If You Build It, They Will Come: This week JPMorgan Chase's Eileen Serra announced that a mobile wallet called Chase Pay will launch in mid-2016. Though mobile payments haven't taken hold yet — and may take years to do so — Chase is fully expecting this to become the way consumers pay and positioning itself now for that change. Serra, the chief executive of Chase Card Services, says the adoption rate is slow because it's "not that complicated" to take out your credit or debit card, but people, especially millennials, will switch eventually, influenced in part by rewards and loyalty programs. "The reason to use mobile payments has to be more than hitting 'pay,'" says Serra, who is No. 16 on our list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking. "Starbucks has been the most successful mobile payment model because they have integrated loyalty and rewards. That's how you drive adoption. You give [consumers] a reason to use it."
Thanks to Cyber Worries, More Board Seats for Women: In the last five years, 16 of the largest U.S. companies have appointed directors with cybersecurity credentials and 10 of them are women. Among the companies with these new female directors are Wells Fargo (Suzanne Vautrinot) and American International Group (Linda Mills). You may recall that Wells has seven female directors in all, a 44% ratio that makes it the leader among large U.S. banking companies.
Yo, Let's Talk: Stephen Cummings, the U.S. CEO of MUFG Union Bank, is calling on banks to help each other with what he sees as an urgent survival mission: getting more women into executive roles. One look at the industry's C-suite makes it obvious that banks need to mirror demographic shifts far better and faster, "and I would welcome having our bank contribute to a productive conversation about this pressing issue," Cummings writes in this op-ed. Among the reasons he says more female leaders are essential for banks is the country's growing number of female entrepreneurs. (He might be on to something, as a J.D. Power study suggests this segment could be a business opportunity for banks, per the next item.)
How Small-Business Owners Score Banks: Women who own small businesses are happier with their banks than their male counterparts, according to a J.D. Power study. Women's overall banking satisfaction level is 766 on a 1,000-point scale, compared with 746 for the men. In discussing the gender discrepancy, JD Power says the women reported a rosier outlook on business, which may contribute to their higher satisfaction levels. The outlook is optimistic for 73% of female business owners vs. 69% of male business owners.
Listening Is a Leadership Skill: How do you assemble and lead a great team? One of the keys is listening well to get a sense of what drives people. In this video, get a peek at a day in the life of Susan Skerritt, Deutsche Bank's head of global transaction banking for the Americas, and listen in as she shares some of her leadership and management strategies. Skerritt was on our Women to Watch list for 2015 and 2014.
Allison Dukes has become the first woman to run SunTrust Banks' Atlanta division, with her promotion from president to chairman and CEO.
Opus Bank in Irvine, Calif., has promoted Jennifer Simmons to chief operating officer. She was previously senior vice president for the bank's strategies and growth division.
Patricia Kelly has joined TCF Financial in Wayzata, Minn., to help accelerate its growth in commercial lending. She'll be executive vice president and managing director of its commercial banking unit, replacing Jim Urbanek, who retired in May. She was previously a managing director and co-head of the financial institutions group at the investment bank Chicago Corp.
In Case You Missed It
Personal Matters: Although more women than men say they are solely responsible for handling the finances in their household (44% of women vs. 35% of men), women report lower confidence levels in their money management capabilities, according to a study by Regions Financial.
Cyber Insecurity: Regulators have made a cybersecurity assessment tool available for banks, but Rose Oswald Poels, president and CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, says there is a lot of concern in the industry that this optional tool will become mandatory. She says institutions that use other cybersecurity resources "should not be forced to spend hours justifying" that decision to examiners.
New Mission, Should You Choose to Accept: A British government-sponsored report is upbeat on boardroom diversity. The final version of it, published today, says the largest companies should aim for one-third female representation on their boards by 2020. British companies met the previous goal of reaching 25% female representation by this year. Mervyn Davies, the former Standard Chartered chairman who in 2011 began heading a government panel on women in the boardroom, also made recommendations to increase the number of women in senior executive roles.
Nepal Gets a Female President Before Us: A communist politician and women's rights advocate named Bidhya Devi Bhandari has become Nepal's first female leader. Bhandari was among those who advocated for the country's new constitution, which requires that a third of the members of Parliament must be women and that either the president or vice president must be a woman. She also played a significant role in the demonstrations against the former monarch, which ultimately helped oust him and restore democracy in the country. Bhandari is the second president since his rule ended and Nepal became a republic.