October 22, 2021 | Bucky Porter

3 digital trends disrupting the banking industry

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Bucky Porter, Financial Services Industry Analyst

Bucky Porter

Bucky has more than 20 years of banking experience in roles such as regional branch leadership, technology consultant and senior lending officer. Prior to being a Financial Services Industry Analyst at Windstream Enterprise, Bucky led a large branch network, built the bank’s small business banking sales strategy and worked on cross-functional marketing and product development at Simmons Bank.
Summary: Explore the top expectations and trends discussed at ABA’s Bank Marketing Conference that will define the future of mobile banking for financial services marketers.

A few weeks ago, financial services marketers gathered at the virtual ABA Bank Marketing Conference to unlock learnings of the latest banking tech trends, from CX to marketing management to data-driven strategies and more.

Smiling woman using her smart phone

With a program of more than 30 virtual sessions, three digital trends for banking stood out. Here we’ll dive into what those were and how these trends are helping financial services marketers make smarter business decisions for their bank or credit union.

Trend 1: Personalized banking driven by data

The first common theme at the conference was the importance of using customer data as a means to create a more personalized digital experience. More so than other industries, banks and credit unions are seriously behind when it comes to channeling their data resources into personalized customer experiences. But customers have come to love and expect this highly tailored experience with brands. This is causing a growing gap between banks that are investing in cloud-based technology to uphold this digital experience and ones that aren’t.

Can small banks bury their heads in the sand and stick by old-school banking tactics, like face-to-face contact, hoping that a handshake will be their differentiator? As a bank or credit union, you’re faced with the difficult question of how to attract and retain members who expect anytime, anywhere access and a range of convenience-oriented services.

To truly stay current, CIOs and CMOs need to form internal partnerships to successfully sell big data initiatives to the remainder of the C-suite and board of directors—particularly the value of investing in cloud technology. This technology is where banks—both large and small—need to start their digital transformation journey as a way to permit personalized experiences that can drive meaningful business impact.

Trend 2: Digital competitiveness

Digital marketing is becoming increasingly essential for banks. While there was a minor decrease in marketing spend in 2020 due to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, banks are poised to ramp up their marketing spending by the end of 2021 and beyond. But since small and mid-size banks struggle to stay current with digital marketing trends in banking, this causes them to fall behind national banks with much larger budgets.

At the ABA conference, sessions explored different ways to market exclusively through web and mobile platforms. For example, one session suggested leveraging social influencers to reach a broader customer base, while another promoted the need to enhance online account openings and loan applications. While both of these examples drive back to ways banks can be enhancing the CX, it also questions whether your bank’s network has the redundancy to support more customers on digital platforms to open accounts, seek advice from chatbots or human beings, and conduct transactions. Having the right foundation in place is crucial to keeping your organization digitally competitive.

Trend 3: The remote member

While digital banking has had a long evolution in the U.S., with its debut in the ’80s, the proliferation of smartphones is what truly opened the door to mobile banking channels. The pandemic accelerated this trend, making it not only about convenience or preference, but also about fulfilling a necessity to comply with social distancing guidelines.

The need to interact virtually or remotely is a key subject for financial services marketers, and due to a wide customer base, it’s not easy. One particular session at the conference explored how bank and credit union marketers can automate the onboarding process after a customer opens an account. The recommendation given by the speaker was to use data analytics to target marketing messages and to drive wallet-share through calendarized marketing campaigns.

While this is just one example provided, banks and credit unions must consider how best to expand remote services, transform the branch experience and emphasize channels most used by modern-day members. Success will be achieved by organizations that are able to support multi-device mobility and provide personalized member product recommendations, all while maintaining a secure environment.

All of these digital initiatives can be a daunting task for any financial services IT department. Windstream Enterprise can help you rise to the challenge with a variety of secure and reliable digital banking solutions and analyst-recognized expertise. Whatever the future brings, Windstream Enterprise can provide services with the bandwidth, redundancy, scalability, security and broad range of access options to meet the needs of banks and credit unions and their customers and members.


Key takeaway: Digital banking trends are driving change. The right connectivity and security solutions in place will ensure you’re providing the reliability and flexibility that customers expect.
Financial Services Industry Analyst

Bucky Porter

Bucky has more than 20 years of banking experience in roles such as regional branch leadership, technology consultant and senior lending officer. Prior to being a Financial Services Industry Analyst at Windstream Enterprise, Bucky led a large branch network, built the bank’s small business banking sales strategy and worked on cross-functional marketing and product development at Simmons Bank.