A video-banking platform launched in November 2016 has since been rolled out to all 15 branches of Moline, Ill.-based Vibrant Credit Union, following strong satisfaction results, increased lending and shorter wait times for members.

The system, which enables members to speak to the credit union’s personal bankers from the CU’s headquarters, regardless of the member’s branch location, has been so successful that it has garnered a 95 percent satisfaction rating, according to Vibrant’s internal surveys.

Personal banking at Vibrant CU
Personal banking at Vibrant CU

Steve Ducey, chief experience officer at the $653 million-asset credit union, said the credit union has also seen an increase in loan conversions since the platform was launched.

“We believe this is due to the efficiency and ease of getting a loan through video banking compared to the previous standard model,” he said. “It’s a much better member experience allowing our lenders to help members at all branches rather than just one specific location.”

Regardless of which branch a members walks into, Ducey said, the credit union is now able to offer an expert in lending, mortgage, insurance, business and investments in every branch. “We’ve also been able to grow and expand our footprint as a credit union; since implementing video lending, we service twice as many branches with the same amount of lenders,” he added.

Ducey further said that members have seen their wait time decreased by about 90 percent, adding that wait times are now “less than half of the industry standard since it no longer matters which branch you walk into.”

The credit union isn’t exclusively using video tellers, however, and Ducey noted that all branches still have live tellers to assist with traditional transactions.

“We still want our members to be greeted by a friendly face when they walk into our branch so they can get the full Vibrant experience,” said Ducey.

As such, the video system is geared specifically for lending and other, more sophisticated products and services.

Steve Ducey, chief experience officer at Vibrant Credit Union
Steve Ducey, Vibrant CU’s chief experience officer

“By using the video platform for lending we’re able to expand our services and efficiency in each branch without compromising that one-of-a-kind unique experience,” Ducey added. “Our mobile banking platform rivals the largest banks, meaning members can already complete simple teller transactions from their phone.”

However, given that loans are more time-consuming and more complex than the typical teller transaction, one must wonder how Vibrant can make such experiences be “personal” for its members.

Ducey noted that prior to connecting with a personal banker, a Vibrant employee walks the member into a “video-banking room” and will even connect the member with an available personal banker. “It truly is a personal experience,” he said. “All video-banking rooms are set up the exact same way for easy use. … Our personal bankers also interact in an engaging way making the whole experience something fun and memorable.”

Currently all of the credit union’s lenders are centralized at the corporate office in Moline. “As we continue to grow, working remotely will become an option,” Ducey said. “The program has already been implemented into all of our branches and will continue into any new branches into the future.”