coronavirus pandemic – Helviti http://helviti.com/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 21:05:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://helviti.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-1-1-120x120.png coronavirus pandemic – Helviti http://helviti.com/ 32 32 “Keep your Catholic faith until the end of your life” https://helviti.com/keep-your-catholic-faith-until-the-end-of-your-life/ Wed, 09 Mar 2022 03:57:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/keep-your-catholic-faith-until-the-end-of-your-life/ Father’s words resonate with Phung Van Hai, who decided to become a Catholic to marry his fiancée at a life-changing time Phung Van Hai was considering marrying a Catholic woman he had met in his delivery job. “I wanted to have faith in the same religion,” he said. So, he first visited Kawaguchi Church in […]]]>

Father’s words resonate with Phung Van Hai, who decided to become a Catholic to marry his fiancée at a life-changing time

Phung Van Hai was considering marrying a Catholic woman he had met in his delivery job.

“I wanted to have faith in the same religion,” he said.

So, he first visited Kawaguchi Church in Saitama Prefecture, Japan in November 2019.

Hai, now 27, came to Japan from Vietnam six years ago as a student, having borrowed money from his home country to cover the cost of studying abroad.

After arriving in Japan, he worked part-time while studying at a Japanese language school for two years, then studied design at a vocational school for three years.

During this time, he slept less than two hours a day. Her monthly income was about 80,000 yen (US$700). In addition to living off this, he sent money to his family in Vietnam to pay off his debt.

“My house was poor, but I had no choice but to work hard,” he said. “During these five years of study, my weight went from 70 to 55 kilograms.”

Vincentian Sister Maria Le Thi Lang helped Phung Van Hai learn catechism (Photo provided)

Religious differences

After his struggle, Hai graduated from vocational school and got a job with a supermarket company, making long-distance deliveries that sometimes involved three days and two nights on the road.

At work, he met D, a Vietnamese technical trainee. Eventually they started to think about marriage, but the biggest problem was the religious differences. Hai, who grew up in a Buddhist household, told his parents online that he wanted to marry D and be baptized a Catholic. His parents respected their son’s feelings and agreed.

Even though his father supported him, he had a warning: “Faith is important in life, so if you are baptized just as a formality for marriage but you don’t have real faith, that’s a problem. Keep your Catholic faith until the end of your life.”

Van Hai was depressed because he did not understand the content and format of the mass at all.

However, the shock when Hai visited Kawaguchi Church for the first time and attended mass was more than expected. He was depressed because he did not understand the content and format of the mass at all. But his fiancée continued to encourage him.

From February 14, 2020, Hai began attending an introductory course led by Sister Maria Le Thi Lang, a Vietnamese Vincentian nun based at Kawaguchi Church.

As the coronavirus pandemic prevented face-to-face classes from April, Hai and Sister Maria began using an online catechesis course and an online marriage course which are each offered in three-month four-month sessions. times a year.


Catechumen Phung Van Hai and his catechist Sister Maria Le Thi Lang near the Marian Grotto of Kawaguchi Church. (Photo provided)

Deep sadness

One day, Hai was moved by a question asked by Sister Maria: “Who are you? For Hai, the question meant, “Who is God?”

As Hai continued to ponder the matter, he and D felt deep sadness when she became pregnant late last year, but immediately miscarried.

“No matter how much I cried or thought, I couldn’t comfort her,” he said. “All I could do was pray for her. I could only pray.”

Praying to be able to accept reality, his grief and pain, Hai felt “the presence of a warm God who is close to us”. It was “the moment I met God”.

“I want to help people who, like me, do not know God to know the presence of God.”

Rather than avoiding their suffering, the couple chose “the way of trusting in Jesus” to recover. After about a month and a half, they found they could resume some kind of normal life.

Hai says he realizes he has changed to “live with trust in God” and as “a self that treats others with compassion and respect.”

He shared his experience with others in the online catechesis course. He says that when he shared, he was greatly encouraged by the existence of a Catholic community that mourned with him and rejoiced with him. It gave him the power to live.

Hai explained his dream, “I want to help people who, like me, don’t know God to know God’s presence.”

He will be baptized during the Easter Vigil on April 16.

