Cinchy Launches Data Liberation Solution for Credit Unions
By Roy Urrico
Cinchy is on a mission to liberate credit union information. The Toronto, Canada-based dataware company recently launched a solution to help credit unions maximize limited resources, reduce operating and project costs, and optimize the member experience.
Cinchy maintains credit unions are constrained by core banking systems, a growing collection of software as a service (SaaS), and on-premise applications that trap and silo data. This issue severely limits the ability to use this data to improve service offerings for members and drive operational efficiencies.
“At Cinchy our goal is to enable organizations to save money by liberating and controlling their data in ways that were not previously possible,” said Dan DeMers, CEO, Cinchy. “We’re making this a reality for credit unions with the introduction of the Cinchy Dataware Platform Credit Union Edition.”
Cinchy already provides its dataware platform for many companies to leverage operational data fabric (which according to IBM automates data discovery, governance and consumption) in order to gather information from apps and other silos and connect it together in an accessible data network. Organizations including financial institutions TD Bank, National Bank and Ally; real estate firm Colliers International; and Natixis investment managers use Cinchy’s dataware technology to eliminate integration, reduce the time and cost to build new applications, establish guaranteed data access controls, and enable effortless collaboration on quality data across the organization.
How Data Integration Helps Credit Unions
“Cinchy is a play on the word cinch, which means simple,” explained DeMers. “What we do is simplify how credit unions run and operate their business by eliminating the need for data integration.” DeMers noted the traditional financial technology approach involves credit unions using a core system, ancillary systems and spreadsheets. “All of these systems do not natively talk to each other. You have to do integration, APIs (application programming interfaces), ETLs (extract, transform and loads).” The problem is credit unions do not have thousands of developers like a large global financial institution would have. “They just do not have the time or money and the need to basically move data around endlessly within the organization. So, picture a world that is free of integration and that is what our platform does.”
Cinchy dataware platform’s design enables the extension of the life of existing core systems and avoids what the company calls “the pitfalls of ‘rip and replace’ (replacing an old, unreliable system with one that is up-to-date and fully functional).”
The credit union solution, according to Cinchy, offers a turnkey setup that:
· Connects with real-time data from core banking systems and applications without the cost, delay, and risk of copy-based data integration.
· Controls data with “super powers” including auto-versioning, auto-backup, auto-protection, auto-correction, and auto-tracking.
· Provides unlimited user access by unlimited users for instant collaboration without the friction of vendor paywalls, IT requests, or any compromise to data privacy.
The new solution also includes pre-built capabilities that supports real-time collaboration; controls framework that simplifies and universalizes data access controls and guaranteed data governance; and offers solutions that deliver member insights, including 360-degree views, by leveraging liberated data from unlimited sources
The Future of Data and Applications for Credit Unions
DeMers also said the Dataware Platform Credit Union Edition can run anywhere credit unions want. “They can run it (on-premise), or in the cloud. They point it to their individual system. Let us say they have a core platform, maybe they have a separate CRM (customer relationship management) system, a separate loan origination system, some spreadsheets.”
The Cinchy platform can synchronize with each of those sources directly, DeMers explained, so credit unions do not have to connect those systems to each other in order to facilitate sharing of data across different use cases. “It basically handles the interconnectivity of data. It creates a data network and that can do anything from self-serve reporting to analytics, even building full feature new member experiences and building it on top of data as if it was never fragmented, as if it was never siloed.”
DeMers added. “Without our technology, what we call dataware, every time you build a new capability for the organization — maybe it is a new member experience or maybe it is a new employee experience — you have to always pay the integration tax. You have to do work to basically move data around, transform data, store different copies of data. And that is what our technology eliminates.” He suggested thinking of Cinchy as a data layer that credit unions can use to connect data across their different systems.
Credit Union Use Case
DeMers pointed out that what Cinchy calls data liberators are built for specific platforms. That covers some of the popular core platforms and CRM systems. For example, the $727 million Houston-based PrimeWay Federal Credit Union uses Cinchy technology to unlock the data from Corelation as its core, and separately unlock the data from HubSpot as its CRM. “They can now achieve total connectivity between those systems without having to do any direct integrations between them.”
“In an uncertain economic climate, credit unions can no longer tolerate the growing complexity of data integration,” said Bob Morgan, chief information officer, PrimeWay FCU. “With this solution, we are working with Cinchy to liberate our data, reduce the cost of change, and become even more responsive to the needs of our members.”
DeMers said, “Everyone's at different stages, and you just point it to your system, you point it to your core, you pointed to your CRM, and it has awareness of those platforms.” The Cinchy platform knows how to unlock that data, synchronize that data. Plus, it enables self-serve analytics and reporting on that data. “It enables synchronization of data so that if I change a members last name in one system, it will propagate that not only to the other system, but maybe there is 10 other systems that also need to be updated. It basically takes care of that.”
Besides PrimeWay FCU, Cinchy has other organizations that are either credit unions or provide capabilities to credit unions that are using the Cinchy dataware platform to run various aspects of their organizations. “It's fairly universal that a credit union, regardless of how small or large, all have this problem to various degrees, which is this complexity of data, right?” stressed DeMers. “What stops them from driving a next generation member experience? It is data silos, it is data integration, that is what holds them back. You eliminate that and there are no longer any constraints. You can pretty much deliver any experience that you can imagine because you do not have that friction point. You do not have that barrier.”
Stepping Up to Meet Data Challenges
Asked about the different challenges that credit unions have that a big bank might have, DeMers answered, “The large banks tend to have larger budgets, larger IT departments. I would say that they also have more systems and more, total dollars spent on integration and complexity.” He emphasized, “Credit unions tend to be on the much smaller side, of course, they do not have the luxury of those big budgets. They have to be very selective in terms of how they deploy their resources.”
DeMers noted big financial institutions, like TD Bank, have been using Cinchy technology for a number of years. “And we have other large global financial institutions as well, they're using it largely independently, within the organization, across different use cases, across different business lines.”
The approach that Cinchy now takes with credit unions is a little bit more collaborative, a little bit more in partnership, DeMers said. “We will help to either deliver or co-deliver solutions instead of the organization doing it all themselves,” DeMers continued. “This complexity inside of a credit union, a lot of folks do not fully appreciate how big of a deal that is. It is largely because there historically has not been any option. The elimination of this complexity is a true game changer. The ability to deliver without the need for integration is a huge advantage.”
Cinchy has been named a Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Company to Watch, a "Top Pick'' at TechCrunch Disrupt, and a Top Growing Canadian Company by Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail.