Jonathan BenAmoz is Vice President of Sales at MK Decision. Prior to joining MK, he was Vice President for home improvement consumer lender, Service Finance Company, LLC. As a lifelong community bank member, Jon is excited to implement modern technology into user experiences on a community banking level in his position at MK Decision.

At MK Decision, our team believes community banks are an integral part of the American Fabric. Our mission is to prevent antiquated and inefficient loan origination systems from causing community banks to lose customers to big banks. This article highlights my journey and personal relationship with community banking, and the many benefits I’ve come to experience. I also point out the challenges that community institutions face when competing with big banks using modern lending processes online.

Community Roots

Growing up in a Rust Belt city of New York State taught me the importance of independent businesses and community organizations. When large scale national manufacturers began leaving the area, jobs dried up, and movements to support local business increased. My father, a union worker, was fortunate enough to have his manufacturing job during uncertain times. He made a conscious decision to deposit his earnings in a community bank near the plant where he worked. My father, like many people in the area, trusted institutions with roots in the local community.

The bank where he deposited his earnings often held events and promotions. With the help of one particular promotion, I opened my first savings account at age nine. The deal was, for every month that I made a deposit into my savings account, the bank would give me a toy dinosaur. Thus began a long-standing relationship with a bank that would eventually see me open my first money market, auto, and credit card accounts.

toy stegasaurus

Renovations and credit

Twenty years and many toy dinosaurs later, I am still a member of the same community bank. I recently purchased a home and invested in my first remodeling project, and as most projects go, there were unforeseen costs that started to add up. It made sense to explore opening another credit card account, so I visited my bank’s website. Finding no credit card program information there, I phoned the bank directly and was directed to a loan officer. After running me through an application process and credit pull over the phone, she informed me that I needed to come in-branch or submit my application by mail in order to complete the process. Unfortunately, between the remodel, a full-time job, and preparing to leave town for a wedding, coming in person was not an option. I asked if she would please mail me the documents instead.

After a busy couple of weeks, my kitchen remodel was completed, and the time had come to pay my contractor. I was ready to use my new credit card to finance the project, and then I remembered that I still hadn’t finished my application. I figured there was minor paperwork left to process, but I was sorely mistaken. After investigating further, I found my credit application pending my signature in a pile of mail, next to another piece of mail: an adverse action letter from my bank! I hadn’t returned the paperwork in time. Frustrated, I emailed my contact at my bank to help me piece things together.

Moments after sending the email to my community bank contact, I found myself on my iPhone scrolling through Chase.com looking at credit cards. Chase’s credit card benefits, terms, and conditions were basically the same as the cards offered at my bank, the only real difference was that Chase’s cards were available to me almost instantly, conveniently with the tap of a button. Fortunately, my contact at the community bank emailed me back in time. She was able to accept the late signed application and move the process forward, and a week later I had my card mailed to me. Had it not been for her individual efforts on seeing my application through, I may have committed to a competitor bank for those funds.

Mobile Banking App

Conclusion:

Through this experience, I learned that it is critical for financial institutions to proactively provide
mobile-first experiences and technology-driven solutions to their members. Automated loan origination systems have replaced paper-intensive processes, something major banks have all adopted. Mobile-friendly card shopping experiences are what customers have come to expect nowadays. In the modern world of digital banking having a streamlined credit application process to minimize customer wait times is key to retaining customer loyalty.

Do you represent a financial institution seeking to streamline your credit card or lending processes? Check out MK Decision’s website to learn more about our loan origination systems and how we can best help your institution grow its loan volume. To learn more about MK Decision, please visit MK Decision.

About The Author:

Jonathan BenAmoz is Vice President of Sales at MK Decision. He is a former Vice President for major home improvement consumer lender, Service Finance Company, LLC. Experienced in merchant acquisition and onboarding practices, he is responsible for leading a growth team to 3000 merchant onboardings in 90 days. He attributes the key to his success as being the utilization of online merchant application forms. As a lifelong community bank customer, Jon is excited to implement modern technology into user experiences on a community banking level at MK Decision.