Available On Demand – 16 minutes
Join us for a fireside chat with fintech influencer Scarlett Sieber and industry veteran Joe Spatarella discussing how you can unlock the potential of your existing digital commercial banking capabilities. Listen in as Joe and Scarlett discuss the practical applications for your commercial capabilities and how you can abstract value from your digital banking assets today. We will wrap up with a future look on where treasury management is going from here. This chat is not to be missed!
Scarlett Sieber: Hi, welcome to CCG’s Webinar. We are so excited to have you, we have a variety of amazing topics we want to be discussing with you. I am your host, Scarlett Sieber, Managing Director, Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer here at CCG Catalyst. The world is changing more than we’ve ever seen. And with that, there is a lot on all of your minds. So we thought we would take this opportunity to start to dive down into specific topics that are relevant to you. And this specific series is going to be about commercial digital banking products. And because of that, there is no one better than my colleague Joe Spatarella, who is an industry veteran. He’s the Principal over here at CCG Catalyst. And I am very excited to show you all this great stuff that we have as it relates to digital commercial capabilities. This episode specifically is going to be around unlocking the value of your digital commercial investments and capabilities. And Joe, thank you for being here with me. Both of us on the East Coast getting ready to talk about something that I know is very dear and true to your heart. And looking forward to our conversation.
Joe Spatarella: Thanks, Scarlett. Great to be here. And I’m excited to be part of the CCG Catalyst team and hopefully we can share some information that can be used by our clients and other folks that might be viewing this.
Scarlett Sieber: Absolutely. And we are so happy to have you as the newest member of our team. So on that note, I think let’s just go ahead and start talking. Because there is so much happening right now as it relates to banking. And we really wanted to take this opportunity to think about how can you utilize the existing platforms and services that you have specifically on the commercial side. So, Joe, really, what is the premise behind the view that there is untapped value? What does that mean? What does that look like?
Joe Spatarella: Yeah, that’s a great question, Scarlett. So, you know, historically banks have only used 40 to 50 percent of the functionality supported by the products they purchase, typically just to kind of get the project in within a certain period of time with limited budget resources. You know, other things that defer into later phases, which may or may not occur so frequently. There’s a lot that’s kind of left on the table that can certainly be unlocked and mined and leveraged for new capabilities and features that can be of immediate use.
Scarlett Sieber: Absolutely, so when we think about this if you were to pinpoint it down, what are maybe the one or two key areas that you see many financial institutions who have these digital capabilities that they’re not fully utilizing some what are one or two things? And how can they better utilize these moving forward?
Joe Spatarella: Sure. So, I mean, one that’s just fundamental is if we look at online banking platforms, particularly on the commercial side, there’s always a communications component to it, whether that be bulletins or secure email or chat capabilities. And I don’t think that it’s necessarily something that banks and credit unions think about in terms of a way of communicating with their clients, just telling them things like what branches might be open and available, what ATMs are functioning, what other services the financial institutions might be offering them right now. So that’s one and that’s, again, fairly fundamental. Another would be the ability to send and receive files between customers and the financial institutions. There are some capabilities there. It might be trying to get a payroll file in because they don’t have access to the web, for example. So there’s opportunities there. And the last is really on the reporting side, because if it’s a situation where the end user is typically printing out a report which is then shared with other folks in their office, and now everyone’s working remotely, we have an opportunity here to leverage additional channels to move that information around and make it available to people again in a more remote setting.
Scarlett Sieber: Yeah, I think those are all key elements. Not surprisingly, people are going be looking at these short-term efforts because we need to find some quick and immediate ways to improve what’s happening. But how can these short term efforts really improve the overall commercial customer digital experience? How is this going to impact the medium to long term? What does that look like in your mind?
Joe Spatarella: Sure. Well, again online banking, digital banking services have moved from a nice to have or a convenience to an absolutely have to have. So there’s this emphasis on remote banking. So we have to sort of look at things a little bit differently. And it’s interesting because Stanford D School or Design School has a methodology where you redesign something, but you take away one critical element or component. In this case, we’re taking the physicality out. We can’t look at things in terms of is there a branch I can go to or is it one to one in-person meeting? We have to rethink that and figure out how do we best facilitate the customer’s needs to complete the tasks and functions they have in a new and different way leveraging these digital channels that we have in place.
