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Can your bank fix a “flat tire” itself?

Customers expect availability. Can you deliver?

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan Fisher’s personal mission.

What is the first thing you think of when you have a flat tire?

Some of you probably don’t even know where to start.

Others don’t know where the spare is located.

You compose yourself and pull out the owner’s manual to find out. You check where the spare is supposed to be, only to discover that your vehicle did not come with one.

This event is becoming much more alarming now that you don’t have a spare. The friend you just called to help you change the tire can’t because you don’t have a tire!

How inconvenient. Go figure! No spare? What? I thought every car came with a spare … isn’t there a law? Who sells a car without a spare? Why didn’t the salesman tell me?

Keeping a can of Fix-A-Flat could have mitigated this situation, at least for the short term. It’s a basic solution, a minute to use, and off you go to the dealership or the tire store.

Can your bank fix “flats”?

Lack of knowledge during a key event can be humiliating.

Lack of preparation can have even greater consequences.

Knowing the limits of your equipment and having a response plan in place will preempt significant, unanticipated interruptions.

Interruptions of service should be expected and anticipated. A simple solution can easily prevent short-term interruptions growing into long term problems.

As in the Fix-A-Flat scenario, some other solutions can prevent small events from becoming big ones at your institution. A couple of thoughts:

1. “Empowerment”: Purchase a 5-30-minute battery uninterruptible power supply (UPS) at your local electronics store for each of your ATMs, network routers, and smart switches.

Why: A power blink will take your device offline until you can reset it, which could be the Monday after a three-day weekend. (Who wants to be the bank whose ATM wasn’t working Dec. 24?)

Think how frustrated your customers could be in this scenario. A UPS prevents that blink from impacting your equipment and services will continue to be available. You can also expand this concept to servers and larger devices if you are in-house for some applications. The solution is a simple one.

2. Don’t lose your internet connectability. Purchase at least two 4G LTE Hotspots for each of your branch locations.

Why: If you lose your network connection to your core processor or internet goes down, chances are you will be able to access any of your cloud applications and your core processor with the applicable authentication, and you’re back in business with only a short interruption.

As in the Fix-A-Flat solution, a simple and low-tech back-up UPS power supply or alternative internet connection can keep you serving your customers instead of phoning a friend that may take hours or days to resolve the issue.

—The Wombat!

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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