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Three Virtual Ways to Continue Doing Business at CUNA GAC and Other National 2021 Conferences

Posted by Ben Mrva on Feb 25, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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Raise your hand if you miss in-person conferences.

SRM has attended hundreds of state, regional, and national events over the years. Still, last year’s GAC (Government Affairs Conference hosted by CUNA) was especially memorable because it was the last major destination event we attended before social-distancing measures went into effect.

Since then, the credit union conference scene and SRM’s participation has had to adapt to the virtual world.

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Topics: CUNA GAC 2021 SRM Participation, Virtual Conferences

The 2021 Outlook | A Return to Normal, Without Returning to the Past? Part 2

Posted by Ben Mrva on Feb 16, 2021 9:36:00 AM

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In a recent blog post, we elaborated on several trends that our payments experts expect will impact the banking industry in 2021 - including trends regarding digital banking investments and the branch’s evolving role with consumers.

Let’s continue that conversation by exploring additional factors directly related to the retail banking industry’s current environment, specifically:

  • The ongoing shifts in payments preferences
  • Battening down for the next economic wave
  • Changes in the regulatory climate

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

Recalibrating for COVID-19 | Long-Term Planning in Short-Term Uncertainty

Posted by Larry Pruss on Feb 2, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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My colleague, Patrick Goodwin, recently wrote about the challenges of budgeting amid the uncertainty of a pandemic. Given the circumstances, it’s understandable some might be seeking a “hall pass,” to excuse themselves from long-range planning. Unfortunately, the hyper-competitive financial services marketplace doesn’t allow for such luxury.

Strategic planning is laced with uncertainty. Much of its value is derived from the team-based exercise of thinking through contingencies and gaming out some of the inevitable course corrections. In that sense, the effort may be more important than ever for the 2021-23 horizon.

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

The 2021 Outlook | Will Banking Return to Normal, Without Returning to the Past?

Posted by Ben Mrva on Jan 25, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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Now that we’ve closed the book on 2020, we can count on a swift change to the financial services landscape, right? The answer is yes…and no.

With the ongoing vaccine distributions and a new administration in Washington, there’s even more reason to expect the new year to bring new behavior. On the other hand, conditions don’t turn on a dime simply because the calendar flipped to January.

With that in mind, SRM’s payments experts have identified several trends we expect to drive financial services dynamics in 2021. Although their full effect is unlikely to be visible early in the year, banks and credit unions must consider these trends in setting priorities for 2021 and beyond.

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

PayPal’s Bitcoin Embrace - Should Banks Be Jealous?

Posted by Jesse McGannon on Jan 10, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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PayPal Holdings, Inc., recently announced enhancements that will
enable its users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within its app, and to pay for purchases with these crypto assets, as well. Most of the attention has naturally focused on Bitcoin - the household name of cryptocurrencies – and, by far, the largest. Not surprisingly, the price of Bitcoin quickly surged past $16,000, thanks to the associated visibility and implied credibility.

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

Show Me the Budget | Five COVID-19 Savings and Revenue Strategies

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Dec 20, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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The annual budget process is usually an exercise in planning for uncertainty. Add to that, it’s challenging, time consuming, and complicated. Then, when finalized, all you know for sure, is that it is at best a pro forma. That’s because financial institutions (along with everyone else) operate in an environment with multiple variables they do not control…and that has become even more evident in 2020.

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

The “Who What When” of Banking Vendor M&A | SRM Academy Timeline Infographic

Posted by Sisa Wang on Dec 11, 2020 9:00:00 AM

The “Who What When” of Banking Vendor M&A| SRM Academy Timeline Infographic

It’s December 2020 - do you know where your vendors are? 

Consolidation happens. Much of the time, like taking a chess piece, it can happen quietly, but with game-changing implications. Recently however, the size of the pieces taken among financial services vendors has raised some eyebrows - especially for their bank and credit union customers. The impacts of these moves can be positive...or not...which is why SRM keeps an eye on the board for these types of events.  

2019 was a record year for fintech deals, mergers, and acquisitions - then along came 2020. The complications brought on by the pandemic did not create a lull in M&A. In Q1 of ‘20, Visa announced the acquisition of Plaid. Visa positioned the acquisition as “both an entry into new businesses and complementary enhancements to Visa’s existing business, putting them at the epicenter of the fintech world.”

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Automated Invoice Auditing | New Roads with Rochdale

Posted by Michael Carter on Nov 23, 2020 9:00:00 AM

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SRM recently announced a partnership with the Rochdale Paragon Group, incorporating SRM’s automated invoice auditing solution into Rochdale’s vendor management software and services portfolio. This alliance is an opportunity to deliver our 28 years of experience in high-dollar, complex invoice auditing to a broader segment of the credit union market as part of the best practice offering from Rochdale.  

The complexity of many critical vendor invoices makes it practically impossible for a financial institution to do a complete audit of them each month. Any auditing of these invoices is typically months after payment. Yet, over decades of auditing high-value critical invoices, our firm has discovered that 10 percent of them contain errors.  

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Connecting with Consumers | Contactless Payments Are Becoming Critical

Posted by Michael Carter on Nov 17, 2020 9:00:00 AM

Connecting with Consumers | Contactless Payments Are Becoming Critical

At the beginning of 2020, "contactless" was an obscure term typically associated with the new generation of debit and credit cards. Using near-field communication (NFC) payment technology, these cards are capable of being tapped instead of swiped or dipped - shedding several seconds from time in the subway turnstile or checkout line. However, despite Visa and Mastercard's heavy promotion, US adoption has been gradual, shaded toward frustratingly slow…until the pandemic hit.

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Topics: Contactless Payments, COVID-19

The Social-Distanced Playing Field for Modern Banking

Posted by Larry Pruss on Nov 9, 2020 8:00:00 AM

The Social-Distanced Playing Field for Modern Banking

I recently had the privilege of speaking on a Minnesota Credit Union Network’s panel with some of the region’s local leaders about what they’re facing as a consequence of the pandemic. Although the venue was tailored to credit unions, I believe the perspectives apply to all financial institutions.

Four key points that stood out are noted below - some completely novel; some we can’t say often enough.

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Topics: COVID-19

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