Time to Automate All Bank Processes

The uncertain economic environment, with a recession likely on the horizon and inflation driving up costs, has given banks a unique opportunity: revisiting their existing compliance and operational systems, and exploring long-term, scalable solutions in response to looming and increasing regulatory pressure.

Leveraging machine learning and automation to power digital transformation can address the concerns that keep bank directors up at night — especially since financial institutions may be expected to begin providing more data over the coming months. This comes at a time when banks are dealing with a number of external challenges; however, bank directors know they cannot skimp on adherence to strict compliance requirements. Missing a revenue goal is unfortunate, but from what we’ve heard from our customers, missing a compliance requirement can be a devastating blow to the business.

Increasing Regulatory Risk
Banks and other lenders may encounter financial strain in adding more compliance staff to their teams to address new regulations. Among them, Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Act requires financial institutions to report demographic information on small business loans. Regulators are reworking the Community Reinvestment Act. In response, banks are considering how they can leverage automated compliance systems for fair lending, loan servicing and collections.

Bankers are quick to acknowledge that the manual processes involved in data verification should be eliminated if their institutions have any hope of staying ahead of the curve. Furthermore, labor shortages and increased competition for talent has increased costs associated with these tasks — yet their necessity is imperative, given regulatory scrutiny.

As loan originations decrease during an economic slowdown or recession, it may look like delinquency rates are increasing as the ratio of delinquent loans to originations increases — even with no notable changes in delinquency cases. The increasing ratio could trigger scrutiny from the regulators, such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

If that happens, regulators look into whether the borrower should have received the loan in the first place, along with any fair lending bias concerns, and whether the bank followed appropriate procedures. Regulators will scrutinize the bank’s loan servicing and collections compliance procedures. Given that traditional manual reviews can be more inconsistent and vulnerable to human error, this becomes an incredibly risky regulation environment, especially where data integrity is concerned.

To mitigate risk and increase operational efficiency, banks can use end-to-end document processors to collect, verify and report data in a way that adheres to existing and pending regulation. Implementing these processes can eliminate a large portion of time and labor costs, saving banks from needing to recruit and hire additional compliance professionals every time fair lending and servicing requirements become more demanding.

Automated Processing
Lenders like Oportun, a digital banking platform powered by artificial intelligence, have found that leveraging intelligent document processing has reduced the cost of handling physical documents and traditional mail by 80%, increased margins, lowered instances of human error and improved data integrity. Enhancing customer experiences and providing quality data are crucial for Oportun; this makes their operational goals more cost-effective and scalable, and increases the capacity for Oportun’s team.

“[Automation] has helped us establish some strong controls around processing mail and servicing our customers,” Veronica Semler, vice president of operations at Oportun, says. “It’s reduced the risk of mail getting lost … it has increased our efficiency and made things easier for our team members in our stores.”

Institutions that leverage automated systems and machine learning for compliance can reduce labor costs, provide customers with high quality, efficient service and deliver accurate data to regulators. This provides companies like Oportun, which was an early adopter of machine learning, with an advantage over competitors that use traditional manual review methods.

Implementing document automation into existing systems allows banks to address compliance concerns while laying the groundwork for growth. Automation systems provide the tools for banks to reduce friction in lending and operations, enhance their controls and reduce human error — giving boards confidence that the bank can provide accurate, quality data ahead of any new fair lending and servicing regulations. Now is the time for boards and executives to recession-proof their banks and facilitate long-term success by investing in automation for document processing.

Winning the Trust and Loyalty of Younger Generations

Traditional banking is rapidly evolving; long gone are the days when community banks could impress potential customers simply with the number of brick and mortar locations they have or a wholesome in-person experience.

Members of millennials and Generation Z make up the largest population demographic in the United States. They have high expectations from the companies they do business with, including their financial institution. Unlike their parents and generations before them, customers of these younger generations value the digital experience that companies can provide, and often use that as the determining factor when choosing their primary bank.

Millennials and Gen Z customers are considered digital natives who have grown up surrounded by tech companies using electronic payments; they’re used to digital experiences that are instant and seamless, in every aspect of their lives. This creates an expectation that daily banking will be built around them and their needs — but unfortunately, community banks are having trouble keeping up. While these institutions are known for creating high-touch, personalized experiences for their customers in person, translating this capability to digital experiences isn’t always easy.

There are three things community banks can do to win the trust and loyalty of younger generations.

