Meet The Mobile Finalists For The 2021 Innovation Series

This year’s solutions allow credit unions to integrate functionalities and compete with big banks and fintechs alike.

 
 

Welcome to the fourth annual Innovation Series presented by CreditUnions.com. Every year, this series showcases how creative companies are helping to transform the credit union industry.

Read about the finalists by clicking on the links below.

This year, CreditUnions.com is spotlighting innovations in three categories — Mobile, Lending, and Member Experience — with entrants that represent a diverse group of longtime suppliers and startups, each with a compelling story to share about how credit unions can take service and technology to the next level.

The staff at CreditUnions.com looks forward to hosting the Innovation Series every year because we give the industry the power to choose our winners. Do your part today by reading about the finalists below. Then, watch the webinar and vote on your favorite.

MOBILE: Access Softek

Chris Doner, Founder and CEO, Access Softek

Please describe your innovation.

Chris Doner: Mobile Finance Manager (MFM) is a mobile app for digital banking that features mobile check deposit, camera-based bill pay, card management, money transfers, and PFM and financial health tools.

What opportunities or challenges does your innovation address?

CD: Texas Trust Credit Union ($1.5B, Mansfield, TX) has used Access Softek’s MFM solution to serve its 120,000 members since April 2020. Access Softek helped develop what TTCU calls its “Way to Pay” solution within its mobile app. There, borrowers can make payments, check loan balances, review payment history, and contact the credit union.

TTCU has a lot of indirect lending relationships, primarily financing auto loans through dealerships. The challenge with indirect lending is that it can be difficult to turn those borrowers into actively engaged primary financial institution relationships. By creating Way to Pay, TTCU now has a channel in which to engage these potential members and show off the cooperative’s digital capabilities.

By working with Access Softek, TTCU was able to personalize its mobile solution to meet the unique needs of its specific borrowers. By making the payment process easy for indirect borrowers, TTCU was able to draw potential members in and form relationships in a unique way.

The credit union’s ability to provide one-stop, 24/7 services has helped grow loans by 12% while expanding overall.

How does your innovation increase member value for client credit unions?

CD: MFM is highly configurable and can be customized to meet the unique needs of any credit union, creating an app that works best for the institution and its users. Especially during the pandemic, it’s important that borrowers can manage their finances and contact credit union staff, even when they do not have access to a branch or are not willing to visit one for safety reasons.

What differentiates your innovation from competitors?

CD: We focus on helping our credit union partners grow their relationships with their members. That starts with providing a modern, secure, and convenient user experience that helps foster the member relationship throughout the member’s financial journey. Our MFM mobile app is highly configurable and can be customized to meet the unique needs of any credit union, creating an app that works best for the institution and its users.

Watch the mobile finalists for the 2021 Innovation Series talk about their solutions. Register today. Voting opens after the webinar.

 REGISTER ToDAY

MOBILE: BankingON

Thomas Heatherly, Director of Growth, BankingON

Please describe your innovation.

Thomas Heatherly: BankingON’s mobile platform transforms credit unions into mobile technology brands by leveraging proven best practices in intuitive UI/UX design, API connectivity, and smartphone functionality in a collaborative vendor relationship that is hyper-focused on the mobile member experience.

None of the fancy chatbots, blockchain bells, AI whistles, or shiny penny PFMs can compare to the impact BankingON delivers by executing basic mobile banking to perfection.

Credit unions like Affinity Plus FCU and WECU have partnered with BankingON to differentiate their offering to deliver a full-featured, mobile-first experience that prioritizes their brand beyond just colors and logo.

USALLIANCE Financial Credit Union also put its own twist on BankingON’s platform to deliver a single-product offering to deliver on its vision for Dora, a CUSO that will be the first bilingual neo-bank powered by the cooperative values of the credit union movement.

What opportunities or challenges does your innovation address?

TH: Winning on mobile requires a dedicated approach and deep UI/UX expertise because consumers are no longer fooled by mobile web apps that pretend to be native apps. A native mobile banking app is the only way to compete for mobile users and provide a premium brand experience that is on par with big banks and fintechs.

Mobile banking is a journey, not just a destination. On this journey, a member-centric experience is everything. By providing the agility to integrate new mobile-centric solutions and innovate outside of vendors’ roadmaps, the BankingON mobile platform is helping credit unions break free from limitations to modernize their legacy infrastructure for the mobile channel.

