Armed Forces Bank doubles down on tech investment to boost customer service

Leavenworth-based Armed Forces Bank made hefty investments in technology to place it on the leading edge for banking access, a huge benefit for a military client base that's always moving around. And it's proved helpful for new offerings at Armed Forces' sister bank. 

With a focus on serving military clients, investing in new technology to help customers access services whenever and wherever they end up has been a top priority for Leavenworth-based Armed Forces Bank.

It’s a business plan that has put Armed Forces Bank on the leading edge for access to banking products and services, helping it gain national recognition for providing above-and-beyond service. The bank won three of the highest honors from the Association of Military Banks of America at its annual workshop in August: the 2023 Distinguished Bank of the Year award, the 2023 Designation of Savings Excellence and the 2023 Community Impact Award.

Armed Forces Bank was one of the first banks to offer a 24/7 call center, enabling it to help military clients throughout the country and overseas access a bank professional whenever they needed one. The bank launched an online and mobile banking platform with the flexibility to easily adapt as clients frequently move, yet keep security strong. It allows access to bankers through chat, telephone or video conference. The platform makes it easy to transfer money using a variety of applications and also has a feature called the “New Access Loan” that provides immediate funding of loans between $750 and $15,000 any time of the day or week.

The bank isn’t resting on those past accomplishments.

Armed Forces Bank recently started New Access Rewards Checking accounts, which offer discounts, cash-back rewards, and identity theft and credit monitoring.

This month, the bank will launch an enhanced account opening process to make it easier for new clients no matter where they are around the world. In October, the bank plans to launch an even more mobile friendly website.

“About 60% of our client base primarily uses their phone,” Academy Bank CEO Paul Holewinski said. “So this is a recognition of how our clients choose to engage us, making everything more mobile optimized. We’re enabling mobile access in a more user-friendly, seamless way. We want to ensure we can reach clients with products, services, education, help buying their first house or a new car, saving for the future or whatever they have in mind.”

Armed Forces Bank plans to continue investing in new services that make it easier for clients to bank with them anytime, anywhere.

Kansas City-based Dickinson Financial Corp. owns Armed Forces Bank. Dickinson also owns regional commercial bank Academy Bank, which is reaping benefits from the technology that's developed for military families.

“What’s great about having the two banks is that maybe you try something at one bank and if it works, it could be applied to the other bank,” Holewinksi said. “The ability to try out new technology on a global scale for Armed Forces Bank and then bring it over to Academy Bank is valuable. Then on the business side, there are things we’ve been able to learn at Academy Bank. For example, we pioneered ITMs (Interactive Teller Machines) at Academy Bank, and we’re looking for applications to use what we’ve learned there at Armed Forces Bank.”

Armed Forces Bank has $1.2 billion in assets and 20 branches nationwide. Academy Bank has $2.5 billion in assets and 70 locations in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas and Missouri.

Sep 11, 2023