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from: PROFIT INSIGHT®

PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization for the financial services industry, has announced a new white paper that details the benefits of “Omnichannel,” the banking industry’s latest watchword for leveraging available technologies to create a more rewarding banking experience for customers. The white paper was authored by PROFIT INSIGHT Director Susan Canfield, a banking business intelligence expert specializing in process improvement, change management and electronic & online banking channels.

Banks historically create new channels to introduce evolving technology and increase services to their customers, but can take different routes in delivering those services. The white paper, entitled “Improve Customer Experience by Optimizing Channels,” describes the silo channels used when a customer interacts with the bank through an ATM, an online service, branch operation or mobile device, as well as the silos used for interactions like deposits, loan processing, withdrawals and payments. “Offering a customer this multiple channel approach may do more harm than good,” the white paper explains. Customers may be required to verify their identity at multiple points, or their preferred channel may lack the data needed to make decisions, frustrating customers and driving them to seek better services elsewhere.

Many banks are using cross-channel approaches, in which customers begin their interaction through a single channel and then are routed to other channels when the initial request cannot be fulfilled or when the customer wants to accomplish additional tasks during the visit. “It’s an improvement over channel silos,” Canfield says, “but it still requires the customer to jump through hoops and interact with the bank the way the bank wants, not the way the customer prefers. It’s simply not the modern approach that banks need to build business for today’s more discerning and tech-savvy consumers.”

The omnichannel approach is the answer, as all business channels and services are optimized to create the best possible experience for customers, PROFIT INSIGHT has found. “Big box retailers have developed the concept extremely well,” Canfield says. “Banks can too, and not just the big box brands. Leveraging existing technologies, banks of most sizes can bring virtually all of their services and business channels to every device and location, increasing customer retention, creating new business opportunities and optimizing their channels,” she says.

As detailed in the white paper, banks must examine five aspects when considering creating an omnichannel experience for their customers: usability, functionality, consistency, availability and channel analytics. Today’s successful banks can no longer satisfy the ever-growing customer expectation of seamless information with the silo strategies of yesterday, and cross channel experiences must be both efficient and transparent for customers. “Financial institutions who take the initiative to improve and enhance the customer experience will have the edge over the competition,” Canfield says. “By implementing omnichannel, they will improve vital relationships with existing customers and attract new ones.”

PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization for the financial services industry, announced that two of its senior managing directors will be featured on the Revenue Strategy track at the Retail Banking 2015 conference to be held at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas from March 9-11, 2015. The 19-year old annual conference brings together bank executives, solution providers and industry analysts from all over the country to exchange thoughts, ideas and visions for the banking industry. The Performance Analysis Panel featuring PROFIT INSIGHT senior managing directors Karen Salisbury and Tom Bennett will be held at 2:45 pm on Tuesday, March 10th.

Both panelists are respected authorities in their fields. Bennett’s recent white paper titled “Preparing for a Rising Rate Environment” and Salisbury’s recently published “Operating Cost Reduction” have been widely downloaded by banking executives around the world. Both Bennett and Salisbury have worked on numerous engagements with banks and credits unions in the U.S., Canada, India and China.

“We are excited about being part of these panel discussions on revenue strategies,” Bennett says. “More than ever, bankers need to explore new ideas for revenue enhancement and revenue assurance to meet the challenges of the changing financial landscape,” he notes. “We often find that the best strategies are the ones requiring the least organizational disruption and are readily implemented.” Bennett’s topics during the discussion include digging deeper into approved transactions, cash limits, deposit cut-off times, authorization limits and other often overlooked areas to find new revenue opportunities.

“Part of any revenue strategy should involve operational cost reduction,” observes Salisbury. “Virtually every financial institution develops redundant or overlapping processes over time that can be improved and corrected,” she says. “Operational efficiency not only improves the bottom line, but releases revenues that can be used in strategies to increase customer satisfaction and retention.” Salisbury, who has earned the Project Management Professional (PMP®) credential from the Project Management Institute®, is an expert on platform/business processes, building infrastructures, business transformations, servicing, interactive voice response (IVR) design and system integrations.

PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization for the financial services industry, has hired international card program and banking expert Stephen Mendelsohn as head of business development to work with banks desiring to improve profitability across Southern Europe.  Mendelsohn, a former senior account manager with MasterCard and a 15-year banking consultant, is based in Barcelona, Spain.  He has witnessed first hand how financial institutions are struggling to find bright spots in the troubled European economic recovery. 

Most institutions desperately need fresh perspective and innovative approaches to deal with depressed margins, slipping deposit bases and eroding credit card program profitability, but are unable to acquire it due to cost constraints.  As a result, banks are utilizing existing, traditional strategies because of the lack of financial and human resources needed to bring fresh thinking into their organizations.  Mendelsohn believes this cycle of strategic thought deprivation is unnecessary and easily reversed.

“Hiring innovative executives and experienced teams of analysts is prohibitively expensive for all but the largest banks, and oftentimes even for them,” said Mendelsohn.  “Top talent is available, but instead of buying it in the form of full time employees, banks can acquire it by engaging proven consultants.  I’ve joined PROFIT INSIGHT because they have entire teams of gifted analysts and strategists capable of introducing fresh perspectives and innovative concepts directly where they are needed,” he explained.  “Moreover, the best consultancies have ‘shared benefit’ compensation models, which carefully limit the institution’s investment until tangible results are achieved.  There are answers out there for banks struggling with sinking earnings and soaring costs, and they require finding the help needed to generate easily implemented strategies that harmonize with existing bank cultures,” he said.  “PROFIT INSIGHT is highly motivated to create those strategies and assist in bringing them to fruition simply because we don’t get paid if our strategies fail.”

Mendelsohn was attracted to PROFIT INSIGHT by its 41-year record of success in helping clients generate over $40 billion in revenue in six continents across the globe.  “It is more important than ever for the EU banking community to access the company’s impressive capabilities as they work through the sluggish economic recovery so many countries are experiencing, not to mention the coming reductions in interchange rates,” he said.  “Banks with a ‘business as usual’ mindset will be surprised to know they can leverage high level analysts and strategic resources to not only maintain relevance in their markets, but to excel.  The benefit share model makes the consultant more like a partner in the sense that they have a vested interest in successful outcomes and are highly motivated to produce results quickly,” he noted.

Mendelsohn will continue to be based in Spain and joins PROFIT INSIGHT’s EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia) division, headed up by London-based George White, president for EMEAR.  “Stephen brings an acute understanding of the issues facing financial institutions throughout Europe and is uniquely qualified to lead teams that can help them find solutions,” White said.  “We are extremely pleased to have an executive of his caliber working with existing and new clients to optimize their opportunities in this challenging environment.”

PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization for the financial services industry, believes the effects of the Russian – Ukraine conflict are yet to be felt to their greatest extent by banks in the EU and the United States, but those effects will likely be coming soon. 

Many of the banks in the Ukraine are branch operations of EU-based financial institutions, and virtually all of the banks in both Russia and the Ukraine are suffering from cash shortages as a result of a general lack of business confidence, companies reining in borrowing requirements and a massive devaluation in both currencies over the last six to nine months.  Recently announced financial defensive measures, such as hugely increased security deposits and a new homegrown domestic credit card processing platform to be put in place by Russian President Vladimir Putin, have now been delayed, but they also have great disruptive potential for much of the global banking community, according to PROFIT INSIGHT senior executives.

