The Bottom Line

Keeping an Open Mind on Open Banking

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 11, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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A debate has raged for some time as to whether fintech companies are friends or foes to financial institutions. In our view, the question itself is a cynical oversimplification of the situation. While there are some aggressive startups intent on stealing business from financial institutions, there are more fintechs that want to partner with banks and credit unions to help them modernize their service offerings.

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Topics: Technology

Are Biometrics Going Mainstream? Perhaps You Won’t Notice

Posted by Myron Schwarcz and Larry Pruss on Sep 4, 2018 9:30:00 AM

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Despite several well-publicized bumps in the road, the U.S. migration to EMV-based chip cards has undeniably reduced payment fraud at the physical point of sale. That’s the good news. On the flipside, increasing fraud rates in the rapidly growing card not present (CNP) channel have the potential to more than offset gains in card present (CP), perpetuating an overall upward trend in card fraud.

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Topics: Technology

A Brave New Banking World: AI Can Be Helpful, With Guardrails

Posted by Lawrence Pruss on Jul 31, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Assuming you can drown out the blockchain chatter, artificial intelligence (AI) is this year’s hottest financial services topic. Although IBM’s Watson and Google’s Deep Mind remain somewhat abstract concepts from a mass market perspective, consumer breakthroughs like Siri and Amazon Alexa have begun to set expectations for banking interactions, leading to high-profile rollouts like Bank of America’s virtual assistant, Erica.

Most of the early-stage rollouts, focusing on chatbots and fraud detection, are coming from the industry’s largest players. Credit unions and community banks cannot afford to fall too far behind the curve and need ample opportunity to participate in exploratory ventures. At the same time, it’s important to remain mindful of AI’s potential downsides if not properly implemented.  

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Topics: Technology

Mid-Year Snapshot: Institutions Amp Up Digital Determination

Posted by Brad Downs and Mike Carter on Jul 26, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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At SRM, we take the time – every six months or so – to step back from our various engagements with clients to identify the general trends we have seen in our work and consider how they might play out in the coming six months. Just past the midpoint in 2018, there are several forces in play worth mentioning.

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Topics: Technology

The Digital Transformation of Financial Services

Posted by Michael Carter on Jun 30, 2018 12:00:00 PM

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It’s no longer a question of “if,” but rather how and when. For an increasing number of consumers, the primary means of interacting with their financial institution is the mobile banking app that lives on their smartphone, not the physical branch. And this segment of the population will only continue to expand. Younger tech-savvy generations will continue to age into the need for banking services while, at the same time, other demographics gain more comfort with digital channels.

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Topics: Technology

Sourcing the Next Generation of Digital Banking, Part 2

Posted by Michael Carter on May 15, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Last week, we presented the first half of two key considerations for how a bank or credit union committed to a mobile first strategy can best stay current in offering state-of-the-art mobile services.

If an institution is not counted among the largest of FIs, answering this question will likely involve evaluating an array of options to determine which best fits a bank or credit union’s goal. This environment is different from what has been seen in the past where a few very large providers controlled most of the offerings. This gives FIs of every size the chance to shake free of the constraints of legacy third-party solutions and become competitive again.

Let’s delve a bit deeper into what that exactly means.

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Topics: Technology

Sourcing the Next Generation of Digital Banking, Part 1

Posted by Michael Carter on May 10, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Digital Banking

Reality Check

The future of banking is digital. Period. Hopefully we’ve progressed to a point in financial services where this statement is accepted wisdom and no longer needs to be debated.  There are reams of data that support this and nothing about the future as it is unfolding now suggests otherwise.

Another given is that all digital engagement strategies should now be “mobile first.”  From the looks of some mobile banking apps deployed today, this has not yet reached the level of accepted wisdom in our industry.

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Topics: Technology

What’s Trending in Vendor Contract Management? Trimming Branches via E-Tellers

Posted by Russ Bourne on Nov 15, 2017 9:00:00 AM


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SRM recently reached out to several dozen credit union clients to better understand their priorities for the next 12 months, including new product rollouts to address areas of greatest interest to members. Their responses cover a wide area, which isn’t surprising given the unique client segments being served. Nonetheless, certain trends clearly emerge.   

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts, Technology

The Next Generation of Mobile Banking

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 18, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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In my last post, I recounted the extent to which the iPhone transformed the very notion of mobile banking. Let’s now shift the focus to catalysts for the next wave of banking innovation.

While the iPhone’s quantum leap occurred in 2007, its full impact on financial services didn’t emerge overnight because it took developers some time to leverage the opportunities this new platform enabled, and then another chunk of time for many financial institutions (FIs) and mass market consumers to embrace those capabilities. These phases were essential to making the smartphone the indispensable tool for navigating modern life, and they would be and will be repeated on rare occasions. 

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts, Technology

How the iPhone Changed Banking and Vendor Contract Negotiations

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 4, 2017 9:00:00 AM

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As you certainly must know – unless you are returning from a long, wireless sabbatical spent in a cloister of monks sworn to silence, the iPhone recently celebrated a “big” birthday.  The device that changed most everything about banking, shopping, driving and more is 10 years old. 

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Vendors & Contracts, Technology