Wonders & Blunders: Bank Branch Bingo

By: Kevin Dinino
Category: Fintech
Recent financial industry reports show a curious combination of fintech adoption, rejection and publicly stating the importance of a technology … but then not implementing it.
While banks have rushed to launch chatbots and mobile features, the majority of customers still prefer to open accounts at physical branches. Opening an account is often the first impression of a bank, making it extremely important to ensure the process runs smoothly. Let’s hope this survey serves as a wakeup call to always put customer experience first.
In other banking news, Goldman Sachs plans to start trading bitcoin in a roundabout way. The new service is a result of listening to its customers’ interest in cryptocurrency.
Blockchain receives a lot of hype in the business world. A surprising survey reports that only one percent of companies have implemented the technology. What do you think it will take to spur the mass adoption of blockchain? Tweet your answer to @kcdpr!

Bank Branches Bringing in New Business
Wonder: All that tech, yet customers keep opening accounts at branches – Nathan DiCamillo and Hilary Burns in American Banker.
Many banks offer mobile and online options to open new accounts, but a J.D. Power retail banking survey indicates even people who prefer digital banking choose to open accounts in-person at bank branches. The number one reason cited is difficulty and confusion with the online account setup process, especially without one-on-one guidance to choose the right product. The first tech solution that comes to mind, chatbots, actually made customer satisfaction survey scores decrease. Banks should improve online customer experience for the account setup process in order to make a good first impression with potential new clients.
Goldman Sachs Begins Bitcoin Trading Plans
Wonder: Goldman Sachs to Open a Bitcoin Trading Operation – Nathanial Popper in the New York Times.
Goldman Sachs plans to open the first bitcoin trading operation at a Wall Street bank, using its own money to trade a “variety of contracts linked to the price of Bitcoin.” The move will likely increase the legitimacy and trust in virtual currency, though the bank does not plan to buy and sell bitcoin directly until regulations and risks are mitigated.
Goldman hired its first digital asset trader in April to run day-to-day operations. The new trading option was created after a number of Goldman’s clients requested a way to hold bitcoin as an alternative store of value, similar to buying gold.
Blockchain Study Reveals Contradiction
Wonder or Blunder: Amid Blockchain Hype, Few Deployments, Limited Interest, Survey Finds – Angus Loten in the Wall Street Journal.
Blockchain’s capability to digitize and streamline transactions causes a lot of hype in the business world, yet only one percent of more than 3,000 CIOs say their companies have implemented the technology. A Gartner report lists inadequate technology, a skills shortage and a lack of interest as reasons why so few companies use blockchain. Only eight percent of companies surveyed are testing it. Will these numbers increase after one company shows it can turn blockchain’s proof of concept into a minimum viable product?
Financial Advisor IQ reports that Atria Wealth Solutions is acquiring Cadaret Grant, an independent broker-dealer.
The San Diego Union-Tribune quotes retired Rear Adm. Ken Slaght, head of San Diego’s Cyber Center of Excellence, about the Homeland Security CIO’s visit to local tech companies.
» BOTTOM LINE: Contributing Bylined Articles After HuffPost Ended Submissions
2018 marks the end of an era for HuffPost’s self-publishing contributors’ platform, dissolved after 13 years in an effort to end misinformation online. Many business experts counted HuffPost as an imported part of their contributed article strategy in increasing thought leadership. Where should you focus bylined article submissions now?
Atria Wealth Solutions
Atria Wealth Solutions (Atria) not only launched as an active holding company, but also announced a significant private equity investment from Lee Equity Partners while simultaneously acquiring two broker-dealers. The client required a PR team with expertise in overseeing complex situations with multiple stakeholder groups and product lines (i.e., the business channels – bank and credit union affiliated advisors, hybrid registered investment advisors and other key stakeholders).

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