Why Local?

Awareness is 9/11’s of the battle, if we use it!

Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .

One of my old college buddies hates banks.  He was turned down for a loan a long time ago and just can’t let go.  I actually bet him $20 that he couldn’t go a week without complaining about banks and he won the bet, so it’s not uncontrollable.

But given his resentment, he and I often argue about banks and banking in general:  their longevity, their practices, even the morality of banking in the first place.  As a part of this ongoing discourse, I have a keen awareness of what the media is saying about banking in any particular week.

Invoking the Jimmy Stewart movie, It’s A Wonderful Life, I keep distinguishing between the George Baileys of the world, and the Mr. Potters of the world.  “Not the community bank” I have to say when Wells Fargo was in the news.  “Not the guy down the street from you” I would say when he complained about whatever practices were being spotlighted in the news at the time.

I continually point out that had he been working with a community bank his experience would be better.  And he very often sends me pictures . . . I think of him when I caution users to be conscious of people taking pictures in their bank.  And then he sends me the picture on the right, where I guess he was trying to make the case that I was drinking the Kool-Aid.  (I often posit how community banks are about the community, not the stock price).

But look at that picture.  It’s missing something really important.

From time to time, I end up in situations where I can tell my Clients refrain from telling me “our marketing people don’t understand why they would ever take advice from a cybersecurity expert.”  I get that.  I am probably the worst sales and marketing person there is, I guess.

But I have argued and will always argue that the fundamental principle of banking is NOT interest, it’s safety.  Ask Jessie James.  Dillinger agrees with me.  Even Willie Horton . . . the person who said, “because that’s where the money is” when he was asked why he robbed banks . . . even Willie Horton agrees with me (let’s not forget he sits in jail to this day).

While Willie attacked banks because that’s where the money is, we put our money in those banks because they are safe.  It’s why FinTech is proving my college buddy wrong, and not putting banks out of business.

So when I got the “why local” ad that my friend found . . . and if you recognize this as your bank I’m sorry, I did not ask my friend where he got this picture . . . I was both happy that this bank was at least pointing out why people should use a local bank as their source of safety, but I was disappointed that the ad forgot the most important reason: community banks are safer.  The hoops that community banks jump through to keep their customers safe should be highlighted.  So marketing people: I realize I’m just a mere cybersecurity expert, but I challenge you to name any other reason listed in the ad that has a direct impact on your customers.  And please compare this free poster to the one in the picture:  what is wrong with adding safety to the benefits list?

So why local?  Keeping money in the community is nice, but keeping me safe is the reason I use a bank.  It’s great that I can borrow money from my local bank, but knowing I’m not making a mistake when I borrow that money keeps me safe.  I love that I can transfer money from my account to my friend’s account using my cell phone . . . but if I didn’t feel safe doing it, I would just write him a check for the $20 he won by keeping his mouth shut about banks for a week.

I love that I can keep my money safe.

And community-based banks accounted for less than 1% of the data breached during the pandemic.  So once again I’m making a suggestion for your marketing team.  But given I believe awareness is 9/11’s of the battle . . . that we were far more secure the day after September 11, 2001 than we were the day after . . . I have to make these suggestions.   Your Facebook page would be so much more interesting if you could help your customers know what you and all community-based banks are doing to help Ukraine . . . keeping us safe.

If you are reading this article and it makes sense to you, I hope you share it with your marketing director.  More important, I hope you invite her or him to our webinar coming up on 7/19/2022.  It’s called “Break the Tie,” and it’s based on the notion that our marketing should leverage having to say “for your protection” when we explain procedures.  If there is such a thing as drip marketing, the drip drip from community-based banks should be “safety safety safety.”

My friend is now learning that bitcoin will not replace banks.

Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex

“Dan’s New Leaf” is a “fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.”

Speaking of safety. Visit offerings.infotex.com to reach out to us and see how infotex can make your financial institution safer!



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