Photos by Super Source Media Studios (Unless Noted)
BankWise Technology is working to simplify the banking process for both customers and banks alike. With a team stooped in a deep banking background, the company has begun making waves for its assistance in some innovative technology.
Sergei Morgoslepov, co-president and chief technology officer, said the company began as “kind of like a spinoff” from a local community bank, where he and chief marketing officer Rob Ward both formerly worked.
“This bank became a customer, our first customer, and we started business that way,” said Morgoslepov. “Working in banking for many years, not only do we support many banking systems, we redevelop them … So we know banking systems very well.”
Morgoslepov said part of his work included developing automation processes for certain tasks. Now, BankWise Technology provides this service to a wide variety of banks.
In addition to developing automation processes,
BankWise can also develop new systems and automate existing processes, among other offerings.
“The idea for the business was to take that experience and bring it out to the market, and start helping other banks, automate their processes, and make their lives easier as well,” Morgoslepov said. “We have many tools, bots, many automation tools that we can employ to make a banker’s life easier.”
Ward said that BankWise has a focus on community banks, saying the company can help automate processes at banks that may not have the capacity to handle all of their daily tasks manually.
“BankWise Technology provides a solution for community banks in the sense of helping to automate or integrate some of the products Sergei mentioned,” said Ward. “It’s how we see our role as a banking software development company.”
Since initially launching in 2019, Morgoslepov said that while there have been a lot of challenges, ultimately, it has “been a great ride.”
“It’s really exciting to be on our own, and explore all these new projects and opportunities,” said Morgoslepov. “There are obviously a lot of challenges.”
As a small, independent vendor, BankWise has to prove themselves to potential customers, Morgoslepov said. However, he said the company’s unique skill sets and banking experience can set them apart.
One of BankWise’s major projects to this point was assisting a New York City-based bank with the launch of a payring, a wearable ring that works similar to a debit card.
“It’s kind of like a debit card on your finger,” said Morgoslepov. “It’s a ring, a nice-looking piece of jewelry, that also has a debit card built into it. … That was one of the highlights of the past year. That bank works with many large vendors, and basically, the large vendors told them this could not be done.”
“We work well with banks that are thinking, if you will, a little bit outside of the box,” added Ward. “Not only externally, like bringing products to the market, but internally. … Customization is key, and that’s also where we come in. We’re able to really take apart a project and see how it can be done, versus saying that it can’t be done.”
Another project BankWise has been working on is a process to quickly verify banking customers. Called ‘Customer Verify’, Ward said it is “an instant way to verify a customer if they're at a branch, online, or chat.”
“Banks need to make sure that the customer is who they say they are,” said Morgoslepov. “They ask people for some account information, date of birth, social security number. … To enhance that process, we have a solution called Customer Verify that we will be publicly launching soon.”
Using the bank’s database of customer phone numbers, Customer Verify will send a code to the customer via text message, allowing them to quickly and easily verify themselves.
“They can read the code back to the CSR, or type it back, depending on the channel,” Morgoslepov said. “It gives banks an additional level of confidence that the customer is who they say they are.”
“It’s real-time, if you will,” added Ward. “A lot of banks don’t have an option for doing something like that, so that’s where we see this product finding its niche.”
A wearable payring that BankWise Technology helped develop. Photo provided by BankWise Technology.
And while technology does not come without its challenges, BankWise is determined to find solutions for its customers.
“We find a solution to make sure that it can be done,” Ward said. “Once again, being nimble and flexible is one of our core attributes. Often, you see that smaller companies can kind of accommodate those things.”
Morgoslepov also said the company enjoys a challenge, saying it is “exciting” to help customers solve their own unique problems within certain projects.
“We always learn something from our customers,” Morgoslepov said. “Technology is always changing, so it’s kind of fun to be on the forefront of banking technology and industry.”
Ward said that the company plays to the “entrepreneurial spirit” of its customers, helping find unique solutions for exciting products.
“We can pretty much tackle just about anything that’s presented to us,” said Ward. “It’s that kind of excitement that, I think, provides us a great opportunity to continue to develop and market BankWise Technology.”
Morgoslepov said that while BankWise hopes to grow, they still see their niche as serving smaller, more community-focused banks and credit unions.
“Just grow our team, grow our customer base, and continue to provide great services,” said Morgoslepov. “We would like to be more in the software service business. We have a large toolkit of modules that solve different problems. We would eventually like to be offering that as a service.”
And both Morgoslepov and Ward noted the excitement to be able to contribute to the technology landscape in the Capital Region, with Ward saying the area “is a hotbed for a lot of innovative technology-type companies.”
“This is a good area to be in from that perspective, and we’re glad that BankWise Technology is one of those companies that is on that list,” Ward said.