The Bottom Line

Get to the bottom of all things banking with weekly expert musings from SRM. The Bottom Line takes what we hear from financial institutions, fintechs, and industry influencers - separating the news from the noise. We offer unfiltered observations and thoughtful forecasts responding to industry developments and trends as they happen, with emphasis on how financial institutions can better serve their stakeholders.

Contactless Cards: Is the Train Leaving the Station?

Posted by Larry Pruss on Sep 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Contactless Cards Is the Train Leaving the Station

Despite all the forecasts concerning a downdraft in the economic climate, the payments pie continues to grow. With GDP on the rise both in the United States and globally, the overall value of retail purchases is also trending upward. However, research from the Federal Reserve reveals a less obvious pattern: growing even faster than average ticket price is the sheer number of payment transactions.

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Topics: Contactless Cards, NFC, Open Loop

Four Must-Haves for Banking Generation Z

Posted by Jesse McGannon on Aug 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Four Must-Haves for Banking Generation Z

The Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as anyone born in 1996 or later. A watershed event occurred in 2007 with the introduction of the first iPhone, which maps well to the generational differentiator about Gen Z having little experience with pre-smartphone technology.  

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Topics: Payments, Fintech, Digital Banking, Generation Z

Does Experience Matter in Vendor Cost Benchmarking?

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Does Experience Matter in Vendor Cost Benchmarking

Sports are one of America’s greatest pastimes, and anyone spending even half an hour watching them will likely exclaim, “How did that player do that?” Indeed, with the help of science, today’s athletes are dieted and trained to have bodies “made” for their sportModern athletes can achieve heights not previously seen. However, science alone does not guarantee the modern athletesuccess. 

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Vendor Cost Benchmarking, Contract Negotiation

What If Vendor Contract Management Could Save You Money?

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

What If Vendor Contract Management Could Save You Money

Vendors, compliance, risk – OH MY! The burden of vetting vendors and ensuring that they do not introduce unacceptable risk to the organization falls squarely on the shoulders of financial institutions.

The cost of regulatory compliance in financial services is far from stagnant. In a report by Thompson Reuters, 54% of the respondents in the United States expected increases in cost to their compliance budget. As the time and money for regulatory compliance grows, what if vendor contract management could save you money (or even make you money) instead of always being that loud “sucking sound” you hear? 

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Contract Tracking

Automating Vendor Invoice Auditing Delivers 44% Cost Savings

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

TAB_Auditing

Vendor invoices in the financial services industry are complicated, with some listing over 500 line items. Further, annually auditing these invoices is a time-consuming task and, in the face of that kind of resource drain, many financial institutions tend to compare one month’s invoice to the last. If the amounts are similar, the invoice is approved. 

This may sound rather casual, but even when banks and credit unions commit the time required to manually review vendor invoices, human error compromises the value of that effort. Further, human errors made during the manual review process can become self-perpetuating, compounding over time without the institution’s knowledge.

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Topics: Contract Management, Vendor Contract, Vendor Invoice Auditing

Deciphering the 2019 FED Debit Card Interchange Report

Posted by Bob Koehler & Cody Harrell on Jul 31, 2019 11:00:09 AM

FED Debit Card Interchange Report

The Federal Reserve recently released its annual report on debit card interchange fees and, to the untrained eye, the results are thoroughly unremarkable. The Fed has tracked this data annually since the Durbin Amendment took effect in late 2011, as a means of deciphering the interchange landscape.

Following a visible jolt to the trend line in 2012 reflecting Durbin’s targeted intent, the Fed’s charts have remained quite stable. Beneath the surface, however, factors like volume mix shifts, pricing differences between network providers, and newly added detail on certain transaction types reveal a wealth of information that can be used for card portfolio optimization.

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Topics: Debit Card Interchange, Card Portfolio Optimization, Debit Transaction, PIN Network

What “Logan Lucky” Can Teach Us About Cashless Retail

Posted by Ginger Schmeltzer on Jul 21, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Cashless

Is cash dead? You could certainly reach that conclusion based on recent headlines. The story on the front lines isn’t so simple, however. NCR, a global POS and ATM service provider, recently launched its Silver One tablet-based point of sale platform, a clear counter to the success of competitors like Square and Clover, and a play for the next generation of small business retailers. Given this strategic push, you’d expect NCR to be firmly on the “cash is dead” bandwagon.

Speaking at FinTech South the day after Silver’s rollout, NCR acknowledged that while digital retail transactions are growing briskly, old-fashioned currency and coins aren’t going away anytime soon. Cash is still used in nearly one-third of all counter transactions, it reported, a ratio that varies meaningfully by geography and demographic.

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Topics: Cardless, Cash-to-Card, Cashless

How Are 2019’s Biggest Trends Driving Vendor Contract Decisions?

Posted by Strategic Resource Management on Jul 14, 2019 9:00:00 AM

MidyearTrends2019

Major League Baseball just completed its All-Star Break, which is traditionally seen as an opportunity to assess the season’s performances to date. We at SRM do something similar, revisiting our annual list of industry trends impacting banks and credit unions’ growth strategies and vendor contract relationships.

It’s been an action-packed first half of 2019. The trends we highlighted at the beginning of 2019 are actively shaping the financial services market and decisions being made by banks and credit unions. Here’s a quick summary to detailed analysis of the topics we’ve provided throughout the year. 

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Topics: Payments, Voice Technology, Vendor Contract, SaaS, Vendor Contract Negotiation

What to Make of Your Digital Banking Decisions as NCR Acquires D3

Posted by Michael Carter on Jul 8, 2019 11:22:57 AM

SRM NCR D3

Last Tuesday, NCR acquired D3 Banking Technology (D3), a digital banking software company that provides solutions to regional banks. This comes just six years following NCR’s purchase of Digital Insight, a move that NCR explained would allow it to offer financial institutions a complete “omni-channel consumer experience.” Others saw the purchase as part of a “makeover” that NCR needed to survive. Whatever the case, the $1.65 billion paid for DI would suggest this was no trivial action on the part of NCR.

Is D3 another arrow in the quiver as NCR continues to remake itself? Does the acquisition signal a “reboot” to the makeover centered around DI that has stalled? Could the purchase suggest an attempt by NCR to go to market with two technologies, one more fit for smaller institutions and the other an up-market option? In fact, in the July 2 press release announcing the deal, NCR claimed that the latter question could be answered in the affirmative. The news release noted that D3 “immediately expands” NCR into new markets, notably “U.S. large banks and over time, international banks.”

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Topics: D3 Banking, NCR, Digital Banking

Nobody Talks About Voice (Technology) Anymore

Posted by Simon Rose on Jun 25, 2019 11:45:09 AM

Nobody Talks About Voice (Technology) Anymore

Today in 2019, a mere decade since texting overtook voice calls in cellular bandwidth use, it can be difficult to find someone even willing to engage in an old-school telephone conversation. Voicemails are declining even faster. According to Forbes, several large corporations have offered to retire voicemail for non-client facing employees and were surprised by the level of uptake.

Against this backdrop, it’s interesting to note the prominent role played by voice technology in the next generation of financial solutions. The growing interest in Robo-advisors could see this become a popular model among those seeking a digital banking breakthrough, and everyone is racing to enable their products through the likes of Alexa, regardless of vertical.

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Topics: Voice Technology

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