Regional and community banks and credit unions are the fabric of many towns and cities across the country. These institutions have history and relationships in the communities they serve that can span generations.
But tech advances have raised the bar for consumer expectations. Digital services like mobile banking and automatic bill pay have created a great experience for banking customers. And these services have traditionally been available to only the largest financial institutions with big software development teams.
Enter Narmi, a six-year-old startup providing a fintech platform that community financial institutions can use to bring these same cutting edge services to their own communities.
Not only is Narmi helping these traditional institutions serve modern consumer needs, they’re delivering value and feature improvements at a rapid pace. All the while building customer trust by using LaunchNotes to communicate product updates.
The New York-based company provides a mobile, online, and digital account banking platform to regional and community financial institutions. The company closed a $35 million Series B funding round in June 2022 and has raised about $58 million to date.
“Today, financial institutions have little choice but to offer intuitive, feature-rich, and well-designed digital platforms to consumers and businesses,” Co-Founder Nikhil Lakhanpal told TechCrunch. “Narmi addresses this need through its API-driven platform that grants financial institutions access to Narmi’s many products to drive growth, deposits, and cost efficiencies.”
With a staff of almost 100 and many trail-blazing customers, Narmi is off to an impressive start.
But in the banking world: speed of technological innovation can be a new concept.
With roots in SaaS and agile software development, Narmi’s team is consistently shipping new features, enhancements, and bug fixes. This development pace is an eye-popping value proposition in the world of traditional banking—which is more used to annual waterfall releases and complicated “everything at once” updates, said Audrey Song, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Narmi.
Song and the Narmi team quickly realized that this pace of development could be something that might not only delight current customers, but attract new ones.
“That unlocked this idea that we can use our release process as a marketing driver,” Audrey said.
The question became how. An initial effort using basic plain text emails was well received, but didn’t have the marketing polish Audrey and team were looking for. Using their marketing automation tool definitely improved the quality. Still there were gaps. Sending a new marketing email for every small update was a burdensome process. And once the emails were sent, customers had no dedicated page to come to in order to see a chronological list of all updates. They considered the company blog for this, but quickly realized posting every update could distract from the blog as whole.
When the Narmi team found LaunchNotes, they knew they’d finally found the single source of truth hub for product updates that they were looking for.
Among the features that stood out: an embeddable announcement widget, enterprise-grade branding and customization, and an intuitive, easy-to-use platform.
They rolled out the page to all their customers. And all new Narmi customers are signed up to the page as part of their onboarding experience.
Today Narmi communicates product updates through LaunchNotes once or twice every month—anything from new features to redesigns and overall enhancements.
“We want financial institutions to know that when they partner with Narmi, they are getting a future-proof digital banking experience,” Audrey said. “And you can trust that our developers and designers are going to constantly innovate.”
“The beauty of LaunchNotes is that we can really showcase the pace of innovation you can get with Narmi.”
Since using LaunchNotes, Narmi has been able to greatly save time by streamlining part of the release process. This efficiency positively impacts the marketing team, as well as product management and product ops.
On top of the time savings, customers and prospects are delighted by the speed of innovation put on display using LaunchNotes. This has helped create an across-the-board, positive impact on key revenue metrics like win rates, sales cycle length, and cross-sells.
“LaunchNotes has definitely helped us increase sales velocity,” Audrey said. “By getting these updates in front of potential customers, we’ve been able to close deals faster and more frequently.”