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Interactive teller machines (ITMs): the convenience of an ATM plus personal service

By Paul Gores

While some financial institutions still are considering whether to install interactive teller machines, Wisconsin banks that already have invested in ITMs say they’re becoming an increasingly important part of their business strategy.

ITMs — essentially enhanced-function ATMs that let a customer speak with a teller via a video screen — allow in-branch employees to focus on higher-level interactions with customers while the technology handles routine transactions, bankers say.

Wisconsin bankers using ITMs say their customers, in an increasingly video-driven world, want them and quickly become accustomed to them. And they note that when the coronavirus pandemic shut down branches in 2020, they were a godsend.

“It can do deposits, withdrawals. It has the convenience of having more than just $20s,” said Lisa Schwalen, retail market manager for Bank of Luxemburg. “It can change the PIN on your debit card. Loan payments. Really, anything you can pretty much do over the teller line, you can do at the ITM.”

Banking equipment vendor NCR Corporation calls the ITM a “branch in a box.” Among its functions, according to NCR, an ITM can be used to: get cash, deposit checks, cash checks to the penny, handle bill and loan payments, transfer funds to any account, order replacement cards, process savings bonds and redemptions, process CD renewals and inquiries, and issue money orders.

Bank of Luxemburg placed its first ITM in a local grocery store in January of 2021.

“Ultimately it’s the flexibility that we are hoping to bring to our customers to allow them to do some banking not only outside the traditional banking business hours per se, but also to give them the convenience — going to the grocery store and having it there,” Schwalen said.

Bank of Luxemburg now has two other ITMs, including in a branch drive-through lane, which is how many banks are using them. The ITM essentially replaces the old tube system for exchanging checks and cash between a driver and a teller inside the branch.

At Madison’s Park Bank, ITMs are in the drive-through lanes.

“We’ve ripped out the tubes and put them in our drive-ups,” said Jeff Kurek, vice president of information and cyber security for Park Bank.

Park Bank had ITMs in place before the word “COVID” became part of everyday life.

“They were great during the pandemic,” Kurek said. “During the pandemic, the lobbies were all shut down. We were told to shut down. And we had employees who still had jobs to do. So the customers went up to the ITM. They could open up a bank account if they’d so choose. They were a lifesaver during the pandemic. We had full-service branches because of them.”

Kurek said Park Bank invested in ITMs, in part, because customers indicated they wanted them.

“The customer is always asking for the latest and greatest technology,” Kurek said.

The Stephenson National Bank & Trust in Marinette also was ahead of the COVID curve, installing ITMs starting in 2017. Elisa Rollo, senior vice president and chief retail officer, said the bank was looking to modernize its technology offerings for customers, and, among other factors, consider future staffing needs.

The Stephenson National Bank & Trust has 16 ITMs.

“We have three dedicated people to those 16 machines,” Rollo said. “If and when we decide to put more machines in, we would probably not add staff right away. I’m assuming they can do up to eight [ITMs each], and they’ve got it timed so well to where they know their customers’ traffic flow and the items that they’re handling.”

According to a survey last year by the branding firm Adrenaline, even though ITMs entered the market in the 2010s, most ITMs have been put into operation in just the last five years. Juliet D’Ambrosio, Adrenaline’s managing director of strategy, said in a report that ITMs were a self-service technology that “serves as a bridge between the physical and digital, improving customer experience and increasing revenue per customer.”

“It can serve dual purposes — automating routine banking activity while providing access to bankers for higher-value consultations,” she said.

John Kaprelian, vice president and retail manager for Marshfield-based Forward Bank, shares that view.

“I think what we’re going to see is a continued shift toward branch staff being used primarily for the value-add activities that require humans — that people are better at than machines. Giving advice, opening accounts, answering questions, lending — those sorts of things,” said Kaprelian, whose institution began using ITMs a year ago. “And the teller work is really going to become a secondary responsibility of that staff and will be an increasingly small part of their day-to-day activities.”

Some banks have reported that once customers become comfortable with ITMs, they often don’t need to contact the teller who is staffing the ITM to conduct a transaction.

Customer adoption and price are two of the main concerns of banks considering an investment in ITMs.

To encourage adoption, Bank of Luxemburg temporarily posted a banker near its grocery store ITM to show customers how to use it. The bank also filmed a YouTube video explaining the ITM.

Rollo said those monitoring usage at The Stephenson National Bank & Trust’s ITMs were a little surprised at how quickly older customers took to the new technology.

“We thought the older people aren’t going to adopt as quickly. Well, those now are some of our biggest advocates for the technology,” Rollo said. “They love to walk up and press a button, or never get out of their car, and they don’t have to see a person face to face. They can hear better with them, see a person better than you can in a drive-through through window.”

Kurek said customers needed some assistance at first.

“They needed some help, like with all change,” Kurek said. “We helped and we assisted, and I would say the pandemic escalated that. It changed the way people were doing things.”

