Philip Paul, Founder and CEO
The last five years have been nothing but a reality check for traditional Community Banks and Credit Unions. The emergence of Neobanks and Direct-to-Consumer fintechs has challenged the locally-focused, relationship-driven, and branch-based banking models, pinpointing their inability to deliver digitalized consumer experiences. The situation was exacerbated during the pandemic that drastically changed customer behavior. In a rapidly commoditizing space, newer consumer experiences and purposeful, personalized offerings are key contributors to customer loyalty. These changing times necessitate community banks and credit unions to turn their perceived weakness—the inability to deliver digital consumer experiences—into their greatest strengths by leveraging technology. As organizations having strong ties with customers and members, community banks and credit unions are well-positioned to retain their market position if they deliver seamless consumer experiences through novel products with new technology platforms. To do so, they need reliable partners.
This is where Cotribute seems to shine.
Cotribute was initially launched for companies to digitally engage employees and customers. Over the course of working with clients in the financial services industry, Cotribute realized the need for credit unions and community banks to grow using a digital-first approach. “We expanded our platform to help credit unions and community banks thrive in the new digital era. Their digital transformation had to happen outside their legacy core systems and processes.”, asserts Philip Paul, the Founder and CEO of Cotribute.
“The foot traffic to branches has plummeted in the wake of COVID. However, consumers want to avail the services—whether it is a deposit or loan—anytime they want. It could be from home through their smartphone or wherever they happen to be when they experience the need”, says Paul. As such, it has become essential for the players in the retail banking space to restructure their business model to suit these evolving needs. Cotribute helps them achieve this goal.
Today, Cotribute’s modular digital customer acquisition platform powers credit unions and banks to digitally acquire customers, onboard them, and offer new and better products with the digital experiences they expect.
A deeper dive into the fragmented financial technology market brings up something unique about Cotribute. Instead of ripping and replacing the legacy core systems, Cotribute layers on top of the existing core systems and provides the Community Banks and Credit Unions a branded customer experience that rivals the neo-banks and the direct-to-consumer Fintechs.
Cotribute integrates with most legacy core systems and allows the Community Banks and Credit Unions to quickly acquire consumer and commercial clients and start onboarding them digitally to financial products.
Powering the Customer Acquisition Journey for Community Banks and Credit Unions
Today, consumers are inundated with products and offers through a plethora of marketing channels. Helping prospect take the next step in becoming a customer is a key first step in establishing that relationship. Cotribute Acquire, is a digital account opening platform that helps credit unions and banks measure and optimize sales funnels, onboard new members in less than five minutes, and cross-sell to existing members through a delightful digital experience. The products can be loan or deposit products for consumer or business customer. Community banks and credit unions can create customizable offers to incentivize their target audiences and automate pre-screening prospects, eliminating delays in the approval process and keeping the attention of their valuable prospect. The offering can also send automated notifications to remind prospects to finish the process and automatically bring them back to the step they left off.
Cotribute Inspire helps Community banks and Credit Unions to communicate an authentic, compelling story to the end-customers by capturing and showcasing user-generated content in a branded digital community board. “This capability provides an easy way to differentiate from the large banks and neo banks by focusing on Community Bank or Credit Union’s purpose and their affinity group.” says Paul.
We’ve put our focus on enabling our clients to offer new and innovative financial products and helping them acquire and onboard customers for those products
The ability to optimize across the customer journey and integrate into the core systems and the existing workflows are unique differentiators that allow Community Banks and Credit Unions to optimize for value across the target segment, marketing channel and financial product mix.
Empowering a ‘Movement of Purposeful Growth’
Over the years, Cotribute’s modular platform has helped many clients charter their digital path. For instance, a Fortune 500 financial services firm used the platform to create a compelling digital engagement experience for their members. The client was able to engage its existing financial customers more profoundly and attract other prospective customers from the same affinity group.
The Innovation and digital transformation has to happen outside their legacy core systems and processes
In another case, a regional credit union integrated their legacy core system into Cotribute’s platform to digitally acquire and onboard customers. Clients use the platform to offer incredible digital experiences for account opening, loan origination and application, attribution intelligence, and loan decisioning.
The Technology underpinning that makes it all possible
What seems to set Cotribute a notch above the rest is the deep technical expertise that has been developed over the years. Being a cloud-first platform allows Cotribute to be flexible, adaptable and nimble. Being integrated with core systems allows the platform to integrate seamlessly into the investments that have already been made by credit unions and banks. Adopting behavioral psychology and user experience best practices, allows the platform to optimize for conversion across the customer journey. Having an underpinning of analytics woven across the platform, allows banks and credit unions to optimize even their financial products for the highest value. As the need for more innovative financial products arise, the technology underpinning provides the ability for Cotribute to provide credit unions and banks with capabilities that could be similar to ‘Chime as a Service’, ‘SoFi as a Service’ or even ‘Customer acquisition as a Service’.
A Relentless Drive for Innovation
Cotribute has a robust product and platform roadmap aligned toward the digital transformation needs of banks and credit unions. The company wants to empower a ‘Movement of Purposeful Growth’ that can unlock the growth/profit engines for credit unions and community banks. “We are always investing and building capabilities that can support clients in the long run. We’ve put our focus on enabling our clients to create new and innovative financial products and helping them acquire customers for those products” Paul concludes.
Andreesen Horowitz in their article, the Case for Credit Unions describe the technology landscape and the opportunities that abound to assist Credit Unions. Due to the credit union’s tax structure and the ownership by members, the cost of capital provides a distinct business advantage that result in better financial products that are priced well for consumers. This results in a tremendous win for the consumer base from a cost of debt perspective. Credit Unions and Community Banks serve a vital role in meeting the financial needs of consumers. Platforms like Cotribute serve a critical role in powering Community Banks and Credit Unions to thrive in the new digital normal.