VHT Speaks at Conference About “The New Banking Environment”

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I will be speaking today at the The 32nd Annual New England Bank Technology and Retail Banking Conference & Exhibit held outside of Boston. The theme of the event is “The New Banking Environment: Keeping Ahead of Your Customers.” I’m sharing with the group research that reveals the preferences of mobile banking customers. The results are fascinating and may be viewed in this report.

Relationships with banks are changing rapidly.  Ironically, it is because the banking industry is leading the way when it comes to offering customers innovative self-service mobile technology. Perhaps the greatest innovation in recent times has been the ability to deposit a check by taking a picture of it. It’s amazing!  However as a result, how often do you walk into a bank branch these days? It’s not often because it’s rarely necessary. All that real estate is going to waste, right? Maybe not. More on that in a minute…

Banks are spearheading technology that is disrupting their own businesses. It’s like when Apple put iTunes into the iPhone.  Why do this?  It’s because they have no choice if they want to survive in the long-run. As the conference suggests, banks are trying to stay ahead of their customers who demand that they keep up with the pace of change.

Customer mobililty is not about devices…it’s about lifestyle and we should applaud banks for doing all they can to keep up with the cultural shift that is taking place in our society. We should applaud them because they are giving customers what they want instead of frustrating them with long waiting lines.

Customers want a personal touch, but with speed and convenience. This is a rare blend of services, but banks are figuring this customer experience out…and customers are taking notice. According to research conducted by The Adcom Group, 50% of smartphone owners regularly use a financial app on their phone.

So what about the branches?  I have stopped by my local bank branch in recent times and I have noticed something interesting happening there. They are incredibly nice! I mean…over-the-top nice, friendly and uber-accomodating. Is it because they think their jobs are in danger of becoming extinct? Well…maybe sort of…not really.

I believe that this focus on the customer experience is the result of banks recognizing that the purpose of the local branch is changing. The branch bank is not about transactions, but rather it’s about building relationships and providing one-to-one, personal, professional service for those instances where customers need to talk.

Devices are important. The speed of life is blurring reality. But what’s truly real is that there is a human, personal element to much of business that will not go away. It explains why I continue doing business with many companies today. At VHT we recognize this and it is our endeavor to bring customers and companies together. To get them talking…at the appropriate time and place…using technology to deliver speed and convenience. That’s the VHT Conversation Bridge.

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