American Banker Digital Banking Conference Highlights: The Power of Tech for CX


First and foremost, a sincere offer of gratitude for all of the behind-the-scenes and center-stage planners and presenters from American Banker, including Penny Crosman, Executive Editor-Technology, and her editorial team, and those with the digital magazine’s parent company, Arizent. Having attended many conferences already this year, it’s always great to participate in well-planned and wisely-executed events like these.

Highlighting the significance of technology, American Banker’s award for “Digital Banker of the Year 2022” was presented to Allan Rayson of Encore Bank. Here, he serves as Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Technology Officer for the Arkansas-based, boutique bank. An accomplished banker and leader, Allan has a 20-year track record of collaborating with and supporting large and small corporations, individual investors, founders and entrepreneurs.

As noted by reporter Miriam Cross for American Banker, Rayson is “The ‘visionary’ behind a tech-savvy commercial bank,” and was recognized “for leading a tech transformation and working with fintech partners that help the Arkansas bank serve commercial customers.”

Driving Digital for Exceptional CX

The keynote address delivered by Timothy Welsh, Vice Chair, Consumer and Business Banking, U.S. Bank, was aptly titled “Using Mobile to Personalize Banking.” As noted in my colleague’s recent post, Welsh hit on the new reality in banking today, regarding the impact of digital transformation in the industry.

There is now no distinction between online and offline banking.

Whether mobile or in person, the customer must be given the tools they need to access and utilize the products and services they want. He also urges banks to ask: Do the onsite employees have the tools needed to address customer needs when they come into the bank? This completes the circle from initial personalization to fulfillment. Tailoring products to the customer is key. Apps should support access to the local banker, connect customers to resources and insights, and provide more value than a standard credit card offers. Building services that connect to people to support financial educational and personalized tools is increasingly vital. Automation supports these goals, which is why my colleague, Brent Plow, and I were glad to see the innovative, cool ways banks are managing customer connections.

Welsh reinforced an important point: Customers simply do what is most convenient for themselves. In turn, banks that service them must be agile and able to adapt.

Because finance is so deeply personal, he added, we need to create solutions that make a difference in our customers’ lives by helping them achieve their own goals and dreams. This is why our human + digital approach is more important than ever.

digitalbanking 1This tied directly to comments from Erik Qualman, Technology and Digital Leadership Expert, Socialnomics Author. In his keynote address, “Digital Leadership: Future-Proofing via Innovation to Transformation,” he effectively and energetically reinforced the value of using apps to help the customer feel a connection to their banking support team. For example, offering FaceTime calls for customers. They can see and work directly with a local branch staff member for assistance. This allows a face-to-face, if you will, experience that drives customer confidence, and creates a connection, enabling a truly personalized, stronger relationship.

FYI on BaaS

Banking as a Service (BaaS) was also in the spotlight. A panel discussion featured several financial institutions that frequently sponsor fintechs. In the session, “Open Banking: Bank and Tech Partnerships that Work,” panel members, including Evolve Bank’s Kristen Kines and Mike Butler, CEO of the all-digital Grasshopper Bank in New York City, detailed the importance of engaging with fintechs which want to provide banking services to their customers, but need the help of a chartered bank. The central theme running through the BaaS-focused sessions was, notably and necessarily, compliance.

On this core issue, an important point. Partnering with banks who partner with technology platform providers – to ensure their disclosure management enhances compliance – will continue to be significant for fintech firms. Many have yet to solve the complexities of regulatory compliance from the range of governmental officials agencies enforcing, and soon-to-be enacting, consumer protection laws.

American Banker’s Miriam Cross, reporting on bank technology and fintech, shared insights from the session in a June 15 article. She noted that, according to a 2021 report by Allied Market Research, the global banking-as-a-service market generated $2.41 billion in 2020. It is predicted to hit $11.34 billion by 2030.

Mission Critical: Exceptional CX

During the “Conference Lunch Briefing: Modernizing End-to-End Banking Experiences,” Chris Young, Director of Industry Strategy and Marketing, Financial Services, Adobe, offered useful insights for banks on digital transformation. His message matched what he offered during a Naehas webinar recently hosted by our Naehas CEO and Founder, Rab Govil, which can be accessed in various content on the Naehas website’s Resource Center. “Naehas + Adobe + Capgemini: How To Execute Personalized Offers at Scale Finserv Industry: Experts Share Insights and Solution.” The panelist’s insights remain relevant for banks more than ever as they seek to improve the customer experience in this unprecedented era of digital transformation.

Young discussed the mechanics of modernizing the banking experience in the digital age to deliver more personalization, more efficiency in tasks and better customer outcomes. These are precisely the results our banking clients realize when they leverage our automation tools.

Leveraging Data with CDP

Alan Kinny, SVP, Digital CIO, Comerica Bank was one of several panelists who participated in a particularly insightful session, “Data: Customer Data Platform (CDP) implementations will help banks compete with fintechs and rivals.” Moderated by Carter Pope, Technology Reporter for American Banker, the panel also included: Xenia Lane, SVP, Personalization, Client Experience Platform Director at Truist; and Arjun Reddy, Partner, Public Sector Financial Services with

digitalbanking3Kinny’s comments on customer data platforms tie directly into the relevance of resources like platform technology to enhance customer experiences. This supports hyper-personalization, and speaks to what we’ve seen with our customers. When we work together to get a bank’s CDP data into our system, we can utilize that to create these personalization offers. That source of truth all ties back to how to create that personalization. You’ve got to have data sets and know something about the customer. Every bank will have essentially the same products and the same services. The difference is how they are marketed, how the customer experience goes. Banks are realizing this is what’s going to turn the tide in banking. And this is precisely how automation drives results.

Resources for Exceptional CX

The relevant and resourceful sessions at the American Banker Digital Banking Conference are much like the purposely-built platforms and automation resources Naehas offers. It’s a winning combination which banks – top tier and mid-market – can tap into this dynamic, customer-centric environment. As banks are to their customers, so, too, are SaaS providers like Naehas poised to deliver educational and results-focused services. Learning to leverage automation for hyper-personalization, disclosure management, risk reduction, and fulfillment for that end-to-end user experience – equates to exceptional CX.

digitalbanking2Our role: helping bring speed and agility to marketing, compliance, product teams to land and expand relationships, while meeting the myriad demands of regulatory compliance. Establishing trust in the people, platforms and processes that have proven critical to improving CX and driving innovations and automation for banks needing to keep up with growing demands on their time and their resources. The core goal: partnering with bank leaders to support their day-to-day goals of creating exceptional customer experiences.

Brent Plow contributed to this article.