Improved Online Banking User Experience


A Mac on a white desk with the Consumers Credit Union app on the screen.

Lynne discusses Consumers’ new Online Banking experience. From design to testing into implementation and receiving feedback, today’s episode focuses on the technology that allows you to bank how you want, where you want, when you want!




00:06 Lynne Jarman-Johnson: Money, I’m home, welcome on in, I’m Lynne Jarman-Johnson with Consumers Credit Union, from finance to fitness. We have the podcast topics that you love, and today it’s a little bit about education. We just have a brand-new online banking system and our members are loving it. You know what, there’s so much though that goes into the planning and the launching of new technology and joining us today, Kristen Davidson. She is our [now former] vice president of organizational development. But you really have jumped right in on the operation side, to get this puppy launched.


00:43 Kristen Davidson: Yeah, absolutely, it has been a ton of fun. I’ve been able to kinda spread my wings, along with my team and really focus not just on the education of our employees to be ready for a great digital and online banking experience, but really working on the membership side, really, with your team Lynne on the marketing and combining forces and figuring out how can we share resources and deliver the best experience possible for everybody.


01:08 LJJ: So, the product just launched.


01:10 KD: It did.


01:10 LJJ: And today really is about some of the things that have been exciting to hear about where someone maybe gives a great tip or an idea, I know you literally are in meetings almost 24/7 just to keep listening to members’ needs.


01:27 KD: Yeah, and the meetings have been wonderful, really. We’ve been able to sit side by side within our call center, we’re listening to our retail employees and trying to understand what are the members saying when they walk in, not just the members on the phone, and taking it kind of a step further. There’s been a great survey feature within the platform where we’re sourcing information from the membership on what are they liking what are they having problems on and then that’s helping us deliver an even better experience on what can we create to help their experience be better.


01:57 LJJ: You know what’s interesting when you hear the words online banking many people don’t know, but Consumers Credit Union was one of the very first financial institutions across the country to offer online banking. And one of the things that we have done is as technology has grown now people bank with their phones, right? How is it that the technology has to stay up to that? And when you look forward, because people don’t like change, they’re like “Why are you changing it? We liked what you had.


02:27 KD: Oh no. Yeah, I think that’s always something right. Change is inevitable and change is hard, it doesn’t matter your generation, it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you do, change is a challenge. So, we really looked at this product, we had a great product before. There’s no question, but when we were looking at how do we enhance security, how do we bring you banking on your phone, how do we bring you banking in other ways, through your watch? And all the other platforms that we foresee are going to happen in three, five and 10 years, we knew we had to deliver a platform for our membership that would support that.


03:00 LJJ: So, one of the things I think that happens when you do anything that’s brand new, is there’s going to be surprise. A member will maybe not have seen an email didn’t see the online literally the desktop version of announcements bypassed anything that’s like on their phone at the first glance. That is what we do in life, right? We just go and then all of a sudden you need it, and it’s changed. Yeah, has that been the most… Like, “Ohh, what do I do now?”


03:34 KD: Yeah, I think so, I think it’s a good point. I myself flying right through. I have an iPhone with a Touch ID. And again, the experiences were so comfortable with what we’ve always had that we just touch our thumb, we move forward. Well, now that we’re on a new platform, you verify your information that it’s really you, because, again, the security features are one of our biggest drivers that we’re able to bring to the membership and you have to go back into a setting to turn that on because you just flew right by it, right? So, I think to your point, an email that we sent maybe someone didn’t see it. That’s okay, we’re here to help them. We have so many different channels between our phones, our employees, our social media to help reinforce the messages to make that experience easier.


04:18 LJJ: So, a member… They download the app, they go online, perhaps they are on an iPad or a Surface all of a sudden they stumble into something that they have some questions. How are we here to support?


04:31 KD: Our support really is the way we’ve always been around to help our membership, so while we’re going through our online updates we are here through our call center. They obviously can always come in and see us in any of our locations, and then we also have our social media channels where they can reach out and ask questions, really instant feedback. We’re really proud of our turnaround time and being able to respond to them that way.


04:53 KD: And then, of course, we have through our website, when they go to log in, there’s some abilities there for them to ask questions and receive feedback.


05:00 LJJ: So, let’s back up a little bit because when you look at a new product launch, which many people would consider this to be a new product launch, there are countless hours in planning for months and months. And one of the things I think, Kristen, that we do tremendously well and an add to your team for this is the education to us as employees, prior to anyone publicly seeing the product, we literally get to jump in and use the product in advance to give feedback. How important is that?


