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Research Survey Highlight: Use of Technology

Below is an excerpt from the 2019 Community Bank Research Conference publication, highlighting one finding from the Community Bank Survey. You can read the full publication here.

Community banks have long been on the cusp of a technological revolution that would require either a radical change in their business models or, possibly, a merger partner to help them achieve the scale necessary to offer the technology that customers expect. In the 2016 survey, bankers noted that they faced, but “had yet to feel the full effects” of, growing competition from data-driven loan underwriting technologies. The threat, in other words, appeared to be postponed. The question then, as well as today, is “for how long?”

Key Points:

  • Remote deposit capture was offered by 79% of banks, the same percentage reported in the 2018 survey. As was the case then, about 8% of banks this year said they planned to introduce this service in the future. Responses to supplemental questions indicated that matching the competition trumped profitability in motivation. One banker noted that remote deposit capture was instrumental in attracting new commercial customers.
  • Electronic bill presentment was offered by 83% of banks, which is within the range observed in prior surveys. This may suggest that community bankers are not conceding leadership in this area to peer-to-peer competitors; in fact, several bankers said they are introducing new digital payment networks.
  • Mobile banking is expanding to the point of saturation, as more than 97% of banks either offered these services or planned to do so in the future. In the 2014 survey, less than 60% of banks said they offered mobile banking. The rate of expansion has slowed in more recent years.
  • Nearly 59% of banks said they have adequate relationships with outside providers of digital banking products and services. 
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