MANTL: enabling a digital vision of community banking
Mike Bosserman, VP of Growth at MANTL, explains how the company is empowering Quontic Bank and other financial institutions through technology.
Founded in 2016, MANTL is an enterprise Software as a Service company based in New York with a singular mission: ‘empowering financial ecosystems through technology’. It does this by modernising core back-office tasks like account opening with an integrated, omnichannel platform. “MANTL serves community and regional banks and credit unions exclusively,” says Mike Bosserman, VP of Growth. “The reason we're here is because these organisations simply aren't growing enough online.” Originally envisioning a career as an investment analyst, Bosserman relates that he was soon hired by a VC firm, which, in turn, brought MANTL to his attention as an attractive investment prospect. Meeting with Nathaniel Harley (CEO) and Raj Patel (CFO and COO) and discussing their “compelling” vision was enough to convince him to join, which he did shortly afterwards.
Making community banks competitive in the modern finance market is MANTL’s main task. It’s a service that the company has already rendered for some of the fastest-growing banks in the US, and Bosserman claims that the success it has reaped stems from a focused strategy combining technological sophistication with customer-centric ease-of-use. “The average time to open an account on MANTL is approximately two minutes and 37 seconds,” he says. This is important in the context of contemporary customer expectations, which are heavily influenced by experiences not necessarily related to banking. “If you're a community bank or credit union, customer expectations for bank onboarding flows are going to be influenced by other online platforms like Amazon, Netflix, or other fintech apps.” This focus on customer experience ultimately yields meaningful growth for MANTL’s customers who, on average, grow deposits up to 78% faster compared to previous account opening solutions.
The overall focus for MANTL, therefore, is on building products equivalent to this standard, particularly in terms of minimising points of friction. One client for whom MANTL has been able to achieve this task and much more is Quontic Bank. In an industry where opening an account takes an average of 30 clicks, Bosserman says, “Quontic Bank takes 24 clicks. When it comes to figuring out where MANTL fits into the ecosystem of modern tech products, we're right there at the cutting edge.” As a result, Quontic’s conversion rates for deposit accounts increased by 150% in the first quarter it went live, while cost of deposits declined by 90%. MANTL’s tech-savvy is equalled by Quontic Bank’s ambition, which, even from its early stages, was to achieve nothing less than a new concept for digital banking. “Both Patrick (Sells, CIO) and Steven (Schnall, CEO) have been exceptional to work with and so has the team. Quontic Bank stands out from the average community bank in a very good way; it’s a great example, in my mind, of what's possible in community banking with the right attitude and the right technology paired together.”
When asked what major trends will continue to affect and develop MANTL’s relationship with Quontic Bank, Bosserman believes that banking’s future will be determined by the acquisition of tech talent, increased automation and fraud prevention, enhanced regulatory compliance, and instant account verification. Regarding the latter, he adds, “That's particularly big on mobile devices. It also leads to big increases in the initial funding of an account. I believe Quontic Bank is in the top 1% in the US for this aspect.” As mobile technology continues to proliferate and reshape customers’ everyday interactions with banks, MANTL will play an important role in levelling the terrain between the mobile and desktop experience. “Nowadays, customers can access their account across multiple channels, and, ultimately, the experience needs to be the same. That's really important for banks like Quontic.”
How changing your company's software code can prevent bias
Two-third of tech professionals believe organizations aren’t doing enough to address racial inequality. After all, many companies will just hire a DEI consultant, have a few training sessions and call it a day.
Wanting to take a unique yet impactful approach to DEI, Deltek, the leading global provider of software and solutions for project-based businesses, took a look at and removed all exclusive terminology in their software code. By removing terms such as ‘master’ and ‘blacklist’ from company coding, Deltek is working to ensure that diversity and inclusion are woven into every aspect of their organization.
Business Chief North America talks to Lisa Roberts, Senior Director of HR and Leader of Diversity & Inclusion at Deltek to find out more.
Why should businesses today care about removing company bias within their software code?
We know that words can have a profound impact on people and leave a lasting impression. Many of the words that have been used in a technology environment were created many years ago, and today those words can be harmful to our customers and employees. Businesses should use words that will leave a positive impact and help create a more inclusive culture in their organization
What impact can exclusive terms have on employees?
Exclusive terms can have a significant impact on employees. It starts with the words we use in our job postings to describe the responsibilities in the position and of course, we also see this in our software code and other areas of the business. Exclusive terminology can be hurtful, and even make employees feel unwelcome. That can impact a person’s desire to join the team, stay at a company, or ultimately decide to leave. All of these critical actions impact the bottom line to the organization.
Please explain how Deltek has removed bias terminology from its software code
Deltek’s engineering team has removed biased terminology from our products, as well as from our documentation. The terms we focused on first that were easy to identify include blacklist, whitelist, and master/slave relationships in data architecture. We have also made some progress in removing gendered language, such as changing he and she to they in some documentation, as well as heteronormative language. We see this most commonly in pick lists that ask to identify someone as your husband or wife. The work is not done, but we are proud of how far we’ve come with this exercise!
What steps is Deltek taking to ensure biased terminology doesn’t end up in its code in the future?
What we are doing at Deltek, and what other organizations can do, is to put accountability on employees to recognize when this is happening – if you see something, say something! We also listen to feedback our customers give us and have heard their feedback on this topic. Those are both very reactive things of course, but we are also proactive. We have created guidance that identifies words that are more inclusive and also just good practice for communicating in a way that includes and respects others.
What advice would you give to other HR leaders who are looking to enhance DEI efforts within company technology?
My simple advice is to start with what makes sense to your organization and culture. Doing nothing is worse than doing something. And one of the best places to start is by acknowledging this is not just an HR initiative. Every employee owns the success of D&I efforts, and employees want to help the organization be better. For example, removing bias terminology was an action initiated by our Engineering and Product Strategy teams at Deltek, not HR. You can solicit the voices of employees by asking for feedback in engagement surveys, focus groups, and town halls. We hear great recommendations from employees and take those opportunities to improve.