Alright. Enough already. I’m not a banker, but, jeez, haven’t we given them enough grief?
The folks at the local bank aren’t the ones who gambled on all those mortgages. They want to help us find a loan – pending perhaps greater credit scrutiny . The vast majority of those who work in the city-centered big banks didn’t do the damage to Main Street. It was a weaselly few who did some pretty reprehensible things (basing that on Too Big to Fail of course), and the big banks have been recouping losses and shoring up assets and otherwise getting their acts together in the years since that great recession began.
In 2008, consumer confidence in banks reached its lowest point since the great depression. Confidence in U.S. Banks Down Sharply
Since then, we’ve seen a slight upswing in consumer confidence, but banks have remained relatively quiet in the marketplace. Banks face all-time low consumer confidence.
In the meantime, our society and technology have progressed.
The Mobile-Digital revolution has allowed us all to take advantage of our independence from the desktop to become technologically empowered bankers of our own. Some banks are developing innovative mobile applications that allow users to deposit into a friend’s account, or pay bills as one would from a desktop. But these apps are usually not integrated. They’re often not cross-platform, cross-device. And they’ve been fairly slow to emerge. Perhaps it’s because the banks are feeling a bit shell-shocked? A bit un-loved?
Trust me, I’m not endorsing a Romney perspective here, but banks are in fact people. These people (not the banks’ buildings themselves, no matter how smart they are) have feelings, and, as with all professions, they need to feel loved and appreciated. Tell a banker you love them. And suggest an app or two. Let them know what they can be doing to make it all up to you. We do in fact want them to be creative about how they use our money, right? Not risky. We’d just like them to find new ways to make banking easier.
So, engage your bank. Let them know you’re ready for them to emerge from hibernation. Let’s challenge our bankers to come up with the next ‘ATM’; some sort of exponentially joint account linked to everything and everyone we swap money with? A way for a small business owner to quickly know her ability to make a deal based on quick online decision making using integrated analytics? Financial institutions – along with all industries – are recognizing that consumers will define the offerings and support they will be delivering.
Perhaps it’s too early to ‘hug a banker’, but let’s stop with the cold shoulder. Enough recrimination. Let’s help them help us by suggesting ways they could better serve us with mobile and other online applications. Let’s get on with building a smarter, more forgiving planet.