Meet The Member Experience Finalists For The 2022 Innovation Series

This year’s member experience solutions provide inventive ways for credit unions to serve members.

Think of it as Shark Tank, but with a credit union spin and it’s just been renewed for another season.

Read about the finalists by clicking on the links below.

BILL SCHWAAB, BOOST AI MILIND BORKAR, ILLUMA JOE WELU, TOTAL EXPERT JENS RABE, UNBLU

The 2022 Innovation Series from CreditUnions.com and Callahan Associates is underway. Every year since 2018, this series has offered a select group of suppliers 10 minutes each to impress an audience of credit union decision-makers. It’s simple: Each vendor pitches its offerings and attendees vote on their favorites.

The Innovation Series was a hit from the get-go and continues to grow in popularity. This year’s focus areas include digital solutions, lending, and member experience.

Read on for more from this year’s member experience finalists, then click here to registerfor the webinar.

MEMBER EXPERIENCE: BOOST AI

Describe your innovation.

Bill Schwaab, VP of North America, Boost.ai

Bill Schwaab: We at Boost.ai provide credit unions and other enterprise organizations an opportunity to increase member satisfaction, cut costs, and drive revenues with the help of our industry-leading conversational AI platform. With over 250 live external bots, our conversational AI platform is especially ideal for large-scale deployments where an organization is looking to employ a smarter chatbot for both internal, employee-facing applications as well as member-facing ones. Boost.ai’s virtual agents can interface with already existing backend systems and a member’s own account via user authentication to perform advanced processes without the need to involve a human service rep.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

BS: The biggest challenge any organization will face when attempting to implement a virtual agent to support member service is the need for it to be smart, accurate, and scalable. Our platform has the capability to meet these demands through its fundamental building blocks. Powered by Natural Language Understanding (NLU), the virtual agent is able to parse the nuances of human language and get to the underlying intent of a member’s request and has proven itself in this capacity with a reduction in false-positive response by 90%. This has led 75% of customers to choose to talk with the bot over a human when offered a choice. Both intuitively smart and incredibly accurate! For the organization looking to scale, Boost.ai is a no-code solution allowing for AI trainers with no technical back-end expertise to train the bot on new topics that they need its help to support with, allowing the virtual agent to grow, scale, and change direction with the company it supports.

How does it increase member value?

BS: Today’s digitally-savvy and often remote-first customers have turned to their phone when trying to connect with their credit union for support. While this has helped to speed up the development of more digital banking applications and features, the support for these applications has taken time to catch up. With our application being mobile-friendly and able to integrate seamlessly into the backend of already existing applications, we can help spin up support services for credit unions quickly and efficiently.

Boost.ai comes out of the box with over 1,500 credit union topics built-in so there is no time wasted training the bot on the basics such as how to access an account or complete a simple transaction. Reduced wait times, 24/7 support, and accuracy of responses our virtual agent provides customers the level of familiarity and personalization that so many expect from a traditional in-person banking experience, only in this case it’s entirely digital.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

BS: What separates us from the rest of the field is our ability to truly scale, and scale with accuracy. While our virtual agents come pre-built with thousands of topics for rapid spin-up time, I’m most impressed with the ability of our bot to learn and grow into the spaces that we deploy them. For example, Fran, a member-facing bot that we deployed to Michigan State University’s Federal Credit Union, grew its number of intents, the basic definitions of how a chatbot is programmed to respond, to over 10,000 with the help of the virtual agent training team. This represents a great deal of domain experience that has broadened the scope of Fran’s capabilities dramatically.

MEMBER EXPERIENCE: ILLUMA

Describe your innovation.

Milind Borkar, Founder CEO, Illuma

Milind Borkar: We are integrating the Illuma Shield passive voice authentication solution with conversational AI IVR from POSH for deployment on the self-service side of credit union contact centers.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

MB: Credit union contact centers are overwhelmed with persistent high call volume. Due to the tough labor market, these organizations are often unable to provide member service without extensive hold times. This problem is amplified for credit unions because they differentiate themselves with a personal touch and quality member experience, both of which are taking a major hit in today’s environment. Operations and IT teams are aggressively seeking ways to improve efficiency in their contact centers to provide their members with expedited service and stay ahead of the game on digital transformation.

How does it increase member value?

MB: Members have more convenient and frictionless access to their finances with secure voice biometrics from Illuma and around-the-clock service with conversational AI IVR from Posh. By improving the self-service experience with frictionless authentication, members can more easily access and manage their accounts over the phone anytime without speaking to an agent, waiting on hold, answering security questions, or entering passcodes.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

MB: Illuma and Posh are the first to co-develop the integration between voice authentication and conversational AI IVR with a focus on the needs and use cases prevalent in credit unions. Unlike other solutions that are costly and difficult to deploy, this focused effort will result in a solution that is right sized for credit unions that need a quick, budget-friendly way to improve member experience, operational efficiency, and account security.

