As an industry, banks have been slow to capitalize on the mobile and digital phenomenon in payments and other financial services.

As doors continue to open for more payment technology companies and other non-traditional financial players to step in, banks must consider making some much-needed changes to stay in the race.

So how can banks use digital innovation to improve customer experience, develop groundbreaking products and use consumer data in new ways? Here are five tips to stay ahead of the curve:

Bloomberg News

Add the Instant Effect: Now, more than ever, consumers want options that allow them to bank quicker and effortlessly. From real-time money transfers to invisible payment options, customers want on-demand products to get to the finish line faster. One of the first steps in a true digital strategy should be making the customer experience as instant as possible. Whether customers are applying for new products, accessing account information, redeeming rewards or reaching out to customer service, the experience should be seamless. And, with standalone mobile payment services like Venmo, Zelle and CashApp, delivering quick and easy solutions should be one click away.

Partner Up: Apply the pressure on unconventional partnerships. As consumers’ expectations continue to evolve, banks should consider joining forces with partners that are outside of the traditional banking arena. With growing interest in products with convenient features like ShopRunner’s free two-day shipping, MX’s data visualization and budgeting solutions or the Uber Visa Card’s in-app experience, partnering up with third-party players has become top of mind for many banks.

We’re seeing more banks partnering up and leaning on the agility of fintechs. With these types of unions, banks and fintechs can develop a winning concept of speed and innovation. While it would appear to be a competition with the clash of cultures, collaboration between these two institutions have made the banking landscape stronger, resulting in a positive increase in customer satisfaction.

Personalize It: With millions of customers, delivering that personal touch can be a bit challenging, but as the demand for authentic connections gets stronger, banks must focus on how to best target the individual rather than the group. By aligning consumer products and services to better match customer needs, banks can generate more engagement. This can be achieved by leveraging data and analytics to organically tailor that personal experience for each customer. When sharing information on rewards, new features and promotional offers, the communication should be linked to the customers’ existing activity and personal interests.

Start the Conversation: Despite the increased popularity around IoT devices like Alexa, Amazon Echo and Google Home, only a short list of financial institutions have leveraged the opportunity to fully integrate banking capabilities into these products. Features like chatbots, voice-activation and hands-free capabilities are just a few innovative ways that consumers are now completing banking transactions. Everything from paying bills, transferring money and checking account balances without even lifting a finger. Whether through digital interfaces or call agent experiences, banks should explore ways to create conversation and interaction across all channels.

Co-Create with Customers: Speed to market has become the most common formula for success in digital innovation, but often the hardest part to execute. To better address compliance issues and be more cost efficient, banks are seeing the value in customer co-creation. By bringing together a small pool of customers to co-design, build and test products in a more agile manner, banks are increasing speed to market exponentially. As a business, this is a method we practice frequently to much success. With products like and Uber Visa credit cards, the test-and-adapt model helped us instantly gain insights from our customers and learn which features would best serve our overall cardmembers.

So, take a moment to step back and rethink the opportunities. Continue to test ways to expand your current portfolio, improve your customer experience model, develop exciting new payment solutions and pick up the pace on innovation. As financial institutions begin to transform the banking industry with digital innovation, don’t let your business be the last to cross the finish line.