Not quite a fare-thee-well for bricks and mortar

There’s no question the pandemic has changed how people interact with their bank. Consider the insights from a study conducted last summer by Texas-based fintech Self Financial, which found a third of respondents opened an online-only bank account in the past 12 months. More than half believe online banks will eventually outnumber traditional banks, and 46 percent believe the way people currently bank needs to change. [Continue]

Toward a safe workplace

At the beginning of February, the state of Indiana lowered the eligibility threshold for COVID-19 vaccinations to age 65. One day later, Mark Fogt, president and CEO of Garrett State Bank popped into a vaccination site in north Fort Wayne to get his first shot. Noah Wilcox, chair, president and CEO of Grand Rapids, Minn.-based Wilcox Bancshares, who admits to never having had a flu shot in his life, is chomping at the bit to get his inoculation. “I’ll be first in line,” he promised. [Continue]

Economic recovery hinges on more people trusting science

It has been one year since the coronavirus upended our lives and transformed our businesses. If you are reading this, you escaped the worst — though you likely know people who became ill; perhaps you became acquainted with COVID-19 personally or knew someone who succumbed to the virus. There have been more than 500,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States since this all started. [Continue]

SDBA gets policy experience from new president

Karl Adam embraces the challenges that come with his new role as president of the South Dakota Bankers Association. And there are several, including the decision by voters in November to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana. “It’s a topic we need to get educated on,” he said. The association has been in the process of amassing resources on the subject for its members since the election. [Continue]

Fast cash, dirty money and the barriers that keep people out

In the COVID-19 era, the merchants I frequent or the coffee shops that dot my commute have gone all-in on cards and touchless payments. Cash is increasingly being rejected by stores for its “filth.” The other day, I placed a $20 bill on a counter to buy a $5 coffee. When the cashier saw the bill, he audibly sighed, slipped on a nitrile glove and picked the thing up like it was a dead mouse.  [Continue]

‘Banker of the Year’ takes seriously his role as mentor

These are bankers who have grown their organizations, organically or through acquisition or both; individuals who’ve resolutely climbed through the ranks; leaders who invested time and treasure to serve the industry or their colleagues; people who educated themselves on the issues that could make — or break — their institutions; visionaries who are able to see where their institutions need to be in three or six or nine years and put the work in now to chart that course. [Continue]

The language of gratitude wields great power

Many of you operate family-owned banks. How might personal notes of gratitude play into prospecting for new business? Imagine a young couple in town who recently closed on a mortgage receiving an email from your president reflecting on the excitement he or she felt when they had closed on their first home. Could such a personal note offer a word of caution borne of experience? Imagine the impact of such a personalized communication from a new friend at the bank. [Continue]

Longtime Minnesota banking leader puts company first

Barb Smith has always been driven to make a difference for her employer. Earlier in her career, Smith had been a senior lender at a Bemidji, Minn., community bank when it was acquired. When a new retail sales role caught Smith’s eye, a colleague wondered why Smith wanted to also learn retail sales and service and deposit functions. She told him it was an opportunity to learn and “a way to make a difference.”  [Continue]