Success Stories

FORUM Credit Union

Doubling the scale of consumer lending operations through automation

Fishers-IN, USA

FORUM Credit Union aims to help members to achieve their financial dreams by offering innovative products and high-quality customer service. Headquartered in Fishers, Indiana, the credit union manages total assets worth $1.7 billion and provides personal and savings accounts, home and auto loans, credit and debit cards, financial advisory, and business banking services to 157,000 members.

Embracing advanced technologies has long been a central part of FORUM’s growth strategy. The credit union was among the first in the USA to offer checks as a payment method in the 1980s, and was recently an early adopter of fingerprint and facial recognition authentication systems for its mobile app. With pressure mounting on a key lending business, FORUM looked for a cutting-edge solution to service loan applications more efficiently.

Supporting ongoing growth

FORUM’s membership has expanded by 52 percent in ten years, with particular growth in requests for auto loans. At the same time, members increasingly expect a slick, seamless digital experience when they interact with their financial service provider. However, FORUM struggled to process rising application volumes quickly with its previous loan origination system, increasing the risk of members switching to a competitor.

Chris Ferguson, Vice President, Consumer Lending, FORUM Credit Union, explains: “We have to check and verify every lending request to prevent fraud and ensure that we approve all valid applications. Our existing origination solution forced us to adhere to rigid decisioning rules and complete many manual interventions. To support the growth of our auto loans channel, we looked for a more flexible system.”

Specifically, FORUM wanted a platform that would accelerate and automate as many steps in the auto loan origination process as possible, and enable the consumer lending team to set their own procedures for whether an application should be approved. It was also essential to connect the new solution  to the systems of FORUM’s auto dealer partners, which provide indirect loans on its behalf.

Implementing a customizable, integrated solution

To modernize its auto loans business, FORUM decided to implement Temenos Infinity Loan Origination, which provides intelligent decisioning functionality to manage the application, risk calculation, and loan disbursement processes. The Temenos solution enables the credit union to create unique approval rules and decisioning models for direct and indirect auto loans, based on its own lending and risk guidelines.

“Of all the options that we considered, Temenos stood out for the potential to customize our decision rules. The scalability and automation features help us to manage more and more lending applications, and the rich API capabilities enable us to integrate seamlessly with third-party applications.”

Chris Ferguson, Vice President, Consumer Lending, FORUM Credit Union

Another major plus for FORUM was the Debt Protection panel within the Temenos platform. The credit union uses the feature to enhance its auto loan service by providing an accompanying quote for insurance. Through the integrated CUNA Protection Advisor Connector, FORUM generates quotes for Guaranteed Asset Protection (GAP) and Mechanical Repair Coverage (MRC) services from the CUNA Mutual Group.

Chris Ferguson continues: “The solution was very easy to configure, and whenever we experienced challenges during the deployment, we worked closely with Temenos to keep the project moving forwards. Temenos understands that every financial institution is unique and possesses distinctive goals; having spent time listening to our requirements, the Temenos team set us on the path towards realizing our objectives.”

Furthermore, FORUM harnesses the standard integrations, called Connectors, of Temenos Infinity Loan Origination to connect to applications such as DealerTrack and RouteOne—specialist loan management systems used by its auto dealer partners. This step helps the credit union to track relationships with dealerships across Indiana, store relevant documentation, and to monitor the status of loans through a single interface.

Accelerating loan approvals

By deploying Temenos Infinity, FORUM increased the levels of automation in the auto loan origination process by 100 percent. Today, the powerful decisioning engine manages 60 percent of all decisions, helping to improve the efficiency of the auto lending process, minimizing the risk of human error, and protecting against fraud. Meanwhile, operational teams have more time to focus on value-add tasks, such as exception handling.

“Automated decisioning now allows us to make immediate lending decisions for the majority of our applications.”

Chris Ferguson, Vice President, Consumer Lending, FORUM Credit Union

Chris Ferguson adds: “Automated decisioning now allows us to make immediate lending decisions for the majority of our applications. Combined with the third-party connectors and ability to complete digital contracting through our indirect lending partners, we can now fully audit and fund approved loans for applicants within hours. Previously, this process could take several days, so it’s 87.5 percent faster than before and we are delivering a better experience all-round.”

FORUM’s success in numbers

100% increase in automation

87.5% faster in audit and fund loans

135% Consumer lending portfolio increase

27% Membership base increase

Improving member satisfaction

By streamlining processes and enhancing user experiences, FORUM has grown its asset size and membership dramatically. In the five years since deploying the Temenos platform, the credit union increased its consumer loan portfolio by 135 percent and membership base by 27 percent. FORUM also receives around 80-90 percent positive ratings in user satisfaction polls—significantly higher than its competitors.

FORUM is using the Temenos solution to improve time to market for new lending products. For example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, the credit union launched an emergency loan scheme within just a few hours—a process that would have taken several weeks with the old system. FORUM can also now cross- and up-sell other savings and credit services to loan applicants, strengthening brand loyalty.

In addition, Temenos Infinity is helping FORUM to address constantly evolving financial regulations. The credit union configured the Temenos system to collect relevant datapoints, which it uses to create reports that demonstrate compliance with industry guidelines.

“One of the best things about working with Temenos is their investment in product development, which ensures we have access to the most innovative new functionality. Looking ahead, we see the potential for many collaborations to further enhance our services. With Temenos supporting us, we are confident that we will continue to help our members achieve their financial dreams.”

Chris Ferguson, Vice President, Consumer Lending, FORUM Credit Union