5 Must-Reads This Week: Big Banks, Big Ideas, Big Trouble?

5 Must-Reads This Week: Big Banks, Big Ideas, Big Trouble?

5 Must-Reads This Week: Big Banks, Big Ideas, Big Trouble?

This week big banks were in the news, for better and worse. First, Chase Sapphire Reserve taught us that romance isn’t dead when it comes to credit cards. Point taken. Then, we learned that Wells Fargo had taken cross-selling to illegal extremes – opening millions of unauthorized accounts and ultimately being fined by the CFPB. This led us to wonder whether it isn’t time to think big again – looking more closely at big trends in payments and commerce, the large and small of mobile payments at BofA, and the hugely disruptive power of fintech as it collides with the world of investments. With big shifts underway, it’s a good time to take the wide view:

What had us hooked in this week’s news:

Value-Seekers Warm to a $450 Annual Credit Card Fee
New York Times
Just how hot is the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card? “It is so popular that JPMorgan Chase, the bank that issues the card, ran out of the engraved card’s fancy metal stock in only 10 days, and had to send a temporary plastic placeholder to disappointed customers,” the Times reports. For those of us who thought high annual fees were out and prestige cards were over, the Chase Sapphire Reserve invites us to rethink what consumers really value in a card. Could rewards be more valuable than we knew?

Wells Fargo Exec Who Headed Phony Accounts Unit Gets $125 Million
It’s not enough that one of the nation’s biggest banks is shelling out $185 million as a settlement for opening more than 2 million unauthorized accounts in order to meet sales quotas. Upon the announcement of her retirement, the executive in charge of the unit in question received $124.6 million and praise from Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf, who at the time called Carrie Tolstedt a “standard bearer” for the company. Well, that’s awkward.

Four Big Power Shifts for Commerce and Payments
Sometimes moving fast takes your focus off the big picture. Here are four big trends that bring progress in the payments and commerce space into sharp relief. Are we still moving headlong into a mobile-driven future? Or have we already arrived?

Mobile Payments Are Up at BofA – But They’re Still a Small Segment
Mobile Payments Today
Year-over-year, mobile wallet transactions rose 240 percent at Bank of America, according to the company’s latest Consumer Spending Snapshot. Still, these payments represent only about 1 percent of BofA’s transactions.

Fintech Beyond Payments: The Wall Street Invasion
The Huffington Post
“Fintech is no longer a future business development; fintech has arrived.” Here’s an interesting peek into how disruptive thinking applies to the investment side of financial services – as it might be applied to any number of long-established businesses. Big changes are in the works.