Meet The Digital Finalists For The 2022 Innovation Series

This year’s digital solutions provide inventive ways for credit unions to serve members.

 

 

Think of it as Shark Tank, but with a credit union spin — and it’s just been renewed for another season.

The 2022 Innovation Series from CreditUnions.com and Callahan & Associates is underway. Every year since 2018, this series has offered a select group of suppliers 10 minutes each to impress an audience of credit union decision-makers. It’s simple: Each vendor pitches its offerings and attendees vote on their favorites.

The Innovation Series was a hit from the get-go and continues to grow in popularity. This year’s focus areas include digital solutions, lending, and member experience.

Read on for more from this year’s digital finalists, then click here to register for the webinar.

DIGITAL: ALACRITI

Describe your innovation.

Mark Ranta, Payments Practice Lead, Alacriti

Mark Ranta: Alacriti’s Orbipay Platform is an innovative payments platform built from the ground up to deliver agile, modern payments solutions while providing a future-proof platform for innovation. The Orbipay Platform powers a variety of modern money movement services including: loan pay, A2A transfers, digital payouts, new account funding, and real time payments. Built on leading cloud services including Amazon Web Services, the Orbipay Platform delivers the highest standards of availability, resiliency, and industry-leading security. Featuring a RESTful API-driven, ISO-20022 based, microservices architecture, and based on ISO 20022 standards, Orbipay’s flexible framework allows for simple integration with commonly used financial systems including: digital banking, fraud and risk management services, and core banking systems. This allows credit unions to affordably offer a consistent, modern payment experience across all channels.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

MR: Evolving digital customer service expectations are raising the bar for how companies deliver products and services to their customers, and that includes payments. Complex legacy infrastructures make it extremely challenging for credit unions to evolve their member experiences at the speed of technology. Our solutions provide a path forward by facilitating fast and simple delivery of modern payments experiences that today members demand, without expensive upgrades to current systems. Our solutions help credit unions facilitate: members getting their paychecks faster/in real time, intuitive and personalized 24/7 member service through an AI chatbot, and modern payment options such as Amazon Alexa, pay by text, or Facebook Messenger.

How does it increase member value?

MR: Overall, the expectations for increasingly modern digital payment and money movement capabilities and experiences are accelerating. Many of today’s financial institutions are not keeping up with these expectations. This gap allows digital wallet providers, challenger banks, and fintechs to succeed in the market. Their business models enable them to quickly deliver the innovation consumers expect—and already receive—across all their digital interactions. Intuitive, seamless, and modern user experiences are no longer "nice to haves".

The Orbipay Platform enables credit unions to not only deliver the most modern experience possible but continue to do so as new payment rails and technology become available. A "modern experience" can mean many things, but overall they make the member’s life easier. Convenient loan payments means offering as many payment options as possible — mobile, web, IVR, agent, walk-in, Facebook Messenger, or intelligent assistants. This includes payment methods, such as ACH and card payments, as well as payment options such as one-time-recurring and autopay. It’s important to enable consumers to manage and pay their bills all in one place within their existing digital banking channels. Options should include one-time or recurring, immediate, scheduled next day, or a day in the future. Members want access to their credit union accounts, their digital wallets such as Venmo, in a consistent, repeatable and easy-to-use format. They need to be able to move money effortlessly and securely between their accounts, regardless of financial institution, with one-time or recurring, immediate, same day or next date, or future date options.

Orbipay delivers a holistic money movement platform that can meet the needs of any money movement use case. Designed to bring the power of the experience back to the credit union, Orbipay brings access to multiple clearing and settlement systems to answer the money movement needs of the member. Whether the need is loan repayment, external or internal money movement such as A2A, account funding services or disbursements, Orbipay brings the power of money movement to the credit union to simplify the current offerings or bring new products and services quickly to market and create not only better member experiences but drive new revenue opportunities. In addition to thinking about new product and service offerings to members, real-time payments can also offer differentiation based on increased operational efficiency and reduced costs.

Within the current ACH framework, when a bill is paid or money is transferred from person to person or account to account, once the “send” button is pressed, there are many stops along the payment’s route that neither members nor credit union staff have visibility into before the money reaches its intended destination. This lack of visibility not only creates discomfort for members, driving calls into sending and receiving institutions, it also places the credit union in the uncomfortable position of not being able to explain exactly where the member's payment is either until it is received by the next destination in the system.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

MR: Our nimble, responsive architecture enables us to support rapid payment innovation and quickly deliver new faster payment services. Our technology is powered by AI to make payment experiences smarter and more intuitive. Our clients frequently compliment us on the quality of our customer service, monthly roadmaps, and fast implementation times. Our cloud-forward business model includes pricing that scales with usage, eliminating the need for significant upfront capital investments.

DIGITAL: ALOGENT

Describe your innovation.

Dede Wakefield, CEO, Alogent

Dede Wakefield: NXT is a unified online, mobile, and digital banking platform with integrated capabilities for consumers and businesses. Its single platform employs the most rigorous security and permission-based framework to protect credit unions and their members – without compromising user experience. Built from the ground up on a modern tech stack, its open and API-based platform is scalable and configurable, paired with hundreds of pre-built configurations to leading industry solutions. NXT’s added SDK offering allows for even more flexibility and customization to address unique institutional needs and goals. NXT’s robust out-of-the-box features allow for a fast go-to-market, including its personal financial management (PFM), personal insights, gamification, and SMB tools, all keeping members engaged and in-solution.