1. Create a Human, Digital Connection
Although a seamless digital experience may be the top priority for millennials and Gen Z, they still have a desire for a human connection for situations where they cannot find a solution or answer online. The key for banks is to find the balance in providing both — this requires understanding what younger generations want from a bank and putting that in the context of a digital experience. Banks must put forth effort in embedding digital banking with their face-to-face interactions.

2. Provide Tailored Experiences
Taking on a “people first” mindset is essential to thriving in the platform era. Potential customers enjoy very tailored experiences from companies like Apple and Uber Technologies; they carry those same expectations for their community financial institutions. Personal and tailored interactions that go beyond addressing customers by their first name can greatly improve long term loyalty and trust.

One competitive advantage community banks have over fintechs and neobanks is the large amount of data they can use to improve their cross-selling and upselling efforts.

3. Utilize an Engagement Banking Platform
To thrive in the platform era, community banks need to make a paradigm shift from vertical silos that can be hard to change — and even harder to stitch together — when attempting to meet the needs of customers. Instead, they must move to a single customer-centric platform, leaving fragmented journeys behind and leading into the new era of banking. An engagement banking platform can eliminate fragmented member experiences by plugging into your institution’s core banking systems, integrating with the latest fintechs and providing ready-to-go apps for the bank’s various business lines.

The platform era isn’t going anywhere; choosing to continue traditional banking practices isn’t an option for community banks that hope to thrive and become industry leaders. It’s time to embrace the disruption, rather than run from it, and prepare for digital transformations that will re-architect banking around customers.

How Banks Can Win the Small Business Customer Experience

In the first stages of the pandemic, it became apparent that many banks were unable to effectively meet the needs of their small business customers in terms of convenience, response time, fast access to capital and overall customer experience. Innovative financial technology companies, on the other hand, recognized this market opportunity and capitalized on it.

Bankers recognize the importance of providing their business banking customers with the same fast and frictionless digital experience that their consumer retail banking customers enjoy. So, how can banks ensure that they are competitive and continue to be relevant partners for their small business customers?

The reality of applying for most business loans below $250,000 is a difficult experience for the applicant and a marginally profitable credit for the bank. Yet, the demand for such lending exists: the majority of Small Business Administration pandemic relief loans were less than $50,000.

The key to making a smooth, fast and convenient application for the borrower and a profitable credit for the lender lies in addressing the issues that hinder the process: a lack of automation in data gathering and validation, a lack of automated implementation of underwriting rules and lack of standardized workflows tailored to the size and risk of the loan. Improving this means small business applicants experience a faster and smoother process — even if their application is declined. But a quick answer is preferable to days or weeks of document gathering and waiting, especially if the ultimate response is that the applicant doesn’t qualify.

But many banks have hesitated to originate business loans below $100,000, despite the market need for such products. Small business loans, as a category, are often viewed as high risk, due to business owners’ credit scores, low revenues or lack of collateral, which keeps potential borrowers from meeting banks’ qualifications for funding.

Innovative fintechs gained the inside track on small business lending by finding ways to cost-effectively evaluate applicants on the front-end by leveraging automated access to real-time credit and firmographic and alternative data to understand the business’ financial health and its ability to support the repayment requirements of the loan. Here, much of the value comes from the operational savings derived from screening out unqualified applicants, rerouting resources to process those loan applications and reducing underwriting costs by automating tasks that can be performed by systems rather than people.

To make the economics of scale for small dollar business lending work, fintechs have automated data and document gathering tasks, as well as the application of underwriting rules, so their loan officers only need to do a limited number of validation checks. Adopting a similar approach allows banks to better position themselves to more cost effectively and profitably serve the borrowing needs of small business customers.

Although some fintechs have the technology in place to provide a faster, more seamless borrowing experience, many lack the meaningful, personal relationship with business owners that banks possess. They typically must start from scratch when onboarding a new loan customer, as opposed to banks that already own the valuable customer relationship and the existing customer data. This gives banks an edge in customizing offers based on their existing knowledge of the business client.

While consumer spending remains strong, persisting inflationary pressures and the specter of a recession continue to impact small businesses’ bottom lines. Small business owners need financial partners that understand their business and are nimble enough to help them react to changing market dynamics in real time; many would prefer to manage these challenges with the assistance of their personal banker.

The challenge for bankers is crafting and executing their small business lending strategy: whether to develop better business banking technology and capabilities in-house, buy and interface with a third-party platform or partner with an existing fintech.

