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Transforming banking with technology


Digital transformation for further diversification WRIT TEN BY




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In 2003,Alliant Credit Union diversified. Since then, it has embarked on a digital transformation journey to draw in new customers.


lliant Credit Union isn’t shy about its commitment to what the company calls its “digital shift” strategy. Alliant’s model is to

be a digital-first and nationwide financial institution. The credit union has members in every state across the US, but only one physical branch, located in its 03

Chicago headquarters. “Our model really looks much more akin to a so-called direct bank than a more traditional branch-based institution,” says Dave Mooney, CEO of Alliant. “Historically and today, we are very low cost, which translates into high financial value and high returns to our member owners. We have among the highest deposit rates in the marketplace, and offer some of the lowest loan rates, as well as fewer and lower fees.” When Alliant was established in 1935, it was chartered as the United Airlines Employees’ Credit Union. For 68 years, the company exclusively served United employees and their family members, until 2003 when the credit union diversified. At the time, Alliant had about 170,000 members. “We began to diversify the companies and


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associations that we partnered with, and we diversified our membership,” says Mooney. “As part of this diversification, we rebranded and became

“Geographic boundaries are eroding” — Dave Mooney, CEO, Alliant Credit Union

Alliant Credit Union so our name was more inclusive.” By expanding and diversifying with other companies and associations, Alliant was able to continue growing its business and its customer base. The credit union now has more than 450,000 members nationwide. “Now we serve employees of companies and members of associa-


tions throughout the United States,” Mooney says. “We have around 130 sponsors – such companies as Google, Kaiser Permanente, BASF, and a number of associations, like the Chicago Bar Association and the California Association of CPAs.” Since Mooney joined the company in 2003, Alliant’s assets have expanded from $4bn to over $11bn. The business has also transformed its operations to focus more on lending, transitioning from what was essentially a money market fund to generating higher yields through loans while still offering customers competitive rates on its deposit accounts.



Dave Mooney, CEO Dave Mooney is the President and CEO of Alliant Credit Union, one of the United States’ largest credit unions. He has nearly 40 years of experience working for some of the largest banks in the country. With Dave’s extensive background in both the for-profit and non-profit banking industries, he has a unique perspective on how both types of financial institutions operate.

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“We need to make the world more how we want to see it.�


- Scott Saunders, CEO & Founder, Happy Money

Happy Money & Alliant Credit Union proudly celebrate 2 years of partnership, changing the way people think about and use money.

“The overwhelming majority of our member interactions are done through online and mobile banking” — Dave Mooney, CEO, Alliant Credit Union

08 Along with building a strong lending

The CEO points to the changing

business, Mooney says the other big

dynamics of banking. Previously,

change for Alliant centers around

branch location was the dominating

access and the emergence of digital

factor in consumers’ selection of an

banking channels. “We have invested

institution, and the industry’s primary

heavily in both infrastructure and our

focus was on branches. When the

online and mobile banking services,”

system relied on the exchange of

Mooney says. “Members can do

physical documents, Mooney says,

virtually anything they need to do with

banks relied on having a branch in the

us through digital channels, and the

market because without one, “you

overwhelming majority of our member

were irrelevant.”

interactions are done through online

“In that environment, product, price

and mobile banking, through self-ser-

and promotion were generic because

vice. Over 90% of our new business is

there was no advantage to be had

originated online.”

since choice was all about location. w w w.a l l i a ntc re di t un ion . org




Michelle Spellerberg, Vice President Digital Strategy and Innovative Growth As Alliant’s head of marketing, digital banking channels and relationship management, Michelle Spellerberg is the driving force behind Alliant’s digital banking evolution. She is responsible for Alliant’s datadriven digital marketing efforts and led the charge behind Alliant’s new mobile banking app and online banking enhancements. She strongly believes that the consumer experience can be improved via smart yet simple technology. Prior to joining Alliant, Michelle helped companies embrace emerging media and technology to improve customer acquisition, product penetration, sales enablement and overall customer satisfaction.

