Economic times have been tough, but through it, banking customers are doing their best to spend and save wisely. They’re looking for a banking institution that they can trust to serve them and their families for decades, or maybe even a lifetime. Banking customers are concerned about banking fees, interest rates and being able to access many services under one roof. Consumers are raising their eyebrows at the multiple mergers, acquisitions and dissolutions, hoping their banks will continue to serve them well. Then, there are those constant consumer worries about hackers and data breaches.

Competition between banks and credit unions is steep. Banks want to attract customers who will continue banking with them for a long time. Establishing a trusted relationship between bankers and customers doesn’t start in the lobby — it starts in the bank’s boardroom.

The more smoothly things go in the boardroom, the better the banking services customers will receive. The good news is that banks and credit unions are catching on to what an asset board portals can be. That’s creating some competition for board portal service providers, too. If you’re just beginning your research on board portal service providers, or if the one you’re using isn’t working out too well for you, ask yourself one question.

“Wouldn’t you want the right products and services in a board portal service provider, just as you expect to provide the right products and services for your banking customers?”

Let’s take a look at how the right board portal service provider can do that.

Customizing Your Board Business

If you’re a savvy consumer, you’re always looking for products that serve your needs and that give you the best value for the money. The right board portal service provider knows your company, your needs and your business.

What do you need a board portal to do for you? You probably have a few “must-haves,” like having a way to build a board book online, being able to communicate securely online and having electronic folders for archiving documents.

You probably also have a few “it would be great to haves,” too. The “don’t need and will never use” features aren’t worth it at any price. The right board portal service provider will set up your portal with all of your wants and needs in mind, and show you some other things that you didn’t know you needed as well.

The right board portal service provider is one that understands the banking industry, including all of the regulations, trends and hot-button issues. A board portal service provider that is an expert in your industry can help you manage your business efficiently today and in the future.

The Right Board Portal Service Provider Is Cost-effective

Board portals for banking institutions help to streamline board meetings and other activities. Saving time and expense on duties like copying and assembling board books frees up time for boards to deal with overseeing the management of the bank.

Much time, labor and materials go into preparing for a board meeting. According to Bank Director magazine, banks could save about $10,000 per year when they use a board portal service, which amounts to a 24% savings.

 The Right Board Portal Service Provider Is Easy to Use

Most everyone has gotten acquainted with electronic dashboards, but it’s frustrating to have a dashboard full of features that you don’t need and won’t ever use. What bank board members need is a customized dashboard that has all of the features they need, and none of the ones they don’t.

For example, drag-and-drop book-building is a helpful feature for all board secretaries. It’s nice to have space for board rosters, biographies, and individual or shared notations. Some boards may like the idea of e-voting, electronic surveys or other features, and others would rather do them manually.

The right board portal service provider takes the time to understand your bank’s board portal needs and sets up the dashboard so that you use every feature. Over time, the service provider assesses your needs and makes sure that the portal still provides the customized service your board needs.

Economic Volatility Changes the Outlook for Banks   

The economy has changed drastically over the past decade. While consumers aren’t heading out in droves to withdraw their money from the bank, the general public feels less secure about banks than they used to. As regulatory bodies work toward changes that will help keep banks sustainable, the vast number of bank mergers, acquisitions and bankruptcies have led to some amount of consumer skepticism.

Deloitte says that banks are looking more toward sustaining their businesses rather than building them during these uncertain times.

According to Deloitte, a move toward sustainability means that boards need to provide clear and consistent direction to management relative to the bank’s strategy and risk tolerance and to enforce accountability at the senior management level. They also need to take heed of internal controls in key areas and conduct self-assessments, using the results to line up the board’s capabilities and its  governance structure.

The right board portal service provider can help boards to develop a solid approach toward sustainability and prime themselves for a future time when they can focus more heavily on growth.

The Right Board Portal Service Provider Knows Your Staff and Stands Ready to Serve

The “not-so-right” board service provider hands you a disk loaded with software and leaves you at the door wondering what to do next. The right board portal service provider will ask about each user and their degree of comfort with using technology. Working together with the administrator, the service provider will help select the best method of training, whether it’s a webinar, online training module or individual help onsite.

Questions are bound to pop up once the trainings are complete. For the best board portal service providers, board business never stops. They’ll be available around-the-clock, every day of the year, to help you with your portal.

Security Is a Top Concern for Bank Boards

Board portal service providers come with varying levels of security. The right board portal service provider is an expert in portal security, providing double encryption and remote wiping for mobile devices that get lost or stolen. The right provider offers a comfort level that the bank’s confidential information will be securely protected from hackers and other security threats at all times.

Busy bank board directors know that time is money. It’s better to get the right board portal service provider at the start rather than to have to abandon a just “decent” one later.

Diligent is the #1 leader in governance with an ecosystem of products and resources that provide the full range of governance needs for companies of any size. Corporate governance facilitates how organizations are controlled and directed and good governance starts in the boardroom – tackling issues like cybersecurity, activism, innovation/disruption, diversity and crisis response. Diligent’s technical tools drive smart governance that delivers long-term success and sustainability. See how our board portal solution can help your bank or credit union meet their governance needs.