Better serving business customers by integrating a digital, seamless experience to compliment the personal touch of traditional banking positions financial institutions to compete with anyone in the small business lending marketplace. With the right strategy in place, banks can begin to win the small business customer experience battle and more profitably grow their small business lending portfolios.

RankingBanking: Fueling Successful Strategies

Bank Director’s recent RankingBanking study, sponsored by Crowe LLP, identified the best public banks in the U.S. While their strategies may vary, these banks share a few common traits that enable their success. These include a consistent strategy and a laser focus on customer experience, says Kara Baldwin, a partner and financial services audit leader at Crowe. Training and organizational efficiency also allow these bankers to retain that customer focus through challenging times. In the year ahead, banks will need to manage through myriad issues, including credit quality, net interest margin management and new regulatory concerns. 

Topics include: 

  • Cultural Consistency 
  • Organizational Efficiencies 
  • Customer Centricity  

Click here to read the complete RankingBanking study.

Why Banks Should Offer Real-Time Payments for Business Customers

Faster payments are the next phase of the digital revolution in banking. The race toward real time is well underway — more than 200 U.S. financial institutions already send and receive real-time payments. Those that cannot do so must start soon or they will be left behind.

The rise of mobile and digital commerce has created a need for speed and certainty of payment. Bank customers want to be able to pay whoever they want, whenever they want, using a device of their own choosing. But in practice, there are many flavors of fast. It’s important to clarify exactly what we mean by real-time payments and faster payments.

Real-time payments are payments that are initiated and settled almost instantly. A real-time payments rail is a digital infrastructure that facilitates real-time payments 24/7. A crucial characteristic of a real-time payments rail is that it is always available, bringing payments into line with a digital world that never sleeps. In the U.S., there are currently two real-time solutions:

  • The Clearing House has offered its real-time payments platform (RTP) to all federally insured U.S. depository institutions since 2017.
  • The Federal Reserve is currently developing FedNow, a new service that will enable individuals and businesses to send instant payments, due for launch in 2023.

Both real-time solutions are “open loop,” which means that the payment is connected to a bank account rather than a prepaid balance. This is important: It creates the potential for payments to reach every bank account in the U.S. and beyond.

Faster payments, such as Nacha’s Same Day ACH, are payments that post and settle faster than traditional payment rails but not instantly. For example, both Mastercard and Visa offer push payment solutions that message transactions in seconds but do not settle as quickly.

In practice, all real-time payments are faster payments, but faster payments are not always real time.

Although many payments, such as mortgage installments, are non-urgent, the transformational potential of real-time for banks and their business customers is enormous. Real-time technology marks the biggest advance in electronic payments in 40 years and heralds a new era where payments can be an opportunity for banks to add real business value.

Connectivity. Banks can offer business customers access to a growing real-time network that offers uninterrupted transaction processing. But real-time payment also enables two-way messaging, including request for payment, payment confirmation, credit transfer and remittance advice. Each of these features removes friction and can enhance the relationship between companies and their customers.

Cash flow. Businesses can adopt “just in time” cash management and pay creditors exactly on time. In the U.S., 82% of small businesses that fail do so because of cash flow problems; real-time payments signals a new era of easier cash management. A real-time picture of its cash position allows a small business can be sure it can meet its short-term commitments, minimize borrowing and optimize its use of surplus cash.

Certainty. Real time account-to-account settlement allows business customers to have payment certainty and reduces payment failures, streamlining business processes to reduce costs and increase efficiency.

Innovation. With almost 60 million Americans participating in the gig economy and up to 90% of Americans considering freelance or consulting work, innovation allows people to be paid immediately for the work they’ve done. Real-time payment makes “day pay” a practical reality.

Customer expectations. The tech giants have redefined the customer experience. Real-time payments present a unique opportunity for banks to catch up with a fintech approach to business banking by coupling it with simplified account opening, accelerated credit decisioning and synced accounting packages.

Real-time payment processing is a pivotal innovation in banking that should be included in every bank’s digitalization strategy. But there’s a lot to consider. A payment never happens in isolation; it’s always part of a larger business workflow. Many mission-critical bank systems are batch based, so there will always be integration issues and challenges. Moreover, there are peripheral systems, such as fraud detection, that banks must choreograph with payment movements. And as real-time payments build momentum, banks should be prepared to manage burgeoning payment volumes.

