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Fast-Growing Credit Union Uses Drupal 8 to Compete with National Banks

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Carousel30 recently partnered with a large credit union to redesign its six websites. Each digital property represents different aspects of the business and are required to be on separate sites for legal and compliance reasons.

With a fast-growing customer base, the client was facing several serious challenges to continued growth. One of these was its core customer demographic continually shifting to include more millennials, who are accustomed to banking with digital-first organizations.

Another challenge was continued competition from larger regional and national banks with more advanced technical infrastructure, such as seamless integration between corporate websites, online banking and loan platforms. Although the credit union could handle everything from banking to home and auto loans, as well as insurance and financial planning, its previous website infrastructure offered a less-than-optimal customer experience, forcing visitors to switch between systems, which didn’t share consistent branding and user interfaces.

The credit union also needed to provide a better technical platform for long-term growth. This included addressing the marketing, content, technical integration and security needs of the financial institution for years to come. Previous websites were on several different content management system platforms, from Ektron to WordPress (and even static HTML), making internal operational efficiencies a driving factor in the unification. In addition, their legacy sites were not responsive – making user experience on mobile, especially for the millennial audience, a major priority.

Finally, the large cross-section of users that would be interacting with the websites presented a significant design consideration. With both business and consumer audiences across many demographics – from young professionals to those reaching retirement – the content needs of the different organizations vary greatly. There was a need to structure flexible page templates that maintain consistency while allowing a wide variety of content to be displayed.

Strategy – Process – Solution

To create a great family of websites for the credit union, Carousel30 took a strategic approach that tied the business, branding, marketing, and technology goals of the organization together.

The credit union evaluated several content management systems and Carousel30 worked with the client to ensure the best solution was chosen. Drupal 8 was recommended.

The Drupal multisite architecture was perfect for the needs of the organization to have separate but related websites that share features and functionality between them. Drupal also met the stringent security needs of the organization, including the ability to restrict access and provide database encryption.

Finally, Drupal’s vast developer community and its contributed modules provided several pieces of functionality that were requirements of the project, and that the team could utilize without having to create custom features.

The discovery process involved extensive research into the credit union’s existing and fast-growing customer segments, which included several types of businesses as well as consumers at various life stages. Personas were then developed, refined and utilized to ensure that the user experience and customer pathways addressed everyone’s needs.

With Drupal 8, the team designed a digital experience that allows the flexibility for each aspect of the business to utilize their distinct branding, while maintaining overall brand and user experience consistency. The system also features an easy way to maintain loan and interest rate information (which needs to be updated frequently) across pages on the sites, a universal account login, and responsive design that allows all content to be displayed in an optimal way on smartphones and tablets.

Results

The credit union achieved consistent branding and design across all of its digital properties – reinforcing the strength of and trust in the brand.

Performance of their sites improved in several ways. Bounce rates decreased dramatically both from improved user flow with relevant content served up by audience type, as well as from the responsive design that increased performance across the board for mobile users.

By providing a single content management system for the entire organization, operational efficiencies were achieved and administration is now seamless regardless of which sites need to be updated.

Security has also been bolstered by standardizing on a single CMS. By following Drupal best practices throughout the development process, rigorous security standards have been maintained. By adhering to recommended Drupal module security updates, the sites remain protected from emerging threats as monitored by a network of experts in the Drupal community.

The six Drupal sites represent a major step forward for the credit union and are providing a foundation for their future growth. Drupal 8 will be a fundamental aspect in the organization’s ongoing success.

As banks and credit unions compete for better customer experiences, Drupal 8 continues to deliver. The proof points aren’t singularly from marketing sites. Nasdaq chose Drupal 8 to power its investor relations site platform, which is used by some of the largest companies in the world.

With such a strong value proposition and demonstrated track record of success, Drupal 8 is emerging as a digital content and experience management system of choice in financial services.

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