10 Big Ideas for Banking in 2015

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  • Apple took only seven years to become the world's largest music retailer and Alibaba, often described as the Amazon of China, became a $16 billion lender in less than three years. What is a bank to do when disruption is the new normal?
    December 29
  • Is it time to abandon promotional pricing? Stop pursuing the underbanked? Link executive pay to reputation? Our ideas are sprouting like a pop-up bank branch.
    January 3
  • PH
    Start the new year right, with new ways to think about widening your customer base, lowering your legal costs, mentoring your executives, maximizing technology investments ... and more.
    December 21

From the brain drain to cyber threats, the revenue squeeze to regulatory pressure, the challenges banks face are absolutely daunting. But we're here to help with some interesting ideas for thwarting hackers, winning new customers and making more money. Get ready for a busy year.




Get Radical in Looking for Revenue
This isn't about making risky loans; it's about being willing to try a whole new strategy. Be proactive about the business transformation ahead.

Increase Fee Income by Serving Small Businesses Holistically
Tailoring services to meet small-business owners' needs — from bookkeeping to strategic planning — can pay off in increased fee income now and new loans later.

Embrace the New R&D
The research and development process needs to undergo radical change. To remain relevant in the digital age, banks large and small are creating innovation labs, conducting quick beta tests of products early in the development stage and partnering with fintech startups.

Build Financial Education Into Your Business Plan
A commitment to financial literacy training can help turn unbanked, cash-strapped consumers into profitable, bankable customers.

Look Into Renewable Energy
New York's state-funded Green Bank is helping to finance solar farms and other alternative energy projects that traditional lenders aren't quite ready or willing to fund on their own. Commercial banks can get not only enhanced credit support from the Green Bank, but also help developing the expertise needed to get into this new lending niche, which is growing fast.  Other states also have green banks in the works.

Deal with the Brain Drain
With the mass exit of Baby Boomers looming, make sure succession planning goes far deeper than the C-suite.

Create a Single Office to Manage Regulatory Risk
Centralizing reporting and response functions can help banks better spot compliance shortcomings. It's also a good way to foster trust with regulators.

Share Data to Thwart Hackers and Address Other Big Challenges
Call it the year of co-opetition. By better sharing data with one another, banks can fine-tune their analysis of credit risk, track money laundering threats and strengthen defenses against cyberattacks.

Get the Customer Behavior You Want
A new round of experimentation is applying findings from behavioral economics to the financial lives of poor Americans.

Rethink Identity So Personal Data Can Stay Personal
Here's one idea for minimizing the damage from major data breaches: let consumers, not banks or retailers, manage their personal information.



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