A Look into the Retail Financial Services Symposium

Welcome to the new world of banking.  If last year was the year that saw the rulebook rewritten, 2011 will be the year companies transform their business plans to meet the new challenges and embrace opportunities.

One area those opportunities will be prevalent is within technology and innovation.  At the Retail Financial Services Symposium I was fortunate to spend several days discussing these opportunities (and challenges) with banks of various sizes.

Two areas that received most of the attention were mobile banking and social media.  The number of banks with mobile banking and a social media presence has grown dramatically over the past year.  However, many are still asking the question – What’s our next move?  There is no clear cut answer to this question, but many banks have begun to brace themselves for this new world of banking.

I was quite impressed to see the number of banks who have “gone social.”  Banks of all sizes are now engaged on social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.  Many are unclear on their next move, but simply knew they needed to be present.  The same held true for mobile banking.  The number of banks that now support some form of mobile banking has grown immensely.  However, beyond being another simple transaction channel, banks are still scratching their heads around the true power behind mobile banking.

My conversations led me to believe that looking beyond the basics of these two emerging channels is vital to the success of this organization and an area where many banks have yet to explore.  However, this must be done in the constructs of a strong strategy and shared vision.  Winston Churchill once said, “It is always wise to look ahead, but difficult to look further than you can see. “   Following this simple guidance is the first step to integrating mobile and social as part of our everyday business plans.  If not, they can quickly become the next “shiny objects” we don’t chase until it is too late…

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