Technology with Personal Touch Drives INB

2/4/2016

By: Sarah Phalen
President and CEO

DSC00425We hope you know us for making banking easier. We do that for the most part by advancing and implementing new technology. When we talked about opening our community bank back in 1999, one of our key drivers was “innovative technology with a personal touch.” Because what good is technology if you don’t know how to use it?

From the onset, things were different at INB than any other bank in town. While you won’t find this so “wow-some” today, at the turn of the century it was awesome: we had pictures of checks and you could see them online. When we showed this new feature to local business owners, they were awed. Some of us had the opportunity to be in Chicago at a conference during this time period, and one of the national bank employees saw we had the technology. They asked, “Can we see how that works? We don’t have it yet, but we hear we’re getting it.” Yes, INB had it first.

And that one seemingly little advancement led to so many huge changes in the banking world.

Positive Pay Helps Business Clients Every Day With Every Payment

One of the first software programs we developed is called Positive Pay. It allows us to confirm that every check we receive from a business client’s account was actually written by that client’s account and written to the person whose name is on the check for the amount indicated. This program is a huge fraud deterrent and allows clients to reconcile their accounts every day.

Managing Bill Payment Going Out and Coming In

About this same time, we were able to offer our customers our Check Warehouse. This electronic storage file meant they no longer had to keep paper copies of old checks. Instead, we stored the checks for them, online.

Customers were increasingly turning to us to help them with payments from their customers. We developed Lockbox, a niche technology that allowed us to take paper information and store it electronically.

Lockbox and the success of our Check Warehouse led to our Electronic Warehouse – a place for customers to store all of their customer files to be shared electronically in their customer service efforts. We created a picture warehouse that includes every document that comes in the mail with a payment . . . including the envelope itself. The warehouse is searchable. When we rolled this out in 2003, no other community bank was offering the service.

No More Trips to the Bank

While we love seeing our customers at the bank, technology has taken “stop by the bank” off both business and personal task lists. In 2006, we introduced Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) to our business customers. Of course today, our retail clients can also deposit checks via their smart phones.

And while we worked hard to assure our customers had cash through our ATM system, we also had the one-and-only Cash Cruiser. The cruiser was equipped with two, wireless (Very high-tech at the time!) ATM systems which we took to events like the State Fair and Air Rendezvous. The machines were so popular, there would often be lines of four to five people deep.

Positive Pay 2.0

Ten years after introducing Positive Pay, Payee Positive Pay was the next big step. It gave us the ability to take information we’d captured via a photo and translate that to data. For example, all the fields of a check could now be stored as individual records for easy evaluation and searching. INB was the first bank in the local market to offer this service.

Education Part of Our Job

Not only do we train our customers to use our software, we feel an obligation to keep them apprised of regulations that affect them. For example, when Check 21 went into effect in 2004, we took the opportunity to walk both our business and personal lines customers through the change with a series of educational sessions. The law allowed banks to accept electronic images of checks as the original documents, dramatically improving the efficiency of the entire banking system. At the same time, it had an impact on individual accounts, and we wanted people to understand that. They could no longer write a check on Friday and cover it with a deposit on Monday. Obviously, it was an important, new concept.

Recent Enhancements

Last fall we introduced Apple Pay™ and our Apple Watch® app. As noted then, the future of these products is anyone’s guess, but given past performance, we expect Apple’s most recent developments will play a role in how we work, play and live going forward. That’s why we’ve embraced Apple Pay and Apple Watch, as well as Visa CheckOut, which allow you to more quickly complete online transactions. We believe these developments will excel on their own or lead to future product development that will become part of our everyday lives.

We also introduced e-sign and an easier mortgage loan process thanks to technology. And we’ll continue to look at “big data,” because having this data – something we didn’t have when we opened in 1999 — allows us to make reasonable predictions about what you will want going forward.

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