Advances in sequencing technologies have made it possible to analyse large amounts of germplasm against low production costs, which has opened the door to screen genebank collections more efficiently for DNA sequence variation. The present study explores how these developments may affect the operations of genebanks and, consequently, how genebank agendas may change. It is argued that the new developments are more likely to have an impact on the user-oriented activities than the housekeeping operations of genebanks. To better facilitate the user community, genebanks may have to strengthen their core business, in particular, by improving quality management procedures and by providing access to a wider diversity of a crop's gene pool. In addition, genebanks may have to provide novel services, such as the introduction of specific user-oriented collection types, including research populations and genetically purified lines, and the development of novel information services, including plant genetic resources portals that should guide users to the information and materials of specific interest. To improve their user-oriented services, genebanks need to increase their communication and collaboration with the user community and to develop strategic alliances with this sector.