Case Study: A top-10 credit card issuer designs and launches a successful new online deposits and savings business—in six months

by: Brendan Hardy

A top-10 US credit card issuer, currently with more than 10 million customers, wanted to strengthen its growth strategy. With a limited branch network and access to retail deposits, the bank traditionally relied on brokered deposits/CDs and capital markets to fund its business. Seeking more “stable” funding sources, such as retail deposits, the bank recognized it would need to shift its focus and strategy—and do so quickly. The bank asked West Monroe Partners to assist with developing and launching an online deposits and savings business within six months.

From strategy to successful launch—experience and a proven approach were critical.
Meeting the bank’s deadline required moving quickly to define the:

  • Online deposits and savings strategy
  • Customer experience
  • Business requirements
  • Operating procedures and supporting processes
  • Organizational structure and staffing requirements

We relied on substantial strategy development, bank operations, and retail deposits expertise, as well as our track record for executing similar programs and knowledge of best practices, to help the bank achieve its goal.

Strategy and customer experience. To assist the bank with defining its strategy, we studied competitors’ approaches, provided product and customer experience recommendations,  lean operations design, as well as functional expertise in specific areas such as fraud and risk management. The outcome was an overarching strategy that included product design and pricing, growth forecasts, and a go-to-market plan. The strategy also included a customer experience approach focused on simplicity and confidence, in line with the bank’s current branding.

Business requirements. To support the strategy, our team guided the bank through an intensive process to define business requirements. This included facilitating more than 30 workshops with each business and operational area. We brought industry knowledge and experience to these discussions to ensure that these workshops were providing the necessary direction to gain stakeholder support.

Operating procedures, structure, and staffing requirements. Finally, incorporating industry best practices, we worked with the bank to design detailed day-to-day operating procedures necessary to run an online deposits business. Then, we conducted an additional round of interviews to determine each business unit’s capacity to fulfill these operations. This provided us the input necessary to develop organizational and staffing models that would meet both the bank’s strategic needs and those of the various teams involved in launching and running the business.

New online deposits business—launched on schedule. Based on this work, the bank launched its online deposits business on schedule and with one of the top rates in the market. Moreover, from day one the bank was fully prepared to run the new deposits business while remaining focused on its strategic objective to fund the company’s core credit card business.

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