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Essential Fintech Reading: June 6 - 12

It's been another fine week of fintech writing! Check out five highlights below.

Of the Importance of UX in Fintech
Pascal Bouvier, General Partner at Route 66 Ventures, says that "optimizing for UX brings the human element into the equation." With the human element embedded in the technology, banks and credit unions will be far more likely to stand out in a competitive space and ultimately increase their revenue. Because of this competitive advantage, Bouvier says that "all actors in finserv will need to act more like technology companies...  and they will need to be more technology and data centric and deliver fantastic customer experiences." In other words, Bouvier says that customer experience should increasingly become the focal point for financial institutions.

When Will Mobile Payments Reach Tipping Point?
Jim Marous, Co-Publisher of The Financial Brand, talks about how low usage, conflicts with merchants, vague value propositions, and security concerns are currently preventing mobile payments from reaching a tipping point. However, Apple is working hard to overcome these concerns, and Marous says that Deloitte and Brett King predict that the tipping could come soon, possibly by 2018.

Why Has “Social” Failed In Fintech?
TechCrunch's Shane Leonard outlines a list of failed attempts at financial social networks and says that the likely reason for the failure is that "culturally, people are not sharing openly about their finances." He says that future attempts should learn from Bloomberg and make trust, privacy, and security the centerpiece of the network.

If banks are asking the wrong question, what's the right one?
Chris Skinner, author of Digital Bank, says that banks and credit unions need to focus relentlessly on answering this question: "How can we change the bank to be a fintech platform?" That is, banks need to think like tech companies (as Pascal Bouvier said above) and not worry so much about the distinction between channels and physical and digital. It's all digital from here on out. Skinner then walks through three hurdles financial institutions face: regulation, markets and innovation.

Branch Customers Continue Disappearing Act
W. Michael Scott, President and CEO at FMSI, analyzes the latest stats about the state of branch banking. After showing that the number of branch transactions have declined by 45% since 1992 while the labor cost per transaction has risen by 133%, he advises banks to change the purpose of the branch from being centered on deposits to being centered on giving financial counseling.

Addendum: At MoneySummit, we agree with Scott's advice. Banks that re-purpose the branch and position themselves as financial advocates for account holders stand the best chance of winning long-term loyalty. For more on this, check out our interview with Brad Leimer, "Empowering Lifelong Customer Relationships in a Digital World."



Source: http://bit.ly/1HA2P1D