In what seems like a quick time span, consumer banking has transformed from standing in line at 4:00 p.m on Friday to cash your paycheck to using an ATM card to retrieve cash to snapping a photo of a check with your smartphone to make a deposit without leaving the comfort of your home.
Dan DeCosta, CCB ’05, has witnessed this rapid change first-hand at BayCoast Bank. DeCosta started working at BayCoast Bank as a summer intern while in high school in 2001. His assignment was to scan signature cards. When he diagnosed and fixed a coworker’s computer faster than IT technicans could, he earned himself a role at the bank that has lasted for 17 years.
DeCosta continued working at BayCoast Bank while he pursued his degree in business information systems at the Charlton College of Business. After graduation in 2005, De Costa joined BayCoast Bank full-time as a network administrator and earned several promotions in the IT department that expanded his role. In 2016, he added the responsibility of e-commerce and information systems to information technology. DeCosta now serves as senior vice president and chief information officer at BayCoast Bank, headquartered in Swansea, MA.
As a student, DeCosta often found himself involved in projects at work that went beyond his courses. He credits Professor Timothy Shea, DBA, with helping him take course content to the next level and incorporate his work at BayCoast into his class assignments. “My final project senior year was based on the network conversion I was working on at the bank,” DeCosta said. “Being able to apply my work to my courses really helped me to gain an edge and develop my role at BayCoast.”
Now, as chief information officer, DeCosta is charged with preparing BayCoast for the future of consumer banking. Staying on top of advances in technology and security, is at the top of the list. “It’s my goal to introduce technology to the business that make our employees’ jobs easier and improve our customers’ experience.”
The challenge, DeCosta says, is staying educated on services and applications that are available today. Evaluating a new technology for its future functionality and its value to the entire company is key to determining what is introduced. “We’re moving toward a more integrated world, not just in finance, so I always think about how individual applications connect to create a positive tech experience for its users, both our employees and customers.”
In a time when automated services seem to be taking over everyday tasks, implementing new technologies that don’t eliminate people, but enhance their roles are critical to customer-focused businesses. “We are a community bank and providing exceptional customer service is our goal. To do that, we need the right people in place, whether it is to speak with a customer at a branch, or to support an application on the back end,” DeCosta said.
BayCoast recently introduced interactive teller machines (ITM)—innovative electronic banking machines that allow a customer to speak to a live bank employee through a video monitor and process transactions that would normally require a trip to a bank branch to complete.
“ITMs are a great example of introducing technology that combines the convenience of an ATM with the personal service of going to a branch for improved customer service,” DeCosta said. “We can offer more services at an ITM than just withdrawing or depositing money, while replicating that face-to-face service experience.”
DeCosta has been an integral part of managing the technology changes at BayCoast Bank that position the company for the future. Since the days of scanning signature cards nearly two decades ago, he’s picked up a few skills that haved him invent his own future: be proactive and accept change.
“Never sit back and just wait for the next task; propose your new ideas,” DeCosta said. “Always remember that because this is what you know today doesn’t mean that there won’t be a new way to do it tomorrow.”