Scarlett Sieber: So we’re talking both about the existing capabilities and then even maybe leveraging aspects that they didn’t know that they had. For anything that is existing, that is a part of their services and/or something that’s slightly new, would these new digital capabilities require additional vendor investment? Because, I’m thinking about if I’m a bank, maybe even I have these, I don’t actually know really how to use these. So now am I going to go off to pay a bunch more money to my vendor? What does that look like?
Joe Spatarella: Sure. That’s a great question. You know, investments key, right? So it’s going to vary by vendor, by platform and by implementation, if you will. But, you know, the first step is really to see if the bank administrator has access to some of these features and capabilities. And it may just be a matter of turning those on. In a lot of cases a couple of years ago, there may have been decisions made around risk or operational or processing capabilities, which really could be reversed right now. I mean, a great example is, you know, we’re encouraging customers to use remote deposit, but yet we may have set the limits fairly low, which would be a little bit restrictive. So that’s something that could be changed right away. So that’s really the first step. The second is it may just be a phone call to the vendor to ask them to please turn something on that isn’t on already. And then again, there may be some professional services fees around delivering some things, but I don’t think it would be anything that would be a significant capital investment by all means.
Scarlett Sieber: Right. And you certainly have a lot of experience taking advantage of and leveraging all of the capabilities that these financial institutions typically acquire and then maybe not know the full depth and breadth of what they actually got because they’re so focused on one or two things. So we talked about this a little bit, but I want to have you dive in maybe a bit deeper because, like I said, in the next 30 to 60 days, things are going to be very tactical. So how can I make sure that we’re leveraging all of these tactical efforts to the full capacity when we’re looking at roadmaps past 2021 or the next 18 months? Because my personal concern is while we do need to focus on the immediate and the tactical, that the bigger picture stuff gets left behind, which the two of them really do need to coincide and have a bridge built, so to speak. I’m just curious, how do you think about these tactical efforts really being built into the long term 18 month strategy roadmap?
Joe Spatarella: Sure, there’s a lot there. I mean, first and foremost we have to adjust to what the new normal is. When the smoke clears and the dust settles here, we’re going to be living in a very different world and things are not going to be the same. Commerce has been impacted in finance in ways we never imagined. So that’s really sort of the first element. The other is, business plans put together for 2020 are basically blown at this point. So. the question is how do we deal with the tactical, with the today, with the right now, how we support customers? But at the same time, how do we retool our plans for the remainder of the year. And then how would a financial institution best position themselves as we enter into 2021? I think the best way to look at this is as a digital first strategy. It’s no longer a convenience it is something that is really going to drive a lot of services whether it’s providing information and facilitating payments for transactions remotely, facilitating loans or access to credit lines, there’s just a myriad of potential opportunities there. So, while we are in the midst of this crisis, we need to look not just today, but we need to look at tomorrow as well.
Scarlett Sieber: Absolutely, we do have to kind of talk about the elephant in the room which is this Covid-19 crisis. How can current online banking capabilities help during this pandemic and how has it impacted these strategic plans that financial institutions have right now?
Joe Spatarella: Well, again, everything is going to be different. All the assumptions that were made in putting together business and product plans for this year have to be reviewed and reconsidered. And it’s really a matter of how do you provide the same products and services, and as I alluded to earlier, removing that one critical component, which is the physical component. A digital first strategy says let’s assume that whatever we’re doing, whatever product, service, or capability a bank or credit union wants to offer has to be done through a digital channel of some kind with a digital interaction. Now, the good news is that will drive a lot of innovation and a lot of adoption, which typically is what people look for in the midst of crisis. You see it every day, there’s a lot of technology, a lot of innovation rushing forward from everything from not only dealing with the pandemic, but also how best to deliver food, how to get retailers online so they don’t have to close their doors. It’s pretty broad in terms of its impact. We’re in uncharted territory and we need to really step back and try to look at things, spin the cube a little bit and consider some alternative ways of things that we’ve historically done with that physical component in place. I think this will push us forward. It will take us into a new phase of digital banking, both on the retail and the commercial side. But I think in general, it will better position banks and credit unions for the future. In my mind the future is now. So my advice would be you should always try to take some time out to figure out not just the tactical but what’s your go forward strategy going to be.
