An area of banking that is the equivalent of going to the dentist is the business continuity planning/disaster recovery ("BCP/DR") preparation and testing. While there is nothing more true than the old saying regarding an ounce of prevention, there is nothing more frustrating and tedious than thinking and planning for the unthinkable. Regardless, as bankers we must make sure we do not fail to plan so as to not plan to fail. Lives may depend on it.
A recent American Banker article discussed how banks recently affected by hurricane Irene used social media and mobile to efficiently address BCP/DR challenges. During the recent storm, banks such as Citibank and TD Bank used social media and mobile to inform customers of branch closures and ATM availability. This enabled customers to limit their exposure to the hurricane and obtain the needed services to manage through the storm.
Whether the event is a storm, civil disobedience, earthquake or other natural or man-made disaster, the more information a consumer has the safer the consumer will be. Social media and mobile can be used to provide customers with "hot spots" such as floods, riots, fires, etc, near branches and ATMs and suggest safer alternatives. The same social media and mobile combination can be used to obtain information from customers regarding dangers.
While social media will not do much to prevent or resume banking operations, it is a nice option to have for customers during difficult times. Every bank should consider using its social media accounts to keep customers informed throughout a disaster.