"Everything that rises must converge," wrote French philosopher Pierre
Teilhard de Chardin. He may have been thinking about retail banking in
the year 2013.
As banks and credit unions rise to meet the challenge of serving the
needs of a highly mobile, technologically sophisticated clientele, the
year ahead promises to be a time of rapid convergence - of software
platforms, electronic devices, back-office processes, and
customer-facing delivery channels.
This trend is already underway and gathering momentum, according to Charlie
Kroll, founder and CEO of Andera,
a Providence-based financial software company that is expanding and
poised to ride that wave of convergence. Andera's increasingly popular oFlows,
the first totally paperless platform for online account opening and
lending, can replace up to nine devices now used in branch banking.
The camera-equipped smart phone or tablet computer has already begun to
supplant the printers, copiers, fax machines, telephones, desktops,
pens, and other branch-bank paraphernalia used in account opening and
loan applications. Kroll points out that one-third of online banking
customers use mobile devices to do their banking, and that customers who
combine online and mobile technologies have 45% more interactions with
their financial institutions.
"iPads and tablets are transforming the branch experience and driving
delivery in a multichannel environment. They use native mobile
capabilities to capture signatures and image documents. This is bringig
about the consolidation of a previously fragmented ecosystem of niche
systems and peripherals. We think that trend is going to accelerate in
2013," said Kroll.
"This year will be all about our users. We will shortly be releasing our
Branch 2.0 platform, currently in beta, which will bring a number of
important new capabilities to clients' frontline staffs. We'll also be
introducing several user-experience enhancements," continued Kroll.
Andera's planned product upgrades will build upon a solid year of
growth. In 2012, the company raised a new round of venture funding,
increased sales bookings by 59 percent, and saw a fivefold increase in
its oFlows customer base. The Providence Business News ranked
of the Best Places to Work," and American Banker cited it as "One
of the Top Ten Tech Companies to Watch." Andera has close to 100
employees and will be seeking to hire about 24 more over the coming year.
The company is also ramping up its marketing efforts. Andera will be
exhibiting at 18 industry conferences in 2013. First-time appearances
are slated for national shows including the Credit Union National
Credit Union Conference, June 30-July 3 in New York and Bank
Administration Institute's Retail Delivery, November 5-7 in Denver.
The company will also expand its menu of webinars on topics such as
servicing the under-banked client and best practices in online marketing.
Kroll added, "Consumers are demanding that their banking and credit
union relationships have the same ease and convenience that they
experience when buying goods and services in stores and on line.
Technology bridges the gap between these consumers' expectations and
financial institutions' ability to meet those expectations. We're
projecting that 2013 will be a year when hundreds of institutions decide
to build those bridges, and Andera is poised to help them make that
Andera pioneered online account opening in 2004 and now offers a
multichannel platform to over 560 banks and credit union customers.
Andera's oFlows platform radically simplifies account opening and
lending in branches, online, out in the field, and over the phone. The
oFlows platform is a four-time winner of the "Best in Show" award at Finovate.
Andera is privately held, headquartered in Providence, and has offices
in San Francisco and New York. For more information, visit www.andera.com
for an upcoming webinar.
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