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.

Michael Carter

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Recent Posts

New Decade, Added Focus: Banking Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Posted by Michael Carter on Jan 13, 2020 10:00:54 AM

New Decade, Added Focus Banking Trends for 2020 and Beyond

Each year, SRM interviews a subset of bank and credit union clients to get their perspective on key industry trends rising to the top of their strategic to-do lists. With another decade having drawn to a close, January 2020 serves as a nice vantage point to take things in through a wider lens.

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Topics: Banking Trends, Digital Wallets, Contactless Payments

PNC v. Venmo: Drawing a Line in the P2P Sand

Posted by Michael Carter on Jan 5, 2020 9:00:00 AM

PNC v. Venmo Drawing a Line in the P2P Sand

Protecting Share, or Poking the Bear?

I asked a good friend of our firm, Ginger Schmeltzer, owner and principal of GDS Advisors, to comment on the recent announcement that PNC was blocking its customers from using their accounts to fund Venmo transactions. Ginger’s take echoed a number of comments made around the industry concerning the news.

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Topics: P2P, Venmo, Zelle, Digital Banking

Data Sharing – Model Agreement or Trojan Horse?

Posted by Michael Carter on Dec 15, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Data Sharing – Model Agreement or Trojan Horse?

One of the hottest topics in banking for financial institutions as well as third-party providers is data sharing. Banks and credit unions possess terabytes of such information; many organizations that are not financial institutions covet access to this data to increase the value they bring to consumers.  This value could manifest in many ways, from a simpler customer experience to providing personalized offerings that anticipate the user’s need. 

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Topics: Open Banking, Date Sharing

Vendor Contract Management in a Recession – How Will Fintechs Fare?

Posted by Michael Carter on Dec 10, 2019 1:00:00 PM

Vendor Contract Management in a Recession – How Will Fintechs Fare

Will the United States see a recession in 2020While the economist and political pundits disagree about the when and why, the overwhelming majority of them agree that our current period of expansion cannot last forever. The last time a significant number of the “experts” believed that the “good days” would last indefinitely, the world experienced an economic meltdown unmatched since The Great Depression.   

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Topics: Fintech, Vendor Contract Management

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

Does Experience Matter in Vendor Cost Benchmarking?

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 18, 2019 9:00:00 AM

Does Experience Matter in Vendor Cost Benchmarking

Sports are one of America’s greatest pastimes, and anyone spending even half an hour watching them will likely exclaim, “How did that player do that?” Indeed, with the help of science, today’s athletes are dieted and trained to have bodies “made” for their sportModern athletes can achieve heights not previously seen. However, science alone does not guarantee the modern athletesuccess. 

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Vendor Cost Benchmarking, Contract Negotiation

What If Vendor Contract Management Could Save You Money?

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 11, 2019 9:00:00 AM

What If Vendor Contract Management Could Save You Money

Vendors, compliance, risk – OH MY! The burden of vetting vendors and ensuring that they do not introduce unacceptable risk to the organization falls squarely on the shoulders of financial institutions.

The cost of regulatory compliance in financial services is far from stagnant. In a report by Thompson Reuters, 54% of the respondents in the United States expected increases in cost to their compliance budget. As the time and money for regulatory compliance grows, what if vendor contract management could save you money (or even make you money) instead of always being that loud “sucking sound” you hear? 

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Topics: Vendor Contract Management, Contract Tracking

Automating Vendor Invoice Auditing Delivers 44% Cost Savings

Posted by Michael Carter on Aug 4, 2019 9:00:00 AM

TAB_Auditing

Vendor invoices in the financial services industry are complicated, with some listing over 500 line items. Further, annually auditing these invoices is a time-consuming task and, in the face of that kind of resource drain, many financial institutions tend to compare one month’s invoice to the last. If the amounts are similar, the invoice is approved. 

This may sound rather casual, but even when banks and credit unions commit the time required to manually review vendor invoices, human error compromises the value of that effort. Further, human errors made during the manual review process can become self-perpetuating, compounding over time without the institution’s knowledge.

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Topics: Contract Management, Vendor Contract, Vendor Invoice Auditing

What to Make of Your Digital Banking Decisions as NCR Acquires D3

Posted by Michael Carter on Jul 8, 2019 11:22:57 AM

SRM NCR D3

Last Tuesday, NCR acquired D3 Banking Technology (D3), a digital banking software company that provides solutions to regional banks. This comes just six years following NCR’s purchase of Digital Insight, a move that NCR explained would allow it to offer financial institutions a complete “omni-channel consumer experience.” Others saw the purchase as part of a “makeover” that NCR needed to survive. Whatever the case, the $1.65 billion paid for DI would suggest this was no trivial action on the part of NCR.

Is D3 another arrow in the quiver as NCR continues to remake itself? Does the acquisition signal a “reboot” to the makeover centered around DI that has stalled? Could the purchase suggest an attempt by NCR to go to market with two technologies, one more fit for smaller institutions and the other an up-market option? In fact, in the July 2 press release announcing the deal, NCR claimed that the latter question could be answered in the affirmative. The news release noted that D3 “immediately expands” NCR into new markets, notably “U.S. large banks and over time, international banks.”

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Topics: D3 Banking, NCR, Digital Banking

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

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