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Massachusetts Banker 4th Quarter, 2015 : Page 6

Dossier by Kristin Rulon AvidiA BAnk: WhAt the tech is next? AvidiA BAnk President & CeO: Mark R. O’Connell Charter : State (Mutual) tOtal assets: $1.2 billion tOtal dePOsits: $869,770,000 tOtal lOans: emPlOyees: BranChes: atms: $957,345,000 203 9 (Another Opening in Framingham in 2016) 9 Need examples? First, the bank’s Cardless Cash ATM, partnering with FIS, allows customers to withdraw funds without reaching for their debit card simply by using Avidia Bank’s secure mobile banking app. And to save time and paper, an e-receipt is sent directly to the user’s phone. That’s right, no card necessary at the ATM. “We’re much more than grandma’s passbook bank,” said Mike Allard, senior vice president of marketing at Avidia Bank. “We are also the future of the mobile banking platform.” And, much like Cardless Cash, the P2P realtime fea-ture isn’t just used by Millennials; it ’s a growing trend among all its customers. Second, Avidia Bank also has a strong brand pres-ence in social media. The bank’s employees from vari-ous departments make up the team of Avidia am-bassadors, also known as the “Avidia Smarties.” The Smarties promote commmunity events, share banking tips and keep customers up-to-date with what’s new at Avidia through social media. And, going beyond Face-book, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can find Avidia Bank on Instagram, Pinterest and even Periscope. But they don’t stop there; Avidia Bank even has its own mascot on Instagram and Twitter Ð Max McNickle Ð shar-ing his insights and adventures, while providing plenty of laughs and entertainment for his followers. “We have created quite a buzz with our presence,” said Katelin Cwieka, marketing specialist at Avidia Bank. “We are getting phone calls and interest from other banks want-ing to implement the same ideas with their customers. People have definitely been asking, ‘who’s Avidia Bank?’” Created in 2007 through a merger between Hudson Savings Bank and Westborough Bank, Avidia has always had a strong commitment to traditional products and ser-vices, but management wanted to be something more Ð more than your average community bank, an institution embracing the future of banking. And just in case you needed more proof of Avidia’s cutting-edge attitude toward banking technology, the day after they announced they were accepting ApplePay, the fourth Quarter 2015 w 6 hen innovative technology comes your way, what do you do? Maybe your first instinct is to “ooh” and “aah” over the latest phone, tablet or gadget, which is then followed by questions about price, how the technology works, and then, without fail, where to buy it. It’s natural to think of prominent tech companies when one imagines the latest platform invented to simplify our busy lives. But what about a bank? Taking it a step fur-ther, what about a community bank? Avidia Bank, headquartered in Hudson, Mass., is pav-ing the way for community banks nationwide by being one of the first to implement some of the latest banking tech, offering products and services even larger banking institutions are still beta testing. Massachusetts Banker |

Dossier

Kristin Rulon

AVIDIA BANK: WHAT THE TECH IS NEXT?

When innovative technology comes your way, what do you do? Maybe your first instinct is to “ooh” and “aah” over the latest phone, tablet or gadget, which is then followed by questions about price, how the technology works, and then, without fail, where to buy it.

It’s natural to think of prominent tech companies when one imagines the latest platform invented to simplify our busy lives. But what about a bank? Taking it a step further, what about a community bank?

Avidia Bank, headquartered in Hudson, Mass., is paving the way for community banks nationwide by being one of the first to implement some of the latest banking tech, offering products and services even larger banking institutions are still beta testing.

Need examples? First, the bank’s Cardless Cash ATM, partnering with FIS, allows customers to withdraw funds without reaching for their debit card simply by using Avidia Bank’s secure mobile banking app. And to save time and paper, an e-receipt is sent directly to the user’s phone. That’s right, no card necessary at the ATM.

“We’re much more than grandma’s passbook bank,” said Mike Allard, senior vice president of marketing at Avidia Bank. “We are also the future of the mobile banking platform.”

And, much like Cardless Cash, the P2P realtime feature isn’t just used by Millennials; it’s a growing trend among all its customers.

Second, Avidia Bank also has a strong brand presence in social media. The bank’s employees from various departments make up the team of Avidia ambassadors, also known as the “Avidia Smarties.” The Smarties promote commmunity events, share banking tips and keep customers up-to-date with what’s new at Avidia through social media. And, going beyond Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you can find Avidia Bank on Instagram, Pinterest and even Periscope. But they don’t stop there; Avidia Bank even has its own mascot on Instagram and Twitter Ð Max McNickle Ð sharing his insights and adventures, while providing plenty of laughs and entertainment for his followers.

“We have created quite a buzz with our presence,” said Katelin Cwieka, marketing specialist at Avidia Bank. “We are getting phone calls and interest from other banks wanting to implement the same ideas with their customers. People have definitely been asking, ‘who’s Avidia Bank?’”

Created in 2007 through a merger between Hudson Savings Bank and Westborough Bank, Avidia has always had a strong commitment to traditional products and services, but management wanted to be something more Ð more than your average community bank, an institution embracing the future of banking.

And just in case you needed more proof of Avidia’s cutting-edge attitude toward banking technology, the day after they announced they were accepting ApplePay, the bank launched Avidia Pay for businesses. A Bank Centric Payments™ platform powered by linked2pay, Avidia Pay provides state-of-the-art electronic payments capabilities to businesses, other banks, associations, ISOs and merchants.

“We are always looking for new ways to improve service delivery and enhance the banking experience of our business and personal customers,” said Mark O’Connell, president and CEO of Avidia Bank. “As the pace of technology speeds up, our customers want the tools that best fit their needs and expect us to deliver those tools when and where they want.”

With all the newly launched services, it became apparent that its website should also get a facelift. Staying on the progressive track, Avidia Bank uploaded video tutorials showing customers how to navigate through the improved and responsive website, keeping in mind that more and more of its customers are accessing the bank’s website through mobile devices.

“When you launch a new service, if to promote the service you send out flyers and postcards … something gets lost in translation,” Allard said. “More people are apt to watch a video than read about how to navigate through something. With video, you can plug in your headphones and watch anywhere. People will listen, watch and remember more of what you have to say in a video, which results in higher levels of engagement and adoption.”

The bank’s commitment to innovative services for its customers is a fresh reminder of what a community bank is capable of providing.

“We are certainly leveling the playing field for institutions of all sizes,” said Allard. “We like the combination of being forward thinking and a community bank.”

Read the full article at http://www.omagdigital.com/article/Dossier/2376347/288230/article.html.

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