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On Being Accountable and Sustainable Growth: Tandem Bank’s COO

On Being Accountable and Sustainable Growth: Tandem Bank’s COO Reveals All

Think all banks are same? Read how Tandem Bank gives customers greater choice, better digital services, & a more ethical approach to banking.

Think all banks are the same? Think again. Tandem Bank burst onto the scene in 2015 to give customers greater choice, better digital services, and a more ethical approach to banking. We spoke to Chief Operating Officer, Derek Usher, about how Salesforce is driving sustainable growth and the importance of being accountable.

Tell us about Tandem Bank and why you love working there

Tandem Bank is a young challenger bank disrupting the UK market with digital services. We recently acquired green loans company, Allium, and that sustainability initiative is a big part of our plan for the future. Ultimately, we want to position ourselves as the ‘good green bank’ over the next few years, investing in sustainability to help the UK meet its target for reducing emissions.

It was those green ambitions that first attracted me to the bank. I love working at Tandem because I know I’ll be able to look my children in the eyes in ten years’ time and tell them I did everything I could to help slow down climate change. I’m in a privileged position where I can make a difference, and I’m not taking that responsibility lightly: the bigger we grow our business, the more money is invested in sustainability.

Why is it important to disrupt the traditional banking industry?

In some ways, being a market challenger means we’re coming to the industry with a blank slate. In business and banking, people tend to trust household names, but I recently took a course on sustainability leadership and studied some big companies who made bold claims about their performance on their beautiful, slick websites. When I analysed independent reports against those claims, the statements were actually quite misleading, but no one challenged them. Start-ups don’t have that luxury, they need to be transparent and accountable. Customers should be able to trust banks to be responsible with their money both now and in the future. By focusing on green investments, we have an opportunity to be the market leader in that space, but only if our foundations are solid and our customer experience is second to none.

How does the banking experience at Tandem set you apart from your competitors?

Tandem is a fully digital bank. We don’t have any physical branches, so our customers will never have to queue up and wait for someone to serve them at a kiosk. A lot of banks are dealing with complex legacy technology that slows them down, especially when it comes to rolling out new services. With Salesforce, we can give customers a fast, seamless, omnichannel experience whether they choose to engage with us by phone, email, SMS, or live chat. We have a mix of tech-savvy and more traditional customers, so we need to be able to serve both groups. Service Cloud has helped us slash response times from hours to seconds, meaning Tandem customers can get pretty much instant access to support. Salesforce Connect also means our services are in real-time – we don’t have any issues with latency, which is a huge win for a bank that handles high volumes of transactions. There’s no doubt that banking is becoming more digital, but Salesforce puts us ahead of the game.

Do you have any advice for other start-ups thinking of using Salesforce?

A few years ago, everyone was building custom platforms in-house. We don’t want to build things ourselves; our priority is designing a great customer experience and delivering the best possible banking services to help us grow. We want to spend our budget on products that have been developed by experts who live and breathe technology. We use Salesforce straight out of the box and haven’t tried to do anything super clever with it – we don’t need to mess around with it to get great results. If you use Salesforce the way it’s intended to be used you can get some great results. It’s really flexible and you can add more products or functionality as your company evolves. Salesforce supports smart, sustainable growth, which is exactly the foundation we want at the heart of our business.

To find out more about how Tandem Bank is winning more business with a seamless customer experience, read the full story here.

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