Attention to merchant services can deepen commercial relationships

In life cash is king but in commercial lending it is cash flow that rules. Bankers interested in helping commercial customers improve their cash positions, therefore, may want to take a fresh look at those companies’ merchant services, says Marnie Ochs-Raleigh, CEO of Evolve Payment. Her suggestion is not without precedent. [Continue]

Former Nebraska banker takes school reins

A prominent Nebraska financial leader over the past 30 years, the latest chapter in Jeff Schmid’s career could be his most consequential one: Developing the next generation of banking leaders as president and CEO of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at Southern Methodist University’s Cox School of Business — the same school he graduated from in 1990. [Continue]

How community banks solve problems with data

Banks have always had a lot of data to wrangle. Core processors handle transactions by the millions. Loan applicants have their data compared to underwriting standards. Banks reach outside of their walls to obtain credit scores or verify a customer’s identity. Yet the need for data — complex data — is growing. [Continue]

The politics of cannabis

More than 85 percent of Americans live in a state where marijuana is legal, either medically or recreationally or both. This includes many of the states this publication covers. Despite the evolving legalities, businesses that grow, market or sell cannabis products are legally shut out of the banking system and must rely on cash transactions.  [Continue]

Minding your online Ps & Qs

With the number and kind of platforms available, bankers can find establishing an effective online presence a little overwhelming. How does a bank create an effective identity and reputation on social media while guarding against its pitfalls? To strike the right tone for a website, you must balance functionality and professionalism with allowing the personality of your bank to shine through. And who is it all for? [Continue]

Shaping strategy in a post-pandemic era

For many banks 2020 and 2021 had surprising results. Liquidity and capital were strong, loan growth escalated from pent up demand, and income levels were favorable. These positive trends could lead many management teams to sit back and ride the wave, living in the “here and now.” However, complacency can lead to risk. In its 2022 Bank Supervision Operating Plan, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency lists guarding against complacency as a top priority for examiners. [Continue]

Challenging times require intentional leadership

Two years ago, after buying my first pair of Brooks running shoes, I wrote about how its CEO (a former highschool classmate) pulled the upstart shoemaker from a cliff’s edge and made it relevant in a market dominated by Nike, Adidas and Skechers. He saved the company through a combination of tough and bold decision-making. I’m not a runner, but I appreciate the fit of my Brooks shoes and have been impressed by the way the company has engendered loyalty for its brand by fostering communities of elite runners.  [Continue]

New approaches to core strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for third parties and non-core vendors to connect to the core has skyrocketed. Speed is also essential: Bankers can’t wait months to years for a core vendor to add a new feature or for a core to make an integration with a fintech possible. It also raised the question: Is a single, primary product still the way of the future? [Continue]

Commemorative coins help tell story of segregated baseball

In 2020, a year pockmarked by racial tensions and hyper-partisanship, 77 U.S. Senators and 300 U.S. Representatives added their names to an initiative to commemorate Negro Leagues Baseball on the centennial of its founding. This rare display of Congressional bi-partisanship resulted in the Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act, which authorized the minting of commemorative coins, the sale of which will support the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Mo. [Continue]

Avoid cyber pitfalls through proper training

The cost of staying ahead of security challenges continues to rise for banks. Anand Naik, cofounder and CEO of cybersecurity tech firm Sequretek, shares his thoughts on the state of enterprise cybersecurity and how banks can best prepare for today’s threat environment.  [Continue]