Technology can be a double-edged sword. No matter your industry, it can be both a huge boost to your customer satisfaction and brand equity, while also a beast to keep up with. This is definitely evident in the financial industry.

Here are three key tech advances that are harbingers for what's to come in the banking industry.

The emphasis is data

Knowledge of your customer base is more critical than ever before in the financial world. As the national players perfect their systems for analyzing what they know about their customers' wants and needs, smaller players need to jump onto the movement to stay competitive. Identifying patterns and trends based off of real-time information is crucial to a compelling and effective upsell strategy. Much of the devil is in the details, though - you need to employ the use of a data analyst to get the ball rolling.

The Trend: According to IBM, the process of "cognitive banking," or data analysis and efficiency boosting in sales and day-to-day operations, has won over more than 89 percent of banks who are familiar with it.

Major tech companies set the tone

It may be strange to see companies outside of your own industry setting the tone for what's to come (both to maintain customers and overall relevancy). But the fact of the matter is, with major brands like Apple and Google and even Wal-Mart venturing more and more into finance, high-tech coupled with banking makes for an attractive end consumer product. Banks will need to more so than ever embrace the future of mobile payments, mobile wallet apps and perhaps even technology their customers can wear (i.e., Apple Watch).

The Trend: While bankers have an awareness in the shift toward wearable technology, financial firm Misys estimates that a mere 15 percent have plans to enter the arena (despite 96 thinking that they should).

On-demand is the way

Automation is becoming more and more the No. 1 way that your consumers will interact with your financial brand, from financial advice on-demand to self-serve bank telling. It's often tough to navigate investment in automation and appropriately balancing it with staffing of real, live human beings, but shifting your rosters to more person-necessary areas such as mortgage lending, commercial real estate and live, 24/7 customer service is a way to future-proof your organization and your people.

The Trend: According to studies from Citigroup, 30 percent of currently identifiable bank positions will become obsolete in the next 10 years. Banks need to respond to this sea change by planning for organizational restructuring and investing in on-demand tech. 

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