A battle between U.S. service personnel and QR codes

This is an audio copy FT News Summary Podcast section: In the epidemic, American automation, Bank of America technical training

Mark Filipino
Good afternoon from the Financial Times. Today is Tuesday, August 31, and this is a summary of your FT news.

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At the time of the outbreak, QR codes would replace retail and restaurant workers, and prices in Germany have been rising at a rate of less than a decade. We will also look at how the Bank of America is re-training its employees to become more knowledgeable.

Iman Mois
What should be the employer’s responsibility with the education system? I think this is an obvious question. But many employers are optimistic about the potential of what you are seeing.

Mark Filipino
I’m Mark Filipino, and here’s the news you need to start your day.

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In the United States, the epidemic has made it difficult for employers to find service workers, but some have found a solution – QR codes. By scanning these codes in restaurants or retailers, customers can complete transactions on their phones. No staff needed. But some experts say that the cause of the epidemic may be permanent, and we may not see it coming back. FT Labor and Equality correspondent Taylor Nicole Rogers reports. Hi, Taylor.

Taylor Nicole Rogers
Hey, Mark

Mark Filipino
Taylor. What is the scale here? How many businesses are experimenting with this type of technology?

Taylor Nicole Rogers
I think most businesses in the service and hospitality area are trying this to some extent, that menu is easily accessible via QR code or the server itself is a QR code, which means you don’t do it.

Mark Filipino
You know, when we hear about this kind of thing and the fear that it might take automation, we often think of production, right? Can you explain why so many of these businesses have switched to such automation during the epidemic?

Taylor Nicole Rogers
I think it has a lot to do with social unrest, right? So one of the first things that customers notice in the early days of the first locks in March last year is where I can go and stay away from other people as much as possible. So many of these solutions have been introduced as ways to lower transfer rates and keep customers safe. But then, as the epidemic intensified and workers struggled to find work, they began to fill that gap in the labor market we saw.

Mark Filipino
So who is most affected by this?

Taylor Nicole Rogers
According to economists, most of them are women, and low-income people lose their computer skills. But it is important to note that these are often people who end up in a luxury business. So if I was a waiter at a high-profile restaurant in Mi Michel Lynn, where people expected to be treated like kings and monarchs when I came in, I would not worry about your work. But if you work on the other side of the food service, I probably worry that he will take orders while driving to a fast food restaurant. However, it is important to note that customers are more open to contacting the kiosk or QR code than in front of a friend, as we are accustomed to living our lives through the screen because of the epidemic.

Mark Filipino
Now, while this is happening in the United States, we should mention that other countries, such as China and South Korea, are already using QR codes to order things. What are experts looking at the future of automation?

Taylor Nicole Rogers
The question is is the labor market improving? Because, as you know, if service workers come back and take some of these jobs and people get used to interacting with people again, these jobs will probably be safe in the long run. But businesses are likely to learn how cheap QR codes work together and how to get things done faster. And then these jobs that we lost during the plague will never come back.

Mark Filipino
Taylor Nicole Rogers is FT’s labor and equality correspondent. Thank you, Taylor.

Taylor Nicole Rogers
Thank you.

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Mark Filipino
The current shortage of workers in the United States is affecting banks, and they are having a hard time finding workers for their growing digital jobs. The Bank of America, one of the country’s largest banks, is training coding and data analysis as well as retraining its distributors and other employees. To learn more, I joined Iman Moise, a bank reporter at the Bank of America. Hey faith.

Iman Mois
Hello, Mark.

Mark Filipino
Therefore, the Bank of America is training vendors to become IT specialists. What is faith, all that?

Iman Mois
Yes, it is a program that they have had since 2018 but since the outbreak, everything is automatic and the program has really helped them to measure their technological skills. So for everyone in the bank, from telecoms to merchants, there may be people who want to raise technology. So the epidemic really meets the potential needs of the epidemic.

Mark Filipino
Faith, are the workers happy? Is there a lot of inspiration or are you curious?

Iman Mois
It looks like that. I mean three million courses have been taken since its inception in 2018, and the Bank of America has about 200,000 employees. So obviously everyone seems to have taken at least a few courses. And they are seeing people entering new roles and what has happened now is that when they started this university they set a goal and at that time it was now 80 percent to increase internal employment from 39 percent. So obviously this is a success, and they can create the talent they want.

Mark Filipino
And I guess a lot of these workers will see the text on the wall, right? If you think so, they can see that they are digitally looking to stay afloat in many places, including banks, and then they have to do this kind of training to stay afloat.

Iman Mois
no way. And that’s why I think a lot of companies are starting to see this. So I was talking to KTO Besantan, the CTO of the Bank of America, and she said that the roles she is coaching today are really jobs for the future. So she wants to encourage more people in the company to start this training. And then you see banks like JPMorgan. They started forcing their analysts and asked the analysts in the asset management department to start taking code lessons just because they had that skill. Banks are investing heavily in manpower, ensuring that these skills are being learned not only for their own organizations. Because the executives you are seeing in the job market see this coming skill imbalance.

Mark Filipino
Now, this does not fix everything, Iman. There are still a lot of questions, right?

Iman Mois
right. I mean, how much education should be or should the employer’s education be in line with the responsibility of the education system? I think this is an obvious question. But what you see is that many employers go to this plate because they see a potential lack of skills for certain skills and want to address that. I think this type of training program has not yet been developed, at least in the United States Bank. And talking to Kathy Besantan, the next thing on her wish list or on her to-do list is that things happened as quickly as they did in the epidemic, because so many workers, thousands of workers, were trained last year to meet that need.

Mark Filipino
Iman Moyes is a FT American bank reporter. Thank you, Iman.

Iman Mois
Thank you for finding me.

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Mark Filipino
Inflation in Germany has reached an all-time high of 13 years. The country’s Consumer Price Index rose to 3.4 percent in August a year ago. It is also the highest level since July and 2008. So what is the reason? Well, for one thing, the German economy is recovering from the epidemic, but there are also high energy prices and a break in the supply chain, which is responsible for high inflation. The European Central Bank, like the Federal Reserve in the United States, sees this year’s inflation as a transition. But the ECB The board of directors will convene next week to discuss whether the eurozone economy is a good reason to delay the bond purchase program.

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Inflation in the United States has been high recently. We talked a little bit about this. And it’s affecting dollar stores. Many more of these stores have appeared in recent years. The company, Dollar General, now operates about 18,000 stores, and the Dollar Tree has about 16,000 stores. These companies were growing during the recession, but with rising inflation in 2021, not a single currency will go up. The dollar general and the dollar tree posted revenues last week. They are responsible for the cost of transportation and the balance of accounts. So the dollar general is raising some of its prices. And these stores are trying new things like high margins, adding new products, experimenting with new formats and adding value-added products such as curtains, rugs and watches.

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You can read more about all these stories on FT.com. This is your daily FT news summary. Make sure they come back tomorrow to get the latest business news.

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