The Modular Future

February 8, 2016

Digital platforms are radically altering the industry’s value chain

The Growing Pains of Business Ownership

February 4, 2016
/   Insights

This article by Stefanie O’Connell first appeared on in November 2015. Confession – I’ve made a major mistake in growing my business. Though my earnings have climbed exponentially over the past two years, I found...

The benefits and challenges of the Internet of Things

February 3, 2016
/   Insights

The convergence of operations technology and information technology presents new and expanding market opportunities. The “Internet of Things” is a center point of this convergence. IoT can bring remarkable benefits to today’s ever-changing business...

Mobile Banking Surprises Yet to Come

It had to happen, and apparently it has: In the year just passed, according to the new report “2015 Mobile Banking, Smartphone, and Tablet Forecast” from Javelin Strategy & Research, 30% of customers used...

Cause and Effect: If you build it, will they come?

July 23, 2014
/   Spotlight

Many financial institutions assume that digital banking is lucrative because the most valuable customers happen to bank online. While there is certainly a correlation between online bankers and higher profitability, quantitative evidence suggests that...

Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services

April 11, 2011
/   Insights

Today, Intuit released the latest edition of the Intuit 2020 report, Intuit 2020 Report: The Future of Financial Services, which identifies and examines four key trend areas that will  transform the financial services industry...

Fast Facts: Student Loans

January 22, 2013
/   Insights

The Financial Services Roundtable recently released another iteration of its Fast Facts, reliable, bullet-point research about issues facing the financial services industry. Topics span TARP, Dodd-Frank, insurance, lending, retirement savings and more.  Below are some updated Fast...

The Top 10 Trends in the Digital Banking Industry

December 18, 2013
/   Spotlight

2014 is rapidly approaching and as the year wraps, the Digital Insight team has pulled together the top 10 trends in the digital banking industry based on data and trends from studying financial institutions....

Making Banking Fun: Gamification in Financial Services

August 5, 2013
/   Insights

Recently, the team sat in on American Banker’s webinar, “Gamification in Financial Services: Five Proven Ways to Get an Edge,” which shared how leading brands in financial services have applied gamification to reach...

Technology M&As: The Beats Go On

May 29, 2014
/   Insights

The ongoing fascination with Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics is entirely understandable, because it’s a cool story. However, it also says a lot about what’s going on between finance and tech.

What We’re Reading

May 5, 2011
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below. Virtual Banking Worlds Provide Tangible Lessons American...

Small Business: Perception vs. Reality

November 21, 2012
/   Insights

In the most recent election cycle, like most others before it, the one sector of the economy that got the most attention was small business.  This is the future, we were told by every...

What We’re Reading: Thanksgiving Edition

November 22, 2012
/   Spotlight

Below are interesting stories the staff has been reading over the past week. What have you been reading? Let us know in the comments section below or Tweet @bankingdotcom. Mobile Thursday? Plans for Thanksgiving...

Innovation requires understanding your client base and providing differentiated services that clients will find value in. Banks must innovate and be nimble to address emerging client needs in the neighborhoods they serve. As community banks, we must recognize and be responsive to what our clients are demanding of us. Innovation efforts should focus on the client experience in terms of both the physical engagement within the bank space as well as how we address the personal relationship with our clients. Key tenets of branch innovation are: showing appreciation for your customers, minimizing the difference between self-service to fully assisted operations, implementing universal bankers, and integrating architecture that reflects the strategy of your bank.

Start by asking, “What services should we provide that offer value to our clients?” For example, Lead Bank has answered this question by creating a standalone division of the bank, Lead Business Advisors, that provides a range of services to business owners and their business. Services include business bookkeeping, operational and financial consulting as well as small business brokerage advice. Lead Business Advisors (LBA) is another way we give value to our clients – by providing more than just traditional banking services that clients expect.

Providing more services than clients expect also feeds directly into how banks respect and show appreciation toward their clients. The perennial challenge in the industry is for banks to find ways to foster deeper and more satisfying relationships with clients. There are silos between banking services – front line services and lending, not to mention wealth management. These silos create friction for clients and reasons for clients to seek an alternative banking relationship.

For those clients that choose a deep and extensive relationship with your bank, it is important to demonstrate the value of your bank to clients. At Lead Bank, we addressed this issue head on by offering a membership program. We provide clients a wide range of discounts on treasury and bookkeeping services in addition to cash back on loan interest paid for those clients that choose a deep and extensive relationship with us.

Banks should train their Bankers to assist clients with a wide variety of services from basic checking and savings to lending without handing the relationship off to another banking officer. The concept of universal banking is important and another example of creating innovation when thinking about the client’s relationship with his/her Banker.

Earlier, I mentioned physical engagement within the branch space. It is important to allow the client to engage with the bank in an omni-channel experience and avoid any friction points. At Lead Bank, for example, physical location represents ground floor innovation where the digital, online and personal direct experience works together in a seamless manner. This is the perfect illustration in which Lead Bank minimizes the differences between self-service to fully assisted.

Josh Rowland is the Vice Chairman of Lead Bank, a Missouri-chartered commercial bank with three locations in and around Kansas City, Missouri.  Josh also serves as the Executive Director of Lead Business Advisors, a division of Lead Bank that advises companies on strategic planning, reorganizations and financing as well as the Executive Director of Lead Ventures, an early stage investment group.


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Compelling voices and contributed content from around the web

James W. Gabberty

Gabberty is a professor of information systems at Pace University in New York City. An alumnus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University Polytechnic Institute, he has served as an expert witness in telecommunication and information security at the federal and state levels and holds numerous certifications from SANS & ISACA.

Zachary Ehrlich

25-year-old writer, and as a native San Franciscan, I am unreasonably loyal to Bank of America, if only for their superhero-like origin story, involving the 1906 earthquake and Italian fruit vendors.

Marisa Mann

Marisa Mann brings over 15 years of experience in consulting and financial services industries to the Solstice team, working on large scale enterprise initiatives across many technologies, including specializing in the digital space – Internet and mobile. Mann is passionate about mobile and the endless possibilities for the enterprise, delivering business value through strong brand recognition and driving to excellence in the consumer experience. Prior to Solstice, Mann worked at JP Morgan Chase, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants, Washington Mutual, Inc, and Accenture.

Brad Strothkamp