Andrews Federal Credit Union is among the growing class of community banks that are upgrading their core banking systems.
But the Maryland credit union's initiative will stand out in at least one way — it's using video to demonstrate to members how new products and services will result from the project.
"Video's new for me, I didn't do it on previous conversions that I've worked on," says David Perkins, CIO of the Suitland, Md.-based Andrews Federal Credit Union, which has about 85,000 members and $900 million in assets. "We thought it would be a good idea for individual members to look at the new capabilities."
Andrews will license Jack Henry's (JKHY) Symitar, a core system designed for credit unions, in a project that's scheduled to begin on August 23 and be fully completed by September 1, 2013. More than a half dozen disparate systems will be consolidated in an effort to reduce the work involved in processing transactions and other tasks, such as rekeying documents as a loan, new account, or report passes through departments.
The credit union also plans to deploy a full suite of new mobile banking products that will eventually include deposits and payments along with transfers and queries. Andrews also plans a renovated voice response system for its contact center, new digital payments, and a redesigned and updated web banking suite.
For these customer-facing features, Andrews plans to produce a series of videos on its website and YouTube to explain each new feature as it's introduced, why it's being introduced and how it relates to the bank's larger core conversion — as well as information about the conversion. The credit union is still working on the details of the videos, such as production and whether it will use an agency. But the goal is to include members in the process as the credit union upgrades, giving the institution the opportunity to look innovative as well as market its new features. "We want to generate some excitement among the members," Perkins says.
By producing videos, the credit union hopes to describe how its new core drives a larger strategy of increasing options and channels for consumers.
"There may be a demo of some kind of new self-service initiative that's being rolled out so members can educate themselves. If people want to come into a branch or call that's also fine, but we want to make sure we're reaching everyone on ever channel," says Linda Garboczi, vice president of marketing for the credit union, who says content will also include information on how to use new digital services to open accounts, as well as what new services are available.
Fran Kester, national sales manager for Symitar, says he's not aware of other clients that are producing or plan to produce videos tied to core conversions. But he says the capability is there to do so. Jack Henry records internal videos of how its core systems and ancillary products work, generally for use at user conferences and for sales to other credit unions. Some of the tech firm's content may be repurposed in some way for the CU's videos.
Financial institutions don't typically market core conversions to customers, at least not overtly.
While core projects can enable new innovation such as mobile banking, the broad IT initiatives that underpin the innovation are mostly internal, laden with tech jargon, and the overriding goal is to minimize the project's impact on user experience.