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Women Leaders Share What Excites Them Most About the Future of Banking and the Tech Industry

Emily Fagan, Content Management

Alkami

Many of the amazing women leaders below are featured in sessions and events at the 2024 Alkami Co:lab.

In the fast-evolving landscape of digital banking solutions, the future holds an abundance of opportunities and challenges that industry professionals eagerly anticipate. Driven by advancements in personal financial management, instant payments, machine learning, artificial intelligence in banking, and financial services marketing automation, the excitement among those at the forefront is palpable.

For this blog, we surveyed a diverse group of female Alkamists, industry researchers, bankers, media and consultants, each of whom plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our industry. 

Our question was simple: What excites you most about the future of the industry?

Each perspective offers a window into the collective vision that is driving innovation in financial services. Their quotes reflect not just a hope for the future, but a roadmap for where the industry is headed, emphasizing the importance of data, personalization, automation and the ever-evolving role of technology in creating a seamless, personalized banking experience.

 

Data & Personalization

 
“Data, data, data! The industry is just scratching the surface with potential for leveraging data. Financial institutions have been working to modernize their core and digital banking platforms over the last decade. Now we are moving into the era of personalization and leveraging data to inform every decision at the bank.  We are able to give customers that legacy experience of walking into a branch and my bank knowing everything about me, but modernizing that into the modern day 2024 and beyond and personalizing digital experiences at scale.”
 
Rachel O’Neill, Principal Solutions Engineer, Alkami

 
“The strong demand for data, personalization and  automation. It’s exciting to know the changes happening now are just the beginning to a shift in banking as we know it.”
 
Anna Davis, Client Sales Executive, Alkami

 
I am most excited about how banking interactions and services will become more personalized, convenient and secure for consumers and businesses. In addition, technology advancements are paving the way for more intuitive UX, more relevant and meaningful data, more effective communication/alerts, and accessible tools that allow people to take a more active role in their financial situation.”
 
Caitlin Lam, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Alkami

 
I’m a little biased here running the demand generation team, but for me the constant evolution of the martech stack is what I live for. Digital marketing tools continue to help marketers quickly test, learn and measure the impact our work has on the business. We have access to more data at our fingertips than ever before allowing us to constantly iterate on the best personalized journeys for our target buyers that ultimately translate into bottom line results for our organizations. I’ve become a bit of a data geek in this stage of my career. I also love connecting with other digital marketing leaders within our client community to share best practices and trends that are impacting the digital channel.
 
Jennifer Cortez, VP, Demand Generation, Alkami

 
“I’m so excited to see how we continue to deliver a superior, personalized digital experience to each of our client’s account holders. Privacy in the industry is ever-changing, but I’m excited for all of the ways we can rise to meet demands in order to help our clients achieve growth and engagement!”
 
Sarah Mealy, Lead, Client Success Manager, Alkami

 
“Data . . data . . . data. Being able to get valuable insights from data in an automated fashion changes the game in business and our personal lives. We’re so accustomed to data easing the decisions we make in our daily lives that we barely notice – it is something we simply expect. Helping the financial services industry use data insights to simplify and automate their marketing helps community and regional FIs compete with larger institutions.”
 
Joan Clark, Director, Product Management, Alkami

 
“Marketing is an ever changing industry, and every day is something new. I am looking forward to all the new technology and platforms where we can run creative advertising. Plus, there is so much data right at our fingertips, which allows us to easily pivot with a campaign and try something new to see if that sticks.”
 
Jessica Broome, Senior Demand Generation Manager, Alkami

 

Innovative Thinking and Growth

 
“Our industry is growing and evolving really rapidly. I’m excited about the new advances in technology and the wonderful industry partners that will make it even easier to serve consumers. I’m also excited about the new diverse voices in leadership that are emerging. We are better the more diverse we are, and our industry will only get stronger the more women and people of color join the ranks of leadership.”
 
Lauren Culp, President & CEO of CUInsight.com

 
“As a personal finance enthusiast, I’m super excited to see the banking industry’s future growth in providing tools and resources around financial wellness and planning for customers at all stages of the financial journey, including the evolving trends in financial education for the youth demographic. I’m also intrigued to see what future technology enhancements hold and how they can be brought to banking – whether this means how augmented reality could enhance a physical branch experience, how carefully deployed automation can free up team members’ time for tasks of more strategic importance, or even how the eventual possibilities of quantum computing might impact the speed and ease of everything from money movement to the processing of complex core systems.”
 
Mandy Hanson, AVP of Digital Experiences, Gate City Bank

 
“The banking industry is changing rapidly. More than ever, we need to take action within our organizations to create capacity for innovative thought leadership, exploration, and creativity.” 
 
