General Business Trends
1. Companies will use fees to offset declining revenue in 2012. This didn’t generate the kind of coverage we expected but it still was an issue this year. Check out this Wall St. Journal article: "Big Bank Weighs Fee Revamp; Bank of America Considers a Revamp That Would Affect Millions of Customers." BofA got embroiled in at least social media controversy over its fees. Grade: B.
2. Mobile payments will increase. We saw a number of articles validating this one, including the Wall St. Journal ("Retailers Join Payment Chase; Two Words: Digital Wallet—Wal-Mart and Target Join Project Aiming to Make Plastic"), New York Times ("Many Competing Paths on the Road to the Phone Wallet"), Fortune cover story: "The Death of Cash: Tech giants - and startups like Square - want you to use your phone to pay for everything from gum to train rides. Here's how they plan to achieve cash-free nirvana." We predicted that e-wallets would be mainstream in five years but we may move that up to four years, based on the kind of media coverage we've been seeing. Grade: A.
3. Videoconferencing will continue to hit its stride. We still believe we’re right but we expect videoconferencing to make further inroads. Grade: B based on a lack of strong media coverage.
We'll issue more grades in Monday's post.
In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments.