Banker Education Series
With 15 years as a community banker, Eric has made numerous connections in the industry. In the Banker Education Series, he welcomes fellow industry professionals who provide helpful information, products or services that can help make your institution more profitable, efficient and stand out from the competition. Be sure to sign up for email reminders for future episodes to join the show live.
Episode 19: A Peek Inside the Alloy Labs Alliance: How banks are collaborating to reduce risks, lower costs, and shorten the time between ideas and results
Date: January 8, 2019 @ 2 pm Eastern
Keeping in line with the theme of banking technologies and the fintech revolution, BES Episode 19 features two powerhouse guests helping to shape the future of fintech. Maybe you saw the the news in American Banker, Forbes, Business Insider, or elsewhere about the public launch of the Alloy Labs Alliance, a new member-driven shared innovation lab and accelerator that FinTech Forge founded with 12 regional and community banks from around the country.
FinTech Forge Co-Founders Jason Henrichs and JP Nicols will join us to give us the inside scoop of how it came together, what they have accomplished so far, and what lies ahead in 2019.
We will also talk about FinTech Forge's trademark FIRE™ process (Fast, Iterative, Responsive Experiments), which underpins the philosophy of the Alloy Labs Alliance. It has been featured in leading industry events and publications, and has been taught at 4 of the 6 leading graduate schools of banking.
- Foundational frameworks for funding, governance, prioritization, and risk management to manage innovation without a full time innovation team
- An empirical approach to value creation, including an internal accelerator process to quickly turn ideas into results
- Peer Workgroups to deep-dive and collaborate on new solutions for specific opportunities or challenges
- Strategic investments in promising fintech companies at a level difficult and costly to achieve working alone
To make sure that you're on top of the changes in fintech and where banking is headed, you'll want to reserve your spot for this webinar. Even if you cannot attend live, be sure to register below and be among the first to know when the replay is ready for viewing!
Episode 18: BankTech & Fintech: What’s Going On? with Sam Kilmer from Cornerstone Advisors
Date: December 13, 2018 @ 2 pm Eastern
Are you having a hard time keeping up with all the “tech” flying around the banking sector these days? Core processors are acquiring services and rolling them into their quiver of solutions. Fintech companies are popping up to serve a variety of niche banking needs. On top of all that, you’ve got large competitors changing consumer expectations with the promise of “push-button” mortgage loans and opening a checking account on your iPhone in only five minutes! What’s a community banker to do?
Join former community banker turned WSI Digital Strategist Eric Cook and Sam Kilmer, Senior Director with Cornerstone Advisors, as they discuss the bank technology landscape on this month’s Banker Education Series webinar. You’ll get the “lay of the land” with a comprehensive overview of the key players, what services they bring to the table, and some of the outliers that you should be keeping an eye on. Before you finalize your technology plan for 2019, you’ll want to listen in to get the latest update on the players out there who can help make you, and your bank, more innovative and successful in the coming year.
More About Sam Kilmer
Sam Kilmer specializes in bank strategic & delivery planning as well as advisory for fintech, vendors and investors at Cornerstone Advisors. Sam’s prior experience includes strategy, analytics, digital delivery, and marketing leadership at two midsize banks and two tech firms, most recently leading strategic planning, partnerships, and content marketing at Harland Financial Solutions.
Cited often in the industry press and a regular contributor to Cornerstone’s GonzoBanker and Insight Vault, Sam is a nationally known and sought after speaker and facilitator, including Financial Brand, BAI, and CUES. He studied at Regents College London and is a graduate of Ball State University. Sam stays Gonzo through family, music, and hiking.
Episode 17: How to Use Content to Drive Commercial Revenue at Your Bank with CenterState Bank's Chris Nichols
Date: October 9, 2018 @ 2 pm Eastern
When it comes to content, bankers have some issues. Many lack any sort of content strategy, and as a result, struggle with content as they don’t know what success looks like. For some banks this means leads, for some it means conversions, and for others, it means to brand recognition. Make sure your bank has stated objectives and then work backward on the type and amount of content that is needed.
