RISE WITH FIS

Why It’s Critical that Every Community Bank Focuses on Innovation that Matters

Rob Lee | EVP Digital and Banking, FIS

December 02, 2019

The banking landscape looks almost nothing like it did just two decades ago: More than 70% of banking interactions are now digital, and customers of all ages have started to bank and pay using mobile devices. But consolidation continues to transform the community bank space. More than ever, it’s critical that every community bank focus on making investments in the technology and innovations that make a difference for their customers, while simultaneously supporting the strategic vision, brand and internal and external user experience. Here’s why.

All security is not created equal

Breaking customer trust by accidentally exposing them to a security vulnerability must be avoided at all costs. In fact, 90% of respondents to FIS’ 2019 PACE survey said transaction and account security were “very important” to them when choosing a bank. A community bank should only work with technology providers who have invested the necessary time, intelligence, resources and money to identify, resolve and continually test all possible points of vulnerability. That partner should also provide the community bank with solutions that are built for the full scope of today’s complex banking ecosystem.

Banks aren’t technology experts

The increased importance of digital and omnichannel banking have led some community banks to hire internal technology resources in recent years, but the right technology partnership does not require such internal expertise. Likewise, community banks should avoid adopting a piecemeal approach to technology, which often places the IT burden on the community bank, exposing them to risk and technical headaches. Ultimately, a community bank technology partner should serve the bank’s brand, staff and customers and provide the tools that empower the bank to succeed. For example, FIS Code Connect, named the “Most Advanced API Strategy” by Aite Group in 2019, provides access to a constantly updated hub of proven application programming interfaces (APIs) from FIS and third-party developers. It enables FIS clients to develop and test new solutions that will better serve their customers and drive operating efficiencies, in a proven and easy to use format.

Community banks deserve proven solutions

When community bank leaders ask me what I think about some shiny new technology that’s getting a lot of attention in the market, I ask them one simple question: What problem are you looking to solve?

By itself, technology solves nothing. Community banks should not bear the risk of being the testing ground for a flashy innovation that hasn’t been proven in the real and very complex banking ecosystem, nor feel pressured to make investments that won’t truly make a difference in their business.

When community banks focus their technology investments on those that further their strategic vision, are valued by their customer base and demand a partner who will deliver on these key areas, their technology can become a true competitive advantage.