Slideshow Digital Bankers of the Year

  • June 10 2015, 1:39pm EDT
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The "Digital Bankers of the Year" for 2015 selected by Bank Technology News are innovators pushing their organizations to better serve customers. Their high-tech efforts range from reaching the underbanked in Africa to helping prospective homebuyers look beyond the "for sale" sign through a mobile app.

Related Link: Digital Bankers of the Year

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Regulation Doesn't Mean Stagnation

Heather Cox
Chief Client Experience, Digital and Marketing Officer

Citigroup and its regulatory issues have been intertwined the last few years. Still, the global bank has been at the forefront of technology, including being among the first to launch an app for the Apple Watch.

"It might be tempting for some to point to regulation as a barrier to innovation, but frankly that's a losing mindset for banks," Cox says.

Related Link: Digital Banker of the Year: Citi's Heather Cox

Image: Brad Trent

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Homegrown Technology

Chris Cox, Head of Digital Experience Delivery, USAA

USAA is considered a digital banking leader and some of its innovation is done in-house. Cox says the ideas are great because its employees are also members. It might even have too many ideas, though.

"What drives that process is: where can we add the most value to members? what has the most immediate relevance?" Cox said. "That's much more important than the raw coolness factor of a new idea."

Related Link: USAA Strives for Personalization in Its Banking Apps

Banking Africa's Unbanked

Uzoma Dozie, CEO, Diamond Bank (Nigeria)

Since launching a digital banking initiative in January 2014, Diamond Bank in Nigeria has seen explosive growth. For instance, it saw its Internet banking subscribers jump from 1.1 million to 2.8 million.

Now the bank, under Dozie's leadership, is reaching out to the underbanked population of Africa. This year it partnered with the telecom firm MTN to launch mobile payments. It has attracted 1.27 million customers in its first six months.

Related Link: Nigeria's Diamond Bank Reaches the Underbanked

No Rest for the Innovators

Jamie Armistead, Head of Digital Channels, Bank of the West

The U.S. bank unit of BNP Paribas recently updated its mobile app, but it isn't resting on its laurels. Armistead says the company has already begun testing the 4.0 version.

"That's a little different than other banks might approach their products," Armistead says. "People may get caught up chasing the next feature or functionality, but might lose sight of refining and honing. And we are willing to dedicate ourselves to that."

Related Link: Bank of the West Adopts Design-First Mentality

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Taking on the Big Guns

Tom Ormseth, Senior Vice President, Wintrust Financial

Wintrust is the first U.S. company to offer Cardless Cash, a service that lets customers access in-market ATMs through the mobile app. It is indicative of the company's effort to go up against the global banks and try to take market share.

"Especially for our size, we're definitely at the leading edge of what's going on," he said.

Related Link: Wintrust Endeavors to Beat the Big Banks in Mobile