HomeBankPodcast: Citizens’ approach to new tech

Podcast: Citizens’ approach to new tech

The best new products are created with an abundance of identified use cases,Jo Wyper, executive vice president and head of operations at Citizens Commercial Bank, tellsBank Automation News on this episode of “The Buzz” podcast.

“The approach needs to be measured. … You need to start with it in a comfortable sandbox, and a place where you probably want a human in the loop,” Wyper says.

With generative AI, “you probably want to adopt [it] in a place that the human gets the final see,” she says.

Listen as Wyper discusses how to approach generative AI and new innovations the commercial bank is working on for 2024.

Get ready for Bank Automation Summit U.S. 2024 in Nashville, Tenn., on March 18-19! Discover the latest advancements in AI and automation in banking.Register now.

The following is a transcript generated by AI technology that has been lightly edited but still contains errors.

Whitney McDonald 0:03
This episode of The buzz is brought to you by bank automation summit us 2024. This annual event is tailored to resonate with financial services professionals focused on business optimization through technology and automation. Learn how to overcome implementation challenges by hearing firsthand from C level executives from institutions, including Bank of America, Wells Fargo city and more. There is no better place to get a read on the competition than at Bank automation summit us 2024. Register now at Bank automation summit.com. My name is Whitney McDonald and I’m the editor of bank automation News. Today is March 1 2020. For the buzz welcomes Joe wiper, she is the Executive Vice President and head of operations of citizens commercial bank. She has been on the bank’s commercial team since 2009. She is here to discuss her approach to new technology within the commercial business, including new technology launches, the bank’s digital Butler and its Payments API efforts. Welcome to the bus, Joe, when

Joanne Wyper 0:58
it’s a real pleasure to be here. So I’m Joe wiper. I’m head of operations in digital Citizens Bank for the commercial business banking divisions. I’ve been in citizen since 2009. And I currently lead all the operations regardless agnostic to product, whether it be business banking, Treasury, commercial lending, credits, global markets, etc. Yeah, I’m really privileged to have such a broad and varied team.

Whitney McDonald 1:24
Great. Well, thank you again, for joining us. Let’s get into a little bit more about your role, your strategy within the commercial banking, business, let’s talk through about some efforts that you’ve been doing within the digital channels there. Maybe talk us through your strategy there and how you’re meeting client demand, what they’re asking for on the digital front. Yeah,

Joanne Wyper 1:43
no, it’s a great question. That’s actually, you know, one of my favorite topics in terms of how do we bring the client into the center of what we do, but at the same time, we innovate around them. And our strategy here at Citizens commercial has never been about replacing that relationship with a digital channel. And in fact, it’s not, it’s about fully complementing, and adding options for our clients, or we’re very proud of our long running relationships, you’ll get decades old relationships with some of these clients. And it’s really fostered on trust. And we know who they are, we know where they are in their lifecycle and what they need and what solutions that we can take to them. So our digital strategy, and the approach that we’ve taken is about providing options. And given them new channels, should they want to engage with us and self serve like you would on some of those digital tools that we provide them with that commitment behind it that says you will always have your dedicated human being. But in addition to that, you may want to bank with those 24 hours a day, and you might want to do it yourself. So our strategy has always just been about complementing that real trusted adviser moniker that we’ve worked very hard to achieve.

Whitney McDonald 2:56
Yeah, that definitely make sense, right, combining the human and digital experiences. Of course, there’s demand for more digital capabilities, but still not eliminating that human touch. That that takes us greatly into our next question here about new technology. It’s hard to have any conversations right now with without tapping into AI and generative AI, how do those new technologies fit into your strategy within the business?

Joanne Wyper 3:21
Yeah, look, you know, like any new technology, we need to have a measured approach. And I do think that, you know, the way that chat GBT, and some of the generative AI that has exploded into the market is caught many people’s imaginations for, for all the reasons that that you’re asking me the question today, right? It’s exciting is that next step change. And that’s providing more potential more opportunities in the tech space. Right. So it’s incredibly exciting stuff. I think that, that we as citizens can see the adoption of it in many cases, right? If you think about commercial in terms of being able to rate through the lifecycle from a client perspective, it’s sales enablement, the ability to really rapidly pull together data and understand a more sophisticated way of what they might need right through the credit cycle, around how you package and how you generate information is speed into the service arena, where you can always get into a place where you can anticipate that client’s needs and their next best advice and next best product, etc. So, you know, it’s not without an abundance of use cases, I think the approach needs to be measured, I think you need to start with it in a comfortable sandbox. And a place where you probably want a human in the loop. You probably want to adopt the generative AI in a place that the human gets the final see. And once you become more comfortable with it, and once it’s more embedded in our processes, then you can start using it for more and direct interfaces into the digital channels with our clients. But yeah, I think you know, we’ve been using AI for a while now. It says and CFG is not a new thing. We’ve even had predictive vi I think the ability to generate content from the chat GBT in the chat. Smith’s of the world just takes it to that next level. So hugely exciting. Not as exciting as it would be if you hadn’t already been deployed AI for the last best part of the last five years. But yeah, certainly lots of opportunity. Yeah, I

