Key takeaways from the 2022 AOBA conference

Discover what's top of mind for financial institutions.
Feb 14, 2022
Narmi Staff Contributor

Banking industry thought leaders and tech innovators recently gathered in Phoenix, Arizona, for the 2022 Acquire or Be Acquired conference to discuss where financial institutions are headed this year, and in years to come. Narmi was delighted and honored to attend and connect with other industry leaders to learn some valuable insights, and share some of our own as well. 

In Phoenix, the Narmi team set up our newly custom-designed booth complete with handout items and a full demo of Narmi’s products, which was overall a huge hit on the conference floor!

This year at AOBA, the biggest topics were digital evolution and transformation, and how financial institutions can harness digital to reach more people and grow.

The key takeaways for banking's future we heard at AOBA:

1. Don’t ignore the core deposits

Discussing the shift of attention from deposits to lending, the consensus was that core deposits are still of utmost importance to financial institutions, and that a seamless opening experience for customers should be a basic requirement for all banks and credit unions. 

2. SMB is a key segment that banks should capture

The small- and mid-sized business market is bigger than ever, but there’s still a gap in getting business customers the uniquely business-focused banking services they need. For a long time, many financial institutions have simply been treating small businesses like individual consumers, but that means these businesses aren’t getting the banking experience they need to operate better, and thus deposit more money into their accounts. Developing business banking products and services is a fantastic opportunity for financial institutions to tap into this incredible market, especially as the small and micro-business market continues to grow. 

3. The time is now to digitally advance, and your core might be what’s stopping you

Not forgetting about your core doesn’t necessarily mean leaving it as-is. Cores should be reevaluated regularly to ensure they’re not tripping up an institution’s attempts to update and modernize. If banks and credit unions want to compete with fintechs, taking a critical look at their core and making the needed tweaks is key. 

“The way I see it and the way Narmi sees it, you almost have Santa's list: the good and the naughty. And there are cores on the good list and there are cores on the naughty list. So what does it mean to be on the good list? The good list means your core banking system has an API layer that allows other companies to dependably and scalably connect with your data.”
– Nikhil Lakhanpal

4. Banks operated quickly during COVID-19 to implement new systems and processes; there’s no reason why they shouldn’t still be able to move that fast.

Many speakers pointed out the fact that under the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic, banks were able to spring into action and nimbly roll out innovative new services to customers – moving with a speed almost never before seen in the banking world! But it shouldn’t have to come down to a global crisis to have this kind of agility, Nikhil and his fellow fintech and banking professionals maintain. Instead, institutions should always be this quick and agile. 

Narmi's sessions offered a deeper look into Narmi's thought leadership

Nikhil partook in two panel discussions about the future of banking. At the first, Repositioning Your Customers’ Experience, he represented Narmi as a leading provider of technology that would help financial institutions with the game-changing products to get customers what they really want in a banking experience. Joining him was Brendon DiBella, chief revenue officer of StreetShares, and Benjamin Wallace, CEO of Summit Technology Group.

For institutions looking to go digital but in need of a little guidance, Nikhil sat down with Mike Butler, CEO of Grasshopper Bank, and Siya Vansia, Chief Brand and Innovation Officer at ConnectOne Bank, to talk over how to take those crucial first steps. Curiosity about digital transformation was again top-of-mind at this year’s AOBA. With 155 attendees –making it the most popular breakout session at the whole conference – the need to solve the challenges of putting a winning digital strategy to practice was evident.

Each speaker discussed the very real obstacles institutions face as they embark on their digital journeys, and the best ways to address them head-on. This included hiring and managing the right team members, as well as the importance of partnering with the right fintech teams to meet strategic goals.

Discover what Narmi and other industry leaders imagine for banking's future. Read the insights for the future of fintech and digital banking in 2022 that came out our recent discussion with our friends at Alloy.

Narmi Inc.
3 East 28th St. Floor 12
New York, NY 10016

Key takeaways from the 2022 AOBA conference