​​Four things to consider for your digital transformation

It was just over a year ago that the banking world was turned on its head, whiplashed by financial uncertainty and widespread unemployment-inspired changes in retirement balances and consumer spending habits. But crisis has a way of accelerating innovation and transforming things for good. If they hadn’t already, the Covid-19 pandemic brought to light the fact that banks needed a digital transformation to make communication with loan recipients more flexible and personalized — at a time when bank customers needed them most.  [Continue]

Can bank ATMs be adapted to offer Bitcoin?

I recently visited my neighborhood bodega for some paper towels. Okay, okay, it was for some beer, but this trip held a surprise. Still covered in its protective plastic film was a yellow, beehive-themed machine wedged next to the Haagen-Dazs freezer: The Bitcoin Depot. On second thought, maybe the design theme is hornet. Using this machine, you can buy a number of differently branded crypto currencies with other currencies. I had read about them like one reads about UFOs, but I’d never seen one in the wild.  [Continue]

How to provide personalization at scale

A personal touch has always been the name of the game — and a competitive advantage — for community banks. Yet, it can also feel that personalization has to be sacrificed in the name of growth. A personalized experience aligns perfectly with community banking, but how can banks collect the information and deliver this type of result across thousands of customers and multiple channels? [Continue]

EWA is a fintech opportunity

Earned wage access is the future of payroll, and community banks should be the ones making it available to companies and their employees. EWA is a service employers offer with their financial institution and payroll processor that makes it possible for employees to collect their pay whenever they want. Forget about the monthly, biweekly or weekly paycheck. With EWA, an employee can receive by direct deposit the money they have earned up to that moment. [Continue]

Look beyond your footprint when recruiting for tech

Joe McIntyre, senior vice president with Robert Half’s technology solutions group, speaks about the difficulty banks are having filling tech positions. “We’re seeing less than a 1 percent unemployment rate for IT professionals, which is creating a real problem for banks trying to hire,” he said. “The supply and demand is really out of whack. There are simply many more jobs than there are candidates.” Digitalization efforts are driving up a demand for experienced IT professionals. [Continue]

Create a competitive advantage with fintech partnerships

The word “fintech” first emerged in 1971, but it really began to rise in the 2000s and then its prevalence exploded in the 2010s. At first, banks weren’t sure what to make of fintechs. Were they products to purchase? Competitors? And what qualifies as a fintech? Different types of fintechs interact with banks and consumers in different ways. Some of them can create a competitive advantage, providing sleek or robust services to community bank customers that are on par with or exceed those offered by megabank competitors.  [Continue]

What about post-merger tech?

Equally important to the merger of the bank’s assets and people is the merger of technology. And this is an aspect that is often treated as an afterthought. Some banks come with teams and a clear vision for the merged technology. Some have an idea about where to begin but need guidance to ensure everything runs smoothly. And some contact their technology vendors about three weeks before the merger is scheduled to take place to say, “By the way, we’re merging.” (Hint: Don’t take this approach.) [Continue]

AI tools speed, secure M&A processes

Founded in 1968 in St. Paul, Minn., Datasite specialized in financial printing, marketing and communications for regulated industries. In 2018, the company went through a major transformation, divesting its legacy businesses to focus solely on its M&A platform. Jenna Kroll, Datasite regional sales manager, based out of Chicago, describes how tech is changing M&A. [Continue]

Understanding encryption (and why it’s not enough)

Bankers keep a lot of secrets, and they are able to do this in our modern world with encryption. For most, encryption is a mystery and taken for granted. We know it’s important. We know we’re doomed to be a criminal’s mark without it. Yet, we probably have little sense of when it’s in use or not.  [Continue]

Open banking provides competitive edge

Bryan Wilken, chief information operating officer at Bank Midwest, based in Spirit Lake, Iowa, can be found online these days extolling the virtues of open banking. Wilken shares his thoughts on how the pandemic accelerated banks’ demand for cutting edge tech.  [Continue]