The ARCA Recycler Newsletter  

We know you don't have time to keep up with the latest news and research on cash trends. As your cash automation experts, it's what we do. The Recycler monthly newsletter is one way we keep you informed of what's happening in cash management for the retail and financial industries.

May 2019

Here today. Still here tomorrow. Focusing on cash in The Recycler

We aren't trying to make a bad pun, we're just stating a fact: handling cash is expensive. Banks prefer to keep cash out of the branch. Retailers prefer customers paid by card or mobile payment. But another worldwide truth (excluding Sweden) is that cash isn't going anywhere, anytime soon. In fact, from a customer service and revenue perspective, banks and credit unions still need customers to come into the branch and retailers can't ignore unbanked shoppers. This month's collection of articles center around the resiliency of cash and physical locations for banks and retailers. From the company that makes handling cash easier so you can focus on what matters most, here's what we've been reading lately:

How Walmart uses money services to grow sales
We read a lot about Amazon these days. Their shadow looms large over both financial and retail industries. But what about Amazon's main competitor? Walmart isn't just looking to catch up online to Amazon. This article explores how Walmart uses in store financial services be a one stop shop for customers while growing sales. [From Digiday]

Bank Customers Happier Using Branch+Digital Than Digital Only
Banking article headlines typically shout that the branch is dying while executives should invest more in digital banking. Yet, as it usually does, the data says something different. A study from J.D. Power & Associates suggests that a combination of branch and digital banking offerings is required to better serve customers. Yes, even the coveted millennial demographic that is maturing and in need of personalized in-person attention when it comes to their finances wants to come into a branch. [From The Financial Brand]

Not so fast: Cashless backlash delays move to walletless economy
The pushback against retailers going cashless continues. Cash may be inconvenient, but the idea of removing cash as a payment option in retail overlooks unbanked people or customers who may be wary of sharing their personal data by using credit or debit cards. Although, we've been saying that cash isn't going anywhere for a while, it's an interesting turn of events to see this issue become a political talking point that is being codified in states and cities throughout the US. [From CBS News]

The Bank Branch Is Dead. Long Live The Bank Branch.
Despite the fact that GenXers and millennials still rank convenient branches as a top priority in choosing a bank, it's clear that how banks blend their services through digital and physical channels is changing. Although branches will continue to transform, this article from a CUNA executive argues that the branch of the future will still be, you know, a branch. [From Forbes]

Related articles from ARCA

April 2019

Cash and customer experience in a daydreaming version of The Recycler

This month we've been stewing over large, capital "I" important issues around cash like the political implications of going cashless or the psychological value of the human touch in a self-service obsessed market. Maybe April has made us more philosophical or maybe the nice, warmer weather here in North Carolina has us staring out our office windows more often. Whatever the cause, here's a cash and customer experience focused list of what we've been reading and thinking on lately:

Making cash easier for consumers and small businesses
Cash isn't going anywhere. Look at our second story below for proof. From unbanked individuals to cash heavy retail customers, banks and credit unions will still have to handle cash for years to come. However, as this article suggests, banks should make cash easier to handle in their branches AS WELL AS keep more cash out of their branches by referring cash recyclers to their customers. [From BAI Banking Strategies]

Amazon Go stores are reportedly set to start accepting cash
We laughed a little bit when we read this headline. While Amazon and the power it has to change industries is no laughing matter, the idea of a cashless store accepting cash made us chuckle. But beyond the giggles and the headline, this news piece notes that the cashless movement, and by extension Amazon, has run into a problem usually reserved for politics: marginalization. Low income shoppers and people who are not tech savvy being excluded has caught the attention and, for now, the protection of governments. [From USA Today]

Creating actionable insights from irrational humans
Beyond Philosophy focuses on building better customer experiences, and in this article, their CEO shares a personal story that packs a heavy punch. The moral of that story? Don't automate the value right out of your customer experience. Self-service machines can all too easily fall into this trap. We believe customer experience strategy should drive automation decisions not the other way around. [From Beyond Philosophy]

Is simplicity the winning recipe in the grocery wars race?
This commentary walks through the vast changes to the competitive landscape for grocery stores. This increase in options has led consumers to demand more from their customer experience. Technology like cash recyclers can make a trip to the grocery store more immersive by allowing employees to focus on keeping the in-store customer experience simple and rewarding. [From Retail Customer Experience]

Related articles from ARCA


January 2019

Customer experience! Amazon! Millenials! Open Banking! All in the Recycler

For all the "big trends, topics and tech" articles that appear in publications every January, one major theme exists year after year after year: Customer experience matters. Want to protect your business from Amazon? Focus on the customer experience. Want to attract millenials? Focus on the customer experience. Want to keep your members in the wake of open banking technology? Focus on the customer experience. No matter what new technology, new threat or new trend pops up, the customer experience will always matter. And with the customer experience in mind, here's what we've been reading lately:

