Rebeca Romero Rainey: A world of opportunity

“Today’s technology environment opens the door to a world of opportunity for community bankers.”

Welcome to Independent Banker’s ICBA LIVE 2020 issue! It’s amazing that we’re already celebrating our first convention of a new decade. As a child, the concept of the year 2020 seemed so far-fetched. Fueled by visions of flying cars and robot maids courtesy of The Jetsons, I was sure technology would dominate the landscape.

There may be a nugget of truth in those childhood musings. We may not be benefactors of self-preparing meals and hovercraft transportation, but all the same, technology plays a major role in our daily lives—and in the banking business. Burgeoning customer expectations demand that technology plays a pivotal role in community banks’ strategies. And community banks continue to rise to that very request, evolving our organizations and introducing solutions that create a better customer experience.

Where I’ll be this month

In addition to attending ICBA LIVE 2020, I’ll be traveling to La Jolla, Calif., to deliver remarks at the Association for Financial Technology Spring Summit and hearing final pitches at the ThinkTECH Accelerator Demo Day in Little Rock, Ark.

In fact, today’s technology environment opens the door to a world of opportunity for community bankers. Efficient, cost-effective, technology-forward product options have arrived, making them viable choices for our institutions. Fintech collaborators are bringing to market the products and services that fuel achievable community bank innovation. From addressing internal operational hurdles to removing friction from front-end solutions, these new offerings help us take community banking to the next level.

While these may not fulfill the bleeding-edge vision of sci-fi movies, is that really what we hope to achieve? As my father always said, the bleeding edge is where you feel the pain of the cut; the cutting edge is where you want to be.

I believe that’s the sweet spot for community bankers and it’s where our work lies today. For example, the ICBA ThinkTECH Accelerator features early stage companies that are working to bring the latest technologies to community bankers. We’re fortunate to have these companies at ICBA LIVE this month, and I hope you’ll stop by the ICBA ThinkTECH Showcase to learn how they may address your bank’s pain points. In fact, whether attending convention sessions or perusing this issue, keep an eye out for technologies that can help you continue to deliver that incredible personal touch in a way that aligns with your customers’ emerging digital needs.

Even with technology driving progress, our goal for 2020 should be to maintain our clear focus on serving our communities to our best ability. And, as the decade—and technology—advances, we will continue to be bold in establishing the services that allow us to do just that.

Rebeca Romero Rainey
President and CEO, ICBA
Connect with Rebeca @romerorainey