Char Sears – VP, MX & Product Manager at Unitus Community Credit Union

 
“Speed and inclusion. I am constantly amazed at how technology and data enhance customer experiences and encourage underserved populations to trust the banking system and utilize basic banking services. In my opinion, the future will encourage inviting customers into the strategy process to collaborate on systemic solutions instead of assuming we know what products and services they need.”
 
Jessica Ebeling, EVP of Innovation, Digital Solutions and Payments, Gate City Bank

 
As a parent to a toddler, I’m very much excited about how TechFins are securely leveraging technology such as AI-powered gamification to connect with younger generations and bring financial literacy and financial interest to young people so they can secure their financial futures.”
 
Sharilyn Bowen, Chief of Staff to the CTO, Director of Engineering Strategic Operations, Alkami

 
“When I started my career in banking, online banking was installed by using a CD on your desktop PC which then gave you the ability to see accounts, balances, view statements, and if you were lucky you could possibly pay a bill. Wow! Have we come a long way in the past 22 years! Now digital banking can accommodate most anything a person would need to do and beyond!  The closest branch is in your phone. Who would’ve imagined? With all of the new products being developed and endless possibilities with expanding technology, I can’t wait to see where digital banking takes us from here. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of the innovation happening in the space and representing an exceptional product that’s continuously evolving to exceed users expectations.” 
 
Nola Sedlaczek, Principal Solutions Engineer, Alkami

 

Artificial Intelligence and Tech

 
“The fun thing about the financial services technology industry is that it is always changing and evolving. There is always something new to learn or a new technology developed to improve what was once in place. Artificial intelligence has the ability to completely transform our industry and all of our jobs. Try as best you can to stay informed of how this and other technologies are evolving so you can move forward with them and not be left behind. The future is so bright!”
 
Christine Barry, Leader of Strategic Initiatives and Research, Datos Insights 

 
As I look towards the future, the role will ultimately evolve as shiny AI tools become available. However, product-led marketing and value-based content will remain key to showcasing how the product works and feels as well as how it will impact an institution. In regards to Alkami, one of the most exciting components of my role is creating the go-to-market strategy and product positioning for new innovative solutions that we introduce to our product portfolio. Our clients are focused on delivering a best-in-class experience that exceeds account holders’ needs now and into the future. My role gives me the opportunity to craft the message and learn about cutting-edge solutions before they’re available to our broader market.”
 
Molly Irelan, Product Marketing Manager

 
Data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning – I’m all about working smarter, not harder. If there’s a tool out there that can make your day-to-day tasks easier and you’re not using it, you might find yourself falling behind. When I think about how we can harness the power of data, AI, and machine learning to make online banking even better, it gets me excited. We’re just scratching the surface. Imagine a digital banking experience that’s as intuitive as Spotify, where you get a personalized year-end summary of your expenses along with tips for improving your budget and financial wellness. That’s the kind of future I’m jazzed about.”
 
Courtney Mrsny, Director, Client Sales, Alkami

 
The future of software technology is brimming with exciting advancements that promise to revolutionize various aspects of our lives. There are several thrilling examples from AI/ML, IoT, augmented and virtual reality. From autonomous vehicles to personalized healthcare and financial planning, these technologies have potential to transform industries and enhance efficiency and  decision making. These advancements represent a glimpse of the exciting future of technology. As technologists are continuing to break through, we can expect more groundbreaking developments that will transform the way we live, work and connect with each other.” 
 
Eakta Pandey, VP Engineering – Quality Performance & Tool, Alkami

 
“Customer success was not a business function in the year 2000 yet today it’s a well-known business discipline with hundreds of thousands of professionals globally. I am excited about digital transformation and how to orchestrate personalized 1×1 journeys at scale that enable people to push themselves and their organizations forward, faster.”
 
Xina Seaton, VP Customer Engineer, Strat & Operations, Alkami

As we’ve journeyed through the insights of our industry’s forward-thinkers, it’s clear that the future of digital banking and TechFin is not just about embracing new technologies but about fundamentally reimagining the relationship between financial institutions and their account holders.The enthusiasm for data-driven personalization, advanced automation, and innovative financial solutions shines through in the words of our contributors. Their visions underscore a shared commitment to making banking more intuitive, accessible, and aligned with the evolving needs and expectations of consumers. 

As we look ahead, the path is marked by continuous learning, adaptation, and the pursuit of excellence in a sector that remains at the heart of daily life for individuals and businesses alike. The journey toward a more connected, personalized, and technologically empowered financial landscape is well underway, fueled by the passion and expertise of leaders who are not just witnesses to change but active participants in crafting the future of banking.

 

Learn more about these tremendous women leaders at Alkami Co:lab’s Women in Banking session and in this blog interviewing many of the same women as above about their career journeys.

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