Whitney McDonald 5:18
think that that’s great to point out that you have been using AI that you have found use cases. But of course, new use cases are surfacing. Of course, with generative AI, it adds another element to the mix, and, and all of that experimentation and exploration as well. Maybe we could talk through one specific launch that your team has worked on, which is the digital Butler, maybe you can tell us a little bit more about the digital Butler, how that rollout has gone and how it works.

Joanne Wyper 5:45
Now, that’s my other favorite topic. Yeah, so we’re really proud of digital Butler. We launched it in 2023. And we’ve been iterating it every quarter since then. It’s no one or a number of industry wars. And just this week, we got a patent approved. So what is it, it’s a one stop shop for clients? You know, we we changed our engagement model here for commercial clients a good number of years ago, back in 2017. And what we did is it was a human led innovation where we put a dedicated concierge agent aligned with every single commercial client agnostic to product, right, and that drove a high degree of personalization. So soon as you became a client, what would happen, you would be given your dedicated person who you could call that would navigate across all the products, anything that you needed. And that went down really well as you can imagine, right? You, you suddenly had a very friendly face, a very friendly person at the end of the phone that you trusted and build that trust with. And it brought a high degree of transparency. So the digital Butler was, was sitting back and saying, Okay, well, we want, we do recognize that people want to self serve, commercial clients included not just retail clients. And we want to give them that option. But it has to be personalized. And it has to bring that transparency, or what are we doing here, it’s another option to complement the human led innovations that we’ve done. So that’s what digital Butler is, it’s a one stop shop. If I’m a commercial client, I can come on to digital Butler, it knows who you are. So we can tailor the content based on the products that they have with us offer them advice based on the products that they have with us and give them transparency around where they may have an open customer service case with us. Wait, is that who’s at West? When’s it likely? What kind of pizza tracker idea. And in addition to that, you know, we’re iterating, every single quarter with new technology. And then short term, we’ll have scheduling capabilities, client notification centers, and then in the more long run, you’ve already asked the question about Jenny eight, but that’s absolutely kind of medium to long term connectivity into digital Butler. So that’s what it is clients really enjoying it. So far, we have about 700 clients choosing to use it, instead of calling their dedicated representative on a monthly basis. And we have about 30,000 clients using the gateway for information every single week. So we’re incredibly thrilled by it.

Whitney McDonald 8:19
Great, maybe a couple of things to break down there. So one thing that you mentioned that I wanted to touch on is this patent that you you are this week granted a patent. What’s that about?

Joanne Wyper 8:30
That? Well, we had a provisional patent for the last year, but it just got granted this year fully. Now, why is it a partner? And that’s right. There’s other banks that do digital offerings to their clients. What’s different about Butler is the high degree of personalization. So you know, from a retail perspective, there’s less complexity, you know, Whitney McDonald comes into her bank, they know who she is, and what products you have, etcetera. But when you think about the personas involved in a commercial client, that could be 100 150 employees of that client all have different authorities, different informational needs. So there’s a high degree of personalization that comes with that complexity. And it’s around bringing it from a service and perspective, a lot. The digital channels are about onboarding. They’re not about a one stop shop, and couldn’t onboarding and service and so, so yeah,

Whitney McDonald 9:21
great. The other thing I’d like to spend a little bit of time on and not much, but just because you mentioned it these iterations of the digital Butler quarterly, what are those based off of what are you kind of tweaking and updating? Is that based on usership? Or, or what are those needs that that are kind of changing along with the tech? Well,

Joanne Wyper 9:41
there’s two things so I don’t think innovation ever has an end date, right? You will constantly iterate and when you do, you’re missing something right or client needs change, and you have to keep ahead of it. But the other reason that we’re constantly investing in it in an iterative fashion is our methodology around driving change. So we deploy change in an agile fashion. Should. So we go to market with a product that we think our clients will like. And then we’ll continue to add functionality on it every single time. Every quarter that we get investment, we will add more functionality, depending on client needs depend on what we hear from them and our surveys, etc.