Another challenge is much of the content being put out by banks is average (at best). Banks can’t peddle “How to protect your passwords” and expect to generate deep enthusiasm. Once you have a strategy, as you work backward, it is important to define the quality and type of content that needs to be produced. Producing 52 short blog articles for social media is much different than producing a string of webinars or four ebooks.
There are many other reasons why banks may struggle with content, but at the end of the day it's important to embrace the content game and develop a strategy. To do that, I'm partnering up with one of the content powerhouses in the banking space, Chris Nichols. If you check out his LinkedIn profile, you'll see posts just about every day, churning out great information to help build not only his personal brand, but reinforces the value that his employer, CenterState Bank.
More About Chris Nichols
Chief Strategy Officer at CenterState Bank, Chris Nichols is an active bank investor, entrepreneur and lover of quantified banking. Chris and the team at CenterState Bank are out to highlight in this blog the best of community bank performance. A detailed post at CenterState has also been created, which you can review for even more information about what we'll be talking about during the webinar.
Episode 16: The Evolution of Fintech and Its Impact on Banking
Date: September 19, 2017 @ 2 pm Eastern
The term "fintech" has come to mean different things to different people, especially in the banking sector. To many, it represents innovation and the technological evolution of how one can manage their finances in the 21st century. To the more traditional bankers in the industry, the term represents the "wild west," with an assumed lack of regulatory oversight and too much focus on the "gee-wiz" functionality that only Millennials can appreciate.
Whatever side of the fence you may be on, the reality is the fintech industry is likely somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. What's not up for debate, however, is that today's banking professional cannot afford to stick their head in the sand and ignore what's happening in the fintech space. To help you gain a better understanding of what is (and is not) happening in fintech, we'll be joined by JP Nicols. JP is a Managing Director for FinTech Forge, an organization that extends the innovation capacity of financial institutions while dramatically lowering the cost and risk of innovation. JP was also the founder of the Bank Innovators Council, which is now part of Next Money.
During this webinar, JP will share insights as a top-rated keynote speaker and respected advisor on the topic of fintech, in addition to his banking school teachings from across the country. We'll also talk about the upcoming Next Money Chicago 2017 event, taking place on September 26th where some of the best and brightest in the world of fintech will come together for the day and share their insights. You can check out this blog post I wrote about the upcoming event and how you can save 25% by using the code Eric25 when registering.
If you're looking to up your game in the world of fintech, this is one webinar you won't want to miss. And if you can't make it live, be sure to register so that you'll be sure to get a link to the recorded session to watch later on.
Episode 15: How to Think On Your Feet and React In Real-Time as a Community Banker
Date: July 21, 2016 @ 3 pm Eastern
While it's always been important to pay close attention to what's going on with your customers' lives and the communities you serve, doing this well in a digitally-connected world is a challenge for many community bankers. Being comfortable with this "real-time" and sometimes un-filtered world fed by social media, mobile phones and the ability to share good (and bad) experiences instantly, reacting and engaging in a compliance-driven and regulated industry like banking is not an easy task.
Despite these challenges, bankers need to "figure it out," especially since consumers these days are bringing their instant-response expectations from other industries to their banking experience. This became apparent when the Pokémon Go craze hit the Internet just a few weeks ago. With almost as many users as Twitter and engagement rates higher than Facebook, it's been reported that Nintendo has benefited to the tune of $1.9 billion thus far... and things are only getting started. Given the meteoric rise of this game and how it's dependent on users getting out and about, a few select bankers (who have built their culture around "real time" and living in the present) have jumped on board.
With is this week for our Banker Education Series #15 will be Ann Chen, senior marketing director at Citizens Bank of Edmond and Ben Pankonin, co-founder of Social Assurance. Citizens was recently featured by American Banker on how they have embraced the Pokémon craze and We'll hear first-hand what their thought process was, how their strategy was developed and any early "wins" that have resulted. But don't think that Pokémon is the bank's first effort in being "real time." Known nationally for their social media and community outreach efforts, by having the culture of embracing the now, it enables Citizens to react quickly.... whether it's the latest game to take over the Internet or some other event that requires a quick reaction.
