In a recent article by Tina Giorgio, president and CEO of ICBA Bancard, she discusses the top three industry developments that “should be on every community bank’s priority list in 2020 and beyond.” Change is the most consistent factor of the banking industry; new technologies will continue to emerge and new solutions will be created. Giorgio urges bankers to take full advantage of these opportunities. In her article, her top three developments are Internet of Things (IoT), Digital Wallets, and Customer-first approach.
Internet of Things, in its most basic sense, is everything connected to the internet—smart devices. Most of these things are used in home settings—scales, thermostats, wall outlets, crock pots—but business adoption is on the rise, with the expectation to “create efficiencies, save costs, and gain greater insights to customer behavior” with these automated solutions.
Giorgio states that “29 percent of U.S. consumers would like to pay with their smartphone all the time—preferably through their financial provider.” Billions of dollars are spent through digital wallets. She suggests looking into customer benefits or rewards to keep your cards at the top of customers’ wallets. Digital wallets are efficient, convenient, and have unique security attributes, which are believed to be the main attraction points to consumers.
Many in the banking industry are resistant to change and don’t see the need for many technological advances. Giorgio reminds that the new technologies have been developed for the customer and these can be leveraged to everyone’s advantage. “The more you engage your customers, the more they spend and the more loyal they will be to your bank.” Community banks operate on the relationship banking model. Technology allows for quick data calculations, customer trends, and can quickly gather other informative data. Utilizing this along with traditional customer service offerings can really set a bank over the edge with a great customer experience.
Giorgio advises banks to be careful and strategic about their technology integration, “for innovation to be successful it must be interwoven as part of your culture and strategy at the bank.”