Digital Innovation: Native American Bank Introduces Mobile App & More Tech-Forward Solutions

As President and CEO Thomas Ogaard has emphasized to us, Native American Bank is committed to being forward-thinking in Indian Country, as well as in the banking industry at large. 

“I see technological innovation as being a key component to what we do,” Ogaard previously told Native Business. “…We intend to keep up with the technology and be relevant in our space — not only in Indian Country but in the banking environment overall.”

READ MORE: Growth Spurt: Native American Bank Opens Doors to New Headquarters & First Branch in Colorado 

And that’s exactly what the only national American Indian-owned certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) in the country is doing, most recently by debuting a mobile app and offering the opportunity to open a new account digitally. This expands on the online and mobile banking platforms introduced in October 2018

“For many of our customers and prospects, it’s easily a 60-mile round trip to the branch, making it difficult and inconvenient to complete their banking needs. …I’m proud to say that today, financial services are more readily available to the Native American community than ever before,” Ogaard said. 

The bank once again chose Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. to carry it into the future. “We already partnered with Jack Henry for our core, so we were confident that the company’s combination of modern technology, open culture, and exceptional, reliable service would make them the ideal fit to further our mission,” Ogaard added. 

Last year, Native American Bank opened a new branch in the heart of Denver, which offers a “technology bar” of self-service stations, including tablets. Native American Bank’s mobile app was a natural progression of that. 

The new digital tools offer both self-service and banker assisted services. Customers and prospects will be able to open new accounts in minutes, and service representatives can meet more complex needs from any location.

An expert in lending on trust lands, Native American Bank provides comprehensive banking services to a community often overlooked by traditional financial institutions: Native Americans. 

The bank formed in 2001, when many of its initial Tribal and Alaska Native Corporation (ANC) investors purchased Blackfeet National Bank in Browning, Montana, with the aim of turning it into the only national Native-owned bank. Headquartered in Denver, Native American Bank still operates the original bank in Montana. The Denver branch, opened in October 2019, marks its second retail branch, and its first in Colorado.

Today owned by 33 investors, including 30 Tribes, Tribal enterprises and ANCs, the bank is committed to supporting the economic growth of Native communities, though it’s not exclusive to Indian Country.

“Native American Bank is really a designated, mission-oriented financial institution,” Ogaard previously told Native Business. “Our goal is to serve Indian Country and Alaska Natives, individuals and entities. …Like other Native entities, we (also) seek to serve the general population as a whole. Our goal is to bring those revenue streams back to the bank for our shareholders — 30 of whom are Tribes or Tribal corporations.”

READ MORE: Native American Bank Issues Millions of Dollars in Small Business Loans, More to Come

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