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Nothing dull about drones

Drones can deliver for banks

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

Is it feasible to use a drone to make a deposit? The next question, why would you? That would be silly, particularly if your institution offers mobile capture.

You could use drones, however, for a multitude of other banking purposes.

Crop inspections, property inspections, inventory control, construction status, and even property appraisals are all on my own list. And that list will continue to grow as creative banking minds begin looking at this technology seriously.

You could even use drone technology to fight fraud.

An anti-fraud mission for drones

Back in the in the eighties my then bank employer purchased a failed financial institution from FDIC when it was discovered that the 30-year mortgages used to purchase finished homes on a real estate development in Texas were for houses that had a key fault.

They did not exist.

Loan losses are charged against the Allowance for Loan and Lease Losses (ALLL) and then against bank capital. When allowance and capital is gone … poof, bank fails!

It was a massive fraud perpetrated by a team that knew how to deceive the system. It resulted in several individuals going to jail, but a lot of people lost because of this event.

The stock-holders of the bank, the financial institutions that purchased participations on the development and mortgage portfolio, and vendors of the originating bank all lost money. Then came the employees that lost their jobs, and the small community shocked by the failure of a respected community bank. Sad things all around.

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In today’s context, this situation is not as possible. Why? With the availability of satellite aerial photography and drones, it is highly unlikely that this type of fraud will happen again.

Basically, when technology advances, we should advance our thinking. Yes, technology can be amazing and exciting, but we should not allow the amazing accomplishments to distract us from finding ways to successfully use this technology creatively in banking.

Looking back can be cool. Remember the ATM card and the telephone bank where you needed a touch tone phone? We need to move on and work hard at being creative.

Come fly with me

Drones can deliver! That is, anywhere we find it hard to get to, or a place that needs to be seen fast.

A drone can render distance, location, and time all non-issues. So, applying that concept to your institution and the available technology can be a fun exercise, but it can also open a whole new realm of possibilities.

Now, understanding the basic benefits of drones, challenge your lending department and the credit review staff to add a new definition to mobile banking. Reduce risk, miles traveled, and more just by getting airborne. From crops, construction, pipelines, or building foundations, having a banking eye in the sky opens up all kinds of solutions.

They all can be viewed real-time on your desktop—maybe even your iPad or handheld—or by your loan committee as you consider an extension or a new deal.

Bottom line, the sky is the limit.

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at dan@copperrivergroup.com or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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