Through their work with financial institutions around the country in the areas of social media and online presence, Social Assurance recently posted an interesting article about how to leverage the Pokémon Go craze as a financial institution. As the engine that powers may bank's compliance and monitoring efforts on social media, Ben will bring an interesting perspective to the conversation and help understand how to remain safe (and compliant) while being in the moment with your customers.
Join us this week to be inspired on how your bank can be better prepared to live in the moment and play a part of what's going on when it really matters - in the here and now!
Episode 14: Why Starbucks Rocks and EMV Sucks - The Future of Payments with Lee Wetherington
Date: June 23, 2016 @ 2 pm Eastern
Even before I started my consulting career, when I was a community banker I had the pleasure of seeing Lee Wetherington present at a bank operations and technology conference. I was literally blown away with his stage presence, the depth of information that he shared and his ability to hold an audience with flawless delivery (and a good deal of humor) like nobody I've ever seen at a banking event before.
Fast forward a few years and now I too travel the country (although not nearly as much as Lee does) speaking at bank conferences and conventions. It's a rare treat when we are scheduled to be at the same event (which means I get to attend his session) and continue to be amazed at just how "plugged in" Lee is to what's going on in the banking and financial services sector. I'm also honored to say that over the years Lee and I have become good friends and I'm excited that we were able to find a time on his busy schedule for him to join us on this month's Banker Education Series webinar.
While issuers focus on EMV at the Point-of-Sale (POS), payments are evolving quickly in other directions. Mobile-Order-Ahead-and-Pay and Buy-Online-Pickup-In-Store are removing physical instances of in-store payments and replacing them with remote or automatic payments that take place in the background. Moreover, as fraud shifts from the POS to card-not-present environments, many issuers are tightening their authorization criteria and triggering high rates of false declines—a phenomena that is quietly eroding issuer revenue in ways many are unaware of. Join us this month for a wild, round-robin tour of the biggest trends in payments and what these trends mean for financial institutions of all stripes.
- Why Starbucks Rocks and EMV Sucks
- Payments User Experience (UX)
- Revenue vs. UX in Payments
- How False Declines Are Killing Your Card Franchise
- When Fighting Fraud Costs More than Fraud
- Why Faster Payments Mean More Revenue
- Same-day ACH; Real-Time Payments
- What Re-Fragmentation Means for Mobile Wallets in 2016
- Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay, et. al.
- From Mobile to Digital to Vocal to Invisible
- How Say-to-Pay Will Turbo-Charge Sublimation of Payments
- How to Win Top-of-Wallet Battles
- Does Blockchain Matter?
- And When Should You Begin to Care?
Hope you can make it for what will be an amazing show...
Episode 13: To Achieve Optimal Results, You Need to Truly Understand Your People... and Yourself
Date: May 17, 2016 @ 2 pm Eastern
With what seems to be a never-ending focus on connecting with one another via social media, email, text messages and mobile devices, the art of interpersonal communication is at risk of becoming a lost art. But if you were to ask any bank executive what their biggest asset is, and how they differentiate themselves from the competition, there's a good chance they will say "it's our people that make the difference."
But is that really the case? How well do we really know our co-workers... or even ourselves, for that matter? What are the motivators required to achieve maximum performance? What is the best communication style to ensure that you're mutually understood and on the same page? There are so many factors at play, but the good news is there are tools available to help flatten the learning curve and ensure that everyone has a clear understanding of what makes the others "tick."
For this episode we'll be joined by Don Crosby, known as the "Behavioral Locksmith," he's the founder of Global Behavior and author of the book The Why You Do. It's been Don's life mission to help people understand one another at a deeper level and has worked with clients in the banking, corporate, education and non-profit sectors, all of whom have benefited tremendously by gaining a better understanding of their colleagues. Don will share insights on how he is able to help organizations cut through the clutter and truly know their employees, what they do best and and where their highest and best use truly lies.
