Here at Narmi, we are constantly iterating on new ways to pioneer the success of our customers. We believe in the power of true partnerships, which was exemplified by our recent webinar with University Federal Credit Union (UFCU). During the session, our team spoke with James Bargsley, UFCU Digital Product Owner, about his experience working with Narmi, why having core expertise as a fintech matters, and how a best-in-class digital account opening experience allowed UFCU to better serve current members while effectively scaling.
UFCU was originally founded to serve faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin. Over the past 85 years, UFCU has expanded into multiple universities, membership segments, and geographic areas – all in the effort to serve the greater Texas community.
As it looked to expand its membership to additional universities and students, it was important for UFCU to find a partner that had a digital-first approach and experience integrating with its core provider, Jack Henry Symitar.
During the webinar, Bargsley explained the importance of finding a partner that understood and could easily integrate with Symitar. Given that every credit union core has nuances that can slow implementation, the team was impressed with Narmi’s expertise and knowledge of Symitar.
“Looking for a vendor who has worked with Symitar in the past is huge and we’ve seen those relationships with people who haven’t in the past,” said Barglsey. “It can get very cumbersome and it can take a lot longer to implement.”
Having knowledge around Symitar also meant easier, and faster alignment between Narmi and UFCU and felt like “speaking the same language” according to Bargsley.
COVID undoubtedly had an impact on UFCU’s ability to register new members since much of its outreach took place at university-based events. As a result, it was crucial for its new digital account opening platform to be user-centric, easy to understand, and as Bargsley noted, “conducive for any platform.”
In addition, the team wanted a solution that would remove much of the manual review process, while still maintaining robust Know Your Customer (KYC) standards, especially since students (who make up a large portion of their membership) often don’t have standard KYC components such as utility bills and credit histories.
“Now we also have this whole new set of data that creates a digital identity for folks who are using their phone to pinpoint who they are and build confidence that the person using this device and opening this account is who they say they are.” – James Bargsley, UFCU Digital Product Owner
However, this new process took some buy-in from key stakeholders across UFCU. The change management process required Bargsley to align with the compliance and asset teams to ensure that internal controls and the overall experience were agreed upon. It was also important to highlight how Narmi’s digital account opening platform would actually better serve members, while simultaneously allowing UFCU the flexibility to manually review applicants on an as needed basis.
Once the Narmi digital account opening platform was live, it quickly garnered confidence and trust from the UFCU team as they saw an 83% completion rate (2.2x their previous platform) and an average completion time of 2 minutes and 13 seconds, along with an increase in real accounts.
“We had more confidence in the people that were coming in and the decisions that were made by the platform,” Bargsley confirmed.
How was Narmi able to execute such a successful implementation? It was important to build trust with UFCU from the very start, and ensure that the team felt supported even once the implementation was complete.
“We were impressed with the demonstration we were given out the gate and we were also impressed with the knowledge base Implementation had around Symitar and understanding our needs,” said Bargsley.
Narmi’s unique pod model also means that all customers have a dedicated team that is comprised of vertical experts, thus leading to the utmost personalized feedback and care.
“It’s like we have a whole other staff of product owners and developers that work for UFCU and are able to create some of the things that we would love to see. And this relationship has honestly felt like an augmentation of our workforce and we are able to create the experience we want for our membership.”