> Valley National Bank
Giving People and Businesses The Power To Succeed
Giving People and Businesses The Power To Succeed
Fintechs are changing the way people manage and use their money. They’ve made it more convenient for people to access their money, spend their money, and get financial guidance quickly and easily.
“The reality is that customer expectations are always changing and fintechs are out there creating tech that aims to meet those expectations,” says Valley’s Chief Information Officer, Fabian Rojas. “But that doesn’t mean these companies are overtaking banks. Actually, banks are in a prime position to be innovative and disruptive while partnering with fintechs.”
Embracing the possibilities of fintechs
Valley Bank’s inspired culture of diverse thought and innovation welcomes these financial services disrupters and wants to join in the disruption. What Valley Bank has realized is that trust is still a key value that banks have that many fintechs don’t have on their own. Because of this, Valley believes fintechs will continue to rely on banks to complete their service cycle. By developing partnerships with fintechs, and even other tech companies, Valley is reinforcing its relationships with its customers while extending its own innovative efforts to a broader sphere of influence.
“It’s never been a better time for banks to embrace and tap into the creative power of the fintech ecosystem,” says Chihli Lu, Director of Engineering at Valley. “Technological advances, combined with innovations driven by companies such as Apple, Uber, and Amazon are changing our customer expectations. We believe a well-formed strategy to partner with fintechs can accelerate the delivery of new customer experiences to surprise and delight our customers.”
One way Valley is finding and connecting with tech companies is through Plug and Play, the California based company that helps organizations like Valley build partnerships with tech startups that align with their needs and interests.
“As a bank, we have many legacy systems that still need to be maintained and it’s not practical for us to create all our tech innovations in house as we transform the bank,” says Lu. “Plug and Play is just one part of our strategy of finding cutting-edge startups we can partner with to help us reach our goals.
Helping to foster the ideas and innovation of tomorrow
Valley is focusing on more than just partnering with fintechs, they’re even supporting the space these companies need to be innovative. Valley has developed strong relationships with organizations like the New Jersey Tech Council and the accelerator Tampa Bay Wave in Tampa, Florida, to sponsor and support programs that can help technology companies, including fintechs, get what they need to build, launch, and grow their platforms.
“Everything from artificial intelligence, blockchain, to quantum computing will play a role in redefining the financial services industry in the years to come,” says Rojas. “The pace of change continues to increase. And it’s incumbent upon us to collaborate with these innovative companies to develop an experience that deepens the bank’s relationship with its customers.”
Banks aren’t always top of mind when talking about innovative companies. That’s the perception Valley Bank is looking to change. Over the past several years, Valley has been building a culture of innovation aimed to inspire creative thought and reignite a passion for new ideas.
“We believe building a culture of innovation is central to the core of Valley,” says Bob Bardusch, Valley’s Chief Operating Officer. “To build this culture we believe in three key things: Empowering our people at all levels; creating spaces for innovation; and providing the mechanisms to move from idea to impact.”
Headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, with offices in New York, Florida, and Alabama, Valley is a key regional bank that can do everything from opening checking accounts to closing multimillion-dollar commercial loans. But like any organization, the only way a bank with more than 90 years of history and more than $37 billion in assets can move forward is to embrace new technology and build a culture driven by innovation.
Creating an “Innovation by All” atmosphere
When you talk with Valley associates, there is one common feeling they all share—empowerment. Leaders are giving people at all levels the freedom to have their voices heard. And this is encompassed in an “Innovation by All” mentality they are fostering within their teams.
“We work best when we can communicate, share ideas, and collaborate on projects, whether it be on enterprise architecture, data gathering, or robotic automation,” says Valley’s Chief Information Officer, Fabian Rojas. “As we continue to grow and evolve as an organization, we’re focused on creating an atmosphere that fosters idea-sharing to help us innovate for the future. We don’t want to be just a ‘bank in a box’ anymore— we’re breaking out of the box.
Valley is currently following a technology roadmap to enhance their internal operating systems, improve their infrastructure, automate their data processing, and provide more digital and mobile offerings to their customers. They’re bringing on board innovators to advance everything from technology operations and digital workplace development to digital product solutions and innovation program management.
Elevating the customer experience
Innovation at Valley is about more than just technology. The customer experience is a major factor in every decision being made, and Valley has organized a team dedicated to applying designthinking methodology to identify even simple ways to improve the customer experience.
“Making sure people have an incredible experience banking with us—whether online, at the branch, or on their smartphone—is essential to our future growth and success,” adds Rojas. “The best way to create a great customer experience is to create a great working experience. And that’s what we’re creating at Valley.”