The optimists among us recognize that every crisis presents opportunity, and this one is no exception. The future of retail financial services is being written each day, as institutions use technology to adapt to consumers new spending, saving and product preferences, and to new regulation.

Ryan Jacoby, an innovation strategist at IDEO who helped create Bank of America's
"Keep the Change" and PNC's Virtual Wallet—two of the most consumer-centric banking innovations we've seen in recent years—put's it this way in a recent column published in Business Week:

"Despite the very real prospect of prolonged economic malaise, the financial services industry is at an amazing moment. Consumers want new products and services to help them become more confident, educated caretakers of their own money. There's real opportunity here. Only, most big banks are letting startups figure out how to serve their customers better."

Jacoby's right to a point, but even his work with banks like BofA and PNC demonstrates that there are financial institutions committed to being market leaders, and getting this right.

The June issue of BTN will feature our annual ranking of the industry's most innovative people, companies and technologies. This list will include bankers, established technology players and startups; it'll be a roster of the leaders of the next generation of financial services.

If your company or colleagues should be on this list, let us know. Nomination forms are available now, and due April 23, 2010. Inquiries can be directed to Rebecca Sausner, Editor in Chief of Bank Technology News, at Rebecca.sausner@sourcemedia.com.