Consumer expectations are changing faster than ever. Today people want a digitally connected, Amazon-like experience from their financial services providers. Speed-to-market with new products and services was once a differentiator; now it’s becoming table-stakes for credit unions wanting to compete with the mega-banks and the army of fintechs disrupting every link of the value chain. It’s both an exciting time and a challenging time for credit unions. These trends are fundamentally changing the industry and placing new demands on core account processing.
Credit unions are looking to gain the ability to quickly, easily, and cost-effectively tap into fintech advancements and move money and information in real-time. Verve, a Credit Union ($1.0B, Oshkosh, WI), Amplify Credit Union ($1.0B, Austin, TX) and Hawaii State Federal Credit Union ($1.7B, Honolulu, HI) discuss how they’re transforming their organizations to meet the challenges of today and tomorrow at three stages: selection, implementation, and innovation.
Selection: To address these challenges and opportunities, Verve selected DNA from Fiserv to automate processes and gain the flexibility to introduce new products and services at a faster rate and leverage leading-edge APIs to integrate fintech advancements to enhance member relationships and improve efficiency.
“We want to be in a position to offer our members services before they realize they need them. The open architecture of DNA provides us the flexibility to add third-party solutions quickly and efficiently,” said Karrie Drobnick, chief marketing and strategy officer with Verve. “Our selection of DNA was solidified by the strategic alignment we have with the Fiserv team. We have the same philosophies at the core of who we are.”
Conversion: Amplify converted to DNA on April 1, 2019. The team and the process they used to pursue the conversion turned out to be pivotal for the credit union. The Austin-based credit union understood doing a core conversion the right way required leadership buy-in to make the necessary investments. Nancy Ballman, Amplify’s chief operations officer, said, “We didn’t hire a consultant, give them a budget and walk away. Rather, we formed a conversion team from every department in the organization, worked closely with our consultant partners, and retained accountability.”
When the doors opened on April 1, Amplify was ready to serve members with virtually no service interruptions and the total project ended with those magic words everyone wants to hear: on time and under budget. Even better, the credit union emerged stronger because of it. Collaboration among the cross-functional conversion team tore down siloes and built a culture ready to leverage their new technology platform to transform their operations.
Amplify didn’t look at the core conversion as a one-and-done moment. Instead, it was considered the starting line for innovation for members. Thanks to the conversion, Amplify’s collaboration muscle is stronger than ever and that’s needed because tomorrow’s challenges for modern financial institutions aren’t getting any easier.
Innovation: Hawaii State FCU’s rapid growth led them to expand their branch network by leveraging new technology and cement their reputation as the Aloha State’s innovation leader.
“We viewed the new branch location as a test lab to implement and showcase innovative technology,” said Aaron Vallely, vice president of retail experience at Hawaii State. “Our design team decided to forgo the traditional teller line and instead installed interactive branch kiosks with biometric authentication and real-time integration to DNA.”
IBKs are self-service terminals allowing members to access all of their accounts, make loans payments, transfer funds, withdraw cash in multiple denominations and deposit up to 50 checks at a time. The credit union was first in Hawaii to deploy IBKs with Verifast palm vein biometrics. Members no longer need a card and PIN or account number; they can simply hold their palm over the Verifast device for instantaneous access to their accounts. The technology is convenient and secure, saving time on routine transaction processing and providing extra time for high-touch financial consultations.
More than ever before, credit unions need their core to play a critical role in enabling their strategies while enhancing the member experience and driving new revenue streams. Members are demanding more — and want it more quickly than ever before. As a result, credit unions must examine their core technology foundation to gain the openness and flexibility to deliver on the expectations of members who have an ever-expanding number of options to manage their financial relationships.
Dan McGowan is Vice President of Marketing for Fiserv.