This is a very fortunate time for BayCoast Bank. Our recent merger with the Bank of Fall River gives us nearly $900 million in assets and a larger, more expert staff to expand our service footprint on the south coast of Massachusetts.
Critical to our ongoing success is our ability to address the needs of our market segments. We have customers who prefer the brick and mortar branch experience, others who prefer electronic, and still others who enjoy both. To serve them all, we are simultaneously growing our branch network as well as our e-commerce channels.
The key to supporting this effort is next generation technology. Our increasingly mobile customers expect more than new banking channels – they want access to the same capabilities across all channels. From the bank’s perspective, we need to monitor these services for fraud and regulatory compliance while continually measuring their performance and profitability.
This requires integration at a much higher level than ever before, and it is only possible through open, .Net technology. We are very pleased to have selected a leading edge provider of .Net technologies – COCC, a financial IT services cooperative headquartered in Southington, Connecticut.
COCC’s experience with open technologies goes back to its wholesale migration of its clients in 2002 and to .Net technology in 2010. This architecture enables COCC to rapidly integrate the solutions we want, connect these solutions to others we have in place, and gives us access to core processing apps – the most efficient method for delivering innovation on the market today. We can literally ‘shop’ for app solutions and install the ones we want without waiting for a massive software update.
COCC offers an equally critical ingredient for our success – partnership. Our technology conversion was especially complex since we were also merging with another bank, changing our name, and moving our operations center all at the same time. The number and sophistication of projects required a very close working relationship with our technology service provider.
From day one, BayCoast Bank and COCC were on the same team. We worked through all aspects of selecting and integrating systems and bringing the employees from both banks together into one cohesive team. I could send an email to COCC’s top officers and get an immediate response. That’s how we treat our customers, and it’s great to be treated the same way by our technology service.
The COCC partnership extends to our choice of solutions for key areas of the bank. COCC doesn’t simply recommend solutions – they integrate the solutions we want, giving us the flexibility to customize our platform and products for our market. Today we have best-of-breed solutions for our business needs.
Months after our conversion, our partnership is as strong as ever. I recently attended a strategic ‘roadmap’ session where COCC’s President and CEO openly discussed the company’s direction and answered questions. It was clear to everyone in the room that we were actively participating in the development of our future.
Going forward, we are excited about COCC’s INSIGHT Cash Management Service Suite which will enable us to continue building our relationships with businesses in our area. We are also implementing additional features of our document imaging system, particularly signature pads which enable customers to sign documents electronically, triggering automatic storage of the documents for instant access bank wide – a true productivity boost.
Many banks hesitate to engage in a core system conversion. They wonder if it’s really worth the effort and worry that the conversion will “rock their world.” From our perspective, it’s been a highly positive experience. Having one system that uses visual navigation enables our new staff to train in half the time. New products take much less time to set up. Overall efficiency has improved.
The bottom line is that we can focus on banking instead of worrying about all the bits and bytes. And the app technology gives us access to innovations created by top developers across the country. As we open our new operations center in Swansea, we can see the great strides we have made. It’s just night and day, and COCC played a big part in that result.
The rise of e-banking has not fundamentally changed the…