Chief Financial Officer
ChoiceOne gains a competitive edge with Autobooks — helping to reduce customer reliance on third-party app providers like Square and PayPal.
- $2.4 Billion
- Sparta, Michigan
- Adom Greenland, CFO
ChoiceOne Financial Services, Inc. is a financial holding company headquartered in Sparta, Michigan and the parent corporation of ChoiceOne Bank, Member FDIC. ChoiceOne Bank is a $2.4 billion full-serviced community bank based in Sparta, Michigan. The bank operates 35 offices in parts of Kent, Lapeer, Macomb, Muskegon, Newaygo, Ottawa, and St. Clair Counties in Michigan. ChoiceOne Bank offers insurance and investment products through its subsidiary, ChoiceOne Insurance Agencies, Inc.
- Launched March 2018
- Digital Banking: Banno from Jack Henry
- Autobooks Enterprise Client
Adom Greenland, became Chief Financial Officer at ChoiceOne Bank in January 2022. A Certified Public Accountant, Greenland previously served as Senior Vice President at the bank since 2015 and as a Vice President since 2013. Prior to his employment with ChoiceOne, Greenland was a Senior Manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, a global accounting and consulting firm.
Nearly five years ago, in an effort to meet shifting customer expectations, ChoiceOne Bank leadership decided to expand their digital experience to include tools built specifically for micro- and small businesses.
According to Adom Greenland, Chief Financial Officer at ChoiceOne Bank, “A big portion of our market is with small businesses and micro businesses — just people starting out. For a lot of our communities, we are the only bank in town — and we take that responsibility seriously." Greenland added, "We try to give them the best technology that a bank of our size can offer.”
In the case of ChoiceOne, the need for digital solutions, including online invoicing, payment acceptance, and small business cash flow management, was critical for their customers.
With this customer-focused perspective in mind, the bank searched for a partner they could grow with. “We know we can't do everything that a big technology player can do, but with some ingenuity and a good partnership, we feel that we can compete,” said Greenland.
In 2017, ChoiceOne Bank made the decision to partner with Autobooks — and they had to do it quickly. At the time, micro-businesses and independent workers were on the rise. And even in rural Michigan, ChoiceOne personnel like Greenland took notice. “My customer base may be in Michigan, in a small town — but everyone's tech savvy these days. You really can’t make assumptions that customers won't use the latest technology, regardless of where they are geographically.”
The Autobooks launch went smoothly, taking several weeks from start to finish. (The process has been streamlined since then — and many financial institutions can now simply turn on Autobooks if they partner with several of the larger digital banking providers.) According to Greenland, however, the results were worth it, especially now that the bank has seen how the popularity of third-party payment apps like Square and PayPal has risen among small businesses nationwide.
“My customer base may be in Michigan, in a small town — but everyone's tech savvy these days. You really can’t make assumptions that customers won't use the latest technology, regardless of where they are geographically.”
After looking at usage data at his own institution, Greenland’s initial reaction was to feel “A little bit of helplessness, because we’ll never have exactly what they're offering.” Nevertheless, the bank moved forward with the partnership, hoping to make an impact on their underserved business clientele.
ChoiceOne leadership have been pleased with the performance of the Autobooks solution, to say the least.
“We can have hope now,” said Greenland, “because with something like Autobooks, we can offer payment acceptance right alongside our bank accounts — and knowing that we're going to be able fight this battle on the payment front, and that we're going to keep that checking account and that relationship, that means a lot.”
“Knowing that we're going to be able fight this battle on the payment front, and that we're going to keep that checking account and that relationship, that means a lot.”
In 2022, the bank made the transition to the Banno digital banking platform as part of their partnership with Jack Henry. They were excited to continue their partnership with Autobooks, and the fact that this new Autobooks launch would be much easier to manage.
Greenland remains optimistic about the future of the bank, and the Autobooks partnership. “We have a really great history with Autobooks and with their service. What I love is once customers sign up for Autobooks, their reliance on other payment systems like Square, PayPal, and Venmo just goes away.” And to Greenland, this means that at the end of the day, a community bank like ChoiceOne can remain competitive and even dominant.
“If you can educate your customers, educate your staff, get them in the right product, then that's all you need,” Greenland said. “And you know, I think that's where a community bank like ChoiceOne can continue to win those battles.”
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