Purpose driven digital transformation helps local communities with their financial needs.
Discover how Great Western Credit Union completely modernised community banking to bring a new "FinTech with purpose" vision to life
- Digital Strategy
- User Experience
- Umbraco CMS
- MS Platform
- Digital maturity
- Managed Transformation
- Change Leadership
- Streamlined Processes
- Solution Design
The Brand Story
A Community Finance organisation bringing benefit to thousands of local people
Great Western Credit Union (GWCU) is an organisation that’s grounded in purpose, delivering clear social impact by helping people in need to access low-cost finance. Powered by over 20,000 local people who have become members, their mission is to make is to make the communities and people it serves better off, providing both access to credit for those in need as well as responsible financial advice and ethical loan and savings opportunities.
Achieving this mission in today’s fast-moving marketplace, however, was proving highly challenging for GWCU. The banking institution needed to embark on a seismic shift in terms of its use of technology: antiquated systems were no longer fit for purpose, resulting in data duplication, inefficient workflows and a lending experience that wasn’t suited to the modern age and mobile-first audiences.
Now one of the South West’s largest co-operatives, GWCU has been on a remarkable journey - one that has seen the organisation digitise and radically modernise its entire operations during such a transformational year.
The essential digital evolution to bring sustainability
GWCU approached us with sizeable ambitions: geographical expansion was the bigger picture goal, yet GWCU’s strongest immediate desire was to offer a more inclusive, accessible, and agile lending experience to its members. The organisation wanted to deliver bigger impact, helping people to better manage their funds and receive access to affordable and flexible credit solutions.
Board members recognising that the bank’s use of technology must adapt to enable strategic goals to be met, an extensive transformation programme began. Early exploratory conversations set out to understand the ‘why’, build the business case for digital maturity and consider how digital solutions could be architecturally delivered to benefit members most.
From the outset, it was clear that the organisation’s systems and infrastructure were not fit-for-purpose for their future aspirations: GWCU’s members deserved more, and the community bank needed to put the right, future-focused framework in place to be able to lend to more people without incurring more cost. The internal ambition was there to operate at scale, working in a much more agile way, and to modernise community finance by pivoting and becoming a ‘fintech with purpose’. GWCU sought to deliver a service offering to its members that would rival both high street banks and pay day lenders; continuing to stand still within a competitive marketplace would likely mean that the opportunity to grow and deliver its purpose in the long-term would pass the Credit Union by.
To grow and evolve in a way that would always put people first
A long-term transformation journey was needed that would ultimately pave the way towards GWCU’s digital offering being purpose-driven, user-focused and fully responsive to the needs of modern audiences. The transformation would encompass GWCU’s back-end operations, its customer-facing digital ‘shop window’ and its supporting systems and infrastructure.
Our approach would help GWCU to think differently, see the possibilities, and make change happen by managing and delivering an integrated solution that would enable the team to provide services to a much wider customer base than ever before.
Our approach for GWCU focused on the essentials for success: People, Process and Technology, with four clear aims:
• Delivering a bolstered, product-driven, and mobile-first website and digital presence;
• Optimising the online application process and enhancing the online member area;
• Automation and integration of decision engines, fraud and identity checks and open banking to provide real-time application decisions and credit;
• Creating a modern membership relationship management system and seamless integration of legacy systems to deliver efficient and effective back-office services.
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Deborah FortescueHead of Strategy
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