Innovation in home technology is hugely important to them. According to recent research, a massive 80 percent3 of baby boomer retirees are looking at new tech for their homes, such as smart thermostats and apps that give them control over devices, and 58 percent are interested in tech-driven ways to maintain their homes, including cleaning robots.
As elderly people grow more frail, joints seize up and sight & hearing start to fail. Moving around becomes painful and dangerous, simple everyday tasks such as making a cup of coffee or opening and closing the blinds can become a challenge, and even personal care can become difficult.
Increasingly, automation solutions are meeting these needs.4 Robotic suits and exoskeletons are making moving around and lifting objects easier.5 Driverless cars are close to becoming reality. Home drone deliveries will fly packages straight to people's doors. For the frailer elderly, firms are developing beds that transform into wheelchairs6 and care "bots" to provide elderly people with personal care in their own homes, so they don't have to bear the upheaval of moving to an assisted living facility.7
Technologies like these will help to create a better quality of life for baby boomers in their retirement years, enabling them to live independent lives for far longer than previous generations.
By monitoring key vital signs and dangers in the environment, smart technologies can reduce the risk of injury or premature death from accidents or medical emergencies. For example, sensors can detect a fall or accident and alert family or carers, or voice technology can relay a cry for help to emergency services. Monitors can pick up a drop in heart rate or breathing, and alert medical professionals.
Remote screening, diagnosis and treatment will increasingly be used to manage elderly people's health needs in their own homes. These techniques have already proved their efficacy,8 and the multiple benefits are clear. Apart from the advantages that this "telecare" represents for baby boomers, hospitals and care centres will benefit from reduced doctor's surgery and hospital waiting times as well as lower costs.
Minimally-invasive robotic surgery will improve recovery times from operations such as hip replacements. For chronic conditions, smart devices will monitor pain levels and adjust medication in real time.
Smart devices can remind older people to take their medication or contact their medical professional. Alerts can be set up and programmed to indicate what type of medication to take and at what time, or to call a specific number at a particular time.
This generation is already likely to live much longer than previous generations. As improved healthcare and nutrition continues to extend lifespans, the focus will change to improving quality of life for the world's growing number of elderly. Automation, robotics and AI have a vital role to play in making their lives both more comfortable and more productive. And there will be spillover effects to the rest of the economy, too, as technological advances that started life as elderly assistance find new applications elsewhere.
The baby boomers' demand for technology to support their lifestyles as they age is set for rapid growth. Now is a golden time to invest in this exciting sector.
1: Baby It's Over: The Last Boomer Turns 50
2: Sigmund Freud: Beyond The Pleasure Principle
3: Baby Boomers Are The First Tech-Savvy Retirees - And Have The Home Renovations To Prove It
4: Home Automation For Assisted Living
5: Watch Panasonic's Power-Lifting Exoskeletons In Action
6: : Panasonic's Robotic Bed/Wheelchair First To Earn Global Safety Certification
7: Cyber Care: Will Robots Help The Elderly Live At Home Longer?
8: Not Just Another Health IT Term, Telecare Benefits The Elderly
EMV chip cards – the global benchmark standard in card fraud prevention, has evolved over a period of 20 years. Get a snapshot of its evolution since 1996 in the fight against card fraud here.
CTA – Discover How Chip Cards Have Evolved
600 million active chip cards in the U.S. by the end of 2015 will help reduce card-present fraud by up to 80% and with it, customer confidence in your card payment system.
CTA – Discover Why Chip Technology Is A Game Changer
In October 2015, the EMV fraud liability shift policy went into effect in the U.S. What it means for you is that if your technology is not up to date, you may be liable for fraudulent transactions.
(CTA) Learn More About How This Affects My Organization
EMV (the payments standard created by Europay, Mastercard and Visa) is the global benchmark for secure, smart card transactions.
Used in over 80 countries, chip-enabled cards exchange unique, dynamic authentication data with chip-enabled terminals.
The transition to chip card technology is of increasingly urgent need. The United States is actually one of the last large economies in the world to make the transition.
Europe, Africa, Canada and Latin America are just some of the economies where chip technology has seen almost universal migration.
With 50% of global card fraud happening in the U.S., the importance of transitioning to EMV cannot be emphasized enough. It is estimated that mass implementation of chip technology will reduce card present fraud by up to 80%.
Additionally, as more participants in the payment ecosystem update to chip cards, a failure on your part to do so is likely to lead to a loss in consumer confidence when making payment.
Chip technology brings a number of important advantages over non-chip cards and points-of-sale in bettering transaction security and reducing card present fraud.
Chip-enabled cards are:
1. Much more difficult to duplicate: The dynamic nature of the chip makes card cloning harder
2. Smarter and more sophisticated: Unique data processing through the cryptography on each payment severely curtails the possibility of fraud
3. Safer: There is no need to swipe cards with chip-enabled iterations. U.S. consumers have traditionally paid for goods & services by swiping their card. Swiping however makes fraud easier.
At Discover Network we are committed to developing and supporting smarter, more secure payment solutions through the universal migration to chip card use in the U.S. and abroad.
Our aims are greater convenience, transaction speed and safety for cardholders and merchants alike. Our chip card roll out is in line with U.S. industry timelines. Proactive re-issuance began in early 2015 and is ongoing.
Regarding chip card implementation, a significant number of our active Discover Cards were upgraded to chip-enabled cards before October 2015, with ensuing card upgrades for our cardholders ongoing.
(CTA) Read The Essential Info On Your Discover Chip-Enabled Card
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