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Clocks, Mobile Banking, and Social Media

By Dan Hadaway | Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - Leave a Comment

Well my Mega Talk went good according to all that have congratulated me on it.  Of course, when is the last time you went up to somebody and said “wow Dan, you were really off on that talk!”  Imagine going up to a speaker and saying something like, “you’ve done better, you kind of rushed that one.”

I still haven’t received the formal Indiana Bankers Association evaluations back from Chris Bennett and that is what counts to me.  I really hope the evaluations are good.  I owe Chris my best.

I keep thinking of points I forgot to make during the talk, which finished five minutes early.  Those of you who have seen me speak before know how I always struggle with the issue of time, and usually run over on my talks.   To end five minutes early . . . . woah, did I talk too fast?

There was no clock in the room, and I don’t wear watches when I speak, for fear of appearing like George H.W. Bush during his debate with Bill Clinton and Ross Perot.  We all know he was just trying to honor his time constraints, but his repeated glances at his watch made him look like he didn’t want to be there and couldn’t wait until the debate was over.

My talk reduced banking technologies down to three major “must-do-now” technology trends:  Technology Planning, Mobile Banking, and Social Media.  I walked the audience through Everett Rogers’ Diffusion of Innovation Theory and other tools we can use to analyze bank technology.  I then showed how applying those tools in an analysis of all the technology directions banks COULD take makes it clear that we can not waste any more time  rolling out Mobile Banking and/or Social Media.  The Audience Response System really worked well with my addiction to trivia, and allowed us to establish that most of us are laggards when it comes to social media, and we’re planning to be late majority adopters (at the soonest) when it comes to mobile banking.

But those are mistakes, I insisted.  The Millenials want mobile banking.  The Millenials want Social Media.

I forgot to explain what the Millenials were . . . that they are Generation Y, born between 1977 and 1998.  I did explain their importance demographically, that they are the customer of the future.  I reiterated (like I’m reiterating in this article) their intolerance of information overload, and that they are MAJORLY into social media whether we like it or not.  Because they are the future customer, we need to respect what they want and where they spend their time.

I DID remember to explain my belief that we Information Security professionals kind of screwed up when it came to the adoption time frame for Social Media.  We fear what we do not know, what we do not understand.  And most of us Information Security professionals did not want to learn social media.

We still nodded in agreement over the fact that banks need to rebuild trust.  We nodded in agreement over the fact that banks need to meet heightened communication expectations, and that banks need to bust through the saturation of information.  And we also demanded that banks start focusing their awareness training efforts on the new weakest links . . . our customers.

But we didn’t provide the necessary tools.  When it came to social media, we Information Security professionals held up our hand in the sign of a stop sign, and said “not so fast.”

I also forgot to discuss my own “Meta Trend Theory” of “Compressed Diffusion,” a takeoff on Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovation Theory, where in 2010 banks suffer from competitive, strategic, and market pressures to adopt a wide range of technologies over a very short time frame.  I forgot to explain that while it took us more than twelve years to adopt high-speed internet connectivity, we are expected to learn to use twitter (safely) in almost real-time.  Twitter came out of the Innovation Stage of Adoption in 2007, went early majority in 2008, and banks who do not tweet regularly are considered laggards in 2010.  This is what I mean about a compressed time frame for adoption.

Finally, and most importantly, I forgot to discuss the Meta Trend of Trust . . . that we in the banking industry are struggling to earn something that we took for granted . . . . that tellers can tell you when CNN runs the latest story about some big bank atrocity because their customers come in with a bit-of-anger . . . . that we are in a world of trouble if we can’t rebuild that trust with our customers and that other Non-Financial Institutions (Non-FI . . . they have an acronym now) like technology companies, cell phone providers, and even Google (who got their banking license in 2009) are more than willing to step in and take our place if we can not regain that trust.  This Meta Trend . . .  combined with Saturation, the Millenials, Personalization, and Convergence . . . . makes the case for mobile banking and social media IMMEDIATELY.  The prior because over 45% of small business owners already own a smart phone and they are wondering if we’ll ever “get it.”  The latter because it puts us knee-deep into the conversation our future customers are having about whether they can trust their local bank.

This takes me back to the missing clock.  The IBA made it very clear that “speakers shall honor thy allotted time frames.”  [Now let me explain that this is for very good reason . . . . . when you are educating 1200 people in two days, the schedule needs to be adhered to like clockwork.]  But the tool to do that . . . . a simple clock in the lecture hall . . . was conspicuously missing.

Don’t get me wrong.  The Indiana Bankers Association is the greatest bankers association, period.  Chris Bennett really earns her keep with the Mega Conference . . . there is simply NO better educational event.  I’ve been going to various “educational” conferences since the early 80’s . . . the CES, the VSDA Conventions, Regional VSDA Conferences, the Indiana Dental Association educational events, and of course conferences and conventions for bankers in several different mid-western states.  They all put on great shows and offer(ed) a lot of educational opportunities.  But none of them even come close to comparing to the value that the Mega Conference offers to bankers and vendors alike . . . the entire team as Joe DeHaven puts it.

We are all big on customer awareness training these days, recognizing that a majority of security risk now lies in the hands of our customers.  By offering a USABLE mobile banking experience, and security advice via social media, we are offering the tools to accomplish more than risk mitigation.

But the best of us are capable of establishing requirements without providing the tools to meet those requirements.  I strongly encourage us NOT to make that mistake when it comes to Mobile Banking and Social Media.

Next Week:  Talking Points to help move the Management Team closer to the immediate adoption of Mobile Banking and Social Media.


This has been a Dan’s New Leaf posting . . . . a weekly post about whatever happens to be on Dan’s mind at the time, related of course to IT Governance in banking.

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