edition: January 9, 2024

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Banking 2030, Part 1: The New Realities of Banking: The Financial Brand

Special Report: The banking sector is currently navigating a period of profound transformation. The next decade promises to bring significant changes, prompting banks to reevaluate core beliefs that have traditionally guided their operations and strategies. How banks adapt to this transformative era will be critical in shaping their future.

In the first of a series, The Financial Brand examines both the industry’s near-term challenges and opportunities, and charts a roadmap for both optimism and growth as the industry pivots into a new year.

As we head into 2024, the banking industry faces a hard reality: Those who cling to outdated business models may struggle to remain relevant, while those who evolve and adapt may redefine their roles in the financial ecosystem.

Let’s consider some of the industry’s long-standing tenets and assess how they align with the evolving needs and expectations of customers:

Relationships are our edge: Traditionally, the strength of client relationships was the cornerstone of a bank’s identity. Yet, in an age where AI-driven hyper-personalization is the norm, will technological systems emulate the essence of human connection? Banks must discover the right balance between automated efficiency and the irreplaceable value of human touch.

Read more at The Financial Brand

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What Financial Marketers See as Priorities and Challenges for 2024

Digital disruption is reshaping the competitive landscape and consumer expectations. New research indicates that financial marketers face urgent pressure to evolve their capabilities and strategies to keep pace. The imperative is to reinvent marketing to drive deeper consumer engagement.

Financial marketing is at an inflection point. Advances in technology have paved the way for an era characterized by personalized experiences.

In the past, most financial marketing relied on mass media to deliver messages to broad audiences. Precision was difficult to achieve, and success hinged on scaled communication. Even direct marketing used basic data elements to reach large segments of customers and prospects, with only minimal levels of personalization.

However, the digital landscape has changed everything. Financial marketers have the ability to better understand each consumer and tailor their communications accordingly. We have entered an era of “segment of one” marketing, where relevance is paramount.

Read more at The Financial Brand

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The Credit Economy: How Younger Consumers Make Credit Decisions

Households are borrowing more money, meaning it is critical to understand the mechanics of how consumers make credit decisions.

As household debt increases, it’s essential to grasp the dynamics behind consumer credit decision-making processes. Diverse financial pressures across generations result in distinct preferences for credit options.

While the allure of rewards motivates established and financially stable consumers to juggle multiple credit cards, younger demographics like millennials and Gen Z are increasingly drawn to Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) services, even in the absence of rewards incentives. What factors are fueling the surge in BNPL popularity with the younger crowd?

This analysis, a joint effort by PYMNTS and i2c, delves into the credit usage patterns and mindsets of younger consumers specifically.

Read more at The Financial Brand

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Writing Checks Can Be Risky. Here’s How To Protect Yourself.

Typewriters vanished, and then cassette tapes and encyclopedias did, too. But paper checks are one piece of our analog past that persists.

American consumers and businesses wrote 11.2 billion checks in 2021, far fewer than the 42 billion written at the start of the century. Despite the rapid decline, check fraud is exploding — costing financial institutions billions and throwing many check writers’ finances into disarray.

After my colleague Ron Lieber and I wrote about rising check fraud, worried readers wrote to us with questions: Is there a safer way to write checks when we must? What about digital payments — aren’t they susceptible to fraud, too?

Many Americans still write checks to pay rent or avoid credit card fees. They also may cling on to checks for cultural reasons or for psychological ones — for example, because writing them out is a manual process, almost like using cash in an increasingly cashless society

Read more at The New York Times

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Will 2024 See Crypto Make Good on Its Financial Inclusion Promise?

Crypto had a bumpy, and at times wild, 2023.

But industry observers and participants continue to believe that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have the potential to revolutionize financial inclusion for marginalized and unbanked communities worldwide.

There are many ways in which blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies can remove barriers, such as a lack of digital identity, for underserved individuals and communities. 

“Identity is required for participation in basically any system or network, but particularly for high stakes and highly regulated financial networks,” Ajay Rajani, vice president of expansion and crypto at Tala, told PYMNTS, adding that blockchain technology lowers that barrier to participation by enabling anyone to transact on its decentralized network

Read more at PYMNTS.COM

Dreher Tomkies LLP

80% of businesses plan to track office attendance this year, survey finds

The return-to-office tug-of-war rages on.

Dive Brief:

  • Eight in 10 companies plan to track office attendance in 2024, according to a survey of 800 business leaders conducted by Resume Builder in December. Nearly all respondents — 95% — said employees will see consequences if they don’t comply with the office attendance policy. 
  • Most employers plan to track attendance using badge swipes. Others will track manually, or use Wi-Fi, occupancy sensors or under-desk sensors. 
  • Most respondents said they planned to provide incentives to return to the office, mainly in the form of happy hours, catered meals and upgraded office spaces. Fewer employers plan to offer bigger incentives, like raises and child care benefits.

Read more at HRDIVE


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Almost half of Americans plan to manage their money better in 2024, survey finds

U.S. consumer debt is over $16 trillion

Around 48% of Americans plan to manage their money better in 2024, according to a recent survey by Allianz.

To do this, Virginia Credit Union Financial Coach Cherry Dale said it is essential to have a plan.

Dale suggested people start by thinking about their priorities – financially and as a family. Rank priorities and map them out, she recommended.

She said for many, a top priority should be tackling debt right away.

Read more at WLBT.COM


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