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

Dive into digital with an end-to-end lending platform

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on May 3, 2017 9:15:37 AM

This article originally appeared on, May 2, 2017.

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Topics: Fee Income, Technology, Digital Lending, Digital Lending Underwriting

ICYMI: Our Top Blog Posts of 2016

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on Dec 27, 2016 10:19:22 AM

cms-265125_1920.jpgIn case you missed out... listed below are BSG Financial Group's five most popular blog posts of 2016. Loads of people have already read them and we wanted to make sure you did too! Take a look to get "in the know" and feel free to pass them along!

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Topics: Overdraft, News, Fee Income

Three Top Challenges Facing Financial Institutions (as told to us by those who know)

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Nov 7, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Like many financial institution executives this time of year, we at BSG Financial Group have recently participated in numerous industry trade shows and conferences.

In a two-month period beginning in August, we exhibited at or participated in a plethora of conferences, including those sponsored by the Financial Managers Society (FMS), Association for Financial Technology (AFT), Virginia Association of Community Banks, the Bank CEO Network Conference, Jack Henry Banking... to name a few.

Attending these events is very important to us, as they connect us with customers and potential customers alike. More importantly, they give us an opportunity to learn first-hand the most pressing challenges for financial institutions, while validating and ensuring that we offer the programs and services to effectively address these concerns.

Listed below are three of the top challenges that financial institutions face—as told to us by financial executives at these recent conferencesas well as our responses/solutions:

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Topics: Fee Income, Budgeting, Strategy, Profitability

PaySound® Allows Financial Institutions to Offer Checking Account with No Overdraft Fees... Ever!

Posted by W. Barrett Nichols, founder & CEO on May 24, 2016 11:07:38 PM

Right on the heels of our latest product release, I am pleased to unveil the addition of another revenue-generating solution for financial institutions: PaySound®—the online checking account that does not allow overdrafts.   

PaySound combines a full-service, mobile-ready checking account with an optional line of credit (from $500 to $5,000) for those of your account holders who do not want to incur even a single overdraft charge. These account holders may have opted out of your discretionary overdraft program or they use alternative sources of short-term funding. 

For whatever reason, they do not want their financial institution to allow them to spend more than they have in their accounts; and recent research shows that many of them are willing to pay for the certainty of no overdraft fees.

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Topics: News, Company News, Fee Income, Digital Lending, PaySound

BSG Financial Group to Host Webinar in Conjunction with Market Rates Insight on Strategic Fee Pricing for Financial Institutions

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on Dec 1, 2015 6:59:48 AM


Have you heard? BSG Financial Group will host a webinar for financial institutions entitled, "Managing Deposit Fees: Price With Precision to Save Time & Increase Income."

The free webinar, which will help banks and credit unions accurately set retail deposit fees to maximize non-interest income, will be offered in two sessions: Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 11:00 am EST and Thursday, December 10, 2015 at 2:00 pm EST.

The webinar—especially relevant to financial institution marketing, retail, and financial officers—will provide tips and strategies to help financial institutions accurately set retail deposit fees to stay ahead of the competition and maximize non-interest income.

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Topics: News, Fee Income, Webinar, Deposit Fees

While We Wait for the CFPB… Review Your Overdraft Program Now

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on Nov 17, 2015 8:00:00 AM

Earlier this year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced it would push back its rulemaking process tied to overdrafts from July to October. But October has come and gone, and so the wait continues…

In fact, it is widely believed that even if the CFPB had made decisions in October, an effective date on rule-making would be no earlier than mid-2017. So not only does the waiting continue… it could go on for more than a year!

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Topics: Overdraft, Compliance, Fee Income

Budgeting for Profitability in 2016

Posted by Jeff Harper, President, BSG Financial Group on Sep 15, 2015 2:25:00 PM

It’s that time of year again, when financial institution management teams around the nation are in some stage of planning and budgeting for 2016.

When seeking areas for investment, non-interest income is still front and center, along with compliance and customer communications. All of these areas of potential growth can be addressed with innovative technology solutions, which will be crucial to create sustainable profitability and enhanced customer service for next year and beyond.

According to a recent study by Cornerstone Advisors, roughly half of community banks and credit unions will spend slightly more on IT in 2015 than they did in 2014. This growing trend in technology investment is likely to increase even more next year.

