Striking consensus at the NetFinance conference

May 6th, 2013 | Posted by
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I spoke recently during the mobile track at the annual NetFinance conference in Arizona.  My slot at the end of the first day meant that by the time my turn rolled around, I was faced with good news and bad news.  It was good that there was so much agreement among all the participants, and that the messages that I’d prepared were consistent with those of other presenters.  The bad news was that few of my messages were new, and I didn’t want to bore my audience by repeating what they’d already heard.  So I started by recapping the threads that kept appearing over the course of a stimulating day.

Key takeaways on what was important:

  1. Mobile: Critically important; the change from just a year ago is stunning
  2. Location:  Especially as a distinguishing feature of mobile
  3. Customer experience: You’re competing against expectations set by non-financial firms. It’s not just mobile, it’s not even just digital, it’s the unified customer experience, across the bank.  And that’s not easily quantifiable
  4. Business case:   Those in the room agree it’s a little squishy, but make-able, but it’s critically important to executive leadership. Many of the exhibitors and speakers are working toward providing solutions that will make capturing that data easier
  5. Data: Capturing insights and measuring / analyzing results is critical; it’s best to build in these capabilities at the beginning; experiments are even better so that the causality / correlation puzzle can more easily be solved
  6. Regulation: Serving customers digitally is harder for banks than, say, retailers, but that’s no excuse – customers still expect a great and valuable service
  7. Customer: The number of banks who touted putting the customer first was extraordinary.  Now we have to see whether their actions follow through on these encouraging words.  Is mobile a chance to teach them new habits?

The degree of consensus around the importance of mobile was striking.  The challenge for the bankers attending, and for the vendors helping them, is to move from preaching to the choir who attended NetFinance to bringing new members into a broader congregation.  Business cases coupled with compelling anecdotes, examples and case studies will help with this. Before embarking on any new digital strategy today, firms should embrace experimentation and data analysis.

Here’s the NetFinance link: http://www.wbresearch.com/netfinanceusa/home.aspx

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