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01:00 PM
Art Gillis
Art Gillis

"My Way" Is the Right Way for Bank Customers

What's in your bank's wallet of offerings?

I just put to bed my 600-page, 117-exhibits tome (Automation in Banking-2011) as it turns into an electronic slumber ready to be downloaded to thirsty clients. It's a month late, I might add, and for good reason. Nothing's the same anymore.

With so many exhibits, one might think Number 99 didn't deserve my attention for this blog. But I liked it because even after 53 years as a "tekbizpro," I have never lost my affinity for the advocacy of any idea that says, "Do it my way."

In 1970 there were only six ways a consumer or business could interact with its bank. They were all physical. In other words, the customer had to go somewhere, at a specified range of times, with a pen (as well as a PIN), with a piece of plastic, and in my case, dressed to impress. I wasn't alone.

In 1995, a reporter for the Washington Post acknowledged my piece about Internet Banking and she didn't waste any time telling me about her Big Mama."When Big Mama goes to the bank it's a special occasion. She dresses for the part and her purse contains so much impressive identity that even the White House would let her in. Big Mama knows she'll see someone who recognizes her and she's very careful to display the honor that her parents passed on to her. Big Mama is not going electronic. She wants and deserves full honors every Monday."

I assured the reporter that Big Mama will have her choice for decades to come. These days, there are eight "new" ways that consumers and businesses can interact with their banks, and they work anywhere, except maybe from 30,000 feet. Can you picture Big Mama texting her bank from her kitchen rather than the traditional walk down K Street? I can't, and that's what I love about Frankie (Sinatra)'s theme song ("My Way").

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