Said Karen Berg, customer support manager for Forward Bank: “Actually, our customers have been really accepting of the ITMs and they have caught on pretty fast.”

An Adrenaline report from 2021 found that large majorities in all generations thought they would be extremely or very comfortable using an ITM: Millennials, 86%; Gen X, 85%; Gen Z, 80%; and those 55 and older, 72%.

The issue of price may be what’s holding some banks back on an ITM investment, although Adrenaline found that 60% of banks plan to deploy them by 2024.

A report last year by the financial institutions consulting firm Bancography explained the potential cost of that first ITM.

The report said if a bank already operates ITMs, the marginal cost of adding another probably would be less than $100,000.

“However, a critical challenge of implementing ITMs lies in the initial setup cost,” the Bancography report stated. “The back office infrastructure required to establish an initial ITM (building connectivity to the call center, systems integration, etc.) can cost $300,000– $500,000. So, assuming the midpoint and $85,000 for the machine itself, the first ITM costs $485,000.”

But if the initial rollout is bigger, the fixed infrastructure cost is amortized to a more reasonable level, Bancography said.

“The first one you put in definitely is costly just because you’re not only buying the machine, but the bank also has to build the parameters and the data input and the software to run the machine,” said Bank of Luxemburg’s Schwalen. “That usually is about three times the cost of the actual ITM. Once you get the first one down, the second ones obviously are a lot more reasonable. The average ITM, depending on the company — there’s different vendors out there — I would say they are in the neighborhood of $60,000 to $80,000.”

Rollo said when The Stephenson National Bank & Trust was making the decision about ITMs, its ATMs were getting to the point where they needed to be replaced anyway.

“The opportunity to do it — and do it the right way — was there,” she said. “They do cost — probably I want to say — double what our normal ATM would cost. That includes the infrastructure to make the system work.”

Bankers using ITMs in Wisconsin said the machines provide additional opportunities for local bank employees who want to be involved with the new technology.

“When we started converting the drive-ups, we never eliminated any positions. We didn’t know how many people we were going to have to have behind the scenes and running these drive-ups,” Rollo said. “We started out slower and had four of the drive-up people converted — we call them interactive service agents. They were universal bankers and tellers that transitioned into this role. We didn’t hire anybody specifically for the role.”

The bank still has two of those four original interactive service agents — “They’re really good at what they do,” Rollo said — and the bank also has cross-trained some other universal bankers and contact center employees as back-up.

Even as ITMs catch on, bank leaders don’t foresee a day when traditional face-to- face tellers and front-line bankers will disappear.

“Technology is not perfect. Technology will not replace our people,” said Park Bank’s Kurek. “It’s only going to enhance our customer experience. The technology is a response to needs, to us listening to what they’re asking for.”

Forward Bank’s Kaprelian said he doesn’t think tellers are going away.

“There are certain activities that ITMs just aren’t very good at handling, and you’re going to require staff — humans — to actually do it,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to change for quite a while, if ever.”

Gores is a journalist who covered business news for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for 20 years.

Pictured left to right are: Raynique Scott; Christina Summerville; Bianca Carroll McDaniel; Jovo Potkonjak, BankWork$ program manager; Janiaya Rainey; Davina McKee; Ayleene Rodriguez; Rose Oswald Poels, WBA’s president and CEO; and Adriene Wright, BankWork$ instructor. Seated in the center is Rayan Berryman.

The August BankWork$ class has now graduated! The Wisconsin Bankers Association is proud to partner with Employ Milwaukee to bring this nationwide program to Wisconsin. BankWork$ is a free, eight-week training program to prepare participants in primarily underserved neighborhoods for retail banking careers.

This graduating class of seven included Rayan Berryman, Bianca Carroll McDaniel, Davina McKee, Janiaya Rainey, Ayleene Rodriguez, Raynique Scott, and Christina Summerville. WBA’s Rose Oswald Poels attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.

Over the eight weeks, these students learned the hard and soft skills necessary for entry-level retail and operations positions. The program began in 2019 and has so far provided more than 4,000 graduates in the Milwaukee area the opportunity to begin a career in banking.

Thank you to the following banks for sponsoring this program:

  • Associated Bank, Green Bay
  • Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha
  • First Midwest Bank, Milwaukee
  • Johnson Financial Group
  • PyraMax Bank, Greenfield
  • Spring Bank, Brookfield
  • The Equitable Bank, Wauwatosa
  • Waterstone Bank, Milwaukee
  • Wells Fargo
Classroom

Congratulations to the 19 bankers who recently completed the 2022 Deposit Compliance School held August 22 and 23 at the WBA headquarters in Madison and via livestream! WBA’s Deposit Compliance School is designed to give Wisconsin bankers a strong foundation of the various deposit regulations that affect banks. 

