UPDATED: March 29, 2022

The difference between community banks and most other financial institutions is very simple. Community banks are mostly relationship-based businesses, while other bigger banks are generally known for their stringent policies and higher fees. 

The best thing that appeals to the local community about community banks is their direct nature and transparency while being able to see the results of their business. 

A Brief Look At Today’s Community Bank Stature

In recent years, community banks are seeing more than usual growth rates. More and more customers, particularly millennial customers, are turning towards community banking. Millennial customers are extremely important to the community banks as well. Community banks find millennials reciprocate more with their offerings than older long-term customers, especially when it comes to technological updates. 

Also, they think it is great to have a young workforce to drive the success rates of community banks. Millennials are key to the future. They bring an energy, connection, and commitment to the workplace that the previous generation can't replicate. It's a challenge that they can win. With the right motivation, they can be committed and loyal. They've got great ideas and a lot of energy.

Community banks use technology differently than big banks do. In a community bank, it's a way to help you deal better with your customer. While for big banks, sometimes it's a way to eliminate some interactions with the customer using automation. 

So traditional lenders are unable to nurture connections because they're not listening to what the customer needs. They just give the customer something and charge them a fee.

How They Can Improve The Use Of Technology

One of the strongest advantages of community banks is their ability to create meaningful customer experiences. These organizations are trusted sources for financial services, education, and products. To capitalize on this opportunity, these banks must offer innovative technology that provides deep insight to help them continue developing meaningful customer experiences. 

Digital and mobile banking access have changed the bank-customer interaction model. After all, embracing innovation brings new truths. Realizing mobile banking is not solely about satisfying millennial customers. Research from FISS's recent pay study indicates that baby boomers are the biggest users of tablet and online banking, preferring digital convenience more than branches. 

Another key area for innovation is the need to turn data analytics to supplement and extend the knowledge based on personal conversations with customers. Community bankers must understand customer data to: 

  • Grow relationships and their fair share of customers' wallets, 
  • Retain customers by protecting their relationships from competitors and
  • Anticipate customer needs and make relevant offers to address them.

Community banks need to look at data analytics as a way to extend their localized personal relationships with their retail and small business customers.

Advocating Growth & Public Support

On top of young energy and technological updates, one of the most important things that can help the ICBA is to get more bankers involved in its advocacy process. It's becoming apparent that every single banker needs to get involved with the grassroots approach. 

They are also required to engage with the regulators, legislators, and figures with more political influence. They control the industry to a great extent. If they don't act for the Community Banking industry, they’re likely going to get run over by everybody else.


After the pandemic, the next three to five years can be considered a really big opportunity for almost every community bank. More and more people are looking for diverse services and ways to handle their financial needs. They're becoming convinced that they want to connect with somebody locally who would care about them.