SPOKANE, Wash. — Upgrading mobile banking to offer more robust features is always a selling point, but the other big motivator right now is adding stronger security. Global CU got both when it rolled out its enhanced online banking system, eBranch, late last month.

"This online banking platform has more security. We exceed the regulatory requirements for member information security," said Global CU's COO, Mary Starkey. "It provides our members more tools for money management, and allows them to service their own accounts in a secure fashion."

The $370 million credit union, serving 48,000 members, has offered online banking since 2000. Aside from enhanced security, which includes individualized challenge questions that confirm the user's identity, this upgrade, akin to Mint.com, provides members enhanced banking solutions.

Now the 26,000 members who are considered active online banking users can view categorized spending history, schedule savings goals complete with charts and alerts to track progress, as well as use budgeting tools with charts that visually represent progress toward defined budgets.

"Since the launch of our first online banking product, we've had about a 50% adoption rate. Since we just launched our enhanced eBranch on Jan. 21, I don't have any adoption data," said Starkey. However, she added that "We do anticipate more active users with the addition of the Quicken interface and enhanced mobile components."

Vendor Search And Rollout
When seeking a vendor, Starkey said a thorough discovery process was undertaken. After reviewing various pitches, Global CU decided to remain partnered with its current vendor ACI Worldwide, formerly ORCC. "We did so because of their robust features, the reliability of their platform and the integration with ePay, which is our bill paying feature."

To ensure the launch would be smooth and seamless, Global CU's Network Administer, Michael Reimer, served as the lead on rollout efforts. "He met every two weeks, and sometimes more often, with a cross-functional team including operations, marketing, and training, to plan the rollout," said Starkey. "This same team also did testing on the product and new features in a testing sym and reported back to the team."

Before eBranch was officially launched, ACI Worldwide provided employees and team members with web-based training sessions. Later, these training sessions were conducted on site. "Training by team members continued for our employees, and pre-rollout communication with our members was provided online and through a statement insert by marketing," said Starkey.

She added that Global CU provides continuing education about eBranch's features through frequently asked questions (FAQs) for both members and our employees. "These are updated as we receive new questions from our members," she said.

While member adoption rates are too soon to report, initial feedback from members is positive, especially regarding the Personal Financial Management (PFM) Spending tool. "I've been told our members like the new PFM and classification of expenses, especially the ability to add their own classification," said Starkey.

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