Getting started in real-time payments is never easy, but it’s a lot easier with expert help. Banks should work with their payments partners and build a road map to success. Managed services can offer a fast route to industry best practices and empower a bank to start with a specific pain point — receivables, for example — and progress from there. But every bank must start soon, for the race towards real time is accelerating.

2023 Bank M&A Survey: Complete Results

Bank Director’s 2023 Bank M&A Survey, sponsored by Crowe LLP, surveyed 250 independent directors, chief executives, chief financial officers and other senior executives of U.S. banks below $100 billion in assets to examine current growth strategies, particularly M&A. The survey was conducted in September 2022, and primarily represents banks under $10 billion in assets. Members of the Bank Services program have exclusive access to the full results of the survey, including breakouts by asset category.

Despite a significant decline in announced deals in 2022, the survey finds that acquisitions are still part of the long-term strategy for most institutions. Of these prospective buyers, 39% believe their bank is likely to acquire another financial institution by the end of 2023, down from 48% in last year’s survey who believed they could make a deal by the end of 2022.

Less than half of respondents say their board and management team would be open to selling the bank over the next five years. Many point to being closely held, or think that their shareholders and communities would be better served if the bank continues as an independent entity. “We obviously would exercise our fiduciary responsibilities to our shareholders, but we feel strongly about remaining a locally owned and managed community bank,” writes the CEO of a small private bank below $500 million in assets.

And there’s a significant mismatch on price that prohibits deals from getting done. Forty-three
percent of prospective buyers indicate they’d pay 1.5 times tangible book value for a target meeting their acquisition strategy; 22% would pay more. Of respondents indicating they’d be open to selling their institution, 70% would seek a price above that number.

Losses in bank security portfolios during the second and third quarters have affected that divide, as sellers don’t want to take a lower price for a temporary loss. But the fact remains that buyers paid a median 1.55 times tangible book in 2022, based on S&P data through Oct. 12, and a median 1.53 times book in 2021.

Click here to view the complete results.

Key Findings

Focus On Deposits
Reflecting the rising rate environment, 58% of prospective acquirers point to an attractive deposit base as a top target attribute, up significantly from 36% last year. Acquirers also value a complementary culture (57%), locations in growing markets (51%), efficiency gains (51%), talented lenders and lending teams (46%), and demonstrated loan growth (44%). Suitable targets appear tough to find for prospective acquirers: Just one-third indicate that there are a sufficient number of targets to drive their growth strategy.

Why Sell?
Of respondents open to selling their institution, 42% point to an inability to provide a competitive return to shareholders as a factor that could drive a sale in the next five years. Thirty-eight percent cite CEO and senior management succession.

Retaining Talent
When asked about integrating an acquisition, respondents point to concerns about people. Eighty-one percent worry about effectively integrating two cultures, and 68% express concerns about retaining key staff. Technology integration is also a key concern for prospective buyers. Worries about talent become even more apparent when respondents are asked about acquiring staff as a result of in-market consolidation: 47% say their bank actively recruits talent from merged organizations, and another 39% are open to acquiring dissatisfied employees in the wake of a deal.

Economic Anxiety
Two-thirds believe the U.S. is in a recession, but just 30% believe their local markets are experiencing a downturn. Looking ahead to 2023, bankers overall have a pessimistic outlook for the country’s prospects, with 59% expecting a recessionary environment.

Technology Deals
Interest in investing in or acquiring fintechs remains low compared to past surveys. Just 15% say their bank indirectly invested in these companies through one or more venture capital funds in 2021-22. Fewer (1%) acquired a technology company during that time, while 16% believe they could acquire a technology firm by the end of 2023. Eighty-one percent of those banks investing in tech say they want to gain a better understanding of the space; less than half point to financial returns, specific technology improvements or the addition of new revenue streams. Just one-third of these investors believe their investment has achieved its overall goals; 47% are unsure.

Capital to Fuel Growth
Most prospective buyers (85%) feel confident that their bank has adequate access to capital to drive its growth. However, one-third of potential public acquirers believe the valuation of their stock would not be attractive enough to acquire another institution.

Taking Control and Mitigating Risk With a Collateral Management System

For many banks, managing the manifold economic and internal risks has been a stressful and very manual process.

Truly gaining a comprehensive overview of all the collaterals associated with a bank’s lending business is often the top desire we hear from clients, followed by in-depth reporting and collateral management workflow capabilities. Historically, collateral management in wealth management lending has often been a siloed process with each department managing it individually. And the need for additional resources in credit and risk departments has been a growing trend. In our research, the processes in which banks are managing their collaterals vary but often involve collecting data from a variety of sources, tracking in spreadsheets manually, and pulling rudimentary reports from the core banking system that only gives basic aggregated information at best.