  • Aubrie Bobholz, Horicon Bank  
  • Lu Ann Bowman, Mound City Bank, Platteville  
  • Laura Enders, Bank of Sun Prairie  
  • Carol Green, First Community Bank, Milton  
  • Nicole Havel, Dairy State Bank, Rice Lake  
  • Andy Hayes, Capitol Bank, Madison  
  • Kelsey Herold, First Citizens State Bank-Whitewater, Whitewater  
  • Austin Hines, River Falls State Bank, River Falls  
  • Hailey Klaas, Peoples State Bank, Lancaster  
  • Marty MacEacher, Peoples State Bank, Prairie du Chien  
  • Amanda Markell, Bank of Sun Prairie, Sun Prairie  
  • Brett Miller, Capitol Bank, Madison  
  • Brooke Noboa, First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha  
  • Brad Olsen, WoodTrust Bank, Wisconsin Rapids  
  • Hunter Olson, American Bank of Beaver Dam, Beaver Dam  
  • Nicole Ramirez, Woodford State Bank, Monroe  
  • Deanna Van Acker, Johnson Financial Group, Racine  
  • Brian Vogeltanz, Bank of Luxemburg, Luxemburg  
  • Evan Whitehead, Settlers bank, Appleton 

Deposit Compliance School Class Photo

 

This school is geared toward bank retail staff, including head tellers, personal bankers, universal bankers and managers, as well as compliance officers, operations personnel, and bank legal counsel. WBA Director – Legal Scott Birrenkott, FIPCO Compliance & Risk Management Advisor Michelle Haslam, and compliance consultant Laureen Lehnberg served as faculty for this year’s Deposit Compliance School.

Pictured left to right are: Dawanda Street, Darnesha Wilson, Evan Taylor, Nayeli Rocha, and Yesenia Delgado — graduates of the June BankWork$ class.

The June BankWork$ class has now graduated! The Wisconsin Bankers Association is proud to partner with Employ Milwaukee to bring this nationwide program to Wisconsin. BankWork$ is a free, eight-week training program to prepare participants in primarily underserved neighborhoods for retail banking careers.

This graduating class of five included Yesenia Delgado, Nayeli Rocha, Dawanda Street, Evan Taylor, and Darnesha Wilson. WBA’s Daryll Lund attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.

Over the eight weeks, these students learned the hard and soft skills necessary for entry-level retail and operations positions. The program began in 2019 and has so far provided more than 4,000 graduates in the Milwaukee area the opportunity to begin a career in banking.

Thank you to the following banks for sponsoring this program:

  • Associated Bank, Green Bay
  • Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha
  • First Midwest Bank, Milwaukee
  • Johnson Financial Group
  • PyraMax Bank, Greenfield
  • Spring Bank, Brookfield
  • The Equitable Bank, Wauwatosa
  • Waterstone Bank, Milwaukee
  • Wells Fargo

Uncovering the hidden talents in your team

By Lisa Dixon

We all have hidden talents. At least that’s what my mom used to tell me every time I failed to land a cartwheel — something I still believe every 11 year old, besides me, could do. But she meant well and although I never did learn how to do a cartwheel, I did have other talents that my friends didn’t. And in today’s world, where staffing is tougher than ever and every business is vying for the same pool of candidates, this might be a good time to step back and look for those hidden talents in your workforce.

A few years back, Westbury Bank wanted to put together a welcome video for new hires — something that was fun and would really showcase the team. As we were discussing the project, someone remembered that we had a part-time teller who was going to school for video production. After talking with the employee and sharing our vision of the video, he was excited to not only shoot it, but to write a script and edit the final product. It turned out great and started us on a path to discover what other talents our coworkers might be hiding.

When we were looking for a photographer to shoot some pictures for a billboard campaign, we first turned to our employees to see if anyone had photography skills. Sure enough, our part-time teller had been dabbling in photography for a few years and was thrilled at the opportunity. It was a win-win. We got great shots for our billboards, and he got some real-world samples to add to his growing portfolio.

It’s not just those “creative talents” that I’m talking about. We tend to think of employees’ skills based on the title they have. Teller, deposit operations, compliance, marketing, etc. But if you really get to know your employees, you may find skills that neither you nor they ever considered. Need help with social media? You likely have someone who is well versed and would love to assist with creating posts. Accounting is struggling to find entry level candidates? Look to your branch staff, where you may find someone who not only understands how the front end works but also has the aptitude and drive needed to apply those skills on the back end. Commercial credit needs help? We have filled a number of those spots with part-time college students who became full-time employees upon graduation.

I’m not necessarily suggesting you “rob Peter to pay Paul,” although in some cases that might be the case — there are certain positions that are easier to fill than others. But, instead, be creative. Stop limiting your perception of employees’ skills based on their current title. Talk to employees about what their drive and passions are, and maybe then you’ll uncover some hidden talents.

Dixon, senior vice president – retail banking at Westbury Bank in Waukesha, is a member of the 2021–2022 WBA Marketing Committee.

This column is published bi-monthly in Wisconsin Banker and is written by members of the WBA Marketing Committee.

