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Embracing the Fintech Evolution: How Community Banks and Customers Can Benefit From Growth of Fintech

Embracing the Fintech Evolution: How Community Banks and Customers Can Benefit From Growth of Fintech

Many customers choose to bank with community banks for a better sense of connection. They’re interested in a level of support national banks and out-of-town banks can’t quite deliver.  It requires more than just putting a name on a branch in a specific area — it requires local roots.

When was the last time you stopped at the bank? Not the ATM. Not the drive-thru to deposit or make a withdrawal. Inside the bank; speaking with an actual teller. If you are like me, it’s been a while. Customer communication and user experience are key parts of banking. The widespread use of applications and online banking is changing our relationship with money and making it harder for community banks to stand out. 

How are community banks faring with this change? How can they still connect with their customers, guide them and create a more friendly, customer-centric experience? 

In this article, we will discuss digital solutions for community banks and tips to improve their user experience.   

Community Banks and the fintech evolution 

Historically banks served as one of the main pillars of a growing economy. Community banks especially have been instrumental in growing communities.

Fintech is rapidly reaching new heights as consumers continue to switch over from traditional in-person banking and embrace new solutions such as e-wallets, mobile banking, and cryptocurrency. On the backend, banks benefit from automation, and faster and easier connections with their customers.

Here are some ways in which community banks can tap into the fintech evolution: 

Embrace Digital Transformation

According to Hartman Advisors, in today’s fast-paced, digital world, consumers value time and engagement more than ever. Community banks that invest in technology and digital transformation are better positioned to keep up with customers’ growing expectations and create a more accessible, efficient, and personalized customer experience.

Community banks can adopt digital banking technologies to provide a seamless customer experience. This includes offering online banking, mobile banking, and other digital banking solutions that enable customers to access their accounts and conduct transactions anytime, anywhere.

Collaborate with Fintech Companies

Community banks can partner with fintech companies to enhance their digital capabilities. This includes leveraging fintech solutions to improve customer experience, increase operational efficiency, and reduce costs.

Forbes reported that collaboration is the new fintech model. A unique but necessary way to reach new customers and serve those underserved populations. Instead of each organization competing for a slice of the pie, community banks, and fintech can work together to make the new pie bigger. The result is the future of integrated fintech. This is a win-win-win for everyone involved. 

Fintechs stand to grow their business and build partnerships that add to their value. Community banks will increase their digital capabilities to meet the demands of a new generation of banking customers. Most significantly, more small business owners will gain access to the capital that makes their entrepreneurship dreams a reality.

Offer Innovative Products and Services

Community banks can develop and offer innovative products and services that cater to the changing needs of customers. This includes digital lending, peer-to-peer payments, and other fintech-enabled solutions that can attract and retain customers.

Invest in Fintech Startups

Community banks can invest in fintech startups to gain access to cutting-edge technologies and stay ahead of the competition. This also provides an opportunity to develop strategic partnerships with fintech companies and gain a competitive advantage in the market.

Overall, community banks can tap into the fintech evolution by embracing digital transformation, collaborating with fintech companies, offering innovative products and services, and investing in fintech startups.

The decision to go digital will never be easy, but it is essential to the advancement of the organization. Customers, both internal and external are set to benefit from easier processing and execution of tasks and information that will in turn increase profitability and efficiency. 

Digital banking solutions for community banks

Introduce user-friendly mobile banking apps and online platforms.

According to statistica, worldwide mobile users are projected to reach 7.49 billion in 2025. Oberlo noted that the average US adult spends just under 4 hours daily on their cellphones. 61% of banking customers are accessing their accounts from their phones, among millennials, those numbers are closer to 70%. Without a doubt, cell phones have been one of the greatest improvements for our generation. A user-friendly mobile banking application online helps to connect younger bankers and older bankers with reduced physical mobility. 

Create convenient and efficient account management and transaction capabilities.  

