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  • Writer's pictureRoy Urrico

Backbase Provides Engagement Banking To Credit Unions

Updated: Jun 23, 2023


Source: Backbase.

By Roy Urrico


Amsterdam, the Netherlands, based Backbase, which provides engagement banking software credit unions and banks , is on a mission to re-architect banking around credit unions’ members.

Brian Hufford, Backbase.

“We created the Engagement Banking Platform (EBP) that helps credit unions to power the full member lifecycle through a single, white-labeled platform, replacing their limiting, standalone point solutions,” said Brian Hufford, digital strategy consultant, Backbase, which also has U.S. headquarters in Atlanta. He added, “As a long-term innovation partner, Backbase gives credit unions the opportunity to build on a single platform, lowering their cost to serve and time to market for new features.”


Incorporating Innovation


Hufford noted, “Like many long-standing industries, credit unions often try to solve new problems and meet new opportunities using the methods that worked in the past. However, we have reached an inflection point, and the old methods no longer deliver value as fast as credit union members expect.”


The need today, he suggested, is to extend member centricity using modern technology, as the current model is not scalable given its heavy dependence on the branch and face-to-face employee interactions.


Hufford cited as an example younger generations who are more reluctant to visit a branch. “They would much prefer to interact with their institution digitally to start. Deploying digital and mobile features that meet members’ needs and expectations will help to give credit unions that modern appeal that many are lacking today.”


Beyond the shift in technology and operating model, credit unions must also respond to the competitive macroeconomic environment, Hufford pointed out. “Members have access to more digital banks than ever before, and at the same time, recent bank failures have pushed some to shift their deposits to larger institutions deemed, rightly or wrongly, as safer.”


Opportunities For Credit Unions


“Credit unions and community banks have a massive opportunity to bridge their strong relationships, built over decades, into their digital offerings,” offered Hufford. In addition, he claimed, just as a local financial institution’s knowledge of the local market and individual borrowers enabled them to offer more personalized service, so too will a comprehensive data and engagement layer allow financial institutions to better serve members and customers.


“The key is to build a digital experience capable of achieving that level of service and personalization, while not neglecting to upgrade the branch experience with more seamless service,” he continued. “Only a platform approach – adopting proven technology wherever possible and only building where there is differentiation – can yield these outcomes.”


Hufford also noted, “Digital propositions will allow community banks and credit unions to provide their needed services to customers who relocate outside the states where they are operating and help them to grow the business without growing cost-heavy branches.”


Strategies Credit Unions Need To Succeed Long Term


While there is a tendency to update everything everywhere all at once, Hufford recommends credit unions not bite off more than they can chew. “Credit unions and community banks should prioritize modernizing the specific customer journeys that are most likely to be seen and appreciated by their customers.”


Hufford added, “By focusing on modernizing a complete customer or member journey using a platform approach, they will also lay the technical foundations for subsequent journeys. This means that each time they select a journey to modernize, it is incrementally faster and already has transverse member data flows, providing the complete picture required for meaningful personalization.”


Backbase is a long-term partner in credit union and community bank digital transformation journeys, said Hufford. “Our Engagement Banking Platform provides the basis for creating competitive digital offerings, while also offering a full toolbox to create customized offerings where the ROI (return on investment) is favorable. In addition, through our managed hosting, extensive connectors to core providers and third-party fintechs, and strategic Microsoft partnership, Backbase helps credit unions and community banks industrialize their tech stack.”


Recent Backbase News


This month Backbase announced its acquisition of Nucoro, the United Kingdom-based digital wealth platform, for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will allow Backbase to incorporate Nucoro's platform capabilities directly into the Backbase Engagement Banking Platform, enabling its customers to launch digital end-to-end investment offerings, such as robo-advisory, trading, or hybrid advisory services.


Also in June, Backbase revealed it is bringing additional convenience to bank customers and credit union members with features from the Entrust Digital Card Solution. Leveraging push provisioning from Entrust, Backbase now enables end customers to securely add their payment cards to third-party wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay.


The Entrust Digital Card Solution “add card to wallet” capability simplifies provisioning and activating cards for digital wallets with a push of a button. Authentication takes place within the banking app, where the customer is already verified, eliminating the need for additional authentication steps required by third-party wallets and merchants.


Backbase end customers are also empowered to self-manage their cards, reducing the dependence on the branch and helpdesk, and thereby customer service costs, Hufford noted.

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