The Wait is Over - Bankers as Buyers is Back: Part 1

WMA Blog (11)

It can be tough to keep up with what's new in fintech, industry trends, and competitive insight in today's fast-paced and forward-thinking environment. From ever-evolving consumer preferences to the continued uncertainty of the global pandemic, the industry has undoubtedly been "through the ringer" as of late.  

Banks, credit unions and fintechs (big and small) are relentless in their pursuit to overcome these newfound challenges, meet customer demands and modernize legacy technology. This year's Bankers as Buyers paints a picture of resilience within an industry that virtually serves as the backbone of the economy. 

Our annual report provides a consolidated collection of various viewpoints from thought leaders across the industry. In our two-part blog series, we will outline the top trends of 2022. 

Enhancing CX through technology integration  

Banks will explore expanding their technology while ensuring that new capabilities integrate with one another and with legacy systems. Contrary to a few years ago, banks are carefully evaluating the partnerships they enter with fintechs to guarantee the solutions work and match their strategy. "2022 will be a year of getting the most out of your investment and making what you might have thrown together with duct tape and paper clips be more seamless," said Marcie Bomberg-Montoya, principal and strategic advisory services leader for Wipfli LLP.  

Many banks have great technologies but lack the necessary supporting technology to be a complete solution. However, banks will seek to fill this gap throughout the year by working with third parties using APIs or their core providers. In 2022 the customer is still king and customer experience is a critical driver in the financial industry. Banks are looking for tech vendors to provide an all-inclusive digital integration to match the customer's propensity toward digital options.  

Rising popularity in cryptocurrency 

Last year we saw a rise in public interest surrounding cryptocurrency. As more and more consumers are already buying crypto through other platforms, this method is no longer something banks can ignore and has already garnered some institutional investors.  

Although cryptocurrency may be a future consideration for banks, many speculate that most banks will have some type of involvement by the end of the year, even if this means just researching the service. "I would predict that the vast majority of banks have already initiated plans to enable customers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies or they will have plans to do so in short order," stated Derrick Bretz, vice president of payment strategy for Computer Services, Inc (CSI). Cryptocurrency is a trend bankers will need to keep their eye on and investigate ways to get involved.   

Expanding payment offerings to compete with non-banks 

Payments are the new doorway banks need to enter to start their financial relationship with a customer. In 2022, banks will seek to enhance their payment offerings to challenge non-bank competitors. "Customers want a way to buy and to see everything under one digital umbrella. What is important to the customer is a way to pay that is easy and convenient," said Keith Ash, senior vice president, new business for SRM.  

Banks will be examining how to improve the digital experience for different types of payments, such as incorporating data enrichment services for card customers. Real-time payments and digital wallets will continue to increase, so bankers will need to work hard to ensure that their debit or credit card is the one loaded on platforms like Venmo and Zelle.  

Come back next week for the second edition of the Bankers as Buyers recap and download the full report for more insights from the leading professionals in the banking industry. Download Bankers as Buyers

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