MEMBER EXPERIENCE: TOTAL EXPERT

Describe your innovation.

Joe Welu, Founder CEO, Total Expert

Joe Welu: Total Expert is the CRM and member engagement platform uniquely built for credit unions. Total Expert gives credit unions the digital tools they needdata, insights, automation, and compliance managementto deliver deeply personal interactions and experiences that build trust, deepen loyalty, and create lifelong relationships. Total Expert turns member insights into actions to increase loyalty and drive growth for credit unions.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

JW: Credit unions have become increasingly challenged particularly amid the COVID-19 pandemic to improve member experiences across all digital touchpoints. Total Expert was built on the foundation and recognition that sacrificing the member relationship with non-specific, non-targeted communications is the greatest threat to the member and financial institution relationship. To restore the focus on the relationship, Total Expert launched the first and only enterprise-level marketing and sales solution built specifically for financial institutions.

How does it increase member value?

JW: Total Expert empowers credit unions to make every member feel like they’re the only member. Credit unions leverage Total Expert to deliver the right message to the right person at the right time, via the channel they prefer, so that the mortgage process feels as personal and meaningful as choosing a home. By centralizing data, marketing, sales, and compliance teams on one platform, everyone from credit union leadership to sales force teams can iterate on messaging, leverage data, and find what resonates most with members. The result: happier, more engaged members who have longer relationships with their credit union.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

JW: Total Expert differs from other CRMs and technology players in the credit union space by providing credit unions unmatched value in three core areas: purpose-built for financial services, a single, centralized platform, and personalization at scale. Institutions that partner with Total Expert accelerate time to ROI and win deeper member relationships, enjoy wider product usage, drive higher retention, and provide greater member satisfaction all through a more human approach.

MEMBER EXPERIENCE: UNBLU CORP.

Describe your innovation.

Jens Rabe, Chief Operating Officer, Unblu Corp.

Jens Rabe: At Unblu, we recognized early on the importance of a security layer. That’s why we innovated a feature that enables a credit union to provide an authenticated video and collaboration space that integrates with Google, MS-Outlook, online/mobile banking as well as calendar management systems. This standalone, yet authenticated experience, provides the same feel of the above-listed video solutions – but with a branded look for a seamless and trusted experience. This addition to Unblu’s communication and collaboration toolset provides credit unions with an easy entry point for digital engagement using our authenticated and secure digital meeting capability.

What opportunity or challenge does it address?

JR: In-branch banking is on the decline while digital banking is ascending. Credit unions are rapidly transforming, adopting new technologies to embrace this paradigm shift. From AI and live-chat to digital self-service tools, In-the-moment at every-moment is how credit unions are now providing digital support. Members engage via instant video advisors, or with a cleverly-named chatbot for after-hours service. These channels are ideal for basic transactions – but fall short for multi-step transactions. Herein lies the challenge. Substantial product purchases are more complex, and the duration of these transactions are much longer.

Further complicating matters is data security. Oftentimes, a member’s personal information is required – but must be sent in advance of a purchase as this information too sensitive to share over a Zoom’ meeting. Authentication and security are the two reasons why these types of interactions are almost always conducted in-branch, or over the phone. Traditional telephony has been the single-source for out of branch communication. Until now.

How does it increase member value?

JR: When members are considering complex products like mortgages and loans, they have higher expectations for making a more informed decision with the guidance of their credit union. Members want human and personal interaction as they will be assuming large financial risk and need the extra assurance. They also want the confidence that their transaction is being conducted in a secure environment. Our innovation allows member service representations to collaborate and co-browse via a remote video session. Our customers report a 25-30% increase in sales meetings scheduled with prospects and customers as they can offer an online meeting that is convenient, accessible, secure – and trusted.

What differentiates this innovation from competitors?

JR: The Unblu Conversational Platform was built for the financial industry. Our extensive experience working with the world’s leading banks informs how we design our technology. Our innovation is unique as it enables a credit union to provide an authenticated video and collaboration space using the credit union’s existing secure connectivity, unlike some video service providers who rely on third party authentication verification.

We understand that credit unions need to scale vertically and horizontally to achieve flexible and sustainable digital customer service. Point solution offerings, while high-visibility, in the end are low-lift and limited as they can only perform one specific function. Unblu’s omnichannel approach to digital collaboration and communication enables credit unions to leverage their existing digital investments while preventing information silos to provide a unified member experience across all digital channels.

February 14, 2022

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