New & Latest Trends in Online Banking
Amber Cuvelier, office manager at Corner@Drake, sits with Lynne to discuss new technology in banking and how Interactive Tellers allow you to bank how you want, when you want. With extended hours and friendly faces, the latest trends in banking technology is at Consumers Credit Union!
00:06 Lynne Jarman-Johnson: Money, I’m Home. Welcome on in. I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union, and we are bringing you finance to fitness all year long. Thanks for joining us today. Today, we are featuring all throughout the year our office managers here at Consumers Credit Union to give you a little bit of slice of life of what they’re all about, and also what each office represents for us, because you know what, each one’s different for you as a member. Amber Cuvelier is our office manager at the corner at Drake, which is really one of our showcase offices with new technology. So Amber, thanks so much for being with us today.
00:40 Amber Cuvelier: Thank you.
00:41 LJJ: I know, you know what, you have been an office manager here for quite some time now, have seen the changes in technology every day, does it just make you grin?
00:53 AC: It does, it’s amazing. I’ve been with the company over 10 years, and I started at our Cambridge location, which we don’t have…
01:01 LJJ: We don’t even have anymore, which was our first location. It was our absolute first location, and now that is our Millwood office. When you think back, if you were at Cambridge, tell us a little bit about that then and now.
01:16 AC: At Cambridge, we would still have the full-service ATMs that the employees would go outside and we would take the deposits out, we would count everything. We were the ones taking care of those. We didn’t have a company coming out.
01:33 LJJ: And isn’t it funny how ATMs back then too were like, “Ooh, ahh,” and now they’re absolutely everywhere.
01:41 AC: So now to be able to touch a screen at the ATM and get a live teller is amazing and it’s great for members, so they want to talk to someone after we’re closed in the lobby, they can use our drive-through until 7:00, which is great for people that have the longer hours at work.
01:58 LJJ: I was just downstairs in the lobby here at Corner at Drake in our Kalamazoo market, and I was standing and a woman walked in who was a new member, and she was being patient to wait for somebody to speak to, and I realized you could tell she doesn’t quite know what to do. So, I asked her, I said, “Hey, can I help you? Are you waiting for somebody?” I thought maybe she had an appointment. She was, “No, I just need to cash these checks because I couldn’t do it in the ATM because they’re cashier checks.” And I said, “Oh, well, follow me.” And we started the conversation with Kristi, our interactive teller, and she got the job done. But what was interesting, she didn’t know. So, the conversation is, there isn’t a teller line here, and that is eye-opening to many people.
02:48 AC: That is a reaction we get several times per day when someone comes in and that’s what they’re looking for, they’re expecting to see that traditional teller line, and we are a very open concept, so we can walk right up to them shoulder-to-shoulder, walk them over, touch the screen and introduce them to our interactive tellers and show them how it works, and people are just blown away, they love it.
03:13 LJJ: Well, and then she left, and she said I could have done this in the drive-through, I went through the ATM and I wasn’t having the experience that I could understand. She had never seen an interactive teller so didn’t understand to touch the screen either. And the cool part about that is, once you really start to use the new technology, how much easier it is for each member not just the staff, but for everybody to have that more intimate experience.
03:40 AC: And it’s great because we’re still there for support and to answer questions about loans, new accounts, home equities, different more in-depth financial questions. But then they also still get a fun, awesome interactive teller when they touch the screen, so they get the best of both worlds.
04:00 LJJ: You were one of the first offices that had the drive-through interactive tellers. And what I like to tell people is, “Okay, picture for a moment that you go into a bank and you don’t have the tubes that run back and forth with the paper or the money or the signature that’s needed, that’s all gone.”
04:16 AC: The nice thing in the drive-through, the tubes being gone also is you don’t have to worry about anything getting stuck. If the weather is bad, you’re not putting your hand out and touching a cold, icy tube to put your money in. All you have to do is touch the screen and then you can see your teller face-to-face right in the screen, you don’t have to try to look through the building to see them inside there. They’re right there, clear crisp. You can hear them really well and they can see you.
04:45 LJJ: And they’re the same tellers that you have seen if you stood in a teller line.
04:50 AC: Absolutely.
04:51 LJJ: Tell us about your background, Amber. How’d you start? When did you really realize that banking was for you?
04:58 AC: I was in retail in college and I worked with a gal who her husband worked at a bank, a small bank in Sturges, and I was kind of at a crossroads, I wasn’t really sure about my degree, what I was going into. And she said, “Banking’s really fun and they’re hiring, they’re currently hiring.” So I thought, “Well, give it a try. I love people, I love to serve people.” So, I started, within a week I loved it, I knew that it was a good fit. And it was with Tina Graybill.
05:39 LJJ: Oh, my goodness!
