The Society of Innovators at Purdue Northwest honored Centier Bank at its 2020 Innovator Awards for the creation of its prize-linked savings account app, Billinero, which launched in August 2019 to promote positive savings habits and offers users a chance at cash prizes.
The Innovator Awards are an annual ceremony where The Society of Innovators inducts teams and individuals who created projects that are not only unique in their vision, but also provide measurable good to people and the community. Centier Bank’s team of honorees included Chris Campbell, Senior Partner at Centier Bank and Executive Vice President of Billinero; Susan Griffin, Retail Marketing Manager at Centier Bank and Billinero Project Manager; Jessica Cantarelli, Public Relations nd Communications Manager at Centier Bank; Don Baker, Senior Partner and Chief Information Officer at Centier Bank; and Marci Arroyo, Technical Project Manager at Centier Bank.
“We really wanted to create a product that benefits our clients, and could help everyone get in the habit of saving money,” Baker said. “We wanted it to be digital, we wanted it to be mobile, and it needed to be fun, simple, and easy to use. We really think we hit all of those marks with Billinero.”
Arroyo noted that Billinero is an ideal demonstration of Centier Bank’s unique approach to innovation.
“You’re always trying to find ways to be better, and make people see things in a different light,” Arroyo explained. “That’s exactly what Billinero is geared towards. It’s about finding ways to get people to save, be better, and keep moving forward while staying up-to-date with how things are changing in the world.”
Although Billinero is now helping people across 12 different states, it was developed here in Northwest Indiana.
“There’s a lot of innovation, a lot of creativity that is still happening right in our backyard,” said Jason Williams, Managing Director of the Society of Innovators. “This is our opportunity to shine a spotlight on all of that creativity and leadership. This is still a place where people are innovating and showing leadership in so many different fields. We want to help spread these honoree’s stories.”
Thomas Keon, Purdue Northwest Chancellor, noted that innovators such as those as Centier Bank have an increasingly important role to play in the Region.
“We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and there are many things that have had to change in our world, be it the way we deliver a class or spend time with friends,” he said. “This is an extraordinarily different time, and those different times bring out innovation. We’re at a point in time where people are understanding that for Northwest Indiana to go forward and become a strong economic entity.”
For Centier Bank, the Society of Innovators’ recognition felt fitting because Billinero is more than a new service—it marks a new phase in their history.
“Centier Bank is synonymous with Northwest Indiana, a longstanding institution with 125 years of family ownership and business,” Cantarelli said. “This is one way we’re celebrating that milestone, by looking into the future of banking, the future of the Region, and how we can contribute. It’s been an honor and thrill to be a part of this team, and to receive this recognition.”