Welcome To
The Bottom Line

A View of the Industry That Pulls No Punches

How the 2020 Election Will Impact 2021 Payments Strategies

Posted by Myron Schwarcz on Oct 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM

How the 2020 Election Will Impact 2021 Payments Strategies

Let’s begin by stating the obvious: this will not be a normal election season. As it has for so many aspects of everyday life, COVID has radically altered the basics of voting- from a huge uptick in advance and absentee ballots to the near-elimination of traditional campaign rallies.

We know that markets hate uncertainty – and that’s one thing in ample supply these days. Uncertainty creates hesitancy to invest in initiatives that could be upended based on the election outcome. This is especially problematic in our current environment, with so many critical issues clamoring to be addressed.

Read More

Topics: Payments, Payment Strategies

SRM Coronavirus Second Survey Summary | More of the Same

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 6, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Second Survey – More of the Same

In the early stages of the US coronavirus pandemic, SRM reached out to banks and credit unions to gather insights on initial FI reactions and changes in customer behavior. A previous blog detailed the findings of that March survey.

In late June-mid July, SRM again collected responses on how perspectives had evolved once leaders had more time - and a bit more information - to assess their options. We received an even greater response, with impressive diversity in geographic footprint, asset size, and credit union/bank participation.

Read More

Topics: COVID-19

Google Checking | More Questions Than Answers

Posted by Myron Schwarcz and Larry Pruss on Sep 30, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Google Checking – More Questions Than Answers

Google continues to make progress toward the launch of its much-anticipated checking product, recently announcing partnerships with six more financial institutions for a total of eight, so far. Both large banks and credit unions have signed on, with well-known names like Citi, BMO Harris, and BBVA on one end of that spectrum and the $2 billion asset Stanford Federal Credit Union and $800 million Coastal Community Bank on the other.

Read More

1st Bank of Sea Isle City Case Study | Negotiating an Incumbent Core Vendor Deal

Posted by Michael Carter on Sep 14, 2020 9:00:00 AM

1st Bank of Sea Isle City Case Study | Negotiating an Incumbent Core Vendor Deal

At SRM, we often receive questions about how our services can deliver cost savings without harming existing vendor relationships which have taken years to cultivate. Our answer is simple: We do not believe antagonistic, adversarial negotiations are in the best interest of anyone – be it the client, the vendor, or our firm. And we have validated this point of view with the thousands of contracts we’ve negotiated, while also adding over $3.6 billion of value to the financial institutions we have served. A recent engagement with 1st Bank of Sea Isle City in New Jersey is an example of this conviction in action.

Read More

Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management

Can You Spare Some Change? | A Broader Perspective of the US Coin Shortage

Posted by Larry Pruss on Aug 30, 2020 10:00:00 AM

Coin Shortage Social image

By now, Americans across the country have seen makeshift signs at cash registers requiring exact change or “offering” to change coins for bills, free of charge.

A few Chick-Fil-A locations have even begun offering a free sandwich to customers who bring in $10 of coins, to replenish their cash drawers. There have also been reports of some institutions offering an extra $5 for every $100 of rolled coins.

The “national coin shortage” has become so severe, the Fed has convened a task force to identify solutions and limit the economic impact.

Read More

Topics: Contactless Payments, Contactless, Digital, Coin Shortage

Top-of-Wallet Status | Do Card Issuers Have a Hidden Advantage?

Posted by Bob Koehler on Aug 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Top-of-Wallet Status | Do Card Issuers Have a Hidden Advantage?

Top-of-wallet status is highly coveted because, once achieved, the incumbent – in this case the card issuer - has the advantage. Old habits die hard. Once a consumer develops a “go-to” card for certain types of purchases, they tend to repeat that pattern of behavior.

Those habits can be cultivated by offering benefits to the user via a rewards program. Sometimes the choice can be situational, with cardholders designating certain cards for specific types of purposes. This may extend to the type of card – e.g., debit or credit – and/or a workflow established by the merchant which makes it easier to use one card rather than another – e.g., Walgreens Express Pay.

Read More

Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

Data Literacy | The Modern Banker’s Required Reading

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 17, 2020 11:00:00 AM

Data Literacy | The Modern Banker’s Required Reading

Knowledge is power and most bankers have figured out that they’re sitting on a treasure trove of information about the consumers and businesses they serve.  However, using this information to empower their account holders and deliver services tailored to their needs has been a difficult goal for banks and credit unions to achieve. 

One of the many changes brought by COVID-19 was an acceleration in the participation of the delivery economy.  This level of participation is likely to continue to rise as more businesses develop viable online ordering and delivery offerings.  Companies such as Amazon, Google, and Apple have made personalization of offers and the anticipation of the consumers’ needs prerequisites to any successful online engagement.  So, as the delivery economy expands, successful offerings will need to reflect these same characteristics delivering the convenience and speed consumers now consider mandatory as a basis for loyalty. 

Read More

Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

Change is Good, You Go First | Adapting and Improving Operational Efficiency

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Change is Good, You Go First | Adapting and Improving Operational Efficiency

In 2018, SRM expanded its operations to Ireland, the United Kingdom, and Europe. This division of our firm, known as SRM Europe (srmeurope.com), services a diverse set of industries, including financial services, music entertainment, food retailing, and architecture. While these are different markets, all have been affected by the pandemic and reports across these varied verticals virtually tell the same story.

The overarching message is that organizations, of all types, need to successfully adapt to change. As we’ve recently experienced, change happens, regardless of one’s level of preparedness. However, organizations often shy away from changing course, even after the tides have shifted. As change is the only constant businesses can rely upon, a culture of adaptability, clear communications, and good relationships will help ready any organization for the challenges ahead.

Read More

Topics: Digital Transformation, Operational Excellence

Three Months Older and a Bit Wiser on COVID-19

Posted by Michael Carter on Jul 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Three Months Older and a Bit Wiser on COVID-19

In mid-March, when Americans were beginning to absorb the notion of shelter-in-place orders, SRM reached out to our financial institution clients to get a snapshot of their mindset regarding approaches to meeting consumer needs in the age of the pandemic. The findings of that initial survey can be found here. 

 

To refresh this view and learn how time in the now normal was impacting banks and credit unions, a second survey was planned in late June. Of course, by the time the second survey was ready to go into the field, COVID-19 was re-asserting itself across the United States. We retooled the study to accommodate the circumstances, revisiting some of the questions from the March survey and drilling down into digital transformation and payments 

Read More

Topics: COVID-19, Coronavirus, Digital Channels, Digital Transformation, Negotiating with Payment Vendors, Debit Card

5 Ideas to Keep Product Roadmaps Aligned in Vendor Management Talks

Posted by Richard Whiddon on Jul 13, 2020 10:00:00 AM

5 Ideas to Keep Product Roadmaps Aligned in Vendor Management Talks

Given the whirlwind of recent events, it seems like ages since January, when one of our payments experts Larry Pruss weighed in on Visa’s acquisition of Plaid, API aggregator for P2P players such as Venmo. He discussed what this combination could mean for banks and credit unions going forward, reinforcing two key points:  

 

  1. Financial institutions are hungry for objective expert opinions on market developments; and 
  2. The strategic moves of major industry vendorsnot just their direct competitorscan have a major impact on their competitive position.     

Read More

Topics: Vendor management, Product Roadmap

Subscribe to our blog

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all