Americas Retail Banking Digest Volume IV

In our 2014 edition of the Retail Banking Digest we feature seven articles: some topical, some tactical and others fundamental. From a review of digital currencies to a look into the European Retail Banking environment, the articles in this year's digest are sure to shed light on several important topics in the industry.

The contents of the 2014 Retail Banking Digest are as follows:

1. Digital Currencies: The Path Forward

Digital currencies like Bitcoin have been one of the hottest topics of 2014. Despite skepticism and legal concerns, they have been gaining an increasingly solid footing among consumers, merchants and financial institutions. But what will it take to achieve mainstream acceptance? To answer this question we assessed the main types of digital currencies and identified use cases that can deliver improved customer costs and experience.

2. Reinventing Affluent Banking: The Digital Opportunity

Affluent customers represent a conundrum for most providers. While their revenue potential should be much better than a mass market customer’s, they often split their wallet across multiple providers and are demanding and expensive to serve. However, new ways to exploit readily-available technologies offer the opportunity for forward-looking competitors to break the linkage between high service and high cost and offer new ways to capture share of wallet.

3. Retail Banks & The IRA Rollover Opportunity: The Road to Wealth (Management)

Retail Banks & the IRA Rollover Opportunity looks at one specific “break-through” opportunity for banks: namely, making themselves the preferred destination for customers rolling over their defined contribution plans into an IRA. This is an approachable opportunity even for banks without large wealth management functions because it is scalable without having to rely on a large, highly paid staff. We argue that this is one of the best ways for a bank to build scale in, or even start, its wealth management business.

4. Making the Switch: Checking Account Path to Purchase

Oliver Wyman and AOL used survey and clickstream data to understand how digital technology is reshaping the consumer path-to-purchase for checking accounts.

5. The Decision-Centered Bank: Shaping results by deciding how to approach and treat each customer

It is the frequent decisions we make in the course of running a business that, to a large extent, determine how profitable it will be. Some decisions are ‘strategic’ and frame the overall field of battle. But increasingly, it is the myriad ‘micro-decisions’ – the ones controlling how we approach and treat each customer – that shape results. This is how the world of ‘data & analytics’ can really have a powerful effect.

6. Mortgage Cross-Sell: The Elusive Opportunity

Many banks are re-evaluating their commitment to residential mortgage lending in the face of the significant investments required to meet regulatory and customer expectations. These investments would have a higher return if mortgage could have a role in establishing and deepening customer relationships. Unfortunately, recent Oliver Wyman research indicates that mortgage is not effective as a relationship-deepening platform outside of a few niche areas. Banks should consider cross-sell tactics focused on these niches where returns justify the costs to effectively pursue attractive pockets of opportunity.

7. Laying the Foundations for Recovery: Transforming Small Business Banking & Delivering Impact through Improved Customer Experience

Thematic Perspectives from Oliver Wyman’s* views on emerging best practices in two of the major challenges facing European retail banks in the next 3-5 years:

  • Transforming small business banking
  • Delivering impact via improved customer experience

*2014 European Retail and Business Banking Report, which can be found here.

Americas Retail Banking Digest Volume IV