In the wake of digital acceleration brought on by the pandemic, many community based financial institutions are challenged with a common goal: To attract new members while maintaining the close relationships they’ve developed with their existing member base.
Greater Alliance Federal Credit Union, a financial institution based in New Jersey with $239M in assets and over 23,000 members, needed a forward-thinking approach for attracting new members remotely and continuing to serve the needs of the Bergen and Passaic County communities. Specifically, they were searching for a progressive digital banking experience that would integrate seamlessly with Corelation’s KeyStone core banking system. With the goal of increasing membership and engagement, while decreasing fraud and back-office frustrations, Greater Alliance chose Narmi to deliver a sleek end-to-end digital banking experience and an adaptable platform.
Narmi’s seamless rollout of digital account opening and digital banking platform led to substantial increases in account applications and in-platform engagement, while simultaneously decreasing the number of fraudulent applications and member support calls.
Greater Alliance adopted the Corelation KeyStone Core over a legacy core in 2017 due to its open API and progressive philosophy. Since its beginnings, the credit union has always embraced innovation. According to Glenn Guinto, President & CEO of Greater Alliance, “Our decision to adopt the Corelation core in 2017 was the beginning of our evolution. Having experienced the new core, we made a promise to associate ourselves with forward-thinkers.”
Their next challenge was to find a digital banking provider that could seamlessly integrate with the KeyStone core while also having an open architecture that would enable them to scale for years to come – something they weren’t able to get through their previous digital banking provider.
Narmi was able to seamlessly integrate with the Corelation KeyStone Core via its API layer, KeyBridge. This deep integration allowed Greater Alliance to provide their members with a beautiful user experience while also positioning the credit union to stay competitive through integrations with the latest and greatest fintech solutions.
Narmi’s attention to detail during the implementation process ensured that all measures were tightly integrated – including Corelation KeyStone’s real-time alerts, instant-account verification, member to member payments, bill pay, and mobile deposits – giving members a sense of security and easy-to-use platform.
Using Narmi’s open architecture, Greater Alliance was able to deliver individual-centric service to credit unions via the KeyStone core. This functionality allows members to have a singular log-in, regardless of number of accounts – a stark contrast to legacy cores which often require separate logins for multiple accounts, resulting in large overhead for both the credit union and digital banking provider. The Corelation KeyStone core leverages the individual-centric database and lets users view the entirety of the relationship with the database, without having multiple logins. Narmi’s open architecture fully supported this functionality, leading to an easier member experience and allowing Greater Alliance to avoid unnecessary complexities associated with separate logins.
1. A fully open platform that is designed to integrate seamlessly with your existing core banking system.
2. Flexible Narmi Application Framework (NAF) that offers a low-code method for building integrations and adding the best of fintech
Greater Alliance had an involved and lengthy digital account opening experience. On average, it took applicants between 8-10 minutes to complete the application, though many were abandoning their applications prior to completion. Applicants not only needed to answer over 18 due diligence questions, but also were required to upload a photo of their driver’s license to validate their identity – an additional step that was often exacerbated by technical difficulties. For younger audiences accustomed to quick and easy digital solutions, this process was arduous and more work than it was worth leading to high dropout rates.
To add fuel to the account-opening fire, Greater Alliance found that many of these accounts being opened were fraudulent. Along with a rigorous IDV and KYC process, Greater Alliance also had to take extra steps to combat fraud, leading to increasing delays in getting accounts successfully opened and high back-end costs. Greater Alliance needed a partner that could get members through the account opening process efficiently, while simultaneously automating the identity decisioning process.
Greater Alliance was able streamline this process and accelerate account growth with Narmi’s 2-minute and 13-second Digital Account Opening experience. In fact, they saw an over 300% increase in digital account opening volume in just the first month after going live with Narmi.