“We want people to come in and be excited about using the technology, excited about our rates, and excited about the security that we offer” — Michelle Spellerberg, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovative Growth

Banks set the rules, which often

ence, digital banking enables transpar-

weren’t known to the customer until

ency and efficient price discovery.

they were used against them,” Mooney

Michelle Spellerberg, the company’s

says. “Since product, price and

Vice President of Digital Strategy and

promotion were generic, there was no

Innovative Growth, says Alliant has a

particular benefit to switching institu-

different approach to technology

tions, which, along with the hassle,

transformation. “In banking in general,

resulted in tremendous relationship

people still think of digital transforma-

inertia. Previously, you were limited to

tion as technology or systems – new

only financial institutions that had a

apps and cool features. For Alliant, our

branch in your area. Now, those

priority is about making the lives of our

geographic boundaries are eroding.”

members as simple as possible by

According to Mooney, the new

solving problems for them through

dynamic of banking centers around the

technology,” Spellerberg says. “It’s

web, which has changed how custom-

about easing the difficulties of day-to-

ers have access to services. In addition

day banking through technology, while

to improving time and place conveni-

a lot of companies are still out there w w w.a l l i a ntc re di t un ion . org



“We streamlined that entire process, not only for our members, but also for our employees” 11

— Michelle Spellerberg, Vice President of Digital Strategy and Innovative Growth

just trying to create digital features which do not always add value.” For example, Spellerberg says, the company created its own consumer loan origination system, which accepts digital applications for auto loans, credit cards, personal loans and more. Since its launch in spring 2017, the system has processed $1 billion in loan originations, with more than 94,000 loan applications processed in 2018 alone. “We streamlined that entire process, not only for our members, but also for our employees,” notes Spellerberg. “We also developed our own awardwinning mobile app.” Alliant established a proprietary app that focused on design and simplifying the customer experience. The firm added biometric authentication, in-app messaging, debit and credit card management tools, and other enhancements that made banking easier. Over the last four years, Alliant has increased mobile banking users by 208%. Spellerberg says Alliant is also currently working on two more projects aimed at improving and streamlining the digital banking experience for its customers and employees alike. w w w.a l l i a ntc re di t un ion . org



“One is for what we call our deposit product opening system. We already have our system in place for opening loans, so this system centers around our savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The system will ensure product openings are as easy and efficient as loan openings, both for our members and our employees,” Spellerberg says. “We also are in the middle of redesigning our online banking platform, with the goal of not only modernizing the 13

$11.2bn Approximate revenue


Year founded


Approximate number of employees

look but, more importantly, simplifying the experience.” Alliant experienced 14% growth in membership last year and will continue

heavily in marketing automation, to be

to expand as part of its digital transfor-

able to utilize data effectively and

mation journey. “We know that these

apply it in terms of smart communica-

new members have higher expecta-

tions with members and prospects.

tions when it comes to digital,” Speller-

We have not begun, in any significant

berg says. “We want people to come in

way, working with artificial intelligence

and be excited about using the

and machine learning, but we will be

technology, excited about our rates,

doing more of that in the future.”

and excited about the security that we

Another area Alliant is emphasizing

offer. We want to delight our custom-

in order to build long-term capability is

ers on a daily basis.”

technical ecosystem integration. “The

Fully embracing technology is key to

technical ecosystem is ever-expand-

Alliant’s continued growth strategy,

ing, with more and more applications

Mooney says. “We’ve invested fairly

and interfaces. Managing that


ever-expanding ecosystem is a

and dynamics. “We will continue to

significant challenge,” Mooney says.

invest heavily in digital capabilities and

“So, one of the efforts is: how do we

eliminate manual processes over the

architect our technology, and also

next five years,” Mooney says.

architect our organization to be able to

“I envision that we will have developed

deal with that complexity? Which

very robust data and analytics capabili-

again, I think, will enable us to adapt

ties, and embedded consumer-cen-

and respond when we need to, as

tered design across the organization.”

opposed to just getting totally overwhelmed by that complexity.” In terms of the future, the CEO of Alliant has clear ideas for how the company can continue to remain on the right side of marketplace trends w w w.a l l i a ntc re di t un ion . org

Alliant Credit Union 11545 W. Touhy Ave Chicago, IL 60666 T +800-328-1935 www.alliantcreditunion.org

Profile for Business Chief USA

Alliant Credit Union Brochure 2019  

Alliant Credit Union Brochure 2019  

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