Slideshow 10 Big Ideas for Banking in 2018

Published
  • January 07 2018, 10:00pm EST
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The term “future shock” — referring to a society that is evolving so rapidly its members can’t keep up — is nearly 50 years old, having been coined in 1970 by the author Alvin Toffler.

As much attention as the idea got at the time, the pace of change that prognosticators were worried about then, including consumers suffering from “information overload,” has only gotten worse. Forget computers in every home, now there’s one in everyone’s pocket. Nobody worries about kids being addicted to TV anymore; now they’re all on social media.

In the financial world, the pace of change is also speeding up. Few talked about the blockchain five years ago. Now it’s everywhere, being used by an iced tea company and appearing as a punchline on late night TV. Virtual assistants, allowing consumers the chance to do any number of things just by shouting at a device the size of a speaker, were the best-selling device this past holiday season. More fintech firms are being formed every day, promising to offer financial services faster and cheaper than banks, and the Silicon Valley giants are not far behind.

It leaves the question: Can banks still compete in a post-future-shock world?

The answer, at least according to the ideas in this roundup, is still a resounding yes. The articles herein touch on a number of areas, including ways blockchain can be harnessed by banks to help with recruiting, how to beat Amazon as it eyes banking services and why institutions should be looking forward to the creation of the ultimate virtual assistant.

These new developments on all fronts will rapidly reshape banking. Here’s what banks can do to prepare.

Rethink commercial real estate

The rise of e-commerce is hollowing out shopping malls and strip centers, but it is also creating new interesting opportunities for commercial real estate developers and lenders.

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Use behavioral economics to win over customers

The aim is not just to get consumers to act on a credit card offer or open a savings account, but to use the insight gleaned from data to build long-term relationships.

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Employee benefits can be a great marketing tool

SunTrust and First Republic are taking benefits they offer to their workers, such as financial wellness training and student debt repayment, and extending them to corporate clients as benefits they can offer to their own employees. In doing so, they are strengthening relationships with valuable commercial customers.

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Let AI boost recruiting efforts

Some banks are turning to artificial intelligence to help broaden their applicant pools and identify the candidates who display the passion, the aptitude and the leadership skills they are looking for.

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Be a driver, not a passenger, for autonomous vehicles

Consumers are on the cusp of a seismic change in our relationship with the automobile, one that will have significant implications for stakeholders in the banking and payments landscape.

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Beware virtue signaling

There are dangers for companies that portray themselves as virtuous, particularly if their corporate cultures do not match the public stories they have been telling about themselves.

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Allow core systems to run on open-source software

Banks' embrace of open-source development could eventually go beyond creating tools and apps — to something far more radical.

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The tech giants are coming for your customers. Be ready

Banks still have advantages in the battle against big tech firms like Amazon and Facebook, but they will need to capitalize on those to survive.

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Use blockchain technology to revive peer-to-peer lending

The people-helping-people model proffered by LendingClub and others quickly foundered, but several startups aim to bring it back with the help of distributed ledger technology.

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Prepare for the ultimate virtual assistant

U.S. Bank, Bank of America and other firms are looking toward the day when the ultimate virtual assistant arrives, one capable of being personalized and working on any device.

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