By Hannah Flanders

Following one of the deadliest pandemics the world has seen, U.S. government officials, businesses, and individuals alike have naturally begun to reassess what safe health practices look like. In banks throughout Wisconsin, this is certainly no different. From plexiglass to constant reminders to sanitize, cover your mouth, and stay home when you are sick — these lessons aren’t a byproduct of the COVID-19 pandemic but rather knowledge that has subtly been around us this whole time without us really noticing.

From buffet sneeze guards to “employees must wash hands before returning to work” signs, safe health practices were evident in public spaces long before COVID. What the pandemic did bring about, however, was the general public’s awareness to safety and health practices.

At the onset of the pandemic, bankers across Wisconsin assembled plexiglass screens and masked up for the protection of themselves, their coworkers, and every customer. Unlike before, health protocols were broadcasted on the news, posted on doors, and mentioned at every meeting. This hyperawareness, while effective in helping stop the spread, has highlighted specific efforts needed to accommodate the safety of every member of the community.

“Often times, customer ‘protocols’ are framed negatively in the eye of the customer,” says Mike Parnon, architect at Brookfield-based BrandPoint Design. “It is important that banks are able to find a balance in improving overall customer experience by conveying their attentiveness to both financial and physical health.”

Mandates set in place during COVID at the state and federal level stressed the importance of complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). This civil rights law, and code for contractors, emphasizes the accessibility of public spaces. The pandemic highlighted for businesses throughout the state the need to further prioritize safe, accessible spaces for all.

Be it expanding mobile banking applications, so customers have access to their money wherever, or integrating more private spaces into bank designs — Wisconsin banks have taken full advantage of these COVID-19-related constraints to create opportunities for their customers.

“The health, safety, and well-being of our employees, customers, and community will always be a top priority for Bank First,” said Rachel Oakes, marketing communications manager at Bank First in Manitowoc. “While office cleanliness and sanitation were always a part of our procedures, COVID has redefined many things. We will continue enhanced sanitation procedures and offer hand sanitizer at our offices.”

During the peak of the pandemic in 2020, banks throughout the state established COVID committees tasked with monitoring, planning, and communicating critical information related to COVID-related guidance onto bank employees and customers. As guidance, even today, continues to evolve, one thing remains the same — daily cleaning and sanitation of all workstations and high-contact surfaces continues to be implemented at most Wisconsin banks.

While some procedures have been eradicated since early 2020, many of them have provided opportunities to further invest in the interest of both the customer and bank employees. “There is a greater awareness of health and public safety and [Bank First] has found that staff and guests are very understanding of any continued procedures and are thankful to see the end of some stricter protocols.” added Oakes.

Since the onset of COVID, community areas in bank branches have shifted their look and feel as well. While many areas remain open for additional seating, coffee and snack stations have either closed or shifted to individually packaged items. In addition, some banks, such as National Bank of Commerce in Superior, have closed their restrooms to the public unless specifically requested by a branch.

“National Bank of Commerce’s approach to protect our associates, customers, and the community, driven by our Business Continuity Plan, helped inform our desire to do what is right for our community,” said Lindsey Growette Stingle, senior vice president — human resources at National Bank of Commerce. “I believe that our associates have adapted well to the ever-changing environment and have shown a willingness to be flexible with the ultimate priority being the safety of their fellow associates, customers, and the community.”

As banks continue to balance differing customer needs in terms of health and safety in their offices, many continue to offer optional protection measures. “At National Bank of Commerce, hand sanitizer, masks, and (requested) rapid tests are still available to all associates,” says Growette Stingle. Additionally, many other Wisconsin banks continue to offer plexiglass shields at teller lines for bankers and customers who wish to use them and have incorporated remote options — either on a case-by-case basis or for those whose position allows.

“Educating the customer is critical in an institution with environmental changes,” states Parnon. “Finding productive ways to inform clients of [the bank’s] position regarding health, safety, comfort, and service is the first step in achieving good practices.”

While banks continue to update their COVID-related guidelines for both their staff and customers, creating safe and healthy spaces for community members has always been a priority for Wisconsin banks. While this may mean the sanitation of pens or the closure of specific areas, it is all done with the best interest of the community in mind.

Although the number of COVID cases throughout the state continues to decrease, banks carry on their commitment to their communities in everything they do. While these positive health-related activities are far from unheard of (even pre-COVID), the heightened public awareness of safe, hygienic spaces caused by the pandemic has allowed room for more solutions that encourage both accessibility and connection.

Pictured left to right are: Jovo Potkonjak, BankWork$ program manager; Foumi Sudheer; Kathryn Socher; Tiana Rivera; Adriene Wright, BankWork$ instructor; See Yang; Laretha Gransberry; Brianna Edwards; and Daryll Lund, WBA executive vice president.

The March BankWork$ class has now graduated! The Wisconsin Bankers Association is proud to partner with Employ Milwaukee to bring this nationwide program to Wisconsin. BankWork$ is a free, eight-week training program to prepare participants in primarily underserved neighborhoods for retail banking careers.

