Your banking peers have spoken!

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Each year, CSI polls executives at U.S. financial institutions across the country, asking questions that aim to gauge their thoughts on the industry as a whole, and uncover the strategies, trends and issues they believe will most affect the financial sector in the year ahead. This year, 220 bankers answered our survey, and here’s a sample of what they told us:

  • 44% of bankers are adding self-service options like online account opening, 17% are adding ITMs/ILTs and 19% are pursuing M&A activity. Without question, customer acquisition is the name of the game, and it’s a battlefield out there. Automated online account-opening solutions are rising as a strong vehicle for banks to both increase their customer base and solidify existing account relationships through cross-sales—leading to revenue growth.
  • 72% of bankers cite the expansion of their digital channels as the primary means to improve the customer experience. “It is glaringly obvious that if we don’t make things more convenient for our customers, both through digital channels and with our customer service in general, we’re going to lose them to other companies like Amazon that know how to do it,” says Kari Book, of The Fairfield National Bank in Fairfield, Ill.
  • 44% of bankers believe the number one issue affecting the financial industry in 2019 will be cybersecurity. “We’re really going to be focusing our clients toward our online delivery channel (in 2019), so that puts the impetus on us to know as much as we can about security and how to protect ourselves and our clients,” said Jennifer Thompson, treasury services manager with Studio Bank in Nashville, Tenn.
  • More than 75% of banks – or 3 in 4 – are spending up to 20% of their budgets on regulatory compliance alone. Says Dan Latimore, senior vice president and head of banking with Celent, “I think that the message overall is that everyone has got to try and reduce the spend burden of regulatory compliance, generally through technology and also through process re-engineering.”
  • 40% of bankers identified loans as the single-most important channel for attracting new customers in 2019. If your institution’s loan volume is down, it isn’t because your customers don’t require access to funds; they’re just securing those funds elsewhere. The volume of opportunity in this space becomes very appealing when digital technology is applied. These are high-margin, short-term loans you can deliver through a digital channel, with minimal investment, so don’t let a non-bank entity sneak into your bank’s portfolio simply because you can’t make money processing these loans in the traditional sense.

To learn more, get the full Executive Report: Banking Priorities 2019.