CBA LIVE 2018: A Focus on Digital and Security as Growth Drivers

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Editor's Note: The D3 Banking team attended CBA Live and in this week's blog, we provide a brief recap of the conference. 

D3 Banking Technology joined more than 1,400 other attendees at Consumer Bankers Association’s CBA LIVE in Orlando, Fla. earlier this month to discuss fresh trends and best practices in the retail banking industry. The combination of informative programming, expert discussions and a host of networking opportunities created an atmosphere that was energetic and engaging.

With the convention hall full of executives from major, multi-billion dollar institutions, the financial dialogue was fast and far-reaching, specifically focusing on digital transformation, security, lending and, as expected, regulatory developments. Some takeaways from this year’s event:

Digital Transformation

The digital discussion was not just about banking, but also the larger question of digital transformation. The enthusiastic response to D3’s panel, “To Infinity & Beyond: How to Prepare Today for the Expectations of Tomorrow's Digital User,” confirmed the strong focus on and commitment to digital transformation. Many from the approximately 75 persons who attended the session were still there 45 minutes later speaking with Mark Troske, senior vice president of TCF Bank’s Digital Center of Excellence.

According to Troske, “If digital transformation is done right, technology is not an expense a bank or credit union has to deal with. It is rather a growth driver the financial institution has to plan for.” In a very tight 10-month transformation, TCF experienced a 450-500 percent increase in concurrent user sessions on its new digital platform, and was, for the first time, positioned to accommodate new iPhone features into its mobile platform even before the iPhone X was officially released.

Security

A key message related to security was that the threat is not going away, and there is no single invention or innovation that will eliminate the creativity of criminals. That said, the discussions around biometrics -- and the promise of its strong user authentication method that eliminates customer friction -- were of particular interest to attendees. The challenges around security, even with biometrics (as well as the more expansive category of behavior metric, which incorporates biometrics and the consumers’ habits and patterns) should not be obstacles to moving toward other forms of UI/UX including voice-based interfaces.

Lending

With FinTech’s continuing to conquer territory in several forms of consumer lending, bankers responsible for this line of business packed into sessions about the topics. As interest rates move upward for the first time in many years, it seems certain that this area of financial services will continue to be one that financial institutions work to reclaim and extend their reach. Digital will play a role in this especially as banks and credit unions begin to leverage the massive amounts of data they have on their customers and members.

Regulatory

One message that was consistent throughout the discussions on the regulatory environment may be surprising to some:  regulations are a necessary part of the financial services industry. Of course, this message was counterbalanced by the line of reasoning that said, “Yes, but, too much regulation kills the ability for institutions to compete with disrupters that typically do not have to operate with the same type of oversight.” The recent developments in Washington seem to have resurrected the belief that the current administration will provide some relief to financial institutions in this area.

There were many other topics covered at the conference. The bottom line is that all in all, the Consumer Bankers Association hosted another great event this year, and we’re already looking forward to the 2019 conference in Washington, D.C.
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