To stay ahead of customer demands, beat competition and increase sales, banks must develop innovative banking products and services. Banking product managers are responsible for managing every aspect of these products, from development through roll-out, pricing and marketing. If this sounds like the career for you then this is the career guide for you:
1. What Do Banking Product Managers Do?
Their duties include:
- Analyzing banking industry trends and customer needs to generate new product or service ideas
- Pitching the idea to bank executives
- Preparing project plans
- Overseeing a team of professionals, including IT specialists, tasked with conceptualizing the idea
- Ensuring the product is developed on budget
- Managing the testing phase of the product
- Organizing product launch events
- Collaborating with marketing specialists to develop an effective marketing plan
- Training bank employees and customers on how to use the product
- Assessing the performance of the product and restructuring it if necessary
2. Work Environment
Banking product managers work from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. They spend their time in an office environment, from where they execute most of their tasks. Occasionally, they can hit the road to attend industry conferences, trade fairs or seminars.
According to Payscale, banking product managers in the US earn an average annual salary of $76,085.
4. Entry Requirements
To become a banking product manager, begin by earning a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance. The program, which is offered in institutions such as the University of Southern Mississippi and the New England College of Business, provides training in areas such as:
- Principles of Finance
- Business Planning
- Bank Administration
- Financial Management
- Banking Laws and Regulations
- Money and Capital Markets
Since this is a position of leadership, don’t expect to get it immediately after you complete your undergraduate studies. You will need to begin in an entry-level banking position such as credit analyst, teller or financial advisor and focus on gaining substantial retail or commercial banking experience.
To enhance your chances of moving into this position, pursue a graduate certificate in product management, like the one offered at the University of Texas at Dallas.
5. Important Qualities
To be a successful bank product manager, you need:
- Strong leadership skills
- A knack for innovation
- Analytical skills
- Project management skills
- Communication skills
- A good level of commercial awareness
- Planning skills
- A good understanding of the banking industry
- Presentation skills
- Teamwork skills
- Interpersonal skills
- High level of numeracy
- The ability to initiate and lead change
- Skills in personnel management
6. Career Progression
As an ambitious banking product manager, your advancement prospects will largely depend on the success of the products you manage. If you can lead the creation of an innovative product that will help the bank gain a competitive edge, then you can be confident of moving to the next level.
Besides working hard to make your products a success, you can also:
- Pursue a master’s degree in banking or business administration(MBA)
- Join a banking association like American Bankers Association. ABA offers a range of training programs that could help you improve your professional competence.
7. Job Opportunities
The employers of banking product managers include:
- Retail banks
- Commercial banks
- Investment banks
- Credit unions
With vast experience and advanced credentials, you can advance to become a banking operations manager and later on, bank manager.
See Also: How to Become a Bank Manager in the US
Finally, as more banks develop innovative Internet and mobile banking products, more banking product managers will be needed to oversee their performance.
So if you are an innovative person who wishes to enable millions of American to easily access various banking services, then you should become a banking product manager.