How community banks can survive

There’s a revolution, of sorts, transforming the banking industry, as large and small banks alike invest in financial technology and rethink their culture to broaden their appeal and lure younger customers into the fold.

At least a decade ago, big banks were quick to invest enormous sums to build state-of-the-art web and mobile banking platforms. But the costs linked to those innovations meant community banks were late to the game, with some now just beginning to invest in the digital tech that customers have come to demand from banks.

To say community banks are scrambling to play catch-up with online banking isn’t an understatement. But they’re doing so at a time when more of them fight for their existence due to the steady stream of mergers and acquisitions that slashed the number of local banks in South Florida. It’s a trend of utmost concern to small businesses, which have long depended on community banks as a chief source of financing.

Meanwhile, the institutions that persist are not only revamping their websites and mobile platforms but reinventing their hiring practices and redesigning branches to stay relevant. It’s all part of their multi-prong strategies to retain existing customers and lure new ones in a world increasingly altered by the convenience and personalization of tech and how millennials like to do business.

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