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No Country for Old Men: Innovate or Perish

There Will Be Blood

In his American Banker’s BankThink article “There Will Be Blood: The Era of Engagement Banking,” thought leader Bradley Leimer discusses the future of the banking industry. Leimer suggests that with the economic downturn “(mostly) behind us,” and with changing consumer behavior on the rise, that the next big challenge facing the industry is the full-on shift to a mobile platform. He goes on to say that the economic imperative to innovate and shift has finally come to an industry not known for innovation. In fact, inspired by the banking industry’s signs of mobile adaptation, an entirely new market and business model was created—financial technology, or fintech for short.

The call to move online (and now mobile) has tapped the shoulders of dozens of industries in the last few decades, and consumers have watched as some industries flourish in the brave new mobile world while others flounder. Observing entertainment, e-commerce and other industries reveals a key to success in the mobile space: knowing what the customer wants, when they want it and how they want it. Essentially, it all comes down to meeting expectations—understanding the needs and behavior of a user base or market well enough to meet and exceed expectations.

Unlike the still-struggling journalism and advertising industries, the equation of managing mobile expectations while making a profit is already known to the banking industry. But this has recently become more vital as mega- banks continue to swallow their smaller competitors. In today’s “innovate or perish” industry, how can small and mid-size financial institutions hold their ground?

No Country For Old Men: Innovate Or Perish

The solution is to offer a convenient, engaging and complete digital money management experience that exceeds user expectations. More and more, account holders are going out of their way to do business with financial institutions that make it easy to track and manage their finances, ideally in just one convenient place.

According to Leimer, the banking industry is “face-to-face with an engaged customer base that expects a completely frictionless [mobile] experience.” He also says “[the traditional banking] model simply must change to ... keep up with the simplicity, usability, and transparency customers now demand.”

Sounding a little bleak? Well, the good news is that financial institutions don’t have to become expert software developers and app creators to succeed—they can partner with fintech innovators who’ve mastered development and implementation of such solutions.

Financial institutions who seek out and make these strategic partnerships with fintech developers have the best chance of getting ahead of user’s online and mobile banking expectations and expanding their market share. Fintech developers who are dedicated to enabling responsible financial management while offering state-of-the-art software and apps will surely prove to be crucial allies in the age of mobile banking.

Mobile banking and personal financial management is No Country For Old Men.

The mobile realm is a country that banks and credit unions need to enter with carefully chosen fintech partners. These partners help manage and exceed customer expectations by creating an online and mobile banking experience that is on par with the customer’s experience on other parts of the web and mobile apps they use everyday.

Financial institutions have a small window of time to adapt early and jump ahead of user expectations. Finding and choosing the right fintech partners is a vital step in staying ahead of the online and mobile shift. There is market share to capture and loyalty to be won, and the right fintech partners can help financial institutions have it all.

And that’s why change is so crucial.