Manasquan Bank’s Senior Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, Rich Lanza believes he has two sets of customers. “The first and most important set is our everyday, traditional customers,” he says. “My goal is to make their banking experience as easy and as convenient as possible.”
The second set of Lanza’s customers is Manasquan Bank’s own employees. “Their requests are always related to customer transactions so improving the IT support system ultimately enhances the overall external customer experience as well,” he explains.
As an example, Lanza points to the cash recyclers that will be introduced in the new Howell and Ocean Township branches. The recycler is a sophisticated machine that automates a couple of simple, but important tasks-accepting and dispensing cash. It significantly increases customer satisfaction by reducing wait times by up to 50%, allowing tellers to provide a more personal, as well as efficient service. “We’ve also added Teller Source Capture, a technology platform that allows tellers to focus more attention on the customer rather than the transaction,” he adds.
Lanza notes that many of his team’s tasks are designed to make the complex look simple. They are working on implementing a new user interface so that mobile and online banking have similar looks. The team has enabled instant issue debit cards at every branch so lost or damaged cards can be replaced immediately. Chip enabled cards will be available for instant issue in 2016.
“Though convenient, there are a host of security issues and certifications that must be completed to ensure a successful introduction,” adds Lanza. He adds that the Kasasa checking program that has proven so popular also has a tremendous amount of data processing going on in the background.
“Kasasa checking targets our customers who are on the go. They want to use their ATM card everywhere. We not only track the individual transactions, but monitor the types of transactions so we can rebate any ATM fees if the account qualifications have been met. It has proven wildly successful with college students who literally live off their debit cards,” he says.
Manasquan Bank’s commercial customers present an entire new set of challenges to the IT team. “It’s all about business mobility. Our customers want to manage their finances in a mobile environment,” explains the 15-year IT veteran. Lanza recently upgraded the business banking platform from Business Link to a more powerful Business Online Banking.
“Business customers can now initiate wires internally. They have online ACH and can even deposit checks remotely via their smartphone or with a remote deposit capture scanner,” he explains. Many of the enhancement ideas are coming directly from their customers. “Our President, Jim Vaccaro has a business owner series called ‘Breakfast with Jim’. Each meeting always generates new ideas.”
Lanza takes those ideas and melds them with suggestions from the bank’s core provider, Fiserv, to develop an extremely aggressive schedule of enhancements for business and consumer services. Fiserv is one of the largest providers of information technology services to the financial services industry. Lanza, along with the rest of the Manasquan Bank management team visits Fiserv’s Wisconsin headquarters annually to stay abreast of the latest technological developments.
“Our development schedule is on par with national banks,” says Lanza. “We want to stay ahead of our customers’ adoption curve,” he adds, noting that Manasquan Bank’s rollout is much faster. “We introduce technology mainly to Monmouth and Ocean County, so it moves much faster.”
For Lanza, moving fast is a way of life. After spending his working hours implementing new technology, he spends his free time raising two young children with his wife, Nicki.