This graduating class of six included Brianna Edwards, Laretha Gransberry, Tiana Rivera, Kathryn Socher, Foumi Sudheer, and See Yang. WBA’s Daryll Lund attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates on their achievement.

Over the eight weeks, these students learned the hard and soft skills necessary for entry-level retail and operations positions. The program began in 2019 and has so far provided more than 4,000 graduates in the Milwaukee area the opportunity to begin a career in banking.

Thank you to the following banks for sponsoring this program:

  • Associated Bank, Green Bay
  • Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha
  • First Midwest Bank, Milwaukee
  • Johnson Financial Group
  • PyraMax Bank, Greenfield
  • Spring Bank, Brookfield
  • The Equitable Bank, Wauwatosa
  • Waterstone Bank, Milwaukee
  • Wells Fargo

By Hannah Flanders

In 2008, Leah Wilson was awarded the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation (WBF) Spring Scholarship, which, at that time, was the Wisconsin Bankers Association’s (WBA) Retail Banking Section “Technical College” Scholarship. While a lot has changed since the mid-2000s not only in Wilson’s career, but also in the banking industry; some things remain absolutely the same — bankers’ commitment to their communities and to the future success of the banking industry

Between her junior and senior year in high school, Wilson began her career in banking as a teller at Mid-Wisconsin Bank in Neillsville. Shortly after, she had decided that a career in banking would align well with her passion for business and math while also allowing her to work within the office setting she had always envisioned.

In the last several years, Wilson has held many positions throughout the bank from teller to personal banker and is now assistant vice president – mortgage lender and assistant branch manager at Citizens State Bank of Loyal in Neillsville. Her expertise in the industry is a result of her dedication to bettering her community and understanding how to navigate her career path.

As she looks back upon the last 14 years in the banking industry, she credits WBA’s scholarship for her ability to further her education at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) in Eau Claire. While in the business management program, she was able to complete many courses that continue to be beneficial to her career.

In addition to the CVTC courses she pursued with the scholarship, Wilson has attended several courses offered by WBA, including Residential Mortgage Lending School and Lending Boot Camp, that have allowed continuous growth in her career. “I have learned a lot through the education opportunities provided by the WBA,” says Wilson. “I would encourage people to familiarize themselves with these opportunities and use them.”

Within the community banking environment, in which she has spent much of her career, Wilson has been able to take advantage of many opportunities offered in the bank to further explore several different departments and discover which career path was best suited for her goals and interests. The opportunities, provided in part by WBA and her bank, have allowed Wilson to take ownership of the career path she desired as well as continue to grow alongside the industry — long after the scholarship was awarded.

Ultimately, the opportunities have provided Wilson access to what she considers to be some of the “endless benefits of working in a community bank,” including the ability to build strong relationships with customers, develop deeper connections within the community, and develop her own path that aligns with her goals and interests.

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Dave Oldenburg

By Dave Oldenburg, fraud officer, Bank First, Watertown and member of the WBA Financial Crimes Committee

Business check cashing fraud, dubbed “operation homeless” by law enforcement, continues to impact our industry. Furthermore, it can negatively affect customer perception when fraudulent “on-us” checks are cashed at your bank.

Although there are many kinds of check fraud schemes, business check cashing fraud begins when a customer’s legitimate business checks are taken from commercial mailboxes. Often times, the compromise occurs when a customer’s outgoing mail or the recipient’s mailbox is breached. These mailboxes are often unsecured — making them an ideal target to steal checks. Once the checks are stolen, the ringleader produces quality counterfeit checks that closely resemble the features of legitimate checks. In this type of fraud, the intent is to cash as many checks as possible at numerous bank branches — sometimes pocketing tens of thousands in just one day.

The ringleader creates the checks, but recruits individuals (mules) to cash the checks if they have current and valid identification. In turn, the mules receive a small portion each time a check is paid out. In an organized fashion, these criminals travel around the state with counterfeit items, drawn on many accounts from different banks.

Fortunately, there are ways to stop fraud in its tracks. Here are some suggested “best practices” for front-line staff:

  • Compare the check to recently cleared checks as well as the signature card on file.
  • Looks for signs of traced, forged, or scanned signatures that appear irregular.
  • The current check range on recently cleared items may be considered — however a counterfeit check is often in the current range.
  • Look for recently issued identification (sometimes mules will obtain identification for the sole purpose of committing check fraud).
  • Refuse to cash the check when presented with worn or damaged identification that omits information.
  • Refuse identification that doesn’t appear to match the individual presenting the check.

Be aware of some common “red flags” that may be indicators of business check cashing fraud such as:

  • The branch location is “out of the way” from the non-customer’s address listed on the check or listed on the identification presented.
  • The person presenting the check came to the branch on foot or was dropped off.
  • The person presenting the check appears anxious, rushed, or overly chatty or name drops.
  • The person is in contact with someone on their mobile phone while the transaction is being performed.

