Mind the Tech Gap

Industry Insights: Let’s Get Busy This Year

2018 Could See Big Shifts in Consumer Expectations

Nobody can be sure what will happen in banking in a volatile economic climate like this 2018 year. Investors are biting their nails waiting for a recession. Realtors debate whether the next inevitable housing bubble will burst this year, or next. Consumers don’t know whether they will have more money to spend or less, but their debts are starting to pinch again. Trade deficits! Changing regulations! What’s next—robots with bank accounts?

Meanwhile, we at Alogent spend a lot of time looking at trends and listening to banks and credit unions—our customers. But we always come back to looking at their customers, or at least looking at financial institutions through their eyes. We scour the studies being done, the results our own clients are getting and why. Okay, we admit it: we harp on this theme.

That’s because we see how effective consumers have learned to be at driving the evolution of most marketplaces. Technologies aren’t the primary drivers. It takes everything we’ve got (which is a lot) to stay out in front of the technology curve. Institutions certainly aren’t the main drivers, though we offer kudos to the many individual banks and credit unions that are boldly experimenting with new services and approaches.

But the push and pull of tech developments and the cadence of institutional vision-seeking—crucially important as those are—ultimately take a back seat to consumer shifts in behavior and demands. They’re just not sitting around taking what they are offered any more.

To that end, we took a shuffle through the industry press over the past few weeks, and collected four articles that have intelligence that applies to our uncertainties and our desire to do more, and do it better.

  1. Human is the Next Big Thing, Digitalist.com. Here’s a pretty deep dive into the kind of “digital fluency” that people are experiencing in their work. Hint: those people are your customers and members. So are their workplaces.
  2. Top 10 Trends to Watch in 2018, Accenture Banking. A lively 50-thousand-foot look at industry trends of all kinds and what’s driving them. Here’s a sample: “Customers have been conditioned by other digital experiences to expect to be able to sign up for new services with a few clicks on their phone.”
  3. Data-Savvy Banking Organizations Will Destroy Everyone Else, Financial Brand. Pundit Jim Marous weighs in about intelligent organizations, which could sound scary depending on which bits apply to you. But here’s why this article is included here: “A strong customer experience strategy is the most significant driver of internal agility."
  4. Mind the Tech Gap, Credit Union Journal. Meanwhile, since technology is our gig, check out the very human-savvy skills your IT people need to make your next crucial decisions. Definitely applies to any financial institution, not just CUs.
  5. Online Loan Origination and the Human Touch, CreditUnions.com. Banks and CUs alike hope to bet on the rise in loan originations. They know they need to navigate the tricky balance between hands-off digital convenience and a strong personal appeal to consumers. One conclusion: “the friendly face at a bank is evolving into a user-friendly app that is ready for consumers for whatever they need, whenever they need it.”

About the Industry Insights Series

Alogent’s Industry Insights—this blog and the companion newsletter series—track insights into transformative financial technologies as they happen. Our diverse team of experts pulls the threads together and weave in thoughtful—often actionable—analysis to help banks and credit unions keep their competitive edge and meet new generations of consumers where they’re going next.


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