Beyond seeing a dramatic decrease in abandonment, Greater Alliance has seen a promising reduction in the rate of fraudulent applications. That is, qualified applicants are completing their applications and getting approved at record rates, while fraudulent applicants are being automatically booted from the system. In the long run, this increase in non-fraudulent account openings will give Greater Alliance more time, money, and resources to dedicate towards improving their member experience.
1. An e-commerce approach to account opening that members are accustomed to, including customizable product bundles and a shopping cart-like experience
2. 100% account funding through flexible initial funding options – the ability to fund with a credit/debit card or to transfer from an external account – that make it easy for users to make their first deposit
3. An industry-leading KYC identity decisioning tool that drastically reduces manual review time and streamlines both the front-end and back-office experience
Greater Alliance found that in-platform member engagement across the board was substandard. Executive leadership ranked it as a “solid 5” on a scale of one to ten, noticing signs of a lack of engagement with low levels of external transfers and bill pay usage.
As a multi-generational credit union that has been around for over 85 years, Greater Alliance has a variety of members across ages and demographics. With a rapidly evolving consumer base, including newer members who are accustomed to more modern ways of transacting online, Greater Alliance needed a partner that could keep members of all ages engaged and active within their digital products.
Leveraging extensive user research and testing, Narmi helped reimagine Greater Alliance’s digital banking experience by creating an intuitive user experience that resonated with members of all ages and demographics.
Prior to Narmi, Greater Alliance saw low levels of engagement on the platform witnessing on average only 25 external ACH transfers per month. With the addition of the Narmi platform, Greater Alliance is now seeing over 100 transfers a day. That means that Greater Alliance experienced over 116x growth in the number of external ACH transfers per month. In the words of Ron Amar, Director of Core Services at Greater Alliance, “Narmi made it easier for members to move money, whether it’s to another person or to another bank account in their name. From a member standpoint, they didn’t complain about the system before, but they were doing these transactions somewhere else. Now that they know that we can do it, they are doing it with us. And that’s critical to maintaining members and the growth of members.”
After onboarding Narmi, Greater Alliance reported that engagement has spiked to an “8-9” on a scale of one to ten. According to Glenn Guinto, President & CEO of Greater Alliance, “The new platform definitely has a more current/relevant appeal compared to our old one.”
1. Appxchange in a mobile feed style, which allows Greater Alliance to natively integrate the best of Fintechs, such as BillShark and Lemonade, into its platform which helps members control their financial stories, all within the Greater Alliance experience.
2. Personal Financial Management Tools, which provides visual dashboards that help members budget and better understand their spending habits.
3. Flow-based transfer experience takes the guesswork out of money movement, offering an easy money movement experience that supports internal and external transfers, Billpay, and the ability to wire money.
Prior to partnering with Narmi, Greater Alliance was using an overly cluttered and antiquated admin interface, reporting that it would often take up to 15 minutes to figure out where to find something on a single page. As such, Greater Alliance was left with increased back-office costs, confusion, and frustrated employees, all of which ultimately trickled down into a negative impact on their member service.
Greater Alliance needed a streamlined provider with an easy-to-use platform that would alleviate the burden for staff and improve member service.
Narmi was able to alleviate the burden on Greater Alliance employees, providing them with an efficient administrator platform and intuitive access to navigation and tools. Greater Alliance was able to onboard their staff to use the Narmi Admin Portal quickly and with ease – according to Ron Amar, Director of Core Services at Greater Alliance “From a service standpoint, [we] can service members quicker, because it’s much easier to navigate.”
With Narmi, Greater Alliance is not only able to service members quickly, but has also noticed a general decrease in the amount of support calls. Ron Amar of Greater Alliance stated, “We’ve noticed less calls because we are able to resolve more issues using Narmi’s support feature in Digital Banking.”
1. Self-service institution settings, which leverages a search functionality to provide easy navigation and alleviate search-time burdens
2. Full visibility into their members through Narmi’s tightly integrated identity decisioning toolkit
3. Back-office emulation that allows the Greater Alliance team to view the users’ screen through a “read-only” session