Actionable Insights From APT's Financial Services Practice
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Banking Strategies: Top Trends for 2016

January 8th, 2016 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Banking Strategies: Top Trends for 2016)

Banking Strategies recently published an article by APT SVP Will Weidman, naming the top trends that FIs should watch in 2016. Weidman says, “2016 is looking to be one of the most transformative years in financial services in decades. Disruptive competitors are growing, digital and mobile continues to evolve, branches look more and more like Apple stores and interest rates have started rising. Banks will need to embrace smart innovation not only to keep up, but to truly differentiate themselves in a cost effective manner.”

Click here to read more (requires subscription).

Strengthening Relationships with Analytics

November 23rd, 2015 | Posted by Joseph Galiano in Financial Services | Financial Services | Financial Services - (Comments Off on Strengthening Relationships with Analytics)

Gallup recently published a poll comparing a variety of statistics between national and community banks, which illuminates a few surprising facts. One apparent paradox is that while community banks are more successful at engaging their customers, they lag behind national banks in capturing share of wallet. While customers at national banks keep 71% of their financial products with their primary banks, customers at regional banks only keep 66%. (more…)

City Branch Revolution

May 27th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on City Branch Revolution)

With the influx of technology solutions in retail banking, which includes ATM upgrades that enable more types of transactions, mobile solutions, and internet banking, banks are seeking to change branch models in high-traffic urban areas.

Similar trends have already been a focus for retailers and restaurants where there is a shift towards opening smaller, but more technology-based, stores in the past few years. Mary Wisniewski speaks to this trend in an American Banker article, which discusses how Wells Fargo has recently opened urban branches in densely populated, urban areas, such as the U Street corridor of Washington, D.C. In doing this, Well Fargo aims to target customers who are comfortable using technology and who prefer their branches to be within walking distances to either their home or work. In addition to these changes reflecting customer demand and behavior, she notes that the cost savings are a huge bonus: “Because they are significantly smaller than a typical branch, they are also helping Wells to reduce branch overhead at a time when branch traffic continues to decline.”

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Managing Shareholder Expectations When Making Technology Investments

April 16th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Managing Shareholder Expectations When Making Technology Investments)

As the economy improves, more banks are increasing capital expenditures in order to modernize existing operations and invest in new technologies.

In a recent American Banker article, Andy Peters points out that the retail arms of banks have traditionally lagged behind on technology, and that many have recently made sizeable capital expenditures on technology infrastructure. Peters points out that “banks are estimated to spend 4.2% more on technology this year compared with 2013,” and reports that banks such as Valley National and Zions Bank are spending between $200 million and $500 million over the next few years to set up key infrastructure that ranges from upgrading teller technology to improving retail branches. (more…)

Banking Strategies: Top 5 Retail Banking Trends for 2014

December 18th, 2013 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services | Financial Services - (Comments Off on Banking Strategies: Top 5 Retail Banking Trends for 2014)

APT SVP Will Weidman’s article about the top five retail banking trends for 2014 was recently featured in Banking Strategies. Trends for the new year include more targeted advertising and the bifurcation of the branch. Click here to read more.

Banks Charge for Branching Out

November 25th, 2013 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services | Financial Services - (Comments Off on Banks Charge for Branching Out)

In the constant struggle to figure out how to successfully charge fees, some banks are now charging customers for using the branch. A recent article by CNBC cited multiple cases in which banks are introducing accounts for customers who plan to bank mostly through online, mobile, and ATM channels. However, if the customer wishes to bank in the branch, he may face a sizable fee: $8.95/month in the case of Bank of America’s “eBanking” account mentioned in the article.

As we’ve seen with many other banking fee innovations, charging for branch services bears risk. Bank of America recently folded their eBanking account offering after three years, a spokesperson acknowledging that “Customers want full service banking, even if they only visit a teller infrequently.” This action further underscores a trend that we’ve seen before:  fees will likely be much less successful if they are tacked onto a product or service that customers are accustomed to receiving for free. In many cases, it may simply be too difficult to get around the customer’s disposition against fees for products/services that were historically free.  Alternatively, banks may be more successful in charging fees for new or expedited services, such as fraud monitoring and faster mobile check deposit availability.

So how can banks determine which fees are profitable? Neil Weinberg, editor of American Banker suggested, “What is a premium service that they’re willing to see fees from? That’s the experimentation.” Experimentation is indeed the way APT has helped many banks understand the profitability of new fees. Banks should test new fees in a few markets or branches to measure the impact on key performance metrics and decide whether broader rollout is warranted. Click here to read more about APT’s work analyzing in-market tests at leading financial institutions.

Bank of America Trims Drive-Up Service In Some Branches

September 6th, 2013 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Bank of America Trims Drive-Up Service In Some Branches)

A recent NPR article reports that Bank of America recently decreased drive-through teller services in some locations. This reduction in drive-through services is another example of the changing nature of the bank branch. In the article, APT SVP Will Weidman comments on this trend. Click here to read the article.