eCU and Atomic Form Automated Direct Deposit Partnership

Payroll company Atomic has formed a partnership with credit union technology provider eCU

The collaboration, announced Thursday (July 13), is designed to give credit union members an easier time switching payroll deposit accounts. 

“By pairing our account origination technology with Atomic’s automated direct deposit switching, it is now possible for a consumer to have a fully funded account on the core banking system with their direct deposit switched to their new account in less than three minutes without the credit union lifting a finger,” Matthew Downing, president at eCU, said in a news release.

eCU said it saw strong demand among customers for automated direct deposit switching, and chose Atomic based on the affordability it offers, letting clients access “high-quality direct deposit switching” without large investments in infrastructure or API development.

The partnership comes at a moment when — as joint research from PYMNTS and PSCU found — more than a quarter of credit union (CU) members say they would swap financial services providers if it meant finding better innovations in banking.

The research found that the number of account holders who would switch or consider switching financial institutions for better products has jumped by nearly half since 2018, when just 19% of account holders said they would do so. As of last year, that figure had climbed to 29%.

“The data’s not all that surprising to me,” said Scott Young, managing VP of emerging services as PSCU. “We live in a culture of immediacy, and our expectations have changed to real time or on demand,” no matter if the interaction happens online or in person.

At the moment, financial institutions (FIs) are centered on innovations dealing with mobile banking and around digital lending, with automated or instant loan decisioning. It’s no longer enough, he said, for FIs to confine the lending process to paper-based applications, with decisions that are returned after several days, or even weeks.

Forward-thinking CUs, Young told PYMNTS, also need to think about digital issuance, or instant replacement of debit and credit card credentials.

“That immediate access,” said Young, “to a new account or the ‘uninterruption’ of account usage, if you’re in a lost/stolen situation, is table stakes these days,” he added noting, “There’s so many wallets out there today that offer this, and as a consumer, I want to be able to use my account right away.” 

The FI that makes that uninterrupted account access happen can enjoy seven to 10 days of uninterrupted spending (and interchange revenue) if consumers don’t need to wait around for their cards to arrive in the mail.