Innovative Thinking Leads to Recognition
By Sarah Phalen
President and CEO
Konner and Jen are a stick-people couple who want to buy a house someday. They know that will require a mortgage. But that’s about all they know about mortgages. They don’t yet know they’re going to need W-2s, tax returns and bank statements. When they find out, the first question they’ll likely ask is, “Where is this stuff?”
Evan Westlake, one of INB’s commercial lenders, led a team of INB staff who asked the question then took it a step further by devising a plan to put the information at Konnor and Jen’s non-existent fingertips. (They are stick people, after all.) And the solution for Konnor and Jen could help thousands of REAL people in the same situation.
First, the INB team looked at where most people keep important documents. Some are in file cabinets, on our computer, in our email, and even in a shoebox or two! But what if our bank offered a way to save each of these documents in one safe, secure place . . . like in our on-line banking account? Then when we go to buy a home, we can just go to our account and find everything.
The INB team idea made it all the way to NCR’s annual Innovation Conference. That’s where we had the opportunity to pitch our idea to NCR, our online banking partner, along with four other ideas from financial institutions. The winner’s idea will be developed by NCR for use by all banks using NCR’s platform.
Before making our presentation, our team received training and coaching in Design Thinking from NCR’s Innovation Catalysts so we could refine our idea and develop our pitch. Once we made our pitch, the field narrowed to a group of five finalists who took their idea to a panel of judges and NCR customers at NCR’s Innovation Conference.
You can see INB’s pitch video, along with the videos from the four other finalists, on NCR’s website.
While INB didn’t take the top honors, the innovative thinking shown by our staff is no different from what they do every day: working to make banking a simple, easy process for our customers.