By Debra Smith

The challenge and I’d argue, the fun, of working in the banking digital landscape is that things are always changing. Twenty years ago, a trip to the ATM was one of the most convenient ways to deposit a check or access funds. Now, a few swipes on your mobile device, and you can make a deposit or pay for a purchase with mobile wallet.

The challenge for us in the digital channel is ensuring we’re continually evolving how we personalize the experience – so that our mission is always conveyed at each digital encounter with our customers.

The fact that Rockland Trust is so committed to providing the most customer-centric experience possible regardless of the channel is one reason why I love my job.

This means asking the question – how do we ensure that we’re meeting customers where they are at every interaction they have with us?

Whenever we conceptualize or improve on any initiative, we must factor four main things:

  • Personalization – Does this better connect to our customers? Will it improve their experiences with us as well as respect their time?
  • Simplification – Is this easy to use – does it remove barriers and unnecessary key strokes? Does it ensure our customers can get what they want quickly and easily?
  • Security – Are we protecting every angle of our customers’ assets without adding inconvenience?
  • Feedback – What have we heard from our customers and how can we address their comments?

These four things really enable us to discern what’s important versus, “Wow, that’s really flashy.” Flashy, shiny things come and go with each new fad. But we continue to focus on building long-term relationships by offering the seamless customer service options that are built to last.

That’s why in 2017 we launched several offerings about which my team and I are rather proud. This includes Touch ID, or the ability to log into accounts on mobile devices with just a fingerprint − talk about personal, secure, and simple. We also added new fraud protection features for your mobile device such as SecurLOCK and Card Travel notes.

SecurLOCK provides customers the ability to control their debit card use. Card Travel notes allow customers to notify us of travel their plans through all of our digital channels so they do not experience interruption in debit card use.

We also updated our corporate banking platform, which moves data analytics into the hands of our business customers. Now, they can organize, analyze, and calculate their funds to better plan for expenditures, growth, and new purchases – with easier implementation and a very simplistic workflow.

Looking ahead to 2018, new digital initiatives will continue to center around our customers with the goal of making banking easier with everything we do. So what does the future hold?

Without revealing too much of our big plans for the coming year, I can tell you that our offerings will include three things:

  1. Expanded financial management tools and the ability to aggregate accounts.
  2. Faster easier payment offerings.
  3. More online capabilities.

We truly believe that consistency is key – and when we introduce anything new, we do as gingerly and efficiently as possible. Why?

We know that our customers rely on us for their most important assets, and we strive to enhance their experiences, without inducing a shock factor.

Change is inevitable, so as we close out a very interesting 2017, we look to what I’m sure will be an even more intriguing 2018.

Debra Smith is Director of Banking and Digital Operations at Rockland Trust. She can be reached at debra.smith@rocklandtrust.com.