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“I don’t leave my religion in the closet”, Evangelical Focus https://helviti.com/i-dont-leave-my-religion-in-the-closet-evangelical-focus/ Thu, 17 Feb 2022 08:32:00 +0000 https://helviti.com/i-dont-leave-my-religion-in-the-closet-evangelical-focus/ Frank-Walter Steinmeier was re-elected Federal President of Germany in the first vote, with the support of a large majority in the Federal Assembly (1,045 out of 1,437 votes). It was voted not only by the 3 ruling parties (Social Democratic Party, SPD; Greens; and Liberal Democratic Party FDP), but also by the Christian Democrats (UDC). […]]]>

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was re-elected Federal President of Germany in the first vote, with the support of a large majority in the Federal Assembly (1,045 out of 1,437 votes).

It was voted not only by the 3 ruling parties (Social Democratic Party, SPD; Greens; and Liberal Democratic Party FDP), but also by the Christian Democrats (UDC).

After his acceptance speech, county media such as papule and Time praised his “very clear words” and defined him as “a combative president”.

In his speech, Steinmeier emphasized that as Federal President he is non-partisan, “but I am not neutral when it comes to the cause of democracy. I will not shy away from controversy because democracy needs controversy”.

Furthermore, he pointed out that the the cohesion of society will be a priority in his second term.

Steinmeier confirmed his candidacy for re-election last Maywhile his SPD party obtained only 15% in the polls, without waiting for the result of the Bundestag (parliamentary) elections in September.

Steinemeier served as Chancellery Minister under Gerhard Schröder, Foreign Minister under Chancellor Angela Merkel and, since 2017 Federal President.

Steinmeier has become very frank about his faith, especially in recent years. He is a member of the Evangelical Reformed Churcha denomination that is part of the German Evangelical Church (EKD).

“I am a Christian and active in the Protestant Church. Of course, my Christianity has to do with my actions in society, after all, I don’t leave my faith in the cupboard when I go to my office in the morning“, said the federal president to the students in Tunis in 2015, according to Livenet.chtalking about the relationship between society and religion.

The politician explained that the The Bible has become more important to him in recent yearsfor “in the course of a lifetime, the certainty of the importance of a God who strengthens and protects, who directs and sustains and who forgives, grows”.

In February 2019, Steinmeier invited people to the Bellevue Forum on the subject of religion. He pointed out that “interest in religion is stronger than ever although church attendance is not popularbut two-thirds of Germans nevertheless claim to be religious”.

In 2020, he also pointed out that in the coronavirus pandemic, the “need for faith and higher responses is increasing.”

Posted in: Evangelical focus – europe
– Re-elected German President Steinmeier: “I don’t leave my religion in the closet”

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A virtual reality quest for community, brotherhood – The Denver Post https://helviti.com/a-virtual-reality-quest-for-community-brotherhood-the-denver-post/ Sat, 05 Feb 2022 13:00:52 +0000 https://helviti.com/a-virtual-reality-quest-for-community-brotherhood-the-denver-post/ Quarantined for exposure to COVID-19, Garret Bernal and his family missed a recent Sunday church service. So he strapped on a virtual reality headset and explored what it would be like to worship in the metaverse. Without leaving his home in Richmond, Virginia, he was soon floating in a 3D outer space wonderland of pastures, […]]]>

Quarantined for exposure to COVID-19, Garret Bernal and his family missed a recent Sunday church service. So he strapped on a virtual reality headset and explored what it would be like to worship in the metaverse.

Without leaving his home in Richmond, Virginia, he was soon floating in a 3D outer space wonderland of pastures, rocky cliffs and rivers as the avatar of a pastor guided him, him and others, through computer-generated illustrations of Bible passages that seemed to come to life as they prayed.

“I couldn’t have had such an immersive church experience sitting in my pew. I got to see the scriptures in a new way,” said Bernal, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, widely known as the Mormon Church.

He’s among many Americans — some traditionally religious, some non-religiously affiliated — who are increasingly communing spiritually through virtual reality, one of several evolving metaverse spaces that have grown in popularity during the coronavirus pandemic.

From spiritual meditations in fantasy worlds to traditional Christian worship services with virtual sacraments in hyper-realistic, religious environments, their worshipers say the experience offers a version of fellowship that’s every bit as authentic as it gets. find in a brick and mortar temple.

