Who Owns the Customer? The Shifting Balance of Power Between Banks and Retailers

September 26, 2013
Hosted by Té Revesz

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Episode Description

My guest this week asks a multi-billion dollar (or euro or yen) question: In the world of payments, is the balance of power shifting from banks to retailers? “Yes” says Matt Simester, head of Auriemma Consulting’s UK office, “we are seeing the rise of retailer power on a number of fronts.” Take interchange (the transaction fee paid by merchant to a bank): legislation in the US, EU and elsewhere has cut interchange rates (and bank income). Merchants were supposed to pass the savings on to consumers. But have they? Or rewards programs: many merchants are pushing their own loyalty programs over bank branded cards. And who has the greater ability to influence consumer behavior at point of sale (or point of click)? And who really commands consumer trust? And where is innovation coming from? Not the banks, it’s coming from PayPal, Square etc. “No banks have become successful retailers” says Matt, “but many retailers, have become successful providers of financial products. Why is that?”

Global Reach

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We are all operating in a dynamic global marketplace, whether we reach across borders to find new customers and fresh ideas or face overseas competitors in our home market.

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Global Reach interviews thought leaders about 21st century megatrends that impact international entities: trends like the business and politics of sustainability, the morphing nature of competitiveness, globalization, global companies vs national governments, worldview and growth prescriptions, emerging markets issues, and the corporate impact on society (governance, ethics and leadership).

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Té Revesz

Té Revesz

Té Revesz is known for her ability to conduct strategic research on a global basis and for her creativity in handling complex business challenges.

As principal of GlobalReach-SBI, a research and consulting firm with a network spanning over 60 countries, Té provides clients with strategic intelligence on market opportunities and threats. She covers such diverse areas as global branding, new product development, payment cards, clinical trials, and political risk. An expert in primary research, Té has interviewed business, government and labor leaders, doctors and technical experts—and managed focus groups—around the world. She was profiled in Super Searchers Go to the Source as one of the top US interviewers.

Prior to founding her own firm, Té headed the Industrial & Healthcare Practices of FIND's Strategic Consulting & Research Group and taught at the Zicklin School of Business (Baruch/CUNY). She was the Editor of Business International’s flagship newsletter and helped create its country risk service.

An NYC native, Té is active with Citizen Action, the URJ’s Commission on Social Action, and NY Neighbors for American Values (defending religious freedom, diversity and equality). She holds a Masters from Columbia’s School of International & Public Affairs and a BA from Goucher College. She’s an avid bike rider, theater buff and farmers market supporter—and the bemused owner of 2 demanding felines.

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