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

‘We see more and more nonprofits adopt the fintech model’: Prudential Financial’s Sarah Keh

  • Large financial organizations are increasing their work in their communities and with inclusivity.
  • Prudential's Sarah Keh joins us on the podcast to talk about her work with nonprofits and the city of Newark, New Jersey.
Zachary Miller | October 14, 2021
Podcasts

Embedding communications into financial services with Twilio’s Bijon Mehta

  • Twilio's embedded communications tools work behind the scenes in many of today's top fintechs and FIs.
  • Bijon Mehta, who leads the firm's work in financial services, joins us on the podcast to shed some light on where the firm grows from here.
Zachary Miller | September 21, 2021
Data, Podcasts

‘Data aggregation is used today in ways we wouldn’t have thought about five years ago’: Fiserv’s Kevin Hughes

  • Fiserv enables banks, credit unions, and fintechs to aggregate data seamlessly and securely.
  • Kevin Hughes, who manages the AllData products, talks to Tearsheet about changes in the aggregation field and where it's heading.
Fiserv | September 09, 2021
Podcasts

Behind the launch of the Dayforce Wallet: Ceridian’s Seth Ross

  • As a payroll provider, Ceridian moves $300 billion in wages yearly.
  • Seth Ross, who runs the firm's embedded finance group, joins the podcast to talk about Ceridian's move into banking and early wage access.
Zachary Miller | September 08, 2021
Podcasts

‘We bring the instant gratification from the lottery to help incentivize people to save’: Adam Moelis, Yotta

Zachary Miller | September 01, 2021
More Articles