To ensure comprehensive research services, Corporate Insight’s Bank Monitor occasionally looks beyond the usual coverage group and profiles less well known financial institutions from around the industry. We recently looked at the private site online banking experience from Bank of the West, evaluating its capabilities and user interface.
Originally launched in 1874 as Farmers National Gold Bank and one of only 10 banks in the country authorized to issue paper currency backed by gold reserves, the firm became Bank of the West in 1979. The full-service banking subsidiary of BNP Paribas has over 600 branches in 23 states throughout the midwestern and western United States and holds approximately $81 billion in assets. The bank offers a full range of deposit and lending products for individual consumers and earned acclaim for innovation in 2015 after launching photo bill pay, a personal financial management spending tracker embedded in online banking and a digital engagement white paper in partnership with Fiserv.
Bank of the West provides all basic online banking tools and services: alerts, bill payments, person-to-person payments with popmoney, external transfers and customer service via private site messaging. While we hope to see these tools as standard from all the firms in our coverage set, many are in fact unique. Just 13 firms (68%) provide person-to-person payments via popmoney, clearXchange or a firm-branded tool, and 14 (74%) provide secure message centers with capabilities for account holders to send and receive messages. Bank of the West stands out for its online My Spending tool, a personal financial management spending tracker that allows account holders to monitor spending, compare finances and set up monthly budgets with preset and customizable categories. Just 10 firms (53%) in the coverage set provide a spending or budgeting tool within online banking.
Bank of the West Private Site Manage Your Finances Interface
While its private site capabilities are above average, the firm has not yet applied a more modern design to its online banking interface. The site does not yet incorporate responsive capabilities and still uses skeumorphic, gradient-style buttons and main navigation tabs throughout. Bank of the West could highlight its exemplary online features with an updated site design that incorporates omnichannel capabilities for mobile- and tablet-first customers.
Bank of the West Private Site Homepage