We recently asked our Kasasa Expert Exchange panelists for their thoughts on the current state of the financial industry, and what strategies they plan to implement moving forward. The Kasasa Expert Exchange is a panel of professionals from our partner credit unions and community banks who share industry insights by completing short, relevant surveys.
In February, we asked our experts to tell us their thoughts on the current state of the financial industry, and how it impacts their strategy for 2016. From the results of the survey we discovered their biggest barrier to growth, biggest opportunity for growth, and the feature that has everyone's attention.
We received 44 survey responses. Here’s a breakdown of who weighed in with their viewpoints:
The biggest barrier to growth
Although panelists came from a wide variety of backgrounds, the majority agreed on one thing: compliance and increased regulations are major pain points for community financial institutions.
Almost 2/3 of respondents (61%) said regulation and legislation are barriers to their institution’s growth. Next in line were new technologies (41%) and interest rates (30%).
Have a look at how additional factors hindering growth stack up against the top three:
Compliance is also considered the greatest cost.
45% of panel participants said they consider compliance the greatest cost their institution faces. Interest rates again became a close contender, with 43% of participants citing those as their greatest cost.
Other costly line items are included in the graph below:
There’s no silver bullet for compliance — but there is a silver lining.
Our partners who offer Kasasa or its white-label equivalent have access to a comprehensive library of compliance language designed to support our products. And, if your institution has a need, we provide consulting on a case-by-case base for regulatory matters. Get in touch with your dedicated Kasasa contact for more details.
The biggest opportunity for growth
We asked our experts which areas they expect to see the most revenue growth in the next 1 to 3 years. Their most frequent answers were lending-focused, with nearly half of respondents citing consumer lending (48%), followed closely by commercial lending (45%) and residential mortgages (38%).
Millennials Are On Everyone’s Wish List
Exactly half of respondents say rising young professionals are their greatest potential for growth. This makes sense — after all, Millennials are the next generation of borrowers.
Other demographics trailed far behind, as illustrated in the graph below.
Knowledge Is Power — And Equals Increased Profits
Kasasa partners are privy to industry insights derived from hundreds of CFIs nationwide and continually monitored by our team of expert analysts. The survey indicated the top two uses for these insights are consumer-focused. More specifically, panelists said they primarily leverage insights to boost cross-sales (40%) and consumer acquisition (33%).
Applying the data toward cross-selling current account holders and gaining new ones is an excellent strategy for growth. After all, having visibility into how consumers behave makes it easier to market to them at the moment they’re most likely to buy.
The Feature That Has Everyone's Attention
Mobile solutions are rapidly rising in relevance — and have become just as important as in-branch technology. Respondents said that changes in the economy and regulation have affected their internal processes and systems (67%) — and caused them to emphasize mobile solutions more than before (49%).
Importance of Mobile Solutions
When asked which items their institution would be most likely to pursue in the next 1 to 3 years, 26% of respondents selected mobile solutions. The same percentage of respondents selected kiosk services for consumers. So mobile isn’t just rising in the ranks of importance — it’s earned equal focus alongside in-branch solutions for gaining and retaining new account holders.
Mobile products are of the moment
The two offerings respondents say they’ll most likely roll out in the next 12 months are both mobile-centric: mobile payments and the ability for account holders to transfer money using their cell phone number or email address.
The graph also indicates that our partner CFIs are keeping up with the times by offering many must-have technologies — including bill pay, ATM locator, and remote secure deposit, just to name a few. (Well done, you.)
Responsive websites aren’t just nice to have — they’re the norm
With the industry-wide shift to mobile, it’s more crucial than ever to deliver a positive online experience from any device.
That’s why we offer FIRSTBranch websites — mobile-friendly websites that sell. 80% of consumers research online before they open new accounts,* and more and more of those consumers are conducting research on their cell phones or tablets.
A search engine optimized, responsive website ensures that when consumers visit your website they don’t immediately click off of the homepage — they stick around for a while to explore your offerings.
Contact your Client Success Manager if you would like to learn more about what a FIRSTBranch site could do drive more business online.
*AOL & Oliver Wyman, “Making the Switch: Checking Account Path to Purchase.”