Magazine article Independent Banker

A Turning Point for the Industry

Magazine article Independent Banker

A Turning Point for the Industry

Article excerpt

I tend to view prognostication articles as clickbait. They're either too general or too far off to provide actionable intelligence. That said, keeping an eye on emerging technologies and their potential impact on the community bank sector can help ensure your strategic plan stays on track. Here are a few predictions for the rest of the year and beyond.

* Partnerships between fintechs and banks will accelerate significantly. Fintechs are increasingly familiar with the intricacies of banking and regulation, while regulators are becoming more comfortable with fintech companies' due diligence and vendor management practices. This is a positive step, especially for community banks, which can gain a competitive advantage through fintech partnerships while continuing to offer the customer service and marketplace knowledge that are central to the community bank business model.

* We'll finally see an actual blockchain use case in production. These use cases will likely focus on areas including know-your-customer requirements, loan-process efficiencies and international payments.

* The cryptocurrency bubble will break. The market for cryptocurrencies has been overheated for some time. The lack of regulation and policing around cryptocurrency will likely pull the plug on the momentum of this 2017 phenomenon. Until a greater element of trust is built into its currency exchanges, this technology will never achieve mainstream adoption.

* The transformation of the bank branch will continue. Community banks will spend significant dollars this year to redesign branches to take up less space and be more tech-friendly. …

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