Strategic Resource Management joined more than 1,400 other attendees at Consumer Bankers Association’s CBA LIVE in Orlando, Fla. last month to discuss fresh trends and best practices in the retail banking industry. The mixture of informative programming, expert discussions and a host of networking opportunities created an atmosphere that was energetic and engaging.
With the convention hall full of executives from major, multi-billion dollar financial institutions (FIs), the dialogue was fast and far-reaching, specifically focusing on digital transformation, security, lending and, as expected, regulatory developments. Some takeaways from the event include:
The digital discussion was not just about banking, but also the broader question of digital transformation. The response to our panel D3 Banking Technology and TCF Bank, “To Infinity & Beyond: How to Prepare Today for the Expectations of Tomorrow's Digital User,” confirmed the strong focus on and commitment to digital transformation. Many from the close to 80 who attended the session were still there 45 minutes later speaking with Mark Troske, senior vice president of TCF Bank’s Digital Center of Excellence.
According to Troske, “If digital transformation is done right, technology is not an expense a bank or credit union has to deal with. It is rather a growth driver the financial institution has to plan for.” In a 10-month transformation, TCF experienced a 450-500 percent increase in concurrent user sessions on its new digital platform with D3 Banking, and was, for the first time, positioned to accommodate new iPhone features into its mobile platform even before the iPhone X was officially released.
Security received considerable air time. The general consensus was that the threat is not going away and there is no single invention or innovation that will eliminate the creativity of criminals. That said, the biometrics discussion were of particular interest to attendees because of its promise. The challenges around security and even with biometrics (as well as the more expansive category of behavior metric, which incorporates biometrics and the consumers’ habits and patterns) should not be obstacles to moving toward other forms of UI/UX including voice-based interfaces.
With Fintech’s continuing to expand in several forms of consumer lending, bankers responsible for this line of business packed into sessions about the topic. As interest rates trend upward for the first time in many years, it seems certain that this area of financial services will continue to be one that FIs work to reclaim and extend their reach. Digital will play a role in this especially as banks and credit unions begin to leverage the massive amounts of data they have on their customers and members.
One theme that was consistent throughout the regulatory discussion might be surprising to some: regulations are a necessary part of the financial services industry. Of course, this message was counterbalanced by the line of reasoning that said, “Yes, but, too much regulation kills the ability for FIs to compete with disrupters that typically do not have to operate with the same type of oversight.” The developments in Washington seem to have resurrected the belief that the current administration will provide some relief to FIs in this area.
There were many other topics covered at the conference, but the bottom line is that the Consumer Bankers Association hosted another great event this year, and we’re already looking forward to the 2019 conference in Washington, D.C.