Hanmi Bank (Hanmi), headquartered in Los Angeles, opened in 1982 with a commitment to helping immigrants and entrepreneurs. The bank was primarily formed to service the Korean American community but has expanded its footprint across the U.S., operating not only in California, but in Texas, Illinois, Virginia, and New Jersey, and servicing a much broader community. Hanmi’s main focus is commercial banking, but it also has a retail banking presence with 35 branches throughout the U.S.
Several factors are taken into consideration when financial institutions compete head-to-head for new clients, including rates, customer service, and products. Ultimately, differentiation is critical. This is where Hanmi has found success in leveraging Q2’s best-in-class digital banking platform to attract new commercial banking business. Digital banking has been helping Hanmi log significant wins for the bank, all while successfully carrying out its main function of enabling fast, frictionless transactions.
With a live demo of Q2’s secure interface, digital banking has become a game changer. The team is gaining trust and new business relationships with commercial banking clients. It’s a trend that has the digital banking team playing a larger role in new business proposals within the organization.
Fred Lie, Hanmi’s Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Banking, says, “The digital experience has really become the differentiator between our bank and other banks, and we've really tended to leverage that to the point where my digital banking team is now brought into different pitches to help close deals.
“Recently, we were brought into a pretty large deposit client. We did a demo of our the Q2 digital banking platform, and right off the bat, the client said, ‘We are going to go with your bank primarily because of your digital experience,’ simply because of the poor digital platform from their previous bank,” he says.
“They decided to bring their operating accounts and all of their other accounts to us, primarily because they really liked our digital platform, which, in essence, is Q2. It makes sense because it’s a touch point that the customer will have with us daily, and that touch point is important in establishing a long-term relationship because the less friction there is, the more enjoyable that daily interaction with our bank will be.”
Lie says that the very first time his team gave a digital banking demo, eyes opened around the table. “In that case, I think what they were first drawn to was, one: the user interface. How intuitive it was and how it did not require extensive training or tutorials. Two: They liked the versatility of the system and how it can be easily tailored to fit their needs and the system controls. And, three: the system’s controls. I think fraud will always be top of mind, and adding enough internal controls to ensure that fraudulent transactions are not happening was something that the client was really drawn to.”
As Hanmi’s current users are impressed with Q2’s fully integrated digital platform, its potential to help the sales team attract and close new business has only grown. The platform doesn’t require the heavy lifting that has been traditionally needed when onboarding a new system and providing extensive training. Additionally, it appeals to the most innovative users by allowing Hanmi to keep pace with rapidly evolving demands. Q2’s pre-integrated and pre-vetted third-party fintechs can be seamlessly plugged into its digital backbone to deliver the experience that a tech-savvy user base expects.
Mostly, it adds value where it matters most. “I always say there are two factors that can make or break a digital bank – fraud and friction,” Lie says. “If you don’t tackle fraud and friction, then whatever services you offer just won't work. Clients like our intuitive design and the fact that it doesn’t require extensive training or tutorials. They also like the platform’s versatility and how it can be tailored to their specific needs, along with the system controls. Fraud will always be top of mind, and they want to be able to easily add internal controls.
“We have business owners that own multiple businesses and users that have both personal and commercial banking relationships with us. They want the ability to view all of their finances without having to log in multiple times. The flexibility of Q2 allows the customer to do just that. It sounds like a small benefit, but when they’re logging in multiple times every day and having to do so in different places, that can be really cumbersome. Q2 takes the friction out of that.”
A seamless, flexible experience gives Hanmi the competitive edge
“Q2 is a really smart decision for the bank because it minimizes the core,” Lie says. “I’ve worked at banks where we leveraged a lot of the core services, online banking and treasury management, and it's such a closed environment. I like Q2’s versatility. We can engage with other third-party applications, and we can customize it. We can integrate it seamlessly with other services, sometimes with Q2 services and sometimes with services that are not Q2.
“It’s that flexibility that gives us a competitive edge, especially where we just can't compete off of rates alone. White glove service sometimes is relevant, but I think, for the most part, a digital experience is always relevant.”