News & Press Releases

Notes from the Chairman

Dec 29, 2016
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Noah Wilcox, Chairman, ICBA Bancard
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Noah WilcoxAs 2016 winds down, it’s a great time to reflect on what has been a year of growth, change and transition and also the plans that lie ahead for a bright, exciting future. 

One of ICBA Bancard’s biggest wins for its clients this year, was its contract extension with long-time processing partner FIS. In addition to securing new terms, better pricing and improved service levels for community bank clients, we were also able to negotiate the fully-funded tokenization enablement of Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay (a $10 million value). 2016 has been a year of evolving payment delivery options and as mobile technology becomes more convenient and accessible, consumer adoption rates will accelerate. If your bank is an ICBA Bancard and FIS client, I strongly encourage you to take advantage of this offer and get the process started. Tokenization represents one of the best emerging tools to protect your customers’ sensitive financial data, and by getting in early you can secure top-of-phone status.

Another boon that resulted from the contract extension with FIS, is preferred pricing on SecurLOCK, the processor’s suite of fraud protection services. Empowering your customers to play an active role in fraud prevention and identification can stop a scam in seconds. Tools like SecurLOCK Communicate quickly deliver fraud alerts to your customers via their preferred method of engagement. According to FIS, similar offerings have resulted in a 70 percent decrease in what had previously been unrecoverable losses. 

A seismic change at ICBA Bancard this year was the retirement of Linda Echard who had served as Bancard’s president and CEO since 1985. In July, former community banker Tina Giorgio, was named Linda’s successor. Tina has more than 25 years of payments systems expertise and has quickly begun building a strategic framework with specific areas of focus on risk management, innovation, growth, and education. 

Tina’s vision for the future, and ICBA Bancard’s purpose as a payments company, is to deliver flexible, innovative payments and digital commerce solutions that allow community banks to flourish. As more consumers demand an instantaneous online payment experience, many are migrating to options outside of the banking system. Our industry’s survival depends on maintaining control of payments channels. Tina serves on the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payments Taskforce and in this capacity, is ensuring that the concerns of community banks are heard, while also setting the course for Bancard as real-time faster payments technology develops 

For 2017, we have several exciting new initiatives lined up, including the launch of Apply Now, an online credit card application tool that will enable your bank’s customers to apply for your bank’s credit card from any computer or mobile device, while adhering to your pre-determined lending criteria. My bank is presently beta-testing Apply Now and so far, we’ve been very impressed with the application’s ability to reduce costs and labor associated with the credit card approval process. Look for an informative webinar in January. 

ICBA Bancard’s leadership in payments is possible by the belief in our mission that you share with us. With the guidance of ICBA Bancard’s board of directors, the efforts of our leadership team and the hard work of our employees, I’m confident in community banks’ long-term success in the dynamic payments industry.