CASE STUDY: VIBRANT CREDIT UNION
Adapting to the Future Through Continuous Digital Banking Innovation
Valued Client Since
Becoming More Innovative While Staying Unique
Vibrant Credit Union leaders will be the first to tell you, “We are not your typical credit union.” That’s definitely true when it comes to the credit union’s digital banking and member experience. Just ask Kailey Fluegel, Vibrant Credit Union’s VP, Application Support in Moline, Illinois. Kailey is responsible for the credit union’s core banking system, digital banking solution, lending platforms ― virtually every application that impacts the member experience at Vibrant.
According to Kailey, “Vibrant is pretty unique. We are always willing to try new things, test new technologies and features. Especially as it relates to digital banking. We want to be in the best possible position to meet our members where they are, with what they need, when they need it.” That’s why Vibrant first implemented Alkami’s digital banking platform back in 2015. They wanted to take their online member experience to the next level. And Vibrant did just that.
Then in 2016, the credit union decided it was time to evaluate their core banking system. They had been running SYMITAR for years before moving to Fiserv DNA, but they needed a solution that would deliver more value to members. So, Vibrant decided to implement a new core system.
“We have to deliver a digital banking experience that aligns with how members choose to manage their financial lives today and tomorrow. That means we have to continue to innovate, test and roll out new features to determine what will deliver the most value to our members. To do that, we need a digital banking partner that’s willing to collaborate with us and guide us throughout that journey. For Vibrant, that partner is definitely Alkami.”
Staying the Course to Stay Ahead
Fast forward three years, and it was time for Vibrant to renew its partnership with Alkami. However, the leadership team thought they should at least take a look at the digital banking solution that their core system vendor had to offer. Kailey recalled the discussion and said, “It’s not like we were unhappy with Alkami. In fact, we were ecstatic with their platform. But since we just switched to a new core system, we thought it made sense to see what that vendor had for digital banking. That’s just our nature.”
After conducting an extensive review of other online banking platforms to Alkami’s digital banking platform, it became apparent there was no reason to convert off of Alkami’s platform. In fact, Kailey said, “It just made more sense to stay with Alkami. Their platform is so easy to use, feature-rich and flexible. Not just for our members, but for our employees as well.”
Reflecting on that decision, Kailey said, “Many companies decide to change all ancillary systems when converting their core system. It seems easiest to choose the same vendor for all systems. But, that isn’t always the best decision. It is imperative that you do your due diligence and review all platforms available to you. You may find that you have a winning partnership and solution like we have with Alkami.”
Kailey went on to say, “We live in an always-on, constantly connected world, so we have to make sure that our digital banking experience is constantly in line with member expectations. So, after looking at our options, we knew that Alkami was the right platform and partner. We knew they would ensure that we stayed at the forefront of digital banking.”
“Our account manager, Hannah Gorman, is really an asset to our team. We value what she does for us each and every day. So, as we extend our relationship with Alkami, we also plan to up our commitment to Hannah and the partnership as a whole.”
In December of 2018, Vibrant renewed its partnership with Alkami, and the credit union’s desire to push the member experience continues to grow. “We are really taking our partnership with Alkami to the next level. We want to do things with Alkami and in the industry that have not been done before. That’s just the way we are here at Vibrant.”
For this to happen, Kailey knows the team at Vibrant will have to continue building on the strong relationships they have with the client success and account manager teams at Alkami. “Just like with any other relationship, whether it’s a personal relationship or a relationship with your child’s teacher, for the relationship to grow, it can’t be one-sided. Our account manager, Hannah Gorman, is really an asset to our team. We value what she does for us each and every day. So, as we extend our relationship with Alkami, we also plan to up our commitment to Hannah and the partnership as a whole.”
Today, Kailey and the team at Alkami have put together a comprehensive digital banking game plan that includes a number of new and innovative features for Vibrant members. From voice activation, to integrated card management and shared account management capabilities. In fact, Kailey will be the first to tell you about all of the exciting things ahead of her and her team, such as the addition of a DNA Core API.
“I’m really excited about Alkami’s API. In fact, we are in the process of integrating Card Valet into the Alkami platform through Alkami’s API. This will enable our members to quickly turn their card on, turn it off, or freeze it if they lose it ― all through a single, self-service digital experience. We also plan on adding “Quick Apply” features so members can easily connect accounts at other banking institutions with their Vibrant accounts ― all through one, consistent online user interface. None of this would be possible without Alkami.”
“We live in an always-on, constantly connected world, so we have to make sure that our digital banking experience is constantly in line with member expectations. So, after looking at our options, we knew that Alkami was the right platform and partner.”
Collaborating For Growth
The team at Vibrant has even bigger ideas for what digital banking will be like for members in the future. Kailey says, “We have to deliver a digital banking experience that aligns with how members choose to manage their financial lives today and tomorrow. That means we have to continue to innovate, test and roll out new features to determine what will deliver the most value to our members. To do that, we need a digital banking partner that’s willing to collaborate with us and guide us throughout that journey. For Vibrant, that partner is definitely Alkami. What they do for our credit union and our members everyday… is truly invaluable.”
Collaboration is critical to Kailey and the team at Vibrant. Not just with Alkami, but with other Alkami clients. “Another thing that Alkami does really well, is allow you to collaborate directly with other credit unions. They have built a digital community just for clients. I can see every other Alkami client that is running the same core system that we do at Vibrant. I can also see other solutions that they are using and if I want to ask them questions, I can reach out to those clients directly. I don’t have to involve anyone at Alkami. It’s a true peer-to-peer collaboration network. Based on my experience in this industry, that level of transparency and collaboration between client companies is unheard of.”
When asked what she values most about Alkami, Kailey said, “Alkami truly does amazing things. While we always look at new solutions, I don’t see a future without Alkami. What they do for our credit union and our members every day is invaluable.”
“I advise other institutions to look at all their options if switching their core. Do your due diligence and ensure that you are reviewing multiple platforms and find out what works best for your members, your organization, and your employees. After reviewing our options, we knew Alkami was going to ensure that we stay in the forefront of digital banking.”