05:40 AC: So I worked with her, and then when she left to come to Consumers, when we built one in Coldwater, her and I stayed in touch over the years and we were at lunch one day and I was just talking to her about her working at Consumers Credit Union and how much she loved it, and she said I should apply, and I did.
06:00 LJJ: Do you find it interesting? I love to talk to people about how they found where they are now and how important connections are throughout your life.
06:09 AC: I still am very grateful to her every day that she told me about Consumers, and I tell my friends and family as well. So, if they’re ever looking for a career change, they know a great place.
06:24 LJJ: And speaking of that, we often do find wonderful employees because of people we know. Our culture is very deep, very honest, and transparent. And I think some people, they kind of tilt their head and their eyes go up to say, “Really? Is it really true?”
06:45 AC: It is. And being with the company for over 10 years, I can say it’s a wonderful place to work and even through all the change, the different locations that we’ve built, the technology and just growing, growing different employees. As we grow, the culture is the one consistent thing that stays the same.
07:10 LJJ: So when you see technology that comes into your life and then you all of a sudden forget about it, have you seen that where someone goes, “Oh, I forgot, I really didn’t even have to come in today because I could have done a mobile check deposit?”
07:18 AC: Absolutely. And we love to train and teach members especially in the winter when the roads are bad and they drove to the office maybe 5 miles because they had to do banking that day. So to be able to show them that they have a tool they can use from home, it warms my heart to teach them and show them these great things that we have to offer and to see them light up and realize, “Oh, this is so awesome. Next time, I won’t have to drive here in a snowstorm, I can do it from my kitchen.”
07:55 LJJ: But we still love you here.
07:57 AC: Right. Yes, definitely.
08:00 LJJ: So, tell me, does age matter? I’ve heard people say that, “Oh, my gosh, a baby boomer. They’re never going to switch, they like things the way they are.” But have you found that age matters?
08:13 AC: It has been really interesting to see the age group that actually loves the technology the most are members in their 80s and 90s, they love it. And I think that because they have gone through so much change throughout their lives that this doesn’t seem as scary, or they’re not surprised. Where some of the younger folks that come in who I thought would be the most open to it can sometimes be the ones that are most apprehensive.
08:49 LJJ: You know, it’s really funny. We have found that it makes no difference in the long run. A tool that you get to use to make your life better doesn’t mean that you go away from other tools that you’ve used in our comfort zones for you. For young people, what is interesting is, if you’re about ready to buy a house, that’s big stuff. So that’s when that face-to-face comes into play.
09:17 AC: And that’s why we’re still here in the office so we can help with those really big or really small things. If you do prefer to talk to someone face-to-face, shoulder to shoulder.
09:30 LJJ: What has been your most funny or surprising time in life with banking when it changed? Maybe it was a rapid change, or maybe it was just something that you thought, “This is going be so simple,” but then it turned difficult.
09:48 AC: I think the cell phone has really changed technology in general, but with banking, it has made a huge impact. All the things you can do from your phone and so, when I’m helping members and they bring in different types of phones, it’s also teaching me new things but we’ve also had people try to use our app on a flip phone, which you can’t necessarily do. So, helping navigate through different types…
10:17 LJJ: See? Isn’t that funny? Like you automatically assume people don’t have flip phones anymore, but they do.
10:22 AC: They do. So that can be interesting to try to navigate through with a member, but I also think about the future of the phone and banking, and what the next five to 10 years can bring, and I think it’ll be really, really cool and maybe someday we’ll be able to touch an app on our phone and talk to our teller face-to-face. Who knows?
10:44 LJJ: Oh, goodness! Well, Amber, this has been a wonderful conversation, and your experience and enthusiasm always brings such joy to our members and to all of us, so thank you so much. We always like to end our podcast with a question that is a little personal. It really focuses in on what all of us every day are trying to be successful in, and that’s just plain old life. And learning how to budget, learning financial education, any a-ha moments that you’ve had where you really thought, “Wow, I really need to know this stuff.”?
11:23 AC: One thing that I did as a child and now I have done for my daughter is we have three piggy banks set up and they’re labeled, and one is Give, one is Save, and one is Spend. And I still do that as an adult because we can have savings accounts that we label. So, my online banking, I have an account for save, give, and spend. So, for my daughter, when she gets money, she splits it three ways and puts some on each piggy bank and I do that with my finances. So then at Christmastime, when it’s time to adopt a family or do an Angel Tree, my daughter gets her piggy bank and she counts all of her money that she has for Give and she donates that, and when it’s time for her to buy something for herself, she can go to her piggy bank that says Spend. So, I also do that as an adult with my finances.
12:31 LJJ: What a joy. Thank you, Amber. Thanks so much for being with us.
12:33 AC: Thank you for having me.
12:34 LJJ: I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union. Money, I’m Home is produced by Aaron Bowersox. Thank you, Aaron. We hope you have a great day and a great week, and we’ll join in next week.