Three Key Take-Aways for Community Banks from 2023

Three Key Take-Aways for Community Banks From 2023

Reflect on the 2023 year in banking with DCI.

As we say goodbye to the rollercoaster ride that was 2023 in the banking industry, let’s take a moment to embrace the lessons gained from it.

Explore these key takeaways to help your bank flourish this year:

  1. Find and Foster Employee Talent

    In 2023, community banks continued to stand out from competitors through one overarching differentiator: relationships. This is a group that knows better than anyone that great people (and the connections they form) are the heartbeat of an institution’s success. The importance of maintaining a strong company heartbeat, then, is undeniable—but it goes beyond routine HR practices.

    Cultivating a culture of continuous learning and adaptability within your bank is paramount. When your team has both a nuanced understanding of community banking and a passion for personalized service, the loyalty of your customer base reflects that. 

    So, how to best inspire a company ethos of leadership and enthusiasm?

    • Prioritize mentorship
    • Create opportunities for connection and networking
    • Invest in your people

    Katie Albers, Vice President of Human Resources at DCI, shares, “At the heart of DCI's culture is the belief that when employees feel valued and empowered, they become the driving force behind our shared success and character. We ensure this through efforts like investing in new mentorship programs, surveying our workforce about decisions that impact them, and making the time for our CEO, Sarah Fankhauser, to personally meet with all new employees on their first day. We create an environment where every employee’s unique talents are not only recognized but celebrated, leading to many internal promotions.”

  2. Importance of Adopting New and Emerging Technologies

    You’ve heard this one before. In an industry that waits for no one, community bankers don’t want to find themselves playing catch up—and hesitation to embrace emerging technologies is a surefire way to do that. So, as we enter another watershed year for banking innovation, keep in mind the lucrative potential of early adoption.

    Want to respond to the changing needs of your community, but worried that the costs and implementation might impede your institution’s technological growth?  While a fair concern, don’t rule out your progress just yet—instead, consider what it could mean to simplify your spending and still reap the same results. It doesn’t take an excess of fees and contracts to get innovative and augment success. It doesn’t even take a middleware or third-party component.

    Sometimes, all it takes is the right partner.

  3. A Strong Core Provider Makes All the Difference: Agile Tech & People-First Culture

    For many community banks, 2023 brought to light the critical role that a core processing partner plays in an institution’s success. Agile technology with features like an Oracle database, .NET infrastructure, and restful APIs are certainly advantageous, but the real game-changer is the support and advocacy that comes with the right provider.

    Sarah Fankhauser, President and CEO of DCI, speaks to this, saying, “It's important to us that we are your partner, not just another vendor.  DCI is a company built on relationships. We want to be by your side as a partner who adds to the success of your bank’s operations—not a vendor who subtracts from the ease of them. Our shared goal is to strive for the future of community banking, and for your community bank’s future specifically.”

    In today’s financial landscape, core processors should be viewed not just as a service provider but as a strategic ally to community banks. With all the ebbs and flows of this industry, a partner who doesn’t just provide a product but also stands by your bank as an invested collaborator is invaluable. In 2024, choose a core provider who understands your unique challenges and actively supports your journey.

Conclusion: Shaping the Trajectory of Your Community Bank’s 2024

So, here we are, community bankers, on the brink of a brand-new chapter in banking—and what we do with the insights gained from the last year can lead to resilience and success in the next. Investing in our people, taking the leap into the tech wave, and choosing partners who have our backs—that’s the winning strategy.

Fueled by these understandings, community banks can embrace the constant of change and go from navigating the future to owning it. So, here’s to adaptability, here’s to progress, and here’s to community banking in 2024. Let’s do this! 



Conference of State Bank Supervisors . (2023). (rep.). 2023 CSBS Annual Survey of Community Banks. Retrieved from 

Hugo, T. (2023, November 17). Tips for Community Bank Mentorship Programs [web log]. Retrieved from