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Citizens Bank of Edmond Goes National

Citizens Bank of Edmond Goes National

Citizens Bank of Edmond has a single branch located in Oklahoma– what many people consider a “fly over state.” The town of Edmond, where the building is located, boasts a population of just under 100,000 people. That’s not stopping President and CEO Jill Castilla from pursuing growth, however.

Castilla announced today that her bank– with $400 million under management and just 55 employees– is taking Citizens Bank of Edmond national. Now, U.S. citizens across the country can sign up for a retail bank account at Citizens Bank of Edmond. The move broadens the bank’s reach to around 300 million people.

“In an unprecedented 72 day timeline to implementation, Citizens proves that small banks can be nimble, fast, thorough, sophisticated and still deliver a George Bailey-like experience,” said Castilla in an announcement on LinkedIn. “We love leading the way for other community banks to stay relevant for decades to come!”

Powering the launch is digital banking technology company Narmi. Founded in 2016 by former bankers Nikhil Lakhanpal and Chris Griffin, Narmi has a mission to offer financial institutions the best digital banking platform in the industry. The New York-based company offers both retail and commercial accounts, as well as a digital account opening solution that takes only two minutes and 13 seconds to complete.

Narmi, which has amassed $55 million in funding, counts Radius Bank (now Lending Club), Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Bank, Freedom Credit Union, and more among its clients.

By opening its digital doors to everyone in the U.S., Citizens Bank of Edmond is breaking down geographical barriers. This shift toward “affinity banking” or “identity-based banking” will enable Citizens Bank of Edmond to take advantage of the brand identity and recognition it has spent the past few years building.

During the pandemic, the bank leaned hard into its focus on community and the small businesses that make up the community. For example, Castilla frequently shared her phone number on public channels as a resource for those in need. She also contacted all of the bank’s business customers to determine their main areas of stress. And when the bank had to close its lobby, its employees met customers at the curb to schedule time slots to serve its customers and maintain a personal touch.

It will be interesting to see how Citizens Bank of Edmond plans to maintain that level of personal touch while scaling up its accounts. Given Castilla’s fastidious determination, however, I do not envision the bank will have an issue maintaining its reputation of offering a top-notch customer experience. To hear Castilla talk about customer experience in person, come to FinovateFall next month and check out her panel.