Everwise Credit Union Enhances Member Experience with Constellation Digital Banking Solution
Updated: Oct 18
By W.B. King
Seeking an innovative online and mobile banking experience for its 300,000-plus membership, Everwise Credit Union recently transitioned to the Constellation Digital Banking platform from technology CUSO Constellation Digital Partners.
“Our goal was to create an online banking solution that allowed us to make specific decisions about what services were offered and how,” Everwise Credit Union Vice President, Deposit Operations, Sharri Tafelski told Finopotamus.
“We also wanted to be able to quickly adapt and make changes without being forced to stay within the design parameters and capabilities of the provider,” she added. “The partnership with Constellation was designed to put us in the driver’s seat.”
Formerly known as Teachers Credit Union (TCU), the $5 billion, South Bend, Ind.-based Everwise Credit Union officially changed its name in 2022. Today, the credit union has more than 50 locations throughout Indiana and southwest Michigan.
Beginning before the transition, and to ensure that a quality platform was built, the new solution was developed over the course of several years, Tafelski said.
“We designed the platform from the ground up, focusing the entire time on usability and ease for our members. We have a highly varied member base in many different stages of life with different paths to their financial success,” she continued. “So, while we were not able to test every potential scenario, we were able to include many different variables to account for the diversity of our members’ needs.”
With a total of 14 credit union clients, Constellation’s President and CEO Kris Kovacs noted that Everwise Credit Union was the first organization to go live with its digital banking platform. The Raleigh, N.C.-based fintech first teamed with the credit union in 2017.
“This is when a small group of like-minded credit unions came together to brainstorm how they could change the trajectory of their online banking futures by taking more control over their own innovation roadmaps,” he told Finopotamus.
Kovacs explained that credit unions reach out to his team due to frustrations with existing digital banking solutions. “Either because of shortcomings of the legacy system in terms of modern functionality and user experience, or because of a slow, cumbersome service process from their vendor.”
The Constellation Digital Banking platform, he said, provides credit unions with more control over the “delivery of advanced products and services to their members – all without the typical costs and associated time commitments.”
Built on modern, cloud-based architecture, he added that the solution is “scalable and supports credit union clients as they grow and introduce services specific to attracting new members and their deposits, such as subscription management, digital card issuance, financial education and targeted marketing, among others.”
Regarding the time horizon, Kovacs said most credit unions can go live in about 12 months, adding that for credit union tech departments, it’s not a heavy lift.
“Once network connectivity is established, the credit union’s IT department role shifts to data interpretation. In turn, they serve as experts on the data associated with their products and we engage them in processes to map their product and account configuration,” he continued. “We also train them on how to adjust the configuration, giving them the ability to implement changes in the future.”
Talk to Your Members
Noting that the transition to the new platform was a “dramatic change” for both employees and members, Tafelski said the response has been “overwhelmingly” positive.
“While many members quickly adapted to the new platform, the technology and navigation took a little getting used to for others. The new platform provides considerably more depth and functionality, so some of our members needed a little time to adjust,” she explained.
“Throughout the process, we took our members’ and employees’ feedback as we worked to improve as we went along. We greatly appreciate everyone’s patience during the process.”
Since launching Constellation Digital Banking platform in June 2022, Everwise Credit Union has seen engaged, active users increase by 20%, she noted.
For a credit union interested in a similar solution, Tafelski offered the following advice: “Your first step should always be to talk to your members. Make sure you understand what they need, what they want and how you can deliver it in a way that makes it convenient and easy for them.”