If you'd like to volunteer to be part of the discussion and have Don "introduce you to yourself" through his assessment tools, be sure to let me know. By simply responding to only 60 adjectives (that will take just a few minutes), you'll be amazed at just how quickly Don will be able to get to know you and see first-hand how you could put this to use in your bank to optimize your results and truly understand your people... and yourself!
Episode 12: Leading by Example - How Two Social CEO's Make it Happen at Their Banks
Date: April 26, 2016 @ 2 pm Eastern
For any sort of "culture change" in a bank to be successful, it's no secret that unless the commitment is made at the top of the organization, it's going to be hard to get others to embrace change and ensure any impact will be long-term. This is even moreso the case when that culture change involves technology, social media and changing the way you think about how to communicate as a community banker. In today's world of social media and 24/7/365 access, many bank CEOs are resistant to embrace sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and others. However, that's not the case with all CEOs...
For this episode of BES, I'm excited to have two "social CEOs" joining me to share their story. Jill Castilla (president and CEO of Citizens Bank of Edmund) and Tim Marshall (president and CEO of Bank of Ann Arbor) will provide insight on what got them started and why they jumped into social media (with both feet). We'll also talk about how they are using it today and what results they've realized for not only themselves personally, but for their bank and the communities they serve. Be sure to check out their full bios of our guests here: Jill Castilla / Tim Marshall.
If you're thinking about what it takes for your community bank to be successful in social media, spending an hour with Jill and Tim will likely be the best 60 minutes you've spent in a long time. Bring your questions, be prepared to be inspired and chances are your perspective on how social can play a productive role in your bank will drastically change (for the better, of course). We look forward to having you join us for the show!
Episode 11: Fintech for Community Banks - Your "Fast Follower" Strategy is Riskier Than You Think
Date: February 16, 2016 @ 3 pm Eastern
Community banks can no longer the define their competition as just other financial institutions. Digital disruption is coming from a whole new crop of competitors that are swiftly gaining market share (and not afraid to step "outside of the box" and think differently. Who are these players and how are they changing the landscape? What do they do differently and what can we learn from them? Is all of this just a lot of hype, or do they bring fundamental and lasting changes to the industry? All great questions... and ones every community banker should know the answers to.
With us this month to help answer these questions will be JP Nicols. He has been internationally recognized as a leading voice for innovation, strategy and leadership and his work has been featured in leading publications and conferences worldwide. Join us to learn new strategies for addressing the unique threats and opportunities currently arising in the financial services industry.
Episode 10: .BANK 2.0 - An Update for Community Bankers in 2016
Date: January 28, 2016 @ 3 pm Eastern
For the first Banker Education Series webinar of 2016, we’re going to provide an update on the state of .BANK, the new domain name alternative. As before when we discussed .BANK, we’ll be joined by American Bankers Association's Doug Johnson to share insight on the adoption of .BANK, some technical considerations you need to know about and what’s on the horizon for the next domain name extension, .INSURANCE. As Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor of Payments and Cybersecurity Policy for the ABA, Johnson has been involved with the fTLD effort from the beginning, and is probably the most well-versed authority on the .BANK domain name issue.
Whether you’ve reserved your .BANK domain name or are still “on the fence” about it, this session will provide valuable information, the benefits and strategies around communicating the change to your customers.
Date: December 15, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Facebook , LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Periscope, Pinterest, Blab.im, etc… the options for using social media seem to be endless these days. As a community banker you may not be using all of these for the bank (yet), but there’s a good chance many of your employees are (and some may be even using them for business purposes without you even knowing). In the world of banking, we’re all too familiar with compliance and regulations, but when it comes to social media things can get a little fuzzy unless you know what questions to ask and what you should (and should not) be enforcing with your staff.
In this month’s Banker Education Series webinar we’ll offer attendees an overview of some of the legal issues relating to the use of technology and social media that bankers need to be aware going into 2016. Do you know what the new trends are or how your bank may be affected – legally and socially? If you’re not sure, then you’ll want to reserve your seat today (and don’t forget your questions).
