Podcasts

[podcast] Umpqua’s Lani Hayward on the community bank’s acclaimed podcast

  • The West Coast's largest community bank helps its customers tackle tough money issues.
  • Hayward combines customer experience design with brand marketing.
close

Email a Friend

[podcast] Umpqua’s Lani Hayward on the community bank’s acclaimed podcast

Umpqua Bank is the West Coast’s largest independent community bank, headquartered in Portland, Oregon. The bank calls its branches stores and designed them as inviting spaces for people to come in, read the paper, surf the Internet, and enjoy a cup of coffee. That approach of using the bank branch as a community hub has been incredibly successful. Umpqua Bank has grown from 5 locations and $140 million in assets in 1994, when it moved to this community design, to more than 330 stores and $24 billion in assets today.

Umpqua’s approach to banking is in many ways an answer to a simple question: what does it take to have a conversation about money? The bank is doing just that with a highly-acclaimed podcast called Open Account. Hosted by Sunchin Pak, the podcast tackles tough issues like how divorced couples handle finances or, my personal favorite, an interview with Neil Gabler about the secret shame of the middle class.

On this episode of the Tradestreaming podcast, I talk to Umpqua’s Lani Hayward, EVP of creative strategies about the community bank’s acclaimed podcast and how it fits into the firm’s conversation with its customers. We talk about the genesis of the project, all the way through measuring its impact.

Subscribe: iTunes I SoundCloud

Below are highlights, edited for clarity, from the episode.

Why Umpqua launched a podcast

The bank sees marketing as part of everything it does. It’s about brand and culture of a company being the same. Banking can, and should, be very different. About 20 years ago, we started changing the status quo of how banking was presented. Banks have been austere, uninviting, and frankly, boring businesses. Umpqua set out to change this intimidating experience into something more welcoming. We changed our branches into what we call stores. We see it as our responsibility to perpetuate the health and well-being of the community we serve. With that as a background, this podcast experience lends itself to a conversation that was really important — one about money.

A valuable conversation, not advertising

Podcasts are a great format to convey, in a story-like way, some very meaningful and emotional pieces of information. The beauty of the podcast is that you’re not advertising or pushing things at people. People self-select to listen to this and you have to honor that experience. The takeaways must be valuable. We started to look deeper at our behavior around money. It’s the number one stress point for Americans. It affects 92 percent of us, yet 77 percent don’t do anything about it. Banks are best positioned to do something about these insights. We started Open Account over a year ago. We wanted to do make sure we had a topic that was really authentic to us, that we could own, that we’re passionate about.

0 comments on “[podcast] Umpqua’s Lani Hayward on the community bank’s acclaimed podcast”

Podcasts

“It is so expensive to get those 10 first bank customers’: JAM FINTOP’s new fund has 66 community bank LPs

  • There's a lot of money flowing into fintech from a lot of different sources.
  • A new fund, built in partnership between a fintech investor and bank investor, brings capital from community banks to tech firms.
Zachary Miller | May 11, 2021
Podcasts

‘No one ever said, I can’t wait to go banking today’: Bank of America’s Hari Gopalkrishnan

  • As needs changed during the pandemic, Bank of America customers turned to Erica, its virtual financial assistant, to get help.
  • Bank of America customers are also using more P2P payments, too -- Zelle usage at the bank is up 73%.
Zachary Miller | May 07, 2021
Podcasts

Jack Henry’s Tede Forman on the connection between the gig economy and real time payments

  • Faster payments are coming to smaller banks and credit unions.
  • Jack Henry's PayCenter is helping some of them compete with the bigger banks.
Zachary Miller | April 30, 2021
Podcasts

‘We’re increasingly focused on connecting banks, businesses and innovative partners in a collaborative ecosystem’: Bottomline’s Norm DeLuca

  • Historically, banks have not found a good model to service small businesses.
  • Bottomline's GM of digital banking solution joins the podcast to talk about creating technology ecosystems around banks for SMBs.
Zachary Miller | April 14, 2021
Finance Everywhere, Member Exclusive, Podcasts

‘It’s a no brainer to add a virtual card into the travel product’: TripActions’ Michael Sindicich

  • TripActions serves the Fortune 500 with modern travel and expense management.
  • Tearsheet caught up with the GM of Liquid, the firm's payment product.
Zachary Miller | April 07, 2021
More Articles