Point of Innovation Magazine: BankTEL serves banks around the globe with innovative software solutions

BankTEL serves banks around the globe with innovative software solutions

By Becky Gillette

Employees with BankTEL Systems, a Columbus-based high-tech company that provides financial and cash management software to over 700 banks and credit unions in the U.S.
and overseas, used to travel frequently all over the country to visit clients and conduct onsite training.  Business and software upgrades were conducted by mail and express delivery resulting in $800 monthly FedEx bills.

At the time, Boyce Adams, BankTEL’s president and CEO, traveled widely meeting with existing and potential customers. Today, 80 percent of the company’s work is conducted electronically, cutting travel costs considerably. Classes to introduce software and software updates are taught via webinars and online tutorials. Software updates are sent electronically and service calls are handled over the internet. Shipping costs have dropped to virtually zero while the company continues to grow.

“It just saves a lot of time and hassle,” Adams said. “Everything we do is electronic. Our contracts are electronic. Our invoices are electronic. E-mail is an important component of it. All our software is on the web. Our sales support is on the web. Financial accounting is on the web. We can run our company from anywhere.”

The type of software provided by the company consists of cash management functions, including escrow management, accounts receivable processing, lock box proceedings and financial accounting solutions such as accounts payable, prepaid accrual, fixed asset accounting, shareholder management and a solution to manage employee expense reports.

The company has thrived by providing custom designed software for a niche market.  BankTEL started in 1991 from a regional accounting firm, T.E. Lott.

“We have financial institutions ranging from small community banks to multi-billion-dollar holding companies,” Adams said. “One of our biggest markets is in the Northeast corridor, places like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.”

When the company started in 1991, there were 18,500 banks nationwide, and now there are less than 8,500 – a large consolidation.

“With some of the largest banks in trouble now, it provides
a unique environment where automation and efficiency are vital,” said Adams’ older son, Boyce Adams Jr., who recently became BankTEL’s vice president of marketing. “Additionally, there are many banks that still have solid fundamentals and continue to provide a crucial service in the community.”

BankTEL manages installations and data conversions using WebEx.  There are advantages to both sides in using remote electronic customer service from the main office in Columbus. It saves a lot of time, not to mention travel costs. Even brochures are no longer mailed out. Brochures in a PDF format can be downloaded from their website.

Adams and his family enjoy small-town life in Columbus.

“That is why we haven’t left Mississippi. We like it here. We can compete against the best companies in the country. We do well against a lot of the larger technology companies,” said Adams.

Despite their success, Adams said few people outside of banking have probably heard of the company.

“Nobody really knows a lot about us,” Adams said. “We do a lot of business with banks in Mississippi, but we are nationwide. We have been doing this since 1991 and have grown by reputation. We get recommended a lot now.”

BankTEL has been one of Mississippi’s best kept secrets.  With a growing client base and reputation, they won’t be a secret for long.