Paladin fs recently moderated a peer discussion session with American Bankers Association’s CFO Peer Exchange virtual event. We moderated 2 breakout rooms and discussed questions around the topics of innovation and the impact COVID19 had on bank technology with 50 community bankers from around the country.
Read below to find out the key takeaways from these bankers on these topics.
Group 1 - Topic: Innovation
Moderated by Aaron Silva, Founder & President of Paladin fs and Bob Moreau, Senior Business Analyst & Negotiator
- Adoption is often the main barrier for banks to innovate. For example, when using a CRM platform, the data you can report on and utilize is only as good as what is entered by the people using it. Consistent use, clean data, and continuous optimization of the tool to ensure it meets your needs is key.
- Some vendors offer open APIs that banks can use to tie in other platforms (example: Salesforce CRM, payment processors, merchant processors, etc.) which gives bankers a complete view of the customers, prospects, and data.
- Cost is crucial. Innovating is critical to a bank’s success, but just as critical is making smart financial decisions for the internal tools and platforms that are used.
- Bankers are using innovation to spur innovation. For example, utilizing an RPA to enter loan document application information into a Loan Origination System (LOS).
- Bankers are looking hard at merchant card services and payments in general because this is the direction everything is going and can be a strong way to generate non-interest income. One bank compresses timeframes for onboarding merchant services to a matter of minutes in the branch or online by innovating.
Group 2 - Topic: Impact of COVID19 on Technology
Moderated by Chris Kendall, Director of Operations & General Manager and Greg Rodier, Business Analyst & Negotiator
- Initially, the technology focus was preparing staff to work remotely to keep the bank functioning. This included learning to use different tools to handle processes remotely, and pivoting to manage security concerns while offsite.
- New tools were critical. For example, video banking was starting to become more popular pre-pandemic, but was pushed along when everyone became remote. Video banking allows video interaction with staff and customers, keeping your bank’s trust and credibility at the forefront.
- Many banks revised their websites and implemented new tools to allow customers to easily create accounts online since they couldn't come into the bank.
- In terms of technology spending, many banks didn't reallocate money, but rather increased IT budgets as needed. The immediate focus was for employee technology to work from home (laptops, etc.) but soon included some of the items mentioned above.
- A primary focus for banks after COVID19 hit was their member experience and making banking as convenient as possible. This included flexible hours, adding the ability to set appointments online, and enhancing websites and mobile apps.
- When asked where they go to look for new technologies, most bankers stated they start with their Core Provider and evaluate their offerings. If they don’t find a solution that meets their needs, then they will explore the Fintech options.
- Some bankers indicated that they gained a significant amount of new customers through PPP that they’ve been able to retain to this day through new member experience initiatives.
It’s meaningful for bankers to see that their pain points are common across the board. Bankers having resources on hand or being able to discuss topics like these between each other is critical to making sure they are remaining competitive in the market.
This also brings to light the role that Core providers play when it comes to innovation, as they usually skirt under the radar and don’t feel the need to innovate as often as their banks wish they did. Bankers would have power in numbers if they banded together to demand up to date and competitive technology offerings and services from these Core vendors.
How Can Paladin fs Help?
Armed with our proprietary Blue Book of vendor contract, pricing and market data, we can stand up to the legacy Core IT banking oligopoly to secure better business terms (including innovation) and pricing for community banks and credit unions like these - ensuring a 'win-win' deal for financial institutions and vendors alike. Saving an average of $1.38M per client engagement, we not only persuade Core IT and fintech suppliers to eliminate thousands of unfair, one-sided business terms in current contracts, but we also protect the institution from ever over-paying or signing a bad deal again. Through our Lifetime Contract Protection Services (LCPS) guarantee, banks and credit unions can rest assured they will continue to receive fair market deals because We will be fighting for what’s best for them for the duration of the contract.
To learn more about Paladin fs, visit our website at www.paladin-fs.com.