Wescom Credit Union
Capturing member loyalty by creating ultra-personal, streamlined online lending experiences
At a Glance
• Just two to four minutes for applicants to complete online credit card origination
• 9% increase in members, from 190K in 2020 to 218K in 2022
• 85% increase in online loan applications in 18 months, from 700 per month to 1,300 per month
• Enables almost-instant issuing of new credit card loans, with auto loans and HELOC soon to follow
• Helps Wescom strengthen its status as a top-ten credit union in California
Wescom Credit Union provides banking with a human touch to more than 220,000 members who live and work in Southern California. Noted for its unique and friendly member experience and ranked among the top 10% of credit unions in Southern California by size, Wescom manages total assets of $6 billion and serves as the preferred banking partner to the students, faculty, staff and alumni of UCLA.
Wescom embraces a model of continuous innovation to help preserve its competitive edge. The credit union identified its online application processes for consumer lending products as one area that it could improve. Starting with credit card origination, Wescom aimed to create an engaging online journey that would match the warmth and friendliness that its members experience during in-branch interactions.
“As a credit union, we are committed to helping our members build better and more prosperous lives. As both interest rates and inflation rise, the quality and extent of what people can afford is impacted. Affordable lending options and reliable banking services can be a lifeline in challenging times. To retain and grow our membership, we’re always looking for new ways to inspire trust.”Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending at Wescom Credit Union
Planning a streamlined application journey
Previously, Wescom relied on aging but still functional systems to support its online credit card loan origination process. For members, the process mainly involved filling out time-consuming digital forms. Non-members had to visit a branch in-person to register before applying for their chosen credit card.
Jeff Smrcka says: “Insisting that non-members went through a separate offline sign-up process was a source of friction that few, if any, of our competitors have tackled. We aimed to accelerate the application journey for existing members and allow non-members to join Wescom and apply for credit cards in one quick, easy process.”
Making a positive impact right away
To support the project, Wescom looked for a tried-and-tested solution that would enable a personalized member journey, integrate seamlessly with its main banking infrastructure, and deliver high levels of automation. The credit union decided to use Temenos Infinity Loan Origination, an agile loan and account origination platform and decisioning engine purpose-built for creating frictionless application processes.
Wescom used the Temenos solution to plan, develop, and launch the new application journey for its credit card loans. Soon afterwards, the credit union launched a new credit card specifically for UCLA Alumni, with all applications routed through the new streamlined workflow. Applicants fill out the forms via mobile or browser and can use intuitive DocuSign e-signature tools to complete the process. Wescom also made a series of additional configurations to enable front-line staff to complete online applications on behalf of new members who prefer to visit a branch in-person.
“We always aim to embrace leading-edge technologies, and the Temenos solution fit with our vision perfectly. Temenos is at the forefront of innovation, and they are rolling out new functionality all the time. We were especially impressed with Temenos’ API integration capabilities, which would allow our internal teams to pull data from the system easily if needed. They will also help us meet the open banking requirements that will soon reach the U.S.”Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending at Wescom Credit Union
Optimizing online experiences
Using Temenos Infinity Loan Origination, Wescom now provides a more seamless and convenient origination journey for its credit cards, free from complexity and hassle. Existing members enjoy a faster, more streamlined experience, while non-members can join Wescom and apply for credit card loans in one quick, simple workflow—without having to visit a branch.
The Temenos solution also enables Wescom to achieve much higher levels of automation in its loan decisioning processes. Applicants who enter their details online and meet defined criteria receive automatic approval for their loan, which means their new credit card can be delivered almost instantly to their digital wallet. Moreover, as internal teams at Wescom now spend less time performing follow-up steps with applicants via phone, text or email, they can focus on more productive work.
“Our online application journey for credit card loans now takes just two to four minutes. Previously, the process would take triple that time for members. And for non-members, there is simply no comparison; it is so much faster and easier for them today, and that’s an innovation that few, if any, of our competitors can match. Even in complex cases when an employee has to complete some extra verifications or underwriting, we have increased the efficiency of our workflows by around 20%.”Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending at Wescom Credit Union
Wescom is now harnessing the Temenos solution to streamline origination processes for other consumer lending products, including personal loans, auto loans, and home equity—as well as giving users more options for secure authentication when completing their application. When the credit union does receive member feedback on their experiences, it can make changes to processes with greater agility and speed.
Jeff Smrcka says: “The Temenos platform is so flexible and powerful that we can quickly bring new services and enhancements to our members. We’re starting to bring every one of our loan products under a single, powerful origination system with Temenos, with auto loans launched later this year and HELOC [home equity line of credit] next year. By drawing on Temenos support, we’re harnessing the full power of Temenos technology.”
Broadening the membership base
Wescom feels confident that the remodeled loan origination process is contributing to strong membership growth. The credit union has seen online loan applications climb by 85% in 18 months, from 700 per month in June 2021 to 1,300 per month in March 2023, comprising applications from both members and non-members. Wescom’s membership has increased by 9% from 190,000 people in 2020 to 218,000 as of December 2022. The UCLA alumni affinity card is helping the credit union gain members across the United States, far beyond its heartland of Southern California.
“The main drivers of our membership growth in 2022 were credit cards and auto loans, which goes to show that the changes we’re making with Temenos are paying off big time. As word spreads among consumers about the ease and speed of our online journey, we expect to see growth continue well into the future. Working with Temenos, we’re enabling more consistent member experiences across every channel: in branch, online and on the phone. Together, we’re innovating to strengthen our position as one of the leading credit unions nationwide.”Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending at Wescom Credit Union