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Next Generation Technology Creates New Advantages for Community Bankers
By Richard A. Leone, President and CEO, COCC


For many years, community bankers have won new customers with superior service and aggressive pricing. Today, these market wins are increasingly the result of matching products offered by money center banks.

 

This is about to change as next generation technology enables community bankers to expand their advantage with greater product flexibility and broader access to bank information, all supported by dramatic improvements in back room efficiency.

The Product Big Bang

Community banks that have adopted next generation technology are well-positioned to introduce the new banking services in demand today.

While bankers who use older technology struggle to keep up with today’s pace, community banks powered by new technology are now combining the new products with their deep customer knowledge to create additional market advantages. 

As a result, community bank customers can choose from the broadest array of products and features we have ever seen. Customers can deposit checks remotely, connect to accounts maintained at global financial institutions, receive real time alerts for potential overdrafts and fraud attempts, and much, much more.

Product integration further enables community banks to help their business customers streamline their financial operations. For them, Remote Deposit Capture is just the beginning of a move to unprecedented self-sufficiency. Next generation community bankers are enabling small businesses to reconcile their ACH, wire and checking activity online, and to capitalize on information that had traditionally been confined to big bank ‘back rooms.’

All Information All the Time

The ‘new normal’ for today’s increasingly mobile customer is a unified experience between the traditionally separate teller, back room, Internet, mobile, payment and archive functions. Customers now expect all channels to carry all the information they need to make their own financial decisions. For example:

·       A business can receive alerts whenever new items enter its ACH warehouse. Custom views of the warehouse enable the business to manage its payment and investment decisions based on up-to-the-second information.

·       A consumer can decide whether to make a debit card purchase by accessing her account holds and pending debits as well as available balance.

·       Bankers can serve their customers in person wherever they might be, activate or customize accounts on the spot, and make the changes instantly across all banking channels.

The next generation technology behind these services also enables community bankers to support these solutions without adding to staff. Using automated workflows and integrated document archives, bankers can trace and report every interaction as required by regulation, removing many of the limitations that once prevented them from offering products in flavors beyond vanilla.

The Community Bank Advantage

Community bankers have always had the customer knowledge and the vision to tailor services to meet specific customer needs; now they have the technology to do it.

Next generation technologies are enabling community banks to rapidly integrate new features and information sources in support of full service banking via all channels. The timing of this explosion of banking capabilities could not align more perfectly with the customer’s explosion in service expectations.

The advantages of next generation technology will become strikingly clear as customer expectations outstrip the capabilities of any financial institution restricted by old technology. Next generation technology is the game changer for community bankers who have the vision and courage to deliver next generation services.