“The most important aspect for me, which was very real, was the closer connection with God that I felt during my short time here,” Bernal said.

The service he attended was hosted by VR Church, which was founded in 2016 by DJ Soto, a former high school teacher and pastor of a non-virtual church. VR Church presents itself as a spiritual community existing “entirely in the metaverse to celebrate God’s love for the world”.

Soto had previously felt called to plant churches or start new physical churches. But after discovering social VR platform AltSpaceVR, he was awakened to the possibilities of connecting in virtual reality. He set out to create an inclusive Christian church in the Metaverse, an immersive virtual world that has been buzzing since Facebook announced last October that it would invest billions in building it.

Attendance was sparse the first year, as Soto often found himself preaching to a handful of people at a time, most of them atheists and agnostics who were more interested in debating faith. His congregation has since grown to around 200 people, and he has ordained other ministers remotely from his home in Virginia and baptized believers who cannot leave their homes due to illnesses.

“The future of the church is the metaverse,” Soto said. “It’s not an anti-physical thing. I don’t think physical gatherings should go away. But in the church of 2030, the primary focus will be your metaverse campus.

Reverend Jeremy Nickel, an ordained Unitarian Universalist based in Colorado and calling himself a virtual reality evangelist, also saw the potential for building community and “stepping away from brick and mortar” when he founded SacredVR in 2017.

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High school students are facing a new reality due to the coronavirus https://helviti.com/high-school-students-are-facing-a-new-reality-due-to-the-coronavirus/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 05:33:53 +0000 https://helviti.com/high-school-students-are-facing-a-new-reality-due-to-the-coronavirus/ American teenagers are concerned about the financial impact of coronavirus pandemic to her family – and to her future. according to a Junior Achievement poll and Citizens Bank, 57% of teenagers said they were worried about how Covid-19 will affect her life after high school. Of high school juniors and seniors surveyed, 27% said their […]]]>

American teenagers are concerned about the financial impact of coronavirus pandemic to her family – and to her future.

according to a Junior Achievement poll and Citizens Bank, 57% of teenagers said they were worried about how Covid-19 will affect her life after high school.

Of high school juniors and seniors surveyed, 27% said their plans changed after graduation, and 44% said the pandemic impacted their plans to pay for college.

Additionally, 58% of juniors and seniors surveyed said they were more likely to move out A student wage pay for college. The survey of 1,000 US teenagers ages 13 to 18 who are not currently enrolled in college was conducted April 8-14 by Wakefield Research.

“The immediacy of the crisis is causing many teens entering college to carefully evaluate their options,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Youth Achievement USAa non-profit organization that prepares young people for success.

That may mean Community College or a public school instead of a private one, or take one interim year between high school and university. Prospective students may also consider the fact that college campuses may still be closed in the fall.

Of those who said their plans changed after graduation, 35% said it would change their living situation – like living at home instead of in a dorm, and 30% delayed their start of college. Meanwhile, 13% changed the school they wanted to attend and 8% chose to drop out of college.

But in the end, a way forward like attending a different school than expected can still be a good one, said Dr. Wendy Sue Swanson, pediatrician and former director of digital innovation at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“If you want to be an architect, or a school teacher, or an entrepreneur, chances are you will be,” even if you change schools or defer college, said Swanson, now the chief medical officer at SpoonfulOne, a food allergy protection system.

Seniors who are struggling financially and have already picked their college for the fall should contact the school’s financial aid office before moving.

Just make sure you can show exactly how the pandemic has changed the financial situation, said school counselor Brian Coleman, chair of the counseling department at William Jones College Prep High School in Chicago.

“Being stressed and anxious about paying for college is different than being in a situation where you can’t,” he said. Coleman, along with the Shark Tank investor Daymond Johnformer FDIC chairman Sheila Bair and financial psychologist Brad Klontzdealt with the problems in a virtual town hall for junior achievements moderated by CNBCs Sharon Eppersonon Thursday.

In fact, the crisis may have unintended consequences when it comes to understanding financial reality.

“A lot of high school seniors go to college without a clear idea of ​​how they’re going to pay for it,” Kosakowski said, noting that this is one of the reasons $1.6 trillion student loan debt crisis.

