Should Banks Teach Financial Literacy?: Cece Stewart and Bob Annibale of Citi kicked off a lively discussion when they suggested banks have a responsibility to teach financial literacy to their customers. "Definitely!" banker Ashley Dennis tweeted in response to their blog, but other readers feel the issue is complex. "Banks can provide all the financial knowledge in the world, but if the consumer does not try to seek it out and understand it, it's all for naught," one reader commented. "Encouraging our society to save more is a wonderful objective for Citi to pursue," another argued. "I just don't believe it is as effective as teaching personal accountability and living within your means." BankThink Deputy Editor Jeanine Skowronski responded to reader feedback by suggesting banks avoid posturing and, instead, concentrate efforts on developing products that will help consumers meet a specific financial goal. Jennifer Tescher and Joshua Sledge of CFSI highlighted some companies doing just that when they argued innovation was the key to promoting good financial behavior.
Editor Potpourri: BankThink's deputy editor wasn't the only member of the editorial staff to share an opinion this week. American Banker Editor in Chief Neil Weinberg suggested shareholders and the market sort out soaring bank CEO pay, following the release of the publication's second annual Executive Compensation Special Report. American Banker Magazine Editor in Chief Heather Landy addressed readers' charges of gender bias in the May issue. And Washington Bureau Chief Rob Blackwell took issue with President Barack Obama's nomination of Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary, given the role she played in the failure of Superior Bank. "It is unlikely that the president would ever nominate Angelo Mozilo, the former head of Countrywide, for a cabinet post," Blackwell writes.
Is Interest in Mobile Banking Waning?: Mobile banking took some heat from our contributors this week. Dan Ewing of McKinsey argued that the public's enthusiasm for mobile payments is wavering and recommended banks rethink their strategies now in order to prevent a drop-off in consumer adoption. "It appears that the early adopter' wave may have passed," one reader agreed. In a separate blog post, Simon Zhen of MyBankTracker.com suggested banks hold off on offering photo-based mobile bill payments, as the technology fails to deliver a substantial improvement in convenience for customers. But some readers feel the feature is worthwhile. "U.S. Bank, who was the first major bank to launch Mobile Photo Bill Pay, has seen users double in the last two weeks," one commenter claimed.
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