Hundreds of digital banking SVPs wandering through presentations and exhibit halls looking for answers to questions they still don’t know to ask.
Everyone seemed to be looking for the next cool mobile banking app or use case yet had to settle for what must have been 37 references to varying forms of the new nirvana – “AI-driven, digital transformation”!
Perhaps the best illustration of their frustration was the audience awarding the best in show demo to an (underwhelming) employee digital education play by Horizn. Maybe the mindset amongst many bank digital execs is “we’re building all this great functionality…surely our crappy adoption must be because of our poorly trained front-line staff”.
This inward focus may be why so many community and regional banks and CUs still don’t provide some pretty basic digital services – mobile account opening with chat/text support and easy handoff to the call center, mobile wire initiation, voice/text/thumb payment authorization, text or chat customer service requests or something as simple as app-based change of address requests, etc.
But what’s concerning me more than the gulf between big banks’ and community/regional banks’ digital adoption is the growing disconnect between bank strategy and digital strategy in community and regional banks. While commercial lending and treasury management remains the money maker for more than 75% of my clients, most of those clients have a retail-heavy, if any, digital strategy. Many buy Q2, NetTeller, ROB, DI, et al, check the box and go back to business as usual. Little commercial focus, no success metrics, no customer feedback loop and seemingly no way of knowing how far out of touch they are.
Ok, enough soapbox. On to the winners and losers.
Loved having this conference 15 minutes from my house. Austin is home to Malauzai, Q2, 22 fintech startups and FinTech supporter Austin Capital Bank, so it’s a great choice. But why on earth does SourceMedia have this conference here in the summer?! Hard to enjoy downtown Austin when you’re wearing slacks and blazer in 100-degree heat and 80% humidity. Hope to see everyone back here in 2019 – April 2019 that is!
And I always welcome the opportunity to talk digital strategy and vendor dirt with bank and credit union execs.