Our guest for this month's show will be Deborah Gonzalez, Esq. founder of Law2sm, LLC (www.law2sm.com) a legal consulting firm focusing on helping its clients navigate the legal and security issues relating to the new digital and social media world. Law2sm was founded to bring resources and tools of legal use of digital and social media to the public. Deborah is the co-developer of the Digital Risk Assessment® tool that assists a company to ensure that their online activity is in line with state laws, federal laws, and regulatory compliance (www.digitalrcp.com). She is a sought-after speaker in the US and abroad about the legal issues of online and social media activity and is the author of the Butterworth-Heinemann books “Managing Online Risks: Mobile, Apps and Social Media Security” and “Online Security for Business Travelers.”
Date: November 24, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Branch transformation. A modern approach to community banking that provides a cost-effective means to expanded in-person banking hours, gain more live interaction with clients and prospects, test new markets with reduced risk, improve efficiency in staffing and a number of other positives for community banks and their clients. Branch transformation can be a highly effective part of improved profitability.
Join us as we explore two key components of Branch Transformation, the Universal Banker staffing model and the use of Interactive Teller Machines (ITM’s).
We’ll explore the equipment used to provide ITM service, along with the underlying software platform. We’ll look at financial institutions that have successfully implemented components of modern branch transformation and discuss staffing approaches they have used.
This month on WSI's Banker Education Series we’ll be joined by Jeff Simpkins, founder and president of Community Bank Consulting, Inc., based in Charlotte, NC. An industry-expert that has personally worked with hundreds of financial institutions and finance companies throughout the United States. Jeff has worked in and with community banks and finance related business since 1990. He is focused on helping community financial institutions effectively and profitably serve their clients and shareholders by finding an efficient balance of people, process and technology.
Date: October 29, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Community bankers have always been fantastic at developing customer relationships. This is especially true when we are able to see customers face-to-face. But with the growing popularity of mobile banking apps, online banking and all the other ways that customers can do their banking without coming to an office, what happens when we have fewer and fewer in-person opportunities? Bankers need to think about how to build engagement via remote delivery channels and through technology to remain relevant in today's digital age. Fortunately, this is not only possible, but can be optimal, if you know some of the strategies available to put them to work for your bank.
For this month's BES, we'll be joined by Joel Abramson of Larky and we'll explore how to create digital and remote engagement that builds relationships, grows share of wallet and gets your customers talking. Don't risk becoming obsolete and missing out on opportunities to re-connect with the digital customer and reserve your spot today.
Date: September 25, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
One of the hottest topics in banking today (and often the most misunderstood concept), Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a certain point of discussion during your bank’s next examination. Unfortunately, the quest to implement ERM has been a difficult and costly task for most banks as the most widely published ERM models apply to publicly traded, non-bank entities, most of them Fortune 500 companies. Bankers have been faced with the choice of implementing a very generic ERM program that didn’t fit the community bank model or engaging costly outside help to spend months and sometimes years developing a bank-specific ERM program. Consequently, in most cases neither option has produced favorable results.
In this session, learn how banks can establish an effective Enterprise Risk Management program that is specific to the business of banking. Find out what Enterprise Risk Management IS… and IS NOT. Learn how to communicate the benefits of Enterprise Risk Management to your bank’s board of directors. Get ahead of the curve with a straightforward approach to the Enterprise Risk Assessment, and realize the benefits of an ongoing Enterprise Risk Management program for your bank.
This month on WSI's Banker Education Series we'll be joined by Jimmy Sawyers, co-founder of Sawyers & Jacobs of Memphis, TN. An industry-recognized expert, faculty member at several banking schools, top-rated speaker at banking conventions around the country and published author, Jimmy is focused on helping community bankers in a variety of areas - with a specialty in risk management. His new book, The Art of Enterprise Risk Management for Community Banks, co-authored with Dr. Ed Seifried, Jay Brew, and Robin Wilder, of Seifried & Brew LLC, serves as the basis for this presentation and will provide community bankers the insight needed to tackle the complex issue of ERM.
