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SRM Perspectives on Key Industry Trends

Regulation, Innovation Took Center Stage at Money20/20

Posted by Keith Ash on Nov 14, 2022 11:37:00 AM

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This year’s edition of Money20/20 was back in full force. It was a well-attended event by all players in the ecosystem, a definitive difference from last year when lingering COVID-19 travel restrictions kept many would-be attendees on the sideline.

The conversation among the 13,000 registered attendees in Las Vegas, and countless others working the periphery, expanded beyond last year’s darling – cryptocurrency – to encompass other issues financial institutions will face as they head into a potentially turbulent 2023. This year’s top themes included safety and security, innovation, and evolving regulation.

Here are a few recurring observations from our time there...

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Topics: Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Regulation, Metaverse, FedNow

Why Staffing, Tech Upgrades Matter with 2023 Budgets

Posted by Paul Davis on Nov 9, 2022 11:14:00 AM

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Budgeting season for 2023 is slowly wrapping up as banks and credit unions forecast revenue opportunities and looming expenses.

 

Financial institutions are considering future interest rate hikes, regulatory oversight, and increasing personnel and operational costs, among other things. The bigger picture is that client retention and recruitment will be critical to long-term success – invest now to ensure you’re ready to compete. 

At SRM, we urge banks and credit unions to take a hard look at third-party contracts as they plan for the new year. There are also other considerations that should be made as you prepare for the future.

 

This year, we polled some of our experts, asking them to highlight areas that merit extra attention. Here are some highlights from their responses.

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Topics: Fintech, Automation, AI, Digital Assets, customer retention, ITM, Staffing

Despite Cooling Temperatures, Crypto Is Still Hot

Posted by Larry Pruss on Nov 3, 2022 12:12:19 PM

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Professionals focused on the strategic and operational aspects of digital assets such as cryptocurrency have learned to disregard the media cycles.

Last year’s breathless hype – driven almost entirely by a retail investor frenzy – has given way to a “crypto is dead” storyline that emphasizes volatility and fraudulent applications. Lost in the noise is the fact that Bitcoin’s price has been relatively stable over the past four months.

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Topics: Payments, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Digital Assets, Crypto

White House Provides More Clarity on Digital Assets

Posted by Larry Pruss on Sep 27, 2022 12:27:26 PM

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We're beginning to get some clarity from the White House regarding its approach to digital assets, including the potential development of a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC).

With the release of a wide-ranging report, the White House appears to be embracing digital assets and their potential for transparent, cost-efficient, and inclusive financial services. A background press call provided even more insight into the Biden Administration's thinking.

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Topics: Payments, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, CBDC, Blockchain, Regulation, Digital Ledger Technology

Education and Trust Matter When Dealing with Digital Assets

Posted by Larry Pruss on Sep 19, 2022 11:24:00 AM

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The Biden Administration's March executive order seeking information on digital assets' usage and security set a flurry of activity into motion. This included a mandate for the Treasury Department to deliver a report on the future of money and payments systems. The agency issued a public request for comment in July, and SRM quickly responded, drawing from our detailed and ongoing coverage of cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

You can read our complete submission here; however, the condensed version below highlights the key points we believe every financial institution should consider as policies toward digital assets take shape.    

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Topics: Payments, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Stablecoins, Blockchain, Regulation, Digital Ledger Technology

5 Things Financial Institutions Should Know About the Metaverse

Posted by Neil Dougherty on Aug 30, 2022 2:24:21 PM

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A Google search for "metaverse" results in roughly 203 million results – an overwhelming number of options for learning more about an emerging digital world.

But what exactly is the metaverse? And what does it mean for financial institutions now and in the future?

As I shared in a recent article, the metaverse is a vision, not just a technology. It's a virtual world driven by the thriving global gaming culture that lets people create an entirely virtual version of themselves.

In that world, users create and pursue unique experiences. Much like the real world, some form of currency is necessary, providing opportunities for banks and credit unions.

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Topics: Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Banking in the Metaverse, MetaFi, Metaverse, Crypto Wallets, Virtual Reality

Crypto, BNPL, and Regulation: Key Trends to Watch in the Coming Months

Posted by Ben Mrva on Jul 28, 2022 11:14:00 AM

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The first half of 2022 was eventful for banks and credit unions, and there’s no reason to expect the pace to slow. Financial institutions must monitor changes to the payments ecosystem while simultaneously dealing with rising interest rates, eroding consumer confidence, and potential cracks in credit quality.

Here’s a quick summary of what the team at SRM sees as the key trends in financial services and how these trends might play out over the balance of the year.

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Topics: Payments, Cryptocurrency, Digital Assets, Overdraft, BNPL, CFPB

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

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

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

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