Avidia Bank Aims to Stay Ahead of the Curve with Mobile

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Avidia Bank of Hudson, Mass., wants to be a bank innovation leader.

It doesn't want to be good at adopting new technology for a community bank — it wants to be an industrywide standout.

That was the motivation behind the bank implementing FIS's Cardless Cash solution, which enables customers to use their app to quickly and securely withdraw cash from the ATM. The company rolled out the product in August.

"We have very forward-thinking leadership," said CarrieAnne Cormier, assistant vice president of retail operations and strategy at the $1.2 billion-asset bank. "I think it's interesting to see this community bank in a sliver of Massachusetts with nine branches roll out something like this."

Cardless ATMs are an increasingly hot topic, and Avidia finds itself in much larger company. BMO Harris installed cardless technology on 750 ATMs last year. JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America both recently announced they would begin rolling out their versions to their ATM networks this year. Even the community banks that offer cardless ATMs are the larger ones — the $22 billion-asset Wintrust Financial, for instance.

Cardless Cash not only served to differentiate their business, but also help to reduce ATM fraud like card skimming and shoulder-surfing. It should speeding up ATM transaction times, and drive mobile-user acquisition and retention, Cormier said.

Avidia's social media team created campaigns with interactive content to go along with the launch that focused on the speed, convenience and security of the feature, Cormier said.

Avidia has seen a 13% increase in mobile app enrollments since introducing Cardless Cash. To the surprise of stakeholders that believed the solution to favored millennials, Cardless Cash adopters ranged from ages 17 to 79, with a median age of 41.

"I expected it to be mostly used by the 40-and-under age group." Cormier said. "As an industry maybe we stereotype age groups, but it turned out not to be true."

Offering services like Cardless Cash greatly aid community banks in their ongoing struggle to retain customers who may be lured to bigger banks offering more digital and mobile services, Cormier said.

"It's harder for community banks to compete with the larger banks" on innovation, she said. "You have to pick and choose your IT projects, and think about what will benefit the customer most."

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