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Books & blogs to add to your 2019 New Year’s reading list

Joseph Lowe
Posted by Joseph Lowe
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Every year, millions of Americans make a New Year’s resolution in an attempt to make a positive change in their life, whether it’s going to the gym, becoming more fiscally responsible, or taking up a new hobby. According to poll by YouGov and Statista, one of the top five most common New Year’s resolutions is to read more, garnering 18 percent of responses. So for some banking professionals, this begs the question, “Am I reading enough?”

Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway and famed investor, has been quoted stating he spends as much as 80 percent of his day reading and has compared reading 500 pages a day to compounding interest for knowledge. While that time commitment might not be feasible for everyone, reading presents many benefits, from preventing memory loss  to serving as relaxation or exercise for the brain. According to Yale research, reading might even contribute to longevity.

So for the sake of your wellbeing, we’ve compiled a list of five of the most popular blog posts for financial professionals trying to stay on top of banking trends. We’ve also provided links and short descriptions of a few of the banking industry’s best sellers. So as you’re enjoying the last few PTO days of the holiday season, take a moment for a quick, two-minute blog read or use that holiday gift card at your local bookstore. 

Why do people switch banks?

According to a Bankrate survey, American adults use the same primary checking account for an average of nearly 16 years, and more than 25 percent of adults don’t switch bank accounts for over 20 years. Customer loyalty is at record highs, evidenced by the customers who stick with their banks despite data breaches or scandals, such Wells Fargo, which suffered a scandal involving 3.5 million accounts in 2016. In fact, 82 percent of retail bank customers trust their bank. However, there are select customers who decide to shop for a new bank, and there are still ways that banks can increase satisfaction amongst its clientele and convince them to stay put, from keeping an eye on banking fees to paying attention to the largest generation in the workforce – millennials.

Electronic signature benefits for banks

Banks and credit unions across the country understand the benefits of an electronic signature during the lending process according to P&S Market Research. The firm believes digital signatures will see a compound annual growth rate of 26.5 percent over the next five years, driven primarily by banking, financial services, and the insurance sector. Looking past the obvious speed benefits of digital signatures, community banks are also using this method to increase efficiency and foster customer satisfaction during loan underwriting and the loan application process, while also saving up to $20 per document.

What do borrowers want?

No banking customer is exactly alike, but there are commonalities among banking preferences that can be leveraged to make informed decisions about how to shape your community bank or credit union’s customer experience in 2019. A survey by PwC outlining the top issues for financial institutions points at lack of technology options among banking processes as a pain point for many banking customers. In fact, the survey states 46 percent of customers skipped in-person interactions at banks, relying on smartphones, tablets, and online browsers to access deposit account information or apply for loans. While it’s no secret that digital banking is a top priority for today’s community banks, it’s still critical for banks to understand how customers expect their digital branch to function, from security desires and concerns to mobile access and loan application automation.

Credit unions on cryptocurrency: What members need to know

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, and blockchain have all been buzzwords over the past few years, and banking customers are making note of it. Cryptocurrency is a type of currency that only exists digitally and relies on encryption for the security of transactions. As more and more customers ask your credit union about cryptocurrency and as its popularity grows, especially among millennials, it’s important to be a resource for your members and educate them about the associated risks with investing in cryptocurrency. Learn more about the volatility, regulations, and security threats accompanying the new form of currency as well as how to inform your customers as they plan for 2019.

How community banks can win the battle for deposits

Checking accounts, savings accounts, money markets, and certificates of deposits all serve two key purposes for community banks – methods for community banks to balance liquidity and cross-sale to onboard loans. A steady stream of deposits assures community banks and credit unions are better equipped to onboard loans, but large banks are starting to increase deposit market share. In Agile Bankers: How Community Banks are Addressing Disruption, Risk and Growth, Sound Financial Bancorp. CEO Laurie Stewart says online deposits will play a huge role in which community bank will win loan accounts, stating, “We’re seeing regional banks start to pay up for deposits that have never done that before.” As competition between online-only banks, community banks, and larger financial institutions heats up, community institutions that integrate a customer-centric approach will win the battle for deposits.

Book: Blockchain Basics: A Non-Technical Introduction in 25 Steps

“In 25 concise steps, you will learn the basics of blockchain technology. No mathematical formulas, program code, or computer science jargon are used. No previous knowledge in computer science, mathematics, programming, or cryptography is required. Terminology is explained through pictures, analogies, and metaphors.” – By Daniel Drescher

Book: Bank 4.0: Everywhere, Never at a Bank

“Bank 4.0 explores the radical transformation already taking place in banking, and follows it to its logical conclusion. What will banking look like in 30 years? 50 years? The world’s best banks have been forced to adapt to changing consumer behaviors; regulators are rethinking friction, licensing and regulation; Fintech start-ups and tech giants are redefining how banking fits in the daily life of consumers. To survive, banks are having to develop new capabilities, new jobs and new skills.” – By Brett King

Book: Too Big to Fail

“In one of the most gripping financial narratives in decades, Andrew Ross Sorkin—a New York Times columnist and one of the country’s most respected financial reporters—delivers the first definitive blow-by-blow account of the epochal economic crisis that brought the world to the brink.” – By Andrew Ross Sorkin

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tags: book, credit culture, credit risk, E-signature, ebook, electronic tax return reader, portfolio risk, read