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  • Writer's pictureRoy Urrico

2023 Tekkie Award for Fintech Adoption: Park View Federal Credit Union

By Roy Urrico

The $361 million Harrisonburg, Va.-based Park View Federal Credit Union is the winner of the 2023 Tekkie Award for Fintech Adoption.

To close a digital experience gap, Park View Credit Union sought out, selected and worked closely with Mahalo Banking. The partnership between Park View and Mahalo Banking has resulted in a solution that addresses the real needs of all members, including those with neurodiverse abilities and cognitive distinctions.

When the credit union launched its new revamped digital banking channel in April 2023, it finalized a multi-year journey to improve the digital experience for all of its members. “It's been several years that we have known that we really wanted to have an innovative partner,” said Tanya Holland, director of digital operations, at Park View Credit Union. “The digital branch is our largest branch. We really wanted that to be a branch that would be growing and developing and keeping pace with the fintech industry.”

Tanya Holland

Expanding the Digital Experience

On February 15, 2023, Mahalo Banking, a Troy, Mich.-based CUSO (credit union service organization) that provides digital banking exclusively to credit unions, announced it had reengineered its platform to make it more inclusive for people with a wide range of neurodiverse conditions. “Never before has our industry developed a banking platform for credit unions that is engineered to incorporate the neurodiversity of our memberships,” Denny Howell, COO of Mahalo, told Finopotamus at the time.

Denny Howell

Howell added, “As a credit union member and one who is color-blind, I know first-hand what it is like to leverage digital banking channels that lack functionality. Mahalo’s goal in reimagining our platform was to deliver digital banking humanized – a robust, high-quality experience for all members, regardless of their unique conditions. We are proud of our next-gen banking platform, but we are equally excited as we continue to enhance our solution to build out more user-centric features that enable additional diverse groups of credit union members to have better digital banking experiences.”

Holland said Park View Credit Union put careful planning into selecting its digital partner. “We found that in Mahalo. We even extended our launch date to make sure that it was going to be the right product and the right fit for Parkview.” She added, for the credit union’s members, they were very pleased that Mahalo was able to produce its deliverables on schedule when the new digital banking app went live.”

Park View signed with Mahalo in 2021, but said Holland, “It took a good 18 months to make sure that we did this (digital upgrade) well. The neuro diversity programs were available upon the go-live launch in April (2023).”

Meeting Everyone’s Needs

Park View Credit Union recognized how members with neurodiverse abilities and cognitive differences often get overlooked during digital transformation. Mahalo Banking estimates up to 20% of consumers are unable to properly use existing online banking solutions due to the lack of digital support for neurodiversity and cognitive distinctions.

Neurodiversity describes how people experience and interact with the world around them, including banking, in various ways. According to the National Library of Medicine, approximately 15-20% of the world’s population lives with some form of a neurodiverse condition. A significant segment of the global population also experiences disabilities such as color blindness, visual impairments and epilepsy.

To ensure these features would positively impact the member experience, Mahalo Banking worked closely with Park View Credit Union on the design of the neurodiversity features for the enhanced platform. The fintech conducted focus groups comprised of several credit union members, and Park View Credit Union served as their primary partner and guide in creating features that would effectively serve the needs of real members.

The Technology Deployed

Mahalo Banking’s reimagined digital banking platform, which Park View Credit Union now utilizes, features numerous new digital banking functionality options that accommodate members with neurodiverse abilities and cognitive distinctions, such as dyslexia, autism, colorblindness, attention-deficit disorder (ADD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), epilepsy, visual sensitivity, autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and more.

As a result of the collaboration, Park View Credit Union successfully incorporated numerous groundbreaking new features into its platform including view options for all forms of colorblindness, which change the platform’s color themes based on the hues that each member can see. The redesigned application also offers left- and right-hand modes, which shift the side on which buttons are located to improve ease of use for left-handed mobile users.

Users with dyslexia or visual impairments can access different font options to improve text visibility. In addition, the platform delivers the ability to disable animations for those who suffer from epilepsy.

According to Mahalo Banking, currently there is nothing similar to this technology in development within the credit union digital banking space. The fintech firm said the only comparable software to its colorblindness functionality is in video game development.

Enabling Technology

By launching Mahalo Banking’s platform, Park View Credit Union can deliver a consistent, inclusive digital experience. Offering the platform has also enabled the credit union to significantly retain and attract members who are looking for a highly accessible and user-friendly digital banking option.

Holland explained Park View Credit Union capabilities through Mahalo Banking were enabled through the use Corelation’s open KeyStone core processing platform, which she calls “a very nimble, innovative core solution.” Holland said, “Mahalo keeping pace, that is one of the primary reasons we chose them. KeyStone has a very open application program interface (API), which vendors (like Mahalo) love. And that makes it very easy for these partnerships to come together and be so successful.”

Another advantage when it comes to fintech adoption are industry partnerships, noted Holland. “(Mahalo) is a preferred vendor with Corelation. So Corelation gives (Mahalo) direct access to all the release notes and all that. They know exactly what they are coding to. We also work extremely tightly together with our developers and their (Corelation) developers to really firm up and make sure that integration is complete.”

Members Respond

The response to the new digital banking platform from members has been very positive, explained Holland. “The Mahalo experience is intuitive and the feature set is more extensive than what we have had in the past. Members are able to self-service almost anything that they would do in branch or by phone through digital banking. Overall, that is our goal.”

In addition to the neurodiversity capabilities, the Park View Credit Union digital banking experience now also includes some financial wellness features. “Members are able to see their credit score and it is refreshed daily. That that was new for them,” said Holland. “They have really been grateful that they are able to keep a pulse on their financial wellness, both at Park View and outside mortgage or whatever the credit cards that they might have elsewhere. It is all right there within their Park View online banking experience. Little things like that allow it to be just a one stop app for all their financial wellness.”

The next step? Holland said, “Mahalo continues to expand, which is really one of the things we love about them. Every month there are additional enhancements and features that they are releasing. Over the next year, they are releasing a native online account opening and online loan origination. We will be releasing that once it is available. So those are two big features we are excited about.”

In receiving the 2023 Tekkie Award for Fintech Adoption, Holland said, “We are honored. We are thrilled that the partnership with Mahalo has allowed us to even be able to participate and just humbled for the opportunity.”


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