Best Practices for Online Account Application

As consumers demand greater convenience and faster services, the online channel evolves to provide all branch functions.




As consumers demand greater convenience and faster services, the online channel will evolve to provide all branch functions. You want to offer services that set you apart and attract new members.

How does your online channel measure up? Has it grown to be a true virtual branch?

Best Practices Evolving with Online Account Application:

Consider a new member’s first experience with your credit union when he makes an application to setup an account. Are you following the best practices in the industry?

Online Membership Automation Objectives:

Simple Workflow

Currently, a new member application is a time-consuming process for both the applicant and the branch or call center representative. The applicant must visit a branch or print, complete, and mail in forms. Then, this information must be manually entered into multiple systems by a representative. This process can be completely automated and carried out in real-time, online or in the branch or call center, offering faster service to your members.

Complete Back-End Integration

A common objection to automation of the account opening process is the concern for security. However, each new applicant must undergo stringent ID verification (including out-of-wallet questioning), guaranteeing the same level of security that a branch provides. Once an applicant provides his information, the following tasks are completed automatically:

  • Eligibility verification
  • ID verification including out-of-wallet questions
  • Patriot Act compliance
  • OFAC check
  • Credit score and credit report analysis
  • Account setup in core system
  • Online funding

The process also integrates a credit union’s business rules and offers online all the products available in the branch, allowing for effective cross-sell and up-sell.

How to Differentiate Your Credit Union with New Members

The final steps to your new member’s application process could determine what new additional relationships you may capture to improve your rating as the primary financial institution. Here are three areas to consider in your business strategy to push the right buttons with your new members:

  • Switch Kit: At the end of the application process, you can offer new members the opportunity to switch their direct deposits and automatic withdrawal accounts to your institution, as well as the option to close their accounts at other institutions. Helping each applicant with the necessary steps required to switch those relationships can greatly increase the number of new members who choose your institution as their primary financial institution.
  • Funds Transfer: With online account-to-account funds transfer, you can provide an easy method for your new and existing members to transfer money from their existing accounts at other institutions to yours.
  • Account Aggregation: Financial institutions can offer their members a powerful account aggregation service which allows them to collect all of their financial data and bill payments in one place, thus consolidating and simplifying their online experience at your site.

There hasn’t been an alternative – until now. Today’s new technology innovations for automating the new member and existing member processes have become a reality with excellent results. The uMonitor solution is recognized by industry leaders for delivering highly dependable services to meet credit union requirements. Tom Sargent, CEO of FirstTech Credit Union stated, “To provide our members the very best service, we depend on uMonitor financial technologies.”

For more information on the uMonitor services highlighted above and how they can be implemented at your credit union, please contact Richard Whiddon, Vice President, uMonitor, at (901) 757-1212 x 118 or visit




July 18, 2005


  • Very Timely Article
  • We are looking at solutions now. Great outline.
  • Extremely informative!