January 2016 Trends & Highlights: The Fed, Mobile Payment Services and Politics

by on Feb 10, 2016



  •  The Fed Raises Rates – As the Fed raised interest rates in January, we saw firms reacting across the financial sphere. Fidelity, The Principal, TIAA-CREFF and Vanguard posted articles and webcasts discussing the decision and its potential impact. Over the course of the month, BB&T, Citi, Citizens Bank, KeyBank, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo issued press releases announcing increases to their prime lending rates. American Express, Bank of America, Barclays, Capital One, Citi, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo increased the variable APRs associated with purchase and balance transfers on credit cards in response to the raise as well.
  •  Samsung and Android Mobile Payment Expands – Mobile payment service promotions continue as more firms add payment capabilities for their card catalogues. PNC added Samsung Pay for its credit card products and a public site page on the service. American Express added a new Samsung Pay informational page despite having compatible products for months. TD Bank added Android Pay for the firm’s Visa-branded debit, credit and prepaid cards. KeyBank announced that the MasterCard debit and credit cards they issue are compatible with Samsung Pay as well.
  •  Firms Launch New Products and Tools – Firms added a number of new product and tools this month. The Principal launched a new Secure Choice Indexed Annuity, while MetLife launched a Shield Level Selector 3-Year Annuity. Pacific Life launched a new Select Variable Universal Life Accumulation product on the advisor site, while Prudential released the PruLife Survivorship Index UL, ideal for clients hoping to increase their policy’s cash value. Ally Bank added wire transfers and CD account management to its online banking platform. Jackson National launched an interactive video tool promoting the firm’s Elite Access investment platform, while Invesco debuted the AltsAnalyzer, which allows advisors to see potential alternative allocation effects.


OppenheimerFunds Gets Political

The firm added an Election 2016 in Perspective page featuring content about the current election year. The page offers insights about how financial markets are impacted by different political parties and voting results. OppenheimerFunds includes a colorful banner, embedded video player and action tiles promoting commentaries.

election_2016_perspective_page.pngElection 2016 in Perspective Page

U.S. Bank and Fidelity Announce New Partnership

U.S. Bank issued a press release about its new credit card partnership with Fidelity Investments. U.S. Bank will issue Visa-branded credit cards affiliated with Fidelity. The firms plan for new rewards cards and security features, along with more benefits and features, which are highlighted in the press release.

Safeco Launches New App

Safeco’s Home Inventory App helps users create an inventory of their personal belongings, and determines the items’ values using photos and receipts. The new app is available to public site users.


Home Inventory App Property Screens