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Who will your next generation of community financial institution customers be?

Anytime, anywhere is synonymous with internet banking, but community financial institutions need to take it to the next level. You have read already that an internet platform should be “device agnostic.” That means if your internet platform vendor still requires a different app for each type of mobile device, then you are being overcharged and should start looking for a new solution. The minimum functionality a financial institution should focus on is a device-agnostic platform.

Internet of missed expectations

There are too many complaints today from financial institution customers that point to frustration around the system. Such as:
  • “Hey, I thought this was the internet, but I have to wait until tomorrow to see my mobile capture from today. What?”
  • “Oh, I can’t see my billpay transaction or the check I had to write, let alone the deposit I made at the teller.”
  • “I have to enroll for eStatements to see my checks? Geesh! Why can’t you have everything on the same system?”
  • “Don’t tell me that I have to have a username and password for my personal accounts and a different username and password on a separate system for the small business I own! Ah c’mon, man!”

Taking your community financial institution to the next level

So, what should you be looking for? It is simple—you need to find the vendor that understands your expectations and who can deliver. The goal is one internet banking platform that serves as the foundation for the customer relationship and the entire customer in any context. I’ve sketched this out below.

Customer Agnostic

The internet banking platform should be one banking platform that can meet the needs of a commercial customer (large, medium, small business, non-profit, of DBA) and/or retail customer.

Device Agnostic

In addition, the internet platform should be accessible from any device with a single user ID and password per user. And separate applications (i.e. mobile banking) should not be needed for every type of internet-enabled device.

Capture Agnostic

A customer should be able to use any capture device in order to select, scan, and submit an image for a deposit (RDC scanner, tablet, iPad, or smartphone).

Payment Agnostic

The customer should be able to select from any available P2P solution and billpay system for the purpose of submitting payments on-demand through the internet banking platform. Available functions should be able to establish, authorize, view, and monitor payments from any device selected.

Data Agnostic

The customer should be able to access and view all statements, items deposited, checks paid and payment transactions (P2P and Bill Pay) from any device.

Not so fast on that contract! Check first!

Imagine that! An internet platform that absolutely enables the customer to achieve an anytime, anywhere, and anything internet banking platform. That would be awesome. So, before you sign a long-term contract that clearly does not deliver, perhaps you should shop around and then ask your vendor what’s in their platform? Finally, if a vendor states that it is “on the roadmap,” ask them to prove it to you. Are development dollars committed? Is it being tested? If the answer is no to these questions, then you have your answer.

Innovation and evolution

Check around and survey the major vendors in this space. You may find that the objects in your mirror are closer than they appear. Don’t get caught being passed by your competition. Take some time to determine what is out there before you commit. Your customers will appreciate it even more!

—The Wombat!

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The Copper River Group is a financial consulting firm that believes in the benefits technological advancement has for streamlining business.

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