Back to Blog

Best of BAI Retail Delivery 2011

image BAI held its giant banktech trade show, Retail Delivery, in its hometown this year, the first time it’s been held in Chicago since I began attending in 1993. It was a good year for announcing interesting FI partnerships:

  • PayPal and USAA for mobile P2P payments
  • Cardlytics and PNC for merchant-funded rewards
  • On Deck Capital and US Bank for small business alternative lending

And there was a merger of two popular Finovate alums:

  • oFlows and Andera

Finally, here are the highlights form my show notes, or what I call the Netbanker Awards (see note). Monday we’ll also publish more thoughts from our friend and crafty correspondent Dan Thomas from Mindful Insights.


2011 Retail Delivery Netbanker Awards

  • Biggest "aha" moment: Varolli shedding light on the huge win-win benefit from proactively managing customer communications across various channels for "financial events" (e.g, new account onboarding, collections, service issues, fraud issues, etc.)
  • Best mobile UI idea: USAA mobile app which toggles between "spending mode" and "personal finance management" mode
  • Best booth magnet: Fiserv’s blindfolded guy (mentalist I guess)
  • Best freebie: The massive "sucker statue" from FIS (I think)
  • Energizer Bunny award: Still going strong, even on day 3, the Yodlee crew
  • Most entertaining presentation: Jeremy Gutsche, Founder,
    Note: Though not sure if "creating a cultural bond" with customers is realistic for most banks. Credit unions, maybe. TrendHunter also takes the dubious honor of having "the most blatant sales pitch in a keynote" for its last slide pitching workshops and special free offers <> (see it worked!)
  • imageBiggest mixed message on delivery priorities: "I do 80% of my banking by mobile phone and I go to the branch every week" Randi Zuckerberg during keynote interview
  • Best idea for getting new revenues (deja vu): Merchant-funded rewards from Cardlytics, FreeMonee and others
  • Best demo: Alkami Technology which showed PC, iPad, and iPhone all at once (see inset)
  • Biggest tease: USAA’s Neff Hudson saying he "was going to show us screenshots of the new USAA mobile wallet," but it wasn’t quite far enough along in testing. (Later he told me that it shouldn’t be more than a few months out before he can show it.) But he did say that the wallet will hold more than just USAA cards, that it will be a separate standalone app (although it will likely be integrated into main mobile app at some point), and that it will have PayPal-powered P2P payments.
  • Most likely to "change the world": On Deck Capital’s small business credit/lending engine
  • Best free PR: President Clinton talking about On Deck Capital in his opening keynote
  • Bank that got the most attention (in a good way): USAA
  • Most surprising announcement: PayPal enabled ATMs from NCR and S1
    Comment: I did not see that one coming, but it makes sense, especially for international remittances
  • Best conference amenity: Wifi that worked throughout!
  • Best kept secret: The Starbucks hidden not more than 25 steps, but around a corner, from the exhibit hall entrance (hat tip to Susan Casella, a fellow Seattleite, and Varolii exec who bought me a much-needed Americano)
  • Coolest conference innovation: The QR codes in the printed program that opened up the powerpoint deck on your mobile (especially if you used iPad 2)
  • Best mobile positioning statement (tie): In back-to-back, but separate sessions, Neff Hudson, USAA and Bret King, Bank 2.0/Movenbank said almost the same thing: that banking has always been a destination (visit branch, call the VRU, or login in to online banking). And with mobile, banking goes direct to the customer.
  • Most though-provoking idea:  Brett King says Movenbank will have no product "applications", ever. The bank will never require customer to "apply " for any banking product. Movenbank will gradually ask for customer info and permissions and then will make appropriate products available  without formal application process.
    Comment: Even if you can’t remove EVERY application, this is a good direction to head in.
  • Best meal: Pizzanos Pizza with my brother and his family (thanks!)


Best stats

  • During last 10 days BECU has added 5,200 new accounts, more than 2x its normal pace of about 7,000 per month
  • BECU has processed $10 million in P2P payments and $10 million in remote deposits (didn’t say time period)
  • 92% of BECU transactions occur in remote channel (online/mobile)
  • 58% of online banking users at least look at one offer from Cardlytics during the first month the rewards program is offered
  • Cardlytics is only getting 14 support calls per month per million accounts (granted, banks are the first line of support, but few of those questions are getting escalated to Cardlytics)
  • Cardlytics clients are seeing 15% increase in online banking logins after deployment
  • Cardlytics has a 1.6% opt-out rate from the in-statement rewards program
  • Fiserv ZashPay has more than 1,000 FI clients
  • On Deck Capital is seeing under 5% loss rates in its $150 million small biz alt-lending portfolio
  • FI exec rating of branches as very/extremely important dropped 9 points, from 82% to 71% in past year (see inset)


Best quotes

"We were probably lucky that the Chicago chapter of "occupy wall street" didn’t know what BAI stood for."
     — Name withheld

"Mobile will be the primary (most-used) channel for transactions at USAA by 2015"
     — Neff Hudson, USAA

These observations are based solely on the small part of the overall show that I personally took in. I talked to 25-30 companies out of more than 200 exhibiting. And I attended about 10 sessions out of 100 or so. My apologies to all the companies with cool stuff that I either didn’t see or didn’t comprehend.