“Ironically, teens who want to go to college in this environment are actually better able to manage their expenses as this crisis is forcing them to consider cost-cutting measures, such as less expensive.”

In addition to worrying about their own future, young people are also concerned about the immediate financial situation of their families. When asked what aspects of Covid-19 worried them, 36% said they were concerned about their parents or guardians having enough money to pay the bills.

Because of this, it is important for parents to talk to their children about what is happening and go through the different ways to deal with the situation.

“It’s not easy to talk about money,” Kosakowski said. “Our children may have fears and concerns that they don’t express to their parents or caregivers.”

More from Invest in You:
Students among blue-collar workers stiffen as many internships are cancelled
If you left or lost your job, here’s what you can do with your 401(k).
Don’t let your fear of coronavirus get you into making these money mistakes

Talk to your kids about what they need and how they’re feeling, and try to respond to everyone around you with grace and patience while you all deal with the emotions surrounding the crisis, Coleman added.

“Permit [your children] know you are a resource, you are a support, but you may not have all the answers,” he said.

Also, don’t underestimate her maturity and understanding of what’s going on, and don’t underestimate the need to grieve during these times, Swanson advised.

“It’s okay to be really angry about it for a while,” she said.

However, there may be good news when this is all over.

While it’s “not pretty” right now, it could ultimately give kids a sense of resilience, Swason noted.

Knowing that they can meet this challenge is an “incredible power tool,” she said.

“Once you get to the other side, a child knows and learns that they can actually endure something difficult,” Swanson added.

“It will serve us for the rest of our lives.”

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3 must-have growth stocks for Robinhood investors https://helviti.com/3-must-have-growth-stocks-for-robinhood-investors/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 05:33:53 +0000 https://helviti.com/3-must-have-growth-stocks-for-robinhood-investors/ Investing in 2020 has been quite an adventure – and there are still 2 1/2 months until the end of the year. So far we’ve seen a record-breaking 34% drop in price S&P500 that lasted less than five weeks, as well as the fastest rebound in history from a bear market bottom to new highs. […]]]>

Investing in 2020 has been quite an adventure – and there are still 2 1/2 months until the end of the year. So far we’ve seen a record-breaking 34% drop in price S&P500 that lasted less than five weeks, as well as the fastest rebound in history from a bear market bottom to new highs.

While this volatility has been a boon to long-term investors, it has also proven quite enticing to short-term traders.

Image source: Getty Images.

Online investing app Robinhood, known for offering new members commission-free trading, fractional stock investments, and free shares of random stocks, has been particularly adept at attracting these short-sighted traders, many of whom are young or inexperienced investors.

On the one hand, it’s good news that young people are putting their money to work in the stock market. After all, over the long run, there hasn’t been a better wealth creator than stocks. However, Robinhood has failed to provide these newer investors with the knowledge and tools they need to be successful over the long term. As a result, far too many of its members chase so-called growth stocks that turn out to be growth stocks terrible company.

stacking growth stocks is a fantastic strategy for younger investors as long as they intend to hold it for the long term. With millennials having time on their side, buying into innovative, high-growth companies gives them their best chance of generating game-changing investment returns.

With that in mind, here are three growth stocks that I consider must-owns for Robinhood investors.

A person inserting a credit card into a Square card reader at the point of sale.

Image source: square.

square

fintech stock square (SQ 7.07% ) is maybe the most exciting stock in the entire market now, and it’s not a company you have to twist your arms at to encourage young investors to buy. That’s because Square’s peer-to-peer payments platform Cash App is initially targeting a younger audience.

square The bread-and-butter business segment is the seller ecosystem. The company has provided point-of-sale devices, credit, and analytics to businesses for nearly a decade. Between 2012 and 2019, gross payment volume (GPV) on its platform grew from just $6.5 billion to $106.2 billion. Since Square’s seller ecosystem is primarily powered by merchant fees, growing GPV and increased usage by medium-sized and large businesses could really drive up fee collection.

But it’s the Cash App that will be Square’s knight in shining armor for the long haul. We saw a push toward digital payments well before the 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Since cash is not only considered obsolete today, but also a harbinger of germs, the desire for digitization is even greater.