Banks need a way to monitor and manage collateral for all their lending products, not just securities-based lending. An enterprise collateral management solution allows credit and risk professionals to:

• Gain an accurate and up-to-date overview of collaterals across different asset and loan types in real-time for marketable securities, if desired.
• Set up multiple credit policies.
• Perform portfolio concentration analysis for more in-depth insights on potential risks.
• Pull pre-defined and custom reports quickly and efficiently.
• Automate collateral release support.
• Assess borrower’s risk across the entire relationship through data visualizations and modules.
• Conduct in-depth “what-if” stress testing for marketable securities to proactively mitigate any potential risks.

Make Decisions and Act With Efficiency
Many organizations are siloed and visibility across groups is an organization struggle. The lack of visibility across teams can cause operation and client-facing staff to struggle with making timely and informed decisions. A digital, streamlined enterprise collateral management solution can create efficiencies for cross-team collaboration. Your bank’s team should look for solutions with features like tools, reports and workflows that enable them to make informed decisions and act with efficiency, including:

• Automatic calculation of collateral release.
• Portfolio concentration analysis to provide more in-depth insights on potential risk.
• Rule-based and streamlined workflows to support collateral call management in scale with efficiency and at a reduced cost.

The standards for bank risk management and customer service today are at some of their highest levels today; management teams are looking for immediate answers to their questions in this uncertain environment. It is essential that banks have a technological solution that equips their team to have the answers at their fingertips to provide the service clients expect and deserve. Now more than ever, financial institutions need a collateral management solution that provides speed, transparency, efficiency and a streamlined digital workflow to support the new hybrid working environment.

Optimize Fintech Spending With 3 Key ROI Drivers

Bankers are evaluating their innovation investments more closely as customer expectations continue to skyrocket and margins shrink. Technology spending shows no sign of slowing any time soon. In fact, Insider Intelligence forecasts that U.S. banks’ overall technology spending will grow to an estimated $113.71 billion in 2025, up from $79.49 billion in 2021.

The evolution of the fintech marketplace is challenging banks to strategically choose their next fintech project and calculate the return on those investments. How do they ensure that they’re spending the money in the right places, and with the right providers? How can they know if the dollars dedicated toward their tech stack are actually impacting the bottom line? They can answer these key questions by evaluating three key ROI drivers that correlate with different stages of the customer journey: acquire, serve and deepen or broaden.

The first ROI driver, acquire, relates to investments focused on customer acquisition that are often the main focus of new technology initiatives — for good reason. Technology that supports customer acquisition, such as account opening or loan origination, makes bold claims about reducing abandonment and driving higher conversion rates. However, these systems can also lead to a disjointed user experience when prospects move between different systems, each with their own layout and aesthetic.

When bankers search for solutions that improve customer acquisition, they should ensure the solution provides the level of flexibility required to meet and exceed customer expectations. A proof of concept as part of the procurement process can help the bank validate the claims made by the fintechs under consideration. Remember: A tool that is more configurable on the front-end likely requires more up-front work to launch, but should pay dividends with a higher conversion rate. A style guide that describes the bank’s design principles can help implementation go smoother by ensuring new customers enjoy a visually consistent, trustworthy onboarding experience that reinforces their decision to open the account or apply for the loan.

The next ROI driver, serve, is about critically evaluating customer service costs, whether that’s achieved through streamlining internal processes, integrating disparate systems or empowering customers with self-service interfaces. While these investments are usually aimed at increasing profitability, they often contribute to higher customer satisfaction.

An often-overlooked opportunity is to delegate and crowdsource content through nonbank messaging channels, like YouTube or Reddit. A Gartner study found that millennials and Gen Z customers prefer third-party customer service channels; some customers even reported higher satisfaction after resolving their issue via outside channels. A majority of financial services leaders say they are challenged to provide enough self-service options for customers; those looking to address that vulnerability and improve profitability and customer satisfaction may want to explore self-service as a compelling way to differentiate.

The final ROI driver is about unlocking growth by pursuing strategies that deepen or broaden your bank’s relationships with existing customers while expanding the strategic core of the company. A study by Bain & Co. evaluated the effectiveness of different growth moves performed by 1,850 companies over a five-year period. Researchers found six types of growth strategies that outperformed: expand along the value chain, grow new products and services, use new distribution channels, enter new geographies, address new customer segments and finally, move into the “white space” with a new business built around a strong capability.

