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When the supermarket met the bank - a match made in heaven?

Asda is the latest supermarket to follow the trend and raise its profile in the personal finance sector. The UK supermarket giant recently announced its new brand, Asda Money, which offers its millions of customers an unlimited cashback credit card.

This move follows a spate of supermarket and financial service provider collaborations, such as Marks & Spencer which celebrated the opening of its first bank branch at Marble Arch last week.

Whilst Asda is not planning to offer its customers a full banking service, card services still need to be underpinned by the right payments systems as these services are subject to standard banking regulations and compliance policies. With all new entrants to a well established marketplace or, as in the case of the banking industry, a highly regulated environment, new players have two options: either partner with a bank or deploy a system from a trusted specialist partner.

Although some supermarkets are relatively new to full service bank accounts, this skill can be outsourced or brought in, as what they do have is the focus on customer loyalty and in this sense they make worthy adversaries. Traditional financial institutions either have to compete for the available transaction volumes, collaborate, diversify or make more of the revenue streams they already own.

For today’s generation, speed and convenience is a priority and by offering longer opening hours and a one-stop-shop, supermarkets are well placed to operate in the personal finance sector. However, what banks may lack in opening hours, they more than compensate for in experience and knowledge of financial institutions, particularly when it comes to markets and regulations. One could say that together these organisations could create the perfect offering for the modern consumer.

 

Comments: (1)

Philip Harrison
Philip Harrison - Misys Finastra - London 27 July, 2012, 15:33Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Mobile payments at the retail point of sale is the next challenge for banks to maintain this "match made in heaven"...

Plenty of non-bank payment providers are already looking to break the status quo...

The banks, Visa, MasterCard and the usual suspects still run retail payments, but the power of Mobile is opening up new possibilities...