The Bottom Line

Think Through Your ATM Strategy While Tackling Windows 10

Posted by Mark Mrva on Nov 14, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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As of January 2020, Microsoft will no longer support Windows 7. This event is creating some interesting conversations at financial institutions concerning their ATM strategy. Fourteen months may sound like the distant future, but time is already tight if banks and credit unions wish to avoid a costly, tactical reaction to the sunsetting of Windows 7, as opposed to a more strategic choice with upsides for account holders.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

How to Run an RFP for Your Digital Banking Strategy

Posted by Bret Herbert on Nov 6, 2018 2:15:00 PM

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In years past, soliciting digital proposals was a fairly straightforward exercise of reaching out to digital banking vendors and bill payment solution providers. However, things have gotten significantly more complex for financial institutions as touchpoints like mobile must be considered, not to mention P2P, self-service card controls, and advanced cash management options for business customers. Expectations for seamless omnichannel capabilities have increased as well.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

How Do You PAU? Optimizing Your Debit Card Program

Posted by Bob Koehler on Oct 31, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Most bank and credit union leaders are familiar with ways to optimize their credit card programs, yet surprisingly few of them apply any transferrable techniques to their debit portfolios. Debit interchange is the first or second largest component of non-interest income for most financial institutions, so even nominal improvements can drive big benefits. Although credit card purchases generate more interchange on a per item basis, the reality for many smaller institutions is that they have more tools at their disposal to influence debit use.

The same PAU metrics (Penetration, Activation, Utilization) familiar to credit card program managers can be applied to debit. Let’s look at how these concepts can improve P&L:

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Can Vendor Cost Benchmarking Help Find Scarce Budget Dollars?

Posted by Ben Mrva on Oct 25, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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According to recent headlines, the United States is in the midst of one of the strongest economic booms in recent memory. On the other hand, don’t expect that prosperity to translate to a wealth of flexibility during budget season. After all, has it ever? While the austerity of the years immediately following the financial crisis may not have reached everyone, there never seem to be enough new dollars to avoid hard choices among priority initiatives. And with market salaries on an upward trend, any additional funding will likely be quickly absorbed.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

How to Make Benchmarks Less Tricky in Vendor Contract Negotiations

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Oct 17, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Every institution wants its various processes and practices to be best of breed. Most, at minimum, want to know how they stack up against the best in their business. Typically, peer groups are established for this purpose, usually based on a bank or credit union’s asset base.

However, there are countless reasons why the performance of two financial institutions of identical size may not warrant side-by-side comparison. For example, one institution using a service bureau for core processing will have a lower efficiency ratio than one of its peers that does not use one. The retail/corporate mix within loan portfolios will also give rise to operational differences.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

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

Voice Technology: Ready for Prime Time in Your Vendor Contracts?

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 4, 2018 12:15:00 PM

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The most recent installment of our ongoing series of SRM Academy papers focused on the digital transformation at financial institutions. The latest installment explores the potential of biometrics – voice recognition and authentication in particular –to improve digital banking while also leveling the competitive field for regional and community institutions.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

In the Spirit of Budget Season, Some Vendor Contract Management Basics

Posted by Strategic Resource Management on Sep 27, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Photo by rawpixel on UnsplashFall has arrived and the holidays will be here before we know it. What this means for many of us is that Q3 is closing and budget priorities for 2019 are being finalized. In the spirit of this special time of year, SRM wants to revisit a few vendor contract management reminders that may be useful to you at this time.

These tips are not only useful during budget season when the hunt for savings that can be used to fund other initiatives is vital. They can also help you add value to your institution throughout the year. In fact, vendor performance management should be a year-round discipline. We know now that finding ways to reduce costs or enhance revenues can be particularly important.

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

Vendor Contract Basics to Sidestep “Doctor No” This Budget Season

Posted by Dean Archer on Sep 20, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Most financial institutions are moving into the heart of budget season, which offers a great opportunity to take a step back and assess business priorities. In many cases, however, budget planning also carries a heavy dose of frustration. As I came to call it over my years in the industry, Doctor No takes up residence in the office – putting the kibosh on a variety of worthwhile and aspirational projects.

Department heads realize that no budget will have room to fund every project, and good managers find ways to free up enough dollars to pursue a select group of long-term initiatives alongside the “keep the lights on” necessities. Nonetheless, by the time the process is complete, it inevitably seems like the belt-tightening has squeezed out too many of the promising ideas.    

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts

3 Ways an Institution’s Size Impacts Vendor Management

Posted by Andrew Gordon on Sep 13, 2018 9:00:00 AM

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Before joining SRM, I worked almost exclusively with the top 50 U.S. banks, helping them with strategic sourcing decisions and vendor contract negotiations. Since coming to work for SRM though, I’ve been exposed to a broader array of sizes and types of institutions, spanning both the 150 financial institutions exceeding $10 billion in assets as well as the 12,000 banks and credit unions with assets below $10 billion. Given this perspective, it is not difficult to notice the many differences between the national and regional institutions versus those who operate in the community market. In the realm of vendor management, these differences manifest in three distinct ways.  

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Topics: Vendors & Contracts