Vast Bank has set in motion a four-year plan to turn the traditional community bank into a nationwide digital lender.
Founded in 1982 as Valley National Bank, it officially changed its name to Vast Bank in May 2019. Family-owned and based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the bank currently has around $670 million in assets.
“Many community bankers would probably look at me like I’m crazy,” CEO Brad Scrivner told The Financial Brand. He added that, in his opinion, there are only three paths a bank can take to succeed in the future: build scale; find a niche specialty; and become a digital leader. Vast is going with the last option.
“We’re putting our money where we think the future of banking is,” said Scrivner, who believes that 60-70 percent of “heritage” banking institutions will be gone by 2030.
In order to achieve its digital banking goals, Vast has become the first U.S. bank to install the open-source core banking platform from German technology company SAP, with Scrivner admitting that the integration has been complicated. But it is crucial since the platform will allow Vast to make constant improvements to meet the changing demands of customers.
In addition, Vast is providing the banking services for the Meed Banking Club, which offers customers various services including a debit card connected to a checking account, savings, insurance, a line of credit, merchant discounts and travel rewards. Meed charges a flat membership fee of $9.95 per month for the bundle of services. It also pays customers a referral fee that accumulates over time if the referred person stays in the club, as well as cash back on purchases with participating travel partners and merchants.
While the partnership with Meed gives Vast Bank a global footprint, it isn’t forgetting about its traditional banking customers. In fact, Scrivner says that the new platform is expected to help the bank provide better service to all its clients.
“Customers can expect everything from better apps and innovative products to streamlined underwriting and faster loan processing,” he said.
Aside from its banking endeavors, Vast has also opened a $34 million, 100,000 square-foot structure in Tulsa where it will rent out space to restaurants, fitness pros, artists and more.