How does your innovation increase member value for client credit unions?

TH: The BankingON mobile platform unifies vendors into one seamless brand interface that hides all the back-end complexity and front-end friction so members can have an easy and intuitive banking experience.

Consumers no longer go searching for products or services at physical locations, and they expect every mobile experience to be similar to Amazon and Uber. BankingON helps credit unions adapt to this fundamental shift by mapping member expectations and integrating member experiences.

For example, most credit unions have card controls and card accounts either in separate places on an app or within a completely separate app. Yet, members think of the card and account as the same thing. BankingON is able to blend both these realities into a mobile journey that eliminates disconnect between credit unions and members.

For USALLIANCE’s Dora project, BankingON also is pioneering an account opening process with dual-language support and an integrated native mobile onboarding journey that features membership application, account opening and switching, and an onboarding checklist that allows members to set up direct deposit and unlock an early payday feature offered to qualifying members.

What differentiates your innovation from competitors?

TH: Sitting at the crux between generic black-box platforms and mobile app development studios, BankingON is filling a gap in the market that other vendors are unwilling or unable to support.

As an organization focused on design and engineering, BankingON is optimized around product and service, not profit and sales. BankingON’s CEO spent more than a decade in Silicon Valley creating consumer mobile apps for the largest technology companies and entertainment brands in the world, so we intimately know what the mobile product needs to be and how to deliver it successfully.

Our credit union clients are the experts. We look to them to influence our roadmap, which means they don’t have to wait on the innovations needed to compete. And as a collaborative partner, BankingON provides value-added advice to help credit unions maximize the impact from existing vendors and optimize resources to achieve strategic roadmap objectives.

BankingON also continues to invest in the platform. Early in 2020, we released a fully redesigned mobile front-end that was the first mobile banking platform to use Google’s revolutionary cross-platform UI SDK, Google Flutter. This provides BankingON with the ability to stay at the forefront of mobile innovation and, most importantly, enables credit unions to quickly innovate.

Watch the mobile finalists for the 2021 Innovation Series talk about their solutions. Register today. Voting opens after the webinar.

REGISTER ToDAY

MOBILE: VisiFI

Jami Jennings, Director, Digital Channels, Cards & Payments, VisiFI

Please describe your innovation.

Jami Jennings: VisiFI’s innovation in mobile banking solutions is providing advantages for both credit unions and their members with win-win benefits. The members win because the richness of functionalities gives them the ability to reach out to a virtual credit union, at their fingertips. From digital payments, such as P2P and ACH origination, to remote deposit capture and card management, members manage their money from their devices in a seamless and secure environment.

Credit unions win because VisiFI’s mobile solutions are fueled by a centralized source of processes, systems, and data that ensure consistency and enable a true omnichannel strategy. Being embedded with the core, these solutions draw from a single source of data flowing securely across the system and organization.

Powered with VisiFI’s exclusive real-time data management engine, this approach gives credit unions the ability to enhance their member-centric attributes through functionalities such as predictive money and cash management, savings automation, credit score, debit consolidators, spending habits and recommendations, cross-selling, and transaction monitoring.

What opportunities or challenges does your innovation address?

JJ: This surge of digital demand has caused financial institutions to shift their focus to a virtual member experience. Credit unions increased their focus and investment in digital products to better serve their members and have put more time in developing and crafting member messaging and communication across channels.

Our focus was already on digital transformation, but COVID-19 required us to move much faster than we ever had in the past. Consumers relied on their financial institutions to roll their sleeves up and help them by converting the credit union brick-and-mortar branch into a digital storefront. And that was our goal. We married the evolution of our digital banking application with advancements to digital payments while thinking unconventionally.

The result is the realization of true omnichannel strategies — a personalized digital experience for members and a unique view on their data for credit unions.

How does your innovation increase member value for client credit unions?

JJ: VisiFI’s mobile solutions provide members immediate access, more control, and the freedom to manage their finances within a convenient, easy-to-use application. Online or mobile convenience was already an expectation for members; now, with the pandemic, it is a necessity.

