Actionable Insights From APT's Financial Services Practice

APT & The Economist Release Joint Report About Decision-Making

June 2nd, 2014 | Posted by Jatin Atre in Financial Services - (Comments Off on APT & The Economist Release Joint Report About Decision-Making)

To “decide” can be interpreted as “picking one option and killing off all others.” In business, doing this right has large rewards, and getting it wrong has severe consequences. While executives have always made decisions, increasing amounts of data,  sophisticated consumers, rapidly evolving technology, and disruptive competitors, are fundamentally changing the art and science of decision-making.

APT partnered with the Economist Intelligence Unit to study how decision-making is rapidly evolving across various industries and geographies. The resulting report addresses tough and important questions, such as:

(1) How do executives blend intuition with data? Are companies allowing executives to trust intuition?

(2) How are executives using data in decision-making when the data is counter-intuitive to their beliefs?

(3) With so much data available, which data should executives consider? And, how should they best incorporate it in decision-making?

The report will be released on June 5th in London. Please email info[at] to be the first to get a complimentary copy of this actionable report written by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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.”


Banking Strategies: Analytics for Commercial Banking

May 13th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Banking Strategies: Analytics for Commercial Banking)

An article by APT SVP Will Weidman about best practices for commercial banking analytics was recently published in BAI’s Banking Analytics. In the article, Weidman discusses various functional areas in which commercial banks can improve profitability by testing new ideas and optimizing existing activities. Some areas include lead generation and banker outreach, training programs, and banker specialization. Weidman comments, “The huge opportunity stems from the large and specialized salesforce, who are highly skilled and represent the key to driving success in commercial banking. Analytics can help make sure these critical employees receive the tools they need and that the institution gets the most out of its salesforce. Banks should aim to learn more about what is currently working well in commercial banking to better prioritize banker activities going forward and become more disciplined with future investments in training programs and staffing.”

Please click here to read the full article, and learn more about APT’s experience in employee-based tests.

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…)

Using Big Data to Innovate

March 31st, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Using Big Data to Innovate)

In a recent Wall Street Journal article, Randy Bean discusses how Big Data is enabling financial services organizations to innovate in new ways. Whereas data analysis was previously seen as a reactive process, Bean aptly points out that now, “Big Data is delivering innovation through greater data agility, rapid trial and error, and faster learning, resulting in accelerated speed to market, and in new forms of customer disintermediation and tailored customer experiences.”  (more…)

Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency

February 19th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Big Data Zeroes in on Ad Inefficiency)

As data sophistication increases and advertising channels multiply, one question is becoming increasingly relevant in the banking industry: How can banks optimize ad spend across all channels and ensure they aren’t wasting money on marketing that won’t provide returns? In his recent Editor and Publisher blog, Alan Mutter poses the same question. The main solution he identifies is using APT’s Test & Learn to measure the incremental impact of media investments and other marketing activities. Please see an excerpt from the blog below: (more…)

APT Hires Jeff Babka as CFO

February 13th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on APT Hires Jeff Babka as CFO)

APT is featured in a recent Washington Post article, which highlights our recent hiring of Jeff Babka as CFO. Click here to read the article.

APT CEO Anthony Bruce Appears on Bloomberg TV

January 27th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services | Financial Services - (Comments Off on APT CEO Anthony Bruce Appears on Bloomberg TV)

APT CEO Anthony Bruce was recently featured on Bloomberg TV. Click here to watch as Anthony discusses Big Data and why experimentation is the best way to determine whether a new approach or strategy really works.

Making the Switch: UK Legislation Makes it Easier to Move Between Banks

January 20th, 2014 | Posted by JDouglass in Financial Services - (Comments Off on Making the Switch: UK Legislation Makes it Easier to Move Between Banks)

In a move to make it easier for consumers to switch banks and to increase competition in the banking industry, the Payments Council of the UK has rolled out a “current account switch service” to speed up the process. The service will switch a consumer’s current account to a new bank within 7 days by transferring funds between banks, moving all standing direct debits to the new bank, and automatically redirecting any payments accidentally made from the old account to the new account for 13 months. While participating in the service is not mandated by law, 33 institutions have already enrolled.

Many banks have been using the service as an opportunity to increase their current account market share. This is creating an incentive war among UK banks, both large and small: for example, First Direct is offering £100 to customers who switch from another bank and another £100 if they aren’t satisfied within the first 12 months. Nationwide is offering 5% interest on their FlexDirect account for the first 12 months, and Santander is offering 4 free months of Arranged Overdraft for switching customers. (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.