People, Process, Technology – How One Bank Advanced in 2020

January 26, 2021


Penn Community Bank, a $2.5 billion mutual bank, provides banking, lending, and investment solutions for customers throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, and is the region’s largest locally run mutual bank. Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Diane Brown, joined us on a recent Fortimize Focus panel discussion to share insights gathered during the last few months that reshaped the way banking is done.

In early March, banks had to rapidly green light long-term digital transformation roadmaps to implement them within a few weeks. Penn Community Bank had to roll out and learn new processes, implement new technologies, and still find ways to keep their customers and employees happy.

Read on to see how Penn Community Bank advanced their digital transformation goals last year by keeping a focus on people, process, and technology.

People – Achieving Big Wins for Customers

One change that helped customers almost immediately was to increase limits. Brown said the bank used anomaly detection and fraud systems to ensure regulation, and support customers who needed to get deposits in remotely.

Brown also reflected on the good timing of a new website that was rolled out at the beginning of the year. It had new capabilities the previous site did not have, including appointment scheduling, an online chat, and ways to manage transactions remotely, and safely. Penn’s customers learned how to navigate the new site prior to the pandemic, which made the forced transition to all-digital transactions much easier for everyone.

During the pandemic, Penn released a new app with SavvyMoney to allow customers to track their credit scores and any fraudulent activity through mobile banking. Customers quickly adopted the tool, and Brown said it has been popular beyond what they had projected.

Process – Closing the Gap Between In Person & Online

Covid dramatically changed traditional brick-and-mortar processes that banks were using. At the beginning of the year, the leadership team at Penn already had DocuSign and a business online banking conversion on the schedule. Then the pandemic struck and DocuSign became a top priority. Early implementation of this tool was an instant win for the bank.

While DocuSign was a game changer, the bank still struggled with implementing tools and processes to keep up with high demand client needs. 

Diane said, We had to be able to do things on the phone that we had never done before. We had digital tools, mobile tools, but we did not have great processes for handling customer inquiries over the phone to get things done like a ‘one stop shop’ would.”

Despite having some tools and technologies in place, the bank had no way to deploy them in the all-virtual world. They overcame this challenge by focusing on creating the right processes to create the best possible customer experience, and then leveraging new and existing technologies to support them.

Technology – Critical Tools for Working Remotely

Many banks faced challenges of adopting new platforms and software during the pandemic. But Penn’s biggest challenge was getting their employees the right equipment to work from home. 

Webcams and monitors seem like simple hardware in the office, but proved to be invaluable necessities when the team went virtual. 

With remote meetings as the only option, webcams were a valuable resource for maintaining communication between teams and customers. Additionally, some of Penn’s employees utilized dual monitors during the workday and struggled to maintain their effectiveness at home with just one screen.

Brown explained the race to get these tools to employees to help them work from home successfully. With the right tools in place, Penn was able to continue providing a great customer experience, implement new platforms and software, and keep their business moving forward.

Digital Transformation with Salesforce in 2021 and Beyond

Brown shared that her team will continue to use remote communication and collaboration tools this year and post pandemic. 

During regular team meetings, they discuss what is and is not working to advance their strategic goals for the business. As they discover tools and processes that work well, they become best practices across the company.

The big focus for this coming year is to better leverage Salesforce. Penn began utilizing the platform in Q1 of 2020 and plans to add Marketing Cloud to their mix. 

Brown hopes to continue adding in process improvements to help the bank run better, and  expressed appreciation for the reporting capabilities and dashboards that Salesforce offers. 


Since 2012, Fortimize has helped financial services firms achieve their digital transformation goals. We are known for our collaborative approach which manages changes to people, process, and technology. That’s why we’re one of the top Financial Services Salesforce partners.

Whether you are new to the platform or looking for a partner who can help you achieve your business outcomes, the team at Fortimize can help. We come with decades of experience in Banking, Lending, and Wealth and Asset Management and expertise from over 1000 technology implementations.

To learn more about how Fortimize can help your bank drive successful business outcomes, contact us here.

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