George White, the London-based president of PROFIT INSIGHT for EMEAR (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia), has witnessed many complex geopolitical and economic changes during his 30 years in international financial services.  He sees the growing crisis in Russia and the Ukraine as a major potential trouble spot for financial institutions in his area of responsibility, as well as for U.S. financial institutions as tit-for-tat embargoes and sanctions start to bite.  “Many of the banks operating in Russia and in the Ukraine are European, and as they run low on cash due to a combination of currency devaluation, economic sanctions and waning consumer confidence, they must tap reserves held within the EU,” White points out.  “Losses on loans and other lines of business have been significant in the Ukraine, particularly in Crimea because of the conflict, further complicating things for banks.” 

White cites several factors that are worsening the situation in Russia.  “The rouble has lost 48 percent of its value against the dollar this year due to sanctions and stymied economic growth in Russia,” White says.  “The failure of the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the global drop in oil prices and the growing strength of the dollar make it difficult to refinance corporate debt in Russia, further weakening the financial outlook,” he notes. “The impact for all banks doing business in the region, as well as for many others in our globally interdependent financial community, is on the way.”

White also points to the all-important credit card business, which essentially connects every country in the world as a vehicle for trade and is a major source of income for the global banking community.  “The U.S. government froze all Visa and Mastercard transactions for 48 hours early in the conflict, and that caused an huge ripple effect throughout the region,” White says.  “It spurred Putin to order the creation of Russia’s own card payment scheme that would bypass the Visa/MasterCard systems and insulate Russia from such freezes in the future.  While it remains to be seen whether it will be successful, it nevertheless will have extensive impact on Visa and MasterCard, and by extension, their member banks,” he says.  “There have also been indications that Russia may embargo various U.S. trade goods and services, with an accompanying impact on financial services like trade lines, inventory financing and other revenue channels.”

White says that PROFIT INSIGHT is preparing a white paper about the potential for costly, disruptive ripple effects that can damage banks in the west and elsewhere.  “We’re discovering that there are going to be significant effects to card services, decreased lending in many regions and an expected increase in bad debts as banks try to survive the crisis,” he says.  “We are recommending that financial institutions prepare now to maximize revenue sources and efficiencies within their organizations that can help shore up anticipated losses due to the instability.”

PROFIT INSIGHT has been working with banks for over 40 years to optimize every facet of their businesses, from deposits to operations, credit cards to loans.  During that time, the company has helped create over $40 billion in value for financial institutions on six continents, receiving much of its compensation based on the cost savings and revenue improvements it enables clients to realize.  “Bank revenue optimization is often overshadowed by new opportunities that arise,” White says.  “At this stage of the situation in Russia and the Ukraine, however, banks need to think about ways to find revenues apart from new business generation alone and look inward to reveal those opportunities.”

PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization for the financial services industry, has announced a new white paper focused on the risks banks are facing regarding their deposit base when customers move capital into more attractive options as rates rise. Authored by PROFIT INSIGHT Senior Managing Director Tom Bennett, a banking expert with over 20 years of experience, the white paper is entitled, “Plan For a Rising Rate Environment” and is available on the company’s website at www.profitinsight.com.

According to the white paper, growing and shifting deposit mixes, along with the erosion of time deposits, are of increasing concern to banking executives across the United States. Most deposit categories are at risk of attrition when rates rise, and every financial institution will face unique challenges in the coming months as their customers adapt to a changing environment. The white paper explores how much banks stand to lose and how they can prepare for the road ahead as events affect checking, savings, money market and time deposits.

“The deposit mix is very different for the Top Ten banks versus other banks, particularly those with under $5 billion in assets,” says Bennett. “In general, large banks tend to have lower loan-to-deposit ratios than smaller ones, meaning that attrition will not present funding challenges, but may impact their margins,” he explains in the white paper. “Institutions with higher loan-to-deposit ratios will need to consider alternative funding needs should attrition occur, which may impact their level of aggressiveness in retaining deposits.” The white paper includes specific recommendations for banks to:

  • Identify risks;
  • Establish the broader corporate strategy;
  • Create specific strategies to address rate movements, as well as competitive responses and customer responses to rising rates, and
  • Prepare and execute those strategies.

