Community First Bank in Glendive, Montana has a new way to serve up loans and continue individualized service.
Mom and pop stores are easily threatened by big-box stores that can supply greater variety at sometimes lower prices. Of course the benefit to shopping locally can be individualized service and a salesperson who knows you by name and might even give you a call when an accessory to that big-ticket item you were looking at goes on sale. It’s challenging enough for stores selling music and electronics – but they are not the only industries threatened by big-box institutions. Banking is as well. Many of our eastern Montana communities have locally owned banks who fared very well while large banks struggled if they even survived through the 2008 financial crisis. With rapidly changing federally mandated forms and rules and providers that charge the same to banks who serve 2 or 200,000 loan customers, small banks are needing to find a cost-effective way to service their customers. Lee Ann Loucks, the Real Estate Loan Officer at First Community Bank in Glendive found a to save her institution money, continue to offer personalized service, and bring new technology into the bank.
Xetus software is a web-based software that allows small institutions like Community First to pull loan packages together with all the most up-to-date forms and federal requirements. Xetus is now used in small banks and credit unions. Large financial institutions service hundreds of loans that fill up enough computer server space to fill their own custom servers – which is more than a small bank like Community First needed or wanted to pay for. A bank like Community First services between two and sixty-seven new loans per year. Rather than paying the same rate as the big banks, as they have done in the past with old dos-based software, Xetus offered the bank the ability to be charged by the service they provide. Loucks explained that those costs are not passed on to individual customers and they are still paying considerably less than they would if they had upgraded to software requiring a dedicated server and paying the same annual rate as the larger banks. Loucks said “We don’t nickle and dime our customers.” She further explained that while the new system will help keep the bank on the cutting edge, customers will not see any difference in the service they receive.
Xetus explained that their model for small institutions like Community First as a “Software-as-a-Service” business model which allows users to easily deploy loans through a standard Web browser and Internet access and he says it is part of a trend away from traditional server-based software to more affordable products.
Scott Stein, Xetus’ Vice President of Sales and Marketing, said “Financial institutions are looking for ways to leverage technology to maintain customer satisfaction with fewer human resources. XetusOne’s Web-deployed architecture and per-loan pricing satisfy the most stringent IT regulations and business-profitability goals.” Loucks noted that the system will “Help us keep competitive with the big boys.”