Encore Bank (“Encore”), is not your ordinary financial institution. The majority of its associates do far more than work for the organization – they invest their own money into it. With commitment like this from all levels of the organization, Encore’s team is uniquely driven. Chief Innovation and Technology Officer Allan Rayson says, “We’ve created a culture of accountability, responsibility and care for each other.”
Encore’s enthusiasm drives the $3.5 billion commercially focused boutique bank to exceed customer expectations with a mission of not being the biggest bank, but the best one. Operating in 20 markets across eight states, Encore thinks differently about its business proposition. “A unique aspect of our business model is the way we've gone out and raised capital. We have close to 2,000 investor partners around us – primarily within the states in which we operate – and we focus on banking those partners and their referrals,” Rayson says.
“Banking is a mission-critical component in any community. The ability to manage money, access capital, access a loan, and things like that are important. Part of our DNA is being able to deliver the experiences and products people need in the communities we serve. So, we empower our market executives, our bankers, our associates in general, in each of those markets, to serve those markets in very specific ways because they're going to be different in Austin versus Tampa.”
With this level of focus on interpersonal relationships and fierce loyalty to its customers, Encore was strategic when selecting its digital banking partner. Nikki Pfleger, Director of Encore’s Business Banking Solutions, says, “We evaluated our entire process – went through all the needs – and then went through that list, line by line, with every vendor we reviewed. Q2 was one of the vendors that could knock out probably 80 percent of our list, which was a huge thing for us.
“Onboarding was a big item. Traditionally, when my sales team onboarded a client, there was a lot of filling out worksheets, filling out forms, rekeying data, and sending it back to the client for signatures. Once it came back, it was somebody keying it into a system, and that’s just not efficient. The Q2 onboarding piece was critical to streamlining that entire process and improving accuracy.”
Rayson adds, “There were specific challenges that we wanted to solve as we started evaluating the market. Our business is primarily commercial, and we use our balance sheet to put capital into small and midsize businesses. Being able to provide capital to those businesses is very important. Alongside that, delivering excellent, best-in-market treasury technology is just as important.
“Q2 Catalyst resonated with our team because it gave us the ability to put the power into our customers’ hands to enable them to manage their own day-to-day operations, such as changing user entitlements. It also gave us the ability to onboard efficiently in a digital manner and allow commercial clients to manage payments very effectively.”
Rayson says, “What ultimately led us to select Q2 as our partner is very much their people. The relationships that we built were a big, big driver for us in our decision to select Q2 as our treasury partner.
Pfleger agrees. “The Q2 partners that we've been working with, especially through the implementation process, have truly listened to us and our needs. They’re problem solvers. They're not just trying to sell us a product. They want to help us figure out what's going to make this work.
“The partnership with Q2 has been phenomenal because they have a culture that is very similar to the Encore Bank culture, and you can feel that.”
Rayson, who was recently recognized with the Digital Banker of the Year Award from American Banker Magazine, notes, ”The future is really bright for Encore with Q2 as our partner. Specifically, the products and experience that Q2 helps us deliver to our commercial clients is a really important part of what we are trying to deliver to those clients overall.”
Encore Bank will leverage many of the digital solutions that are part of Q2 Catalyst, Q2’s suite of best-in-class commercial banking solutions, to deliver a modernized user experience to its customers. These solutions include Q2's industry-leading digital banking platform that serves consumers, small businesses and commercial customers, Q2's onboarding solutions for consumers and businesses and Q2's best-in-class treasury management solutions, along with Q2 Treasury Onboarding™, Q2 Commercial Sales Enablement, Q2 ClickSWITCH, Centrix and Q2 Marketplace.
Rayson says, “We could not deliver the right level of concierge experience without a partner like Q2. There is a ton of excitement inside of Encore about Q2 and its offerings, specifically Q2 Innovation Studio.
“Innovation Studio is perfectly in line with our thesis around delivering a unique concierge experience to our commercial clients and having access to a suite of products that quickly solve problems on behalf of our clients. Q2 is very much a strategic partner for us because treasury management is such an important product and component in the overall experience that our commercial clients have with our bank.”
Rayson’s Chief of Staff Erin Melton says, “Because Q2 is so experienced in these implementations, it's been really painless. Success with Q2 is inevitable because of what Q2 offers. The suite of products, the customer service, the technical support… everything we were looking for in a partnership to service our commercial clients, we found in Q2.”
Pfleger adds, ”There are so many things I'm excited about with Q2. Other than just the sophistication that we're going to deliver to our commercial clients, I’ll be able to give my team the tools they need to go after those prospects that they've been talking to for the last three and a half years.
“In addition to that, manual processes will be removed from my internal team, enabling them to focus on customer service, which is really where we hang our hat. Letting my service team do what they do best and removing that manual workload takes a lot of risk off of us and enables our customers to have greater control.
“We are grateful for this new partnership with Q2, because we will now be able to offer best-in-class technology to our partners and clients.”
Encore Bank President, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer Burt Hicks, sums it up by saying, “Technology has changed the game in banking. We looked for a digital partner that was the best of the best with unmatched capabilities and competency. Q2 brings immense value and innovation to the table. Their team immediately aligned with our vision at the executive level, and we look forward to a long-term partnership.”