Biggest Opportunities for Digital Banking in 2021

Strategies and tactics from our Digital Banking Transformation Summit Experts

With vaccinations underway and a sense of normalcy returning to everyday life at the start of Q2 2021, the big question of “What comes next?” was the main focus for banking leaders. For those running forward-thinking institutions, the acceleration of digital and demand from customers & members for digital-first tools created new (and sometimes overwhelming) challenges.

To help move the conversation forward, we brought together some of the most innovative and informed digital banking and fintech leaders for our Digital Banking Transformation Summit

Here is what our panel experts shared as the two biggest digital banking opportunities for regional & community financial institutions for 2021 and beyond.

What are some of the lasting changes to retail banking to come out of the pandemic? 

Even before Covid-19 upended the traditional relationship many people have with their bank and credit union, it was clear that digital-first channels were growing in importance. When social distancing measures and branch closures started impacting how financial institutions reach and serve their communities, there was little doubt that investing in digital was part of defining the “New Normal”. 

During the second session of the Digital Banking Transformation Summit, McKinsey Partner and banking expert Peter Noteboom shared the conversations he’s heard taking place in boardrooms of banks during the pandemic, “I don't think there's a single CEO or board member that would say that they don't wish they had more digital capabilities going into 2020 than what they ended up with,” further explaining that the financial institutions that made early investments in their digital infrastructure, applications, and their ability to engage with customers all benefited greatly. With many later seeing those critically important shifts as life-saving investments. 

“I think the same way we've seen customer interactions with channels changing as they shifted to digital, the thought processes within boardrooms and the executive suite have also shifted,” Peter pointed out. “With many of the trends they thought they had years to address, that timeline has really compressed.”

With many of the trends they thought they had years to address, that timeline has really compressed.

For Michelle Spellerberg, VP of Digital Strategy, and the Alliant CU team the acceleration of digital was most noticeable through both a spike in support contact and more members making the switch to mobile banking. As their members navigated the challenges of the pandemic, Michelle and her team observed an increase in contact from people seeking digital solutions for typically in-branch banking services; “People are really trying to be hands-off and doing more and more digitally – even with more complicated transactions.”

What are the strategies and opportunities credit unions and banks should focus on post-Covid? 

The acceleration of digital marks a step-change in the way people are interacting with their finances and banking needs. This change in user behavior has helped clarify what “Digital Transformation” actually means for financial institutions. As we saw with a poll we conducted during the virtual summit, the general consensus is that Digital Transformation in banking means improving a user’s experience within an online and mobile banking product.

Biggest Opportunities for Digital Banking in 2021

Strategies and tactics from our Digital Banking Transformation Summit Experts

With vaccinations underway and a sense of normalcy returning to everyday life at the start of Q2 2021, the big question of “What comes next?” was the main focus for banking leaders. For those running forward-thinking institutions, the acceleration of digital and demand from customers & members for digital-first tools created new (and sometimes overwhelming) challenges.

To help move the conversation forward, we brought together some of the most innovative and informed digital banking and fintech leaders for our Digital Banking Transformation Summit

Here is what our panel experts shared as the two biggest digital banking opportunities for regional & community financial institutions for 2021 and beyond.

What are some of the lasting changes to retail banking to come out of the pandemic? 

Even before Covid-19 upended the traditional relationship many people have with their bank and credit union, it was clear that digital-first channels were growing in importance. When social distancing measures and branch closures started impacting how financial institutions reach and serve their communities, there was little doubt that investing in digital was part of defining the “New Normal”. 

During the second session of the Digital Banking Transformation Summit, McKinsey Partner and banking expert Peter Noteboom shared the conversations he’s heard taking place in boardrooms of banks during the pandemic, “I don't think there's a single CEO or board member that would say that they don't wish they had more digital capabilities going into 2020 than what they ended up with,” further explaining that the financial institutions that made early investments in their digital infrastructure, applications, and their ability to engage with customers all benefited greatly. With many later seeing those critically important shifts as life-saving investments. 

“I think the same way we've seen customer interactions with channels changing as they shifted to digital, the thought processes within boardrooms and the executive suite have also shifted,” Peter pointed out. “With many of the trends they thought they had years to address, that timeline has really compressed.”

With many of the trends they thought they had years to address, that timeline has really compressed.

For Michelle Spellerberg, VP of Digital Strategy, and the Alliant CU team the acceleration of digital was most noticeable through both a spike in support contact and more members making the switch to mobile banking. As their members navigated the challenges of the pandemic, Michelle and her team observed an increase in contact from people seeking digital solutions for typically in-branch banking services; “People are really trying to be hands-off and doing more and more digitally – even with more complicated transactions.”

What are the strategies and opportunities credit unions and banks should focus on post-Covid? 

The acceleration of digital marks a step-change in the way people are interacting with their finances and banking needs. This change in user behavior has helped clarify what “Digital Transformation” actually means for financial institutions. As we saw with a poll we conducted during the virtual summit, the general consensus is that Digital Transformation in banking means improving a user’s experience within an online and mobile banking product.