One advantage to being an early adopter is having a baseline against which to judge next-generation products. Prior to switching to Corillian's Voyager platform in November, Commerce Bank had enough online banking experience under its belt to understand exactly what it needed.
The Kansas City, Mo.-based institution entered online banking in 1996 with Quicken, and added the Internet in 1997 using software from Financial Fusion.
At first, the bank was excited about the prospect of offering its customers online banking. The Financial Fusion system was user-friendly and simple to operate. Customers could review online what checks had cleared and their debit transactions.
But over time the system's deficiencies became apparent, chiefly its slowness. "Information used to take 82 seconds and six clicks before a customer could receive any information," said Charles Kim, executive vice president of consumer banking at $13.2 billion Commerce Bank.
"Now with the new software, it takes seven seconds and one click," Kim added.
It was also proving expensive. "We had a per month contract where we paid every time the customer went online to perform an activity," said Kim. "We needed to move from a high variable price to a stable fixed price that would allow us to add customers at a low incremental cost."
By moving to the Corillian platform, the bank has cut its online banking costs by two-thirds.
Yet another drawback was that customers couldn't sign up electronically for online services such as bill payment. Instead, paper forms had to be filled out and mailed by the customer to the bank. In many instances, customers wouldn't return them. The new product eliminates all the old sign up problems, allowing instantaneous sign up and use for all online services.
In the first month after going live with Corillian, Commerce Bank saw an upsurge in new customers, drawn by the system's speed and ease-of-use, Kim said.
The decision to switch to Corillian began early last year, when Commerce Bank hired a consultant to help it move into a new generation of software. Following a 90-day evaluation, the bank decided to go with Corillian. "The Corillian platform fit our needs and vision as to where our customers' needs would be in the future," said Kim.
Corillian has been hosting the service for Commerce, but the bank plans to bring it in-house this year.
The Corillian platform features improved navigation, additional transfer capabilities and online bill payment, which allows Commerce customers to receive bills electronically from participating payees, review bills online or print them out, and schedule payments at a future date. All of these activities can take place in one online session.
When Commerce customers sign in, they view every account they have with the bank, and have access to real-time balance information and the transaction history of all accounts. They can keep track of credit card transactions, and have the ability to transfer funds between accounts. Customers can also communicate with Customer Service through secure e-mail. All of these activities are accomplished as one seamless activity thanks to Corillian's financial management software.
In the future, Commerce may add the ability to deliver one-to-one marketing capabilities by specifically targeting information and advice to customers based on almost any information imported from customer information systems.