During the month of April, we are celebrating Community Banking Month. Community banks have long held a valued place in our communities, supporting the families and businesses we call home.
These banks have naturally strong ties to their local communities and have traditionally focused on face-to-face transactions. Because of this long-time commitment to personalized service, many community banks were hesitant to fully embrace new technology. It was difficult to envision excellent client service without person-to-person interaction. During the COVID pandemic, banks had to be less reliant on branch traffic. Instead, community banks across the U.S. showed their ability to adapt to new ways of serving their customers. Staley Technologies is proud to have been part of this shift.
Offer digital products with confidence
In some ways, community banks are uniquely situated to implement effective digital and online technologies to enhance their customers’ experiences. These banks know their customers deeply and can identify the right products to meet their needs – a true advantage.
The key is to strike a balance. It’s not about eliminating in-person services altogether, but about considering digital offerings in addition to personalized face-to-face service. For many banks, this will mean digitizing many of the customers’ day-to-day transactions and refocusing in-person interactions on financial planning and well-being.
More consumers are engaging in online banking than ever before. Many are adopting the practice for the first time as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Some of these customers may have hesitated to adopt new technology previously due to security concerns, and they will need to be assured of their banking institution’s network security.
The influx of digital traffic highlights the need to ensure data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. According to RSA Security, nearly half of fraud-affected accounts are less than 24 hours old. Financial institutions will achieve security through new storage strategies, enhanced cybersecurity capabilities and a reimagined way to deliver banking services.
Back-end products like real-time monitoring of software and hardware performance, firewall management, remote cloud backup and other solutions can protect your operations and increase customer confidence as you take cybersecurity seriously.
Integrate physical and digital services
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, there will be changes to how customers conduct physical banking, including a need for in-person services. Community banks can continue – and even expand upon – their signature personalized services incorporating digital technologies.
No longer aimed at transactions, physical banking will become an interactive advisory experience, offering both self-service kiosks and informative digital displays. Banks will be more of an experiential destination complete with memorable technology, sights and unique experiences.
In addition, safeguards for patrons and staff, including temperature-check kiosks and hand-sanitizer stations are likely to remain. These added measures will increase customer confidence showing banks value safety and look out for the best interests of those they serve.
Serve customers with innovative technology
Some community banks have been hesitant to adopt new technology, but one thing that was made evident during 2020 is that these valued institutions are resilient and able to find new ways to serve their customers.
Moving forward, community banks will be able to tap further into tech to provide a more convenient, personalized and user-controlled way of doing business.
Staley Technologies has the technology needed to help community banks navigate the unique challenges of the industry today and prepare for the future. For more information, call (800) 280-9675 to speak with an expert.