This article is part of the CreditUnions.com FinTech Series, a collection of original Q&As that celebrate advancements in financial technology. Learn how your organization can participate today.
Jeff Chambers, President, Lumin Digital
Lumin Digital is a wholly owned subsidiary of PSCU that pulled together veteran Silicon Valley developers and digital banking entrepreneurs to create a new mobile and online platform that seamlessly takes member engagement to new heights.
The platform centers on a proprietary engagement model that creates personalized, targeted, actionable interactions with the end user across all devices while using sophisticated development tools on the back end that accommodate automated continuous deployment of upgrades.
Lumin Digital was launched in April 2017 at PSCU’s client conference in St. Louis, MO, after 6 months of development at the company’s headquarters in San Ramon, CA, and is currently going live at a new credit union every three to five weeks.
Jeff Chambers, president of Lumin Digital, took the helm of the new firm in December 2016 after nearly 15 years in key leadership positions helping to develop and build the business for Architect Digital Banking and Alkami Technology.
Here he shares more about Lumin Digital.
Please describe Lumin Digital and its level of innovation.
Jeff Chambers: We started with a clean sheet after PSCU gave us the resources and freedom to pull together some of the most experienced and talented digital banking developers in the business.
We began by studying the underlying technologies of the leaders in digital personalization — think Amazon, Netflix, Google. Then we applied those learnings to create a cloud-based platform that uses real-time analytics and predictive capabilities to craft personalized experiences in the lobby, the call center, and any digital device.
We also use what we call micro-upgrades. We’ll push out these incremental improvements in ways that don’t cause any downtime or disruption for members or your back shop. One good example is eliminating the small deposits required to initiate pre-approved ACH withdrawals from a member account. Each improvement on its own is not that noticeable but over time, the evolution of the platform — its speed and user-friendliness — can be quite dramatic. We’re doing that with Lumin Digital.
What opportunities and challenges does Lumin Digital address?
JC: Credit unions put themselves and their members through costly, complex conversions to provide the best service and products possible, of course, and even then, often find themselves still challenged to provide a consistent, satisfying experience while dealing with different technology suppliers and platforms.
We eliminate that problem. It doesn’t matter if you’re using our application on an Android or iPhone a laptop or tablet, the experience is the same. Lumin Digital offers the ultimate in parity of experience and functionality and management of the system.
Add the speed and personalization our solution offers, along with our affordability and cost efficiency, and it’s something our credit union users love.
How does Lumin Digital help credit unions deal with marketplace disruption?
JC: We make it possible for credit unions to offer what fintechs and big banks do, despite having much fewer resources. Chase alone spent $11.4 billion on digital technology in 2018. Fintechs? Make that $112 billion! Credit unions, our entire industry, spent only $6 billion.
The result is a truly disruptive threat that’s showing up in critical areas, such as your lending portfolio. Business Insider reported in April that the credit union movement has lost 33% of its market share in personal lending since 2013. We’re losing that share to the SoFis of the world because of their marketing savvy and because of their technology.
Lumin Digital empowers your credit union to be as fast, agile, and user-friendly as any of your competitors. Our predictive tools identify marketing targets, and when it comes to execution, we remove the friction that an outdated technology stack creates between you and your end user.
How does Lumin Digital increase member value?
JC: When members are presented with targeted products and services – presented to them because our advanced analytics indicates they would benefit from what you’re offering – you’re increasing your value to those consumers.
You’re helping them save money, spend money wisely, make better decisions, improve their financial lives. That’s the traditional member value proposition credit unions have always offered, and Lumin Digital allows you to make it seamlessly happen in our digital age at whole new levels of personalization.
What differentiates you from your competitors?
JC: Credit unions — really, every financial institution — have a lot of choices when it comes to who will provide their technology and how they’ll serve their end users. Lumin Digital is already completely competitive on price and product, and our value continues to grow as we learn from our mistakes and successes alike.
That’s because our platform is built and enhanced by people empowered to be creative and free from the constraints of long development timelines that involve extraneous processes and multiple design review meetings.
You hire the right people and give them the freedom to do the right thing for the product and the customer and magic happens. We have that here.