April 18 – Axiom Bank, a federally chartered community bank, has announced a first-time contribution of $300,000 to the Step Up For Students Scholarship Program, providing educational options to financially-disadvantaged Florida schoolchildren.
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October 12 – Axiom Bank, serving Central Florida, has donated $100,000 to the Emory Neuromodulation and Technology Innovation Center (ENTICe) to help develop new treatments for brain diseases and conditions like epilepsy, Parkinson’s, depression, and more. Axiom Bank made the gift as part of its continued commitment to supporting its community and addressing the needs of people, even beyond its home state.
July 17 – Axiom Bank®, a community bank headquartered in Central Florida, has donated $425 and 90 pounds of food to Feeding America Tampa Bay, a non-profit organization that works to eradicate hunger in the Tampa Bay area.
Fintech payments solutions offer new challenge.
By Michael Scheibach
Generating revenue, improving product offerings, streamlining operations and better serving customers are among the top priorities for financial institutions in 2017. They also are the priorities for small businesses, especially retailers, who constantly look for ways to reduce costs, better serve their customers and increase revenues. Many retailers, in fact, are now part of the Merchants Payments Coalition — representing nearly 3 million stores — whose mission is to reduce credit card fees and create “a more transparent system that works better for consumers and merchants.”
Needless to say, banks must confront this changing payments landscape or risk losing their retail customers to fintech startups. In a report released last year, “Banks, Retailers and Fintech: Reimaging Payments Relationships,” the authors point out that fintech companies “sense an opportunity” in payments and are “muscling in” on banks’ traditional turf. “Banks cannot afford to be complacent,” reads the report. “Changes sweeping the industry suggest that there is a lot more disruption ahead, with potentially much more significant impact on banks.”
An even greater threat than payments processing, however, may be the weakening of the overall business relationship with a retail customer — an area of strength for banks. In other words, fintech payments solutions often have expanded capabilities that strengthen the fintech’s connection with its customers.
An example of a fintech company offering more than a simple payments solution is Fattmerchant (www.fattmerchant.com), a subscription-based merchant processing company. Its solution also includes one-time and recurring online payments, invoicing capabilities, a reporting dashboard with analytics, a mobile app, technical support, customized reports and more.
Although Fattmerchant has focused primarily on retailers, professional services and ecommerce companies, it also knows the importance of working with banks because of their longstanding small-business customer base. To do this, the company recently introduced a white-label Partner Program for banks and credit unions that is fully customizable according to the financial institution’s brand standards. A financial institution that becomes a partner has access to tools and resources for marketing, customer service, technical support and account management. Plus, the program allows institutions to analyze merchant processing savings for clients and helps clients switch processors, all while the institution earns money.
CEO Suneera Madhani emphasizes that one of the biggest benefits of the program for financial institutions is the ability to partner with a merchant services provider with no markups. Financial institutions have traditionally worked with standard processors cutting into their customers’ bottom lines, says Madhani. Now they are able to recommend a company that works for the mutual benefit of both the merchant and the institution.
“Customers of financial institutions enrolled in our Partner Program have access to a network of available resources and transparent pricing to help them succeed,” said Madhani. “The program provides updated technology such as a detailed analytics dashboard and tools, as well as a fully integrated virtual terminal. By using Fattmerchant, merchants are offered major savings through no markups and no contract. Merchants also have the added benefit of working with both their bank and the Fattmerchant team to find ways to save, essentially expanding their financial support system.”
Although the Partner Program is new, Madhani said the early response has been positive, with small to medium-sized financial institutions seeing the greatest return. One such institution is Axiom Bank in Orlando, Fla. According to Daniel Davis, president and CEO, the bank and Fattmerchant are working together to provide customers with affordable merchant processing, and to ensure that customers are improving their return each month and reducing unnecessary spending on exorbitant bills.
“Small-business owners are seeking convenience, clarity and trustworthy services,” said Davis, “and that’s what they’ll find with this partnership.”
Michael Scheibach is executive editor of BankNews.
By Bryan Ridgway and Kenneth M. Levey
Managing business and financial performance in today’s challenging and constantly evolving financial environment is critical for any bank to achieve its short-term and long-term goals. The ability to manage business and financial performance is directly dependent upon an institution’s understanding of the drivers of that performance and the ability to effectively quantify projected business strategies. Evolving the planning and budgeting process from a stagnant, annual process to one that enables more timely strategic decision making is essential to accomplish this objective.
2016 ISA Entry – Kaufman Hall’s Axiom Financial Institutions Suite
Kaufman Hall is a leading provider of financial planning and performance management software for mid-sized and large banks around the world. Axiom Financial Institutions Suite provides software for the entire institution to improve financial decision making. Institutions can leverage one, unified platform to achieve financial and operational performance goals.
Recently, Kaufman Hall / Axiom Software found 75 percent of financial institutions want to provide more insightful reporting and analysis to better support overall decision making. By leveraging Axiom Software, organizations are able to:
- Create long range plans that help your institution achieve its strategic goals and aspirations
- Improve efficiencies and accuracy in your budgeting, forecasting, and cash flow planning
- Measure and analyze profitability across your organization, customers, products, and any other dimension resulting in better decision making
- Better understand risks by evaluating changes in the credit quality/risk profile of loan portfolios
- Monitor trends and benchmark against peer institutions to identify areas of concern and opportunity
- Increase visibility of key performance indicators across the institution via dashboards and reports
By Kenneth Levey
For many years, banks have found that one of the best ways to align employee behavior with corporate strategy is to provide comprehensive incentive plans to those employees. One of the most important lessons learned for financial institutions resulting from the 2008 financial crisis was that not all growth is good growth. Paying incentives on, for example, just loan growth, may have increased compensation for many loan officers, but was in many cases detrimental to the overall health of the organization. Appropriately, both common sense and regulatory guidelines have led to many changes in the banking industry since the financial crisis. One of those changes is in the area of incentive compensation management. (more…)
In today’s volatile economic climate and regulatory environment, evaluation of profitability drivers has become more complex since all growth does not create sustainable value. In fact, some industry estimates suggest that more than 40 percent of a bank’s customers may in fact be unprofitable, so banks must analyze and measure which segments are hindering their profitability and take meaningful, corrective action.
July 30 – Axiom EPM, a provider of financial planning and performance management software for enterprises, has released a whitepaper on creating profitability measurement frameworks in banks and credit unions. The white paper reviews the concepts of profitability and acknowledges that while the key driver in a financial institution’s profitability is funds transfer pricing, allocating an institution’s net interest margin to individual instruments is not the only factor to consider in determining profitability. Other contributing factors include the attribution of certain income and operating expenses; the assignment of capital; and a robust, multi-dimensional reporting and analysis framework, which must all be in place to leverage profitability data in an actionable manner.
Nov 15 – Dennis P. Lockhart, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, spoke at the Conference on Small Business and Entrepreneurship during an Economic Recovery in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 10, 2011. His speech is below.