05:38 KD: I think the employee experience before a member experience, in my mind, I might be a little biased, but I think that’s the number one importance. If our employees don’t know how to use it if they’re not comfortable, and if they’re not using it themselves, it will never be successful. And I say that because the more employees use it, they know the ins and outs and they are the experts, so that way when people do call or they do come in through social media, or they do show up at the office our employees can answer them. There’s no put in a help ticket or call into a support line for our membership, we can help them on the spot.


06:12 LJJ: And what is really cool is that we then find some things that might have bothered a member, we find them in advance.


06:23 KD: Yeah, oh, absolutely. So our employees went live about eight weeks prior to our membership going live and during that time, it’s a really neat process that we have of obtaining their feedback prioritizing their feedback, and then we do the same thing when we do go when we went with our upgrade on Monday with our membership is as we’re receiving their feedback, we are still listening, we are still making updates. And I think, for me, that’s the key to our success is that we’re constantly an open channel of feedback and identifying what we may have thought were our top five concerns or suggestions. The membership really has a different top five, so then we sit back down, we re-prioritize and re-design with our partner to deliver a better experience.


07:07 LJJ: One of the things that is fascinating to me, is that open feedback. Have you seen smiles brought to people’s faces that even if there’s change and they don’t like it, but yet their voice is heard?


07:23 KD: Yeah, I think some of the most fun are okay I know, you emailed us, I know you sent us this information. Rightfully, I didn’t read it, but now I mean it and it makes sense to me and that’s when I think we really done our job right, we proactively try to reach out the members, are acknowledging it, some have read it, some haven’t, and that’s okay, because the platform once they’re on it is easy and that’s awesome.


07:49 LJJ: Well, and isn’t it true too that when you have something new that you’re looking at anything, whatever that might be. It really does take a hands-on personal learning on your own to figure out what it is that you like and want to change versus… Okay, I’m going to read this and then it’s going to be exactly the same thing. Your brain works differently than that.


08:14 KD: For me for sure, right, so everyone learns differently, and depending on who you are in your learning style, you may be able to read that document, and pick it up at no time, even if you don’t open the platform for two days. But most people hands-on is the best way to learn. And that’s why it’s great that we have our extended call center hours right now, we have a very, very strong social media team to respond to questions right away and that’s why we’re trying to provide that support as much as we are.


08:45 LJJ: One of the things that I think is critical though, we talk about social media is the importance of making sure that no one puts member information. If you’re going to ask a question, don’t share your information of account numbers and such publicly, and it just is an automatic that you would think that that… But sometimes it happens.


09:11 KD: No, I’m really glad you said that. I think it’s very, very important. Never to write it down, never to email it over, always when it comes to your individual information to contact us or come in person, so we can have those discussions.


09:26 LJJ: And I want to underscore the whole point of, if you call or you come in our team knows how to help you.


09:34 KD: Absolutely, because they’ve been on it right because they have been on it and they are using it, and that’s the key. That hands-on.


09:41 LJJ: I was in one of the offices yesterday in the Grand Rapids area and a business owner came in and had a question about trying to do a certain task that she had always done on the old system and we chatted a little bit about it and learned about what her needs were, and already that has been worked on. And so the key was… She loved coming in, it wasn’t that, you know, she said “I would rather come in, that was my choice I could have picked up the phone, I could have sent in a note, but I wanted to come in and talk to somebody, and she said the fact that the very first thing that was asked was, “Have you downloaded the information or have you gotten online with the new system? And how can we help you?


10:27 KD: Oh, absolutely, I guess I want to ask back, what was that members feedback? What’s your feedback or your family’s feedback, what are things that we could do to continue to improve this experience?


10:42 LJJ: Well, the feedback that I’ve had, there’s a couple of points that have been like, Wows, they love my family loves the credit cards inside where everything’s there loves the fact that you have controls on those so you can turn them off and on. Family loves the savings goal.


11:01 KD: Yeah.


11:02 LJJ: That is a biggie. So, if you are saving for a wedding or a new baby or a vacation, or you want to get new skis for the winter. That savings goal and being able to easily create an account and start auto transferring money into those has been a game changer, which has been awesome. And then, to be honest, just being able to quickly get in without hassle was, my son-in-law just went, “Well, that was easy.”


11:38 KD: Oh, awesome.


11:39 LJJ: Yeah, so that was neat. And then the feedback regarding where… Well, can we do this and can we… This used to be in the old one. And is it going to be in the new great conversations because we know what the plan of action is, but members, do not, and so for them to care about things that they’ve been able to do before. And the great news is everything that you did before, and then some is part of it.


