Playing with Giants – How to Compete with the "Bank of Amazon"

Posted by Susan Griffin

Apr 20, 2018 11:50:00 AM


A buzz term we hear a lot these days is GAFA – an acronym for Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. The expansion of services offered by these tech giants (and others) is considered one of the biggest threats facing the financial services market. For the sake of this blog, I’m going to pick on Amazon, since it seems to have successfully moved into the small business lending space. 

"We've had three big ideas at Amazon that we've stuck with for 18 years, and they're the reason we're successful: Put the customer first. Invent. And be patient." Jeff Bezos, CEO, Amazon 

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Topics: Relationship Management, small business, digital survival, banking, financial institution, GAFA, Amazon

The Final Four – Developing Your Winning Strategy for New Technology

Posted by Matt Meehan

Mar 23, 2018 10:12:12 AM


Reaching the Final Four requires both teamwork and effort. As John Wooden famously stated, “It’s not how big you are, it’s how big you play.” Community-based financial institutions can certainly relate to that sentiment. The fact is, playing big often translates into leveraging the technology of third-party vendors to help ensure your success and to bring the latest technology to your game without having to develop it internally.

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Topics: Relationship Management, Commercial Lending, Processes & Procedures, Data, fintech, basketball, Final Four, basketball tournament, third-party vendors

Customer Journey Mapping Explained in Journey’s Hit Songs

Posted by Nicole Harper

Mar 14, 2018 11:08:43 AM

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Topics: Relationship Management, Customer Experience, Business Continuity

Closing the Loop as Our Commercial Lending Suite Evolves

Posted by Patrick True

Mar 9, 2018 1:40:00 PM

Throughout 2017, the ProfitStars Lending Solutions team used the "S-curve graphic" to demonstrate the function of each system component. The S-curve followed the borrower’s journey through the lending process. While our competitors were building end-to-end functionality, our systems were designed to cover the full scope of small business lending, which went beyond end-to-end to include post-funding collateral management, portfolio management, renewals, and more.

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Topics: Relationship Management, Commercial Lending, Lending, fintech, loan origination, software, small business

The Timely Death of End-to-End

Posted by Gary Lewis

Feb 23, 2018 1:30:00 PM


The term end-to-end has been used by software vendors and bankers in recent years to describe loan origination systems. I heard this term no less than 30 times during a recent banking conference. I hereby announce today that the term is dead, or at least should be.

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Topics: Relationship Management, Commercial Lending, Risk Management, loan origination, predictive analytics, software

The Future of Commercial Loan Underwriting Has Arrived!

Posted by Debbie Gross

Jan 12, 2018 2:00:00 PM


Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

The underwriting process for commercial loans has been evolving slowly for more than 30 years. Yet, for most community-based institutions, the basic components have remained constant – until now. Study after study over the past five years has indicated that borrowers want the friendly, local decisions and customer service that community-based institutions are known for. At the same time, they are demanding faster decisions and more efficient credit application methods.

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Topics: Relationship Management, Commercial Lending

Ubiquity Is Key!

Posted by Al Suosso

Nov 9, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Truly effective customer relationship management (CRM) can only be accomplished if it is adopted on an enterprise-wide basis. Achieving an exceptional adoption rate has been a continuing challenge for financial institutions (FIs) of all sizes. One of the biggest challenges has been the lack of access to CRM tools within the applications that are used on a day to day basis by associates in varying departments within the FI.

To do their job efficiently, tellers must remain largely focused on the teller processing application presented on their desktop. Quickly handling routine and more complex transactions for customers is their primary role; however, a teller has a unique opportunity to provide customers with much more than a good transaction experience.

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Topics: Relationship Management, Customer Experience

Using Information to Effectively Engage With Clients

Posted by Brad Dahlman

Aug 10, 2016 10:00:00 AM

How often do you go to your favorite restaurant or shop at your favorite store?

I personally visit Costco every week to pick up items for my family of five. This gives Costco 52 opportunities per year to “engage with me” at their store, for roughly 45 minutes each week. Now turning to banking; how many times a year do you engage with your clients?

In a recent FDIC report titled “Brick and Mortar Banking Remains Prevalent in an Increasingly Virtual World” and Brett King’s article “What the FDIC study on bank branches misses and it’s a massive hole”, there is a healthy discussion of this topic – how many times do clients visit your branch? 

While this key stat isn’t available for US banks, I was drawn to one chart from a UK bank. Spare Bank has tracked visits per year and from 1995 to 2016 the results are staggering – branch visits dropped from 24.5 visits per year to 1.3 visits per year. Put simply, clients visit their bank or credit union once or twice a year and their favorite store weekly!

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Topics: Relationship Management, Profitability Management

Consumer, Do We Really Know You?

Posted by Milton King

Aug 28, 2015 4:18:19 PM


I was having breakfast with some friends recently, when I noticed something odd about the conversation.  None of them were talking about their banking institution.  Nor did someone breakout their new banking app and share it with everyone else at the table.  Clearly these people were not “in the business”.

Because I have been around the banking industry for so long, I decided to test the market.  I smoothly inserted the question, “who do you bank with?”  Once I got their answers, I asked “why ____?”  To a guy who is in the business, their answers were very low-tech.  The top three answers were as follows:

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Topics: Relationship Management, Customer Experience

How to Grow Existing Client Relationships

Posted by Barbara Kempf

Aug 28, 2015 4:16:23 PM


Nearly every business today is working to “create, retain, and grow relationships profitably.” Successful financial institutions excel at creating, retaining, and growing client relationships.

Conventional wisdom across many industries indicates that it is less costly to generate new sales from current clients than to initiate new sales to prospects (the clients of our competitors). Let’s examine some of the ways a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system can help us grow relationships with current clients.

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Topics: Relationship Management

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