Case Study
How BMO Offers a Competitive, Mission-Aligned HSA That Drives Cross-Sell and Increases Deposits

BMO Partnership Success Story

Bank Background

BMO is a community-focused, full-service bank committed to being “one bank” for their customers.

BMO is driven by a single purpose:

To boldly grow the Good in business and life, which extends beyond profit.

Kelly Turnquist serves as a Relationship Manager for BMO’s Bank at Work program, which offers group banking products and services, and financial education for employers and their employees. 

Turnquist explains BMO’s approach to serving their customers, “I always tell people that while we are a large bank, we really think of ourselves more as a community bank. Oftentimes I find that with larger banks, you can get lost in the shuffle. That's how I explain BMO: We are a large bank, but you will never feel like you're at a large bank with us.” 

For their customers, BMO strives to be “one bank,” that is to offer a full range of services and products that meet the needs of each customer. Theresa McKinney, National Sales Manager for BMO’s Bank at Work program explains that offering an HSA supports BMO’s mission of helping their customers make “real financial progress.” In looking for an HSA partnership solution, BMO needed to find a provider that understood their mission and could help them achieve their goals. 



Largest bank in North America holding assets worth USD $1,374B.



Customers receiving personal/commercial banking, global markets, and investment banking services


  • Kelly Turnquist, Relationship Manager, Bank at Work, BMO

  • Theresa McKinney, National Sales Manager, Bank at Work, BMO

Why BMO Bank at Work representatives love Lively

  • Meet diverse customer needs with an innovative HSA product that delivers exceptional service.

  • Naturally complementary product to cross-sell alongside Bank at Work’s suite of personal banking products and services, and financial education services.

  • Enablement support from Lively’s Business Development team to effectively sell HSAs.

The Challenge

Among a full-featured suite of banking products and services, an HSA that was previously limited.

Before working with Lively, BMO had offered an in-house HSA. However, it was limited, according to Turnquist, since it functioned like a checking account. It did not include a robust, easy-to-use user interface, comprehensive support, investment options, or dedicated educational resources for employers and employees that enable account holders to get the most out of this tax-advantaged account.

Turnquist explained, “It was literally just a product. There wasn't a lot behind it. We didn't really talk about the education piece. We would mention [to employers] that we could come during Open Enrollment or other meetings to discuss employee benefits. But it was kind of hard because there wasn't a lot to offer with it.”

BMO case study

The Goal

Build a mission-focused HSA that enables customer acquisition and cross-sell, and supports financial wellness.

Offering an HSA was not just about offering one isolated product.

Instead, BMO needed an HSA that helped them achieve their mission of being “one bank” for their customers# BMO needed an HSA that would enable Bank at Work team members to cross-sell to existing business customers or use it as a door opener with prospects.

Overall, BMO was looking for an HSA that enabled them to:

  • Gain a greater share of wallet with existing business customers.

  • Acquire new business that would eventually allow them to cross-sell other complementary banking products and services.

  • Offer a modern, accessible product that was easy-to-use for employers and account holders.

Turnquist explains that Bank at Work is “a financial wellness program that helps an [organization’s employee] with everything from everyday banking all the way through retirement. So the program’s primary goal is to work with companies and organizations, enroll them, and then get their employees to bank with BMO and use our financial products and education.”

Turnquist reflected on how HSAs are a natural complement to Bank at Work services and could help them fulfill their mission and achieve their goals. “We call ourselves a financial wellness program,” she explained. “An HSA fits in naturally because the [benefits administrator] we're talking to about enrolling their company in Bank at Work is the same individual we talk to about Health Savings Accounts and their benefits program.”


We have more to offer [customers]. When we think about banking, we talk about ‘one bank,’ often of being able to offer them everything. And the HSA piece was limited before.


Kelly Turnquist

Relationship Manager, Bank at Work, BMO

bmo color logo

The Lively Solution

A cobranded product experience that allows BMO to retain brand equity, and a partnership that positions them for revenue growth.

In partnership with Lively, BMO was able to offer a more competitive HSA that matched the high caliber of their other products. The BMO HSA, delivered by Lively, is powered by Lively’s proprietary technology and platform and industry-leading support, and enables BMO to retain core deposits and interchange revenue.

The Lively HSA experience is cobranded to BMO, ensuring a more cohesive customer experience from the dashboard down to the debit card. Lively’s platform offers easy-to-use dashboards, task automation, accessible and comprehensive support, educational resources for employers and employees, and two investment options from Charles Schwab and Devenir for account holders.

Proactive training, sales enablement, and prospecting support

Lively and BMO’s Bank at Work team collaborate on HSA training and development for BMO’s employees. Lively provides partner sales support, and HSA collateral they can take into their own meetings and conversations with prospects and clients. This helps the Bank at Work team to be better able to provide information about their HSA offering. Turnquist explained, “Before we just had to go off what we knew about HSAs. With Lively’s help, that’s changed because we have the resources and materials provided. It’s completely different.”

