With autumn 2021 coming quickly, I sense that the future of our community is very opportunistic and bright. Our society as a whole should take great pride in the way this region has collectively dealt with – and continues to do – the COVID-19 crisis with great persistence and an intention to return stronger.
As with all challenges we have overcome in the past, we will rebuild our community with similar energy. Fortunately, I don’t think the economy has ever really been damaged; it just stopped. The economy was fundamentally strong when the virus emerged and we did what we had to do to weather the initial crisis. Now, to put it simply, we are about to turn things on again.
However, there are companies that are not reopening and good people who really struggled during the pandemic. We mourn them; nevertheless we have to pick each other up. Be encouraged. What I’ve seen from our community over the past year has been truly amazing.
Many companies have found ways to adapt their business models. Hopefully these companies can incorporate what they have learned into their plans for the future.
How does that look from your bank’s point of view?
Significant investments have been made at 1st Summit Bank to provide customers with a variety of channels for access to money and banking. From depositing money to an ATM to advances in drive-through accessibility, we found ways to meet our customers’ needs. This of course also includes online and mobile banking.
Even before the word “COVID” was part of our everyday vocabulary, mobile and online banking were on the rise. In 2019, according to the FDIC’s annual How America Banks survey, mobile and online banking were already the top two ways customers can access their bank accounts. Then the challenges of the pandemic forced many more people to become comfortable and educated about using these convenient digital banking options.
1st Summit Bank has developed a robust mobile and online banking experience, including a new and informative website with easy accessibility and great improvements to our mobile platforms.
Now that customers have made the switch, we expect many to stick with it. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to see our customers in the office anymore. We value the relationships we have with our customers and personal contact is very important to us. Although we have made great strides in technology that enables 24/7 banking access, we encourage our customers to continue using our community offices as they have a wealth of knowledge related to maintaining and expanding financial resources Health.
Ultimately, we should make further progress and improvements in the second half of 2021. With interest rates remaining low, now is a good time to get access to capital and finance. Please do not hesitate to contact 1st Summit Bank if you need any assistance.
Eric Renner is CEO and President of 1st Summit Bank.