Credit unions often can’t develop new capabilities because their core processing systems won’t allow it, says Ted Bilke, president of Symitar.
That’s where application program interfaces (APIs) come in.
“Our system allows credit unions to develop their own workflows and, for example, home banking systems,” he says. “We have thousands of open APIs clients can use to modify and extend their systems' capabilities.
“Say you're issuing debit cards,” Bilke continues. “Your core processor can set up the account, issue the card, provide a PIN, connect to a network, and send a text or email. All these processes work to the benefit of both members and credit union staff.”
In addition to the use of APIs, other core processing trends include:
► Support. “We offer ongoing updates, webinars, best practices, and other educational information to make sure clients are as comfortable and confident as possible," says Maria Schuld, senior vice president of banking functions for FIS. “We have a tremendous amount of experience and insights to offer.”
► Flexibility. Core systems should allow credit unions to leverage the technology to differentiate themselves from competitors.
“Also, members should be able to pick and choose which functions they want to use,” Schuld says. This results in enhanced experiences that tie members closer to their credit unions.
► Research and development. “Our 'secret sauce' is to keep investing in R&D,” Bilke says. “We're now on our fifth user interface, and this latest version is 'device-centric.' It works equally well with tablets, laptops, desktops, and smartphones."
► Continuous improvement. Core processors also look internally for ways to improve, including holding regular planning sessions that focus on internal processes and how to better integrate their own platforms, says Derek Everett, Fiserv's general manager of Credit Union Solutions.
► Chatbots. Bilke calls this technology “a newish trend” whose adoption has been slower than expected.
“Credit unions' more sophisticated members are asking for it, and we're patiently waiting for it to grow,” he says. Members use this service as they would Alexa or Google Home.
First-generation interactive voice response provided basic account information such as balances, recent transactions, and transfers. Second-generation chatbots can pay bills, provide credit card information, and offer the ability to turn credit cards on or off.
“They are evolving the same way online and mobile banking did,” Bilke says.
► Cloud computing. The move to cloud computing will continue, fueled by member data.
“The credit union space has 'data stashes' that, when mined, can present insights into how to target the right members in the right way," says Amy Daniels, Fiserv's general manager of Credit Union Solutions.