by Ron Daly
I read a good piece on the Profit Stars website titled "The Holy Grail of Banking: Profitable Customers and Members Strategies to Attract and Maintain the Lifeline of Your Financial Institution". Long title, but good content from Dave Foss about what's going to make or break financial institutions in the next few years.
The whole article's worth the read but I want to focus specifically on the role of technology and innovation in all this. Read this passage from the article:
3) View self-service strategies as necessities. Advancements in consumer and small business technology have made self-service strategies a necessity. Banks and credit unions are leveraging solutions for mobile RDC and P2P payments as an acquisition and retention strategy for profitable clients. Javelin reported in its 2011 Mobile Remote Deposit Capture Report that one in every four consumers finds mobile RDC desirable, and 13 percent of those consumers will change their financial institution based on its mobile capabilities. Plus, financial institutions with solid mobile foundations will be well positioned to benefit from mobile payments, a very near reality.
So, what is the goal of technology for financial institutions? Is it to make things easier on the member or the FI? I'd argue both if the technology works well. And then, with any discussion of new technologies for credit unions and banks, we get that old grumble about how important it is to pay attention to the branch. Yes, it is important - and your online branch is a branch, too. It needs attention. And it should be the fastest and most efficient branch.
Technology should be decreasing the amount of time and worry that people put into their money management. If one corner of your online branch is more complicated than going to a physical location, that part needs attention. Why are 25% of the people in the above report attracted to remote deposit capture? Because it's one less trip they have to make. Maybe instead of the idea of "service" meaning "being really nice to the people that come in to the branch", we should strive to equate "service" with "how small we can make the amount of time people need to spend face-to-face with us."
Tell us your thoughts in the comments section.