In the old days, after making a loan a banker thumbed a locator
pin into a well-worn chamber of commerce street map on the wall. In
that clumsy fashion, two disparate pieces of information -- geography
and customer base -- came together.
That banker was soon staring at an untidy forest of pins that
indicated simply where the bank's money went. The map certainly
couldn't easily absorb new bits of information or reveal vital
marketing statistics about particular home owners.
In other words, if he wanted to launch an aggressive marketing
campaign to increase his loans made and target, say, all home owners
on Elm Street who have lived at their residences for more than 15
years, earning at least $50,000, he was out of luck.
Today such detailed searches are possible, with deft clicks of a
few computer buttons.
One software product aiming to ease bankers into the information
age fast lane is called BankVision. It marries ordinary street maps
to databases full of marketing and demographic data from the U.S.
Census Bureau and private vendors.
Without getting up out of their seats or having to page through
thick reference books, its users can examine the potential customers
in a market share area, by neighborhood or individual.
Norman businessman Randy Grissom has been working on selling
BankVision. He co-owns Tulsa-based XYZ Mapping, a small start-up
company founded in 1992. Its only employees are Grissom and his
three partners. They developed BankVision -- now being used by 15
banks in Oklahoma -- as well as other geographic information systems
for oil, gas and financial industries.
With BankVision, financial institutions can target their efforts
quite precisely, Grissom said.
"You wouldn't want to sell a $100,000 CD into a low-income housing
tract," he noted.
At the same time, the software can prevent banks from straying
afoul of a host of federal regulations that outlaw such practices as
redlining, or discriminating against customers based on where they
happen to live. A loan officer using BankVision, Grissom said,
doesn't have to ignore a neighborhood, but can focus on reaching the
best prospects there.
BankVision is actually a customization of a broad-based
application known as ArcView, developed by Environmental Systems
Research Institute, a leader in the sales of desktop mapping
software. One of Grissom's three partners, Mike Donaldson, designed
a special computer code to adapt ArcView for the banking industry.
The original ArcView, released about 1990, entered the market at a
pricey $10,000. …