How AT&T Technology is Helping Community Banks Thrive

Taking Care of Business: How AT&T Technology is Helping Community Banks Thrive in Challenging Times

by AT&T Business Editorial Team

Recently, when many businesses struggled to stay afloat, two community banks turned to AT&T for help. While the business solutions they sought were different, their goals were the same: to better serve customers, especially during difficult economic times.

When the health crisis hit, a community bank accelerated its digital transformation for 96 branches in four states, so customers could bank safely and conveniently. This meant moving quickly to transform its existing network infrastructure. 

Transforming network management with a cloud-based solution

By overlaying a software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) on the existing network infrastructure, AT&T Business virtualized the bank’s ability to monitor and direct its network traffic by moving that function to the cloud. Unlike other networking solutions, SD-WAN uses software to control network traffic paths from a centralized point. Put simply, adding SD-WAN to the bank’s existing network makes it more intelligent, responsive, and agile.

So, what does the network transformation mean for their customers? Better application performance – think online banking, mobile banking, and text banking – greater network reliability, and access to more video bankers. Thanks to the higher bandwidth provided by network transformation, the bank has been able to add more interactive teller machines. The 25 video banker locations have been a way for customers to take advantage of virtual banking without losing the personal touch of interacting with a live teller.

“Our customers are at the heart of everything we do. From providing award-winning customer service to delivering anytime, anywhere banking, the digital transformation we’re undergoing is all about understanding our customers’ wants and needs and investing in those wants and needs,” said a community bank VP. “That includes adopting new technologies, like SD-WAN, to support our transformation. AT&T SD-WAN gives us the security and agility to support our customers on their terms.”

Safeguarding customer information with a secure dedicated internet connection

For another community bank, safeguarding customer information and its network systems was the top priority when it moved to a virtual support model. Expanding remote system access can give fraudsters more opportunities to wreak havoc. In the event of a chaotic and disruptive event, cybercriminals see an opportunity to exploit. One research report found cyberattacks increased 341% during the recent health crisis. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) and ransomware attacks can cripple a business. To limit its risks to such attacks, a community bank with more than 100 branches across 2 states underwent a security transformation using a multi-layered approach from AT&T.

The solution started with the installation of a highly secure dedicated internet connection. Essentially, this provides the customer with its own private fast lane. No matter how many users are on the network, the bank has access to highly reliable service and dedicated speeds. Additional layers of security were then added, including managed firewall service, managed DDoS and Domain Name System (DNS) service. These AT&T managed security services are monitored 24/7/365 to help detect and mitigate security risks. And they enable the bank to better support its customers’ access to banking applications.

Simplifying digital transformation with managed solutions:

The unprecedented rate of change the banking industry has undergone is expected to continue. Customers have grown to embrace online and digital services and like having 24/7 access to banking services from anywhere. As the world of networking and cybersecurity becomes more complex, many businesses are looking for managed solutions that simplify their life and give them peace of mind."

“Community banks have long been the backbone of our banking system,” said Tony Leggio, VP of Financial Industry Solutions, AT&T. “They’re a driving force behind the growth of small to mid-sized businesses – the very people who can benefit most from our expertise. As the world of networking and cybersecurity becomes more complex, many businesses are looking for managed solutions that simplify their life and give them peace of mind.”

Whether it’s updating network infrastructure for digital transformation or deploying a security solution to protect customer information and internal systems, one thing is certain: connectivity is key to the future of banking.

Get more information about how AT&T Business can help transform your existing network infrastructure to better serve your customers with software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)dedicated internet, and managed security services.