Digital Banking Conference 2018: Proof Positive for Continued Growth

DBC 18

Editor's Note: Highlights at this year’s American Banker’s Digital Banking Conference include live demos, P2P conversations, workshops, and exciting keynote addresses.

D3 Banking Technology joined more than 1,000 other attendees at Digital Banking 2018 in Austin, Texas, earlier this month. Seemingly everyone at the event had very positive things to say about the quality of content and the variety of speakers. The high quality was evenly spread across the agenda from the lessons and insights in the keynote addresses to the workshops, live demos and one-on-one conversations.

A Bigger Pay Day

A digital payment service panel will certainly draw a crowd, especially one about a platform launched only 12 months ago into which big U.S. banks are putting millions of promotional dollars. During the popular Zelle case study-like presentation, event organizers literally took down a wall to double the conference room space.

Few people in the industry are suggesting P2P is an irrelevant part of an institution’s digital strategy, and those still clinging to such positions are fast approaching irrelevance. Consumers seem clear in their views, too.  P2P services are deemed an important offering by at least three out of every five customers, according to a 2018 D3 Banking survey conducted by Harris Poll.

Not to be outdone, Venmo also had its time to shine.  The impetus for this company’s creation reinforces the axiom that “necessity is the mother of invention.”  Venmo’s founders wanted a P2P service that addressed some of the deficiencies they felt existed with the limited options available so they built their own! 

The company’s three guiding criteria in its product development journey really resonated with our team:

  • must be something they’d personally use
  • must be part of a trending industry
  • must have scalability (could it be used worldwide?)

Lessons to Leverage

The level of interest in learning how other financial institutions tackle the challenges of digital transformation was consistently high.  Large crowds were common at any session that highlighted the lessons learned and best practices applied by other banks.  The proof is in the pudding, of course, and one particular session garnered considerable praise for providing quantifiable evidence of the impact of digital transformation.

That session featured Tom Butterfield, chief information officer at TCF Bank, a D3 client, who spoke about the total commitment required – from people to platform – to successfully execute a digital transformation. After moving to their new platform, the $22 billion bank saw a 500 percent increase in peak sessions for digital engagement and a 250 percent boost in digital accounts opened by existing customers.

Moving the Needle

As with many conferences, keeping pace with consumer expectations was a very common theme among speakers. Among some of the most popular, were voice integration, new customer acquisition, lending and FinTech partnerships.  

The conference had a set of demo sessions on the first and second day. The need for new account opening services that addressed the digital users’ mobile first preferences was front and center as a handful of different companies showcased different account opening options. While some focused on lending, others on commercial, the message was loud and clear: the acquisition and onboarding of new customers must be taken to a new level or institutions will see a considerable number of their Gen X, Y and Z customers heading for other options. 

The number of people joining the effort to modernize legacy online and mobile solutions is growing dramatically. A comprehensive replacement cycle in the digital banking space is no longer something around the corner; it is here.  If you are not on the bus, then you better be checking the bus routes or you may be left behind.

Hope to see you at Digital Banking 2019!