Innovation moves fast. Bankers, not so much. That’s not a knock, just more the understandable mindset of those who are tasked with financial caretaking — avoid risk. And it works…most times. But when the industry experiences a sudden and dramatic shift, institutions MUST evolve quickly or get left behind. The worst thing you can do in these situations is nothing.
Let’s look at some examples of these industry-shaking events over the last 20 years and the opportunities that were available, and examine what might have been.
As you read them, try to remember what you thought then. If you had known then what you know now, would you have made different decisions? Would you have taken a risk or two? And if you had, where do you think you or your institution would be right now?
What will the future hold?
As technology and ease of switching make consumer loyalty more fragile than ever, megabank and neobanks will continue to use technology, budget, and marketing advantages to build new consumer relationships.
Another inflection point, another opportunity to pivot. What will you choose?
You’re seeing obvious threats to your mission and your goals. The question is, what will you do this time? Hold tight, play the risk aversion game and hope things go back to “normal”? Or jump in with both feet and embrace the new world? The answer to those questions will determine where community financial institutions are five years from now.
Just like in each of the major events of the past 20 years, an opportunity exists. You just have to find it. Sometimes that requires seeing with different eyes — and a different perspective. And being willing to feel uncomfortable. But when you see that opportunity and embrace it, you become the visionary. The one who took the chance. Who had the guts to do what others wouldn’t. And who got the results that others didn’t.
Even though the competition is tough, you can still pivot to combine genuine customer service with cutting-edge products.