Finopotamus, the only online publication providing in-depth technology coverage exclusively to credit unions, today announced the winners of its 2022 Tekkie Awards. The second annual awards are co-sponsored by popular technology e-newsletter, Credit Union tech-talk.
Tekkie Award categories and winners are:
Profiles of the award winners and their respective technology achievements are available by clicking the above links.
Several entrants also received honorable mention:
DeepTarget Customer Lebanon FCU Named Finopotamus 2022 Tekkie Award Winner for Machine Learning and AI
DeepTarget Inc., a solution provider that utilizes data mining and business intelligence in order to deliver targeted communications across digital channels for banks and credit unions, announced that its customer, Pennsylvania-based, Lebanon FCU has been selected as a winner of the Finopotamus 2022 Tekkie Award for AI/Machine Learning. In addition, two other customers were recognized. America’s CU received an honorable mention in the Marketing and Member Communications category and Michael Hostetler, VP of marketing at Crane CU received an honorable mention in the Technologist of the Year category.
The Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning award honors credit unions that have deployed AI-based solutions to improve internal operations and/or enhance the member experience. The Marketing and Member Communications award recognizes credit unions that have employed digital marketing and communication tools to raise member awareness, improve the member experience and increase sales. Finally, the Technologist of the Year awards individual credit union technologists who have shown exceptional vision and leadership solving business problems, enhancing the member experience and contributing to the greater good of credit union technology.
Lebanon FCU’s goal to increase the number of cross-sales to its members was accomplished with DeepTarget DXP’s AI/ML-driven campaigns that “Target by Predictive Model,” within their digital banking platform. These campaigns that identified its top members with the highest propensity to purchase specific deposit or loan products were first launched in March of 2021 to immediate success. Through a series of predictive campaigns over a nine-month period, Lebanon FCU generated more than 330 new product sales.
By using DeepTarget DXP, Washington State-based America’s CU has not only been strategic about messaging but have been able to automate the entire digital marketing and engagement lifecycle. They provide customized financial solutions to their members through innovation and personal connections.
Michael Hostetler at Indiana-based Crane Credit Union has taken a leadership role in innovating with technology to engage his members by driving amazing user experiences powered by insights, AI and personalization and resulting in high growth for the credit union.
“Successful engagement with users is a key driver for FI growth,” said Preetha Pulusani, CEO of DeepTarget. “DeepTarget’s mission is to help community financial institutions like Lebanon FCU maximize opportunities to connect, engage, educate and cross-sell to their members. We are proud of our association with Lebanon FCU, America’s CU and Michael Hostetler and congratulate them on these well-deserved industry recognitions from Finopotamus and its Tekkie Awards program.”
Reputation and KeyStone’s Ease-of-Use Drives $2.27 Billion America’s First Federal Credit Union to Partner with Corelation
Seeking to partner with a core processor focused on growth and excellent client service, America’s First Federal Credit Union ($2.27 billion in assets; 189,358 members; Birmingham, AL) announces their selection of Corelation’s KeyStone.
Meticulous in their due diligence efforts, America’s First FCU put together a team of subject matter experts representing all aspects of the organization to complete a thorough evaluation. After completing internal functionality reviews, the committee participated in a significant number of calls with current Corelation clients and site visits to local Alabama credit unions using KeyStone.
“From my standpoint, the decision to select KeyStone was easy. Our core selection team made a unanimous decision in favor of KeyStone,” shared America’s First FCU President/CEO Bill Connor. “It was important for us to partner with a nimble, growing company like Corelation. In conversations with our sister credit unions using KeyStone, they all had a positive view of their relationship with Corelation and praised their client service.”
Some of the highlights that excited the credit union about KeyStone: the 24/7/365 uptime, the ‘More in the Core’ philosophy, HADR (high-availability disaster recovery), and their open API [KeyBridge] that already has integration with almost all of their third-party vendors.
