The Changing Face of America

While attending a recent presentation at the California Bank Presidents’ Seminar by Brett King, CEO and founder of Movenbank, the world’s first direct mobile-only bank, I was inspired to write another Cyber-Graham. The crossover between baby boomers, Gen Xers, and millennials is fast approaching with economic power shifting to the next generations. They are your future customer base. What they want, need, and expect will dictate your success or not.

Questions That You Should Ask

What Is Our Business?

Who Are Our Customers?

What Do They Want?

What Do We Need to Do?

The Evolution of the Delivery System

Bank branches for the millennials will be equivalent to videotapes of the past—archaic and useless. Whether via a smartphone or watch, the chip of the future, a retinal scan, or whatever current mechanism is in vogue, accessing financial services is changing at a rapid pace. While boomers may still utilize branches, albeit at a declining rate, the future is in technology.

The Bank of the Future

Somehow we still identify banks with physical locations like branches. But the next generations have a totally different view. Everything is based on convenience and immediate gratification. Why take the time to visit a branch and wait in line when you can do all your financial transactions remotely and electronically? I believe banks should be concerned about undue investment in brick and mortar as their per-customer annual usage plummets to 10 percent or less of historical levels. The intrinsic value of a branch no doubt will decrease. Accordingly, it follows that branches need to be smaller and more efficient.

 The Pace of Change Can Be Daunting

We are living in a dynamic, ever-changing environment. It is the job of bank management and the board of directors to consciously and continually address keeping pace with these changes to avoid becoming a dinosaur and devaluing their franchise. Clearly, this topic should be at the forefront for all banks. Time needs to be set aside not just to deal with the here and now, compliance, cybersecurity, and the like, but the future of banking and your institution. A failure to do so could put you at risk to be the next Blockbuster Video—an unacceptable result. So continue to ask the right questions and aggressively seek answers and solutions.