From invoicing to getting paid: Reaching more SMBs with a streamlined experience
Executive VP of Strategy and Product
Enrollment in first two months of offering Autobooks
Small businesses received a payment within 4 months of launch
Midwest BankCentre is redefining payment acceptance for their small business customers, making it easier for customers to boost cash flow while continuing to provide expert guidance.
- $2.4 Billion
- St. Louis, MO
- Erin Erhardt, EVP of Strategy and Product
Midwest BankCentre has been a mainstay of the greater St. Louis community banking scene Since 1906. The bank employs a staff of about 280 working at 17 bank branches in the City of St. Louis, St. Louis, Jefferson and St. Charles counties in Missouri and at one loan production office in St. Clair County, Illinois. Midwest BankCentre’s current assets exceed $2.2 billion and deposits total more than $1.7 billion. The bank has been recognized for its success in bringing mainstream financial services to unbanked and underbanked citizens in the region and other diversity and inclusion contributions with the 2019 Community Commitment Award from the American Bankers Association Foundation and the 2018 National Community Bank Service Award from the Independent Community Bankers of America.
- Launched January 2022
- Digital Banking: Banno from Jack Henry
- Autobooks Embedded Client
Erin Erhardt is the Executive VP of Strategy and Product for Midwest BankCentre. Erin joined Midwest BankCentre in Spring of 2016 and has over 15 years of banking experience. Prior to joining Midwest BankCentre, she spent 11 years at PNC Bank where she worked in both Retail Banking and Wealth Management. Erin is passionate about Midwest BankCentre’s commitment to customers and community and has worked with her team to create the products, services and resources to empower people and enable small business.
According to Erin Erhardt, Executive VP of Strategy and Product for Midwest BankCentre, small businesses have evolved in a way that makes it harder for community banks to service their unique needs. “If you think back to traditional small business banking, it was just a smaller version of commercial, if you will. Now there's so many smaller business opportunities where someone's just doing something out of their home or doing something online — those types of businesses that are a lot more unique.”
We sat down with Erhardt to discuss the state of small business banking at her institution, as well as the impact that Autobooks has made on her customers and the bank’s staff.
“What we found, because we had such a strong commercial focus," Erhardt explained, "is that we actually had a lot of smaller business customers that really weren't being serviced by anyone outside of just the branch managers.”
In addition to building out their small business loan portfolio, bank leadership realized that they needed a digital solution to support another critical aspect of the business: receivables.
“What we found, because we had such a strong commercial focus, is that we actually had a lot of smaller business customers that really weren't being serviced by anyone outside of just the branch managers.”
“I think the pandemic gave a lot of people the time and opportunity to start things up that maybe they didn't have the time or opportunity to before,” Erhardt noted. “But, you know, we didn't have a lot of product offerings that were catered to small businesses.”
To address this challenge head on, Midwest BankCentre decided to partner with Autobooks in January 2020. The payment acceptance tools powered by Autobooks — made available as simple plugins through their Banno digital banking platform —have enabled Midwest BankCentre to offer an integrated solution that allows their customers to thrive during a tumultuous period.
“When we found out that the Autobooks solution was going to be an option through Banno, that was very exciting for us. It was no longer a project that we had to find room for, or have people to stand up and manage for us. It could be done with a partner we already had,” said Erhardt.
“It was no longer a project that we had to find room for, or have people to stand up and manage for us. It could be done with a partner we already had.”
Autobooks has helped the bank to quickly grow its small business presence, and broaden its digital footprint. In just two months after launching, the bank experienced over 140 enrollments in the Autobooks plugins — over 120 of those customers have continued to rely on the tools, month-over-month.
Behind the scenes, Erhardt credited her teams for doing their homework and being prepared to handle customer questions. “Our small business team was very excited about it. We did training with them, with the front line staff, and even the commercial team. We wanted everybody to be an advocate and be able to speak to the Autobooks solution.”
So far, the bank has been pleased with the positive reception to the plugins. It is still early, but Erhardt is excited for the future growth of their small business banking. “Yeah, we are looking forward to it. It has given us an edge and we're definitely always looking for those fintech partners that can play well with the providers that we already have.”
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