As leading influencers, large financial institutions such as JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo regularly dominate the headlines. While small in comparison to their mammoth cousins, local regional banks offer high-value services vital to both individuals and small businesses in their communities. Add to that personalized customer experiences, and it’s no wonder why many customers still prefer doing business with their local or regional banks. A recent American Bankers Association survey estimated US regional banks account for more than $50 billion in lending to small businesses – and in excess of $1.7 trillion to local communities. With this much at stake, it’s no surprise regional banks require high-performing, reliable IT infrastructures.
Such is the case for First Southwest Bank of Colorado and Merchant’s Bank of Indiana. In addition to retail banking and agricultural loans, provides a range of checking and savings account options across seven branches. With four locations and headquarters in Indianapolis, boasts a strong commercial and industrial mortgage business – in addition to individual personal accounts and credit card services.
Initially founded as small institutions, both banks were burdened with older IT infrastructures – putting a damper on business growth and customer service. First Southwest Bank’s legacy network resulted in long customer wait times as transactions and coordination between local tellers and headquarters experienced extended processing windows. Bandwidth limitations affected telephone systems at Merchant’s Bank as the bank’s network was unable to scale with the addition of new branches to support its growth.
Each found an answer by teaming with CenturyLink. Moving to a CenturyLink MPLS network delivered a single, flexible and scalable network that handles both data and integrated voice traffic. Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) and flexible Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities segment and prioritize traffic – resulting in a high-performance environment for Voice over IP (VoIP), video, and other bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive business applications.
How do these technology changes help banking customers? Improvement in performance was realized almost overnight, enabling each bank to quickly improve customer service with faster transaction times, easier coordination across multiple branches, and increased reliability and consistency. The advanced technology also meant IT staff could shift from reluctantly accommodating slow networks to building better customer experiences and delivering value to the business.
Local and regional banks face some of the same hurdles that other financial institutions face: How do they grow and compete in various economies and markets, while exceeding customer expectations. Teaming with the right technology partner can pay significant dividends, powering the strategy and technology infrastructure necessary to drive business and serve customers. Learn more about CenturyLink’s data network and VoIP solutions.