What if we told you that your IT foundation could be the secret to driving a service and performance revolution at your bank?
It’s not as fanciful as it sounds. In fact, in a recent survey Integris completed of more than 2,000 C-suite banking leaders, more than 80 percent said they plan to increase IT spending in 2024. Forty percent ranked digital transformation a priority in 2024, too.
Banks and credit unions of all sizes are investing in exciting new user interfaces, robust cloud-based productivity suites and disaster recovery systems, tough new cybersecurity defenses, and business intelligence systems. It’s a lot to manage, especially if your team is mired in the day-to- day activities that come with keeping your systems up and running.
So how do you get ahead, and start leading your IT organization the way you’ve always wanted?
Hire a managed IT service provider. They can take all your administrative tasks off your plate, so you can replace them with the high-level thinking that can make a difference for your company. They can also provide critical consulting services, like third-party vendor reviews, or compliance consulting, that can help get your growth initiatives off the ground.
Community banks and credit unions are using managed service providers to drive innovation in all kinds of creative ways. Here are some of the key ways you can, too.
Upping Your Cybersecurity Game
In 2023, the average cost of a single data breach is $4.45 million, according to IBM. Yet, the horror stories for banks and credit unions just keep getting scarier. In fact, in March of 2023, the largest data breach in Australian history occurred at lender Latitude Financial, which lost the data of nearly 8 million people to ransomware thieves, costing the bank nearly $50 million in mitigation and damage control to date. The bank admitted recently they are not paying the ransom and unlikely to ever get the data back.
Exceptional security vigilance is the only thing that can thwart a determined hacker, and the investment of time and money that takes can be daunting. Even in this heightened security environment, an MSP can help you see what you’re missing, and shore up your defenses in a more manageable way. A qualified, FI-Ready MSP can help you ask transformative questions, such as:
Improving Your Policy Posture
Do you have policies in place to cover all your IT operations and functions? Does your staff have disaster recovery procedures in place? Do you have policies to cover emerging technologies, like using AI for client communications, or business intelligence?
Evaluating your Cyber Risk insurance
does it cover enough? Is your compliance effort ready for your next review? How much will you need to spend to keep it growing along with your institution’s growth?
Finding the Gaps in Your Systems
It’s not enough to have the cybersecurity tools in place that are required by regulation. When was the last time you looked at the compatibility between your tools? Are all systems upgraded to the fullest extent? After all their patches and upgrades, do they still work together, as advertised, to mitigate threats? Are your security tools appropriate for the rigors of the financial services industry?
Evaluating the security awareness of your staff
Can your staff pass a phishing test? Do they have regular security awareness training, and is it covering the right material? What are their training scores? Does your bank or credit union have KPIs around the performance of your people in this training?
Your bank is only as secure as its weakest link. The right MSPs can help you find those weaknesses, and make big, substantive security changes far more quickly than your internal staff could do on its own.
Learn more: Download our latest survey of 2,000 IT Leaders at Community Banks and Credit Unions. “Understanding US Banks’ Annual IT Spend in 2024”
Enhancing Customer Experiences Through Technology
Omni channel banking is the new norm for financial institutions of all sizes and types. Customers are used to having access to their account through their mobile devices and laptops, and they expect their online experiences to integrate well with their in-person banking experiences. If you’re like most community banks and credit unions, you’ve spent the last few years making sure all your systems are integrated for the online banking experience. So much so, that most of your transactions are likely done in this arena.
But, beyond checking balances, making deposits, and paying bills, have you fully explored the ways you could be making the customer experience better online? According to a recent McKinsey report, many banks are so invested in their new online omnichannel offerings that they’re reconsidering their physical footprint, entirely.
If you’re serious about the mobile banking experience for your customers, an MSP can help you think through the system issues that come with service innovations, such as:
- Mobile mortgage applications you can make online in minutes, and allow borrowers to attach real estate listing links
- Biometric identification that allows customers to sign documents digitally
- Predictive models that help you identify customers in need of products, and craft the right offering and messaging for them
- Better online bots to help customers complete transactions
- Creating a “one banker” advisory solutions that allow your customers to access their banking advisors through video, voice and text
There are enormous benefits that come from centering the mobile experience as your primary service platform. A good MSP can help you think through the system infrastructure challenges, regulatory hoops, and implementation roadmaps necessary to embrace these revolutionary service concepts.
Finding the Right Scalable Solutions
Online banking has put more stress on your systems than ever. In fact, according to a 2022 Forbes Advisor Digital Banking Survey, 78 percent of adults in the US prefer to bank via a mobile app or website, and the majority of adults use their debit cards as their primary payment method. Is it any wonder then, that so many of the banks Integris surveyed are looking at making big investments in their IT infrastructure?
An MSP can help you align your systems with your overall business and service goals. Specifically, they can help you predict traffic levels and system loads that come with big innovations, then accurately assess the investment and implementation steps necessary to deal with those new traffic demands. They can help you:
- Find the right cloud productivity tools to help your team work smarter and faster
- Evaluate new AI tools for safety and productivity
- Build cloud platforms that link seamlessly into your cloud backup and disaster recovery systems
- Find the right cloud/server providers that can grow as your organization grows, so you never have to worry about running out of system capacity, and you never pay for more than you need
IT Innovation at Community Banks and Credit Unions Is All About the Right Partnerships
Your IT infrastructure is the foundation of everything you do at your financial institution. Your community spirit and local expertise is the point of difference that makes your bank/credit union competitive against larger institutions. Why not use your IT infrastructure to help your institution be more secure, accessible, and customer-focused than ever before?
Your MSP can help take you there. Interested in learning more about what the Integris Financial Institution Division can do for your IT? Contact us today for a free consultation.