The key to any successful innovation initiative is to view it not as a one-time event, but rather a discipline that becomes central to your institution’s strategic planning. Bain found that the average companies successfully launches a new growth initiatives only 25% of the time. However, that rate more than doubles when organizations embrace innovation as a cyclical process that they practice with rigor and discipline.

As your bank seeks to better prioritize, optimize and evaluate its fintech investments, carefully consider these three key ROI drivers to identifying where the greatest need stands can help. This will ensure your institution’s valuable technology dollars and employee efforts are spent wisely for both the benefit of the customer and growth of the bottom line.

Getting Everyone on Board the Digital Transformation Journey

Digital transformation isn’t a “one and done” scenario but a perpetual program that evolves with the ever-changing terrain of the banking industry. Competition is everywhere; to stay in the game, bank executives need to develop a strategy that is based, in large part, on what everyone else is doing.

According to a What’s Going On In Banking 2022 study by Cornerstone Advisors, credit unions got a digital transformation head start on banks: 16% launched a strategy in 2018 or earlier, versus just 9% of banks that had launched a strategy the same year. But it’s not only credit unions and traditional big banks that community financial institutions need to be watching. Disruptors like Apple and Amazon.com pose a threat as they roll out new innovations. Fintech players like PayPal Holding’s Venmo and Chime are setting the pace for convenient customer payments. And equally menacing are mortgage lenders like Quicken’s Rocket Mortgage and AmeriSave, which approve home loans in a snap.

An essential consideration in a successful digital transformation is having key policy and decision-makers on the same page about the bank’s technology platforms. If it’s in the bank’s best interest to scrap outdated legacy systems that no longer contribute to its long-term business goals, the CEO, board of directors and top executives need to unanimously embrace this position in support of the bank’s strategy.

Digital transformation is forcing a core system decision at many institutions. Bank executives are asking: Should we double down on digital with our existing core vendor or go with a new, digital platform? Increasingly, financial institutions are choosing to go with digital platforms because they believe the core vendors can’t keep up with best-in-class innovation, user experience and integration. Many are now opting for next-generation, digital-first cores to run their digital platform, with an eye towards eventually converting their legacy bank over to these next-gen cores.

Digital transformation touches every aspect of the business, from front line workers to back-end systems, and it’s important to determine how to separate what’s vital from what’s not. Where should banks begin their digital transformation journey? With a coordinated effort and a clear path to achieving measurable short- and long-term goals.

Here are some organization-wide initiatives for banks to consider as they dive into new digital transformation initiatives or enhance their current ones.

1. Set measurable, achievable transformation goals. This can include aspirations like improving customer acquisition and retention by upgrading customer digital touchpoints like the website or mobile app.
2. Prioritize systems that can produce immediate returns. Systems that automate repetitive tasks or flag incomplete applications create cost-efficient and optimal outcomes for institutions.
3. Invest in a discipline to instill a changed mindset. A bank that upgrades a system but doesn’t alter its people’s way of thinking about everything from customer interaction to internal processes will not experience the true transformational benefit of the change.
4. Conduct a thorough evaluation of all sales and service channels. This will enable the bank to determine not only how to impact the maximum number of customers, but also impart the greatest value to them through product assessment and innovation.
5. Get employees on board with “digital” readiness. Form small training groups that build on employees’ specialized knowledge and skills, rather than adopting a one-size-fits-all model. Employees that are well-trained in systems, processes and technology are invaluable assets in your institution’s digital transformation journey.

Banks must foster their unique cultures and hard-earned reputations to remain competitive in this ever-changing financial services landscape. As they build out digital strategies, they must continue fine-tuning the problem-solving skills that will keep them relevant in the face of evolving customers, markets and opportunities. Most importantly, banks must embrace a lasting commitment to an ongoing transformation strategy, across the organization and in all their day-to-day activities. For this long-term initiative, it’s as much about the journey as it is the destination.

Digital Transformation Starts With the Customer

Digital transformation isn’t an end unto itself; the goal should ultimately be to make your customers’ financial lives easier. Without figuring out what customers need help with, a bank’s digital journey lacks strategic focus, and risks throwing good money after bad. In this video, Devin Smith, experience principal at Active Digital, walks through the key questions executives should ask when investing in digital transformation.

  • Customer Centricity
  • Creating a Cohesive Experience
  • Build versus Buy