The rise of the chatbot (and do you need one?)

Just 15 percent of community banks have already deployed chatbots with another 19 percent planning to invest and/or implement this year. The trend is obvious. The effectiveness, perhaps, is yet to be determined. We’ve all been on the receiving end of a useless chatbot, and, let’s face it, there are a lot of useless chatbots in the world. Don’t implement a chatbot simply because “everyone else is doing it.” Think about what you hope to accomplish and examine a chatbot’s features before making a decision. [Continue]

How community banks solve problems with data

Banks have always had a lot of data to wrangle. Core processors handle transactions by the millions. Loan applicants have their data compared to underwriting standards. Banks reach outside of their walls to obtain credit scores or verify a customer’s identity. Yet the need for data — complex data — is growing. [Continue]

New approaches to core strategy

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the need for third parties and non-core vendors to connect to the core has skyrocketed. Speed is also essential: Bankers can’t wait months to years for a core vendor to add a new feature or for a core to make an integration with a fintech possible. It also raised the question: Is a single, primary product still the way of the future? [Continue]

Building security into data strategy

The use of APIs expanded in the 1990s as use of web applications and the internet increased. Today, they’re necessary in order to integrate data between platforms. With the movement of data — particularly the highly confidential, sensitive data that banks handle — privacy and security are of paramount importance. No bank wants to make the headlines due to exposed customer data. [Continue]

Secure file transfer: Beyond point A to point B

The secure file transfer experience for the customer has to be effortless; that’s a given. Security protocols should be paramount to any vendor that provides the transfer of sensitive documents, also a given. But beyond that, secure file transfer platforms can benefit a bank in other ways, by providing behind-the-scenes automation, document storage and more. [Continue]

Bank leadership should maintain an entrepreneurial mindset

Every startup begins with a vision. It’s a product, a mission, or a unique value proposition that spurs action, turning idle ruminations into a business plan. Banking is complex, requiring a unique combination of industry knowledge, business acumen, and identifying a target market to compete — whether it’s a de novo institution or expanding with a new online or bricks-and-mortar branch.   [Continue]

To ‘beta’ or not to ‘beta’? Good question!

If you haven’t already, at some point you’ll be faced with the question: Is your bank willing to be a beta site for a new technology product? It’s tempting. You get a “sneak peek” of a new product and the chance to offer feedback. But being a beta site can be disruptive depending on the level of involvement, frequency of feedback requested, and risks to your existing process. [Continue]

Bare minimum UI/UX won’t cut it

Think of the most recent app you downloaded on your phone. When you opened the app for the first time, what was the experience? Could you easily figure out how to navigate and use the app or did you struggle? Now think about your bank’s online and mobile banking experiences, from account setup to reviewing transactions. Are they effortless? Or do users encounter friction? [Continue]

Wanted: Community-minded nurturer

The past few years have seen the rise of “community manager” as a dedicated role within companies. An early 2022 search shows 135,000-plus available jobs with this title on LinkedIn alone. The role is part public relations, part customer cheerleader — and a good community manager authentically shows up, both online and in-person, as the “face” of the brand. [Continue]

First Internet Bank meets mortgage customers where they’re at

First Internet Bank of Indiana, headquartered in Fishers, was founded in 1997 on the premise that banking could occur entirely online. Of course, the entire banking world has changed in the more than two decades since the bank opened its virtual doors. Today, the $4.2 billion bank’s online mortgage origination experience can stand toe-to-toe with even the biggest competitors.  [Continue]