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.

A Reflection within the Payments Pond: Response to Money 20/20

Posted by Richard Whiddon on Nov 10, 2019 9:00:00 AM

SRM Money 2020

Las Vegas played host to another Money 20/20 the last week of October, this year’s theme being, "Journey to the Future of Money." Payments experts and influencers from the likes of eBay, Uber, Amazon and Mastercard took the stage to share their predictions on how the movement of money is changing, and to offer advice for how we can all respond.

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Topics: Payments, Money 20/20

Artificial Intelligence - Not Just for the 800-Pound Gorillas

Posted by Fabio de Sant’Anna on Nov 3, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Artificial Intelligence - Not Just for the 800-Pound Gorillas

A colleague of mine recently attended the BankAI conference in Chicago. One of the most interesting presentations, according to him, involved a Midwestern credit union sharing details of its chatbot rollout fueled by the artificial intelligence (AI) tools of a fintech partner.Download: From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligent Automation: A Playbook for Financial Institutions

What set the story apart from the pack was the credit union’s size, a shade under $300 million in assets. It’s often assumed that AI projects are the domain of the largest financial institutions; certainly, their efforts gain the most attention. Bank of America continues to tout the mass adoption of its Erica virtual assistant, and Wells Fargo, Capital One and JPMorgan Chase have spearheaded high profile AI rollouts as well.

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Topics: AI, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation

Taking the Fear Out of Artificial Intelligence

Posted by Fabio de Sant’Anna on Oct 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Taking the Fear Out of Artificial Intelligence

The term artificial intelligence (AI for short) has attained buzzword status, and not in an entirely positive sense. Too often the technology is seen as a way to replace humans with machines. However, as the newest SRM Academy report, "From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligent Automation: A Playbook for Financial Institutions" makes clear, this is a “glass half empty” perception that banks and credit unions cannot allow to slow their adoption of this transformation tool.Download: From Artificial Intelligence to Intelligent Automation: A Playbook for Financial Institutions

Large name-brand financial institutions have already launched numerous AI initiatives with mostly positive results. There are ample opportunities for smaller institutions to follow suit with proof of concept projects that can garner internal support and expertise. Otherwise, as AI is increasingly used to enhance the consumer’s experience, regional and community players risk facing an increasing gap in their competition for the next generation of consumers.   

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Topics: Artificial Intelligence

With Regulators Looking On, How Scary is Managing Vendor Risk?

Posted by Michael Carter on Oct 23, 2019 2:15:00 PM

With Regulators Looking On, How Scary is Managing Vendor Risk

The FDIC and NCUA each issued wake-up calls earlier this year pertaining to vendor management. While neither reflects a change in policy, both agencies emphasized their intentions to look more closely at banks and credit unions’ supply chain management and business continuity processes, particularly in the technology arena. The tone of the communications sounded as if the guidance was being offered as “helpful advice.” However, such guidance – regardless of the tone – should cause bank and credit union leaders to assume that, in the future, their practices in these areas will be an examination focus. Here are some thoughts that could provide some assistance in such an environment.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Vendor management, Vendor Risk

Budgeting & Vendor Management Amid Election Year Chaos

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Oct 16, 2019 12:30:00 PM

Budgeting & Vendor Management Amid Election Year Chaos

Buckle up: we’re in for a ride. Regardless of your political persuasion, all signs point to an extended stretch of market volatility as we head into the 2020 election cycle, which by many measures is already hitting its stride. The 2020 budget season is playing out against this backdrop, with budget-setters up against even greater uncertainty than usual. The question looms, as the political barrage reaches new heights in 2020how can banks and credit unions remain flexible to the economic variables? 

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Vendor management, AI, Artificial Intelligence

Cash: Alive and Kicking

Posted by Larry Pruss on Oct 6, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Cash Alive and Kicking

My SRM colleagues in Europe (see parts 1, 2 and 3) and Atlanta have already written about what it would be like to live in a cashless world, but recently, some municipalities in the United States have bucked the conventional wisdom by pushing back against the notion of cashless stores in the name of financial inclusion. A rash of new research also indicates that the long touted “death of cash” is not the imminent event often implied by industry pundits and reporters.

Here’s a quick overview of recent data and developments.

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Topics: Cashless, Cash, Financial Inclusion

Chase Pay’s Demise and Apple Card’s Denim Aversion

Posted by Ginger Schmeltzer on Sep 29, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Chase Pay’s Demise and Apple Card’s Denim Aversion

Another day, another disruption in the payments universe. Just since we released the latest SRM Academy report on the next wave of payments disruptorsreal-world examples of this phenomenon have emerged on a near daily basis. At the crest of the latest wave, Apple’s much-hyped credit card has moved beyond the bleeding edge and entered full rollout mode, complete with the barrage of enticing TV commercials Apple is known for. 

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Topics: Apple Pay, Chase Pay

The Apple Card and Payments Disruption

Posted by Ginger Schmeltzer on Sep 22, 2019 9:00:00 AM

The Apple Card and Payments Disruption

We were well aware of the Apple Card’s imminent arrival when drafting the latest SRM Academy report on the next wave of payments disruption. The new credit card is an important development, but not an earth-shattering one. Stepping back from the breathless hype that accompanies any Apple product launch, this is more an incremental step in a trend that has been ongoing for some time.

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Topics: Apple Card, Credit Card, Apple Pay

Contactless Cards: Is the Train Leaving the Station?

Posted by Larry Pruss on Sep 8, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Contactless Cards Is the Train Leaving the Station

Despite all the forecasts concerning a downdraft in the economic climate, the payments pie continues to grow. With GDP on the rise both in the United States and globally, the overall value of retail purchases is also trending upward. However, research from the Federal Reserve reveals a less obvious pattern: growing even faster than average ticket price is the sheer number of payment transactions.

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Topics: Contactless Cards, NFC, Open Loop

Four Must-Haves for Banking Generation Z

Posted by Jesse McGannon on Aug 25, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Four Must-Haves for Banking Generation Z

The Pew Research Center defines Generation Z as anyone born in 1996 or later. A watershed event occurred in 2007 with the introduction of the first iPhone, which maps well to the generational differentiator about Gen Z having little experience with pre-smartphone technology.  

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Topics: Payments, Fintech, Digital Banking, Generation Z

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