New Expectations for Banking in Mississippi
Technology offers unprecedented convenience of banking accessibility. But, don’t forget the basics.
Sometimes technology can overtake us before we have even had an opportunity to predict its possibilities. When a technology is adopted as mainstream, spin-off changes can occur in just about any kind of environment — from social to business to education to entertainment. And, one technologic advancement can set up and accelerate the next.
Technology Milestones for Banking in Mississippi
Since the 1980’s, the world has seen major advancements in technologies that have gone mainstream. The Walkman®, the personal computer, personal digital devices (PDAs), the Internet and cell phones are all technologies that have gone mainstream in increasingly short succession. The more senior of us remember them all well.
Technology Isn’t Everything
The public often gravitates toward new technologies, and as they do, so does the focus of the providers. However, the customer almost always remembers the former benefits, eventually, and begins to complain that service is not how it used to be. In the wake of new technologies, the smartest service providers incorporate new technologies but do not lose their way.
In banking, one way to hold on to the competitive advantage of values has been through the promise of community banking in Mississippi. Realistically, there are some who merely claim it and some who practice it. If you are with a bank that claims it, you are in a position to decide if the promises of relationship, community-oriented practices vs. corporate policies, and individual attention hold true. If they do not, do not settle for empty claims. There are local banks out there that believe in, and practice, community banking.
Remember the Goal
Another “traditional” advantage banks have practiced in the past is using common sense to create policies or services that may or may not use technology, but are extremely consumer centric in their benefit. One local bank with branches in Madison County, M&F Bank, that is headquartered in Kosciusko,
Mississippi, offers a service called “Debit Card Alert” that is a great example of combining a little technology with an impactful customer benefit. For only $1 a month, customers who use the debit alert service can receive an e-mail whenever a charge is made to their debit card. This combines technology with customer control to provide significantly better security and service than technology alone. And that is smart, peace of mind.
According to Renee Rice, Branch President at M&F Bank’s Highland Colony Branch, technology is used to enhance customer experience and provide experience, not replace relationships and personal service. “We offer the convenience of 24/7 banking through many technologies including credit cards, debit cards, mobile apps, online banking, remote banking and debit card alert service. But, we always maintain focus on the individual customer that comes into a branch, no matter what technologies we use to make banking easier. We are always there to answer questions and handle banking in person, for businesses and individuals.“
Whomever you choose to bank with, certainly make sure they have the latest technologies that you need to make banking convenient for you. More importantly, make sure that you choose a bank that can support you in person should you desire or need it. Some people do like the ability to sign up for a checking
account on a website. Others prefer to have an expert help them get set up. Today, you can have both.
M&F Bank is a member of the Madison and Ridgeland Chambers of Commerce. Highland Colony Branch President Renee Rice can be contacted at 601-605-6700. More information on M&F Bank services can be found at www.mfbank.com.
Bryan Carter is an author, a member of thinkWRITE Guild, and a contributing writer for the Madison County Magazine.