Of course the silver lining had to show up at some point – at our recent US client conference, we surveyed 80 mid-sized US banks and 75% agreed that the credit crunch is presenting real and “unprecedented” opportunities for transaction banking business growth.
That’s a strong rallying call and perhaps not entirely surprising when we have seen the large banks greatly injured by this crisis and all those left standing going back to basics for steady income return – I like to think I was one of the first to stick my
neck out and call the payments business sexy for banks in 2009 and so far this is proving very true.
No doubt, some mid-size banks are getting aggressive to seize market advantage and are going against market predictions to invest strongly in new technology (50% said they are investing more in transaction banking than other areas). But what I found interesting
is that almost everyone (75%) agrees that the most effective way to compete is to extend personalized service. And who better to provide the personalized touch than the local banker.
There has long been a clash between people and technology – especially when it comes to service. We want services quickly, but we want to speak to a “real person” when we get in touch with companies. Too often we forget that technology is imperative to providing
improved service. In the march towards technological superiority, it will be those banks that can combine personalized service with efficiency that will win out.