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True Story: Improving Digital Communication with Members

Monday, July 15, 2019

by Doug True, CEO
I am writing this on July 5th, and today is personally a special day for me as it marks my 31st year working at FORUM Credit Union. My how the world has changed over the past three decades. When I started at the Credit Union, the internet was not yet a thing, employees used smart terminals (not personal computers) to serve our members, and the only non-human access to your account information was via an automated telephone service we called TellerPhone. 

The focus of this edition of True Story is to highlight our efforts to improve your connectivity to FORUM via your mobile phone. For the month of June members actively logged in to access their accounts (access is called CU Online) 926,223 times. Nearly 70% of these logins were done via a mobile device. These numbers continue to grow and, as a result, we are making efforts to continually improve your online experience.

We are one of only a handful of credit unions across the world that internally develops our own internet banking and mobile apps. Most credit unions purchase these solutions from vendors and, as a result, have limited to no control over the functionality or the navigation of this access. We have a team of FORUM developers on staff working hard to add new functionality and improve navigation. We also partner with a local employee-owned company called Software Engineering Professionals (SEP) based in Carmel to assist us with this development and most all of the SEP developers working on the FORUM access are FORUM members just like you. 

Here are some things we are working on to bring to you inside our FORUM mobile app:
  • Using a browser you can access the CU Online mailbox to communicate with us including the use of document attachments. We know it can be an inconvenience at times to use a browser so we are adding the ability to view and send attachments to mailbox messages inside the FORUM app.
  • If you have used chat via CU Online with a browser you know this can be a convenient way to communicate with us. We are adding the chat functionality to the mobile app.
  • For members with an active loan with us you can see your credit score via the browser version of CU Online. These scores are updated quarterly and we also provide helpful information on how the score is calculated. We will be extending this functionality to our mobile app.
  • We are adding the ability for a member to make principal only payments on their FORUM loans. Please note a principal only payment does not count towards required monthly loan payments. Members have asked for this functionality to pay off loans sooner than their maturity date, which you can also do at FORUM without penalty.
  • We are adding the ability to place a memo on the account transfers you complete using the mobile app.  You can do this now via a browser. Members also asked for this functionality to help them with their record keeping.
  • One of the most popular features in the mobile app is the ability to take a picture of a check to make a deposit – we call this mobile deposits. Even though I am in the FORUM office every day, I use this functionality as it is so convenient. Depositing a check is easier today than ever before as the cameras on the phones have advanced. We continue to make improvements to your mobile deposit experience.
  • As you know from the system updates that regularly come to your phone, both Apple and Google are continually updating their operating systems. We do our best to keep up-to-date on added functionality in these updates. An example of this is the Face ID that we have incorporated into our mobile app.

These are just some of the enhancements we are working on for you. In addition to the mobile app, we are also currently working on a new website experience. There are a number of exciting new functionality announcements coming soon with this access including the ability to schedule an appointment with a FORUM teammate. 

It is an exciting time at FORUM as we work to make accessing your accounts more convenient for your busy life. Thank you for being a FORUM member and providing us with an opportunity to serve you – we know you have a multitude of options available and we appreciate you supporting your member owned cooperative.