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Millennials Are Stressed About their Finances

38665745An Opportunity for Community Banks and Credit Unions

The ability to effectively distinguish themselves from their national “big chain” counterparts has been the rallying cry for most community banks and local credit unions. And if the reports of market share losses over the last two years are any indicator, it’s a battle that most are losing.

The ugly truth is, your customers will likely have to walk or drive by three to five national bank branches to get to yours; so, you better have something truly special to give them a reason to ignore all of the glitz and glamour your much better financed counterparts have to offer.

From the website www.thefinancialbrand.com, come the following insights…

  • Consumers are worried about their financial health across virtually all demographic segments. For many, this may mean living paycheck to paycheck … or worse.
  • Unsatisfied with offerings from their primary financial institution, most consumers rely on a hodgepodge of paper and digital tools, from monthly statements to electronic tracking tools available online and on mobile devices. There is a need for better options that are real-time, consolidated and easy to use.
  • Security options top the list of desired tools for managing finances and protecting identity.
  • As consumers become more aware and comfortable with digital apps across industries, they are more comfortable with digital banking solutions, opening the door for organizations that can provide integrated financial wellness applications.

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And this is where community banks and credit unions can take advantage of the significant opportunity the AI-based financial wellness tools and cutting-edge security solutions can provide them.

Most key to these solution offerings are proactive tools that provide financial wellness insight to the customer as well as alerts and notifications regarding when bills are due or potential cash flow challenges that are based on past spending and income trends.

Consumers are demanding less cumbersome and time-consuming budgeting tools. Instead of reporting that is solely based on past transactional history, present-day AI solutions are capable of crafting highly personalized customer experiences and targeted financial guidance which is based in real-time, is contextual and forecasts rather than simply reports.

And these are offerings that even the 500 pound gorillas in the marketplace are slow to offer. Today more than any other time in our history, community banks and credit unions must heed the sage advice so many of us have heard in the past.

Innovate or die.

Data Protection and Backup: Small Business, Big Risk

Data Protection and BackupLet me start off by saying that I am supremely confident that data backup and recovery for your business is not exactly at the forefront of your daily concerns.You have clients, patients, and customers to satisfy.  Inventory to manage, bills to pay and operations to control.  Your day to day business operations take up every moment of every day and there is little room to be proactive about anything.But…data backup and security is a lot like flood insurance.  You don’t really give it much thought until the coastguard pulls up to your front door in an inflatable zodiac to rescue you.

And while I am at it, I am willing to bet that if you DO experience some catastrophic computer/network disaster, you are going be REALLY concerned about getting your data back.

Systems will be down, clients won’t be getting serviced and you are going to be giving serious consideration to day drinking at work.  And if there is a problem with restoring all that data, and YOU were responsible for backing it up, let’s just say you won’t be the most popular kid in the lunchroom.

Read more: Data Protection and Backup: Small Business, Big Risk

Until It Happens to Your Business…

Are You Sure?As soon as I start talking about computer security, data breaches, and malware to small business owners, their eyes inevitably glaze over and their facial expression tells me one thing.

“I know this is important, but I am too busy dealing with today’s challenges to worry about what MIGHT happen.”

Hey, after all, this kind of thing only happens to the big companies, right?

The fact is, businesses large and small, from big retailers to small town chiropractors are being attacked.  And it isn’t until your business has ground to a halt that you start to wonder why it happened and what the heck you are going to do minimize the damage.

Read more: Until It Happens to Your Business…

The True Cost of Cyber Attacks

Cyber AttacksIf you watch the news with any kind of regularity, stories of companies falling victim to a cyber-attack almost seem commonplace nowadays.
Typically, the attacks are centered around credit card information or personal records like medical or personnel.  Either way, it never plays well on the news for the company who fell victim.

In 2017, cyber-attacks cost the global economy over $450 million and the average breach costs a company around $3.6 million in total.
Aside from this terrifying amount of money, cyber-attacks take their toll on companies in ways that are tough to recover from.

Read more: The True Cost of Cyber Attacks

Fall Back in Love With Your Business's Technology

Fall back in love with your business's technologyIf you are a business owner or manager, you can probably remember a time when acquiring new technology for your business was actually…exciting.
It was a time for unwrapping shiny new gadgets that promised incredible productivity and exciting new ways to manage your businesses.  And oh, that new electronics smell!

But as all those new tablets, touchscreens, phone systems, cameras, and laptops came into your offices, so did the headaches when they didn’t quite live up to your expectations.

After all, they needed to be connected, networked, firewalled, protected with anti-virus software, upgraded, and maintained.

Read more: Fall Back in Love With Your Business's Technology