Lively training and development support makes serving customers easier

Lively’s partnership with BMO extends beyond the product. Even prior to launching the new product in the market, Lively’s dedicated team collaborated with the Bank at Work group to ensure that onboarding went smoothly and they had access to ongoing sales education and support. “Lively’s dedicated Partner Development Manager is always available, and was most helpful in ramping up on the product. She did such a great job and worked with our team in a way that was very seamless. So the easier it is for us to get ramped up, the easier we are able to make it for our customers,” explains Turnquist.

In addition, Lively offers partner sales support, and a Lively rep often joins BMO on sales calls to help explain and sell HSAs. Turnquist emphasized that in the past she had tried to take these kinds of sales calls with prospective companies on her own and having Lively’s support has been “a huge help.”

Empowering the internal team to be HSA advocates

The deep education and knowledge about HSAs that Lively provided the BMO teams has also extended throughout the bank. McKinney commented that some of the commercial bankers learned more about the full possibility of the HSA product for themselves as consumers. For example, according to McKinney, when one of BMO’s heads of commercial banking realized he could invest his HSA balance it was “life changing,” and he insisted that comprehensive education about HSAs be shared with the rest of the commercial banking team. McKinney explains, “If you can add a vehicle into your retirement portfolio, into your investment accounts, that’s a big deal. And a lot of us didn’t know that.”


Having different options for different clients, [individuals and employer groups] depending on their needs is really nice. The highlight is knowing that we can help everybody.


Kelly Turnquist

Relationship Manager, Bank at Work, BMO

bmo color logo

The Results

A competitive product and increased cross-sell opportunities

Not only has partnering with Lively enabled BMO to offer a competitive HSA, but it has also increased cross-sell opportunities for the Bank at Work team.

Partnering with Lively has helped BMO to further their mission of being “one bank” for their customers. Offering a best-in-class HSA has improved the overall customer experience because they are able to address the full spectrum of needs for each client, which includes the growing need for healthcare savings.

Turnquist noted, “We have more to offer [customers]. When we think about banking, we talk about ‘one bank,’ often of being able to offer them everything. And the HSA piece was limited before. So when we think about HSAs, it’s being able to say to our business banking or commercial partners that they have a partner here at the Bank that can help them with a broad range of needs. It definitely helped our ‘one bank’ approach.”

An HSA is a natural complement to BMO’s Bank at Work services and an opportunity to cross-sell to existing commercial customers or a door-opener for new prospects. Turnquist remarks, “For the financial education we provide, HSAs really complement it nicely. Because when I'm looking to work with a company, it's a little bit easier to say, ‘Hey, this is what I do, year round. I provide the education. I provide wellness for your employees. We provide banking benefits, account opening incentives, and a range of other benefits.”

Overall, working with Lively has enabled BMO to offer their customers an unrivaled HSA experience, and increase core deposits as Lively takes care of the heavy-lifting for their HSAs. About working with Lively, Turnquist notes that she likes “Everything about it. We had individual HSAs, we had the batch service, but it wasn't like it is now. Having different options for different clients, [individuals and employer groups] depending on their needs is really nice. The highlight is knowing that we can help everybody.”

With the BMO HSA, delivered by Lively, employer groups have access to a robust dashboard that simplifies the processes of employee enrollment, contributions, and overall program management. Individuals who are not affiliated with an employer also have access to a modern dashboard and mobile apps that make it easy to meet their financial goals with an HSA.

About BMO

BMO Financial Group is the eighth largest bank in North America by assets, with total assets of $1.3 trillion as of January 31, 2024. Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a diverse team of highly engaged employees providing a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management, global markets and investment banking products and services to 13 million customers across Canada, the United States, and in select markets globally. Driven by a single purpose, to Boldly Grow the Good in business and life, BMO is committed to driving positive change in the world, and making progress for a thriving economy, sustainable future, and inclusive society.

About Lively

Lively is the health and lifestyle benefits platform that works the first time, every time. Our solutions are designed to take the guesswork out of managing benefits and drive efficiency for you and your teams. Our innovative platform is grounded by your everyday needs and circumstances. By combining robust features with unparalleled service, we make maximizing your benefits is as simple as it should be.


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Banking products are subject to approval and are provided in the United States by BMO Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Health Savings Accounts, delivered by Lively are provided by Lively Inc. and are subject to their approval. Lively Inc. is not affiliated with BMO Bank N.A. Various investment options are provided through Lively Inc.; fees may apply. Investments are: NOT FDIC INSURED – NOT BANK GUARANTEED – NOT A DEPOSIT – MAY LOSE VALUE. Investment options for HSAs in the custody of Lively, Inc. are provided by Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and Devenir, LLC; fees may apply. Investments are: NOT FDIC INSURED – NOT BANK GUARANTEED – NOT A DEPOSIT – MAY LOSE VALUE. Charles Schwab and Lively are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other's services or policies. Schwab Health Savings Brokerage Accounts are offered through Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (Member SIPC), the registered broker/dealer, which also provides other brokerage and custody services to its customers. See the Charles Schwab Pricing Guide for Health Savings Accounts for full fee and commission schedules. Devenir Investment Advisors, LLC, is a registered investment advisor and affiliated company of Devenir, LLC. Devenir, LLC together with Devenir Investment Advisors, LLC and Lively are separate and unaffiliated firms, and are not responsible for each other’s services or policies.