12:07 KD: Yeah. So, that’s wonderful feedback. I would say that’s definitely in that really top five, top 10 list of what people are loving the credit card one to touch on that just a little bit more, because that’s a very brand new feature we’ve never had in a really common situation or a member would call employee experience et cetera. Hey, I’ve lost my wallet. So, you immediately would think I need to shut down all my card information. What’s awesome is from your phone, right? You can go in there and lock it. The member themselves, can just lock the card, it’s a toggle. And then at the same time you found your wallet or you went somewhere else, and you know your information is secure, you can unlock it so there’s no new card wait to get it in the mail then activate it potentially new pins it’s very smooth. I would say that’s definitely in that top three member feedback of things they really like, they don’t necessarily know it’s there. So, I really want to draw attention to that. You click into your credit card account, in your loan information, your dashboard, and it’s all there, which is really neat.


13:09 KD: Along with the travel notifications, it’s all right there. I can do it by myself, I don’t have to email anything in, I don’t have to call anybody. I literally can just put in my travel dates and it’s done. So, loving that really quick and secure way to do the credit cards has been awesome.


13:24 LJJ: I think the other piece of feedback that I’ve heard is they love the personalization of being able to see what they want to see, on the dashboard. It’s not this is it, you can’t change it, and just get used to looking where you want to look, they literally can decide what to look for, if they want to see recent transactions, we can. If we want to have quick links to other rates and calculators we can, but we don’t have to… We can hide those.


13:57 KD: Right. And I think it’s also important to know that is another area that we’re looking to continue to enhance as we speak, even though we have just upgraded, we continue to look at maybe can we enhance colors, based off of my personal preference? So, some other cool customization features I think you’ll see much sooner than later.


14:16 LJJ: Well, this is very exciting and really what we want you to think about today is as you’re learning something new, or a new challenge, just know that we’re here for you and we want to hear what your feedback is and you can go right online or in your phone or on your surface, and just click on feedback and give us that much needed feedback to keep your satisfaction extremely high.


14:46 KD: Absolutely, that’s a great way to put it. We are here to continuously improve, we can’t improve unless we hear from you. So please, open that channel in any way that you can and share what you would like to see.


14:57 LJJ: From finance to fitness Money I’m home. Thanks for joining our podcast today, thank you Jake Esselink, our wonderful producer, and we hope you have a great week.



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  1. Richard D Reilly says:

    Liked the the old system much easier to use.

  2. Gary L. says:

    The new system is terrible. It is much harder to navigate than the previous system. Consumers certainly did not improve anything. Why fix what is not broken?

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hey Gary, thanks for your feedback. The new look does take some getting used to. (This is actually a vendor switch for us.) The other platform wouldn’t allow us to make enhancements and positive changes for our members that we were hoping for in the long term. If you have specific feedback about what you would like to see changed, please let us know.

  3. Linda L Fox says:

    I do not like this new updated one. I am not sure which program to download. I have contacted Lifelock & Norton about not being able to do my online banking any more. Not very happy – Member for over 20 yrs

  4. Connor Hundt says:

    New consumers app is awful. Very slow loading whether in WiFi or data. Very glitchy, hard to use. Prefer the old app 100x over.

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Thanks for the feedback Connor! We’d love to hear if there is a specific feature or functionality that you’d like to see enhanced!

  5. Steve Veldkamp says:

    New website is horrible! New phone app doesn’t work. Tried to deposit a check tonight and after it took the front picture, it kicked me out to the login page. Been with Consumers for over 15 years, stayed simply because of the great website bill pay and easy to use phone app. Will need to change CUs soon if this can’t be corrected soon.

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hey Steve, thanks for the feedback. We will continually work to make improvements and appreciate your feedback on knowing where you’d like to see enhancements. The mobile check deposit should be working. We would love if you could call 800.991.2221, so we could troubleshoot with you and get information on your phone type, etc. to report. Thanks for your membership.

  6. Janet Graham says:

    This is day 3 of trying to use the Online Bill Pay for the first time and I still just get a Failed to Register message when I try to Add a Payee. Instructions say to click + a Payee box at top right of screen. There is no such thing. Yes, I have reduced the size to 90% with no results. Please?

    • ConsumersCU says:

      Hi Janet, can you give us a call at 800.991.2221 so we can trouble shoot this with you?

      Update – Our back-end team thinks this should now work for you. Please try again, but please call if it’s still not working.

  7. Carlee says:

    Hi! Not sure if this is the correct place to address this but I do not like the new update of the app. It’s complicated, more complex, and doesn’t have a widget to see account balances. I’ll adapt to it but if someone older would have to use it, I think it would be hard. I like the old model.

  8. Douglas Miller says:

    Obviously we are not alone…The new system is horrible. Extremely slow and locks up continuously. Very un-user friendly. Requires multiple steps to do what we use to do quickly and on the same page. We use to love the convenience of online banking with Consumers, but now it is simply a chore. We are looking for another credit union that offers a better online experience.

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