2021 Tekkie Award for Lending: Nuvision Federal Credit Union

By John San Filippo


Like many credit unions, Nuvision Federal Credit Union was saddled with an antiquated loan preapproval process. The credit union would send preapproval notices by either surface mail or email. Surface-mail notices would instruct the member to dial-in to the call center to accept the offer. Email notices would provide a link to a landing page that let the member know to expect a call from someone at the call center.


“There were no self-service capabilities – no way to actually look at the details of your preapproval offer and accept it,” said Baron Conway, the credit union’s senior vice president and head of digital and non-branch channels. “We didn’t need to create a better digital experience because there was no digital experience. We needed to fill that gap.”


Baron Conway, Senior Vice President & Head of Digital and Non-Branch Channels, Nuvision FCU

Secondary to that, Conway wanted to engage members earlier in the process. “Under our old system, by the time a member actually talked to someone, they were pretty far down the sales funnel,” he added. “We want to be able to engage members when they are further up the sales cycle.”


The credit union began exploring various options, including building an automated system from scratch. The search ended when it discovered CuneXus (pronounced Q-nexus). The CuneXus platform captures data from the credit union’s core system, marries it to credit bureau data, determines each member’s eligibility for every loan product, and finally creates a digital storefront where the member can pick and choose among their offers. What’s more, members can easily explore different options (e.g., loan amount and loan term) before finally accepting an offer.


“We couldn’t find anything else that delivered near the capabilities that CuneXus offers,” said Conway. “It was an easy decision at that point.”


Conway was also attracted by the fact that CuneXus had already built integrations to Q2 eBanking (the credit union’s digital banking provider) and MeridianLink (the credit union’s LOS provider). According to Conway, the Q2 integration makes for a seamless member experience, while the MeridianLink integration makes for an equally seamless employee experience. Loan offers can be accepted and processed with virtually no manual intervention.


“Thanks to companies like Amazon, consumers have come to expect a frictionless buying experience. Yet when it comes to lending, they’re still required to do all the heavy lifting for an application that may ultimately yield a ‘no’ answer,” said Barry Kirby, SVP at CuneXus. “Our goal is to eliminate the credit application entirely.”


While it’s common today to hear digital marketers talk about the customer journey, Kirby claims a credit union’s members should never go on a journey searching for credit. “If your members are on a journey looking for credit, you probably haven’t done a very good job of letting them know what you have to offer,” he said. Instead, a well-architected lending program should condition members to look to the credit union first – with no need to look any further.


Nuvision saw incredible digital engagement in the first three months after launching its CuneXus storefront. The platform immediately engaged over 9% of the credit union’s membership (more than 15,000 members), significantly exceeding expectations.


Nuvision has a robust analytics team that was able to track the CuneXus impact across all channels. What they found was that CuneXus helped drive multichannel member engagement. As members viewed their offers in CuneXus, some would use an alternate channel to complete their loan funding based on their own comfort level. For example, a member might view a loan offer on the storefront, then visit a branch to accept the offer. The credit union lets each member choose the channel that’s right for them.


Nuvision is using the system mostly for auto loan preapprovals, as well as some credit cards and personal loans. “We’re taking our time rolling out new loan products,” said Conway. He noted that the CuneXus system can also present non-loan products, such as insurance products that may accompany an auto loan.


Later this year, the credit union will launch a retargeting program based on the extensive data they’re able to capture from the CuneXus platform.


“We’re going to be analyzing the underlying data from the CuneXus platform to identify exactly where members are abandoning the process,” said Conway. “For members who don’t go all the way through the process, we’ll be launching retargeting campaigns to help draw them back into the sales funnel.”


Giving institutions complete and easy access to their own data is an important consideration for CuneXus, noted Kirby. This is one reason the system is only offered as an on-premise solution.


“When a cloud provider aggregates data across multiple institutions, some things happen purely for the benefit of the cloud provider,” said Kirby. “I’ll just leave it at that.”

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