Employees benefit too with permission-based access and visibility into robust data that can be applied to personalization campaigns, promotional messages, or product improvements – such as insights around user journeys, feature adoptions, transaction trends, and more.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

DW: Members want choice and convenience, and to be ‘more than just a number,’ while institutions today are working hard to keep account holders in-house due to the rise of market entrants. NXT allows credit unions to offer robust but secure, intuitive tools that support members through the digital channels they wish to bank, increasing engagement and ultimately, institutional loyalty. With its complete digital ecosystem of capabilities, the platform is sticky and keeps members engaged with features like campaigns, product recommendations, and financial advice – all backed by user behavior data for enhanced personalization. With this added level of member service, similar to that in a branch, members leverage additional service offerings, keeping them loyal to their credit union through an established, trusted relationship. In addition to driving engagement, NXT’s single platform for consumers and businesses allows credit unions to deploy a unified solution and eliminate pain points of a two-system approach. For credit unions that leverage more than one Alogent solution across their institution, added flexibility and interoperability across the entire suite can be seen.

How does it increase member value?

DW: Digital banking adoption rates confirm that members prefer the convenience of banking remotely – although their expectations around service levels and personalization closely match what they envision when in the branch. NXT offers a one-stop-shop for all things online, mobile, and digital banking – inclusive of consumer and business functionality through a simple, intuitive user journey. Through the same, secure platform, members gain access to tools that keep them engaged. Leveraging user behavior data and other insights, campaigns around complementary solutions, offerings based on their financial stories or life events, or educational content can be deployed – specific to the member and ultimately positioning the credit union as their trusted financial advisor.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

DW: NXT is a unified solution built around customer feedback and market best practices, leveraging the most modern tech stack to address member needs today and well into the future. Its prioritization on the user journey makes it simple and intuitive to use, and built-in capabilities boosts engagement through data-backed features and personalization campaigns. With an open and API-based platform, NXT is scalable, configurable, and secure, paired with an SDK for added flexibility to address the unique needs and goals of credit unions and their members.

DIGITAL: DIGITAL ONBOARDING

Ted Brown, CEO, Digital Onboarding

Describe your innovation.

Ted Brown: The Digital Onboarding engagement platform was co-developed with DCU to turn account openers into fully engaged relationships. Email and texts link members to their personalized microsites. Self-service tools make it easy to adopt digital banking, enroll in direct deposits, and update default payment methods at merchants like Amazon and Venmo.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

TB: Checking accounts are key to household relationships - if you get onboarding right. It costs credit unions hundreds of dollars just to acquire a checking account. Yet, 25% - 40% of checking accounts are closed within the first year. When those accounts are acquired online, first-year attrition rates can be north of 80%. Credit unions still rely on tactics like paper welcome kits, direct mail, and phone calls to motivate new members to engage. Traditional tactics are expensive and ineffective. Generic marketing automation systems can be incredibly complex, and they aren't built for the needs of most credit unions. The Digital Onboarding platform helps credit union members fully activate and use the products they just opened, and it helps credit unions deliver relevant, personalized cross-sell offers that convert. The largest banks and neobanks are winning the race to acquire retail banking relationships. Credit unions should focus on driving organic growth by protecting their base and focusing on deepening existing member relationships.

How does it increase member value?

TB: When checking account holders actively use services like direct deposit and their debit cards, they are four times more likely to turn to your credit union when additional needs arise. And when they hold 3 or more products or more with your institution, they are ten times less likely to leave for a competitor.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

TB: The Digital Onboarding engagement platform was purpose-built to help credit unions deepen member relationships. Our library of pre-built, self-service tools help members:

  • Securely access their member numbers so they can enroll in services
  • Get the right mobile app for their devices
  • Enroll in direct deposits without having to contact HR
  • Update their default payment methods at multiple merchants simultaneously
  • And more.

The Digital Onboarding platform is easy to use, quick to implement, and fully supported by a dedicated team.

DIGITAL: JACK HENRY & ASSOCIATES

Describe your innovation.

Joshua Jordan, Senior Digital Advisor, Jack Henry & Associates

Joshua Jordan: The Banno Digital Toolkit(SM) opens up access to Jack Henry’s digital technology, empowering credit unions to innovate and deliver competitive services that differentiate them from megabanks and big techs alike. The Toolkit provides clients with Jack Henry’s API, design, and authentication frameworks, giving credit unions the freedom to work at their own pace, free from vendor restrictions or backlogs.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

JJ: In the past, credit unions relied on their digital banking providers to create customization and build third-party integrations, often incurring vendor expense and development delays to bring their desired digital experience to market. With the Banno Digital Toolkit, credit unions can now fully customize their digital banking services to meet the unique needs of their members on their own timeline, without sacrificing design or member experience.

How does it increase member value?

JJ: With the power to integrate or build virtually any fintech tool or service into the digital banking experience, credit unions can use the Banno Digital Toolkit to offer their members the most competitive and desirable features and functionality. Enabling credit unions to integrate or custom-build digital banking technology at will ensures that members can gain the experience they seek without turning to big techs or megabanks.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

JJ: The Toolkit provides clients with the same API the Banno Digital Platform(TM) is built on, which no other banking platform has done. Built using common programming languages and industry standards, the Toolkit – available at zero cost to the credit union – gives credit unions powerful optionality, making it easy for credit unions of any size to integrate with fintechs of choice or design custom-built functionality.

 

 

 

 

Jan. 31, 2022


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