Monday, April 26, 2010

SIFMA Asset Management Account Roundtable Recap

I would like to thank the people from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) as well as co-chairs Jennifer Byrd from Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Steve Newcamp from Federated Investors. As always, the event was well attended and the sharing of ideas and insights from the speakers and participants was great. I would be remiss if I didn't also thank my own company, Harland Clarke for the amazing dinner at the Battery Park Gardens Restaurant where, even with the rain, the view of the Statue of Liberty was super.

Some interesting takeaways from the meeting:
  • Lucy Suarez (Fiserv): The impact of mobile can not be overlooked and the demographics of mobile banking users is trending older over time. As referenced in some of my previous blogs, a majority of iPhone owners and a large percentage of smart phone owners use mobile banking monthly. She also referenced that deployment by financial institutions of all sizes is growing rapidly. The future of mobile will definitely go beyond balance inquiries and transfer of funds to include mobile deposits, person-to-person payments and the ability to sign-up for the service without online banking required.
  • During the product development breakout session, it became apparent that, while a case can be made for the development of mobile banking applications for the AMA product, virtually none of the firms in attendance even have a mobile banking product in development. This may end up being a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace or a significant advantage for the two firms who have mobile capabilities today.
  • One of the major advantages of a robust AMA product also seems to be a hurdle for product development. Highly customized and information laden paper statements seems to limit product innovation in the areas of rewards, household PFM and product integration. To combat this challenge, Wells Fargo Advisors provides an annual rebate of fees if a customer agrees to a more flexible online statementing option.
  • Margaret Henry, Ph.D. (Scantron): Margaret discussed the significant differences between a 'satisfied' client and a client that will be loyal and will refer business to a financial institution. She compared different survey techniques and survey results in the marketplace while sharing results from some of Scantron's clients who have experienced improvements in scores as a result of a robust measurement process.
There was a great deal more learned at this program which I have been lucky enough to present at three times over the past five years. What always amazes me is the amount of sharing that is done by this rather tight knit group of organizations that serve the most desirable of clients.

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