“With rate changes on the horizon, the time to prepare is now,” says Bennett. “Every institution has unique characteristics that have impacted their past performance and will continue to influence their future success,” he notes. “By spending the time to understand these characteristics, every institution can gain an understanding of their current situation, identify short term gaps or opportunities, and plot their intended actions.”

PROFIT INSIGHT has been working with banks for over 40 years to optimize every facet of their businesses, from deposits to operations, credit cards to loans. During that time, the company has helped create over $40 billion in value for financial institutions on six continents, receiving much of its compensation based on the cost savings and revenue improvements it enables clients to realize. “We have seen many market cycles over the years,” Bennett says. “With the right analysis and advice, they often represent opportunities that can have lasting benefits for financial institutions that are well prepared.”

By joining forces, First Data Corporation and PROFIT INSIGHT today announced a revenue assurance and enhancement collaboration that can help banks generate as much as $5 to $10 per active account annually in incremental revenue.

The two global services providers are collaborating to help Asia Pacific retail banks and financial institutions like India’s Kotak Mahindra Bank to improve operational efficiencies, generate incremental revenue and increase portfolio profitability.

First Data and PROFIT INSIGHT together developed the revenue assurance system to deliver greater returns to First Data payment platform clients. The solution combines the proven stability, scalability and flexibility of First Data’s solutions such as the flagship VisionPLUS software with the insight and experience of PROFIT INSIGHT financial consultants, to create platform-specific solutions that are easy to implement and quickly align with clients’ requirements.

As payments experts, First Data and PROFIT INSIGHT have a deep understanding of the processes and systems that drive banking profitability. By applying platform-specific strategies, they can quickly optimise credit card, merchant acquiring, consumer loan and mortgage operations. Rapid implementation of specific solutions generates a strong revenue stream from operations that is resistant to leakage, obstacles, inefficiency and inaccuracies.

“Bankers around the world are being challenged to generate new revenues in a highly competitive financial climate while dealing with a very dynamic regulatory environment,” said Asia-Pacific president for PROFIT INSIGHT, Deepak Johri. “To remain competitive, banks need to respond quickly to changing market conditions and address system leakage and operational waste. Our solution, developed with First Data, addresses these requirements and delivers new incremental annual revenues with minimal changes and impact on the customer value proposition,” Johri added.

“We began collaborating with PROFIT INSIGHT 12 months ago to deliver value-added services for our retail banking clients. This is the first service offering from our collaboration, and it is already beginning to show positive results for many of our clients, said Marc Mathenz, senior vice president and head of First Data's Asia Pacific region.

"The PROFIT INSIGHT and First Data teams were engaged to evaluate and identify revenue enhancement opportunities for our credit card business. Within an eight-week engagement, the teams identified strategic initiatives that were easy to implement and created a significant improvement to the cards business balance sheet" said Sumit Bali, Kotak Mahindra Bank’s executive vice president. “Within just a few weeks, our team evaluated the client’s operations, developed short and long term solutions to generate new revenues and reduce costs, and helped the client implement those solutions seamlessly into their operations,” Deepak Johri concluded.

Mooresville, North Carolina – PROFIT INSIGHT®, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings optimization in the financial services industry, has announced the hiring of two senior executives to meet the rising demand for its services. Lecia Pearce has been hired as Managing Director and Eric Caruthers has been hired as the company’s new Chief Information Officer.

Pearce and Caruthers form the nucleus of a team that will expand PROFIT INSIGHT’s analytics capabilities to help clients around the world improve financial efficiency in every aspect of their businesses. PROFIT INSIGHT accomplishes this by identifying and eliminating revenue “leakage,” finding other sources of revenue and cost savings, improving operations and enhancing client profitability through better business intelligence. For over 40 years, PROFIT INSIGHT has found more than $40 billion in revenue and cost improvements for clients on six continents.

