We had the opportunity to attend the 2023 ABA Conference for Community Bankers in Orlando. It was great to be back after attending last year’s event that included our President & CEO Elizabeth Glasbrenner being interviewed at the inaugural Core Connection. I wanted to provide a few takeaways from the conference:
A Very Large Super Bowl Party
The conference hosted the largest Super Bowl I have ever attended. Just a few hundred of my closest friends! I was pulling for the Eagles, but it was a great game! Bonding over sports, it never gets old!
ABA Core Platforms Committee Survey
The ABA Core Platforms Committee released the 2022 core survey, an update from the 2020 core survey. Banks have become more dissatisfied with their core provider since 2020. On a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being extremely dissatisfied and 5 being extremely satisfied, the satisfaction score decreased from 3.38 to 3.01. Smaller cores outside the Big 3 scored higher marks; being a smaller core, we pride ourselves on bringing exceptional service and continuous innovation to our partner banks.
Middleware, Middleware, Middleware
Middleware, as a potential innovation, provides a bridge between core systems and Fintechs. As a partner to one of our bank clients, we are currently working with a middleware provider and have our API’s available to Fintechs through our Smiley Developer Portal. The concept is logical and can certainly have its place helping banks meet its customers where they are and where they could be going. That said, the strategic relationship with the core cannot be replaced and communication becomes paramount to success. Suggestion, start early…it’s never as easy as it sounds. You should have a relationship with your core as a trusted adviser that can partner with you, a potential middleware provider, and fintech.
One of the sessions I attended was the Introduction to Community Development Financial Institutions or CDFIs. Our first customer was and still is a CDFI, and we have brought more CDFIs to our platform. I love the mission-driven impact CDFIs have on their communities. Our core platform has specific reporting for CDFIs and a separate database that tracks CDFI loans. We have also built a reporting tool for the Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) that provides capital for CDFIs and Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs). Stay tuned for more information on this.
Speaking of MDIs, I got the opportunity to attend the first-ever MDI Partnership Summit. The theme was partnerships, partnerships, and partnerships. We heard about MDIs and the impact they are having on their communities including hearing from our partner Optus Bank and its CEO Dom Mjartan; I am looking forward to the next MDI Partnership Summit.
Lastly, you might have seen a two-year-old running around the conference halls, I told him his time will come at the 2045 ABA Conference for Community Bankers!