Retail banking is a tough business-and, thanks to the Internet, getting trickier by the day.

The problem-a double-edged sword, to be exact-is that while technology has opened new doors of opportunity for banks, it's done the same for consumers. Banks and other financial institutions find that they are allocating a greater amount of time and resources identifying ways to differentiate themselves (hence, be more competitive) in an environment where the consumer is increasingly willing to deal with almost anybody- forgoing brand for the sake of the best price in town.

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