M&T Bank to Automate Onboarding in Wealth Management

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / topdeqM&T Bank’s wealth and institutional services unit is in the process of switching to a new image-capture system for its onboarding.

The Buffalo-based bank, which introduced remote deposit capture back in 2012, disclosed the IT project during its earnings call earlier this week.

Bank Innovation pinged Mitek and Top Images Systems about M&T. The vendors did not respond to requests for comment.

M&T has a market capitalization of around $18 billion.

It is not surprising that M&T is upping the ante at its wealth management business. The competition in wealth management is intense, with Wells Fargo & Co. calling this its biggest growth opportunity for 2016. But beyond other banks, there are the fintech upstarts like Wealthfront and Betterment, and soon, the likes of SoFi and Earnest. Robo advisors deliver roughly equivalent advice (millennials don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone anyway) for a fraction of the cost.

And better onboarding, in general, seems to be a fintech trend already this year. Silicon Valley Bank also announced this week that mobile onboarding was a key area for the bank’s deposit accounts. CEO Greg Becker:

We saw strong client adoption of our digital offerings with 95% of all new SVB deposit accounts being opened through our digital on boarding platform in 2015. Adoption of our mobile banking app increased as well. We processed $1.5 billion in mobile deposits in 2015 and active users increased to 58% across the bank.

BB&T, meanwhile, touted the success of its U digital money management platform, which now numbers more than 700,000 users, according to Community Banking President Ricky Brown. This represents almost 10% of total retail customers, according to FDIC data. “We believe it is the best integrated platform in the business today and is certainly a big driver of our new account production today,” CEO Kelly King said.

Digital onboarding and delivery of services is not just about cost-savings (though that is often what investors, understandably, focus on), but about acquiring and retaining the most desirable customers, tech-centric millennials.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism, which makes him quite old. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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