New competitive pressures, ever-increasing customer expectations, and a shrinking role in the lives of their account holders have put today’s financial institutions at a pivotal, if not existential, crossroads. Technology is often heralded as a silver bullet to address these issues, but most FIs have plenty of technology and still face significant challenges.

Chief Strategy Officer Will Furrer recently shared how to pave the road to digital excellence and make the most out of your technology investments at the 2022 Digital Banking Conference. From hundreds of conversations with financial institutions over the years, he’s found that a few common themes are foundational to their success—which is how he came up with the six imperatives for digital excellence. Here’s what he shared:

1. Collaboration – True partnership is your winning play 

Collaboration should play two roles: the nature in which you operate with your digital banking partner and your mindset when it comes to integrating with market-leading innovations.

Above all, it’s critical to work with a digital banking partner that prioritizes the ability to deeply understand your goals, challenges, and potential every step of the way—not just a vendor or provider of digital banking software, but an extension of your team that’s in it to help make you the hero of your own story. It’s also important that this partner keeps themselves accountable for the objectives you’ve laid out together and that they’re executing against key results that translate to meaningful outcomes for you and your account holders. 

Additionally, always strive to build new teams, form new alliances, and look for new ideas in unlikely places to ensure you’re delivering the experiences your customers expect.

2. Platform – To be the best, build from the rest

The power of your platform is the ability to stand on your provider’s shoulders to consistently drive value throughout your customer journey. Maneuver changing trends and expectations with a platform that empowers you to seamlessly leverage the innovations, products, and integrations available to you. Having the right platform can mean the difference between giving your account holders what they want or falling short—no matter what comes next. Expand your digital footprint or run the risk of staying locked into something that may hold you back down the road.

3. Openness – Good ideas come from everywhere

Unlock the exponential power of fintechs, partners, and developers with an open platform that makes it easy to integrate with great minds across the industry. Take what’s at your disposal and build from it—and from there, watch your expanded resources and opportunities turn into real revenue, growth, and share-of-wallet.

4. Data – Take a closer look and watch it transform your business

To drive value for your account holders over time, it’s critical to stay curious. Most financial institutions have a wealth of data right at their fingertips, but they don't always know how to use it. Start by leveraging data points from your engagement, and in turn, use that data to drive even further engagement opportunities. Gathering a deeper understanding of your account holders’ needs and behaviors throughout their financial journey will help you improve customer experience, drive new revenue streams, and stay relevant when it matters most.

5. Growth – Redefine your pace and potential for expansion

Redefine what it takes to grow and the pace at which you do it by equipping yourself to win more customers, cross-sell more, serve more verticals, and deliver innovation faster. And most importantly, prioritize scalable growth that allows you to operate efficiently over time and serve evolving needs without having to change your entire tech stack.

6. Culture – Make your mission unshakable


Establish a clear mission and culture that guides all facets of your business and watch it fuel your success. When making complex business decisions, drawing back to your core mission will help to humanize your impact and illustrate the difference your institution’s unique services are making in the daily lives of your account holders and the communities you serve.


Bella Pietsch

Written by Bella Pietsch