Blog

Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group

Recent Posts

Dynamic Overdraft Limits a Hot Topic with Industry Executives

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Jun 21, 2018 10:39:26 AM

Formal discretionary overdraft programs—despite their past stigma—are a topic for consideration again for financial institutions. I draw this conclusion based on the hundreds of conversations I have had over the past several months with financial executives while attending and exhibiting at various industry trade shows and conferences.

It seems many institutions that had previously adopted a 'wait and see' stance about implementing a discretionary overdraft program are moving forward in doing so. Some executives said the encouraging news coming from the CFPB is their impetus to modernize. Other institutions simply realize their programs are outdated, inefficient and need to be updated in order to provide exemplary service and generate new income.

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Topics: Compliance, Fixed Overdraft Limits, Overdraft Management, Dynamic Overdraft Limits

Your Bank Just Got the 'Green Light' to Offer Short-Term, Small Dollar Loans

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on May 31, 2018 5:24:54 PM

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is encouraging banks to offer short-term, small dollar loans to subprime borrowers, according to the recent American Banker article, OCC Gives Banks Green Light to Compete with Payday Lenders.

The article states that OCC Comptroller Joseph Otting wants banks to originate loans of $300 to $5,000 to borrowers with FICO scores of 680 or below, with few other parameters beyond "sound underwriting." In doing so, the new OCC guidelines could open a $90 billion market to financial institutions.

"This product is a vehicle to help people get back into mainstream banking and get them off of high-cost financial services products of check-cashing and payday lending, with a view toward getting them into the mainstream of financial activities where they can qualify for a credit card," Otting said on a conference call with reporters.

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Topics: MinuteLender, PaySound, Consumer Loans

Monitoring Loan Officer Facebook Posts is Necessary (& Easy)

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Mar 23, 2018 9:10:30 AM

One of the questions we receive most often regarding social media management is:

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Topics: Social Media Compliance, Social IQ, Social Media

Capitalize on Easing Banking Regulations: Provide Better Service with a Compliant Discretionary Overdraft Program

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Feb 6, 2018 9:08:36 AM

A year ago, President Trump signed an executive order that directed agencies to identify two regulations to cut for every new one they intended to issue. We're 37 days into 2018 and it appears the president is keeping his word: “In our drive to make Washington accountable, we have eliminated more regulations in our first year than any administration in history of our country,” Trump said during his State of the Union speech last week.

Even the most cynical nay-sayer should feel positive about this changing regulatory climate.

We are especially encouraged with regard to the future of automated overdraft programs for several reasons:

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Topics: Compliance, CFPB, Overdraft Management

IH Credit Union Selects BSG Financial Group as Overdraft Management Partner

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Jan 30, 2018 6:35:54 AM

We are pleased to announce that Springfield, Ohio-based IH Credit Union has selected BSG Financial Group as its partner in managing its courtesy overdraft service.

According to credit union officials, IH Credit Union ($314 million in assets) selected BSG Financial Group and its CourtesyConnect®/CourtesyLimit software—displacing an incumbent third-party vendor it had engaged for 12 years—as a way to streamline overdraft management processes, while continuing to provide the same or better service that members have come to expect from the credit union.

In addition, the credit union sought to improve the methodology of setting overdraft limits in order to better meet members’ short-term liquidity needs. “We had been using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to overdraft limits, but felt we should be more responsive to changes in our members’ financial situations," said Robb White, Chief Executive Officer of IH Credit Union. 

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Topics: Courtesy Overdraft, CourtesyConnect, Dynamic Overdraft Limits

ABA Says Digital Lending Technology Works Best When Strategically Applied

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Jan 15, 2018 12:07:46 PM

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With consumers increasingly expecting a seamless lending experience and more non-bank digital lenders entering the market, banks must embrace digital lending technology to remain competitiveHowever, it must be applied strategically. 

