Is it time to abandon promo pricing? Stop pursuing the underbanked? Link executive pay to reputation? Create a flexible innovation budget? Get some fresh perspective with American Banker's Big Ideas for 2014.
Let Pop-Ups Crop Up
As fans of temporary tattoos and non-permanent hair dye can attest, sometimes people want to try a new look without making a commitment. It was in that spirit of experimentation that PNC opened an orange-and-blue pop-up branch on the sidewalk of a busy Atlanta outdoor mall last summer.
Go All in With Cutting Costs or Boosting Revenue Just Not Simultaneously
Listen to any bank earnings call these days and odds are that, at some point, executives will discuss how they are addressing the persistent lack of revenue growth by simultaneously cutting expenses and investing in new business lines.
Ditch the Promo Pricing
Why should strangers get something from you that your most loyal patrons can't? If you're serious about building stronger relationships with existing customers, it may be time to do away with promotional pricing for first-time customers.
Budget for Innovation
If you asked Mike Fitzgerald last January whether State Bank and Trust Co. planned to develop an iPad app for commercial customers anytime soon, he would have said "no." Yet the $2.5 billion-asset bank in Macon, Ga., did just that during the past year.
Tie Compensation to Reputation
Rey Ocanas is BBVA Compass' director of corporate responsibility and reputation, but he's far from the only BBVA executive paid to keep both on the up and up. The bank and its Spanish-owned parent recently tied a portion of its executives' variable compensation directly to public perceptions of the brand.
Don't Patronize Those Who Don't Patronize Banks
Regulators and advocacy groups have been steadily pushing traditional financial firms to bring low-income consumers into the banking system or do more to keep them there. But are banks the best option for everyone?
Get Ready for Fast Processing
Send a bill payment across the automated clearing house network on a Thursday night and it might arrive in the recipient's account by Monday. Or not. Either way, it's a snail's pace versus what happens in countries such as Sweden and the United Kingdom, where electronic payments are closed almost in real time.
Keep Branch Talent In the Branch
In retail banking, success is a double-edged sword. A branch can benefit greatly from a strong manager or terrific teller, and it's only natural to reward these star performers with promotions to bigger branches, or roles at the district or regional level. But recognizing top talent this way exacerbates the high rate of turnover in the branches and potentially puts your best customer relationships into limbo.
Give Borrowers A Payoff Nudge
Revolving loan balances fell for a fourth straight month in September. Delinquencies shrunk last year. Personal bankruptcies were off the previous year's pace by as much as 13%. Does all the good news herald a new era of consumer responsibility in the credit card space? Not exactly.
Offer Rewards That Matter
Card reward programs are well past their S&H Green Stamps phase, where people redeem their rewards by picking items from a catalog that stays pretty much the same all the time. Consumers demand far more flexibility these days, and analysts say banks need to get creative about delivering it.