“When you boil it all down, KeyStone is both powerful and easy to navigate; the intuitive nature of the workflow will simplify our training processes and shorten the learning curve for new employees,” noted America’s First FCU SVP – Chief Delivery Systems Officer Mike Northrup. “The Corelation credit unions we spoke with confirmed KeyStone’s 100% uptime. We are excited to eliminate the nightly downtime we deal with now.”
America’s First Federal Credit Union is scheduled to convert in October 2023.
“As Corelation continues to grow, we remain steadfast in our commitment to providing unparalleled client service and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve America’s First Federal Credit Union,” said Corelation President Rob Landis.
About Corelation, Inc.
Based in San Diego, CA, Corelation is the innovative core processor for today’s credit union. This solution is a person-centric system that empowers credit unions to offer the best member service possible, enhancing their value for member attraction and retention. In terms of industry experience, Corelation’s staff has dedicated their careers to creating core systems and providing unparalleled client service. For more information, visit www.corelationinc.com.
About America’s First Federal Credit Union (AmFirst)
America’s First Federal Credit Union (AmFirst) is a full-service community credit union serving more than 190,000 members throughout central Alabama. It’s roots extend from 1936 when it began as Iron and Steel Credit Union, serving Birmingham’s burgeoning steel industry. Since that time, the credit union has grown to one of the largest and strongest financial institutions in the country with a network of 21 branch offices and a full array of digital banking products.
When the Carolinas Credit Union Foundation sought a streamlined way to manage registrations and sponsorships for its biggest fundraiser of the year – the Carolinas Cup supporting Victory Junction – President Lauren Whaley turned to uncommn for a brand-new website.
The Carolinas Cup website provides user-friendly registration forms and helpful information for
participants and sponsors and access to everything needed to prepare for the event slated for Sept. 18-20, 2022, at Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C. The fundraiser outing, started 18 years ago by CUNA Mutual Group, features a friendly competition between the North and South Carolina teams for the Carolinas Cup, which currently resides with North Carolina’s team.
Victory Junction is a year-round camp facility, providing life-changing experiences for children with serious illnesses and chronic medical conditions at no cost to their families. Over the last 18 years, the Carolinas Cup has raised $966,650 to benefit Victory Junction, and 2022 should push that figure to more than $1 million!
CUNA Mutual Group, the founder of the tournament, has always provided generous operational support for the fundraiser and auction, but adding the website by uncommn has allowed everyone involved to breathe a sigh of relief. For those who can’t make the event, the Foundation will add a link to the site for an online silent auction in early September.
“The Carolinas Foundation would not be the organization we are today without uncommn’s support in creating the Foundation’s website and now that of the Carolinas Cup,” Whaley shared. “Courtney [Bravo, project manager,] is fantastic, and Alex [VanHaasteren, senior web developer,] is wicked fast and smart.”
Whaley continued, “Credit unions in the Carolinas have a passion for Victory Junction. This past year, with the proceeds from last year’s Carolinas Cup we were able to sponsor a new family camp week, focused on children with autism. We had a record number of golfers – 78! – last year, so we knew we needed to simplify our registration process for everyone. uncommn helped us achieve that with our new, beautiful and highly functional website.”
uncommn’s objectives for the site, established in collaboration with the Foundation, were to highlight the event in a way that represented its importance to CUNA Mutual Group, the Carolinas Foundation and sponsors, create a more personalized experience, streamline registration, share fundraising success and develop a better mobile experience.
“Previously, the fundraiser event occupied a single landing page, and it was a lot on one page,” VanHaasteren explained. “The new site streamlines the experience and makes it easier for Lauren to update and manage going forward.”
“Working with Lauren was a breeze and supporting such a great cause made our efforts that much easier,” Bravo said. “Our proven website development process delivers a stress-free experience all the way around – for our clients, our team and visitors to the new website.”
Before officially beginning their search for a new core in 2021, Monterey Credit Union ($306 million in assets; 17,308 members; Monterey, CA) has spent the last eight years watching the industry and considering their options. After a thorough review of four core processors and connecting with a number of credit unions selecting KeyStone, Monterey Credit Union decided that Corelation was the right organization with which to partner.
