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5 Things a Savvy Banker Does

Does this sound familiar? You can't remember the last time you spoke to a real, live rep from your debit card program provider. You can’t make sense of what fees your institution is actually paying for this program because your bill is 25 pages long. And you're still trying to figure out how to tap into new income sources without having to increase fees for your account holders.

Your financial institution doesn't ask for much. But, when you do ask, it feels like no one is listening.

So what gives? Surely there are some secrets to managing card program vendors. If you start paying attention to the things a savvy banker does, here's what you might learn.

1. A savvy banker looks at the big picture.

Having your debit network contract roll over for another term can seem like the right thing to do. That’s because the review process can be difficult and time consuming. But, taking a longer-term view could improve program revenue for years to come. An analysis of your existing program may expose needless expenditures and unexplored opportunities.  

2. A savvy banker understands the value of community and values partners that do as well.

Banking is about people. That's why it's important for institutions to maintain visibility in the communities they serve. But when you're dealing with a legacy provider, you’re just a number. Discover® Debit provides grassroots campaigns to promote your institution to the community. Issuers also gain a team of dedicated professionals – including project management support, account managers, marketing professionals and account specialists. This team provides personalized support for your program in the community before, during, and after implementation.

3. A savvy banker understands the value of non-interest income.

In a world where interest rates remain historically low, financial institutions have increased their focus on generating non-interest income. There aren't many ways to grow non-interest income without increasing fees, which can make for unhappy account holders. Interchange revenue from a debit card program can be a key source of non-interest income. According to the 2018 Debit Issuer Study commissioned by PULSE, smaller institutions are generating approximately $118 per active consumer debit card per year in interchange revenue.* But your legacy debit card program could be stifling your net non-interest income by charging higher fees. Having a payments expert review your debit portfolio can help you uncover potential savings.

4. Savvy bankers choose vendors who are in it to win it.

It sounds simple enough. You want a bill that's easy to decipher, and a rep – preferably an actual human being and not a toll-free number – who's there when you need them. Legacy providers don't always make people or billing information readily available. Discover Debit offers a transparent fee structure, an approximately two- to three-page bill and a team of reps to help you easily manage your debit program.

5. A savvy banker isn't afraid of change.

Savvy bankers know being open to change can reveal unforeseen opportunities. This can mean embracing new providers. Analyzing your debit card program is a good starting point. You might be surprised to learn what your institution is actually paying in fees, and that it could be time to consider a new provider.

To get help reviewing your current program, or to learn more about Discover Debit, click here to visit with one of our experts.

*2018 Debit Issuer Study commissioned by PULSE and conducted by the financial services practice of Oliver Wyman.  Smaller institutions are defined as issuers with <$10 billion in assets.

The information provided herein is sponsored by Pulse Network. It is intended for informational purposes, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.