Highlights From the First Half of 2024

CCG Catalyst Commentary

Highlights From the First Half of 2024

By: Tyler Brown

July 2, 2024

In the first half of the year, we published over fifty articles covering top trends in banking and fintech. Modernization was our biggest focus — including next-generation bank tech, how to break through roadblocks to an innovation strategy, and what can go wrong in the process. We also discussed digital maturity, the ongoing troubles in the Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) industry, the state of open banking, and regulatory threats.

Here are some highlights of our most popular articles:

Modernization and innovation

There are many traps to fall into with an innovation strategy, but perhaps the most dangerous comes at the very beginning: Jumping on a bandwagon without a sober assessment of the opportunities, liabilities, and commitment required to be successful. Entering a new line of business, particularly one that involves unfamiliar products and new partners, depends on careful planning and thorough evaluation of the associated challenges.

Read “Misadventures in Innovation.”

Digital maturity

Customer demand gives FIs a strong incentive to invest in the customer experience. A modern approach focuses on omnichannel journeys — offering the features and functions customers demand delivered consistently and cohesively across touchpoints. A huge hurdle FIs face is the patchwork of vendors, platforms, and point solutions that form the FI’s technical foundation. Serving customers well depends on the real-time integration of services across an FI’s products, including customer data held in different siloes.

Read “Direct-Channel Digital Maturity Needs Another Look.”

Troubles with BaaS

The risk-management and compliance burden of a BaaS program can be fatal to a BaaS strategy — regulators have made clear that banks are responsible for ensuring their partners’ compliance, no matter how relationships are managed. Regulators have cited sponsor banks for issues tied to their BaaS programs, most notably deficient board governance, third-party risk management, and BSA/AML. The message to sponsor banks has been: Be diligent with your choice of platform partners, conscious of the risk that an intermediary adds to relationships with fintechs, and how that will affect risk management.

Read “Trouble Keeps Coming for the BaaS Value Chain.”

The state of open banking

FIs’ discomfort with open banking puts them in a tough spot. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB’s) pending rule on open banking, implementing Section 1033 of the Dodd-Frank Act, will require FIs to enable third parties’ access to consumers’ Regulation E and Regulation Z account data. The banking industry has pushed back on aspects of the proposed rule and expressed concern about the practical implications. With the final rule expected this fall, open banking needs to be a part of board-level discussions and strategic planning.

Read “Open Banking Makes Banks Nervous — But Now It’s Inevitable.”

The regulatory threat

Amid a flurry of policy items on the table, the small business lending data collection rule from the CFPB appears to be causing the most anxiety. The financial services community seems concerned about the rule’s implications for the costs and complexity of small-business lending for FIs — particularly smaller ones. The rule has received a lot of pushback, and not just from the banking industry. Congress voted to repeal it (the repeal was vetoed) while legislators emphasized potential compliance costs for smaller institutions. The rule is tied up in court but may not be for long.

Read “Nobody’s Excited About the CFPB’s Small Business Lending Rule.”

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