The combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the interest rate environment drives every bank to rethink their branch delivery. In a world with six percent net interest margins, banks can have all the branches they want. However, in an environment with sub-three percent margins, banks can no longer afford an extensive bank network.
If you are like 90% if banks out there, chances are your strategic planning process is not all that effective. Chances are your strategic planning process is a good budgeting exercise, but a poor driver of strategy. It likely your current strategic plan contains something about growth, geographical expansion, and digital transformation. You could exchange plans with another bank, and neither sets of shareholders would know the difference.
Underappreciated in the banking industry is the growing role of identity and access in banking. As banks build their digital strategies, we need to stop and think about how we know our customers (identity) and how we know that the verified customer we believe is trying to access a banking channel is really the customer we think it is (access). In this article, we explore the concepts of identity and access management (“IAM”) and how they should fit into every bank’s long-term strategy, especially given the popularity of privacy initiatives.
The build or buy decision should be a constant question in most bank’s decision making, and unfortunately, most banks default to the “buy.” In some cases, this is appropriate, but in many, it is not. In this article, we look at the two major overriding reasons of why your bank may want to hire and build out a development team in order to deliver a more customized banking experience to your customers. If you think your bank is too small, then read on.
One Reason To Develop Your Own Customer Interface
Last month, the Federal Reserve released its 7th, tri-annual U.S. payments study, and, as usual, it had some eye-opening trends that all banks need to consider for their long-term strategic planning. For example, while consumers have always said they preferred debit cards over cash, last year was the first year in US history where consumers used their debit cards (28% of all transactions) more than they used cash (26% of all transactions).
In your strategic planning, one decision that needs to come up as you grow towards $1B in total assets is if your bank will have one mobile banking app or multiple apps. If your bank has not proactively decided, then chances are you are either not looking far enough in the future or not being active enough in guiding your bank’s technology architecture.
Last week’s Money 20/20 conference in Las Vegas proved that it remains one of the best conferences for banks that are serious about innovation, particularly as it revolves around payments. The conference is big, the hallways are endless, everybody and their granddaughter is a speaker, the expo hall is ginormous, and the whole conference is almost unwieldy. However, despite these flaws, Money 20/20 is still a gathering that shapes our financial future. While the Libra folks were noticeably quiet and the regulators seemed less involved, there was still lots of action.
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.