“Attending Corelation’s Client Conference last year, we were struck by the feeling of community amongst Corelation, their vendor partners, and most importantly: their credit union clients,” remarked Monterey Credit Union Vice President Information Systems Scott Morris. “I had the chance to talk to the first credit union to convert to KeyStone – it speaks volumes that they are still with Corelation.”
From their earliest interactions with Corelation, Monterey Credit Union felt that the organization was responsive and genuinely interested in helping their clients. From the technology standpoint, KeyStone will provide the credit union with the foundation to develop new products and services for their members and offer quicker turnaround for integrating third-party products.
“After more than 30 years on an account-centric core, switching to KeyStone’s person-centric system will help us better understand and serve our members,” added Morris. “We’re also looking forward to having the ability to run our end-of-day and end-of-period processing “lights out” without a person actively monitoring it.”
Other factors that swayed Monterey Credit Union’s decision were the browser-based system that doesn’t require specific software to be maintained on each device, new membership application workflows, and the turn-key high-availability disaster recovery (HADR).
“One of the biggest benefits of our annual Client Conference is the opportunity for our credit union partners to connect with each other, share best practices and ideas, and leave having added new friends to their network,” shared Corelation President Rob Landis. “Welcome to the Corelation community, Monterey Credit Union!”
Base salary, base salary plus bonus, and total compensation packages increased last year across 18 of 19 positions reported in the 2022 CUES Compensation Survey.
Other key findings from this year’s report include:
Report data comes from credit unions who participated in CUES Executive Compensation Survey
and/or CUES Employee Salary Survey between January 1 and April 30.
CUES Executive Compensation Survey features valuable compensation trends, tools and data to help credit unions attract and retain well qualified professionals, while CUES Employee Salary Survey offers pertinent data to attract new hires, and valuable tools to ensure credit unions retain their top employees.
Results of both surveys and the CUES 2022 Executive Compensation Survey Report are available now. Learn more and purchase access to the data at cues.org/ECS and cues.org/ESS.
Co-op Payment Transaction Analysis Shows Credit Union MembersCooled Spending on Amazon Prime Day 2022
Reflecting the slowdown in consumer spending nationally, Amazon Prime Day stimulated a small uptick in online purchasing over the two-day shopping holiday, according to credit union-issued card data analyzed by Co-op Solutions.
The number of debit transactions made on Amazon was actually down .05 percent on Day 1 of Amazon Prime Day, and up just .62 percent on Day 2 (July 12-13, 2022, compared to June 20-21, 2021). Past year-over-year increases in Amazon Prime Day debit purchases within the Co-op portfolio have been as high as 271 percent. That result was experienced in 2020 when COVID stimulus funds and pre-holiday timing sparked unprecedented volume. (2020 Amazon Prime Day also took place on October 13-14 versus the more typical summer months.)
“In terms of purchase amounts, Prime Day online shopping sales figures are less impressive when you consider inflation’s influence on the value of today’s dollar,” said Beth Phillips, Director of Strategic Portfolio Growth for Co-op Solutions. “Co-op’s transaction data shows disproportionate growth in money spent online versus goods purchased online during the two-day event.”
Inflation’s Impact on Payments Behaviors
Common household and food purchases, especially, are significantly more expensive than a year ago. June 2022’s Consumer Price Index inflation report showed the biggest yearly increase in prices since November 1981.
Higher prices may also explain the return to credit card spending seen within Co-op transaction data. Prime Day credit purchases showed gains of 12.97 and 14.12 percent on Day 1 and Day 2, respectively. At the same time, dollars spent rose 17 percent and 25 percent on Days 1 and 2 – “which shows us how inflation continues to rear its head,” said Phillips.