VisiFI’s depth of integrated proprietary solutions offers optional features that go beyond convenience. Members want a full “banking experience” and expect to have the ability to perform the same functions remotely without having to enter a branch. In addition to traditional financial transactions, VisiFI users can make digital payments, manage their credit and debit cards (activate, set up alerts, report lost or stolen, freeze or unfreeze, and set or change spending limits), and monitor their accounts and financial history at all times.

What differentiates your innovation from competitors?

JJ: VisiFI’s approach to online and mobile banking is about creating versatile applications that benefit both the members and the credit union. Putting more self-service capability in members’ hands improves their satisfaction, but it’s only part of the story. As a core provider for more than 40 years, VisiFI understands and applies an enterprise view of the assimilation of digital and conventional processes and management activity.

Our solutions offer a consistent experience to members and employees, whether the activity occurs at a branch or at a kitchen table. Our ability to visualize and manage both the front and back end of activity experience results in a streamlined transactional flow and an immediate access to critical data that impacts both the member and credit union well beyond the online experience.

Simply put, VisiFI offers more than a stand-alone product with peripheral functionality. We believe in the power of a fully integrated ecosystem, one that operates consistently across all areas of the credit union, no matter how your members choose to engage.

Watch the mobile finalists for the 2021 Innovation Series talk about their solutions. Register today. Voting opens after the webinar.

REGISTER ToDAY

MOBILE: NCR

Doug Brown, President, Digital Banking, NCR Corporation

Please describe your innovation.

Doug Brown: NCR is one of the largest digital banking providers in the marketplace, serving more than 650 banks and credit unions with a comprehensive, customizable digital platform that enables personalized interactions, accelerated innovation, and added efficiencies for more than 24 million end users. The NCR Digital Banking platform facilitates a superior, modern experience for credit unions and their members.

What opportunities or challenges does your innovation address?

DB: Brand consistency and channel optimization are challenges in the industry. NCR provides consistent branding for credit unions and is optimized for all mobile devices with operating system-specific components and user-interface principles that create a seamless, familiar user experience across all channels.

Additionally, the mobile application leverages native functionality including a device’s GPS and built-in camera to further enhance the experience. With more than 200 integrated fintech partners and 60-plus APIs, NCR Digital Banking delivers the open technology and flexibility credit unions need to remain relevant today.

NCR is setting the standard for digital banking, providing credit unions across the country with the technology necessary to meet rising consumer expectations and establish a competitive advantage in today’s complex market. NCR’s digital excellence been recognized nationally; the top three apps in Magnify Money’s 2020 Mobile Banking App Ratings list were NCR clients. The average app store rating among NCR clients is 4.8, which is competitive with the largest banks in the country.

How does your innovation increase member value for client credit unions?

DB: NCR helps credit unions deliver more value to their members by providing a wide range of advanced tools and capabilities through its digital banking app, including consumer and business banking (on the same platform), quick and seamless account opening, transfers, P2P payments, loan paydown options, mobile remote deposit capture, and more.

And, the data surfaced back to the credit union by NCR enables institutions to better know and serve members, strengthening marketing campaigns, communication efforts, and overall relationship building.

With NCR, credit unions allow their members to easily bank wherever and whenever they prefer, all while enjoying a simple, quick, and intuitive experience. Member experience is the new battleground, and NCR’s technology ensures credit unions are well positioned to compete.

What differentiates your innovation from competitors?

DB: NCR understands that digital banking is retail banking. The sophisticated, open platform model allows for the quick, agile integration of new features and functionality, whether that be through fintech partners or built by the institution. NCR Digital Banking has the highest ROI of any platform currently in the market because of this unique combination of flexibility and modern capabilities.

Additionally, NCR Digital Banking is part of a robust arsenal of advanced solutions that connect the entire banking ecosystem and bridge digital and physical experiences, including branch transformation, payments and transaction processing, ATMs and self-service, digital connected services, and professional services.

This interconnectedness across an institution allows banks and credit unions to truly embrace digital-first banking, something only NCR can provide. Such an approach reduces complexity, cost and risk, creating a single point of accountability and driving efficiency, scale, and modernization into an institution’s business model.

Watch the mobile finalists for the 2021 Innovation Series talk about their solutions. Register today. Voting opens after the webinar.

REGISTER ToDAY

All interviews have been edited and condensed.

Learn about other 2021 Innovation Series finalists:

 
 

 

 

Feb. 15, 2021


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