Apr 24 2019

The Benefits of SD-WAN for Banks and Credit Unions

Unlock more reliable and cost-effective connectivity at all branch locations with software-defined wide area networking.

In the age of digital transformation, it can be difficult for financial institutions to offer their business operations and customers the most value. Here’s an easy place to start: software-defined wide area networking. SD-WAN taps software to route a network connection through the fastest path across multiple connections — much like a navigation app helps you find the best route across town.

Virtualizing the network connection with SD-WAN reaps benefits, including offering connectivity a performance and efficiency boost while lowering overall costs. It also can prioritize traffic flow so mission-critical application data jumps to the head of the line.

While this technology is profitable for nearly all businesses, banks and credit unions especially see gains from it, particularly as they begin to move more tools and services to the cloud.

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SD-WAN Boosts Branch Location Connectivity

Why is this exactly? First and foremost, banks and credit unions often have several branch locations, and SD-WAN is particularly well-suited to simplify how businesses provision and manage networks across several locations.

At STAR Financial Bank, an Indiana-based community bank with 45 branch locations, the company looked to improve carrier redundancy and flexibility over its MPLS network, particularly as the number of local ISPs grew. By adopting VMware SD-WAN, STAR worked directly with the ISPs, which gave the organization increased control over its network, greater redundancy and more reliability, Brian Avery, systems and infrastructure manager for STAR, tells BizTech.

By adopting SD-WAN, the bank was able to “deliver a clean, continuous, always-available video connection to bring customer and banker together,” Avery says. “The increased reliability of our network ensures that when people visit a STAR location, they consistently receive the highest levels of service.”

MORE FROM BIZTECH: What banks need to know about email security.

Banks Make Space for Security, Compliance with SD-WAN

But banks often have security and compliance responsibilities other types of businesses do not. This was the case for North Carolina-based Entegra Bank, which recently tapped a Silver Peak SD-WAN solution in order to increase connectivity and reduce its bill by 50 percent, while simultaneously maintaining security regulations.

Because the bank has increased security and compliance regulations, it was able to maintain a secure connection via SD-WAN, in which “traffic from the branches is backhauled over an encrypted VPN to internal gateways, where a third-party security services provider monitors all traffic and enforces security policies,” Network World reports.

As banks and credit unions rocket into the future with advances like video, mobile banking and digital signage, reliable connectivity will prove key to maintaining a great in-branch experience for bank staff and customers everywhere. SD-WAN can be that key to unlocking reliability and offer a foundation for digital transformation.

This article is part of BizTech's EquITy blog series. Please join the discussion on Twitter by using the #FinanceTech hashtag.


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