If you want a more innovative bank, it starts, and largely stops, with what your approval process looks like for new technology. Take a human and force them to grow up in New York City. Around age 20, you force them to go to conferences on living in the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and survival. You also hire consultants to come in and teach outdoor skills. Take your well-outdoor trained city dweller and then put them into the middle of the Colorado Rockies, chances are they become bear-food in a week. That is basically how banks are handling innovation.
When it comes to long-range strategic planning in banking, what to do about payments, should be in the top five considerations up there with treasury management, capital allocation, risk tolerance, and human capital. Payments are such a central part to banking and are now undergoing such a radical change that all banks have an opportunity to reclaim transaction market share back from the card networks, card processors and even national banks. Below, we highlight our ten considerations when developing a payments strategy.
Back in the 1980s, there were more banks, smaller banks, and little technology. We were still driving checks around, there was no online banking, and networked ATMs was the latest in bank technology. At the time, the rule of thumb for bankers was that each bank employee produced about $20,000 of operating profit per year. Since each bank had about 100 employees, operating profit was about $2mm per community bank. In this article, we look at how this equation has changed and what it means for the future.
One item that should be on every bank’s strategic horizon is how to adapt to the changing face of payments. If you are one of those bankers that say, “Cash won’t go away in my lifetime,” you could be right. However, we would posit that the sentiment is the wrong way to frame the challenge and the rationalization that you don’t have to worry about cash, checks and the payment channel will likely lead you to disaster. In this article, we highlight the newest data from the Fed and what it might mean for every community bank.
Starting in 1995, star-analyst Mary Meeker, “The Queen of the Internet,” co-founder at ReCode, and partner at the investment firm Bond Capital delivers a 30-minute presentation on the state of the digital landscape. The presentation is always the talk of the digital town as it has been the definitive source of major trends backed by quantitative evidence. This year, a couple of weeks ago, Mary gave the 2019 update and the presentation stretched to 333 slides.
The largest problem with bank innovation is that we see or hear about a sexy piece of technology at a conference or at another bank and then acquire it. The new piece of technology ends up solving a known problem but in the process actually creates more problems, and risk, than it solves. It’s called the “Shiny Object Syndrome” (SOS), and it could be sowing the seeds of destruction for many banks. In this article, we look at the seven strategic questions you need to answer before acquiring any piece of technology.
Last week, Finovate Spring 2019 took place in San Francisco in which over 270 banks watched more than 60 companies each have seven minutes to impress you with a demo of their technology. This is speed dating for financial technology, and it is a fantastic way not only to look for new partners but to help your bank hone what is important to its vision. In this article, we recap the trends and highlight some companies that should be worth consideration by all banks.
One question we always ask is if we are spending enough on technology? After that question, we get confused and mired in the quicksand of financial reporting, finance philosophy and technology strategy. “Technology” is so pervasive that it is difficult to determine what the difference is between spending on “digital” projects versus “analog” projects. For instance, if we upgrade our phone system from dedicated copper to fiber optics that is an analog project but if we convert over to a slower voice-over-IP system is that a digital project?
While most banks think they need a new digital account opening process, the reality is that most banks need a new digital onboarding process. Despite all of our technological progress, it’s the analog process where the most massive failures are. To this point, we just mystery shopped two renowned banks, Umpqua and Citibank, and in both cases, we were met with adjunct failure. Here at CenterState, we are relooking at our digital onboarding process in hopes of getting it right.
In our third and final part of mobile banking app usability testing, we looked at the top 25 major banks, and reduced their mobile banking app to a set of design elements and then turned 60+ designers loose to get creative and come up with variations that fit our brand. We then took various aspects of each design and tested each before 415 customers and potential customers. We looked at usability and asked them to rate each feature. In each case, we chose a base case and then compared variations for usage and desirability by each customer.