Banks pride themselves on being convenient and efficient. So, translating that pride to their customers online should come with ease. The ability to gain access to accounts and easily manage funds gives customers control and improves their trust. 

Hitachi Solutions noted that with customer relationship management (CRM) technology, financial institutions collect and analyze data and build detailed customer profiles, which in-house advisors can then use to gain a 360-degree view of the customer and their unique situation. This helps with speeding up certain processes, reducing the number of hours spent with clients, and improving customer satisfaction and efficiency. 

Improve personalized services and tailored financial solutions.

By putting systems in place to improve account management, the natural outcome is improved customer satisfaction. Community banks are the champions of personalized services because of their close ties with the neighborhood. Adding a CRM to an already working system, not only improves but enhances the customer experience. 

No one likes to repeat their problem to more than one person in order to find a solution. Having a personalized banking profile reduces the number of steps that an account holder takes to get help. A 360 view of their financials also helps advisers navigate the best outcomes for their customers. 

Build Seamless integration of financial services into customers’ daily lives.

Building a seamless user experience is WDB Agency’s forte. By employing a unique collaborative process, we were able to improve the Watertown Savings Bank user experience for customers and employees. User experience is a customer-centered process that aims to bring satisfaction at every touchpoint of the customer journey. 

Making the decision to upend tradition is not an easy task. The financial sector and particularly, community banks have been a long-standing tradition in every neighborhood. The key is to tailor that same friendly experience to your online presence. 

UX design involves creating intuitive, user-friendly interfaces that make it easy for people to interact with the bank’s services and products. A positive and seamless UX can foster trust and loyalty, increasing customer retention and revenue for the bank. A negative UX, on the other hand, can result in frustrated and dissatisfied customers who may switch to a competitor.

Focus on security.

Security is a top priority for every financial institution, regardless of their size. This is because banks, and credit unions, are top targets for hackers, scam artists, and other types of online exploitation. This is why an enterprise-level secured system is the best option.  Data security is paramount and most-enterprise level software comes with additional security features that not only protect customer’s information but also a plan for recovery in the event there is an attack. Ensuring your bank’s online and mobile platforms can protect customers’ sensitive information is a must. 

Keep it simple and intuitive.

While there is nothing simple about financial services. The information on the website or application needs to be presented simply enough that it is easily navigated. When navigation is intuitive, it reduces frustration and improves user satisfaction, increasing the chances that users will return to the site or the app.

Promote User-Friendly Navigation

Keep in mind your target audience. Eliminate multiple unnecessary steps so that your customers can find what they are looking for without having to rummage through too many links. Use clear and consistent labels for navigation and avoid using terms that may be confusing. 

Create Useful Content

Most customers visit the bank for information to help their decision-making process. Create content that answers their questions.  Identify some of the most frequently asked questions, and create content that addresses multiple scenarios, tailored to different types of customers.  A content strategy geared towards maintaining your authority in your industry is key. People are more likely to value content that helps them solve a problem. 

Provide Clear Signposts to Customer Support

Providing good service requires providing support. After navigating through your website, getting in contact with a live representative to address more issues is key. Ensure that your customer support navigation is clear and visible. 

Community banks are at a pivotal stage

Community banks are at a pivotal stage in our society. They continue to bridge the gap between development and community engagement. But that mindset should be applied to widen the gap between technology, building efficient services and products for new and existing customers. Digital transformation requires embracing new technologies and collaborating with reputable financial technology institutions while creating a seamless user experience for internal and external customers. 

While the transformation is happening on a global scale, there is a need to reach those customers on a micro level. More people are mobile and expect to get answers faster, especially about what their money is doing. By taking the traditional aspects of customer satisfaction with a tailored approach to seamless user experience, community banks can step into the future with technology. 

If you are looking for a partner to transform your digital presence, our team is prepared to help you. Schedule a call with us and let’s get your bank ahead.

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