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Required Fintech Reading: Jan 24 - 30

Over 200+ PowerPoint Infographics For Financial Marketers
The Financial Brand released an enormously useful repository of charts this week. If you're interested in anything related to the financial industry, we recommend that you download and look through them all. There's likely not a quicker way to understand the state of banking.

Here's one of our favorites:

See the post of our 9 favorite charts for more.


Google-Lending Club Alliance Takes Captive Finance into Digital Age
American Banker's Colin Wilheim covers Google's entrance into lending. If this alliance takes off, it will certainly add to the competitive pressure financial institutions already feel. Something to keep an eye on.

"Like General Motors extending credit to car dealers, Google will use Lending Club to finance resellers, service providers, and consultants tied to its business while putting to work a portion of the tech giant's cash war chest. Google already knows the borrowers; Lending Club will handle the underwriting — including crunching data to evaluate small businesses' creditworthiness — and servicing of the loans."


What happened when I took my kids to open their first bank account
Jacob Jegher tells the story of taking his kids to the bank and then offers solid advice on how the experience could have been much better.

"[My kids] couldn’t believe that they had to sit for an hour just so I could sign some papers on their behalf. I felt bad, because it was my mistake. I shouldn’t have dragged them along for the account opening process without checking it out first. However, I was really disappointed that there was simply nothing in the process that was fun and educational for kids."

Jegher's solutions are all about thinking through the eyes of account holders — something that many financial institutions fail to do well (as evidenced by his story).


The New Product Development Dilemma In Banking
Ron Shevlin takes issue with the idea he hears from bankers that they don't need to think about product development because their organization is a "fast-follower." He says, "Being a fast-follower requires a competency as well-defined and honed as new product development. Someone has to address the questions: Which new developments should we copy? When should we copy them?" In other words, being a fast-follower is no excuse. Every financial institution needs a competent product development strategy, and, as Shevlin shows, many simply don't.


Western Union's Apple Pay Move Should Light a Fire Under Banks
American Banker's John Adams talks about how the partnership of Western Union and Apple represents a totally new use of Apple Pay.

"Western Union is adopting a vastly different use of Apple Pay than what banks and merchants have so far considered. It is enabling Apple Pay as a funding mechanism for money transfers and in-person bill payments at thousands of Western Union locations. This new spin on Apple's mobile wallet, which was designed for in-store and in-app purchases, may spur banks to rethink their approach to money transfers."


Ten Things Banks Should Do, But Generally Don’t
Jeff Marsico from BAI outlines ten ideas banks are currently overlooking. This article was actually posted last week, but we didn't see it until this week and it's so good that we had to add it here. Here's just one of Marsico's insights:

"Identify a competitive advantage. To be fair, most banks don’t have one. That doesn’t mean bankers don’t believe they have one. The number one strength I hear mentioned in strategic planning sessions is customer service. Everybody is apparently superior at customer service and this is their competitive advantage, so the conventional wisdom goes ... Competitive advantage, if we recall Michael Porter, is either a cost or differentiation advantage. Choose one and build a strategy to distinguish your bank from the one across the street and in the Cloud."


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