ShareFile® securely connects clients to Farmers State Bank
Serving a century of communities
The United States financial sector was largely occupied by local decentralized financial institutions. Banking evolution has since seen big banks swallow up smaller competitors.
The demise of the personalized banking model has presented both threat and opportunity. Farmers State Bank took the opportunity. The bank has shown solid growth since 1907 by prioritizing customer service. From its Montana roots the bank’s customer base has long since diversified. Farmers State Bank has grown to 10 locations across the United States and almost $700 million in assets.
Evolution invites strategy
With branches from Montana to Mississippi, agricultural clients now comprise only four percent of the bank’s loan portfolio. Newer clients include government and professional institutions. This modern client base has introduced the need to share ever-complex documentation between the bank and its clients.
Farmers State Bank realized that its operations model had to adapt as collaborating with clients on sensitive documents became problematic. The system in place at Farmers State Bank had to evolve.
“We need to be able to send large attachments to our customers,” says Ryan Clevidence, SVP and chief banking officer. “Our in-house system at the time couldn’t cope. Larger files would just get blocked by our computers.”
The bank needed a reliable, secure method of dispatching volumes of confidential documents. Clevidence looked for changes that would bring positive outcomes to clients and colleagues across the company’s bank branches.
“Working with large files is integral to our business,” he says. “New home purchase loan documents or even transaction closing documents are big. Clients naturally wanted quick procedural closure so that they could get on with their lives.”
Easy implementation, easy use
Clevidence did look at competitors. “Just briefly, with some online searches,” he says. “Then I picked up a discussion I’d had with a colleague about our document management challenges.”
The colleague recommended ShareFile. “Funnily enough, ShareFile is already a company that we had been doing business with,” Clevidence explains. “I called and explained our goals and pain points. ShareFile quickly returned with a demo of its ShareFile product.”
Clevidence was happy to continue his association with ShareFile. The proof was in the product. “ShareFile was exactly what we were looking for,” Clevidence recalls. “ShareFile gave us far more positive, agile interactions with customers and brought a great user experience for clients. We were very comfortable with it.”
The bank opted for ShareFile’s best value plan option, ShareFile Premium. This includes native integrated e-signature, a vital component for the modern banking sector. ShareFile also enables collaborative file space sharing, with integrated security features.
“ShareFile made the implementation very simple. It was very easy for staff to start using,” says Clevidence. “It’s great for request files for tax returns and e-signatures on loan documents, which we use in our mortgage and loan departments. The whole solution was implemented internally and self-managed by us.”
ShareFile has brought real quality of life improvements, to our staff and customers. We couldn’t go back to how it was.
SVP and Chief Banking Officer
Farmers State Bank
Quality of life solution
ShareFile processed ongoing volumes of banking documents with ease. This created a new connectivity between the branches of Farmers State Bank and its customers. With ShareFile, the bank was able to accelerate administrative processes, overriding bureaucracy. The new efficiencies of ShareFile promoted the bank’s ‘customer first’ service priorities by giving the same process improvements to their clients, as it did with their employees.
Simplicity brought instant benefits. ShareFile's secure client portal provides a personalized and flexible solution to collaborate with stakeholders. “Best of all, with ShareFile we can transact complex documents by sending customers a simple, secure link,” says Clevidence. “No faxing, no snail mail posting. This liberates so much time. Now all we need is a web link. It’s also become an essential client portal for us. Our customers can submit their ongoing financial information to us. It is the preferred, safest, and most convenient way for them to provide everything to us – from the convenience of their own computer. Accountants and lawyers use it as an information hub.”
Clevidence adds: “It’s important to make banking processes simple for our customers and ShareFile has made it really easy for all. ShareFile looks very professional and credible too. That is very important to us as often ShareFile is used in the very first interactions of new clients with our bank, and we feel it represents us well.”
Purchases are now a pleasure to transact. Younger customers purchasing a car, for example, don't want their excitement dulled by physical paperwork. “ShareFile has brought real quality of life improvements, to our staff and customers,” Clevidence notes. “We couldn’t go back to how it was. Our customers love that they can sign loan documents with their phone by e-signature, so that's a big draw.”
Staff enjoy the freedom to work with multiple devices and from many locations with ShareFile. Security provides varying levels of access and control to preserve client confidentiality. “We have many staff that work from home. Now they can easily collaborate with documents securely,” Clevidence says.
ShareFile gave us far more positive, agile interactions with customers and brought a great user experience for clients.
SVP and Chief Banking Officer
Farmers State Bank