VP, Digital Banking Services
Chelsea Groton Bank
How are things overall?
We’ve done a lot of great things. We’ve made a huge digital shift. We’d added a ton of new products and services – one of which is the Eltropy Video Banking service.
What challenges are you facing?
The biggest challenge we have is making sure we’re available. And how to reach our customers. We’re seeing customers not really want to come to the branch anymore. Some still value that, but some don’t. They want that ability to interact with us on their terms, on their hours.
Branch hours, branch staff – we’ve seen quite a bit of reduction. We’ve not seen that expand. The biggest challenge we have is making sure we’re available. Especially for a local community institution, we don’t have the ability to staff 24 hours a day, or on weekends, so we need to leverage anything we can to aid in that.
What did Eltropy help solve?
How do we make ourselves more available to customers, expand those hours, going past the normal 9-to-5, or 8:30-to-4 that a normal branch would be open.
How can we gather documentation from anywhere – that’s one of the biggest challenges that we saw. Customers coming back to the branch with the right documentation to close a loan. That’s something we’ve been able to use this technology to help with.
What about staffing issues, branches not being open, or using drive-up only?
We’ve had to keep branches closed, or close them early, or [go] drive-up only, because of those staffing issues. And that’s one of the fantastic things about the technology – we just have a few people in the back office and they can handle those.
What results have you seen, and how has the customer feedback been?
Customer feedback has been very good – even on the business side – talking about getting loans. Even on the commercial side, we have businesses where maybe one owner or one side (of the business) is on the other side of the country.
So we can still facilitate whatever documentation, or account opening, needs to be done. Maybe you need multiple signers – one in California and one in Connecticut.
We’ve had several risk scenarios that we’ve been able to facilitate through the technology as well. [For example], we had an individual who was in the armed forces, and then was released, and they lost their debit card. And typically there’s nothing you can do. But we were able to do a video call with them – identify them, get the correct information, and send them that new debit card. And they received that more quickly.
And we may not have the necessary information to facilitate that. Let’s say there was a single owner account, and the spouse isn’t a member of our institution. That might add additional complexity to solving that for them – which we were able to avoid entirely.
How has the Leadership Summit been?
So far it’s been fantastic. It’s really great to hear from multiple other institutions. We feel we have a good plan in place on how we want to continue to grow and utilize these technologies. But it’s great to hear how others are doing it as well. Because even the slightest little wrinkle may adjust our approach and give us more success.