Why I’ll use mobile to pay, but never give up my plastic cards.

Don’t get me wrong. I dig my new iPhone 6+. It is a pretty nice smart phone.

But, I’m not giving up my plastic cards anytime soon. And, I think the reasons are sound to keep that collection of plastic cards close by when shopping.

Sure, I miss my phone when I leave her behind on the kitchen counter. I stop what I’m doing to read her instant messages, catch-up on family gossip, watch the newest kitten and puppy wrestling video, or monitor the sports scores of my alma mater.

I feel connected to my co-workers 24/7 as I browse emails and monitor what’s happening in the business while waiting for late-night microwave popcorn to finish or Saturday football half-time to end.

I watch the gyrations in my modest portfolio of stocks, and make an occasional trade using my phone. I haven’t called my bank since I can’t remember when because my phone makes checking balances and transaction history all too easy, not to mention using it to seamlessly transfer my declining cash balances among mine and my assorted family members bank accounts.

I’m happy to use my phone to make a purchase in lieu of that piece of plastic in my leather wallet, even though it takes a few seconds longer than whipping out my card from its designated pocket in my wallet. And, making in-app purchases has got to be easier using Apple Pay then one-handed fat-fingering my account number and billing address into the phone while holding the card in the other hand.

At the POS, it’s a different story altogether. I’ve spent years perfecting my stylish “plastic card extraction from leather wallet” moves, giving me enough confidence to pull off a wink, a quip, and a flashy smile to the cute cashier while simultaneously sliding my card oh so gracefully.

I’m not so elegant when fumbling to log-on and pay with my phone at the POS. Maybe I just need more practice.

My plastic card never runs out of battery power. It doesn’t break if it slips from my fingers and hits the hard, cold concrete floor below the register. If my card gets wet or dipped into my catsup at lunch, it’s not a problem that a paper napkin can’t solve.

I haven’t figured out how to pay for something while engaged in a conversation – Can someone tell me if I can pay for something while talking?

What about paying for lunch using my phone at my favorite Applebee’s? Do I have to follow the waiter into the kitchen at Morton’s to pay with my phone?

I’m told if I lose my phone I can log-on to suspend my Apple Pay wallet. But how do I log-on or call if I’ve just lost my phone? I’m not good-looking enough to be successful at borrowing perfect stranger phone.

Since it’s unlikely I’ll lose both my leather wallet and phone simultaneously, I can always have a “plan B” if I lose one or the other.

So, yes, you’ll see me waving my new iPhone 6+ at the POS terminal in my rapidly fading attempt to keep looking like the cool, chic, smart, fashionable kid at the register.

But, I’m keeping the other hand on my leather wallet and trusty plastic, just in case.

After all, Old Guys really do rule. At least, for now…

President Bill Clinton to Keynote Financial Literacy Education at USC

President Bill Clinton will be the Keynote at Banc of California’s Financial Literacy Education Event Nov. 9th at USC

More than 5,000 at-risk youth to attend world’s largest financial literacy training session

President Bill Clinton, Founder of the Clinton Foundation and the 42nd President of the United States, will keynote the world’s largest financial literacy education event on November 9, 2014 at the University of Southern California’s Galen Center. Presented by Banc of California, the event will include over 5,000 at-risk youth from communities throughout Southern California.

“Having an understanding of basic financial concepts such as how to balance a check book can make a tangible difference in a young person’s ability to succeed. Financial literacy needs to be as fundamental as reading, writing and arithmetic”

President Clinton was the first Democratic president in six decades to be elected twice – first in 1992 and then in 1996. Under his leadership, the country enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest economic expansion in U.S. history, including the creation of more than 22 million jobs. After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the Clinton Foundation with the mission to improve global health, strengthen economies, promote health and wellness, and protect the environment.

Financial Literacy Event at USC“We are proud to be joined by President Clinton as our Keynote Speaker at Banc of California’s record setting financial literacy training event on November 9th. Banc of California recognizes President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for their commitment to expand financial opportunities for youth across America. Banc of California is proud to commit its resources to improving the financial literacy of at-risk youth throughout California,” said Steven Sugarman, Banc of California’s President and CEO.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, the 41st Mayor of Los Angeles, will join with Sugarman to lead the financial literacy training. The event builds on Banc of California’s ongoing efforts to strengthen financial literacy for California’s at-risk youth.

“Having an understanding of basic financial concepts such as how to balance a check book can make a tangible difference in a young person’s ability to succeed. Financial literacy needs to be as fundamental as reading, writing and arithmetic,” said Villaraigosa. “Banc of California wants to help improve financial literacy education for our young people so that they can better fulfill the American dream. This event is an example of that effort.”

The bank has developed partnerships with non-profit, community and faith-based organizations to hold financial literacy classes, including partnerships with the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, designed to improve financial literacy education for underserved youths throughout Southern California.

Millions of Americans lack basic financial knowledge. A 2008 National Foundation for Credit Counseling, Financial Literacy Survey found that only 34 percent of American parents taught their teenagers how to balance a checkbook and even fewer have discussed how credit card interest and fees work. The same survey found only 59 percent of millennials say they pay their bills on time every month and that three out of every four Americans say they are not saving enough.

Banc of California has received record support from community organizations throughout California who have applauded Banc of California’s community development activities, including its focus on financial literacy training.

“Lower income communities are disproportionally impacted by a lack of financial skills, which drastically lowers upward mobility. Our event is designed to teach these important skills, but also to shine a bright light on the need for improved financial literacy for at-risk youth,” said Chad Brownstein, Vice Chairman of Banc of California’s Board of Directors.

Schools, non-profits and faith-based organizations interested in participating in Banc of California’s financial literacy event can register their students by emailing: literacy@bancofcal.com.

Living it Green at SXSW Eco

Twelve hands form a circle over the sand to represent diversity, human nature, teamwork.

Twelve hands form a circle over the sand to represent diversity, human nature, teamwork.

South by Southwest Eco (SXSW Eco), a conference connecting global sustainability challenges with opportunities for breakthrough solutions, opens today and runs through October 8 in the Austin Convention Center. The event includes a keynote presentation with world-renowned ocean explorer and researcher Dr. Sylvia Earle and three days of informative panels, inspirational speakers, intensive mentor and coaching programs, pitch competitions, workshops, networking events, receptions and more.

Here’s the event schedule:  http://schedule.sxsweco.com/

Under-Banked Consumers skew Higher in Mobile Banking Use

Susan Burhouse, senior consumer researcher for the FDIC’s division of depositor and consumer protection, spoke at the American Banker’s Financial Services Marketing & Innovation Symposium last week. where she told the audience that the FDIC’s latest research shows that 33% of un-banked households and 65% percent of underbanked households have smartphones.

Of these under-banked households, 42% used mobile financial services in the past year.  That compares to 33% of fully banked households.   About 1/3 of under-banked households who use their mobile phone as the primary way they interact with their bank, compared to 22% of traditionally-banked mobile banking users.