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American Banker Research: Issues + Actions

The Issues + Actions reports are produced by the editors of American Banker in partnership with SourceMedia Research (experienced research professionals with strong backgrounds in market research and analysis).

The reports draw upon a series of current proprietary surveys that probe the activities, experiences, and perceptions of C-suite and other senior-level banking professionals.

Qualified survey respondents are drawn from among American Banker subscribers, and include professionals familiar with (consumer finance, wealth management, mobile banking, personal finance management, etc) at their institutions. Some 200 senior executives and other decision-makers at U.S. banking institutions of all sizes participate.

The reports assess how financial executives and their institutions are responding to, and capitalizing on, the fundamental forces that are changing the industry. Each provides exclusive and authoritative data-driven analysis and insight on a topic of vital interest to the operation of a banking company. They are designed to inform senior executives, line-of-business leaders, marketers, and technology providers seeking deeper, more actionable industry perspectives, whether as clients or competitors.

A separate section drills down on the past three months of data from American Banker’s Index of Banking Activity, which delivers monthly insight into banks’ spending, lending and outlook on their business.

Upcoming topics to include risk management, technology, data and analytics, systems and infrastructure, and social media and marketing.

Fintech 2017: Shifting Budgets and Priorities

Blockchains in Action

The number of banks experimenting with blockchain projects — or joining blockchain conglomerate initiatives — is growing by the day. In this report, we analyze the nascent use cases of financial institutions experimenting with distributed database technology, one of the most talked-about innovations in financial services. The initiatives of JPMorgan, IBM, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, the DTCC, Nasdaq, Royal Bank of Canada and Deutsche Bank are among those discussed in detail.

Open APIs: A Banker's Guide

Application programming interfaces allow software programs to talk to each other. They are a potential solution to the current industry standoff over sharing of bank customer data with aggregation sites; in the long term, they could transform how banking is done, making customer relationships less sticky but opening up new revenue models for financial institutions. Drawing on a proprietary survey of banking executives, this paper explains where the industry sees the most potential for open APIs to enable innovation and improve security, the degree to which banks have adopted the technology and the reasons many remain reluctant to do so.

Mobile-Wallet Battle: Where and How Banks Are Placing Bets

Technology companies like Apple and Samsung brought mobile payments to the fore and issues that led the U.S. to lag in mobile wallets have for the most part been settled. This report examines how a core group of banks are establishing themselves as pace-setters in attacking the challenge of remaining "top of wallet" as consumers migrate commerce to smartphones.

Blockchains and Shared Ledgers: A Banker's Guide

How technologies inspired and influenced by bitcoin could reshape financial services, from payments to securities settlement to document preparation and beyond.

Next Mission for Banks in Mobile: Getting the Customer to Go Deeper

Almost all banks have deployed at least a basic smartphone application, but mobile’s transformational impact on the industry is still skin-deep in many corners. Theoretically, customers could do almost all their banking on a smartphone, but a very small minority even come close to doing so. How banks are planning to tackle that next challenge.

Decision by Data: Diving Deeper with Analytics

Data trails and electronic imprints have transformed the way many businesses reach customers, seek opportunities, design products, defend against risk and plan investments. But how far have data and analytics gone in supplanting intuition, rules of thumb, instinct and experience in banks’ decision-making processes? In which activities are analytics the most prevalent, the most desirable, the most challenging to implement?

Network Check: Crosscurrents in Branches and Technology

The macro-level decline in branches belies a much more nuanced reality — many banks below the top tier are actively scaling up and advances in branch technology are achieving deep penetration in the industry.

Regulatory Risk Takes Center Stage

Regulatory risk and security and privacy concerns top bank executives' risk-related worries. The result: Higher spending on staffing and systems and departures from a range of commercial and consumer lines.

Niche No More: PFM Takes Center Stage

Lured by the promise of better insight into consumer needs as well as the potential for cross-sale opportunities, many bank executives are poised to add personal financial management to their consumer offerings.

The State of Mobile Banking: Moving Targets, Shifting Metrics

Mobile offerings have now become nearly universal across the industry, and that banks are increasing budgets to rapidly build out features as new technology emerges. At the same time, unease is evident among executives over the deployment of an ever wider array of services that do not directly generate revenue, although a rough consensus of sorts is forming around what kinds of metrics constitute an appropriate assessment of ROI in this space.

Making Wealth Management Work

While some aspects of the conventional wisdom regarding banks' entering wealth management are accurate, the reality is far more nuanced. A recent survey of bank executives by American Banker and SourceMedia Research shows that wealth management is on many bank executives' radars and that the coming years will see increased competition for customer relationships in this arena. This report assesses what exactly bankers mean when they think about "wealth management," what areas they are targeting, and what hurdles to success they have identified as they seek to buttress their sources of noninterest income.

Bracing for Transformation in Consumer Finance

Economic, regulatory, technological, and competitive pressures have drastically altered the financial services industry, particularly in businesses that touch the American consumer. An analysis by American Banker/ SourceMedia Research shows that the transformation is far from over. Based on surveys of more than 200 financial services executives, this report offers insight into what banks have done to adapt their businesses, and what they’re likely to do next.

In this episode of Breaking Banks: American Banker's Innovator of the Year, John Hope Bryant of Operation Hope; Richard Brown and Charley Cooper of the blockchain consortium R3; and Ravi Srinivasan, who describes India's drastic move to stamp out cash.