To help mitigate your institution’s risk of loss, it is recommended that checks presented by non-customers be handled with additional scrutiny. Most importantly, if the maker of the check does not have positive pay services, consider adopting procedures where an authorized signer is contacted to validate checks over a certain dollar amount.

BankWork$ graduates (left to right) Chenille Cole, Tinamaria Adams, Sophia Strong, Jonathan Gitter, Meenakshi Das, Maxwell Sebastian, and Linda Class celebrate achievement with WBA’s executive vice president, Daryll Lund on November 18.

The November BankWork$ class has now graduated! The Wisconsin Bankers Association is proud to partner with Employ Milwaukee to bring this nationwide program to Wisconsin. BankWork$ is a free, eight-week training program to prepare participants in primarily underserved neighborhoods for retail banking careers.

This graduating class of seven included Tinamaria Adams, Linda Class, Chenille Cole, Meenakshi Das, Jonathan Gitter, Maxwell Sebastian, and Sophia Strong. WBA’s Daryll Lund attended the ceremony and congratulated the graduates on their achievement. Immediately after the graduation ceremony, a hiring event for students was held. More information on the course can be found here.

Over the eight weeks, these students learned the hard and soft skills necessary for entry-level retail and operations positions. The program began in 2018 and has so far provided more than 4,000 graduates in the Milwaukee area the opportunity to begin a career in banking.

Thank you to the following banks for sponsoring this program:

  • Associated Bank, Green Bay
  • Bank Five Nine, Oconomowoc
  • First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha
  • First Midwest Bank, Milwaukee
  • Johnson Financial Group
  • PyraMax Bank, Greenfield
  • Spring Bank, Brookfield
  • The Equitable Bank, Wauwatosa
  • Waterstone Bank, Milwaukee
  • Wells Fargo

Events

Wouldn’t it be great if new customers walked into the branch or called your bank every day? Unfortunately, no amount of clever marketing can make that consistently happen, unless you were promoting the lowest loan rates in town and we know that’s not sustainable.

Successful bankers proactively outreach to new customers and seek meetings with them to explore new business opportunities. They know who they want to meet and proactively encourage them to share their financial needs, challenges and goals.

Gaining meetings with prospects does not need to be a difficult or scary task. By creating highly motivational prospecting scripts, or by confidently asking for referrals, you will be filling your calendar with new customer meetings in no time.

During this insightful webinar, Joe Micallef will share his successful strategies and scripts for consistently gaining more meetings with the prospects you want.

This 90-minute presentation will cover the following areas/topics:

  • How to Create a Meaningful Target (Prospect) List
  • How to Motivate Targets (Prospects) to Meet You
  • Develop an Effective Prospecting Cadence (Habit)
  • Build Committed Relationships with Referral Partners
  • How to Consistently Gain Referrals

Target Audience: Commercial bankers, mortgage lenders, financial planners, retail officers

Presenter: Joe Micallef, Grow Up Sales Consulting

Registration Option: Live presentation $330

Recording available through January 10, 2023

Many bankers struggle to close new business opportunities because they have become too transaction focused and lose to competitors with better rates.

Warren Buffett famously said, “Price is what you pay, value is what you get”.

In the absence of value there is only price. Accordingly, it’s becoming increasingly important to demonstrate greater value to your prospects so you can win more business at the price you want. Remember, you are not trying to close a transaction, you are opening a relationship. Position yourself as the only finance partner your prospect will ever need.

During this insightful webinar, Joe Micallef will help you better demonstrate your incredible value and build wholistic relationships. He will also share highly effective closing techniques and objection response strategies so you can win more business at the price you want.

This 90-minute presentation will cover the following areas/topics:

  • Understanding Your Unique Value Proposition
  • How to be the Only Finance Partner your Prospects will ever need
  • Effective Closing & Follow Up Techniques
  • Understanding & Avoiding Objections
  • Powerful Objection Response Strategies
  • Smarter Pipeline Management & Conversion

Target Audience: Commercial bankers, mortgage lenders, financial planners, retail officers

Presenter: Joe Micallef, Grow Up Sales Consulting

Registration Option: Live presentation $330

Recording available through January 31, 2023

Every year bankers set specific goals and develop strategies to achieve them. They usually project modest growth and generally commit to doing the same business development activity. But if you do what you have always done you won’t get the same results because the market has changed.

Over the past two years the pandemic and historic low interest rates drove new customers to our bank. But as we emerge from the pandemic, bankers must learn to confidently and proactively seek new opportunities in a new business environment.

What if there was a way to more easily achieve your goals year after year? Imagine setting more lofty goals every year and having an infallible action plan that guaranteed success.

For 30 years, Joe Micallef has developed winning business development strategies and action plans that have consistently produced record annual growth for his team and his bank. During this insightful webinar Micallef will share a simple prospecting strategy that will help you more effectively achieve your bank and personal goals.

