At a Glance

• Supports simple, frictionless online credit card applications for new and existing members

• Just three to five minutes for applicants to complete online credit card origination

• More than 1,100 net-new credit card customers in just over six months

• Enhanced automation provides almost-instant issuing of new credit card loans

• 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 250,000 members who live, work, or worship in Southern California. Noted for its unique and friendly member experience and ranked among the top-ten credit unions in the state and the top-50 in the United States by size, Wescom manages total assets worth $5.4 billion and serves as the preferred banking partner to the students, faculty, and alumni of UCLA.

Customer Retention - Happy customer with tablet

“As a credit union, we are committed to helping our members build better and more prosperous lives. But we face increasingly tough competition for our target market from major national banks with huge marketing budgets and agile fintechs that can develop and launch innovative new services really quickly.”

Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending at Wescom Credit Union,

In this challenging environment, Wescom strives to enhance its value proposition for current and prospective members. Recognizing that its online application processes for consumer lending products had room for improvement, the credit union looked to remodel its approach. 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.

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 digital forms, which could be time-consuming, but for non-members, it was even more cumbersome. First, they had to become members of Wescom through an in-person branch visit, a phone call, or a separate online membership application. Only then could they begin to apply for their chosen credit card.

Brian Sedlak, Vice President, IT Development at Wescom Credit Union, continues: “We realized that insisting that non-members went through a separate offline sign-up process was a source of friction that could lead them to look for another provider. We had two goals: to accelerate the application journey for existing members, and to allow non-members to join Wescom and apply for credit cards in one quick, easy process.”

Wescom targeted a consistent look and feel for every stage of the new online application journey, avoiding sudden shifts in layout and graphics. Simple, uniform workflows, Wescom believed, would help applicants to move through the process quickly and maximize completion rates.

“Many banks and credit unions receive complaints about their disjointed online experiences, adds Jeff Smrcka. “They find that large numbers of customers abandon the application process because they don’t feel secure about entering sensitive financial information. We aimed to make our forms and fields as consistent and user-friendly as possible to ensure our applicants feel safe during every step of the process.”

Making a positive impact on new members from day one

To support the project, Wescom looked for a tried-and-tested solution that would enable a customized 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.

Brian Sedlak explains: “We always aim to embrace leading-edge technologies, and the Temenos solution fits with our vision perfectly. Temenos really is at the forefront of innovation, and they’re 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.”

Wescom used the Temenos solution to plan, develop, and launch the new application journey for its credit card loans. Soon afterward, the credit union launched a new credit card specifically for UCLA alumni, with all applications routed via 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.

“After working for more than 25 years in the finance sector, I believe Temenos offers by far the most robust and flexible loan origination system on the market. The Temenos solution allows us to customize the online journey and bring the human touch to our digital banking channels, with a unique look and feel that makes a positive impact on new members from day one of their relationship with Wescom.”

Jeff Smrcka, Vice President, Consumer Lending, at Wescom Credit Union

Offering a faster, more engaging online experience

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—saving time and removing the frustration of having to complete separate offline registration steps.

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 instantly to their digital wallet. Moreover, as internal teams at Wescom now spend less time performing follow-up steps with applicants via phone or email, they can focus on more productive work.

“Our online application journey for credit card loans now takes just three to five minutes. Previously, the process would take almost triple that time for members. And for non-members there is simply no comparison; it is so much faster and easier for them today. 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 percent.”

Brian Sedlak, Vice President, IT Development at Wescom Credit Union

Broadening the membership base

Wescom feels confident that the remodeled loan origination process is contributing to strong membership growth. In just over six months since the launch of the new online process, Wescom has received more than 1,100 applications for credit cards from net-new members. The UCLA alumni affinity card has also enabled Wescom to gain members across the United States, far beyond its heartland of Southern California.

Jeff Smrcka adds: “Four-figure growth on a single product line represents really pleasing performance. And 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 have sharpened our value proposition in a way that helps us stand out in the market, reach new members, and compete successfully with larger banks and fintechs.”

Bringing innovation to other product lines

Wescom now plans to harness 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.

Brian Sedlak concludes: “There are so many ways that we can continue to improve our online experience with Temenos Infinity Loan Origination, making things even more convenient, intuitive, and engaging for new and existing members. With Temenos, we have a great partnership that is helping us to strengthen our position as one of the leading credit unions in California and nationwide.”