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Consumers CU Expands National Footprint With Online Account Opening

Using Andera's digital account origination solution, CCU projects a 30% increase in accounts opened online in 2014.

Although it was charted as a national association in 1970, Waukegan, Ill.-based Consumers Credit Union remained a largely regional institution until just a few years ago. “In 2010 we began a push to leverage our charter by creating a national footprint,” explains Katherine McCabe, director of Web & mobile banking for CCU.

“Among other things,” she continues, “we needed an online account-opening solution that went beyond deposit accounts to help grow our national presence. We wanted a technology that married account opening with lending to enable members to apply for a checking account and credit card in one session.”

[A Javelin study suggests that banks need to conform their account-opening process to the mobile device to attract mobile-centric customers: Improving Mobile Account Opening A Must.]

Serendipitously, CCU’s existing account opening technology partner, Andera, announced the purchase of oFlows, a paperless origination solution, in 2011. “We’d looked at solutions by several other vendors, but they didn’t even compare to the features offered by oFlows,” McCabe remarks.

By late 2012 a contract was inked with Andera and the deployment project kicked off in January 2013. “We determined the types of accounts we planned to offer and our risk tolerance levels for online account origination,” she says. “Andera completed all of the programming, including integration with our core systems partner Fiserv to create automated workflows that required minimal manual involvement.”

As Andera built the CCU system, it posted new features and functions for credit union employees to test. Although development and testing went smoothly, three challenges cropped up.

The first related to the oFlows behavior that combined all related documents into a single PDF. “Our enterprise content management (ECM) solution, Fiserv’s Nautilus, couldn’t separate the documents to store them appropriately,” she notes. “Initially, a CCU employee manually separated and categorized the documents. But, not long after we went live, Andera issued a fix that enabled integration with our ECM platform without manual intervention.”

The second challenge was lack of integration with CCU’s existing lending platform. This resulted in manual monitoring of the lending component and re-keying information when CCU needs to counteroffer a credit card request. “However, later this year we’re moving to a new lending platform that includes oFlows integration,” she says. “This will eliminate the manual process.”

The third hurdle was the oFlows interface. “It’s less intuitive than the Andera legacy system,” she explains. “There is only one administration interface, which means everyone who uses the system is presented with every available option and all the industry terminology that goes along with it. Therefore, a lot of training was required.” According to Andera, a roles-based interface is on its roadmap to address the issue.

Challenges aside, oFlows launched successfully in two phases. “We went live with the online new account process in October 2013,” says McCabe. “Then, we rolled out Visa credit card solicitation in February 2014.”

Immediate results
With minimal marketing, the first five months of 2014 saw CCU opening 43% of its online new accounts outside of its traditional market, compared with 37% for the entire previous year. “Our attractive interest rates, including 5.09% on the top tier of our rewards checking, and easy all-digital opening process went viral on blogs and social media,” she says.

“We’ve already exceeded last year’s total online account origination numbers and project a 30% increase of accounts opened online this year,” she adds. “We’ve also experienced a steady increase of new Visa card account openings coming through the online channel, from 11% in the first two months to approximately 14% in the most recent quarter.”

On the back end, new account processing time has plummeted from an average of about five days to about a day and a half. “Without adding staff we’ve already started to expand our national footprint considerably,” McCabe says.

Unsurprisingly, CCU is continuing to build out the platform, including a recently added Regulation E Opt-In module for online new account opening. When Andera releases a branch module later this year, CCU plans to migrate off of the legacy solution altogether. “Until then, we’re maintaining both the legacy system and oFlows,” she says.

As for Andera’s recent acquisition by Bottomline Technologies, she says CCU supports the transition. “Given the many strategic initiatives Andera has assisted us with, we look forward to additional services and solutions our partner will be able to offer with Bottomline supporting them.”

Snapshot

Institution: Consumers Credit Union

Assets: $614 million

Business challenge: Expand market to a national footprint via all-digital online account opening

Solution: Andera’s oFlows online account origination solution

Anne Rawland Gabriel is a technology writer and marketing communications consultant based in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Among other projects, she's a regular contributor to UBM Tech's Bank Systems & Technology, Insurance & Technology and Wall Street & Technology ... View Full Bio

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Anne R Gabriel
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Anne R Gabriel,
User Rank: Author
7/9/2014 | 10:01:40 AM
Re: Moments of truth
I couldn't agree more. Writing this story made me want to establish and account with CCU just to try it out. Convenient, digital, secure and very attractive interest rates - it's no wonder the new CCU online accounts went viral with virtually no marketing resourses dedicated to the launch!
KBurger
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KBurger,
User Rank: Strategist
7/8/2014 | 9:54:13 PM
Moments of truth
This success story illustrates that what we call customer experience starts from the very beginning of a consumer's interaction with the financial institution. No matter how great the service the bank/FI offers, if things don't start off on the right foot -- in a convenient, easy, digital and secure way -- it's unlikely the customer is going to become truly engaged and committed.g
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