Here are some fearless forecasts for consumer finance and bank technology in 2012 from BankThink's regulars:
Brave New World
“2012 will be the year the payment revolution starts. Today I transfer money from my checking account to my children’s with a few clicks on my phone. This coming year will be the year when we can pay virtually anyone with such ease. Finally, there will be an app for that.
“There are competing systems with confusing acronyms – NFS, WAP, and SMS. The winner will be the one that makes it simple and safe and of course widely accepted. The revolution may not be complete in 2012. But next New Years Eve party will be paid for with a few clicks.”
Richard Magrann-Wells, Willis North America
“In yet a further demonstration of how out of step financial services firms are with their customers, there will be continued hand-waving over the promise of mobile wallets to ‘transform banking.’ Kind of tough to sell the convenience of carrying fewer cards when consumers' wallets are already lighter due to financial stress.”
Jennifer Tescher, Center for Financial Services Innovation
Overdraft a la Carte
“Expect an increased focus on consumer overdraft programs. Financial institutions seeking to replace lost revenue through overdraft offerings will need to respond to regulators focused on consumer credit and protection. A middle ground may be found in anticipated OCC guidance and model policies from the CFPB. Institutions will develop plans that offer consumers maximum control over their accounts, well beyond today’s blanket opt-in models. Consumers will be given the tools to apply for overdraft protection on a per transaction basis. Overdraft requests will be ‘decisioned’ on a case-by-case basis, in an attempt to ensure that consumers can afford the overdraft.”
Ryan Gilbert, BillFloat
“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will develop, and the industry will adopt, a simplified mortgage disclosure form that will enable all parties to quickly and easily understand the terms of the transaction.
“The Federal Insurance Office will implement a HMDA-like disclosure program for the property insurance industry.
“As a result of lawsuits filed by the cities of Baltimore and Memphis, Wells Fargo Bank will become a model of fair lending best practices.
“The Federal Stability Oversight Council will restructure the nation’s largest banks so that those which are too big to fail will no longer exist.”
Gregory D. Squires, George Washington University
“Notwithstanding the Fed choosing a relatively benign approach to implement the Durbin Interchange Amendment’s debit network exclusivity ban and merchant routing requirements, distinctions between PIN and signature debit networks will erode and merchants, or merchant processors on their behalf, will start routing over the lowest cost network for each transaction. PIN-debit networks will route PIN-less debit and signature-debit networks PIN-debit transactions, both among merchants accepting PIN and signature debit and those only accepting signature debit, putting downward pressure on capped and unregulated interchange and network fees.
“The Durbin Interchange Amendment won’t be repealed before the election.”
Eric Grover, Intrepid Ventures