Banking Dive: 3 ways community banks can harness the changing definition of ‘community’

Banking Dive, February 19, 2020: 3 ways community banks can harness the changing definition of ‘community’

Many community banks are in a sink-or-swim moment.

They’ve taken steps to offer customers the same features and functionalities as bigger banks and neobanks, but they are up against another challenge that technology investments won’t solve: The elements that draw consumers to one financial provider over another, and who they turn to for advice when making a decision about a financial provider, has shifted. My own children, both in their 20s, recently switched to community banks because of recommendations from friends and family and positive online and social media reviews.

This is a departure from relying solely on the local physical presence that has helped entrench community banks into their localities. Technology, social media and the Internet of Things have changed what it means to be part of a community, and who people trust. Community isn’t limited to a physical place. It’s a common ideology, set of interests or an affiliation to which people feel a strong pull and sense of belonging. This shift presents an amazing opportunity for community banks to reinvent who they serve, why and the value they bring to that customer base.

Here are three ways community banks can use the changing definition of community to reimagine their strategic vision.

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