“Credit outperformed debit during the 2022 Amazon Prime Day, by more than double on each day,” said Phillips. “This marks a comeback of credit as the payment method of choice over last year’s declines. This is not surprising, as we’re seeing credit outperform debit in most categories recently, particularly with online and more costly purchases. Now is the time for credit unions to lean in on their cardholder experiences strategies to capture more of the rebounding volume.”
Experts Monitoring Possible E-Commerce Burnout
While inflation seems to have impacted online spending, e-commerce burnout is another possible trend. A June 2022 survey of 2,000 working-age consumers found 25 percent spent less money online in the last six months than they did in comparable periods during the pandemic. According to data from Salesforce, global online sales for non-Amazon sites during this year’s Prime Day were down 12 percent compared to Prime Day 2021. Co-op transaction data, too, shows only slight gains in non-Amazon online purchases, at just 2.25 percent and 6.82 percent across Day 1 and Day 2 of the shopping event.
“Since the pandemic, we’ve seen consumers get even more comfortable stitching together fintechs and mainstream financial institutions to curate their own mix of financial services,” said Phillips. “The same appears to be true when it comes to their shopping, which requires some creativity now to stick within a budget. Regardless of where the transaction is happening – be it on Amazon, another marketplace site or e-tailer, on the phone, between friends or over the counter – members expect it to be safe, smooth and seamlessly connected to their overall financial picture.”
More information on Co-op SmartGrowth Consulting can be found here.
Posh Technologies, an enterprise conversational AI platform serving financial institutions, announced today it has raised $4.15 million in its third CUSO round of investments. Posh’s CUSO is made up of investors and clients.
This CUSO round comes alongside Posh’s initial $27.5 million Series A funding (announced in December), bringing the total funding to $31.7 million.
This round of credit union investors includes:
One Nevada and Together Credit Unions are clients and have both participated in previous rounds of investing.
“We are constantly learning and growing with our credit union partners, and we are thrilled to welcome a diverse group of investors into our CUSO,” said Karan Kashyap, Posh’s co-founder and CEO. “Our voice-and-digital conversational AI has been verticalized to understand and serve credit union members with friction-free service. These partnerships will continue to benefit the industry as a whole.”
Posh Technologies delivers voice and digital conversational AI solutions to assist credit unions’ contact centers and front lines to decrease call volume, wait times, and the elimination of dial pads in favor of warm, conversational member self-service. The combination of digital bots and conversational AI IVR assistants provides knowledgeable, immediate service for members while intelligently authenticating and escalating when needed.
“Citadel is excited to not only invest, but also use Posh as a partner for process automation,” said Anand Solanki, CFO at Citadel Federal Credit Union. “Posh is simple to use for members and easy to implement for Credit Unions. We see a lot of potential for Credit Unions to benefit from scalable technology that not only helps in improving member experience but also with efficiency.”
“MIT FCU is excited to have made an investment in the Posh CUSO,” said Rui Domingos, President and CEO of MIT FCU. “As our members' needs continue to evolve, we need to partner with FinTechs that will assist with our strategies to better serve our members and quite honestly, exceed their expectations. Our credit union serves members nationwide and tools like chatbot will enable us to serve these members anytime anywhere.”
With the power of a CUSO behind Posh and its operations, credit unions are actively changing and improving the tech landscape to benefit the credit union industry. Their generous contributions to Posh and time spent consulting lend deep knowledge to Posh’s conversational AI for friction-free member service.
Mahalo Banking raises $20 Million to Further Accelerate Growth in Mobile and Online Banking Services
Mahalo Banking, a CUSO that provides online and mobile banking solution for credit unions, completed a $20 million funding round this month that was led by Ohio-based Superior Credit Union, Ky.-based Park Community Credit Union and Del.-based Dover Federal Credit Union. The additional capital enables Mahalo to continue the resounding momentum that it has experienced over the past two years and will be heavily allocated toward research and product development, helping fuel Mahalo’s proven commitment to ongoing innovation in Digital Member Service.
Phil Buell, president and CEO of Superior Credit Union, said, “We were early adopters of Mahalo Banking and after implementation our members let us know that the solution not only met their needs but also exceeded their expectations. Mahalo aligns with our business philosophy; they are member-centric, critically-focused and have strong values matched with unparalleled integrity. We have more than 100,000 members and the investment in Mahalo is an investment in our members’ banking future.”
President and CEO of Mahalo Banking Jim Stickley, said, “We are excited to be partnering with Superior Credit Union, Park Community and Dover Federal. They appreciate our vision as a CUSO to advance our platform to provide the best banking experience possible to all credit unions. We did not look for VC funding – we wanted a credit union-focused investment. This ensures that we are providing the digital banking services that today’s savvy members demand in everyday banking needs and that credit unions have what they need to retain and grow their member base. These credit unions share our vision to have the best digital banking solution on the market.”
Buell continued, “Superior’s long-term strategic goal is to be digital first. Our members are banking online and via their mobile phones. We thought we could invest in another branch or meet our members where they do business, so it was a sound business decision to invest in the biggest branches they use; mobile and online. Mahalo is our partner in bringing solutions to credit unions to enable them to bank the way they want to bank. The solution is sustainable and built for the long term.”
Mahalo solutions-oriented platform was designed by individuals who have worked in the credit union industry as well as ones in security to ensure credit unions deliver mobile and online banking experiences using superior architecture. The company provides deep integrations into credit union cores boasting robust and secure feature sets across all delivery platforms for a true omni-experience.
“Digital banking usage continues to outweigh the branch as the primary channel for members to engage with their credit union,” Stickley continued. “The future of member service is digital, and those that have yet to take steps to modernize their support and engagement strategies are already behind.
The Mahalo platform focuses on where credit unions are moving so their members receive the digital experience they deserve. Credit unions are member-focused, and we are credit union-focused. We want to offer them a platform to elevate the member experience by providing needed support and insights, while fostering a price competitive environment to help all asset size credit unions gain a technological advantage to retain and grow their membership.”
Southland Credit Union, a billion-dollar credit union, today announced the company’s partnership with NYDIG, a leading bitcoin company. As the latest early adopter of cryptocurrency services, Southland will be the second credit union in the Southern California area to offer cryptocurrency buying and selling services. Through a fully integrated digital banking mobile app feature, Southland Credit Union Members can now buy, sell and hold bitcoin in a secure digital asset account.
The Los Alamitos-based credit union is the second credit union in the Southern California area to launch cryptocurrency services with NYDIG. To celebrate the rollout of the new cryptocurrency feature, Southland Members that enroll before October 18 will receive $5 in free bitcoin.
“After the successful launch of our enhanced digital banking services in 2021, Southland made a commitment to continue delivering cutting-edge technologies to our Members,” said Southland President and CEO Tom Lent. “Credit unions like Southland have an opportunity to provide safe and accessible cryptocurrency services to our Members, and we are excited to integrate this technology into our digital banking platform.”
Southland’s cryptocurrency mobile app feature will offer quick and easy enrollment, no hidden fees and the convenience of funding bitcoin purchases directly from a Southland account.
While bitcoin will initially be the only digital currency available to buy and sell in the credit union’s mobile app, Southland intends to explore ways to expand its cryptocurrency offerings in the future. Southland’s digital banking provider Alkami has also partnered with NYDIG to facilitate the delivery of the mobile feature to app users.
“NYDIG is thrilled to partner with the forward-thinking team at Southland,” said Rahm McDaniel, Head of Banking Solutions at NYDIG. “As the second credit union in the Southern California area to launch bitcoin services with NYDIG, this partnership is monumental for the wider adoption of bitcoin, and marks one more step towards NYDIG’s vision of bitcoin for all.”
Southland Credit Union membership is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or attends school in Los Angeles County or Orange County, California.
Author: Mike Lawson
Married to a most gorgeous and wonderful wife, raising 5 kiddos (including twins!), enjoy helping others tell their stories, and love surfing SoCal waves. Keep it simple.