Community banks who want to make faster and smarter lending decisions, drive efficiency in their back-office processes, and improve customer satisfaction are implementing digital transformation by enabling API platforms.
One of the major themes of this year has been disruption. Whether driven by competition from non-banks and challenger banks, demand for the newest products, or behavioral changes from the pandemic, most banks have launched digital transformation initiatives.
Have you ever looked at a project, known that it needs to get done, but just not want to tackle it yourself?
Let me give you an example.
When I was a kid, “Telephone” was one of my favorite games to play.
If you’ve never played, here’s how it works: The first person in the game is given a message and is instructed to pass it on by whispering it in the ear of the next player, who then whispers it in the ear of the player after them, and so on. When the message reaches the final player, they announce it out loud, and the results are often hilariously, nonsensically different from what the initial player started with.
I’m sure there’s a metaphor in there about the dangers of gossip or why it’s important to get your information right from the source. But what strikes me today in my current career is how easy it is for things to break down in translation from one platform to another.
The other day, I was having tea with a mentor of mine who is a few years from retirement. She and her husband stumbled upon a little patch of heaven about an hour away from the city.
It’s a 100-year-old refurbished farmhouse, surrounded by 80+ acres of well-maintained pasture and picturesque rolling hills. As if that wasn’t perfect enough, she can relax from their wraparound porch overlooking a tranquil, two-acre pond — the ideal place to relax and unwind. So of course, they bought it.
It’s a dream come true for my mentor, and I was excited for her. I had to know her secret to finding this jewel. Naturally, the next question out of my mouth was, "How in the world did you find such a stunning place in a perfect location?"
That is when the dreaminess of the story broke down.
Can you imagine life if the lights and appliances in your house weren't connected to the power grid? What if each morning when you woke up, you had to find a power source for each light, connect it, and then turn it on? In a sense, that's what happens every day with critical functions in the financial technology industry. But it doesn't have to be that way.
When was the first time you stepped into a bank? Did you get a Lolli Pop from the teller? Did you open your first checking account and receive a laminated temporary debit card?
FDIC Chairman, Jelena McWilliams, recalled observing both of these and other practices of a bygone era when she recently took an exploratory trip to a local community bank in rural Virginia. At one of my favorite events of #BostonFintechWeek2019,
Fiserv is spending $22 billion to acquire First Data in a deal to build Fintech scale. What does this mean for Fiserv’s core banking clients? While they’re likely to benefit from the combination of financial technology and payment processing giants in the long run, in the short term many banks and credit unions are worried that disruption is likely to result from the massive integration and cost-cutting effort the two firms will be embarking on.