John W. Smith, CEO
An innovation isn’t innovative unless it solves a problem or need. For banking specialist, CFM, revolutionizing their industry meant taking on its biggest challenges of disconnected technology, declining transactions, lack of visibility into equipment usage, poor customer experiences, and siloed job functions.
As John W. Smith, CEO of CFM puts it, “We started CFM by looking at the integral gaps our customers were facing, and then built an ecosystem of solutions to best right the wrongs.”
“For example, we observed that banks were making tremendous investments in cash handling hardware for automating their banking deposit, withdrawal, and other cash transactions, but didn’t have the most effective software to connect these machines directly to their teller accounting system,” continued Smith. “So we decided to build a universal integration to connect any machine to the teller platform—removing manual rekeying, double balancing, human errors, and frustrations.”
Getting machines completely integrated wasn’t enough, however, when CFM saw their customers struggling with analytics to make data-driven decisions on buying and deploying machines across their branch network. The answer was iQ, an affordable, cloud-based analytics tool that gives banks and credit, full visibility into their technology.
One iQ success story netted a CFM client huge rewards. The credit union wanted to replace underperforming machines and add more technology, so they contacted CFM to advise them on the best options. CFM suggested evaluating the units they had, by installing iQ.
“With iQ’s analytics-driven approach, CFM uncovered underutilized machines and new locations that would benefit from different technology.
The future of banking is a simple formula of automation plus integration equals transformation
Instead of replacing six devices, they redeployed machines and brought others back to full utilization,” explains Smith. “Essentially, we saved them $180,000 just by having a proper analytical view of their cash automation infrastructure.”
CFM recognizes many trends in the marketplace and tailors their solutions to accommodate those movements. One shift that is trending is the transformation from segmented roles— such as tellers, supervisors, drive-up personnel and branch managers—to a universal associate model. To that end, “our software, Remote Transaction Assist (RTA) allows every staff member the ability to process transactions from anywhere in the branch,” Smith adds. “It’s truly a game-changing software.”
Another current trend is in empowering the banking customer to operate more self-sufficiently, either in how they choose to bank, or in how they discover what banking solutions are right for them. For example, if a customer at a branch uses a digital kiosk to explore the bank’s services and products, the search is essentially anonymous because that person has not provided any identifying factors at the time. “We built a tool called Digital Alert that sends an alert to the banking staff about the customer’s precise needs—whether it’s exploring commercial loans, auto loans, or credit cards.” This critical awareness and discovery software prompts the staff to “have an appropriate conversation with that client.”
It seems CFM’s ecosystem approach is working. It continues to post double-digit growth, even being named one of the nation’s fastest growing companies by Inc. 5000. And with the mindset of always responding to trends in a consumer-centric approach, future growth seems certain. “One of our mantras is to develop the company that we’d like to hire,” Smith emphasizes. “I’d want to hire a company that develops software that gives us choice of what hardware to buy, allows for best practice implementation of key trends that allow my customers, choice of how to bank, provides solid analytical information for precise business decisions, and is keeping me at the forefront of innovation. So, we are continuously developing CFM to do exactly this!”