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.

Planning Your Digital Transformation Journey

Posted by Michael Carter on May 5, 2019 9:00:00 AM

planning your digital transformation journey

In case you haven’t heard, the digital channel is essential to your financial institution’s future success and perhaps to its very survival. While this point is broadly accepted in concept, an alarming number of banks and credit unions have yet to take concrete steps toward aligning their omnichannel model with customer trends.

In many cases, this inaction is a product of fear. Digital transformation is a daunting undertaking and it can be hard to know where to begin, especially with other priorities competing for bandwidth. As is the case with fitness programs, however, the most important starting point is often to simply begin moving.

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Topics: Technology

Three Things We’ve Learned from the UK in Year One of Open Banking

Posted by Simon Rose on Apr 15, 2019 11:15:00 AM

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January marked the one-year anniversary of the Open Banking regulation coming into effect in the UK, making this a good time to step back and assess its progress, or lack thereof. For the uninitiated, Open Banking is seen by financial regulators as a means to spur fintech innovation and foster increased competition in the UK banking market. Its underlying premise is that transactional data is the property of the account holder, and if the consumer or business elects to share such data with a third party, the bank must facilitate its efficient transfer, securely.

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Topics: Technology

Responding to the FDIC’s Letter to Avoid Vendor Contract Gaps

Posted by Michael Carter on Apr 9, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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A letter from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) issued Tuesday, April 2, contained a warning that caught the attention of many financial institutions and their vendors. Specifically, the FDIC stated that it had encountered a number of situations where banks were not sufficiently controlling the risk associated with their supplier relationships.

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Topics: Technology, Vendors & Contracts

Digital Walk to Starbucks: Mobile Banking & Payments Change Everything

Posted by Ginger Schmeltzer on Mar 31, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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We all know intellectually that the mobile phone has revolutionized Americans’ daily lives. The changes have accumulated so gradually, however, that sometimes taking a step back is necessary to appreciate the enormity of the shift.

For one thing, the “phone” portion of the “mobile phone” is clearly on borrowed time. The voice capabilities of these devices in our pockets have already become a quaint afterthought. It’s been over a decade since texts surpassed audio calls as the main driver of cellular network traffic. Add streaming and apps to the mix and you’ve got an entirely different value proposition than the “portable” communications handsets once tethered to automobiles.

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Topics: Technology

Will Emotional Ties to Cash Be Overcome by Convenience of Card Payments?

Posted by Simon Rose on Mar 19, 2019 11:49:41 AM

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Our colleagues at SRM Europe in London recently shared with us how fewer people are using cash to pay for goods and service and discussed what critics of a cashless society are saying. In Great Britain, and perhaps the rest of the world, cash holds a unique bond with consumers that may be hard to give up.

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Topics: Technology

There’s Nothing Artificial about AI’s Potential

Posted by Lawrence Pruss on Feb 24, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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Recently, SRM identified the use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a trend that would have a significant impact on the financial services industry in 2019.  Narrowly defined AI is the ability for machines to use complex algorithms to interact and learn to do tasks previously performed by humans. 

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Topics: Technology

What Critics Say about a Cashless Society

Posted by Simon Rose on Feb 17, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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Our colleagues at SRM Europe in London recently shared with us how fewer people are using cash to pay for goods and services.  In the United Kingdom the thought of a cashless society is not necessarily a welcomed development for some. 

As noted in the previous blog, cards in the UK are continuing to be adopted by more and more consumers because they are more convenient and, in many cases, safer than carrying cash.  Due to these benefits the use of payment cards to purchase goods and services will continue to climb, However, some feel that this progression toward a cashless society is everything but harmless.  Here are their reasons why.

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Topics: Technology

Across the Pond, a Cashless Society is the Trend

Posted by Simon Rose on Feb 11, 2019 9:45:00 AM

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Most know that fewer and fewer people are using cash to pay for goods and services.  The actual rate of decline and habits around the use of cash or payment cards varies from country to country.  Our colleagues across the pond at SRM Europe in London recently shared with us how this trend is manifesting in the United Kingdom and why the thought of a cashless society is not necessarily a welcomed development for some. 

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Topics: Technology

Four Digital Trends Disrupting the Payments Landscape

Posted by Michael Carter on Feb 3, 2019 9:00:00 AM

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Our CEO, Brad Downs recently shared SRM’s key fintech trends for 2019, with a focus on items that banks and credit unions should factor into their near-term planning. Allow me to build upon those by looking more specifically at payments trends while also applying a broader time horizon, isolating the macro-level developments that have been underway for some time and continue to shape the industry.

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Topics: Technology

The Promises of Technology in Your Next Strategic Sourcing Decisions

Posted by Michael Carter on Dec 6, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Sometimes it seems as if all there is to be said about financial institutions and their response to the digital age is that they are woefully behind and show little sign of “getting it” in the near term when making strategic sourcing decisions.  Certainly, banks and credit unions have struggled with the unique challenges of serving consumer that increasing live their lives through the ubiquitous devices that are available to them. 

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Topics: Strategic Sourcing, Technology

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