This 90-minute presentation will cover the following areas/topics:

  • Understand WHY You Win or Fail
  • How to Build Greater Sales Confidence
  • How to Create a Winning Sales Strategy
  • Know What Makes You Successful – Your Value Proposition
  • Identify Key Prospecting Activities
  • Create Your P.L.A.N. for Success

Target Audience: Commercial bankers, mortgage lenders, financial planners, retail officers

Presenter: Joe Micallef, Grow Up Sales Consulting

Registration Option: Live presentation $330

Recording available through January 10, 2023

Join WBA and your fellow Retail, Sales, and Marketing peers from across Wisconsin for the gathering of the WBA LEAD360 Conference! The Conference will kickoff on November 16 at 9:30 a.m. and adjourn at Noon on November 17. 

Bank Member Registration: The registration fee is $350 for first attendee. Each additional attendee from your bank is $300 each additional attendee in-person*.

  • Registration includes networking meals and breaks, general sessions, breakout sessions, and access to the conference mobile app. Day Two Only Registration is $100/per attendee.

*To receive the published discount, you must register everyone at the same time.

Associate Member Registration:

  • Associate Members are encouraged to send their staff as well! The same registration fee is available to WBA Associate Members.
  • Interested in upgrading your presence? Register to be a conference sponsor to receive additional benefits and conference recognition!
  • Click on the Speakers and Agenda tabs for more information.  This Conference is for your Retail Bankers, Sales/Marketing Bankers, and Financial Literacy Bankers.

Associate Member & Exhibitor Registration Information:

WBA Associate Members can register to exhibit at the conference ($600/booth including 2 attendees; $250/additional booth attendee) or register as a non-exhibiting conference attendee ($350/attendee).

Please contact WBA’s Nick Loppnow at 608-441-1259 for more information.

  • Non-members are welcome to register to exhibit at the conference at the non-member rates ($1,000/booth including 2 attendees; $250/additional booth attendee)
  • Interested in upgrading your presence? Register to be a conference sponsor to receive additional benefits and conference recognition!

The WBA Personal Banker School will start on Wednesday, November 2, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn on Thursday, November 3, 2022 by 4:00 p.m.
This school has been designed to get personal bankers up to speed quickly by providing them with the techniques and knowledge they need to successfully sell, cross sell, refer and service the banking industry’s ever expanding list of financial products. Attendees will leave the school better equipped to provide your customers with exceptional product knowledge and customer service.

Curriculum Includes:

  • Compliance Overview – focusing on regulations and laws that every personal banker should know.
  • Account Titling – covering individual and joint accounts, trusts, minor accounts, POAs, PODs, and business accounts.
  • Understanding the Financial Side of Banking – understanding the business of banking and the retail bankers role in overall bank profitability.
  • Building & Maintaining Relationships – assessing customer needs, identifying opportunities, and building relationships with your customers.
  • Steps for Successful Sales, Cross-Sells, and Referrals
  • Kick Starting High Performance – understanding your role at the bank and having the skills that are necessary to achieve your goals and exceed performance expectations.
  • Group case study and in-class activities to apply what you have learned.

School Faculty:

  • Scott Birrenkott, Director-Legal, Wisconsin Bankers Association
  • Jennifer Pieper, Principal, JPieper Consulting

Who Should Attend?
This school was developed for Personal Bankers, New Accounts Personnel, and others who manage retail account relationships. Both new and experienced staff will benefit.

Registration Information:
The registration fee of $495 includes program registration, instruction and materials, and daily lunch and refreshment breaks.

The WBA Deposit Compliance School will start on Monday, August 22, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. and adjourn on Tuesday, August 23, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.

VIRTUAL OPTION: You may choose to attend the school via livestream using Zoom. You’ll select your registration choice during registration.
*We encourage attendees to consider attending in-person for the greatest experience and most efficient networking with peers.  However, the virtual option is available for those who prefer to watch the presenters from their office.*

The curriculum is designed to give you a strong foundation of the various deposit regulations affecting your bank, the current trends in compliance, and the resources you need following the school.

Curriculum Includes:

  • Compliance Overview – understanding the key players in compliance and how important it is to your bank
  • Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering, including USA Patriot Act and OFAC issues
  • Miscellaneous Deposit Regulations, including:
    • Regulation D; Regulation V, Subpart J (Identity Theft Red Flags); Regulation GG; Non-deposit investment products; Regulation AA (UDAAP); and Overdraft Protection Programs
  • Regulation CC (Expedited Funds Availability)
  • Check 21
  • Legal Process, including:
    • Garnishments; Child Support Liens; Federal and State Tax Levies; Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Levies; IRS Summons;  Subpoenas; Elder Abuse Reporting Rules; and Worthless Checks
  • Regulation P (Privacy)
  • Regulation DD (Truth in Savings Act)
  • Regulation E Overview (Electronic Funds Transfer Act)
  • E-Sign Act

Registration Information:

The student fee of $535 includes program registration, instruction and materials, and daily lunch and refreshment breaks.

The WBA Branch Manager Boot Camp will include 4 virtual half-day sessions. Sessions will be held on Zoom from 8:00–11:00 a.m. CT on May 24, June 28, July 26, and August 30.