Cash App monthly active users over a 30-month period from the end of 2017 to June 2020 more than quadrupled to 30 million. Additionally, 7 million users are now using Cash Card – a traditional debit card linked to users’ Cash App balance. With the Cash App, Square can collect merchant fees via Cash Card. Square also uses it to collect transfer fees to and from Cash App and traditional bank accounts, as well as Bitcoin-related investment/exchange fees.

Square could be the fastest-growing financial stock this decade, making it a must-have for young investors.

An elderly person using a blood glucose meter to check their blood glucose levels.

Image source: Getty Images.

DexCom

Within Healthcare Robinhood Investors would be wise to create stocks of the medical device manufacturer DexCom (DXCM 8.61% ).

Although medical device manufacturers constantly struggle with commercialization and competition, these are not major concerns for DexCom, a world leader in continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. DexCom’s CGM devices allow diabetics to continuously monitor their blood glucose levels without having to prick their fingers. These devices help patients better control their blood sugar levels and work hand-in-hand with an insulin pump.

Why DexCom? While I do not wish ill health on anyone, there are 34.2 million diabetics in the US alone (that’s more than 10% of the US population), with an additional 88 million people ages 18 and older showing signs of prediabetes. The number of people with diabetes is increasing, not decreasing, suggesting that DexCom’s devices will find a growing audience in the coming years.

Best of all, DexCom is set up as a monthly subscription service. Subscription earnings are very transparent and predictable; It’s responsible for keeping DexCom’s gross margin well above the 60% mark.

Investors should expect DexCom’s innovations and high-margin revenue streams to grow its revenue by nearly 20% annually for the foreseeable future. That is Growth appreciated by young investors.

A key in a lock surrounded by dozens of digital alphanumeric codes.

Image source: Getty Images.

CrowdStrike Holdings

One final must-have growth stock for Robinhood investors is the cloud-native cybersecurity company CrowdStrike Holdings (CRWD 13.01% ).

Cybersecurity companies offer what has become a basic service. Hackers and robots don’t take vacation days, and they don’t care if the global economy goes into recession. The coronavirus pandemic has pushed more businesses into an online/cloud environment than ever before, and they will rely more than ever on cybersecurity solution providers like CrowdStrike to protect their data and that of their customers.

CrowdStrike’s cloud-based Falcon platform has helped set it apart. falcon is powered by artificial intelligenceand gets smarter with every new CrowdStrike customer. Being cloud-native also enables seamless threat response at a generally lower cost than cloud protection in the office.

Signing up new customers is great, and CrowdStrike hasn’t had any issues with it for the past four years. What’s most impressive, however, is the growth in spending from existing customers. In the first quarter of fiscal 2018, only 9% of customers had at least four cloud module subscriptions. Beginning in the second quarter of fiscal year 2021 57% of its customers Had at least four cloud module subscriptions. CrowdStrike grows with its customers, with CrowdStrike’s margins getting their biggest boost from existing customer add-ons.

Between fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2023, Wall Street expects the company to do so around three times the turnovermaking it the perfect innovative technology stock for young and inexperienced investors.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” endorsement position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We are colourful! Challenging an investing thesis — including one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us be smarter, happier, and wealthier.

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Advice for debt collectors in pandemic times: watch your language https://helviti.com/advice-for-debt-collectors-in-pandemic-times-watch-your-language/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 05:33:53 +0000 https://helviti.com/advice-for-debt-collectors-in-pandemic-times-watch-your-language/ Banks have braced themselves for the first wave of struggling borrowers in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but a second and potentially larger wave lies ahead when it comes time to collect. Accordingly McKinseyUp to a third of US jobs are “at risk,” meaning they face potential furlough, layoffs, or become unproductive due to the […]]]>

Banks have braced themselves for the first wave of struggling borrowers in response to the coronavirus pandemic, but a second and potentially larger wave lies ahead when it comes time to collect.

Accordingly McKinseyUp to a third of US jobs are “at risk,” meaning they face potential furlough, layoffs, or become unproductive due to the pandemic.

In the interim loan forbearance and deferral programs have provided a runway for banks to prepare for such a critical moment. But when these utilities end a new era of customer loyalty and collection efforts need to take shape.

