indicatorMarkets and Economy

The future of banking is open, and client-focused

By ATB Financial 17 March 2021 2 min read

The perception of stuffy banks that only look out for themselves is a thing of the past. These stereotypes are outdated and we have recently witnessed a shift from bank-led to client-led experiences where the client comes first, always.

"The biggest change is that banks are listening to their clients more when it comes to how and when they want to bank,” says Curtis Stange, president & CEO of ATB Financial, “and they are no longer running their business on what is only good for the bank."

Stange’s comments come from an episode of The Future Of Banking podcast, hosted by Todd Hirsch, ATB Financial’s vice president and chief economist. In the episode, Stange shares his perspective, and the shift to focusing more on a client-led experience. Stange also unpacks data as the new commodity, and what banking might look like in the future. 

Here are four key takeaways from Stange on the future of banking:


The digital revolution creates frictionless client experiences.

The digitization of our world is transforming people’s relationships with their financial services providers. Stange says e-commerce has heavily influenced how financial institutions are listening to clients and creating frictionless delivery of products and services. 

“It’s not talking about client-centricity for the sake of client-centricity or having it as a label on your website, but truly incorporating the feedback from clients into your products,” says Stange. 


Data is an increasingly critical commodity.

Like many other businesses, financial institutions differentiate themselves based on the data they hold, says Stange. Personal banking data, transaction data and payment data are used to provide value-added services for clients. 

“The opportunity for us to commercialize these data sets is really important for the diversification of our economy and attracting people and new jobs” he says.


Open banking will shake up the industry.

Open banking is the democratization of banking data in the industry, says Stange.

“Banks are going to be required to share their data through open banking. Organizations no longer own that data, it's actually owned by the consumer and the consumer should decide how, when, or if it's shared,” he says. 

Open banking will level the playing field, allowing smaller financial service providers like regional banks, credit unions and startups to compete against the major players when it comes to data.


Physical branch locations are evolving.

Stange says there will always be a role for physical branch locations to serve clients who want or prefer a human interaction, however, he expects changes in the future. 

“What we do in branches will change over time,” he says. “Partnership models might be introduced where it’s not just banking. Maybe you partner with lawyers, accountants or other business services, all-in-one location.”


You can listen to the full conversation in episode two of The Future Of Banking podcast.

For more on the work of ATB Financial’s Economics and Research team, visit us at 

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