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Auriemma Consulting Group Introduces Prepaid Compliance, Customer Experiences Roundtables Amid Slew of New Launches

NEW YORK, Sept. 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG) today announced new entries into its global portfolio of Industry Roundtables, expanding the platform to new market segments and burgeoning areas of the financial services and retail industries.

Roundtable offerings introduced this summer bring the platform's suite of resources – professionally-facilitated executive meetings, proprietary benchmarking, and advisory services – to issuers of prepaid cards for the first time and highlight the increasingly critical area of customer experience.

The groups are the first in a range of new Roundtables ACG will bring to market through the first quarter of 2016, including expanded credit card offerings and groups aimed at the merchant and acquirer communities.

"It's exciting to see the market demand for our Roundtables continue to grow across the financial services landscape," said Tom LaMagna, who leads the practice. "We provide a service where members can regularly achieve enormous return on investment through any one of the Roundtable activities – meetings, benchmarking, advocacy, targeted surveys, and networking."

Prepaid Compliance Roundtable

The first-ever ACG Roundtable dedicated to the prepaid industry, the Prepaid Compliance Roundtable centers on risk management in a growing market subject to increasing regulatory oversight. The group, which convenes Legal and Compliance executives for issuers of general purpose reloadable (GPR), payroll, government benefit, and gift cards, aims to enhance understanding of state and federal regulations impacting prepaid programs.

"The regulatory burden is rapidly intensifying in the prepaid space," said Jeff Tennenbaum, ACG's Director for Global Business Development. "The Prepaid Compliance Roundtable is a venue for industry participants to work toward common goals in maintaining compliance at the state and federal levels, as well as ensure that related Anti-Money Laundering and fraud risks are appropriately measured and rigorously benchmarked."

A multitude of leading financial institutions and retailers offering prepaid cards attended the group's July meeting. The session focused on compliance management strategies related to recent regulatory and legislative activity, including:

  • Preparedness for the CFPB's proposed rule to regulate prepaid accounts and concerns regarding Regulation Z and Regulation E.
  • Strategies for Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) compliance, challenges associated with customer identity verification, and solutions for suspicious activity monitoring.
  • Development of comprehensive vendor management programs and risk management controls to assist with ongoing third-party relationship management.
  • Conformity with the unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices (UDAAP) standard and recent changes to disclosures, privacy policies, and terms and conditions.
  • Compliance with state-specific legislative activity.

The Prepaid Compliance Roundtable is an outgrowth of ACG's well-established debit card product management group as well as compliance groups in credit card and auto finance. The next meeting of the Prepaid Compliance Roundtable is scheduled for mid-November.

Customer Experience Roundtable

Building on a range of Customer Service-oriented ACG Roundtables, the Customer Experience Roundtable hones in on an increasingly critical function within financial institutions: ensuring that the end-to-end customer journey is designed thoughtfully and executed responsibly across all channels and lines of business.

"Customer experience management is fundamentally different in the digital era and since the CFPB established its Consumer Complaint Database," Tennenbaum said. "Financial institutions must evolve to ensure a positive experience at all stages of the customer lifecycle."

The group's first meeting was attended by Customer Experience and Advocacy executives responsible for managing customer interactions at several of the nation's top financial institutions. Sample topics include:

  • Cross-channel complaint management strategies and use of analytics to strengthen complaint programs.
  • Proactive complaint response and resolution strategies to limit impacts to customer experience.
  • The role of Customer Experience in product development and "go to market" strategy formulation to vet potential issues.
  • Creation and alignment of customer advocacy standards across channels and functions to foster brand preference.
  • Organizational structure relative to other functions (e.g., Compliance, Customer Service) and lines of business within the institution.

ACG offers Customer Service Roundtables in credit card, auto finance, and retail banking. The firm's Credit Card Customer Service Roundtable dates back to 1999 and is attended by the majority of the top US issuers. The next meeting of the Customer Experience Roundtable is scheduled for mid-October.

Late 2015: Credit & Marketing Operations

This fall, ACG will expand its core credit card offerings with a pair of operations-focused groups.

The Credit Operations Roundtable, launching in November, will focus on business processes and compliance matters associated with application processing, applicant authentication/verification in light of the PATRIOT Act, AML, and KYC concerns, operational efficiency, and quality assurance.

That same month, the firm will introduce a Marketing Operations Roundtable focused on various operational challenges issuers face in the direct marketing function (e.g., vendor management, internal communications, capacity planning), as well as compliance and legal issues (e.g., income capture, versioning, email and social media marketing).

As with other ACG Roundtables, these new groups will include robust benchmarking that is only available to members. With their launch, ACG will offer Roundtables for credit card executives at all stages of the cardholder lifecycle, with 11 groups covering account acquisition through risk management.

Early 2016: Retail Payment Acceptance & Acquirers

Several ACG Roundtables are in the development phase as the consultancy further diversifies its portfolio of offerings.

Building on the success of the Brand Partner Roundtable, ACG's first retail-based group designed for merchant partners managing co-brand and private label credit card programs, the firm is preparing to expand its Roundtable offerings in the retail space.

The Retail Payment Acceptance Roundtable, slated to launch in the first quarter of 2016, will be geared toward retail executives who oversee payment operations. The group will emphasize topics related to the evolving risk, technology, and regulatory environment retailers face with respect to payment acceptance. Sample topics will include EMV and evolving point-of-sale (POS) systems, fraud and tokenization, mobile payment acceptance, and data breaches.

"These are topics we routinely deal with across our Roundtables," Tennenbaum said. "We're excited to bring our payments and lending expertise to the retail sector."

A Roundtable for acquirers is in the early stages of development for Q1 2016.

About Auriemma Consulting Group

ACG is a boutique management consulting firm with specialized focus on the Payments and Lending space. We deliver actionable solutions and insights that add value to our clients' business activities across a broad set of industry topics and disciplines. Founded in 1984, ACG has grown from a one-man shop to a nearly 50-person firm with offices in New York and London. For more information about ACG's Industry Roundtables, please contact Tom LaMagna at 212-323-7000 or tom.lamagna@acg.net.

CONTACT: Scott Strumello or Kareen Chwe 212-323-7000 scott.strumello@acg.net kareen.chwe@acg.

Source:Auriemma Consulting Group