During this time, well-managed collections can effectively unleash a “growth lever” while acquisition and cross-selling proceed slowly. Past crises have shown that banks with strong customer relationships that demonstrate empathy and flexibility towards their customers weather the storm better than those that don’t.

It starts with the language used to communicate with customers – language that is both mindful and data-driven.

First, financial institutions need to identify vulnerable customers quickly and intervene early (if they haven’t already).

The rapidity of the impact of the coronavirus on the economy has shocked many customers and tried to get a grip on their new financial situation. Banks that quickly identify at-risk customers and use a multichannel approach to communications will keep those customers engaged and responsive during times of financial distress.

This will allow banks to maintain these relationships well beyond the end of the crisis. The key here is to improve and protect the customer experience to reduce chargeouts and losses at the institution.

The pace of the debt collection crisis and the call center burden on creditors will come fast and furious. Banks and lenders need to move beyond the “we’re here for you” phase and implement systematic, data-driven customer retention capabilities as part of the pre-collection and early collections processes.

Look for simple signals in the data – such as B. Changes in deposit flow and credit activity or geographic location and employed industry – to create predictive segmentation.

Regulatory guidance recently issued in response to the pandemic offers significant scope to offer loan modifications early and reach at-risk customers before they miss a payment. This is a critical window of engagement. Early intervention also gives a creditor more leeway to achieve a preferred ranking in the order of creditors demanding payment.

Second, one of the biggest short-term challenges banks face is adopting a more attentive, context-sensitive, and tone-adapted approach to brand communications—while retaining customer payments and managing losses. Mindful messaging balances empathy with performance.

The language used during this time is crucial and need not be left to guesswork when it can be informed by data and artificial intelligence to balance effective messaging with empathy and sensitivity. Most messages are written by a copywriter using pattern recognition and intuition. But natural language generation, a form of AI, can augment that experience and create deeper human connections than a copywriter could alone.

If every lender uses similar, generic language, the message will never get through to desensitized customers. Prioritizing important information and providing customers with clear, concise next steps helps them know what to do and when to do it.

For example, by using AI-based language insights, phrases like “We strive to give you extra peace of mind” are more effective when communicating with customers in the pre-collection journey. Conversely, banks should not use language that conveys undue urgency or references “news,” which should be left to actual updates about the pandemic.

Third, don’t put yours Call center on the back burner.

Call center agents are at the forefront of the customer experience and are critical to building, maintaining and repairing customer relationships.

Unfortunately, many call centers are seeing triple-digit increases in demand, even as some have made the Herculean effort to move large groups of agents to work remotely.

With many banks now adopting digital banking at a greater pace to meet the influx of customer demands, long hold times result in poor experiences. What call center agents say and how they say it can do a lot to create or destroy customer loyalty and value.

To amplify these efforts, many inbound calls should be routed to self-service channels, resulting in significant cost savings and freeing agents to handle more difficult cases.

The most innovative banks are already arming their call centers with intelligent routing to match specific customers to specific agents and using AI-tested speech to improve the performance of interactive voice prompts and call center scripts.

This increases call routing rates and encourages adoption of self-service channels.

Finally, maintaining customer trust should be every bank’s priority so that when customers return to a stronger financial footing, they know where to turn for their next long-term loan or investment. Also, customers who now feel a greater sense of loyalty may be more willing to keep up with their payments, even if they have to do it in smaller increments over a longer period of time.

As this recovery takes shape, it is critical for banks to develop a clear understanding of consumer insights, new segmentation and a new foundation for acquisition, cross-selling and customer retention at scale.

However, as the current crisis ebbs and flows, banks need to go a step further to ensure their messaging is aligned with changing customer expectations. The cost of such a mistake means significant customer churn, increased payment defaults and (again) declining reputation.

Banks can successfully mitigate the debt collection crisis and call center surge by engaging early, identifying the most vulnerable customers, and shifting to sensitive, attentive messaging through the use of AI and data-driven customer engagement. In a crisis of this magnitude, machines could actually be the ones helping banks become more human.

