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Defining Decentralized Finance (DeFi) | What It Means for the Future of Banking

Posted by Larry Pruss on Jun 15, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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Traditional financial institutions are facing a new wave of crypto-enabled payments disruptions, and many don’t see it coming. Even so, lending as we know it is about to change.

In a recent post, I stressed the importance of banks and credit unions preparing for rapidly emerging financial technologies like CBDCs (central bank digital currencies) and DeFi. This post will take a closer look at what DeFi means for banking as we know it, and encompasses borrowing, lending, investing, payments, and digital wallets.

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Topics: Fintech Vendor Selection, Decentralized Finance, Lending Consulting

Digital Banking Dispatches from the Beach | On Shoring Up Your Virtual Identity

Posted by Rob Coile on Jun 6, 2021 9:15:00 AM

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It’s not surprising commerce continues to migrate to digital channels across all sectors and that the pandemic has pushed further the already speedy digital banking trend. In the FI world, consumers rely on their bank or credit union’s virtual branch to navigate real-life decisions.

A recent family trip to Florida’s gulf coast reminded me of how much importance customers put into “What it says on the website.” We visited an area decimated by Hurricane Michael the year prior; although it remains a beautiful destination, the storm’s impact was still evident. Some businesses only had websites left standing, as we soon came to learn.

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Topics: Digital Banking, Vendor management, Process Optimization

Three Ways to Rebuild Financial Institution Operations in 2021

Posted by Jesse McGannon on May 25, 2021 9:02:00 AM

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Over the last year, chaotic disruptions have upended traditional operating models at financial institutions (FIs) worldwide, and many are only now stepping back from "fire drill" mode. As for the leaders of these institutions, their task is to now scale up and rebuild operating models - ones adapted to their current (and future) post-pandemic environment.

After a period of such intense disruption, here are three ways to check and double-check the blueprint when rebuilding an FI's business models.

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Topics: Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Banking Operations, Process Optimization

Major Mergers Signal Surge of Regional Bank Consolidations

Posted by Myron Schwarcz on May 19, 2021 11:15:00 AM

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Though the pandemic caused a slowdown in banking industry consolidations, a recent surge of M&A activity is already breaking records. New data published by S&P Global shows M&A transactions delayed by the pandemic are not only pent-up in numbers, but they’re also getting bigger - extending to regional and super-regional banks holding $10 billion to $1 trillion in assets.

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Topics: Banking M&A, Bank Merger Strategy, Consolidation Advice, Credit Union Combination

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Take the Global Payments Stage | Defining the Crypto Role for Banks and Credit Unions

Posted by Larry Pruss on May 2, 2021 8:15:00 AM

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Bitcoin’s value - which has doubled in 2021 - continues to generate headlines but, behind the scenes, something even more significant for banking, as we know it, is happening. Central bank digital currencies are now emerging from experimental trials, disrupting the norm, to take a leading role on the global payments stage.

As for banks and credit unions, we recommend researching and rehearsing your crypto lines (of business) for showtime.

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Topics: Payments, DeFi, Disruptors, CBDCs, Central Bank Digital Currencies, Cryptocurrencies

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest | Three Scenarios for Operational Excellence

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Apr 25, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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With vaccinations ramping up and most businesses reopening this spring, it’s getting easier to envision a return to normalcy later in 2021. Even so, neither Main Street entrepreneurs nor bankers are quite ready to heave a sigh of relief.

As has been seen...and experienced, some need more assistance than others, and some have proven adaptable to new conditions, whatever comes next.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Operational Excellence, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Bank Consulting, Credit Union Consulting, strategies for credit unions, Consulting For Banking Operations, Consulting For Credit Unions

The Latest Evolution in the Battle to Regulate Payments

Posted by Myron Schwarcz on Apr 19, 2021 8:00:00 AM

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The business world is awash in trade groups and industry associations, but a new player's recent formation deserves special attention. The creation of the Payments Leadership Council (PLC) marks a significant milestone, one with the potential to shift the dynamic in the ongoing tug-of-war impacting card payments systems regulation.

The PLC brings together the CEOs of the four major card networks (Mastercard, Visa, American Express, and Discover) as well as those of the "Big Three" payment processors (FIS, Fiserv, and Global Payments). Equally notable is the PLC's appointment of Raj Date as its Founding Director. Date's past experience as Deputy Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – where he played a central role in the agency's launch – is a clear signal of the PLC's intent to engage more deeply in legislative corridors. Recent events demonstrate why this is a savvy move.

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Topics: Payments Leadership Council, Fed Interchange Fees, Payments Regulation, Card Networks, Major Payments Processors

How Lending Institutions Can Leverage Data and Benchmarks to Boost Performance

Posted by Bob Koehler & Tim Keith on Mar 31, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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Bankers may need little convincing to see that we’re dealing with highly unusual market conditions, but the data certainly helps put the situation into perspective.

In 2020, the number of new checking households dropped by half compared to a typical year of account openings, however the average checking account balance grew by an astonishing $1,833. Indeed, many experienced a meaningful increase in liquidity, though not all higher checking balances reflect greater wealth. There have been unusually high shifts of expiring CD balances to more liquid savings vehicles, as well as an influx of government economic relief funds. On the other hand, fewer are opening new accounts. This could have dire consequences for individual institutions if it becomes a long-term trend since household growth is the lifeblood of community financial institutions (FIs).

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Topics: Credit Union Portfolio Management, Lending Strategy, Growing Lending Portfolio, Banking Benchmarks, Credit Union Benchmarks, Normalization, Activate Relate Acquire, Deposit Influx Strategy, Peer-to-Peer Statistical Normative, Data Analysis

Optimizing PIN Networks for New Forecasts | Planning for Post-Pandemic Consumer Payments

Posted by Bob Koehler on Mar 23, 2021 9:30:00 AM

 

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The winds have shifted since 2020 made game-changing waves in debit card usage on multiple fronts, including:

  • In-person versus online spending
  • Categories of merchants patronized
  • Contactless/mobile app adoption

Each of these factors carries implications for banks, credit unions, and other card issuers and their existing revenue models. Below are a few opportunities and recalibrations to consider for your next PIN network vendor negotiation.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Durbin Amendment, PIN Optimization, Interchange

Open Banking | SRM 2021 Trends Part 3

Posted by Simon Rose on Mar 17, 2021 8:00:00 AM

 

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In two previous blogs, SRM detailed the top trends we see driving 2021’s financial services landscape. In this final Trends post, we turn our attention to an emerging one we have observed on both sides of the Atlantic, Open Banking.

 

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Topics: Open Banking, APIs, Bank Vendor Management, Direct Deposit, Bank Consulting, Credit Union Consulting

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