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The day the bank stood still …

Cyborgs by proxy! If tech handles whole relationship, who serves customers when tech fails?

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.

Our calendars and contacts are conveniently integrated with our smartphones. It is awesome to be alerted that you have a meeting or important appointment, thus avoiding a potentially embarrassing situation. An example would be reminding you of the birthday of your significant other or your wedding anniversary.

Technology is going places only sci-fi writers have imagined. Technology reaches into every facet of our daily lives. Our personal devices know our habits and our location—they have begun to think for us. Our devices alert us to traffic snarls and immediately propose alternative routes. Data mining of our buying habits informs us about companion purchase suggestions to go with the item we just purchased online at Amazon.

Sound like the lighter side of George Orwell?

Battery-operated nags and nannies

Popular fitness applications tell us it is time to get up from our desks and walk. They keep track of our steps taken. Soon our fitness app will recommend modifications to our diet because we have been sitting down all day—as opposed to being up and active.

Next I expect to see diapers with manufactured sensors in the lining to alert us to junior needing a change and whose turn it is to change him. The sensor will also send information back to the “Mother Ship” that will keep track of junior’s fluid output to determine if he is dehydrating.

Not so fast … I’m not so far off.

What is happening? Simple tasks of everyday life are being taken over by apps and smart devices. When you combine the sum of these applications and the impact on our daily lives, you could conclude that over time, we will lose our ability to cope when smart devices, the internet, and Wi-Fi do not function. Maybe it won’t happen to you. But ten years from now this is a very real possibility.

If tech doesn’t work, we stop working too!

Bits, bytes, bankers

“What does any of this have to do with banking?” my wife asks. Well, it is obvious to me, I respond.

If you let computers and their apps take over an increasing number of tasks within the bank, how can you possibly be expected to serve the customer when the system stops?

If we do not know about the product or how it works, how can we possibly connect with the customer when the smart device goes blank?

A key factor of customer service is understanding and relating to the customer and their needs.

Using technology to improve the customer service experience is mission critical.

But we have to be careful that we select and install technology that enhances the experience and does not replace the banker by creating cyborgs by proxy.

Computers and apps can improve productivity, empower the customer, and enhance the experience.

But leave the thinking to us. That’s what they are paying us for.

—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 [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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