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A 230 page report didn't even phase Zach when it came to making sure our customers' privacy was protected.

All in the Name of Security

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Imagine: you place a call to Choice Bank because you need to send a wire.  Or maybe you are calling about your account balance or to solve an issue with your debit card. Regardless of how big or small your request, you’ll be asked to answer a security question.

“We value our customers’ privacy and ultimately want to protect them from anyone looking to cause harm.”

What’s the most memorable vacation you’ve been on?

Your favorite sports team?

Name of your first-grade teacher?

It can be whatever you want as long as the answer is unique to you. Bobbie Elder, VP of Client Services in Minnesota, explains that these security questions are just one example of Choice Bank’s commitment to customers’ privacy.

“Whenever a customer calls in looking for account information, it’s important that we verify their identity through a security Q & A before we give out anything,” she said. “We value our customers’ privacy and ultimately want to protect them from anyone looking to cause harm, whether that’s through things like our risk management products or a security Q & A.”

Between integrating new team members, learning new systems, and making sure customers had a seamless transition experience, it had been a very busy time at Choice since first foraying into the Twin Cities market almost a year ago. But, when frontline staff started reporting that it was taking them longer to locate security Q & As due to inconsistencies in where they were saved, Bobbie immediately called a meeting with Deposit Support Supervisor, Matt Beneke.

When calls started coming in from the frontline staff about security Q & A inconsistencies, Bobbie knew they had to act fast!

Bobbie and Matt soon discovered that while most security Q & As had mapped over to their correct location, others had been saved in a location that took some digging to get to.

Matt did some heavy lifting and came up with a report of 230 pages worth of customer security Q & As that needed to be relocated. But to tackle such a huge project, Bobbie and Matt decided to split it between their teams; Bobbie’s team would start at the top while Matt’s team would start at the bottom.

“It was a daunting task. And very tedious,” Bobbie said. “It’s not the type of thing that anyone’s going to get super excited about doing.”

“It’s not the type of thing that anyone’s going to get super excited about doing.”

To top it all off, July was a particularly busy month for the frontline. There were a lot of overlapping vacation days, so she knew they were going to be short-staffed. She left her meeting with Matt feeling overwhelmed by the weight of the project in front of her and her team.

“Half the month I was out on vacation and the other half I was traveling to North Dakota for work, so I was very unavailable,” she said.

That was when Zach Steele, a Deposit Support Specialist from Fargo, decided to take matters into his own hands.

“By the time I got a chance to sit down and start delegating this project to my team, Matt told me that Zach had been able to get through the whole report himself. It was huge!” she exclaimed.

But to Zach, taking on this task was a no-brainer. Choice Bank’s core value, ‘Keep everyone’s personal and financial information confidential’, had immediately come to mind when he first heard of the project. During his downtime over the next two weeks, he slowly, but surely worked his way through all 230 pages of the report.

Bobbie was right—the impact of Zach’s actions was huge! Not only would this help the frontline be able to easily locate security Q & As, but the process would feel more seamless on the customer’s end.

“He could’ve just stopped once he got through his half, but he took it a step further and I didn’t even get a chance to ask.”

“I just wanted to help,” Zach said with a shrug. “I felt it was important to ensure our customers receive the best service they can and show that we really value their privacy.”

To Bobbie, it was the perfect example of a ‘Know when to offer help, know when to ask for help’ moment.

“He could’ve just stopped once he got through his half, but he took it a step further and I didn’t even get a chance to ask,” she laughed.

Zach’s initiative also set an example for his peers.

“There are a lot of new faces on my team in entry-level positions,” Bobbie said. “What Zach did made a great impression on them and showed that doing a little extra can make a world of difference for your peers.”

There’s still some clean-up work left to finish up, but the hardest part is over. At the very least, Zach can say his part in this 230-page saga has almost come to an end.