How do I get more innovative?

These days, consumers expect state-of-the-art banking technology and services, which means community financial institutions are under constant pressure to keep up with the competition. But there are so many new offerings out there, it’s enough to make your head spin. How do you know what will work for your institution and what is just a flash in the pan?

It’s important to have some core principles in place that keep you on track to hit your goals when searching for new products. Here are some things to be mindful of during that process.


Look for products that draw consumers in

The first step is to get consumers in branch — whether that’s in person or online. 80% of the U.S. population heads to the internet before opening a new checking account.3 So you need marketing that cuts through the clutter, as well as a strong online presence.

At the same time, these attention-grabbing efforts mean nothing if you aren’t able to convert at the point of sale, or evaluate your effectiveness through data. By incorporating a focus on training, on-boarding, research, and analytics, you’re ensuring you are communicating consistently across every touchpoint, and also making strategic choices as you go.


Search for offerings that keep new account holders happy

Once you’ve got them, it’s important to deliver on your promise in order to keep them happy. That starts by offering products and services that people want and are looking for. But that alone isn’t enough. To make them stay, you have to continue to offer the benefits that sold them — or better.

For example, rewards are twice as important to Millennials than other age groups.2 So be sure not only that you have a rewards account or program, but that it also offers the kind of rewards that keeps your account holders excited and motivated to use their accounts.


Ask these questions before investing in new technology

When considering adding a new partner or offering a new product, there’s a lot to know — and it’s not always clear where to look for help. Here are some questions to keep in mind:

  • Will this technology attract Millennials, Gen Z?

  • Will this tool help differentiate us from other financial institutions?

  • Does this technology integrate with our core?

  • Does this provider have the back office necessary to support our needs?

  • Is this partner evolving with industry trends or are they a one-hit wonder?


With all the different options available and the upkeep required, it can feel a bit overwhelming. Rather than seek a multitude of partners who each handle a few, short-term agenda items, you could choose fewer companies who do more for your institution. You might even find one that to serve as an all-in-one solution, constantly innovating to keep you ahead of the game and out of the exhausting homework loop.


1 “Consumer Banking Insights Study,” Kasasa & Harris Poll, 2013.

2 “Consumer Banking Insights Study,” Kasasa & Harris Poll, 2015.

3 AOL & Oliver Wyman, "Making the Switch: Checking Account Path to Purchase.”

Tags: Strategy, FinTech