Geezeo Powered Fintech Helps A Community Bank Punch Above Its Weight

Who

Who icon

$750 million in assets; Founded in 1908 175 employees in 4 counties; Publicly traded

What

What icon

Bring this community bank, founded by local farmers and merchants, into the 21st Century. Use digital financial management solutions not only to help its new and existing customers but use the digital tools to find new opportunities to expand relationships with customers.

Why

Why icon

In a diverse region with a major university, farms, local businesses and large corporations, it was necessary to build a bank where technology could enrich the experience for both the customers and the bank by building new relationships with data.

Solution

Solution icon

Geezeo’s unique PFM platform that allowed F&M to realize their vision for their acclaimed Squirrel™ PFM. By enriching the data, it allowed F&M to become more responsive and successful in its marketing efforts.

THE F&M BANK BUSINESS CASE

The Challenge

There’s something to be said for the family feeling in community banks. All the people know you, and you likely know them from local events or functions.

The problem is, that comfortable feeling doesn’t always help keep financial institutions on the cutting edge. While they deliver hometown service, they forego big city efficiency. And nowadays, it isn’t a matter of cost that keeps smaller FIs small, it’s a matter of embracing technology and deploying it strategically.

Because the region is one of the fastest growing in Virginia, F&M Bank wanted to build off its heritage as a valuable resource for its long-time rural customers as well as the influx of new businesses and people that are moving into the region.

The Client

Established in 1908, F&M Bank’s roots are built into the community of Timberville, VA, where it started. And 110 years later, F&M is still called ‘our bank’ by the people and businesses that continue to grow its customer rolls.

Now it has 175 employees, manages $750 million in assets and has branches throughout in 4 counties throughout the Shenandoah Valley in western and central Virginia. It is also a publicly traded stock.

For 2017, F&M beat out regional powerhouse BB&T and national behemoth Wells Fargo for first time deposits in the Rockingham County-Harrisonburg market, according to FDIC data.

The Goal

F&M wasn’t simply interested in remaining relevant in its fast-changing region. It wanted to be the first choice when people and businesses were shopping for a bank.

It wanted to be a community bank for the 21st century. A bank where technology could enrich the experience for both the customers and the bank by building new relationships with data.

“Our region is fairly diverse. We have a large university, farmers, businesses, large corporations and all of these sectors are growing rapidly.” said Executive Vice President, Chief Banking Officer Stephanie Shillingburg.

“From focus groups and consumer survey data, we were repeatedly hearing that customers wanted a broad ‘financial snapshot’ as well as a budgeting feature in online banking to help them plan and save.” We knew there were third party personal financial management (PFM) tools out there but we wanted to work with our customers at the local level rather than send them outside of the bank to a third party. Partnering with a white label vendor like Geezeo gave us the option to brand our own PFM solution with the help of their years of fintech experience by our side.”

“We knew that if we could offer the same conveniences of larger financial institutions along with the personal touch of a community bank, we could be very competitive. The challenge was how to do this without trying to compete by outspending the big regional and national competition in our markets.”

The Geezeo Difference

“One of the primary reasons we chose Geezeo was due to our similar values,” observed Shillingburg.

“Most important, Geezeo has a unique PFM platform that got us excited about our vision for Squirrel™ PFM. In addition, as a community bank we take our customers’ privacy very seriously and do not sell their information to third parties. Geezeo shares that commitment.”

And Geezeo isn’t there just to land the deals, but to support our partners during and after a build.

“Ahead of signing the contract, Geezeo was always available to answer our questions and work through any issues that popped up, which increased the trust factor and gave us confidence that Geezeo was a good choice. Geezeo’s staff was also very accommodating when we needed them to work with our other partners (e.g. our mobile app vendor). They cared about the entire project; not just their piece of it.”

“Excluding one hiccup with the build, the pre-launch preparation and launch went off really well. Geezeo provides excellent customizable marketing materials and quarterly contests so we’re pleased to have that extra boost to our in-house efforts.”

“Geezeo’s solutions also allowed us rethink the way we could enrich the data we receive from our customers as well as our marketing efforts to target the right offers in the right channels to best help our customers and drive new business.”

“Kicking off a new product or service will typically always involve a few setbacks along the way, but we were pleased with the Geezeo partnership and have had nothing but positive feedback from our customers about Squirrel PFM!”