Kerstyn Hendricks profileThe financial industry landscape is ever-changing and with those changes, you’re hearing more buzz words like fintech, cryptocurrency, and data mining... the list goes on. But what does all of this mean for the consumer? More learning of course! But with that comes more options, flexibility, and availability—all equaling less personal interaction.  

Many of us are already using apps such as Venmo or Zelle and have money loaded into our mobile wallets for those go-to Starbucks trips. The convenience of these options is unparalleled. Transferring money to a friend for a concert ticket and purchasing coffee with a simple scan of your phone. The convenience of these options is unparalleled. But what about emergencies? Life events? How do technological advances intertwine? 

I often think of those milestone banking moments—a child opening their first savings account, signing documents for your first house—how do these moments translate to the digital world? We all know it’s possible, but is it personal? Being able to connect with customers in person is a feeling that can’t be replaced by signing your name through a computer. 

Often fintechs can provide higher interest rates than those of a brick and mortar bank, but do we consider the real cost? Is 2.00% APY worth a four-day waiting period for your funds?

To many of us, the usage of digital products comes naturally, as it is something we have grown up with. There is still a portion of the population that is used to paper statements and physical checks, and that personal touch is even more important to them. These tech resources are available to make their lives easier, but there also needs to be someone to teach them and help customers understand these new-age services. 

With all of these changes, it is even more important to continue to put the person in personal banking. Put yourself in their shoes, remember we are the industry professionals and just because it comes easy to us, it doesn’t necessarily mean all of our customers feel comfortable with the changes in today’s banking landscape. 

It’s more important now than ever to make that personal connection with your customers. Keep them engaged and constantly work to earn their trust. Many banks offer similar products, but people bank with people.  

What is your bank doing to stay ahead of the game? BOLT Summits and keeping up to date with WBA and industry updates helps us all to stay on top of this banking landscape that is ever-changing. I hope to see you all on November 7 in Stevens Point! 

Kerstyn Hendricks is AVP, signature banker with National Bank of Commerce in Superior and also serves on the WBA BOLT Board of Directors.