Whitney McDonald 10:15
So yeah, I love that innovation never has an ending right

Joanne Wyper 10:19
now doesn’t never sleeps either. Yeah,

Whitney McDonald 10:22
yeah. So then the next thing I’d like to discuss here, speaking of innovation is what other innovations your team is working on? Are there any other retail technologies or retail innovations that you’re able to plug into the commercial side? without reinventing the wheel being able to tap into technology that exists? How does that how does that convert? What does that conversation look like with your team?

Joanne Wyper 10:45
Yeah, so our organization’s large, so but we also are very good at making sure that we don’t reinvent the wheel as well, where there’s technologies will make sure that the consumer bank loan and the business bank and the commercial banker are maximizing the software that we’ve got in house or the stuff that we’re building. One of the interesting things that is an inflection point for innovation, good citizens will be our newly developing private bank. So if you think about that, there’s a huge crossover between the retail side of the house and the commercial side of the house, because our high net worth clients in the private bank may want some commercial products. Whereas, you know, in consumer before, that might not be a typical behavioral trait from some of our retail clients. So what does that mean? It means that we’re really looking at the infrastructure that sits behind the technology for so that so that the experiences are, you know, a standardized, it feels like if I’m a client, and I’m going to private buying, then dependent on a retail product or a commercial product, then it looks and feels like this level of, of sophistication that you’d expect from Citizens Bank. So there’s a lot of work going on at the moment to make sure that we have those very cohesive and expert digital experiences for our clients. So that’s very interesting. But one of the things that we’ve just launched in the business bank is cash flow essentials, which is essentially a digital platform that allows our small business clients to engage with us on a self serve basis. And for all your basic Treasury solutions, products that you might need cash, wire, Ach, etc. On board, June, a very simplified fashion, and in the backend of automated a lot of more plans to make that onboarding as instant as possible. So there’s some really exciting stuff happening across the entire enterprise.

Whitney McDonald 12:36
Being of all that exciting stuff, maybe we can shift a little bit more to this, this forward. Look, we’re coming into March 2024. And, and we’re getting through the first quarter. But what is your team really working on? What’s on the in the pipeline for the rest of the year? And and what’s your focus on? Or what are you excited about?

Joanne Wyper 12:54
Yeah, excited about the whole thing, actually. So we’re only in February, still enough feel like the delivery that we’ve been doing in the first two months has been incredible been dropping code almost every week. And we’re constantly surveying that landscape. So I may have an agenda set for 2024, unpacked, 2526, and 27. It’s never ever done in a sandbox, and all the building blocks that we need to do as an organization, and where we need to be placing those investment dollars. But we’re constantly looking out into the market to understand what needs refresh and reprioritize. should, should expectations change should access to technology change, right? That could be another step change, we’ve just talked about Chuck UBT. But that could be something else that comes along. And we would want to be able to pivot quite quickly. But you know, as it stands, we’re there all the rest of that changing. We’ve we’re excited about a new payment hub that we’ll be deploying about halfway through this year. We’re exploring connecting to our clients, ERP systems directly. And, you know, use cases for Jenny i, and addition to that huge part of what I’ll be doing in the commercial bank is connectivity around data. So we have a significant API agenda, which is really about where we store our data, how we connect it, how we move it and where we move it to. And I think that that is going to pay huge dividends from a client experience perspective in terms of speed and accuracy, as well as freeing up some efficiency and our operations so that we can recycle and reinvest that back into the relationship. He’s so so much going on. So much going on Whitney. Yeah,

Whitney McDonald 14:35
it sounds like you’ll be quite busy. Looking forward. Yeah. Um, before we wrap up anything that we didn’t hit on, I know that we talked future luck. We talked in AI, we talked innovation, but anything that we didn’t hit on that that you’re focusing on or excited about, or did we hit it off?

Joanne Wyper 14:54
We had it all if we’re talking about the bus to the bank automation, then I think we had it all out. You know, I think it’s a topic that we could talk about for hours, to be honest, a, I’m really excited about 2024. I think that our agenda for digital has been going for five years now. And we’ve seen a lot of improvements that our clients are thrilled about. I mean, our customer survey results in terms of net promoter score is an all time high is 73, which is world leading, our response times have went up. So I think for us, we went from like 90% resolution and in same day to 93%. And with all the technologies that we’ve just talked about, that it’s only going to get faster, cheaper and better. So yeah, incredibly buoyant and positive about what 2024 will bring for clients and for Citizens Bank.

Whitney McDonald 15:47
You’ve been listening to the buzz, a bank automation news podcast, please follow us on LinkedIn. And as a reminder, you can rate this podcast on your platform of choice. Thank you for your time, and be sure to visit us at Bank automation news.com For more automation news,

Transcribed by https://otter.ai



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