To that end, many a CEO/CFO would like to find that “ace in the hole” line item project that will deliver an immediate increase in revenue without taxing compliance or IT resources. Listed below are two such solutions that your management team should consider. (You can download a complete list here: 'Four Surefire Ways to Improve Your Financial Institution's Performance.')

Each solution has proven successful in helping other financial institutions just like yours generate non-interest income; streamline processes; or maintain compliance without compromising their financial institution's resources.

Solution #1: Profitable, Personalized Checking Accounts

Get out of the “free checking” bind that can cost your institution $250 to $400 per account annually to sustain. Instead, offer a fee-based checking account that is enhanced with value-add products and services that are important to the customer, who will pay a small fee for extras they find useful.

Bundled, fee-based accounts can include benefits like:

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Topics: Fee-Based Checking, Courtesy Overdraft, Fee Income, Budgeting

A "got you" product? We say overdraft protection is a "help you" product.

Posted by W. Barrett Nichols, founder & CEO on Jul 6, 2015 1:40:00 PM

In last week’s article entitled, “Falling overdraft takes a bite out of banks’ bottom line," cited a report by Moebs Services, Inc., an economic-research firm in Lake Forest, Ill, that stated financial institutions garnered around $30.6 billion in overdraft fees this year, down 4% from 2014--the biggest decline since 2011. The article quoted PNC Financial Services Group Inc. Chief Executive William Demchak who spoke at a May conference, where he apparently said, “At the end of the day, these people are our customers and we’re treating them with a got-you product.”

Since I wasn’t at the conference and I haven’t spoken directly with Mr. Demchak, I don’t want to attempt to explain what he meant. However, his words sound strikingly similar to those of so many uninformed consumer activists who suggest that consumers are best served when a financial institution returns insufficient funds (NSF) checks in lieu of paying them.

Unfortunately, this contingency doesn’t seem to completely understand the entire payment transaction. They tend to overlook the fact that regardless of whether a financial institution pays or returns a bounced check, there is going to be an NSF fee. If the consumer is going to pay its financial institution roughly $30.00 in excess of the check’s collected balance anyway, why would the consumer also want to pay the payee, who will likely charge an additional returned check fee? In general, consumers appreciate having their financial institution honor their checks even when they do not have sufficient funds, so that they pay only one NSF fee.

So, it’s a ‘got-you product’?  On the contrary, it is a service that most consumers appreciate, often thanking their institution for honoring the check. Not only does paying the NSF item eliminate the additional returned check fee for the consumer, it also reduces the embarrassment and headaches returned checks can cause the maker.

So you ask, ‘Why then are overdraft fees falling at banks? Isn’t this evidence that fewer consumers want the service?’  Possibly, but not necessarily so.

Let’s look at several of the causes. First, there are a number of banks that have altered or discontinued their overdraft service, creating a reduction in overdraft income. Secondly, with the popularity of smart phones and internet banking, consumers can easily keep track of their account balances. However, the most significant driver is the continuing shift from checks to other forms of payment by consumers. Today, checks account for only approximately 23% of transactional items, a drastic reduction from past years and one that continues to gain momentum.

I would propose that overdrafts are NOT a ‘got-you’ product, but a much appreciated and enjoyed service that is often available for short-term liquidity needs. And with the rise in electronic forms of payment, customer-focused financial institutions should consider offering overdraft privileges not only for paper items, but on electronic transactions too. First, however, they need to identify 1) which customers use payments other than checks; 2) if they are currently eligible for overdraft coverage due to Reg E.; and if not, 3) why they are not eligible (i.e., lack of response or opt-out). When asked, customers will generally tell you they did not respond to opt-in efforts by the financial institution because they never saw the mailing or they did not understand it.

Here is your financial institution’s opportunity to distinguish yourself by offering superior customer service. Simply change with the times. If your customers prefer utilizing ATM or debit cards, provide them the same overdraft coverage you provide on their checks. All you need to do is find a service provider that provides an up-to-date, compliant overdraft solution with a proven debit denial program.

I call that turning a “got you” product into a “help-you” product. 

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Topics: Overdraft, Courtesy Overdraft, Fee Income

No More Sitting on the Fence. The CFPB Signals Minimal Changes on Overdraft Rules.

Posted by Michele Rehm, Marketing Manager on Jun 10, 2015 1:31:00 PM
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Topics: Overdraft, Courtesy Overdraft, Fee Income