Central Bank of Oklahoma Enhances Technology While Keeping Focus on Personal Relationships

Business Writer

LEADING BANKERS: The Central Bank of Oklahoma leadership team includes, from left, Steve Schooley, executive vice president and CFO; Pat Zimmerman, executive vice president; John Allan, president and CEO; and Doug Terry, executive vice president.

GTR Newspapers photos

While technology has changed the way customers may transact business, Central Bank of Oklahoma John Allan believes banking continues to be about people and relationships. Central Bank of Oklahoma has grown its business by offering relationship-building service and products to provide the highest level of financial services technology for the retail customer, small business and corporations.
Allan joined the bank in 2009 with the goal of bringing the successful Central Bancompany model to Tulsa.

Central Bank of Oklahoma is part of Central Bancompany, a privately held $11.6 billion bank-holding company headquartered in Jefferson City, Missouri. Central Bancompany specializes in community banking, with a focus on delivering leading-edge technology to customers in Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma.

In June 2015, the bank, formerly known as Bank and Trust Company, changed its name to Central Bank of Oklahoma and with that, connected its customers to a network of 13 full-service community banks and all their branches across Missouri, Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. Central Bank of Oklahoma customers may utilize banking services at any location within the family of banks.

Allan says that the name change brings better technology, products and services.
“Most of our customers are excited about the additional locations available to them to conduct their banking transactions in over 140 locations in four states,” Allan says. “The singular brand name strengthens the company’s digital platform and creates efficiencies needed to allow us to focus on improving the customer experience. Our retail banking strategies have been successful in providing our customers with the latest technology including Internet-based and mobile banking products.”

Central Bank of Oklahoma offers technology that enhances customers’ access to their accounts, which now includes Person-to-Person payments, Mobile Check deposit, “EMV cards,” and Apple and Android Pay. cards are smart cards (also called chip cards) that store data on integrated circuits in addition to magnetic strips.
Allan noted that personal and business payments, such as credit cards, debit cards, merchant credit card services and commercial payments, have experienced tremendous growth over the last few years, and he expects these trends to continue. At the same time, he notes that fraud costs have increased sharply, so Central Bank of Oklahoma employs specialized technology and security to protect its customers.

“More often today, customers are using Internet-based services and mobile devices to conduct transactions with their banks,” Allan explains. “With a significant increase in identity theft, customers should be warned to protect their privacy and not disclose personal identification numbers or personal information to anyone. Online transactions should only be done with reputable vendors, and social security, personal identification or other numbers should never be provided.”

Looking to the future, Allan says that trends indicate customers prefer the convenience of online banking using a computer or mobile device. He says the same holds true for customers of Central Bank of Oklahoma.

“If you haven’t tried our online banking or mobile app, you need to consider checking it out to see what it is like to conduct your banking business or use our financial tools on your own schedule. All banks will need to continue investing in the latest technology, or they will run the risk of losing customers,” he says.

Borrowers and banks both remain fairly cautious since the economic downturn of 2009. Allan explains that there are currently many uncertainties regarding how the Federal Reserve will react toward domestic and worldwide economic conditions. Decisions from the Federal Reserve directly impact borrowing costs for businesses and consumers.

Economic concerns are close to home for the people of Tulsa as many area businesses are feeling the pinch of the energy downturn, which has resulted in lower city and state tax revenues, shortfalls in education budgets and reductions-in-force for a number of workers in the energy sector.

There’s better news, though, on the home mortgage front. Allan says that the local real estate market seems to be holding up fairly well in spite of the energy headwinds.

“Mortgage loan rates are very attractive, so if owning a home makes sense for you, now is a great time,” he says.

Regardless of the banking products or services one might need or the technology one uses to access accounts, for Allan, the basics of banking boil down to building good relationships. And that means being a part of the Tulsa community.

“We are dedicated to developing and enhancing our retail and commercial customer relationships,” he says. “As a community-centered bank with nearly $700 million in assets, we continue to be actively involved in civic leadership.”

In addition to contributing to the local economy as an area business, Central Bank of Oklahoma has been supportive of the Tulsa Area United Way and Junior Achievement of Oklahoma and many other local charities.

In 2016, Forbes recognized Central Bank of Oklahoma’s parent company, Central Bancompany, as one of America’s Best Banks for the eighth consecutive year, based on asset quality, capital adequacy, growth and profitability.

Updated 07-25-2016

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