Don’t Leave Innovation to Its Own Devices

By Jeff Szyperski

A few years ago, I was travelling when my Nest home security camera alerted me to activity on my front porch. I replayed the video on my phone and saw that an overnight envelope had been delivered. But there was more.

A few seconds after the package dropped, a thief came into view, cautiously approaching the porch, grabbing the package and then running off. I quickly called my wife and sent her to chase after the thief—which was not as dangerous as it sounds, because the culprit was our dog, Rocket. Wende managed to retrieve the envelope before he shredded the documents.

Pet spying is perhaps not the primary reason people buy wifi-enabled, interconnected security cams. But part of the fun of putting new apps and devices to use is discovering the unexpected benefits. Maybe that’s why I gravitate to them.

But the main reason I like to have the latest technology at my fingertips is because I find it easier to keep up than to catch up. The rapid pace of change has such a large potential impact on my bank, I don’t want to risk falling behind. That’s why I’m glad to see so much in the July/August issue of ABA Banking Journal to help bankers keep up and advance innovation in their own banks.

You don’t have to be an early adopter to experience how advanced digital devices are transforming our lives as consumers and our jobs as bankers. Digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri have become omnipresent in our homes, lives and the broader culture. (For a funny example of this, check out the  online parody video about a “Southern Alexa” who reminds users to say please and thank you and asks why on earth someone would want to add canned biscuits to a grocery list instead of making them from scratch.)

With more and more internet-enabled devices available—as many as 125 billion by 2030, according to some estimates—banks are doing their part to make sure their services are available through them.
Our July/August cover story, for example, takes a look at how banks of all sizes are using digital voice technology, whether through integration with virtual assistants or to authenticate callers, reducing both fraud and friction.

Digital assistants are just one class of a broader range of internet-enabled devices called the “internet of things.” It won’t be long before we’ll be seeing banking services delivered through advanced “connected cars,” for example. But for innovation that is here and now, check out our feature on innovative products being developed by core providers, both new and long-established. (ABA’s banker-led Core Platforms Committee has been working closely with the cores to get these kinds of products to market through banks faster.)

There’s also a feature in this issue that takes a closer look at a new ABA strategic partnership with Alloy Labs Alliance, which provides a variety of tools to help participating midsize and community banks ramp up their own internal innovation processes.

Competition and customer expectations make innovation imperative. At ABA, we are committed to ensuring that banks of all sizes have the technology tools and resources they need to serve their customers and communities today and in the future.