Success Snapshot: How Directions Credit Union transformed their mobile banking member experience

Mobile banking is now a critical success factor for credit union growth. But simply delivering an app isn’t enough. If members are dissatisfied with the digital services, it could drive them away. Directions Credit Union faced that challenge. With an aging tech stack, their mobile app ratings were averaging a disappointing 1.9 out of 5 in both leading app stores. The management team knew it was time for a significant digital transformation.

Since 1953, Directions Credit Union (Directions), a community-based institution, has been serving members in parts of Ohio and Michigan. Directions offers checking, savings and lending for individuals and SMBs, and now supports over 100,000 members and almost $1.2 billion in assets.

Poor mobile app performance was driving complaints

While Directions strives for excellent member service, their mobile banking experience was clunky and frustrating for users. App speed was a source of constant complaint, transferring money took too much time, and members frequently called Directions support about the many things the app was unable to do.

With satisfaction rates dropping, the credit union needed to move fast to stay competitive against large banks that deliver the digital experiences consumers now expect. Their legacy systems were blocking progress, including a 25-year relationship with a core banking provider, who wasn’t helping Directions move forward.

With a mobile platform that didn’t integrate well with the core system, how could Directions quickly modernize and remain relevant? A first step was to upgrade the core system to one optimized for digital banking. Directions chose Corelation, a modern core system with APIs that opened the door to integrating Bankjoy’s innovative digital banking solution.

Partnering to deliver a modern mobile banking experience

Directions and Bankjoy had a strong collaboration from the start, with the credit union’s leaders confident that “Bankjoy is future-focused and offers the necessary tools.” With a focus on accelerating progress, Bankjoy had the test environment available to Directions one week after signing and the production site was ready 35 days after signing.

"Directions had a new digital banking test environment up and running just 35 days after purchasing the solution."

Two weeks before the mobile app went live, Directions provided short how-to-videos (1-2 minutes) for members. Videos showed people demonstrating specific tasks such as how to log on to mobile banking (Apple or Android), and how to make transfers to external accounts.

To drive adoption for the new digital services, the videos were sent multiple times through a variety of channels. After the rollout, Bankjoy continued to support members and Direction’s service organization.

Overwhelmingly positive response to the new mobile app

Directions members are loving the new mobile banking experience. Since the app went live March 15, 2021, members have been delighted, and feedback has been consistently positive. Direction’s app store ratings shot up—ratings increased from 1.9 to 4.8.

“This mobile banking app helps us put our best foot forward.” -Directions’ Teams

Members are excited to have a “modern”mobile banking app that is “slick”, “fast”, and “convenient”, where they “can do everything in one place” and “don’t need to go into the branch.” The new app also makes it easy for members with both personal and business banking accounts to view and manage everything under one umbrella, with a single sign-on.

Directions’ new mobile banking experience is also lowering support costs and time for internal teams:

  • Ease of use has resulted in fewer support calls
  • No more complaint calls about a slow system
  • No more calls about app outages

Looking forward – next steps for Directions

Motivated by their mobile banking success, Directions is building momentum for more digital transformation. The credit union is currently exploring new features and new capabilities. On the radar are account aggregation and “open banking” concepts, enabling members to view all of their accounts in one place. They are also exploring innovative ideas like a self-service “kill switch”, which lets a member freeze online account access to minimize fraud.

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