A lot has changed in the past three years, hasn’t it? Just 1096 short days ago, we sat just past the middle of 2014, not knowing how drastically our world could change in a short amount of time. Think about it. In 2014, (if you’re an Apple user) the hottest phone tech in your pocket was an iPhone 5s. Apple Pay didn’t exist yet. You couldn’t tell Alexa to play your favorite music or ask her what the weather was going to be like. Jared from SubWay was still a legit spokesperson, and Donald Trump was managing his TV reality show stardom.

The financial services industry hasn’t been dormant in that time, either. In three years, open branches have declined by roughly 3.5%, consumer mobile app usage increases by 2-3% ever year across all age groups, and the use of digital marketing by financial marketers has increased by over 20%.

Not only that, our consumer sentiments about what is most important to them have changed. Drastically. Take a look at the results of the 2017 Omni-Channel Shopper study, performed by Novantas:

What factors make banking most convenient?


  1. Branches near me. (30%)
  2. A leading online/mobile app. (20%)
  3. No foreign ATM fees. (18%)
  4. Lots of branches and ATMs. (16%)


  1. A leading online/mobile app. (28%)
  2. No foreign ATM fees. (23%)
  3. Branches near me. (16%)
  4. Lots of branches and ATMs. (9%)

Based on this survey’s findings, consumers are showing their hand. They are making it very clear that the convenience of having a branch near them, or many locations to choose from, is not of utmost importance. This represents one of the first times in a measured study that consumer have moved away from defining convenience by having a physical location nearby.

Three years. That’s all it took for that move to take place.

Based on this survey, there is plenty of room for discussion on what it means to better connect with your consumers, how to serve them better, and what opportunities this opens up. But that’s all for another blog post.

The big curiosity is: what will banking look like three years from NOW? 2020 doesn’t seem that far off…but taking a look back at the past three years, it could be worlds away from where we’re at now.

Without a crystal ball, this is a tough question to answer. Will we all go to digital wallets for payments? How will we continue to fight fraud and identity theft? What’s going to be the cutting-edge trend to communicate with new customers? I suppose your guess is as good as mine!

One thing is very certain. As community financial institutions with our core consumers moving farther and farther away from needing human interaction to solve their problems and run transactions, now is the time to get out and meet them where they are to drive those conversations. Not only from digital and mobile platforms, but finding one-on-one, human interaction, ways of doing this to create personal connections.

What do you think banking will look like in 2020? Let us know…