As we move into the second quarter of 2012, we see the U. S. community banking industry stepping up their technology budgets. This movement is a result of the industry trying to capture their future market; the Generation Y (Gen Y) customers (Yurcan, Brian, “8 Bank Technology Trends That Will Shape the Industry in 2012,” www.banktech.com, January 3, 2012).
The Gen Y market, comprising people born between approximately 1979 and 1999, is enormous. The immensity of this demographic is only outsized by its future earning potential. This group, made up of approximately 80 million adolescents and young adults, earn approximately $214 billion annually and are expected to earn $3.4 trillion, compared to the estimated $2.8 trillion earnings of the baby boomers by 2018 (Constantine, Greg, “Tapping Into Generation Y: Nine Ways Community Financial Institutions Can Use Technology to Capture Young Customers,” www.firstdata.com, April 2010).
In an effort to meet the growing technological demands of a technologically savvy market and to make banking easier and more convenient for our customers, Intracoastal Bank is initiating several exciting new services in 2012. Some of these new services include:
- A newly installed ATM which will eventually be an automated banking center, allowing transactions to be done 24/7. Business and Personal customers will be able to make deposits using image technology; no deposit slips or envelopes are needed. This ATM will allow bulk cash and checks to be deposited. The machine will add up the checks and cash to be deposited and confirm that this number matches what the customer enters. The customer will receive a receipt of their transaction with images of all checks deposited for their records. This machine is so smart that it can even detect counterfeit bills and will reject them.
- A new and improved Mobiliti Banking. We currently offer mobile banking, but we are taking it to a whole new level. There will be 3 ways to access the mobile banking feature: text messages, website or by downloading an app to your phone. Besides checking account balances, making transfers and looking at account history, customers will be able to pay bills with their smart phones.
- The addition of Account Create to our website. This allows new and existing customers the opportunity to open accounts 24/7. This new service alleviates having to come into the bank during designated hours to set up an account.
- The addition of LinkLive to our website. This gives our customers the opportunity to have online chats with our Personal Bankers when they have questions. This program also allows our Personal Bankers to view a customer’s desktop in order to assist them with their online banking issues.
Corporate Volunteerism: A Win Win Win
Today, the true measure of a corporation’s success is more than the bottom line and the value of the company to its stockholders. Corporate citizenship is an integral part of a company’s success. Some essential business practices of corporate citizenship include treating employees well, practicing good ethics, being transparent and accountable, building trust and relationships, and contributing to a sustainable environment (Hitachi Foundation & Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship, 2003). However, one of the most critical components of corporate citizenship today is volunteerism; the involvement and positive social impact that the corporation and their employees have on the community where they work. More and more, today’s successful businesses realize that their profitability, reputation and retention of quality employees have a strong correlation to their commitment to employee volunteer programs.
At Intracoastal Bank, we understand and stress the importance of giving back to our community. By providing our employees with an opportunity to do good deeds that they don’t have time for outside of work, we increase company loyalty and develop strong and lasting ties to our community. At the end of the day, our company, our employees and our community reap the benefits of our continued dedication to volunteerism.
Intracoastal Bank’s support of employee volunteerism has several benefits to us as a company. It has grown our relationship with the community who has helped make us successful. A by-product of this valued relationship is the enhancement of our corporate image and reputation. Additionally, our support and direct involvement in various not for profit projects over the past several years; the United Way of Volusia/Flagler Counties, Habitat for Humanity, Mobile Benefits, Feed Flagler, Flagler County Education Foundation, etc., has built an extremely cohesive and motivated workforce. We’ve become a unified team!
For our employees, the involvement in community volunteer programs has many perks. Volunteerism offers our employees the opportunity to improve the community where they work and live. Also, the ability to participate in the bank’s supported programs adds variety and fulfillment to their work day. In addition and quite possibly most importantly, the active engagement of our employees in these volunteer programs has improved their leadership and interpersonal skills and increased their sense of self worth. We truly have more effective and better-rounded employees because of it!
Intracoastal Bank’s unwavering support and involvement in community-based volunteer efforts positively impacts our hometown as well. Our efforts have increased the understanding of the necessity of a strong and enduring relationship between businesses and the not for profit sector in the vitality of our community. Our employees also are providing their skills and talents to needed community services that might not otherwise be possible. Lastly, our bank’s efforts assist in enhancing the quality of life in our community.