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Sep 23, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Defining Community Banks’ Future for Success

It seems that community banks are under siege. From new and more stringent regulations to the presence of fintech startups to widening demographics that demand more personalization than ever before, it’s gotten harder and harder to stay relevant and compete. Innovation has to take into account the hard trends shaping our marketplace and set aside the space to anticipate and build foresight.  

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Topics: stakeholders, Community Banking

Sep 7, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Closing in on the American Dream: Millennials and Mortgages

You have gotten your degree and settled in your career, now what? For many young adults, starting a family could be on the top of their priority list. So it’s pretty safe to assume that finding a house is on the list as well. As is the case with the job market and economy as a whole, Millennials are the largest – and potentially the most lucrative – segment in the housing market. In fact, this group has a collective spending power that exceeds a trillion dollars.[1]

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Topics: Mortgage, Millennials, Community Banking

Jun 1, 2016 10:00:00 AM

5 Steps to a Great Customer Experience

Not unlike retailers, banks are challenged to provide a quality, consistent customer experience in their locations and online. Analysts have said that we’re in the Age of the Consumer, and that is apparent – people want to feel like their bank knows them, understands what they want and need, and helps to fulfill those wants and needs from any channel they choose. They want personalization, both with regard to the relationship they have with their bank, and in the product/service mix they are offered.

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Topics: Community Banking, Customer Experience

Feb 25, 2016 10:30:00 AM

2016 ABA Conference Recap: Your Most Important Priorities

My HORNE Cyber Solutions colleagues and I just spent two wonderful days at the annual Alabama Banker’s Association (ABA) Bank Operations and Management Summit. Talks and discussions during the event centered on three overlying themes. We have discussed some of them previously in this blog, and all are pertinent to your banking organization.  

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Topics: Strategy, Community Banking, Electronic Health Records

Oct 7, 2015 2:00:00 PM

M&A as a Competitive Advantage for Community Banks

The competitive spirit is a driving force that pushes each of us to reach unimaginable heights. It’s also what makes sports stories so endearing – particularly those where an underdog overcomes great obstacles to win.  I particularly like this quote from Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) in the movie Rocky: 

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Topics: Community Banking, M&A

Aug 5, 2015 1:30:00 PM

An Inside Look at the Millennial Banker’s Ideal Branch

By 2020, Millennials will account for $1.4 trillion in spending. That’s a massive increase from annual current levels of about $600 billion. Already, this generation is 80 million members strong, and their measurable impact is growing exponentially as they age into adulthood.[1] This demographic thinks differently about money and banks than their predecessors. They are financially informed, and prioritize quick, convenient and mobile banking solutions.

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Topics: Community Banking, Branch Bank, Millennials

Jun 3, 2015 11:20:08 AM

Community Banks: This is What Matters to Millennials

How’s this for a statistical wake up call? By 2020, it is estimated that one in three Americans will be labeled a Millennial – and by 2025, 75% of our workforce will be composed of Millennials. They may take a bad rap, but there’s no doubting it – Millennials are the future leaders of American business. It’s probably why there is so much discussion around how to attract and retain this large, active demographic as a customer base.

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Topics: Community Banking, Millennials

Nov 19, 2014 11:36:00 AM

The Reason Your Bank Needs to Offer Prepaid Cards

I have fond memories of working as a bank teller in a small town during my college years, serving customers and hearing their stories. I’ll never forget my first Friday. It seemed like I’d cashed a thousand checks and it’s a miracle I balanced my drawer. But nothing was more satisfying than handing a smiling worker the cash they’d earned over a long, hard week.


A few weeks into the job, I began to wonder why I was handing people money, rather than putting it into their deposit and savings account. It seemed dangerous to walk around with that many bills in their wallet. I realized two things. First, many of these people didn’t have a bank account because they didn’t trust banks, or the bank didn’t trust them enough to give them one. Second, those cash outs were deposit money, walking right out of the bank.

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Topics: Bank Trends, Community Banking

Oct 16, 2014 12:00:00 PM

How to Upgrade Your Community Bank's Toolbox with Wealth Management

Once considered a service exclusive to large banks, wealth management has become a growing source of non-interest income for community banks.

Wealth management presents more than just an additional source of income. It’s an opportunity to extend a bank’s established presence by building on the trusted foundation that they’ve nurtured over the years of serving their communities.

A recent American Banker survey results suggest that 25% of community banks intend to offer wealth management services within the next two years.

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Topics: Community Banking, Trust, Wealth Management

Oct 2, 2014 10:37:00 AM

Seize the Chance to Make a Difference

Last weekend, my wife, teenage daughters, and I took part in Toyota TeenDrive 365. Toyota offers this interactive defensive driving education program with a stated goal of creating the next generation of safe drivers. 

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of a “free” event, hosted by a car manufacturer and focused on teen drivers. I fully expected to walk into a sales pitch. Imagine my surprise when my family and I experienced a first-class event actually focused on teen driver safety. The facilitators and coaches were energetic and passionate, and we felt their genuine care for the lives they were impacting. After investing two great hours to the safety of my teen drivers, our family walked away empowered by useful, thought-provoking education. 

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Topics: Community Banking, Education

Aug 7, 2014 10:00:00 AM

Fear of Change and Its Barrier to Growth

Jeff Bezos launched on July 16, 1995 with a vision of a virtual bookstore powered by (relatively uncharted) e-commerce technology. He built a strategy, took a chance, and within a few short months, Amazon had sold books in 45 different countries. Sales hit $20,000 a week – astounding for a start-up in any industry.

Some executives would have been content with these results. But as we know, Bezos didn’t let the fear of uncharted territory slow the company’s innovation, which has resulted in a record of tremendous growth and success.

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Topics: Community Banking, Innovation

Jul 30, 2014 10:15:00 AM

How Do Economic Progress and a Cup of Coffee Go Together?

Berkeley, California in the 1960s was a radical place. The vibrant, politically active culture would inspire future generations to challenge the status quo and stand up for their beliefs. It was during this charged, forward thinking era that a Dutchman named Alfred Peet opened a small store in Berkeley selling coffee beans. 

Displeased with the quality of coffee in America, he was moved to create change. Peet tapped into his background in the coffee trade and introduced the local scene to a dark, rich roast of unquestionable superior quality. 

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Topics: Community Banking, Small Business, Lending

May 22, 2014 11:40:00 AM

Why Should Your Community Bank Care About Digital Banking?

Recently, we shared our viewpoints on the industry shift to a ‘click and mortar’ banking model. We outlined the growth opportunities available to those banks that embrace the changing expectations of their customer base. 

Driving the multichannel are the approximately 70% of banked customers who want to connect with their bank both offline and online. For the customer, online channels offer improved, more convenient self-service access to account information, branch information and product offerings. For the bank, the digital access points can reduce costs and produce lower attrition and higher customer satisfaction rates.

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Topics: Community Banking, Click and Mortar, Mobile Banking