Salvage your seaweed, algae fuels financial technology

DENVER, CO  (August 28, 2014) — Time to stop cleaning the fish tank and salvage your seaweed. According to John Best, president and founder of credit union technology innovation think tank BIG (Best Innovation Group), algae will be the new rage in battery storage development. Best says in his latest blog post, “5 Technologies Not Related to Banking That Could Change the Finance Industry,” that algae batteries can store 200 times more than what a lithium battery can hold. This biodegradable battery break through could usher in the era of electric cars, smartphones, and computers that last for months with out charging.

Best also discussed the algae topic – along with payments, Millennials and hair dye during a recent BIG Podcast episode – with acclaimed author and financial technology innovator Brett King.

What does algae’s potential mean for credit unions? According to Best, it means more mobile accessibility for members whenever and wherever they are – as many of us are still hamstrung by limited battery life on the road that confine us in communications and even managing finances remotely.

Best also points out four other technologies that could change the finance industry:

  1.    1.  Beacons have the potential to impact and change the way we interact with branches. Beacons will open the door to using your mobile device to interact with everything from the teller line to the ATM – which translates to a better member experience.
  2. 2.  Wearable technology such as watches, glasses and other wearable tech will allow us to further meld technology into our lives. Imagine looking at products in a store and immediately knowing how it will impact your budget, or making a purchase with your watch. (Note: Samsung Gear watch can be used to purchase Starbucks items.)
  3.    3.  Nano or ultra-small technology is dominating the tech sector with all kinds of uses from HIV-detecting antiviral gels, doubling the life of your smartphone battery, and creating the ultimate bomb-sniffing device. The real break, through, will be enhancing our processing power, which in turn will enable new FINTECH technologies by bringing analytics to our every day devices.

Queries that would take hours on a fast computer will take seconds on a smartphone. This kind of processing power will enable our smartphones to help us make amazing decisions about our finances.

  1. 3D Printing will change manufacturing, how long before we start 3D printing our own stuff? Soon we will be making loans for 3D-printed houses, cars and other household items.

“We live in exciting times – especially when it comes to financial technology services,” says Best. “The leaps in technology are becoming greater and greater – along with what’s used for technology. Could anybody have imagined that algae would be used for truly incredible battery storage or 3D printing doing the seemingly impossible just a decade ago? Maybe an extremely few forward-thinking people, yes. But for the rest of us, this is science fiction coming to life – and we’ll get to use it. Very exciting.”

About BIG
BIG, founded by former Wescom Resources Group CTO John Best, is an innovation think tank designed to point its clients in the right direction and achieve quicker adoption of cutting edge technologies. BIG will also leverage the size and scale of its clients to create relationships with entities that would not otherwise want to engage in the credit union market. The firm will provide research and development for its clients in the form of prototypes and written research. BIG will also provide content to credit unions on a subscription basis, providing reviews and research of emerging technology. In addition, BIG will generate avenues to attract top technology talent to credit unions. For more information, visit:

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