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SRM Perspectives on Key Industry Trends

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

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

How Financial Institutions Are Trying to Appeal to Younger Consumers

Posted by Paul Davis on Jan 18, 2022 9:30:00 AM

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Financial institutions (FIs) of all sizes struggle to recruit and retain younger employees and customers – a challenge exacerbated by the rise of neobanks that offer enhanced experiences, streamlined processes, and faster decisions.

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Topics: Payments, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Rewards Programs, Gen Z

The Banking Trends That Will Define 2022, Part Two

Posted by Ben Mrva on Dec 28, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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In a recent post, we discussed two trends we anticipate driving strategy discussions for bank and credit union leadership teams in 2022. Our first trend breakdown focused on operational items – including back-office automation, loan originations, branch footprints, and artificial intelligence.

This blog will look at evolving customer trends that financial institutions (FIs) should address to maintain their valuable status as financial services providers of choice.

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Topics: Payments, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Credit Card, Cryptocurrency, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Buy Now Pay Later

Durbin 2.0 Part II: Who Weighed In and What They Said

Posted by Keith Ash on Oct 18, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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As discussed in a previous blog, the Federal Reserve began seeking comments on proposed changes to Reg II of the Durbin Amendment in May. At that time, the Fed said that it felt the changes would be non-substantial and would not include more compliance obligations. Currently, the Fed bars issuers from restricting the number of unaffiliated networks for debit card transactions to fewer than two, including one signature network and one PIN network. The new proposal would make issuers responsible for ensuring that all transactions with US merchants can be routed across two unaffiliated networks.

While the Fed characterized this change as a simple clarification, it is anything but, as evidenced by the over 2,600 comments received. It is clear this issue is complex, substantial, and would increase compliance obligations.

We have sorted through the comments posted on the Fed's website and various government sites to summarize the key points for both sides of this argument.

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Topics: Payments, Credit Union Vendor Management, Durbin Amendment, Regulations

Durbin 2.0: Creating Clarity or Confusion?

Posted by Myron Schwarcz and Keith Ash on Aug 17, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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Rumor is that a further tightening of the Durbin Amendment is on the near-term horizon for card issuers. The most concrete evidence is the Fed’s May request-for-comment on regulations for debit routing of online transactions.

The Fed wants to clarify the regulatory requirement that at least two unaffiliated payment card networks must be enabled for all debit card transactions, including card-not-present (CNP), and card-issuing banks and credit unions will be held responsible. Some terminology will also see standardization.

While the Fed positioned its query as a “non-substantive clarification,” many of the 453 comments submitted so far express a belief that the proposal, if enacted, would have a significant impact on issuers. Meanwhile, bankers are entering a period of uncertainty as they closely monitor the situation for implications to P&L.

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Topics: Payments, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Durbin Amendment, Regulations

New OCC Fintech Charter Gives Challengers & Neobanks A Competitive Edge

Posted by Paul Davis on Jul 22, 2021 9:15:00 AM

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In recent years, challenger banks, neobanks, and other fintech startups have intensified their efforts to compete as financial services providers. Now, regulators have renewed interest in shifting the odds in their favor.

By obtaining a new specialized charter through the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), new competitors may gain strategic advantages over more conventional banks and credit unions.

Here is a closer look at some legal and regulatory developments which could determine just how entrenched fintechs will become in the payments system – and how competitive they can be with core banking products and services.

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Topics: Payments, Fintech, Digital Banking, FDIC, Challenger Bank, Neobank, Growth Strategies

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) Take the Global Payments Stage | Defining the Crypto Role for Banks and Credit Unions

Posted by Larry Pruss on May 2, 2021 8:15:00 AM

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Bitcoin’s value - which has doubled in 2021 - continues to generate headlines but, behind the scenes, something even more significant for banking, as we know it, is happening. Central bank digital currencies are now emerging from experimental trials, disrupting the norm, to take a leading role on the global payments stage.

As for banks and credit unions, we recommend researching and rehearsing your crypto lines (of business) for showtime.

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Topics: Payments, Cryptocurrency, DeFi, Disruptors, CBDCs, Central Bank Digital Currencies

How the 2020 Election Will Impact 2021 Payments Strategies

Posted by Myron Schwarcz on Oct 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM

How the 2020 Election Will Impact 2021 Payments Strategies

Let’s begin by stating the obvious: this will not be a normal election season. As it has for so many aspects of everyday life, COVID has radically altered the basics of voting- from a huge uptick in advance and absentee ballots to the near-elimination of traditional campaign rallies.

We know that markets hate uncertainty – and that’s one thing in ample supply these days. Uncertainty creates hesitancy to invest in initiatives that could be upended based on the election outcome. This is especially problematic in our current environment, with so many critical issues clamoring to be addressed.

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Topics: Payments, Payment Strategies

No Sign of Payments Slowdown in Latest Fed Research

Posted by Larry Pruss on Jan 27, 2020 12:00:00 PM

No Sign of Payments Slowdown in Latest Fed Research

January’s release of the 2019 Payments Study from the Federal Reserve reveals that American purchasing behavior is evolving at full force, especially in debit and credit card use. Every three years, the Fed releases a comprehensive study on usage trends for noncash payment instruments. This most recent data shows the persistence of several longstanding trends – and some are gaining speed.

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Topics: Payments, Vendor Contract, Cardless, Noncash, Debit and Credit, Payment Strategies

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