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SMALL BANKS, BIG ADVANCES: Suresh Ramamurthi's CBW Bank is readying the launch of real-time payments. Radius Bank, where Robert Landstein (right) is the CIO, is one of the few to let customers open accounts by snapping a photo of their driver's license.
Small banks don't have the budgets of large-bank competitors, but with nimbleness and creativity they are sometimes first out of the gate with innovative technology, from real-time payments to biometric authentication. We scoured the land for examples of tech-savvy community banks and chose the following 10 standouts.

Top Stories

Popular and FirstBank gained critical branches and deposits in a region where growth is hard to come by. Some observers said it could also benefit the island to have one less competitor.  more »
Fresh questions are being asked about the role of investors in the rental market and how their eventual exit may impact mortgage lending, property values and the economic recovery.  more »
A court-imposed deadline for American Express to negotiate a fix to its merchant rules with the Department of Justice is about three weeks away. Odds of a deal are said to be low, heightening uncertainty — and fueling debate — about how the showdown will affect the future of the credit card business.  read more »
Amid heartbreaking tales told by distressed homeowners and reverse mortgage holders, many community groups praised OneWest CEO Joseph Otting for spending time speaking to them and hearing their communities' concerns.  read more »
FinTech Forward
Across the country, community banks are defying the stereotype of small institutions as technological laggards, sometimes introducing useful digital features well ahead of the better-resourced and purportedly savvier big banks.  read more »
Banks would likely not see an immediate effect from the Federal Communications Commission's open Internet plan, but experts say it could prevent future discriminatory moves by carriers that want to compete more in offering financial services.  read more »
JPMorgan Chase's leader is the latest big bank CEO to embrace organic growth, leaving some to wonder if he really sees the benefits or is just being realistic about the struggle that would be required to get regulators to bless a deal.  read more »
Banks are transforming branches, rolling out new products and experimenting with alternative data, in an effort to bring more people into the financial mainstream. Such initiatives might have been a footnote in the past, but they have grown into a serious business strategy lately.  read more »
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