B2B Payments

Credit Unions: Moving Toward Omnichannel Banking

VSoft and Corporate America Credit Union seek to bring technology and mobile banking to credit unions – here’s why and here’s how.

Increasingly, technology is intersecting with banking and B2B. It’s no secret that the continued emergence of the millennial user is changing how people use apps and especially mobile devices to attend to their financial needs on the go.

Within the credit union industry, technology is set to help improve the member experience and, in some cases, bring the industry itself up to competitive speed versus larger financial institutions. Among the latest announcements in the space: Corporate America Credit Union, a not-for-profit cooperative that serves the U.S. credit union arena, is partnering with VSoft Corp., an information and technology solutions provider, to offer the latter’s IRIS digital banking platform in a shift toward digital and multi-device banking.

Lisa Coffey, chief operations officer of Corporate America Credit Union, told PYMNTS that the announcement that it is offering IRIS expands a partnership that has existed between the two companies for seven years and which spans the 500 credit unions that make up Corporate America’s client base. VSoft itself has a presence at half of the nation’s corporate credit unions, so together, the two enterprises have significant reach into the market, with the ability to significantly advance technology among credit unions in general.

“One of the key challenges smaller credit unions face,” Coffey told PYMNTS, “is that as they are trying to assist the underbanked and underserved population and to be competitive, they need strong technology … And yet that same technology may, in fact, be a heavy and, in some cases, unaffordable expense for some credit unions,” where the majority of players have assets of less than $75 million.

As a result, legacy systems are in place to handle some basic functions, such as home-based banking or some bill payments, but without other key functions spanning, say, personal finance and especially mobile banking (i.e., with availability anytime and anywhere), the typical credit union may be missing out on cementing end user relationships.

By choosing VSoft, said Coffey, the “gap” between a credit union and, for example, Bank of America, in the ability to serve banking needs, begins to close and move toward an omnichannel presence. As the executive noted, the IRIS platform works across one interface spanning a variety of devices, from tablets to PCs to other mobile devices, and helps consolidate a fragmented experience that a consumer may have across several financial institutions, with the ability to check balances, get funding alerts, set reminders and aggregate accounts. “In essence,” she added, anything that “moves beyond day-to-day transactions.” All of that added functionality is important to satisfy and attract millennial users in the credit union environment, where users tend to skew to around 40 years of age.

One additional beneficiary in the push to modernize the customer experience, said Coffey, would be the business customers of the credit unions, which tend to be enterprises of considerably smaller size and local in scope and who may, in fact, be relatively behind in technology initiatives than would be seen with peers with deeper pockets.

IRIS itself offers commercial clients the ability to examine posted transactions and disbursements and also conduct electronic payments across both wire and ACH functions, which taken together as a suite of offerings, Coffey said, will save those commercial entities both time and money.

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