Time for a Throwback... Way back. – WBA staff dusted off our past publications and found some gems for your enjoyment: 

There will be more specialization in financial service fields, a greater emphasis on sales-oriented employees and more comprehensive financial services to customers. 

Those are just some of the changes that Wisconsin financial institutions will experience by 2012, according to a 10-year forecast prepared by WBA Executive Vice President/CEO Harry Argue. This forecast is part of the Association's ongoing planning process designed to foresee and address the future needs of Wisconsin banks and WBA. The report was developed over the last year at the request of the WBA Board of Directors. 

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In addition, Argue forecasted that nearly all WBA member banks in 2012 will use "very smart" ATMs. These machines will be activated by voice with a recognition system that determines, by visually scanning the customer, his or her true identity. "ATMs will have surpassed the branch system as the highest-volume domestic banking channel. Web-based ATMs will provide high-value transactions such as check cashing, wire transfers, event ticketing, and e-commerce shopping," Argue said. 

Today, 25 million people bank online. But by 2012, Argue predicted that television will be a primary way that many people access their accounts and pay bills, often at night after a long day of work. 

Bank customers will also take advantage of portable devices such as hand-held miniature personal computers that will provide instant access to their Wisconsin bank accounts and Wall Street, the report said. 

But despite the proliferation in Internet banking, many customers will still do their banking in the traditional way: at a brick-and-mortar bank office. 

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Dealing with the many industry changes will continue to be a joint effort, the report emphasized. 

"WBA elected and professional staff will need to continue to enhance the strong partnership that now exists to work our way through complex challenges and make sometimes tough choices in order to best position the industry and WBA for 2012," Argue said.

Originally published in the May 2002 edition of the Wisconsin Banking Digest.