The financial landscape evolves fast, with banks and credit unions constantly seeking ways to enhance their services, stay competitive, and comply with laws and regulations. One significant challenge they face is the conversion of their card processors – a complex and mission-critical task that can benefit from the expertise of a consulting partner.
Reputation. It’s the single most important factor for any organization and should always be a key consideration for financial institutions evaluating any strategic, operational, and technology initiatives.
At SRM, we consider ourselves not only advisors but information gatherers and trend trackers. When not working directly with our clients on strategic endeavors or identifying bottom-line savings, we seek out the latest industry insights across our professional networks and from our state, regional, and national partners.
SRM’s recent report makes the case that banks and credit unions of all sizes need to develop a fintech blueprint – an actionable, comprehensive strategy to address industry evolution. In a previous blog, we outlined some recent innovations – open banking, real-time payments, and embedded finance – that should serve as a call to action.
Most banks and credit unions will claim to have a “fintech strategy,” but their plans are often rudimentary at best. Those who went the extra mile to build plans with greater specificity were rewarded when the pandemic spurred a need to transition operations and customer engagement to digital channels. Much like disaster recovery planning, the payback only becomes apparent in hindsight.
This year is proving to be pivotal for tech-focused banks and credit unions.
Real-time payments will get a shot in the arm from FedNow’s debut, while Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) is plugging more fintechs into mainstream financial services. Still, the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank created challenges for some early-stage companies.
Banks and credit unions are taking a new look at the role their core systems play in delivering products and services to customers.
The SRM recently returned from Bank Director’s Acquire or Be Acquired conference. The event was well attended, provided great networking opportunities, and created a forum for sharing ideas on numerous growth strategies for financial institutions of all sizes.
While the event remains focused on the topic of mergers and acquisitions, this year’s sessions highlighted broader strategic initiatives that can differentiate winners and losers in the financial services industry. Naturally, fintech played a considerable role, as witnessed by the attendees and the topics.
The future is digital, and credit unions’ ability to deliver an exceptional experience will be a critical benchmark for success. Strategic questions abound. How do you harmonize the digital channel with the personalized in-branch experience? Should you partner with fintechs? If so, which providers and services should be prioritized? Do you understand what your members want and how you stack up against your competition?
Shifts in the regulatory landscape carry significant impacts on banks, credit unions, and the fintech companies that are part of a growing ecosystem. The most-active agency in recent months has been the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). There's little reason to expect the CFPB to slow its pace in 2023, aggressively enforcing existing rules and angling to expand its jurisdiction.