One of the most innovative credit unions that stands out when it comes to digital innovation is Pennsylvania’s largest credit union, PSECU. When PSECU originally engaged Kony DBX, they already had an excellent digital program, a market-leading banking platform, and a robust in-house technology team. They wanted us to revamp their platform to build upon their existing capabilities. At Kony DBX, this challenge and our team’s experience with the PSECU team was truly inspiring, as their commitment to continual innovation matches our own.
By way of background, PSECU comes from humble beginnings. In the depths of the Great Depression, when confidence in banks was at an all-time low, 22 founding members pooled $90 to start PSECU. Since then, PSECU has grown that initial $90 into more than $5 billion in assets and has gained the trust of more than 450,000 members. In fact, PSECU just gave their members a jaw-dropping Special Membership Reward at the beginning of the year: $22 million in surplus earnings back to their membership to honor their 22 founding members and celebrate a successful year.
I credit the leadership of former President Greg Smith – who was with PSECU for nearly 30 years – for being among the first in the country to recognize the important role that digital would come to play in credit unions nationwide. Greg recently retired, but he left a strong legacy of innovation that will empower PSECU to serve its members well into the future.
The entire PSECU team is very forward-leaning and has long embraced digital transformation with the goal of becoming a digital-first institution. To support PSECU, Kony DBX helped them launch an initiative dubbed Taking AIM (Accelerating Innovation for Members).
PSECU had a very specific checklist identified by their in-house developers and key personnel. Their checklist – and the outcome of those endeavors – are below:
Integration with PSECU’s existing technology – Accomplished.
The Kony Digital Banking Platform (Kony DBX) was able to augment – not reinvent – their existing technology. We took the source code onto our platform and then trained PSECU to use their own in-house developers to integrate new features and make adjustments.
According to PSECU President Greg Smith, the PSECU team set up a “war room” where they worked closely with the Kony team. They were able to address every challenge, just by going through the code.
Agility – Delivered.
By putting development tools into the hands of PSECU, Kony essentially turned over the steering wheel to them. They are now fully able to add new features or make whatever changes they deem necessary – in their own way and on their own timeline. As an added bonus, the new process allows PSECU developers to address the needs of multiple work on multiple platforms from Kony’s single code base – addressing the notoriously thorny Android ecosystem.
Security – Upgraded.
Kony added multifactor authentication and certificate pinning to PSECU’s current offering, without sacrificing the user experience their members liked so well. PSECU is now exploring biometric security features for an even safer and more user-friendly experience.
Seamlessness across live and digital channels – Achieved.
One of the advantages of Kony’s versatile platform is its ability to deliver frictionless end-user experiences across multiple channels. This was vital to PSECU. Their level of service to members means they want the ability to step in and help members who may have started a process – such as a loan application – via a digital channel, but haven’t finished it.
PSECU wanted to be able to view the same information their members see in order to answer questions or help them complete the process. Kony DBX delivers the capability to quickly find the point where the member left off, regardless of where the transaction begins – mobile, web, call center, or ATM channels.
Synergy – Realized.
PSECU gained synergies through Kony’s ongoing collaboration with their ATM provider. As a result, PSECU will have access to new developments and features, such as cardless ATM transactions and more.
Checklist – Done.
Through Kony’s collaboration, PSECU has gotten all of the advantages of Kony DBX while retaining their unique identity. They streamlined their existing mobile app to require fewer taps for transactions and are adding new features such as “account insights” which quickly and effortlessly track members’ spending. PSECU works independently on the Kony platform, and Kony continues to guide and consult with PSECU as they implement the work.
The takeaway here is that Kony DBX gives financial institutions the flexibility they need. That’s how we work. We meet credit unions right where they are and customize ways for particularly tech-savvy credit unions – like PSECU – to have all the autonomy they need.
Jeffery Kendall is Executive Vice President & General Manager, Global Banking and Financial Solutions for Kony DBX, the digital banking arm of industry-leading digital platform company Kony, Inc.
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