Welcome to 2016 Digital Banking.

Upon hearing that I cover the technology side of banking, someone asked me recently, in a genuinely puzzled manner, “What else is there?”

Well, practically speaking, there’s what’s going on in Washington, there’s mergers and acquisitions, there’s setting loan and deposit rates, and a host of other things that fine writers and editors cover in this space.

But no question, technology and digital banking take up an ever-greater share of strategy, thought and resources in the financial industry.

The fintech disruptors, from Lending Club and Prosper to Stripe to Apple Pay, Venmo, and Samsung Pay, to Betterment to Level Money, Acorn and Digit, have been sucking up all the air in the room lately. Many people say banks are being “unbundled” by these newer players, who will cherry-pick the best parts of the business and leave banks to act as utilities in the background. Others say banks will win, by partnering with, buying and competing effectively with the startups.

At this year’s Digital Banking Summit, we will explore these themes. We’ll banter with some of the disruptors, we’ll brainstorm ideas for how banks can effectively compete and stay relevant, and we’ll hear from some of the leaders who are creating frictionless user experiences and providing the best mobile and online banking apps out there. We’ll debate the best approaches to cybersecurity, making sure customer interactions are safe and not socially engineered. We’ll hash out the best approaches to mobile payments and to fintech partnerships. We’ll look at innovative technologies like blockchain, the internet of things, and advanced real-time analytics and where they can improve digital banking. We will do our best to inspire and challenge assumptions.

We hope to see you there.

Penny Crosman
Editor at Large
American Banker