An Amazon Checking Account Could Displace $100 Billion In Bank Deposits (But It Won't)
Amazon is everywhere. Or at least, Amazon feels like it's everywhere. This opinion piece from Forbes explores Amazon's options for moving into the banking world. Amazon may not want to create checking accounts, but serve as a distribution channel and technology platform for banks instead. Whatever direction Amazon chooses, the entire banking industry will be watching. [From Forbes]

Why Open Banking Represents a Seismic Shift for Fintech
Data, data, everywhere, but what about a breach? The majority of stories about customer data these days has been about instance after instance of data being stolen or exposed. However, Wharton's online business journal discusses how in the concept of open banking, that same customer data might create more competition among financial institutions of all sizes [From Knowledge@Wharton]

Retail in 2019: Store evolution, tech adoption and what it will take to win
Experience matters. Or in retail, the customer experience matters. Three retail experts discuss how 2019 will see retailers focus on creating a seamless, omnichannel customer experience from digital to in-store locations. All three experts stress that the in-store experience will require technology that allows employees to focus on their customers. [From Marketing Land]

How Banks Can Turn Millennials Into Lifelong Customers
Millenials! While pop culture makes them the punchline of a whole lot of jokes, most retailers and banks are desperately trying to figure out how to make them loyal customers. For banks, the starting place seems to always start with improving the mobile experience. From there though, this writer discusses some practical and some not so practical customer experience improvements to attract and retain millenials. [From Forbes]

Related articles from ARCA


December 2018

Happy Holidays from The Recycler

A clever ARCA team member wrote a banking version of the famous Christmas poem. Read An ARCA Christmas Story. If poetry isn't your thing, we're still on top of banking and retail industry news. So, here's what we've been reading lately:

Why everything in banking is about to change
Referencing the banking model in It's a Wonderful Life, The Startup argues that pressure from Fintechs should drive banks to return to the banking service model and social philosophy portrayed in the holiday classic. [From The StartUp]

The analytics lift: How to improve branch productivity and customer experience
One of the best things brick and mortar banks can do to keep stay relevant to their customers is to use data to deliver outstanding service. Kerim Tumay says it best, "It’s always about the customer. Experience drives everything and the customer trumps everything. You’ve always got to think ‘If I were the customer …’ If you don’t start there, you won’t get it right.” [From BAI]

The global cashless movement meets its foe: Local government
While some countries around the world have made it government policy to move their citizens closer to a cashless society, local governments in the United States are pushing back against the cashless movement in surprising ways. [From The Washington Post]

Related articles from ARCA


November 2018

Customer research and cash data about banks and retailers in The Recycler

Rather than curling up next to the fire with a good book, our team has handled the cold weather snap by sitting down to read some research reports, consumer surveys, and success stories. Instead of plot twists and character arcs, we've got consumer preferences and cash studies. While wishing you a coffee in hand, here's what we've been reading lately:

Expectations & Experiences: Channels and new entrants
Everyone knows this but it's good to repeat from time to time: the branch still matters. In fact, 52% of consumers have visited a branch within the past month while 80% have done so in the past six months. Fiserv gets answer to why people still visit the branch and a lot more in their Channels and New Entrants survey. [From Consumer Bankers Association]

People prefer small banks and credit unions, but the clock is ticking
Large national institutions have a better digital experience while smaller banks and credit unions have better customer service. These statements feel familiar, but the interesting takeaway from this assessment is that most institutions are not winning the personalization game. FIs are not anticipating their customers' financial needs despite firmly holding customers' trust. [From The Financial Brand]

Universal truths of universal banking: Three success stories
The one universal truth about universal banking? There is no one perfect implementation or staffing model. Given that, David Kerstein of BAI examines three success stories of universal banker implementation with two banks and a credit union. [From BAI]

Cash costs U.S. businesses $40 billion a year
This article is five years old. But it's one that's worth returning to because it still points out a fundamental issue retailers are still worried about today. Cash is expensive and cash theft plays a central role in those costs. [From Inc Magazine]

Related articles from ARCA


October 2018

Banking, cash and statistics with The Recycler

Data and statistics are not scary. At least they shouldn't be. Data and statistics are just more information to help executives make decisions. In this era of "big data," let us share with you some of our favorite recent stories about banking, cash and statistics. So, without any good reason to be scared, here's what we've been reading lately:

Trends in Urban and Rural Community Banks
Earlier this month at the Community Banking in the 21st Century Research and Policy Conference, the Vice Chairman for Supervision at the Federal Reserve spoke in depth about what research data indicates about the health of community banking in rural and urban areas. [From The Federal Reserve]

Attacking the Cost of Cash
While utilizing technology like cash recyclers to streamline processes and reduce cash costs remains a good first step, McKinsey recommends that most banks could drive costs around cash even lower by applying "lean principles to eliminate waste and maximize productivity in distribution centers, inventory management, and transportation." [From McKinsey and Company]

