10:00 AM
Bob McFadden, Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union
Bob McFadden, Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union

Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union: Digital Growth Success

How one credit union boosted its digital adoption to connect with younger customers.

Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union recently took stock of how our product offerings and strategic initiatives, especially those related to technology, impact member growth, retention and relationships. As a result, our organization elected to enhance our digital banking and payment capabilities, adding enriched functionality for online and mobile banking and bill pay, in order to better serve our members and fuel growth in a very competitive market.

Headquartered in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union serves 15,000 members and manages $100 million in assets. We have three branches and 34 employees, but we compete on a daily basis with much larger entities. In a challenging market, we see technology as a key differentiator.

Like most financial institutions, we must continue to attract and retain members of all ages − especially the younger generation − as consumer behaviors change and population shifts to more urban areas. We believe a commitment to innovation and delivery of an exceptional member experience will help us reach our goals for membership expansion and reach, as well as organic wallet share growth of our current members.

Whether online or in the branch, our overriding goal is to provide members with a seamless experience, letting them accomplish what they want to do – pay bills, check balances, transfer funds – quickly and in the fewest number of steps. When we looked at our digital banking and payment capabilities, we knew we had room to improve on that objective.

An Ambitious Plan

Last year, our organization set an ambitious six-month plan to convert key digital banking services, including online and mobile banking and bill payment. We selected the ASP versions of the Corillian Online® and Mobiliti™ solutions from Fiserv along with CheckFree® RXP® for bill payment and Popmoney® for person-to-person payments.

These digital banking solutions were chosen based on functionality, as well as their ability to integrate with our Spectrum® account processing platform from Fiserv, which has been in place since 2002. It was also important that the new digital banking solutions integrate with third-party technologies we had in place.

The October 2013 digital banking implementation included personal financial management (PFM) tools and additional enhancements to the user experience.  Among the new online banking capabilities, Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union’s members now have access to “family view,” allowing them to sign on once and view their family’s entire relationship across multiple accounts. This capability differentiates us in the market, and has been a member “delighter.” In addition, we just completed the release of mobile deposits to our members.


Finger Lakes Digital Adoption

Although we’ve only recently rolled out the new and enhanced digital offerings, we’re seeing solid results. Four months after implementation, 25 percent of our online banking users are already taking advantage of the new PFM service. We’ve also seen a 50 percent increase in mobile banking usage and a 46 percent increase in bill pay usage. At this rate, Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union expects to double our mobile banking and bill pay usage within our first year of these enhancements.

As a whole, our new digital banking and payment services provide members with more control over their finances and the ability to conduct transactions using the channel that best suits their needs, resulting in greater member satisfaction and increased adoption of these capabilities. We’re also experiencing a significant drop in the number of service calls regarding bill pay issues and a sharp increase in eStatement adoption.

An Exceptional Member Experience

Our recent digital banking enhancements are part of an increased focus on the member experience. Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union uses ongoing staff training to emphasize delivery of “above-and-beyond” member experiences, especially when there’s a service issue or concern. Since more and more members choose to bank digitally, every personal interaction needs to reinforce the value of a member’s relationship with our credit union.

Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union is providing the tools our members need to benefit from the digital transformation that’s taking place in every part of our lives, including the ways we manage and move money.

Winning Over a New Generation

Our new suite of digital solutions serves as a differentiator in a competitive market and as a great value-add for our members. Only a handful of financial institutions offer the personal financial management tools our members now have access to, for example.

Many smaller financial institutions may not believe it is feasible to offer the latest and greatest technology, but the reality is that upgrading our digital banking and payment services has allowed us to continue to grow our membership.  We selected ASP solutions that allow us to deliver robust functionality at a reasonable cost, and that integrate well with our existing core as well as other third-party technologies. We believe these offerings will be a way to grow wallet share of current members while winning over a new generation of potential members.

As the Executive Vice President for Finger Lakes Federal Credit Union, Bob is charged with the leadership and execution of the organization's sales and operations including lending, marketing, and branch delivery. His background includes roles in branch management and ... View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Register for Bank Systems & Technology Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Bank Systems & Technology
BS&T's 2014 Elite 8 executives are leading their banks to success, whether it involves leveraging the cloud, modernizing core systems, or transforming into digital enterprises.
Bank Systems & Technology Radio
Archived Audio Interviews
Join Bank Systems & Technology Associate Editor Bryan Yurcan, and guests Karen Massey and Jerry Silva from IDC Financial Insights, for a conversation about the firm's 11th annual FinTech rankings.