Date: August 21, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
While many community banks may be spending time building fans on Facebook, there are many other alternative communication channels to help build an audience, enhance your reputation and create relationships (that hopefully will become customers someday). In this month's BES we'll be joined by John Siracusa, founder and CEO of Mosa Marketing, and talking about tools like podcasting, webinars, live streaming video and using images to tell a story.
Someone who practices what he preaches, John is also the founder of the Bank on It podcast, as well as the creator of the Bank Social Media Conference, coming in 2016. If you're looking for new and innovative ways to "get heard" this session is one you won't want to miss. Plus, John has promised something special for attendees, so you've got even more reason to attend!
Date: July 23, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Changing demographics and consumer behaviors combined with the onslaught of Silicon Valley inspired competitors has banks rethinking the purpose, value and role of their branches.
Banks nationwide are reducing their total number of branches as part of an ongoing response to high operating costs, increased digital channel adoption and constantly shifting consumer preferences. Nearly 1,500 bank branches were closed last year according to SNL Financial. Many executives who had, in recent years, grown accustomed to branch expansion are now wondering about the future viability of their branch network.
This session, presented by Joe Sullivan - CEO of Market Insights, will lay out a proven methodology to help you prioritize your branch investments and provide a framework for making the tough decisions about keeping, closing, repurposing or improving branches within your network. Through case studies that involve hard data, forecasting models, consumer transactional behavior and common sense, the audience will learn the relevant data points, market factors, consumer behavioral shifts and competitive dynamics that are key to making these decisions.
Participants will walk away with a framework they can use to evaluate their branch delivery network. Reserve your seat today and join us for this informational webinar!
Date: June 25, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
The FFIEC requires banks to implement effective layered security controls to reduce the likeliness and impact of fraudulent transactions, but how do you implement such a program and still focus on serving your customers?
With criminals targeting ACH/wire transactions, our commercial customers are in the crosshairs. Retail card fraud, ATM/POS skimming and cybercrime in general has become a highly organized and lucrative business that results in fraud losses and torn customer relationships.
During this month’s BES, we’ll be joined by Dr. Kevin Streff of Secure Banking Solutions to discuss how banks can make risk-based decisions and implement effective layered security controls to reduce risk and improve customer relationships and online experience. Dr. Streff is a well-know expert and frequent speaker on the topics of cybercrime, network security and is his company is endorsed by several of the state’s banking associations. In addition, he’s a fellow faculty member with the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I’m excited to have Kevin joining us to discuss this very important and timely subject.
Date: Thursday May 21, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Apple Pay has gotten a ton of press lately, but if you are still struggling to understand what it truly is and how it will effect your bank, you are not alone and we would like to help.
Join us for an educational hour while we cover:
- Exactly what is apple pay?
- Should it be on your banks to do list?
- Are there security concerns?
- What do bank marketers need to know about Apple Pay?
Kathleen Craig is Founder and President of HT Mobile Apps. With its mobile money management app for children and parents, Banker Jr 3.0, HT Mobile Apps pushes beyond traditional mobile banking platforms to find fun, innovative ways for community banks and credit unions to tap into the app experience. For more information, visit www.htmobileapps.com, or follow Kathleen on Twitter (@Kcraig115) or Connect on LinkedIn.
Date: Thursday April 23, 2015 @ 3 pm Eastern
Join us for the kickoff of our Banker Education Series of webinars when we are joined by American Bankers Association's Doug Johnson for a webinar about the coming .BANK domain name. As Senior Vice President and Senior Advisor of Payments and Cybersecurity Policy for the ABA, Johnson has been involved with the fTLD effort from the beginning, and is probably the most well-versed authority on the .BANK domain name issue.
The webinar will cover common questions such as the registration process, trademark questions, consumer awareness efforts and much more. We'll also allow plenty of time for questions.
If you're interested in staying updated