Okay, that’s not entirely true. This branch will have walls– firewalls, and lots of ’em. (And my apologies to Pink Floyd, but your song was playing as I wrote this.)
I’m happy to finally share with the world that we are building an Online Branch. This is a project I have been working on for a long time and now that it is underway, I feel like I can talk about it and share my experiences with you moving forward.
If you Google the term “Online Branch,” you get over 9 million iterations of what others have defined it to be. I can only speak to what Verity’s Online Branch will mean :
It will mean a new website.
It will mean a new online banking system.
It will mean a better user experience for our existing and soon-to-be members.
It will offer ways for members to do more online and on-the-go.
It will mean I will not be taking a vacation until sometime in April 2009…
Basically, Verity’s Online Branch will present our website, online banking and our relationships with vendors in a seamless, cohesive way. Think of veritycu.com as the entrance to our Online Branch. The challenge lies in emulating the “conversation” usually found between our members and our branch staff. I believe we’ve aligned with some good folk that know a thing or two about making websites user friendly, but let me expand on my bullet points listed previously:
It will mean a new website.
In March 2009, expect to see a new website. It will look different. It will offer visitors the ability to customize how they interact with us. I promise to post images of what’s coming later, but right now, it is just too early. There is still much to be done in the background before we get to the pretty, functional stuff. Look for future posts on this.
It will mean a new online banking system. This took almost two years of research, demos, interviewing, more demos, and negotiating. We’ve finally found an online banking system that offers stability and security along with the feature functionality our members have been asking for. Selecting a new online banking system is not an easy process– it has to integrate with our current systems. It has to have great support (both technically and vendor wise) behind it. My next post will list some of the new functionality you can expect in the new Online Branch.
It will mean a better user experience for our members and soon-to-be members. Imagine being able to find information faster and easier. A better search function. The ability to open an account online and fund it real-time. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
It will offer ways for members to do more online or on the go Imagine getting all of your notices, statements and tax forms online. Imagine checking the balance of your checking account on your mobile device.
It will mean I will not be taking a vacation until April 2009. There is a lot to do. Right now. there are weekly phone calls and meetings to work through the process of configuring, building and testing. I’m working with my teammates at Verity who are experts at what they do: account opening, member relationships, IT, training and marketing so we can try to emulate (as much as possible) the physical branch experience. Communicating what’s going on to staff and members is going to keep me busy, too, and this post is my first of many. Ask me a question and I’ll try to answer. Like I said, we are very early in the process so there may be things I can’t divulge.
Besides this blog, I’m thinking about creating a Twitter account just for Online Branch updates. What do you think? Would you follow me?
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