“Big Data is everywhere today, but it needs the right analytics and insights to become truly useful,” said Chris McKee, the PROFIT INSIGHT principal responsible for global corporate strategy and development. “Lecia Pearce and Eric Caruthers are highly skilled analysts and big data experts who bring decades of knowledge and experience that will help our clients make the best decisions possible,” McKee said.

Managing Director for Data & Analytics Lecia Pearce has 15 years of experience in all facets of business and financial services IT, including software development and business process re-engineering. The former CEO of her own IT consulting firm, she has worked on projects for large companies such as Lending Tree and Bank of America. She will focus on using technology to uncover hidden revenue opportunities as part of the newly formed engagement team.

Eric Caruthers, PROFIT INSIGHT’s new CIO, brings over 17 years of IT experience to the company as its overall technology leader. He previously worked at several innovative technology startups in Charlotte, NC, including YOUcentric and Agastha, Inc., where he was vice president of technology. He will use his ten years of experience in engineering large enterprise applications with Wells Fargo Securities and Bank of America to create technology and operational solutions in support of the on-site client engagement group.

“We are very excited to be part of the global team of experts at PROFIT INSIGHT,” said Eric Caruthers. “The current environment is a difficult one for our customers. With increased scrutiny from regulators, the press and the general public, financial institutions and service companies are looking for ways to increase profits and reduce expenses through optimization, data-driven decisions and actionable insight,” Caruthers said. “PROFIT INSIGHT has helped clients accomplish this for four decades, and is taking technology and analytics tools to an entirely new level. We are thrilled to be part of this globally important, game-changing effort.”

MOORESVILLE, North Carolina, April 30, 2014 – Profit Technologies, an international consulting firm specializing in earnings and profitability optimization in the financial services industry, has announced the company has changed its name to PROFIT INSIGHT®. The name change completes the rebranding initiative of the North Carolina-based company, which has expanded its services and solutions for banks, credit unions and credit card companies around the world.

“Our company has always leveraged knowledge, expertise and best practices from markets around the globe,” explains Cliff McKee, vice chairman of PROFIT INSIGHT.  “This single brand is part of a series of internal changes we are making to improve synergies across the many markets we serve today,” he says.  “We are not just in the technology business – we use our experience, knowledge and know-how to create insightful strategies that increase profits for our clients.” The company is renowned for customized solutions developed by expert banking analysts focused in five areas of concentration – deposits, loans, card issuing, merchant acquiring and business operations.

Through brief, non-intrusive engagements, PROFIT INSIGHT helps clients leverage their retail product assets and liabilities, improve customer service, expand their customer base and reduce operating costs.  In addition, most PROFIT INSIGHT engagements are conducted on a performance basis, in which the company is compensated on tangible, identifiable results.  “We are compensated when we enhance our clients’ earnings,” McKee says.  “This approach focuses our effort and maximizes value for financial institutions that want performance.”   Proprietary capabilities and analytics make this possible, McKee says. “Our strategies target both sides of a customer’s P&L statement,” he explains.  “We use our proprietary Revenue Insight™ analytics to identify and optimize revenue opportunities, and our Cost Insight™ analytics to reduce expenses.  Together, these two groups combine to create true, achievable profit insight, which aptly describes our result and now, our corporate brand name.”

PROFIT INSIGHT offerings also include other analytical products that focus on specific business processes that are frequently ripe for improvement.  Products like OneCall™ and CardObedience™ combine a number of targeted solutions into a call center optimization program and an in-depth credit card terms review program, respectively.  These products are customized specifically for each client through a completely objective review methodology called INSIGHT 360™.

PROFIT INSIGHT delivers results through its three global divisions – the Americas, EMEAR (Europe/Middle East/Africa/Russia) and AsiaPAC (Asia/Pacific).  “Our corporate slogan is ‘We deliver opportunities,’” McKee says. “Today’s global environment for financial institutions is more challenging than ever before, and as PROFIT INSIGHT, we look forward to another 40 years of helping clients succeed – wherever they may be.”

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