How to Win in the Fintech Olympics [5 Competitive Tips]
Are you wondering how to help your financial institution better compete in the changing online banking landscape? Maybe you're concerned that the shift of consumers toward Fintech online-only banks might eventually drive your FI out of business? (If not, maybe you should be concerned.)
Well here's a few tips for how to position your institution for Fintech [Olympic] success!
1. Training is KeyIn the regular Olympics it takes years of training for athletes to reach their peak performance level. But in today's consumer banking environment, most FIs don't have years to get their act together. So here's a little secret... because your staff are the key to your overall success, investing in regular, high quality training now can go a long way to setting you up for future success. And a well-trained workforce will be absolutely essential in the new digital banking market place.
Conversely, sitting back and allowing your employees to enjoy the current status quo will have the inverse effect. We suggest that FIs require all staff to do real, meaningful continuing education. Push them to attend at least one national conference each year and take some kind of new certification or training. One of the best ways to stay ahead of the game is making sure your staff are up on new trends and technological innovations, and that doesn't happen by accident. Training is everything!
2. Not Everyone Can Win the Gold
So almost every credit union or community bank we work with has the same primary goal: Drive more core deposits by growing the number of members/customers who use your FI as their primary financial institution (PFI). But here's the thing... achieving PFI status with a new prospect is REALLY, REALLY hard.
So instead of spending exorbitant amounts of your budget trying to attract brand new customers, consider instead working to impact other smaller indicators that show a member is moving in the right direction. For example, even if you have a healthy loan pipeline through indirect means, don't give up on offering another lending product or service to those customers. Often it's the second loan or opportunity to save a member money that will build enough buy-in to move a checking account.
3. Make Sure You Follow the Rules
As in any sport, financial institutions have rules, (lots, and lots or rule) and these rules simply MUST be followed. Now, are all of these regulations fair and necessary? Probably not. But crying about the undue nature of regulations isn't a solution. You can fight that fight on Capital Hill in your spare time, but in the mean time, don't forget to follow the rules currently in place!
So, in regards to your website, we suggest bringing your website up to ADA compliance. Though this may not be convenient, it's a requirement, and it's one that will benefit your FI in other ways as well. Most updates for ADA compliance also benefit the SEO and general functionality of your website.
Download Now: How to Create SMART Goals for your Institution's Growth
4. Be Ready to MOVE!
Listen, people are on the move constantly. If your FI doesn't have a mobile app that has killer features you're about to be dead in the water! And overall mobile banking usage is a great indication of whether or not a customer is likely to move their accounts or remain with your institution.
According to the Financial Brand "Recent findings from FindABetterBank indicate that 60% of consumers under age 34 consider mobile deposit to be a “must have” or “nice to have” feature. In fact, account holders who use mobile deposit are less likely to change banking relationships than those who do not utilize the remote deposit capabilities."
Consider creative ways to improve your mobile app adoption with current customers and make sure that your front line staff are talking about your app features during every single new account opening.
5. Know Your Competition & Your Goals
Remember, your customers or members have lots of options for retail banking. If they've chosen your institution there's a reason why. Conversely, if they've decided to leave you need to know those reasons as well. So don't forget to ask!
We recommend you conduct regular member surveys to understand brand sentiment and an annual competitive analysis to better position your products and services in the marketing place. You should also regularly update your SMART Goals for growth so that your team knows what they are working toward and how they plan to get there. These targets need to be timely, realistic and measurable, among other things.
6. Celebrate Your Success
Finally, don't forget to celebrate your achievements and those of your team! Giving recognition when and where it's due is a huge part of motivating your staff and keeping your FI's team moving in the right direction. And don't forget to recognize effort along the way as well as achievement of goals in the end.
If you'd like us to help your financial institution with any or all of these winning approaches email us today for a free assessment!
About Meredith Olmstead
Meredith Olmstead is the CEO and Founder of Social Stairway, LLC, which provides Digital Marketing & Sales services to Credit Unions and Affiliated Organizations. With experience working with financial institutions in markets of various sizes around the United States, and as an experienced Director of Online Marketing, she has helped design and implement numerous marketing and sales campaigns. Since 2013 Meredith has led the Social Stairway team, working exclusively with Credit Unions, taking staff step-by-step through the process of launching all of their Digital Marketing efforts, as well as implementing full Inbound Marketing campaigns and providing Sales Enablement training and support. Meredith recommends a very clear and measureable strategy to all of her clients, and then works with them to re-evaluate the success of these efforts on a continuing basis, all with an eye on moving toward a clear return on your online sales and marketing investment.