After just a year of operating its digital-only banking brand, Midwest BankCentre has been named Celent’s Model Bank 2020 for Community Banking Transformation. Founded in 1906, Midwest BankCentre is St. Louis’ second largest locally owned bank with assets exceeding $2 billion and deposits of $1.4 billion.
Celent selected Midwest BankCentre for the prestigious fintech award in recognition of its successful development and operation of Rising Bank. The bank’s digital-only brand launched in February 2019 in partnership with MANTL, a New York-based fintech firm.
Rising Bank raised 75% of its $100 million annual deposit goal within 10 weeks of launch and ultimately closed 2019 at more than $130 million in new deposits, 30% over its aggressive target. Midwest BankCentre calculates it has achieved a tenfold increase in operational efficiency in addition to strengthening its balance sheet.
“Midwest BankCentre demonstrates that disruptive innovation to a bank’s operating model does not require wholesale jettisoning of legacy technology. However, it does require a healthy dissatisfaction with the status quo and a willingness to challenge time-tested business and operating practices,” said Bob Meara, a senior analyst with Celent’s banking practice based in Atlanta. “A key contributor to the bank’s performance has been its willingness to try new approaches, its data-driven mindset to solve problems along the way and its rigorous sales funnel management.”
Midwest BankCentre adopted significant technology changes to offer a seamless, secure digital customer experience to Rising Bank customers across the country who want to accumulate and expand long-term wealth. It also expanded the bank’s footprint from 17 branches in the St. Louis region to customers in all 50 states. Core deposits captured by Rising Bank support Midwest BankCentre’s continued growth.
“Midwest BankCentre is honored to receive the 2020 Celent Model Bank Award for our technological achievements as a community bank,” said Dale Oberkfell, president and chief financial officer of Midwest BankCentre. “Few banks of our size have chosen the bold strategy of establishing completely new digital brands. Our approach has allowed us to meet the financial needs of customers across America with intuitive and convenient service delivered online. We’ve gained financial dividends and fueled our team’s confidence in continuing our transformation to meet our customers wherever they are.”
“We selected vendors based on their operational and technological excellence, taking the approach that if you want to win the Super Bowl, you have to recruit Tom Brady,” Oberkfell added. “This frame of mind brought the right parties around the table to execute our vision for Rising Bank. When issues arose, our partners thought creatively and approached problem-solving with a data-driven mindset that helped us optimize performance.”
Rising Bank was conceived, built and launched in six months in partnership with MANTL, an enterprise fintech firm that specializes in digital account opening. Because it integrates directly into core banking systems, MANTL functions on a real-time basis. New accounts are booked to Midwest BankCentre’s core and become instantly accessible to customers upon completing the application. On average, bank customers can complete an application in two minutes and thirty seven seconds. MANTL automatically triggers product services for new accounts. Its built-in marketing tools boost conversion rates to help banks grow deposits up to 78% faster.
“In a rapidly evolving banking landscape, Midwest BankCentre is among the leaders of tomorrow who are taking bold action to stand out from the pack,” said Nathaniel Harley, CEO and founder of MANTL. “The bank developed a plan and meticulously found strong partners to help grow its business. We are happy MANTL was selected as one of those partners because of our results-oriented approach to the account opening process. We value our partnership with Dale Oberkfell and his team, and look forward to growing with Midwest BankCentre.”
Building on Midwest BankCentre’s foundation in traditional banking, Rising Bank meets customers’ needs as the banking industry evolves in an increasingly digital world. Rising Bank has attracted a new online community of customers who can easily open new accounts in less than three minutes. All Rising Bank accounts are FDIC-insured up to $250,000 per individual account and up to $500,000 per joint account.