Banks are using Tinder-style apps and in-store tech to drive customers into branches
Bankers tend to overestimate how many people want digital only experiences. Some financial institutions, like Umpqua Bank, are using apps or video technology to help promote relationship banking rather than replace it. [From DIGIDAY]

How Software Ate the Point of Sale
The point of sale for retailers remains a technological wild wild west. [From The Atlantic]

Related articles from ARCA


September 2018

Explore customer service with The Recycler

Just because every bank, credit union and retailer have something about delivering great service in their core values doesn't mean they are equipped to make it happen. Banking providers have to reward the loyalty still afforded to them by providing real relationship banking. And retailers need to stop wasting time counting cash and deliver in-person value to customers. Great customer service is hard. ARCA can help. Now, on to what we've been reading lately:

How (and why) consumers and banking providers don’t see eye to eye
New research from Bob Meara at Celent shows that most bank and credit union executives aren't exactly in sync with what their customers want. For example, banking executives overestimated consumer's desire for digital services as a retail delivery method. [From Financial Brand]

The Branch Puzzle: Why are there still bank branches?
Economists ask a simple question: Why are there still bank branches? The answer: Evidence suggests that the large number of local bank branches across the country persist because customers and small businesses "continue to value local bank branches." [From The Federal Reserve]

Do Retail Banks Have A Problem With Relationships?
While digital payments are steadily growing in popularity, cash remains very much a part of consumers’ financial lives even in the least cash-friendly countries. [From Forbes]

Why your managers would love to stop counting money
After surveying 4,000 consumers about different banking channels, PwC finds that a "mobile first" strategy will win the market but traditional banking centers are still important for specific transactions. [From QSR Magazine]

Related articles from ARCA


July 2018

Tools to re-engage bank customers
69% of millennials have not received formal financial education. Banks and credit unions could fill that gap, but they must use new tools to move from focusing on transactions to focusing on relationship banking that promotes financial wellness for their customers and members.  [From ABA Bank Marketing]

How to get branch design right in the digital age
More than half of all consumers are still visiting branches at least once a month, some even more frequently than that. [From Financial Brand]

Can cash and digital payments coexist?
While digital payments are steadily growing in popularity, cash remains very much a part of consumers’ financial lives even in the least cash-friendly countries. [From ATM Marketplace]

PwC's 2018 digital banking consumer survey
After surveying 4,000 consumers about different banking channels, PwC finds that a "mobile first" strategy will win the market but traditional banking centers are still important for specific transactions. [From PwC Financial Services]

Related articles from ARCA


June 2018

Fintechs and digital-only alternatives face a consumer backlash
The most satisfied consumers — which J.D. Powers calls “branch-dependent digital consumers” — have visited a branch at least twice in last three months. [From The Financial Branch]

Winning the new deposit war
For the past decade, banks have taken for granted the abundance of low-cost deposits. Customers flocked to banks for safety during the crisis, and didn’t see any attractive investments for that money long after the crisis ended. However, there is ample evidence this period of easy deposit growth has come to an end. From ABA Bank Marketing]

Improving customer experience depends on rewriting this rule
Ask your customers to name the most important thing you can do to win their loyalty, and you’ll probably hear, “make it easy for me” as the most common answer. While simple in concept, this is at odds with how most banks serve their customers.[From Bank Director]

A consumer-centric approach to retail banking sales
Good customer outcomes are best achieved by delivering new capabilities, technology, process, and policy changes in a way that the front line can adopt quickly and easily. [From McKinsey & Company]

Related articles from ARCA


May 2018

The digital banking imperative
In the age of the customer, banks will either reinvent themselves or be forgotten. [From Forrester]

Bank of America's 500 new branches show the death of the bank branch might be overstated
Branches are still a valuable asset to banks — 60% of US consumers would still prefer to visit a branch, rather than use a digital banking channel, to open a new checking account, according to a Novantas study. [From Business Insider]

Where stores can still compete - and win
For all the well-documented challenges and economic pressures of managing brick-and-mortar locations, shopping trends and consumer spend still favor the store. After all, some 80 percent of purchases are expected to still happen in stores in 2020. [From McKinsey]

The changing face of branch banking
As an increasing number of consumers use their mobile devices to conduct banking transactions, many wondered if this is the death knell for the physical branch. However, instead of becoming obsolete, brick and mortar bank branches are being reinvigorated by technology. [From DBS]

Why Amazon is a 'no-go' for most retailers
Even in an increasingly digital arena, the branch network can play a critical role in building trust and credibility, providing financial advice, offering convenience, and easing the transition to digital channels. [From Chain Store Age]

The future of branch banking is unclear. The only thing that's certain is that branch banking is undergoing unprecedented changes. Retail banks and credit unions are scrambling to meet the demands of changing customer preferences. These demands have executives making big bets on technology that may be obsolete before it can generate an ROI. This 34-page ebook examines how cash automation fundamentally impacts retail banking and how to ease into a branch evolution strategy. [From ARCA]

Related Articles from ARCA