Call it the convenience conundrum. By providing effective and extensive digital banking capabilities, banks and credit unions have enabled customers to conduct ever more banking transactions when they want, where they want — without ever stepping into a branch or interacting with a bank representative. That success threatens to fundamentally erode the personal connections that have been essential to banking success.

Here’s the irony: Financial institutions are awash in data that could enable them to construct the most intimate financial portrait of individual customers in history. There is an urgent need for banks and credit unions to act on this advantage — or risk being outflanked by rivals from inside and outside the banking industry.

Bankers control the junction of data for transactions, financial holdings, geolocation, biometrics, customer experience, and social media. They already have the potential to know where their customers shop, how much they spend, the strength of their cash flow, their borrowing capacity, the financial dreams that motivate them — and much, much more.


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