President, William Mills Agency
I invest a lot of time connecting to people and organizations that shape the U.S. financial industry and actively serve the board of AFT, TAG Fintech and support banking and payment associations.
- Posted on: 10/15/2020Navigating the ‘convergence’ of product streams: Conclusions from the Tearsheet Challengers Conference
Substantial piece, thank you, Suman. Financial Arms Race The current class of Challenger Banks are giving us a wealth of ideas and experiences, the likes of which the U.S. financial industry has ever seen. With that backdrop, can we agree that all financial institutions with digital offerings, even if modest, are candidates to provide competitive offerings? Once community financial institutions and some regionals really understand who their competition is, we'll see more traditional FIs looking for creative ways to grow their business. The real winners are people and businesses that have more access to money and services as a result of this "financial arms race."
- Posted on: 09/24/2020Goldman Sachs partners with Walmart to offer SMB loans to online sellers
"The credit lines have an annual interest rate between 6.99% and 20.99%." I know the first reaction for a lot of readers is, "Holy cow, interest rates at nearly 21% is excessive." I think the important takeaway is that this is probably a good deal if merchants qualify for the lower tier of rates, but if there is no better financing option, even 21% is OK for the short-term. Financing for a small business can be the difference between making it or not.
- Posted on: 09/09/2020Challenger bank Current rolls out brick and mortar cash deposits
Whole-heartedly support the ability to provide deposits via a retail branch/store, however, I'm wondering where the catch is. Other challenger banks have started similar initiatives, which includes fees for people who want to deposit money via a drugstore, for example. If we are doing this to better help people living paycheck-to-paycheck, we need to keeps fees to a minimum (or $0).
- Posted on: 08/19/2020How COVID-19 is impacting bank branch design and function for years to come
I'll be the first person to advocate for less branches and reallocating budgets to a better digital experience. However, the pandemic has given us a "universal reset" button. Knowing we will be going back to (somewhat) normal in the near future, this appears to be an ideal time to reconsider the branch or office space design. These locations are less about transactions, than they are about building relationships, trust and solving problems/obstacles for conducting business.
- Posted on: 07/29/2020Inside Goldman’s product roadmap for digital bank Marcus
Thank you Marcus for discussing the roadmap and by all accounts, the company is saying exactly what is needed and expected of digital-only bank brands. This was a key point, "... its in-house prowess," signaling that "talent," not technology will be the catalyst for a great digital engagement.
- Posted on: 07/09/2020As the effects of COVID-19 continue to rise in the U.S., so does the use of contactless payments
You know what would really accelerate contactless payments in the U.S.? A consistent point of sale experience. Seemingly every terminal has a "right place" to tap, you can't easily tell if you can tap and people behind the counter are under trained on process.
- Posted on: 06/29/2020Far from changing banking, chatbots aren’t keeping up with call volumes in the COVID-19 era
Covid-19 is the ultimate stress test of systems, processes and people. Digital customer service will eventually transition from resolving issues/answering questions to improving the engagement with customers. For example, we will use these technologies to improve the account opening and loan application processes in real time, not after the fact. On a related front to PPP loans, we've seen spikes in activity due to forbearance requests and mortgage refi's. At some point, we need to take the mindset that incremental improvement is not a friend to digital transformation.