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8 takeaways from Digital Banking 2018
Are banks jumping into new technologies without thinking through the consequences of their use?

That question set the tone for this year's Digital Banking conference in Austin, Texas, as industry leaders sought to highlight and debate the issues underlying the innovation that is expected to transform banking over the next decade.

Artificial intelligence was at the forefront of the discussion, as speakers such as Bank of America's Cathy Bessant, pictured above with American Banker's Penny Crosman, stressed that AI will soon drive all interactions with customers and will force banks to retrain and hire employees with new skills.

There was broad discussion, too, about the industry's shift to a primarily mobile-banking environment and how a mobile-first approach demands that banks continue to re-imagine how they serve customers while remaining keenly aware of competition they are facing from technology firms.

Attendees noted that many topics of discussion at the conference were more philosophical in nature than in previous years, partly because the industry has evolved from focusing on creating and selling products to solving problems and improving the customer experience.

Indeed, some of the examples of success highlighted at the conference, such as the payments apps from Venmo and Starbucks, were developed not as products, but as solutions to unaddressed needs.

A presentation by Dominic Venturo, the chief innovation officer at U.S. Bancorp, galvanized thought around the idea that the mobile devices consumers are using today to conduct everyday banking transactions could be irrelevant tomorrow. That means app developers need be thinking beyond what works on an iPhone or iPad to how banking will be done in a world where every device in a home is connected.

Here is a look at the major themes of the conference.