As Rob Morgan, Vice President at the American Bankers Association (ABA), wisely pointed out in a recent article in the ABA Banking JournalDigital lending isn’t an across-the-board pursuit for banks; it's a strategy surgically applied to specific lending areas.”  The article, entitled Three Big Trends in Digital Lending and How to Get In on Them, suggests financial institutions should focus their efforts on those areas of lending that are easiest to digitize—namely, small business lending and personal loans.

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Topics: Digital Lending, non-bank lenders

Protect your institution's reputation during the holidays by actively monitoring the web

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Nov 21, 2017 9:16:13 AM

It is mind boggling to consider the amount of data available on the Internet. On an average day Internet users conduct more than 60,000 Google searches per second, while billions of people upload data–photos, videos, comments–to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn. 

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Obtaining Reg E Decisions is Essential, but Financial Institutions Must do it Properly

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Nov 6, 2017 10:24:32 AM

 

Since the 2010 Amendment to Regulation E (Reg E), banks that want to offer and charge for overdraft coverage on ATM or one-time debit card transactions have been required to obtain affirmative consent from customers before charging an overdraft fee for extending overdraft coverage for these transactions. Many consumers have realized the benefits of opting into overdraft coverage when using their debit card, including avoiding embarrassment at POS and obtaining goods and services, like gas and groceries, at the time they need them.

However, a large percentage of customers—as many as 80% according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)—have not opted in (and/or made a decision about opting in) to their institution’s overdraft coverage for debit card transactions. For safety and soundness purposes, most institutions do not provide an overdraft limit for card channel transactions on accounts without a Reg E opt in decision. This results in a denied transaction whenever a customer attempts to access more than their available balance. It can be very frustrating for a consumer, especially a new customer, to have a POS transaction denied when attempting to use a debit card. The consumer receives no immediate feedback informing them that the transaction was denied due to insufficient funds because they didn’t opt-in to Reg E.

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Topics: Courtesy Overdraft, Debit Denials, Overdraft Compliance, Reg E

Three Strategies Financial Institutions Can Use to Generate More Revenue in 2018

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Sep 27, 2017 10:23:31 AM

Heading into 2018, Service Fee Income, Digital Solutions and Deposit Growth will be high priorities for financial institutions according to a recent BSG Financial Group poll of bank and credit union executives. Further, 90 percent of the respondents say they plan to embark upon the process of budgeting and planning for these strategic initiatives within the next 30-60 days. 

Is your institution on track to identify areas of profitability and growth before year end? 

BSG Financial Group's "Revenue Strategies for 2018: A Video Series" introduces financial institutions to three proven income-building solutions, which incorporate innovative technology along with validated best practices and procedures.

Each 15-minute video in the series provides a brief overview of one solution that provides increased revenue and enhanced customer service–without taxing technology or compliance resources. See Strategy #1: Digital Lending below.

To watch the videos, go here.

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Topics: Courtesy Overdraft, Fee Income, Budgeting, Digital Lending, CDs, Deposit Accounts, Selling Strategies

Re-Emerging Overdraft Programs Must Focus on Service, Responsibility

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Aug 28, 2017 7:50:56 PM

The conversation about overdrafts has been somewhat non-existent the past several months as community banks and credit unions patiently wait for impending compliance directives, changes within the CFPB and an uptick in the economy. It seems now–with positive movement regarding all these concerns–it’s time to start talking about the opportunities overdrafts represent and the best way to seize them.

CUES recently reported that “with The Financial Choice Act likely to pass Congress, compliance on overdrafts appears headed for less restriction.” This assertion is based on the fact that part of the proposed Financial Choice Act dismantles key parts of Dodd-Frank, which created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), whose role will be redefined under a new name. The act–among other improvements–“removes the board’s opaque and ill-defined unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts and Practices (UDAAP) authority,” while still emphasizing consumer protection. The bill passed in the House on June 8 and goes to the Senate next for consideration.

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Topics: Responsible Approach, CFPB, Overdraft Compliance, Dynamic Overdraft Limits