Focus on Leadership | ATB Financial innovates to better serve its clients

October 26, 2021
Leadership Team Calgary Financial Services
Focus on Leadership ATB Financial updated

John Tarnowski is executive vice-president of Everyday Financial Services at ATB Financial. Photo by Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

ATB Financial is, first and foremost, a financial institution. But the culture at ATB Financial is very much that of a technology company — one that uses innovation to better assist clients.

“ATB has been supporting Albertans for more than 80 years, and we’ve always been about innovation — particularly when it comes to leveraging new technology — to offer a great client experience,” says John Tarnowski, executive vice-president of Everyday Financial Services at ATB Financial.

“We really see technology as the great enabler for clients.”

Mobile banking and advancing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) have been part of ATB’s DNA for several years now, but those endeavours truly began to pay off during the pandemic, Tarnowski adds.

“The pandemic highlighted how technology and, more specifically, the use of large datasets — powered by AI software — allow us as a financial institution to provide more predictive and proactive advice that’s incredibly beneficial to clients’ financial well-being.”

ATB’s success in helping clients navigate the challenges of banking during the pandemic wasn’t only about providing them with leading-edge technological tools. It was also about leaning into its strong relationships with clients to help make their digital journey easier.

“We had, for instance, clients of ours for 40 or more years who had never deposited a cheque via ABM or used our online or mobile applications to do their banking."

ATB team members were there to help: “educating, guiding and supporting that experience,” Tarnowski adds. “The reaction we got from some clients was literally tears of joy.”

Clients have become very comfortable with digital banking, realizing its many conveniences. But technological innovation at ATB is much more than mobile banking apps and ABM access.

Tarnowski points to ATB’s recent partnership with Jayman BUILT that uses the financial institution’s data analytics infrastructure to connect the builder of net-zero homes with ATB clients who are able to receive mortgage financing more quickly, securely and conveniently than ever before.

“Our goal is to facilitate the connection between clients and those partners to mutual benefit, which builds a better economy and environment for everyone,” says Tarnowski.

Amid this evolution, ATB does not lose sight of its strength for more than 80 years — putting clients at the centre of everything they do.

“It always starts with the individual clients — what they need, what they value and how we can help,” Tarnowski says. “Even though the landscape will always be changing, we remain focused at ATB on ensuring that this is, more than ever, the era of the client.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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