About the Program:
Want to grow your total assets in excess of 20% year-over-year? Wish to grow your deposit base by more than 20%? Then consider an investment in training your branch managers in our Branch Manager Bootcamp!

What does your branch have that alternate branch channels and non-bank competitors don’t? The branch has you and your people. As the number of branch transactions continues to fall, community banks and credit unions must reassess the role of the branch manager. Companies must invest in the manager, giving him or her the right people, tools, client goals, and sales goals, and step back and watch the results change into a dynamic source of profitability.

This exciting, four-part series will focus on the next generation manager who will be leading the transition to client relationship management, and to managing an active advisory environment for the client to achieve financial goals. The next generation manager will be leading this vital transformation.

The program will focus on the critical skills and expectations that need to be developed to ensure that the next generation branch manager will exceed expectations and goals set for him or her. Participants will engage in discussions, small group activities, and skills practices to ensure that ideas are shared and learning is entertaining and adopted.

Who Should Attend:
New and experienced Branch Managers, Assistant Branch Managers, Teller Supervisors, Lead Frontline Professionals, and any professional aspiring to lead the team in a retail branch.

About the Speaker:
Jennie Sobecki
is the owner and CEO of Focused Results, a sales and marketing strategy, consulting and training firm concentrating on results-driven process consulting and training experience in community banks and other financial institutions. An expert in designing and implementing sales efforts and processes, Sobecki designs solutions to drive top line growth through better utilization and training of existing sales forces, including sales management.

Sobecki is a graduate of Indiana University and has a certificate in consulting services from Ball State University. Before joining Focused Results, Sobecki was director of sales and marketing for a $3 billion bank holding company, sales manager for a high-performing mid-level Indianapolis bank, and director of corporate training for a large Midwest insurance company.

Registration Information:
The registration fee of $800/attendee includes program registration for each of the four sessions, instruction and electronic materials. Upon completion of all four sessions, attendees will receive a certificate of completion for the Branch Manager Boot Camp.

WBA Personal Banker School has been designed to get your personal bankers up to speed quickly by providing them with the techniques and knowledge they need to successfully sell, cross sell, refer, and service the banking industry’s ever expanding list of financial products. Attendees will leave the school better equipped to provide your customers with exceptional product knowledge and customer service.

Curriculum Includes:

  • Compliance Overview – focusing on regulations and laws that every personal banker should know.
  • Account Titling – covering individual and joint accounts, trusts, minor accounts, POAs, PODs and business accounts.
  • Understanding the Financial Side of Banking – understanding the business of banking and the retail bankers role in overall bank profitability.
  • Building & Maintaining Relationships – assessing customer needs, identifying opportunities and building relationships with your customers.
  • Steps for Successful Sales, Cross-Sells and Referrals
  • Kick Starting High Performance – understanding your role at the bank and having the skills that are necessary to achieve your goals and exceed performance expectations.
  • Group case study and in-class activities to apply what you have learned.

School Faculty:

  • Scott Birrenkott, Assistant Director-Legal, Wisconsin Bankers Association
  • Jennifer Pieper, Principal, JPieper Consulting

Who Should Attend?
This school was developed for Personal Bankers, New Accounts Personnel, and others who manage retail account relationships. Both new and experienced staff will benefit.

Course Requirements:
Attendees will be expected to attend and participate in all school sessions, complete all pre-school assignments, and participate actively in group and class discussions.

Decision making in uncertain times drives future earnings, valuation, and overall relevance.  In this session we will explore common traits and actions of several high performing community banks during past crises to assess their decisions versus the rest of the field to enlighten our process in today’s market.

Target Audience: CEOs, CFOs, ALCO members, controllers, chief risk officer, chief retail, funding officers

Presenter
Dave Koch, Abrigo

Registration Option
Live presentation $330

Recording available through July 20, 2022

Is your ALCO doing all it can to drive performance? Are we actively managing risk levels for performance goals, or simply ensuring compliance with our limits? It is time to re-examine the role of ALCO and how the measurement and management of risk should lead to decision making in financial institutions. Gone are the days of silo-based risk measures and contingency plans. In this session we will present Asset/Liability Management in the ERM sense with a focus on the measurement and management of capital needs. We will review stress testing concepts for interest rate, liquidity and credit risks and build the framework for effective capital contingency planning including a review of policies and processes to support. Participants will take back a new perspective on the role of ALCO in risk management and the capital planning process.

Learning Objectives:

  • Build a Framework for Capital Planning and ALM
  • Review approaches to stress testing individual risk
  • Build a framework for integrated enterprise stress testing
  • Examine how to use Static & Dynamic scenario analysis and stress tests

Target Audience: CEOs, CFOs, ALCO members, controllers, chief risk officer, chief retail, and funding officers

Presenter
Richard Hamm, Advantage Consulting & Training

Registration Option
Live presentation $330

Recording available through June 10, 2022