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For three days, I sat, learned, discussed, dissected and truly re-evaluated some of my beliefs in terms of how to assess, understand and partner to approach the new market we find ourselves in today.

Looking at the market

The market landscape has changed…no ifs ands or buts about it. From our main stage presentations featuring Jason Dorsey and Terrence Roche, to the breakout sessions led by our great partners and sponsors, every single speaker talked about a market that has rapidly changed with no signs of slowing down. 

With the millennial generation coming into its prime earning years and displacing the baby boomers as the largest generation, the service(s) we provide to our clients will be ‘digital-first’ (and potentially digital throughout).  The needs of this customer base will be what drives our industry’s innovation through 2020 and beyond.

Evaluating the Market

The two most common questions that I fielded and discussed in the hallways, over breakfast and lunch and in myriad Q&A sessions were, “How is ACI looking at the branch of the future?” and, “What will the future of payments look like?”

I would argue to anyone that these are two of the most challenging topics that face our industry today, and would guess the few naysayers among you would argue something to the effect of “how does the distributed ledger play into banking or coreless banking?” But let’s stick to the two questions I actually received. 

First, I think that both of these topics fit nicely together. I think the future of payments will and should simplify banking. 

When we can simplify banking, we can allow ourselves to think more freely around (and about) market offerings. As complexity is removed (or moved out of the customer’s purview), the ability to offer a best-in-class customer service via digital channels is unlocked. 

You have to look no further than some of the direct and neo banks in the market for this use case. 

As we push out to the branch of the future, which really is MORE digital offerings in a physical space (for now), we start to look at the convergence of platforms and products and the seamlessness between them. 

Starting with something as simple as phablets, tablets, and mobile in the branch today to train members and customers (similar to the genius bar idea at Apple stores globally) is a great place to begin (and you should probably keep that Keurig close by).

Partnership

I think the most important takeaway for me was aligned with the theme of this year’s Technovation conference, The Power of Community. 

Tiny Buddha.com simply puts this theme into context “When you lean on other people, you become better than you ever believed possible.” I think a key word was left out of our theme however; it is LEVERAGING the power of community—the great minds in our industry that gathered for three days to discuss where we are and where we are headed was at the heart of our conference. 

As the old adage goes, you can bring a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Just seeing and looking at the power of the community only takes you to the water, it’s what you do when you are there that counts and quite frankly what will help you harness, embrace and profit from the banking (r)evolution of today.

The conference itself seemed short in retrospect, but I guess that is what the Power of Community really is; this conference didn’t end with the closing session, it’s actually just started. So that leaves the question, are you ready to join us on the journey?

Head of Digital Banking Solutions

As the Head of Digital Banking Solutions, Mark works closely with financial institutions discussing, exploring, and examining market trends and key drivers in the evolving digital solutions space with a key focus on mobile, tablet and the future of wearable technology. Prior to moving into the sales organization Mark was Senior Product Marketing Manager for ACI's Digital Banking solutions. He was responsible for developing and executing product launch and go to market activities for the related product lines. Prior to joining ACI in 2012, Mark worked at Greenwich Associates as a Senior Project Director on their Custom Projects team. Mark holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lafayette College.  The future of Fintech and where the digital banking evolution will take us is at the heart of what Mark reads about, researches, discusses, promotes and debates. As a proud card carrying millennial, Mark's primary goal is to bring a fresh yet informed point of view to the discussion. It is truly an exciting time to be in the industry as everything down to the foundation of the financial society is being challenged by innovative individuals and start-ups alike. Mark looks forward to helping companies and banks alike navigate the disruptive environment they are in today towards a successful future.

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