Umpqua Bank Launches Human-Digital Banking Pilot in Three Portland Metro Stores
Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: UMPQ), has taken another step forward in its vision to transform customer experience with the expansion of a human-digital banking pilot to three Portland Metro Area stores. This week, stores in Lake Oswego, Sellwood-Moreland and the Hawthorne neighborhood became the first stores to incorporate Umpqua’s BFF (Best Financial Friend) pilot banking platform, which bridges the online and in-store customer experience using a unique digital app.
Using BFF, customers can conduct virtually every in-store bank interaction digitally with the exception of cash transactions. They can also receive expert financial support through their BFF associate, who serves as their personal private banker devoted to their banking needs.
According to Cort O’Haver, Umpqua’s president and CEO, BFF represents a different approach to digital banking, putting human relationships at the center. Rather than leveraging digital technology to make banking less relational and connected, Umpqua’s vision is to use technology to bring customers and associates together in unique ways that are personal, consultative and scalable.
“Customers tend to have two banking experiences—online and in branches—that are often separate and distinct. Human-digital banking bridges these two worlds so there’s a more seamless banking experience,” said O’Haver. “The central feature in Umpqua’s approach to human-digital banking is a real human being, who is the connection point between customers’ online and in-store banking experiences through the BFF platform.”
During the in-store pilot, BFF concierge desks will serve as demo stations, and roving associates equipped with technology will help with customer needs. As the platform evolves, Umpqua’s stores will provide platform onboarding, training, financial health seminars and other activities that add value to Umpqua customers and communities.
Today’s announcement follows the successful conclusion in September of Umpqua’s initial six-month mobile-based pilot involving more than 1,800 customers served by associates located in a centralized BFF hub. The pilot tested whether customers would adopt and find value in a digital relationship model. More than 90% of participating customers responded positively, finding that the human-digital approach enhances the banking experience and mirrors the level of personalized in-store service. Results also indicate that associates can be scaled to serve as BFF to more than 1,000 customers.
About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Oregon, is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine's list of the country's "100 Best Companies to Work For," and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the fourteenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to small businesses.
Umpqua Holdings also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments, Inc., which offers services through Umpqua Bank stores and in dedicated offices throughout Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua's Wealth Management Division serves high net worth individuals and nonprofits by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua Holdings Corporation is headquartered in Portland, Ore. For more information, visit https://www.umpquabank.com/newsroom.