The clock is ticking, it’s 2:00 pm. In front of you is a pile of eight thick envelopes, each containing some 250 pages of paper, weighing 20 pounds or more, all told.
In the pile are the replies from the eight different banks that responded to your entity’s Request for Proposal (RFP) for banking services.
The committee you assembled to review and score these RFPs looks on with apprehension and bleary eyes as each envelope is opened and tasks are parceled out. It’s up to this group to read over 2000 pages, figuring out all the bank lingo, comparing your banking needs to the services being offered, and considering price comparisons.
Two weeks go by, maybe more. The elite group reconvenes and discusses comparisons and possible assumptions of what these eight banks may mean in their confusing phrases, disclaimers, small–print disclosures, and pricing that varies widely.
When the time finally comes to rank each bank against the others, one team member suggests throwing darts to see which one gets a bullseye. That may be easier than figuring out which bank is the best overall fit, she adds.
Tons of paper to wade through, maybe even months of confusion and delays, and then there still may be angst about changing banks. Such are the fears finance officers have on their minds when considering even issuing a bank RFP in the first place. One may think it’s better to leave everything “as is” rather than to start the process—unless an RFP is mandated.
The fears of hearing the words “bank RFP” can be a thing of the past. With three+one®’s rfpPrep®, the first online banking RFP service for public entities and higher Ed institutions, the ease in issuing, reviewing, and objectively scoring RFPs has never been easier.
Our proprietary rfpPrep® software cuts the bank–RFP process down from months to weeks, creating highly competitive responses and pricing that is easy to understand because you’re able to truly compare “apples to apples.” Instead of reams of paper, emphasis is placed on strong banking relationships, and the most competitive pricing in the marketplace.
The best part of rfpPrep® is that it’s 85% more efficient and 75% more cost effective vs. the RFP practices to which you’ve become accustomed.
The future is here, and rfpPrep® can be used for banking, investment advisory, and insurance RFPs.
Save the fret, time, and paper by putting three+one®’s rfpPrep® service to work. Instead of fearing the process, your team will have more time to meet the needs of those you serve. You’ll save money and the environment—and rest assured of a stronger banking relationship in both services and pricing.
Residents of Rochester, NY, like me, remember all too well when Eastman Kodak discovered the new world of digitized photos, which was revolutionary compared to actual film. As both forms of photography were compared, Kodak management decided to stay with the use of film as their standard product given stronger profit margins over digital. We all know where that led. The companies that developed and brought digital to market—in ways we never thought possible—flourished, especially when quality digital cameras were added to smart phones.
Similarly, the landscape of banking is changing at a rapid pace—and in ways that we would have never imagined.
Let me be clear, the way we bank in the future will not be the same as we know it today. The type of banking institutions will change as did the companies in the world of digital photography.
For starters, who would have imagined a few years ago that tech giants Apple, Google, and Facebook would enter the world of banking? Who would have foreseen the revolution of blockchain technology? Changes like these could mean a shift away from brick-and-mortar bank branches. Many traditional banking services andinstitutions could very well change beyond our imagination.
I fully expect the largest banking institutions will play a major role in this revolution. However, they will have to be strategic, forward thinking, and open to change. A perfect example is Goldman Sachs’ role in managing Apple’s new credit card. Personally, I questioned why an institutional-oriented bank would have agreed to roll out, qualify, and manage retail clients; it just seemed to be a mismatch, which has proven to be the case.
On the other hand, combining the forces of Google and Citibank does make sense to me, given their similar retail focus. Working together, they anticipate offering checking accounts to Google clients next year.
Names that are now appearing in the financial marketplace are not the ones we’re used to seeing as related to banking services. Similarly, a dozen years ago, who would have ever guessed Apple would make the number one device used in taking pictures?
It should be noted that more and more millennials, who make up over 84 million of the US population, would prefer to bank with Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google over a traditional financial institution, if such an option was available. This in stark contract to the way baby boomers and Generation Xs conduct their personal banking today.
The way we bank is going to become far different than we know it—and at a cheaper cost. How the Fed and bank regulators deal with these changes is going to be interesting to watch.
At three+one®, we’re poised to help you navigate through the anticipated changes in banking. Our liquidity and treasury analysis programs, coupled with rfpPrep®, can help you become aware of how changes will affect you and your organization. This will be reflected in both the institutions you deal with, and how your taxpayers/students will transact with you.
While the world of banking will likely change significantly, the team at three+one® will be consistent, always committed to proactive and forward-thinking technology, liquidity analysis and customer service.
