Digitization drives me to drink

Well, not really.  However, the almost one-sided debate over where banks and credit unions should head, whether they want to or not, just doesn’t seem to want to slow down. I get it.  I do.  The industry is facing a daunting task of providing a high-fixed-cost, commoditized service to an audience that wants customization and lives on, seemingly, narcissism alone.  Furthermore, this task is based on the premise that individual industry players provide unique approaches to client service, service delivery, and pricing.  It’s a sublime thought, but it’s a bit farfetched, don’t you think?

So, enter digitization.  It’s a wonderful thing, the digital world.  I’ve long given up on fighting it.  With my smartphone at my side, I, too, have succumbed to the marketing:  It’s lure of efficiency and scale economics and it’s sleek, sexy sounds and sights.  Is life really better?  I don’t know. Define better.  Is the gauntlet run through life’s trials and tribulations any easier?  I think we could make an argument that it is the exact opposite (making my payment online versus mailing it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, portray a run without the gauntlet).  Is the financial services industry ready for the tumult yet to come? There is the widely-held belief that more consolidation and consecration are in our future.

If we were working in a commoditized industry before, then we will certainly be more steeped in the same going forward.  If at the end of all this we are seeking a world where we are free from work and swimming in riches, then my guess is we will all be shocked.  Whereas digitization was just the silent paramour in days gone by, today it is the front-and-center fascination of our financial lives.  But it’s not the purpose of our lives, financial or otherwise.  This, my friends, is the real journey:  fulfilling purpose.

Cheers. <clink>