“Innovation doesn’t have to be in technology,” says Julieann Thurlow. “Innovation can be rethinking about a problem and really thinking about what consumers want and where the need is.” On the latest episode of the ABA Banking Journal Podcast, Thurlow — president and CEO of Reading Cooperative Bank in Reading, Mass. — discusses a variety of ways her community bank drives innovation of all varieties. Topics include:
- Increasing automation in the loan application process so that bank staff can spend more time on the kind of credits that may need extra attention.
- How to test and iterate products — like a small-dollar emergency loan — to bring a fintech approach to innovation into the bank.
- Reading Coop’s partnership with 11 other community and midsize banks through Alloy Labs, which helps the bank innovate faster and partner on solutions. “We have a bigger voice if we do it together,” she says.
- How Reading Coop’s high school branch helps it recruit young staff — and acquire young customers who, thanks to mobile banking technology, stay with the bank even if they leave the area for higher education.
- Thurlow’s lead role in ABA’s core processor innovation initiative.
If you can’t see the audio player above, click here to listen to this week’s episode.