Embracing the Digital Future: How Community Banks Are Deploying New Low-Cost, Cutting-Edge Digital Tools to Win Consumers and Compete Against Leading FinTechsFor some reason, the term digital still strikes many as new and futuristic. In reality, it’s been with us for decades. The World Wide Web turned 30 last year. Amazon powered online book-buying in 1994 (yes, the year E.R. premiered)! We’ve been carrying iPhones since President George W. Bush was in office. Consumers who grew up streaming The Real Slim Shady expect digital in every aspect of their lives – from online doctor visits to contactless car rentals to remote home purchases. For banks, digital powers automation and improvement of slow, low-accuracy processes, while prioritizing what customers seek most – convenience, security, and speed. According to McKinsey and Company, already, 42% of household financial decision-makers use fintechs. Perhaps more surprising, trust in fintechs is approaching parity with traditional banks (27% for fintechs to 30% for traditional banks).* Now is the time for community and regional banks to embrace this impending digital transformation. The great news for community banks is that the days of tech projects that take years to complete and cost millions are gone. Innovation dramatically decreases cost and complexity, while delivering solutions barely dreamed of only a year or two earlier. As the CEO of Vouched, which delivers cutting-edge AI for instant KYC, I work with banks – including small community banks – to launch in a few weeks and keep startup costs less than what a family pays for a night at the movies. Because of these advances, community banks are discovering they can look and act like the world’s biggest banks and fintechs, enter new markets, win customers, and take market share. Banks of all sizes need to make online banking and rapid onboarding a priority if they want to identify and win consumers. Today’s technology democratizes digital transformation, providing leading-edge experiences for every user and every bank. And, who knows, with all the time you save and revenue you’ll be driving, maybe you’ll get a chance to stream The Real Slim Shady? To learn how banks are using digital tools, watch the Banking Exchange panel with executives from Flagstar Bank, Bankers Healthcare Group, and Professional Bank here.
John Baird is CEO and co-founder of Vouched, a leader in the critical emerging space of online identity verification. With unique and proven, patent-pending AI, Vouched powers fast, secure and affordable identity verification and KYC to facilitate access to an ever-growing range of online services, from banking and finance to healthcare to employment. With millions of identities confirmed and ID expertise for 60 countries and counting, future-focused companies look to Vouched to meet compliance requirements and build trust with customers and stakeholders. *McKinsey & Company: How US customers’ attitudes to fintech are shifting during the pandemic, December 17, 2020