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SRM Perspectives on Key Industry Trends

Budgeting for 2022 | 5 Key Considerations for Your Vendor Contracts

Posted by Ben Mrva on Oct 5, 2021 11:00:00 AM

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Budgeting and planning season is usually a routine time for evaluating your business priorities and associated costs. However, while some banks and credit unions have already set their 2022 budgets, others are still calculating forecasts or waiting for more data.

Too often, management teams and boards plug vendor costs into their annual budgets and forecasts without questioning whether those contracts can be improved. This is undoubtedly a more complex task than ever as we face the coming winter months and the uncertainties surrounding the lingering impact of COVID-19.

There is, however, one area that is a sure opportunity for cost savings in your budgeting cycle – vendor contracts.

Banks and credit unions tend to plug vendor costs into their budgets and forecasts without questioning whether those contracts can be improved. This is often a mistake.

The truth is, no matter what the economic conditions, it is possible to reduce vendor costs without switching vendors or impacting service levels.

Here are 5 questions to ask when it comes to vendor contracts during this critical budget season:

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Budgets

Boosting Growth in a Far-From-Normal Banking Environment

Posted by Bob Koehler & Tim Keith on Sep 21, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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As discussed in a recent blog post, banks and credit unions of all sizes continue to navigate a bizarre disconnect. Awash in a steady stream of deposit inflows from both businesses and consumers, institutions are hard-pressed to generate sufficient loan demand to put these funds to profitable use.

A crucial part of the challenge stems from account acquisition capabilities not keeping pace with customers’ digital evolution. This trend was already well underway but accelerated during the pandemic. SRM’s recent white paper, How Financial Institutions Can Boost Account Growth to Move with Changing Margins, outlines an actionable methodology for leveraging data analysis and market expertise to identify and act on a consistent stream of opportunities.

Here’s a preview of some of the insights covered in the white paper.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

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

Apple Pay Later | Will Card Issuers Respond in Time?

Posted by Myron Schwarcz and Larry Pruss on Aug 10, 2021 1:30:00 PM

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If there were any lingering doubts about the potential impact of the buy now, pay later (BNPL) installment credit model on card economics, Square’s recently announced $29 billion acquisition of Afterpay likely put them to rest. Nonetheless, we see Apple’s plan to enter the fray with a feature built into Apple Pay as the more significant near-term concern.

Though much is still unknown, the unofficially dubbed “Apple Pay Later” could potentially be more threatening to card issuers than existing BNPL products. It could also further complicate the Apple - bank/credit union/debit issuers relationship, which could already be described as “frenemies” at best.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

SRM Mid-Year Trends 2021 | Banks & CUs Perform Balancing Act

Posted by Paul Davis on Jul 14, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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SRM recently released its list of 2021 midyear trends that banks and credit unions should monitor during the second half of this year. Naturally, these developments didn’t appear out of thin air – our top-performing project managers and experts make it their business to examine and spotlight those topics which carry the greatest strategic impact for payments and financial services.

In this post, SRM shines a light on some big acts we’ve long anticipated will draw attention by the millions, billions, and trillions.

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Topics: Digital Banking, Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, payment trends, Voice Assistants

Despite Crypto’s Correction, No Change to Fundamentals

Posted by Larry Pruss on Jul 8, 2021 10:00:00 AM

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Bitcoin has lost half of its value since reaching an all-time high mid-April. Although one might think this setback would cast a pall over a gathering of cryptocurrency enthusiasts, the overall tone of Coindesk’s Consensus conference in late May remained constructive and upbeat.

For those keeping their eyes on the prize, these two paths are not contradictory. Crypto’s long term value proposition hinges on its adoption as a means of exchange, not its volatile pricing as a speculative asset class. And there’s no sign of slowing down among large financial institutions and scrappy entrepreneurs creating trading and custody platforms and expanding payment capabilities for digital coins. These are the areas where banks and credit unions of all sizes need to take note.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

Hope for the Best, Plan for the Rest | Three Scenarios for Operational Excellence

Posted by Patrick Goodwin, President on Apr 25, 2021 9:00:00 AM

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With vaccinations ramping up and most businesses reopening this spring, it’s getting easier to envision a return to normalcy later in 2021. Even so, neither Main Street entrepreneurs nor bankers are quite ready to heave a sigh of relief.

As has been seen...and experienced, some need more assistance than others, and some have proven adaptable to new conditions, whatever comes next.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Operational Excellence, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Bank Consulting, Credit Union Consulting, strategies for credit unions, Consulting For Banking Operations, Consulting For Credit Unions

Optimizing PIN Networks for New Forecasts | Planning for Post-Pandemic Consumer Payments

Posted by Bob Koehler on Mar 23, 2021 9:30:00 AM

 

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The winds have shifted since 2020 made game-changing waves in debit card usage on multiple fronts, including:

  • In-person versus online spending
  • Categories of merchants patronized
  • Contactless/mobile app adoption

Each of these factors carries implications for banks, credit unions, and other card issuers and their existing revenue models. Below are a few opportunities and recalibrations to consider for your next PIN network vendor negotiation.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management, Durbin Amendment, PIN Optimization, Interchange

The 2021 Outlook | A Return to Normal, Without Returning to the Past? Part 2

Posted by Ben Mrva on Feb 16, 2021 9:36:00 AM

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In a recent blog post, we elaborated on several trends that our payments experts expect will impact the banking industry in 2021 - including trends regarding digital banking investments and the branch’s evolving role with consumers.

Let’s continue that conversation by exploring additional factors directly related to the retail banking industry’s current environment, specifically:

  • The ongoing shifts in payments preferences
  • Battening down for the next economic wave
  • Changes in the regulatory climate

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

Recalibrating for COVID-19 | Long-Term Planning in Short-Term Uncertainty

Posted by Larry Pruss on Feb 2, 2021 9:30:00 AM

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My colleague, Patrick Goodwin, recently wrote about the challenges of budgeting amid the uncertainty of a pandemic. Given the circumstances, it’s understandable some might be seeking a “hall pass,” to excuse themselves from long-range planning. Unfortunately, the hyper-competitive financial services marketplace doesn’t allow for such luxury.

Strategic planning is laced with uncertainty. Much of its value is derived from the team-based exercise of thinking through contingencies and gaming out some of the inevitable course corrections. In that sense, the effort may be more important than ever for the 2021-23 horizon.

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Topics: Vendor Contract Negotiation, Bank Vendor Management, Credit Union Vendor Management

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