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Jake Fowler

Preparing your customers for digital banking during and post COVID-19 restrictions

Recorded On: 05/13/2020



Kirk Benson, SVP, CBB Business Digital Officer U.S. Bank
Brandon Horbowicz, Vice President, Senior Sales Strategy Manager, M&T Bank
Christian Gregory, VP, Commercial Digital Products, People's United Bank

Moderator, Steve Frook, SVP Sales, Horizn


As the world responds to the crisis, digital banking has moved from being a nice-to-have to the primary way to do banking. Customer digital behaviors, needs, and expectations have changed overnight. Banks are now helping their customer digital banking needs amid branch closures, call center increased wait times, and financial crisis. 

Most financial institutions across the globe have responded to COVID-19 social distancing with carefully crafted customer communications as related to digital banking. Much is being devoted to supporting each bank’s digital capabilities and encouraging usage. Nearly every institution in the world suddenly has two near-term goals that are likely long-term goals as well.

  • Get the non-digital customers banking digitally from home
  • Get the active digital users to more broadly leverage the bank’s digital assets

During this discussion, we’ll share examples and best practices from several banks on how they handled customer digital banking in response to the COVID-19 crisis. These banks will also discuss how they are looking at re-entry and post-crisis digital banking opportunities as related to overall digital banking and adoption.


  1. Supporting both non-digital customer basic digital banking needs and helping existing digital customers more broadly leverage all the bank's digital capabilities.
  2. How banks are supporting customer digital banking needs by distributing digital product knowledge into bank websites, support pages, digital marketing, and email campaigns.
  3. How contact centers are using both employee and customer digital education to reduce call center volumes and help colleagues quickly answer how-to digital questions.
  4. An open discussion on re-entry and post-COVID-19 implications as related to digital banking.


  1. Best practices from three banks on how they immediately handled customer digital banking in response to COVID-19.
  2. How to create sustainable support for digital banking adoption with both non-digital banking customers and digital natives.
  3. What re-entry and post COVID-19 digital banking change might look like?

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Kirk Benson

SVP, CBB Business Digital Officer, U.S. Bank

As part of the Omnichannel team, Kirk Benson leads Customer Digitization for U.S. Bank and is head of its Digital Enablement Agile Studio where he drives strategic execution across customer and frontline engagement. He is focused on transforming customer behavior and building loyalty by humanizing digital tools, so customers used them to improve day to day lives.

Before joining U.S. Bank, Kirk spent 15 years in Digital, Product and Finance leadership positions at Royal Bank of Scotland, Citizens Bank and Ernst & Young. Kirk is a proud fighting terrier with a BA from Boston University, and enjoys exploring the California coastlines around San Francisco with his wife Courtney and dog Wrigley.

Brandon Horbowicz

Vice President: Senior Sales Strategy Manager, M&T Bank

Brandon Horbowicz leads the Retail Education & Behavior Change Team at M&T Bank. Brandon has 14 years of banking experience, and his current responsibilities include managing an agile team which focuses on creating & deploying interactive, micro-learning education for the M&T branch teams. In addition, Brandon’s team will redesign how we onboard new employees to ensure they are ready to perform & grow in their roles. Prior to this role, he has held multiple positions at M&T including leadership positions in Retail Risk, Business Banking, Marketing, and analytics.

 Brandon earned his undergraduate degree in Business Management concentrating in Management Information Systems from the University of Buffalo. When he’s not at the office, Brandon loves to travel, attend sporting events, & spend time with his wife Shannon.

Christian Gregory

VP, Commercial Digital Products, People's United Bank

Christian Gregory is a Vice President of Digital Products at People’s United Bank, N.A., a diversified financial services company with approximately $59 billion in assets, with retail locations in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. During his nearly two-decade tenure at People’s United, Christian has led or has played an integral role in the Bank’s consumer and business digital products and 10 bank acquisition activities. With a background in consumer and business digital, Christian recently led the implementation of the Digital Learning platform, which has seen nearly 95% adoption to the targeted internal audience. Christian’s current mandate is to lead the Bank’s strategic initiatives in the business web and mobile space.

Outside of the office, he is the youngest of 4 children and resides in Milford, CT. Christian is a dedicated father to his son and daughter traveling nearly every weekend to attend their baseball, softball or basketball games.

Steve Frook

SVP, Sales, Horizn

Steve Frook is the VP Sales at Horizn and focused on working closely with financial service companies to significantly increase adoption/awareness of new and existing innovation.   

His natural ability to quickly understand financial institution challenges and ideate collectively towards a solution makes Steve the ideal individual to work with.

Steve has over 15 years of financial services experience across multiple facets, including; Price Optimization (Nomis Solutions), Ecommerce Fraud Prevention (Ethoca), Credit Decisioning (Dun and Bradstreet), and Electronic Payments (AutoScribe Corporation).


05/13/2020 at 11:30 AM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/13/2020
05/13/2020 at 11:30 AM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 05/13/2020