Bankers identify 2020’s greatest strengths and challenges

When preparing for a new year, it helps to assess what went well and what didn’t in the previous year. This exercise helps keep track of past triumphs for further success and turn past deficiencies into future victories.  

To understand where bankers feel their strengths lie heading into the new decade  and where they need to improve  CSI, a leading provider of fintech solutions, polled banking executives from around the country, representing 227 financial institutions from across the asset size spectrum. The data from this survey was then collected and used to create an executive report to help bankers get a pulse on the industry’s hot topics and strategies.  

When asked how they would rate their bank’s 2019 performance in key areas on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest, executives felt quite confident in several areas:  

Customer retention and compliance: above average 

Bankers gave themselves high marks on two of the most important areas for bank profitability and safety and soundness: customer retention (4/5) and compliance readiness (3.9/5). 

Cybersecurity readiness: another high mark 

Bankers say they are ready for cyber threats, rating themselves 3.7/5 in cybersecurity readiness. And while it’s promising that institutions feel confident about their cybersecurity readiness, it’s also concerning. Experts warn that as institutions get a grip on the latest hacking techniques and install preventative measures, cyber criminals adjust and adapt.  

In-branch and digital experience: room for improvement  

At 3.5/5 bankers think they are providing a good enough in-branch experience for their customers. However, fewer  3.3/5 — say the same about their digital experience, by which more and more customers prefer to physical banksDavid Albertazzi, research director for Aite Group, said: “It’s good that bankers recognize that the digital experience they are providing their customers is not fully mature or where it needs to be yet. If they want to meet the challenge of attracting a younger demographic, they must be able to deliver an exceptional and personalized customer experience on a digital platform.  

Further, challenges in retaining quality talent (3/5) seem to persist throughout the industry.  

Customer data management: less than stellar 

Heading into 2020 2.5/5 believe that collecting and utilizing customer data is by far the greatest challenge for bankers. Recognizing this deficiency should drive institutions to more effectively leverage customer data  whether held by themselves or their vendors  to create new revenue streams. 

Download the full executive report  

For a full breakdown of the data from the survey, including insight on compliance, technology, talent acquisition and cybersecurity, download the full Banking Priorities 2020 Executive Report.