Articles by Pat Bator
Pat Bator, senior market and product development analyst
Pat is a graduate of Saginaw Valley State University (1973). He has worked in the financial services industry for more than 25 years (21 years with the Raddon Financial Group). Since joining RFG, he has been a main contributor to the firm's syndicated national research program, analyzing consumer and business preferences for financial products and delivery channels over the past two decades. For many RFG clients, Pat is the go-to person for evaluating competitive strategies and new product initiatives. An avid sports fan, Pat is skilled at debating the merits of the major Chicago sports teams. Additionally, he’s a fan of Henry Miller, Norman Mailer, T.S. Eliot, Jacques Pépin and certain Canadian exports.
Despite the growing popularity of online and mobile channels for marketing and sales, the branch remains a preferred sales channel for opening new accounts.
Earnings pressure from shrinking net interest margins is compelling financial institutions to explore and cultivate other avenues of noninterest income generation to supplement and sustain their overall earnings. Marketing various wealth management services to customers and noncustomers is one way to earn revenue.
The Presidential election is finally behind us and we have seen, to this point, that the stock market has responded in a positive fashion, perhaps reflecting a belief that the business environment may be more favorable going forward. However, we must be cognizant of the underlying consumer mindset as we move into 2017.
Every generation wonders why younger generations don’t see the world as they do. Many financial institutions may wonder the same thing as they contemplate how to serve the millennial generation.
Biometrics has emerged as an alternative technology to meet the financial services sector’s growing need to combat increasing identity theft and fraud. For purposes ranging from identification to task initiation, biometrics use human characteristics – voice, fingerprints, facial recognition, palm or iris vein patterns – which are difficult to replicate.
Given their investment in technology, financial institutions are more than justified to ask questions relevant to what extent they are being shopped online and which consumers are shopping them. Executives may find the answers to such questions quite surprising.
Consumption of media is shifting online, giving consumers access to the music they want and providing financial institutions with a new, more personalized marketing opportunity. Using digital audio programming, such as Pandora® and Spotify®, banks and credit unions can target sizeable audiences by coordinating messaging with consumer musical tastes.
With the advent of alternative financial service providers, financial institutions may wonder if there is still value in being a consumer’s designated primary financial institution (PFI). If there is value, what opportunities are there to increase customer wallet share?
The credit card industry may very well have created a monster when it began offering rewards to consumers who use their credit cards. Consumers are now used to getting paid to use issuers’ credit cards and for many consumers, the decision to select a particular credit card hinges on the type of rewards offered.
The auto lending market looks rosier today than it has for a number of years, with new vehicle sales reaching 17.5 million units in 2015 and auto loan balances increasing to well over $1 trillion at the end of last year. The auto lending market may soon slow, however, due to waning consumer demand and projected higher interest rates.