LAS VEGAS — David Godsman, a senior executive with Bank of America, called them customers, not members, but his opening talk at BAI Payments Connect 2012 nonetheless sounded a loud wake-up call to attendees: “What has changed in the new digital reality is that the customer has taken complete control.”
“Solutions therefore have to be flexible,” Godsman said at his Monday session.
He related that it was just a very few years ago when the question, “Will that be cash, check or charge?” made complete sense and, in truth, it reflected the full universe of possibilities.
Now, said Godsman, “there are eight ways customers want to pay us – using smartphones, a computer, in person, and so on – from eight places and when you do the math there are over 500 ways any one transaction can happen.”
That, he suggested, should blow your mind.
“We need to evolve, to avoid becoming irrelevant in the daily lives of our customers,” said Godsman.
The one inescapable reality: “Customers want control and they want choice.”
Worrisome as that backdrop might seem, Godsman nonetheless said there is a plus for financial institutions: “Customers trust us.”
He added: The question is, where do we go from here? The answer is: keep eyes wide open in a time of innovation.”
All rules are in flux, suggested Godsman, and the institutions that stay flexible just probably will do fine.