For CommunityAmerica, Less Core Is More

The Kansas City credit union had separate systems for personal and business banking but expects to gain efficiencies by combining the two systems into one.

Converting from one core platform to another presents enough of a challenge, but CommunityAmerica Credit Union ($4.9B, Lenexa, KS) recently had double the fun by converting two into one. As of Sept. 6, Kansas City’s largest cooperative is running on Fiserv DNA after nearly three decades on Fiserv Spectrum and six years on Finastra Phoenix.

The former is a legacy retail platform whereas the latter is for business banking, and CACU expects to realize immediate benefits from integrating those two lines of business into one back end.

Andrea Gates, Director of Core Transformation Programs, CommunityAmerica Credit Union

“Before our core conversion, our teams had to support two different platforms — and one of them was a 28-year-old platform with significant risk,” says Andrea Gates, the credit union’s director of core transformation. “Beyond the obvious hurdle of doubling up work, we had an inconsistent experience for both the member and our employees. Everything is now housed in one program, and it has become much easier for everyone.”

Gates adds the new system has better support, a full set of API capabilities, and multiple integrations that enable personalization that benefits members and their individual situations.

“This new streamlined process has enhanced our personalized service more than ever before,” says Gates, who has held multiple roles in her 26 years with the 279,000-member cooperative.

Not that it was a walk in the park getting there. Gates says data mapping and converting from account-centric to person-centric systems were the biggest challenges.

“There was significant impact on critical integrations like online banking,” she says. “We worked hard to understand the complexity early and allocate adequate time for planning and implementation. Understanding this gave us time to add significant effort to catch up in the last few months of the conversion project.”

CU QUICK FACTS

CommunityAmerica Credit Union
DATA AS OF 09.30.22

HQ: Lenexa, KS
ASSETS: $4.9B
MEMBERS: 279,271
BRANCHES: 28
EMPLOYEES: 1,061
NET WORTH: 9.0%
ROA: 0.18%

Now, business and natural-person accounts alike are handled by the core’s integration with Digital Insight software for online and mobile banking, and MeridianLink and Terafina for account opening.

“Anyone can now go to any branch to do their banking,” Gates says. “This allows anyone who has multiple accounts, whether they’re personal or business, to access their money and get assistance from our front line much more easily. In turn, the front line only has to log on to one program to view those accounts, which saves them time.”

Going forward, CACU expects to benefit from faster time to market for new products and efficiency gains from simply being on one platform instead of two. And the credit union expects to get better at each as it gets more proficient and creative with its technology capabilities.

“One of the greatest things is now everyone is an expert,” Gates says. “Everyone knows what they’re doing. So, we’ll continue to build the processes and utilize the system the best way we can. It’s a learning process that we’ll continue to evaluate and adjust going forward.”

To learn more about the core provider landscape, contact Callahan & Associates and ask how you can gain access to this year’s Market Share Guide: Credit Union Core Processors.

December 5, 2022

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