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SRM Perspectives on Key Industry Trends

Could PayPal Reset the Stablecoin Market?

Posted by Patti Wubbels on Jul 12, 2022 10:00:00 AM

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Given recent headlines, stablecoin supporters may disagree with the saying, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

TerraUSA, an algorithmic stablecoin, imploded in May. This hurt the valuation of numerous cryptocurrencies and cast doubt on Tether’s ability to sustain its own $1 peg. Thus far, Tether has defied the skeptics.

Amid this tense environment, it’s interesting to revisit the January headlines speculating that PayPal was mulling introducing a stablecoin. According to company officials, the rumor was based on source code embedded in PayPal’s iPhone app, which was inadvertently left behind after an internal hackathon.

It’s difficult to envision PayPal taking on this challenge soon. Meta’s ill-fated stablecoin foray via Diem/Libra illustrates the hurdles facing such an endeavor, especially one undertaken by a tech giant.

At the same time, it’s important to speculate on how such an offering might impact the broader market over the long term. After starting its life as the first true digital financial services disruptor, PayPal could, ironically, find itself cast as an enabler of traditional market stability due to recent crypto market turmoil.

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Topics: Payments, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Stablecoins, PayPal

How to Firewall Risk in a Buy Now, Pay Later Product

Posted by Paul Davis on Jul 6, 2022 11:14:00 AM

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 In our recent report, we made the case that banks and credit unions consider Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) as part of a holistic suite of payments products.

While a study from IntraFi Network found that four out of five small banks and credit unions are reluctant to get into BNPL, SRM believes that traditional FIs have the infrastructure to handle compliance requirements from agencies such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Topics: Payments, Buy Now Pay Later, BNPL, Credit Union Vendor Contracts, Bank Vendor Contracts, Point-of-Sale

Card Fees Back in Washington’s Crosshairs

Posted by Myron Schwarcz on Jun 29, 2022 11:17:00 AM

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Two recent developments are sending a message to credit card issuers that the regulatory and political winds are not blowing in their favor.

Rohit Chopra, director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), on June 22 issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking to assess if late fees charged by credit card issuers are “reasonable and proportional,” as required by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure (CARD) Act.

Chopra’s notice came weeks after longtime card industry adversary Sen. Richard Durbin chaired a Judiciary Committee meeting exploring “excessive interchange fees.” While Durbin advocated for reforms, some of his suggestions would set the industry back by decades, likely ending the ability of small banks and credit unions to offer credit cards and directly harming consumers.

Though the outcome is uncertain, the trajectory is clear. Now is the time for a refresher course on the current rules of the road and for issuers to prepare for any potential changes arising during this period of heightened scrutiny.

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Topics: Durbin Amendment, CFPB, Credit Card Fees, CARD Act, Dodd-Frank Act, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

Now Is the Time to Explore Distributed Ledger Technology

Posted by Patti Wubbels on Jun 14, 2022 11:07:00 AM

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While a number of financial institutions remain cautious about cryptocurrency, many use the underlying technology for other purposes.

The up-and-down swings of digital assets, and an uncertain regulatory climate, have kept a fair share of banks and credit unions on the sidelines. At the same time, FIs have shown a willingness to embrace distributed ledger technology (DLT) ahead of the volatile crypto market.

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Topics: Fintech, Blockchain, Credit Union Vendor Contracts, Bank Vendor Contracts, CFPB, Distributed Ledger Technology

CFPB Poised to Shake Up Competition for Consumers

Posted by Paul Davis on Jun 8, 2022 10:01:00 AM

CFPB Poised to Shake Up Competition for Consumers

Several initiatives by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) seem poised to increase competition between traditional financial services providers and fintechs.

An effort to regulate nonbanks has gained support from banks and credit unions. Still, the CFPB’s plan to make it easier for consumers to move accounts will pressure traditional financial institutions to offer more products and better services.

These initiatives are coming when the agency is scrutinizing overdraft and nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees, the CARD Act, and the terms and disclosures of Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) offerings – the latter a topic SRM recently wrote a report on.

All signs point to the need for banks and credit unions to buckle up in coming months. These expected changes will likely bring fintech even more into the mainstream and raise the stakes when it comes to recruiting and retaining clients.

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Topics: Payments, Fintech, Regulations, Credit Union Vendor Contracts, Bank Vendor Contracts, CFPB

What Investors Want to Know About Your Tech Strategy

Posted by Paul Davis on Jun 2, 2022 11:02:00 AM

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In a recent conversation with a Colorado banker about tech strategies, he mentioned a looming investor meeting. He was putting together an overview and was trying to decide the best way to proceed.

"These are the people who provide the underlying support for what we're doing, so I want to make sure they know the road we're on will provide the value they want," he told me.

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Topics: Digital Banking, Vendor management, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Banking-as-a-Service

BNPL: Why Banks and Credit Unions Need to Pay Attention

Posted by Keith Ash on May 26, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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Financial institutions of all sizes are under pressure to find new revenue sources and solidify their status as customers' trusted financial advisors. One would think FIs would race to participate in a lending category projected to grow significantly in coming years – and one where 70% of consumers indicated in a recent survey that they'd prefer access through their bank.

That isn’t necessarily the case. Surprisingly, a study by IntraFi Network found that 80% of community banks and credit unions have no plans to introduce Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services. A new SRM report details why FIs should closely examine this opportunity – not only as a revenue generator but also to defend current and future business.

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Topics: Fintech, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Buy Now Pay Later, BNPL, Consumer Lending

TerraUSD Collapse is a Teachable Moment in Crypto

Posted by Patti Wubbels on May 19, 2022 12:01:10 PM

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Perspective matters when it comes to cryptocurrency.

The demise of the TerraUSD stablecoin has understandably spooked the markets. Any sudden freefall will panic people and make them wonder what’s next.

Investors, and FIs looking to offer crypto services, need to read between the lines and view this crash as an educational opportunity.

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Topics: Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Stablecoins, Blockchain, Crypto

Fintech is Redefining Community Banking

Posted by Paul Davis on May 2, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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Fintech is helping a growing number of banks and credit unions reconfigure the communities they serve.

Historically, financial institutions have focused on clients based on geography, be that a neighborhood or city for banks or a local company or industry for credit union membership. Over time, those boundaries became more fluid as banks entered new markets and credit unions expanded their fields of membership.

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Topics: Fintech, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Cryptocurrency, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Segmentation, Banking-as-a-Service, BaaS

How to Navigate the Shifting Winds with Overdraft Fees

Posted by Keith Ash on Apr 25, 2022 11:19:09 AM

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Several high-profile banks, including Capital One, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America, have announced plans to either eliminate or dramatically reduce overdraft (OD) and nonsufficient funds (NSF) fees. It could be argued that these banks made this leap before regulators, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), required them to do so.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Regulations, Deposits, Overdraft

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