While watching the news and catching up on emails the other night, I received an “888” call followed by an urgent text from my bank. It alerted me to fraud on my personal bank account and provided an authorized code and phone number to call. I dialed that number only to receive the same official bank voice/menu I knew from past calls I’d made to the bank.
Being suspicious, I proceeded to call the phone number on the back of my credit card, which was the same voice/menu as in the text message. Finally, having made my way through to customer service, I was advised that the text message was in fact a new type of fraud that the bank was trying to deal with. It had them as stumped as I was—and this was one of the country’s top three banks!
Clearly, the sophistication of fraud through technology and communication is rapidly escalating. The look and sound are so convincing that it’s tough to know what is real and what is fake. If you haven’t yet experienced such fraud attempts, it’s only a matter of time before you will.
So, what can public entities and higher Ed institutions do to protect themselves?
Here are some suggested tips:
1. Today’s phone texts are the new form of robo messaging. They look real and their reference to a link or phone call are only a lure to have you provide personal and confidential financial access to your bank accounts. Never respond to a text by a financial institution. Use it as an opportunity to reach out to your bank or banker and report the potential fraud.
2. If you receive a phone call from someone identifying him/herself as a financial representative looking to discuss a specific transaction or account, ask for his/her name and employee number. Then hang up and call your bank to report the incident and verify if such a person is on the bank’s staff.
3. Lately there have been a number of scams suggesting that your bank is looking to verify your information to update a “Know Your Client” (KYC) requirement. You may be told that if you do not respond, your accounts will be blocked. A bank would never reach out by text or email to verify your identity or personal information. Rather, they would do so either by letter or in person.
Scammers are using technology to gain access to your information and money. They use approaches that look real, urgent, and threatening. The only way to protect yourself and your organization is to be alert to and cognizant of these attempts.
If you ever have a question or suspect such activity, call your banker immediately. This should be your first level of defense against fraud. If your bank does not respond or provide fraud protection, then it’s time to look for a new bank that does. In today’s marketplace, there is no excuse for a bank to leave you unprotected.
Through rfpPrep® by three+one®, we can help you navigate through the bank and treasury services you should be receiving to protect your organization and the money of those you serve.
The world of fraud looks so innocent and real. Let us help you unmask the fraud and protect those dollars you have a fiduciary obligation to protect.
We are excited to share with you the launch of our new rfpPrep® website!
rfpPrep® is the first-ever digital RFP (request for proposal) for public sector & higher-ed financial services.
Reduce the RFP process time by 75% while evaluating financial services options for your entity using an error-free & fair bidding platform. rfpPrep® is an entirely online tool for your needs in BANKING, INVESTMENT, MERCHANT SERVICES & E-PAYMENTS.
Visit rfpPrep® by three+one® to learn how this tool can work for you.
Over the last four years, we have encouraged public entities and higher Ed institutions to hold off on a banking services Request for Proposal (RFP) due to the low-interest-rate environment and the burdensome process in conducting a RFP. The value was not there, given the time required to conduct a banking RFP.
Well, that is now changing. With higher short-term-interest rates, new technology, and more banks pursuing public and higher Ed clients, the time has come to start taking advantage of the marketplace.
Over the last month, we have seen bank Earning Credit Rates (ECR) jump to as high as 1.90% in a competitive setting, with savings rates on cash balances north of 2.00%. All of this follows a trend that we see continuing in 2019.
In considering a bank RFP, it is essential that you have a forward-thinking document that reaches the greatest number of the banks in your marketplace. The idea of pulling one out of a drawer from a few years back, or from a neighboring entity, will not serve you well. An RFP needs to reflect your own banking needs, now and in the future. With technology changing so quickly, the ability to conduct a banking RFP is now at your fingertips.
The process to conduct a banking RFP no longer needs to be a burdensome paper-intensive process. With threeplusone’s new rfpPrep®—an online RFP process (at www.bankingrfp.com)that includes a custom-tailored threeplusone liquidity analysis—you’ll no longer have to read thousands of pages of responses. In fact, comparing banking services and pricing becomes an easy “apples to apples” exercise.
Just imagine being able to know which banks have the best services and pricing within minutes from a final bid deadline; what used to take months to perform now can take a couple of weeks.
Under this approach, your time in conducting an RFP can be cut down by 75%, while focusing on the relationship rather than figuring out comparative pricing and confusing disclaimers through reams of paper.
The time has come to determine if a banking RFP is a priority for 2019. If so, threeplusone can demonstrate the power of rfpPrep and the ease of conducting a bank RFP right at your desk.
Your time is valuable and so are your banking relationships. If it has been over five years since your last bank RFP, now might be time to consider a new one.
The results may surprise you, both in ease and in value.