community banks Archives - BankLabs

FinTech Can’t Beat Community Banks

By | Blog

My team and I have been called contrarian, which we will take as a compliment; we believe that the best community banks will beat the best FinTech players. Best on best so to speak.

Why do we feel this way?

Because, FinTech cannot win against modern community banks that combine their in-market, relationship-based banking with progressive technology.

To start, we define things a bit differently than most…

Community Bank(ing): ‘It is a way of doing business, not a size. It is about in-market, relationship-based banking.’

Progressive Technology: ‘Mobile-first products built to be banker-first (not bank) to enhance customer relationships, plus, marketplace technology that expands loan opportunities.’

BankLabs‘ ‘why’ is to ensure the survival and growth of community banks. Traditional financial institutions and the companies that have historically served them face disruption like never before. There are approximately 2,400 FinTech companies hunting for success and community banking customers are in their crosshairs.

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Two Traits of Community Banks that Will Survive FinTech

By | Blog

First, let me start with our bias. We believe that everyone, even millennials benefit when they have a community banking relationship.  Why? There simply is no replacement for a face-to-face conversation when something special is needed or goes wrong in your work or personal life.  FinTech startups cannot handle this easily (at least today, but watch for retail partnerships).

Don’t get me wrong, I personally use many electronic only financial institutions and would not give up my investment bank, my ability to deposit checks with a camera, etc.   But they will not have my back when I need something special or unique.  Electronic only is great for single purpose, fast, commoditized transactions for relatively simple exchanges (this too will evolve).

My point?  Community banks that focus on timely, in-market relationship-based banking will do well as we continue along the FinTech disruption continuum. But relationships alone will not be enough; community banks also need modern, easy-to-use, mobile technology for their bankers (notice my emphasis on bankers not banks) to negate the tremendous technology advantage that the new guys bring to the table.

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