Scarlett Sieber: Absolutely. Thank you for sharing those thoughts, Joe. That’s extremely helpful. I did not mention in the beginning, but if you see below at the bottom of your screen, we have a lot of great resources for you. Of course, you notice that one of them is the video where you see Joe and I and now you see our slide deck. That little icon of our heads actually is a great way to get a hold of us. You click on the icon. That’s our both Joe and my entire background. And you can reach us directly on our email from there. You can click there to see more of the other aspects that we’re involved in. You can go and see us on LinkedIn and what not. And then right next to that, where you see the CCG logo, that actually is a great resource for you. Joe has just written an article on this topic on digital and the catalyst for change, which is perfect given what we do. So you can actually go ahead and click on that link right there and see Joe’s thoughts further and article format, which is very helpful. And of course, always feel free to connect with us on Twitter. Now, Joe, I would just wonder, as we wrap up here, I’m thinking of all the ways that we could potentially help. We really are here to be these trusted partners and resources for you all. So if you have specific questions for us, please don’t hesitate to leave them here in the comment box. If you’re watching this after the fact, reach out to us on Twitter, reach out to us on our website. Again, you have our direct contact information there. And if there are things that this is feeling super overwhelming and you just need a partner to talk to about that, we’re here for you. We will do what we can to answer as many questions as you have. And of course, if you’re interested in a virtual review of your current digital capabilities and maybe the aspects that you’re not taking advantage of, let us know. We’re certainly here and happy to help. In this time, what we all need is teamwork and we want to be that trusted partner for you. So, whatever we can do, please let us know. Joe, anything else you want to add?
Joe Spatarella: No, I think I think that pretty much sums it up. You know, wherever we can best partner and be a thought partner and help think this all through again. We’re in uncharted territory. We’re happy to do so.
Scarlett Sieber: Absolutely. That’s perfect. And there is no way that we can talk about the complexities of digital commercial banking within one episode of this webinar. So this will be a series. Joe and I will be back to talk about different aspects of this. Stay tuned. We will, of course, share more links with you and more data. There is a lot that’s happening here and we are very excited to continue this conversation with you. So thank you for taking the time today to sit with us and listen. And we look forward to your comments and feedback. And until next time, we have the opportunity to see you enjoy the rest of your day.
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer Scarlett Sieber is one of the world’s premier voices in financial services. She is among the industry’s most sought-after speakers as a thought leader and innovator with expertise in driving organizational change at both startups and enterprises across the financial services and fintech ecosystem. Scarlett has been invited to speak at over 100 prestigious financial services and technology conferences globally, including Money20/20, Finovate, South Summit, and NASA’s Cross Industry Innovation Summit.
Scarlett’s experience includes founding her own startup as well as working at banks such as BBVA, USAA, and Opus Bank. She is a leading fintech influencer, included on lists such as Top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 and Top 10 Fintech Influencers in the U.S. Scarlett also has deep experience in digital strategy and innovation implementation, making her a key asset to building cutting-edge programs for our clients.
Managing Director Joe Spatarella brings more than 30 years of experience in Commercial Banking, Treasury Management, Payments and Financial Technology. Joe has been, and continues to be, at the forefront of successful new digital banking strategies and products. He has a proven track record of leveraging emerging technologies and developing successful go-to-market strategies for financial institutions. Joe’s career started in bank operations and commercial product management. He has a multi-dimensional view of the business with a thorough understanding of sales, marketing, product, operations and technology components, along with the ability to communicate issues and opportunities with a clear, concise and forward-looking perspective.