FIs struggle to find their way amid digital offerings

 In News

Research and consulting firm Celent has released the third in its series of reports based on findings from its digital research panel, comprised of representatives from 42 banks and credit unions.

The 36-page report, “US Financial Institutions and Digital Payments: Digital Research Panel Series Part 3,” by Jean-Marie Ubigau and Zilvinas Bareisis, indicated a considerable degree of worry and hesitation among FIs when it comes to digital offerings.

Selected findings from the report:

  • most participants recognize the importance of digital payments, but invest only to be fast followers and to stay on par with the competition;
  • becoming and staying top of wallet dominates the participants’ concerns about digital payments; they also worry about Apple and other technology giants taking a more dominant role in digital payments;
  • most financial institutions believe they should offer digital payments under their own brand, but are more likely to engage around third-party wallets;
  • only 6 percent expect that more than 20 percent of in-store transactions will be initiated via mobile in three years, while 42 percent expect to get there in five years; and
  • only 29 percent of participants have finished migrating all credit cards to EMV and 17 percent have migrated all debit cards.

“It is clear that digital payments are very important to many financial institutions,” said Bareisis, a senior analyst with the Celent banking group. “However, it appears to be an area in which many are struggling to determine how much and where to invest. Banks and credit unions should look where customers are experiencing most friction today, as it is an area where the financial institutions will be most vulnerable to attack from third parties. They should also accelerate EMV migration, especially for debit cards, to free up resources for digital payments.”

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