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In a thought-provoking episode of the Digital Banking Podcast, host Josh DeTar welcomed Stephen Baker, CEO at Kinective, for an in-depth conversation on the evolution of digital and physical banking. DeTar and Baker explored the significant impact community financial institutions (FIs) have on their localities and the fear that these critical entities might vanish without technological adaptation and innovation.

Baker shared his journey from the tech sector to the banking industry, emphasizing his commitment to leading a company that not only drives industry innovation but also cultivates a work environment people love. His narrative underscored the importance of creating a legacy his children could be proud of, linking personal values to professional aspirations. This introduction set the stage for a deeper dive into the nuances of banking technology versus financial technology and the pivotal role community FIs play in sustaining vibrant communities.

The conversation shifted towards the future of banking, highlighting the blend of digital and physical interactions, or “phygital,” as essential for the survival and relevance of community FIs. Baker and DeTar discussed how innovations in banking technology, particularly those enhancing the customer experience in branches, could serve as a differentiator in a competitive landscape. They concluded that the path forward for community banks and credit unions lies in leveraging technology to maintain personal connections and trust, which are their unique strengths.

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