Account aggregation technology was introduced to the credit union community with much fanfare several years ago. As recently as 2001, research firms predicted adoption rates of up to 19 million users nationwide by the end of this year. In contrast, the latest estimates are that only 3 million financial service customers will use it this year. Thus, aggregation has been generally perceived as failing to live up to its initial hype.
However, its future may be far from over, according to the high level of interest in aggregation shown by credit unions participating in a Callahan & Associates webinar last week. Seventeen credit unions from around the country gathered online last Tuesday to discuss the state of account aggregation within the credit union system. Three credit unions presented their experiences to date with aggregation, and offered advice to those considering the technology.
Sandra Sagehorn-Elliott, Member Relationship Manager with Bellco CU, has been encouraged by initial member response to their new second-generation aggregation service, called ''Total View.'' Within the first ten days of introduction, about 1000 members had aggregated at least one non-credit union account. In contrast, their previous aggregation solution had been poorly received when it was launched two years ago. According to Sagehorn-Elliott, ''We became disillusioned with the low adoption rate.''
Sagehorn-Elliott outlined several features of the new aggregation platform that she believes improved member adoption. With the old system, users needed to log in twice in order to reach their aggregated accounts - once to get into home banking, and a second time to get into the aggregation section. Total View allows members to view aggregated accounts via a single log-in point.
In addition, the new service allows members to link to the credit union's online bill payment solution, feed data to Bellco's online financial advice service, and transfer money between aggregated accounts. Explained Sagehorn-Elliott, ''This is a more actionable platform. Members seem really excited that it's so simple to use. The convenience will keep them coming back to the website.''
Want to learn more? Click here to order your CD-ROM copy of this Callahan & Associates event. If you missed the original broadcast, now's your chance to learn from the experiences of three leading credit unions - from the comfort of your office!