Since the economic recession in 2008, the importance of trust for bank customers has risen to new heights. As banking moves towards the digital age, where more private information is being stored online, trust becomes even more critical. In 2018, trust outweighed price as a determining factor when choosing a bank, with 45 percent of those polled saying trust was the top priority versus 43 percent focusing on price as the top priority.1 With trust outweighing other factors when choosing a bank, maintaining that trust is vital for long-term success.
Joe Ehrhardt, CEO & Founder, participated in a roundtable discussion with other Arkansas business leaders discussing the future of blockchain and data privacy. Blockchain technology can affect a wide range of industries from trucking to banking, and the most important thing to protect with this technology is the privacy of the consumer’s data.
Every year, artificial intelligence (AI) becomes increasingly prevalent within the banking industry. Community banks can utilize AI technology to enhance their relationships with their customers and create new ones. Relationships are the strongest value a community banker has, and the relationships built by local banks are vital to their longevity and success. AI can allow bankers to track current customers more efficiently and locate potential new ones within their community.
With 2019 approaching the halfway point, we are starting to get a better idea of how banks are doing for the year. Fortunately, banks across America are reporting a very strong Q1, with the net income of the banking industry for this quarter reaching over $60 billion1. Community Banks were some of the biggest winners this quarter with net income rising to $6.5 billion, a 10 percent increase from the previous quarter2.
Elder abuse in banking has been a prevalent issue for years. It impacts millions of American families and their finances. Each year, over 5 million elderly customers are scammed as a result of elder abuse1. The price tag for this fraud totals over $3 billion annually and is rising every year1. The Senior Safe Act entered into law in 20181. This is the first major piece of legislation aimed at taking strides in preventing elder abuse in banking. Through this bill, serious steps were taken to to better detect and stop elder abuse.
Community banks can have a tremendous effect on the success of the small businesses around them. For decades, community banks have been the backbone to entrepreneurship in America and are critical in the start-up phase of small businesses. Community Banks are responsible for over 40 percent of all small business loans awarded in America1. This shows that small businesses are more likely to receive the help they need from community banks than their larger counterparts.