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Bob Koehler

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What You Lose By Negotiating Your Own Card Agreements

Posted by Bob Koehler on Feb 21, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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In a recent blog I noted that many financial institutions (FIs) continue to process debit transactions through four or more PIN networks, mainly due to inertia. There are numerous reasons to streamline this process — volume discounts, simplified back-office routines, reduced risk — none of which carry customer impact. Most networks no longer require their logos to be listed on the back of the card, so there’s not even a need to reissue plastic.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Can You Swipe Me Now? – Choosing the Right PIN Network

Posted by Bob Koehler on Feb 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Americans of a certain age recall the not-so-distant days when one had to check the logos (“bugs,” in banking parlance) on the back of their card to confirm it would work at a given ATM machine or retail terminal. For this reason, financial institutions (FIs) join multiple networks to ensure sufficient reach for customers, particularly those who traveled outside their home region. As a result, the multitude of bugs on the back of cards made them look like a NASCAR driver’s coveralls.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Revenue-Enhancement Services: Why $8 Billion is the New $10 Billion

Posted by Bob Koehler on Sep 20, 2017 12:45:00 PM

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To say that some financial institutions (FIs) have an unhealthy obsession with the Durbin Amendment is not a stretch.  These FIs have been watching and waiting hopefully at a brief window of (probably unrealistic) hope that the new administration would repeal the amendment. The reality for all FIs, however, is that aside from some regulatory relief around the edges, there’s little reason to expect meaningful action on the regulatory front until after the 2018 mid-term elections.

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Topics: News

Revenue-Enhancement Services: Demystifying Debit Interchange

Posted by Bob Koehler on May 17, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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For nearly all banks and credit unions, debit interchange ranks alongside overdraft fees as one of the two leading sources of non-interest income, yet few financial institutions (FIs) have actually analyzed the underlying dynamics of their interchange programs.

Since debit interchange revenue has been on a solid, upward trend for decades – with one notable exception – it is possible that some banks and credit unions have decided to leave well enough alone and simply enjoy the ride. In the meantime, however, soaring consumer volumes have masked some less favorable changes in rates and product mix beneath the surface, and FIs that fail to actively manage their debit portfolios are likely leaving money on the table.

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Topics: Technology

Contract Management: Dealing with a Growing Number of Vendors

Posted by Bob Koehler on Apr 12, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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For years, the trend in the financial services sector has been toward consolidation as the total number of US financial institutions (FIs) has been on a steady and steep decline with the roster of supporting vendors following a similar (if less dramatic) trajectory. Most recently, however, we are starting to see the supplier pendulum swing in the opposite direction, providing more choice to FIs in their vendor selection process.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts