Delivering outstanding service in uncertain times

Rob Hoyle, Chief Information Officer
Financial Institution: Credit Union of America
Location: HQ in Wichita, Kansas with branches throughout South Central Kansas
Asset Size: Over $1.1B

“During the first two months of the pandemic, we saw 845 new users, most of which were existing members signing up for the app for the first time. Our logins to the app topped over 1 million in that time period alone. […] One user specifically commented, ‘Makes the stay-at-home mandate much more manageable.’” – Rob Hoyle, Chief Information Officer, Credit Union of America

– Rob Hoyle, Chief Information Officer, Credit Union of America

Alkami: How long have you been an Alkami client?
Rob Hoyle: We went live on the Alkami Platform in June of 2016, so, including Implementation, almost 5 years now.

Alkami: What differences have you seen in your number of digital users before and after stay-at-home orders and social distancing?
RH: During the first two months of the pandemic, we saw 845 new users, most of which were existing members signing up for the app for the first time. Our logins to the app topped over 1 million in that time period alone. Our app was already very highly rated, and that trend continued during the pandemic. We’ve also experienced an uptick in user feedback, with many users focused on how easy it is to use our digital platforms. One user specifically commented, “Makes the stay-at-home mandate much more manageable.”

Alkami: What impacts have you experienced or had to acclimate to related to stay-at-home orders and social distancing requirements?
RH: In an effort to keep everyone safe, we relocated a significant portion of our staff. Many went to work from home, and others relocated to alternate CUA locations where we had additional space. We went virtual with all of our meetings and have relied on digital channels to provide uninterrupted access for our members. At CUA we pride ourselves on making a difference in our members’ lives, and we didn’t let the pandemic stop that effort. We’ve employed creative ways to communicate with our members and meet their needs, including increased marketing activities through digital banking.

Despite closing our lobbies, CUA has been able to provide the same high level of service that our members are used to via our digital platform, our ITM machines, and our drive-thru locations.

We have remained focused on supporting our community. We continue to provide funds and supplies to our local schools, health care organizations, and other partners in the community. We’ve been able to find creative, safe ways to do this.

Alkami: What Alkami Platform features and products had you been relying on before the pandemic to reach users through digital channels?
RH: The Content Management System, specifically alerts, banners and interstitials. Secure Messaging is another feature we use. Members are able to make requests, which are then handled by our Member Support Center.

What have you learned about these tools that could be helpful for your peers to know?
RH: Use those insights from your digital support teams in your marketing planning – our Digital Marketing Specialist is really savvy on the Alkami platform, as she used to be in our digital support department. Her understanding of the platform, it’s functionality and member behavior from her support days have provided her with unique insights on planning marketing messages and on how to best reach members.

Alkami: Are you still finding the products you’ve relied on continue to do the job or have you expanded or shifted to other tools on the Alkami Platform?
RH: We find the recent additions to the marketing Content Management System the most helpful – the expanded capabilities and ease of use really make a difference in the quality of our digital communications.

Alkami: What have been the most successful digital banking plans you have implemented in response to the pandemic? How did you measure if those plans were successful?
RH: Our two biggest successes with regard to digital banking during the pandemic have been targeted marketing banners and the fast-turn time provided by Alkami in adding a quick link to apply for the SBA PPP loan. We utilized banners to inform members of our contactless cards and PPP loan offerings. We have been able to provide timely and relevant information to our members via digital banking. That’s reflected in the adoption rates, with over 1000 contactless card forms completed and over 200 PPP loans funded.

Alkami: What digital banking tools are you considering as social distancing guidelines expand?
RH: We are working to move to a self-service skip-a-pay on our digital platform. The expectation is that allowing members to self-serve will reduce call volumes and free up our staff to provide services to members with more in-depth needs.

We are also working to expand our fraud detection and prevention efforts. We are proud of our track record as it pertains to fraud, and recognize that in order to remain ahead, we have to employ state-of-the-art tools and techniques.

Alkami: When people can return to work and school, do you anticipate a rush back to branches or do you believe users will stay digital? What are your longer-term plans now based on how this pandemic has impacted your institution?
RH: I believe that digital adoption will remain “sticky.” Once our members see how easy and convenient it is for them to do business with us from their phone or computer, they’ll make that a part of their day-to-day lives.

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