Consumer expectations around banking services are rising—and customers are increasingly seeking out providers that can offer 24/7 access to products on the digital channel. To attract new customers and retain existing account-holders, it is more important than ever for financial services organisations to offer high-quality online and mobile banking experiences.
Since it was founded in 1939, FirstOntario Credit Union has continued to enhance and extend its range of banking services to grow its client base, which today stands at 126,000 people across the province of Ontario, Canada. To inspire a new generation of customers to engage with its services, FirstOntario Credit Union set out to create its first digital-only channel.
Michael Walsh, VP IT at FirstOntario Credit Union, explains:
“We aim to grow our membership, and many of our prospects are millennials who prefer to bank online. To meet these expectations for responsive, always-on services, we embarked on a digital transformation."
Turning vision into reality
After evaluating its back-office systems and processes, FirstOntario Credit Union realised that its core banking system would be unable to deliver the performance, scalability and flexibility necessary to support the new digital services.
“Our goal is to shape seamless digital experiences—and without the foundation of a future-ready core banking platform, we knew that we couldn’t deliver our target customer journeys,” continues Michael Walsh. “To solve that challenge, we looked for new technology.”
Targeting a future-ready banking platform
To prepare itself for digital transformation, FirstOntario Credit Union selected Temenos T24 Transact: a cloud-native, API-first core banking system.
“As well as delivering on the foundational capabilities of security, performance and scalability, we wanted a core banking platform that would empower us to rapidly develop, test and deploy new services—and Temenos T24 Transact delivered,” recalls Michael Walsh.
Working together with a team from Temenos, FirstOntario Credit Union deployed Temenos T24 Transact and migrated its core banking services to the new platform.
After two years of stable operations on Temenos T24 Transact, FirstOntario Credit Union was ready to take the next leap forward with the development of its digital channel. As well as selecting a platform to deliver online and mobile banking services, the organisation wanted solutions that would automate important journeys such as account-opening, enabling it to offer real-time services outside of normal business hours.
To drive its new digital experience, FirstOntario Credit Union chose Temenos Infinity. Michael Walsh comments: “Our positive experience with Temenos T24 Transact made it an easy choice to work with Temenos again for the next phase of our transformation strategy. In addition to providing the technical capabilities we need; the partnership gives us access to Temenos MarketPlace—a curated platform that connects us with FinTech innovations from around the world.”
Today, FirstOntario Credit Union is working closely with Temenos to develop its new digital offerings.
“From the start, the Temenos team provided valuable guidance,” says Michael Walsh. “That strong relationship continues today. One aspect of the Temenos methodology that we find particularly valuable is design-led thinking. Temenos helped us accelerate the development process significantly without compromising on the quality of our deliverables.”
Tom Bijvoet is telling us about their experience with Temenos' Core Banking platform
Michael Walsh talks about their digital transformation with Temenos T24 Transact
Preparing to launch innovative services
Today, FirstOntario Credit Union is surging ahead with the development of its digital banking services. Powered by the Temenos platform and a range of FinTech solutions, the organisation is now preparing to test the first prototype of its online and mobile platform.
“One of the biggest benefits we see in working with Temenos is the many FinTech partners already positioned to integrate well with their banking platform,” explains Michael Walsh. “In many cases, Temenos already had the APIs we needed to integrate with strategic partners. When they didn’t, Temenos brought in the resources we needed to facilitate the integration.”
When its new digital platform goes live, FirstOntario Credit Union will deliver fully automated onboarding journeys for new customers, helping it to inspire a new generation of consumers to become members.
“Ultimately, we aim to embrace a digital-first strategy and the work we’re doing with Temenos today is an important step toward that goal,” says Michael Walsh. “In the future, there will be no need for our customers to wait for one of our employees to tell them that their new account has been approved. Everything will be automated from start to finish, and within five minutes customers will be able to access their account online. Initially, we will be delivering these services on our digital-only channel, but we can already see great potential in extending the capabilities to our existing customers.”
Getting a progress report from the experts
The organisation is now working with expert consultants from Avoka, a Temenos company, to help ensure that the new journeys meet its customers’ high expectations. The Avoka team ran an in-depth assessment of the proposed online account opening solution, and provided insights into how the organisation’s approach compared to others in the industry.
Michael Walsh continues: “Avoka’s assessment placed us in the top quadrant for our space, which gave us the reassurance that our development efforts were moving in the right direction. Before we go live with the finished product, we plan to invite Avoka back to evaluate our progress.”
As it prepares to go to market with its digital banking offering, FirstOntario Credit Union is confident that the new services will strengthen its leading position in the province.
“The credit union system is built on cooperation, and we regularly meet with our peers to discuss challenges and find solutions,” adds Michael Walsh. “We see that Temenos shares that philosophy, and from day one, they’ve been fully engaged with our business and committed to our success. The amount of investment that Temenos puts into research and development really shines through in the quality of their offering. We have no hesitation in recommending Temenos as a partner and as a world-class banking solution.”