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GM’s strategy shift shows how “cash is king” during the COVID-19 crisis https://helviti.com/gms-strategy-shift-shows-how-cash-is-king-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ Thu, 11 Mar 2021 05:33:53 +0000 https://helviti.com/gms-strategy-shift-shows-how-cash-is-king-during-the-covid-19-crisis/ NEW YORK, April 28 (LPC) – General Motors Co’s (GM) decision to opt for a larger $16.5 billion credit facility just weeks since the coronavirus outbreak in the United States took a turn for the worse. The automaker sought to extend the terms of $6 billion in revolving credit instead of refinancing a $16.5 billion […]]]>

NEW YORK, April 28 (LPC) – General Motors Co’s (GM) decision to opt for a larger $16.5 billion credit facility just weeks since the coronavirus outbreak in the United States took a turn for the worse.

The automaker sought to extend the terms of $6 billion in revolving credit instead of refinancing a $16.5 billion credit facility after talks with its banking group during the height of the COVID-19 crisis.

“They knew they wouldn’t get any interest for the five years,” a bank source said, referring to the $10.5 billion the company left in place. “(The banks) had to tell them it wasn’t happening.”

Concerns about the impact of the virus on the economy have prompted companies in the US to start hoarding capital. Since March, companies like Heinz, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Petrobras have drawn down their normally unfunded lines of credit, often in full, to prepare to withstand the slowdown caused by the pandemic.

The inability of the banks to repay their liabilities with sufficient liquid funds is considered to be one of the main causes of the financial crisis. Liquidity is currently tight, advising issuers to exercise caution when it comes to extending existing multi-year working capital facilities. So is the additional liquidity, which is currently weighted between 1-year facilities and 18-month loans.

As of the first week of April, investment-grade issuers had structured 34 tranches totaling over $65.4 billion with maturities of less than five years, compared to 23 tranches totaling $50.4 billion with five-year structures, according to data from Refinitiv LPC.

“Any time the market is a bit unstable, people prefer to lend on shorter terms,” ​​said a second bank source. “And there’s so much uncertainty right now.”

GM originally went to its JP Morgan and Citigroup-led banking group in early March and asked to extend maturities on its $16.5 billion revolving credit facility.

The deal should extend maturities but leave prices unchanged, multiple sources familiar with the discussions said.

However, GM’s decision to refinance comes at a time when the company is facing a longer-than-expected shutdown of its plants and a significant drop in sales amid a crisis of exceptional proportions that has created a very different playing field from the last refinancing talks of the year 2019

To further complicate negotiations, the company decided to pull $16 billion on its turret on March 27 while refinancing talks with its banking group were taking place.

“To support liquidity and strengthen its financial position amid global market uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic,” the company said on March 24 of its plans to draw on the facility.

The original proposed refinancing included a $2 billion 364-day loan and a $4 billion three-year loan. It also included a $10.5 billion five-year facility, multiple sources familiar with the original refinancing talks said.

The new plan only refinanced the short-term maturities, including the $2 billion loan, which was reduced to $1.95 billion, and the $4 billion three-year loan, the sources said.

GM’s plan change indicates three things: elevated prices in the market, a strong preference for shorter-term commitments and concerns about the auto sector, a third bank source said.

The spreading virus forced most of North America’s auto factories to close, at least temporarily. Ford, General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Hyundai are all affected.

PRICING

The one-year loan pays 25bp undrawn while the three-year loan pays 40bp undrawn.

At full drawdown, the loans will pay 175 basis points above Libor, sources familiar with the transaction said.

An option to convert the one-year revolving credit to a term credit after one year from the current deal has been removed, the sources said.

GM’s 364-day loan was previously at 12.5 bps and undrawn, and the three-year loan was at 15 bps and undrawn. The margin drawn on the two facilities was 125 bp above Libor. The company offered 30 basis points to lenders who chose to roll over their existing holdings.

The new refinancing plan left the $10.5 billion credit facility in place. Prices for the five-year bonds remain unchanged at 125 basis points above Libor and 17.5 basis points without a drawing.

GM also has a $3 billion revolving credit facility that it originated in January 2019 when it refinanced the other three tranches. This loan increased the company’s borrowing capacity to $19.5 billion.

Citigroup and JP Morgan spokesmen declined to comment. A spokesman for GM did not respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Michelle Sierra. Editing by Kristen Haunss.)

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