Banking is certainly going through massive amounts of disruptions and changes, that of which is reforming how banking and relationships are performed. The two major ones are Social Media and Technology. These two massive buckets of disruption are not just limited to the banking industry, it’s changing the way humans connect, interact and perform business functions forever. Essentially, it’s destroying how these things were done in the past and reforming it into something new, kind of like how planets and stars are torn apart and reformed into new planets and stars. They’re still planets and stars, they’re just different ones. Banking and banking relationships will still happen for the foreseen future, yet how they’re conducted will be different. Some materials survive this reform, and some don’t – that’s the universe.   Banks, credit unions, and everything in between are torn apart and reformed without their permission or choice. No single organization can force change on this massive scale, they can simply navigate and lead change to remain gravitationally relevant when it’s all said and done.

I recently was on a panel at BAI Beacon with Robb Gaynor from Malauzai and Ann Barilleaux from JD Bank where we discussed Social Banking. Robb briefly discussed the technological changes of the mobile banking experience, whereas Ann shared much of what she did at her bank to increase the social media experience in her markets. I wrapped it up with how social media needs to be very humanistic.

The gist of it all – You can greatly improve branding, customer experience, customer journey and revenues by doing two simple things. Improve mobile/digital experience by implementing mobile and digital technologies to enable easy and functional interactions with money and people – making those interactions very human centric. No one should ever implement technology for the sake of implementing technology, it should be very purposeful and meaningful. So many banks/credit unions implement mobile banking for the fact of just having it. yet, they choose systems that don’t enable a great social/money experience. And technology usage shouldn’t be an across the board solution, meaning, you need a great mobile banking app, but you don’t need to implement the latest social media dashboard or hop on the latest platform fad. It’s vital to understand this simple, yet massive point. For now and in the future Social media and banking tech will eventually have near perfect integration and you may be very uncomfortable as a banker with the potential risk of that, yet, it’ll happen whether you like it or not. That’s life and that’s what human nature is intrinsically pulling our fintech companies to create this type of experience.

I run a weekly podcast called Bank On It and many of my guests have hundreds of thousands if not millions of followers, offline many of them share their biggest social media challenges – one of which is across the board that they are fighting the simple urge to not automate their social media activity while attempting to increase personal interaction with each one of the individuals that follow them. It’s hard, physically impossible, yet vital. Many banks and credit unions have a lot less followers and try to manage at arms length so they can focus on other things they feel are more important. Unfortunately there is nothing more important than connecting with people, because people make social media work, not technology. Technology, allows social media to be, but people are the fuel and the ignition that makes it all happen.

I polled the audience of about 100 people live at my session and got over 85 responses. I asked a simple question. Do you feel social media is important at your institution and the choices were yes or no. I ran this live on a screen behind me and yes’s got over 95%. The simple reason this is simply because we are human and humans use social media, this is a worldwide phenomena. Take it a step forward and ask yourself “why is the right mobile banking solution important”? the answer again will be because we are human and that’s what humans do, we don’t like robust, complicated, unconnected, mobile banking experiences. Consumers are comparing their mobile experience to that of, Netflix, Facebook and many other dominate brands which have significantly raised the bar on what a mobile experience should be. Robb Gaynor from Malauzai Software, shared during his talk that people require a seamless yet powerful mobile banking experience and he felt that the right partner supplier is key to this.

You can’t fight human nature, you can only be a servant to it and join it.

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