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How to update online banking experience for better customer service

Hear how one IT Leadership Awards finalist improved the online customer experience at his credit union.

Roger Kipe, vice president of IT, was recently recognized by the SearchCIO.com 2012 IT Leadership Awards for his efforts in using technology to improve customers' experiences at SAC Federal Credit Union in Bellevue, Neb.

In this podcast, Kipe discusses how he and his IT team implemented the latest technologies in online banking services to provide customers avenues for managing their money anywhere, anytime. He also details his current project to update SAC's core processing system.

Learn how Kipe is utilizing technology to improve the customer experience at SAC Federal Credit Union.

SearchCIO.com: What prompted you to embark on the online banking services improvement project?

Kipe: Well, the senior management team here at SAC Federal Credit Union had set a strategic goal to enhance our products and services that we offered our members. One of those services we offered was online banking. So we took a look at it and decided it was lacking functionality and kind of had a dated look. So, because of that, we went ahead and embarked on the search for a new online banking vendor, one that would be a little more current and also offer more current services.

Was it a hard sell to the business on making these changes?

It wasn't a hard sell to the business. Normally, the way we get those sorts of projects approved is we go to the senior management team, which I'm a member of, and we pitch the idea based on what our strategic goals are. Once the senior management team had a chance to look at the increased functionality and the improved online banking services we'd be able to offer our members, it was a pretty easy sell, honestly.

What went into launching the update and who was involved in the process?

Roger KipeRoger Kipe

We started in 2010 by doing a search for online banking vendors. We ended up deciding on Q2 [Software Inc.] out of Austin, Texas. We felt like they had the right mix of stability and functionality, and they had a great roadmap for the future functionality as well. So we assigned a project manager on our staff. and we picked a team internally that would be mostly member-facing teams -- because they're the ones who were going to have to deal with the members -- and people that were experienced in using different home-banking products, and we started the project. We had to do some training on the back-office systems, and we had to do a great deal of testing, but ultimately that was how our project team was decided on and made up.

You mentioned that your online banking services had an outdated look and some outdated functions. Can you talk about how this has improved customers' experiences?

If you bank with our institution and another institution, you're now able to add that external account. You're able to move money in and out of that external account into our institution. That's pretty convenient and [a capability that] we did not have the ability to do before. We're also able to offer a personal finance management tool. A lot of people are familiar with Mint.com, and this is a similar product based on the same technology -- you can enter all of your online accounts, not just our institution's.

Let us know what you think about the story; email editor@searchcio.com.

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What are the most effective ways banks can improve the online customer experience?
If I can pay bills without having to navigate through a lot of pages, that is ideal. Otherwise, I think being able to connect to all of my accounts (whether or not they're with that particular bank) would be a great feature.