A request we’ve been receiving more frequently lately is a way to let members work with all their credit union memberships by logging in to a single online banking account. In the fall of 2023 we launched a series of internal meetings to discuss possible techniques. This recipe will track the ideas, plans, and projects we’ll be working on in this area over the next couple of years.
See All My Accounts
The most common request is a way to see a list of all accounts, including ones on which the person is a joint owner, in one place. We’re envisioning something similar to the old “See” feature that existed prior to the introduction of the new look for online banking in 2021, but with a new UI that more easily aggregates all accounts into a single list.
From this consolidated list members would be able to view basic account details and transaction history for any account. To perform any transactions, a “jump to this membership” link would be available that would automatically sign the member on to that membership (no additional credentials needed). This would work the same as our existing “Jump” feature, so that permissions on that account could be used to determine what the member could do once jumped.
Authentication at the User (Person) Level
Another common request is to provide separate credentials for joint owners logging into a membership, so that the primary member’s credentials don’t need to be shared. While there is no way we can prevent a husband and wife, say, from sharing their credentials, this would allow members to provide a unique login and password to an existing joint owner, so that password changes by one user don’t affect the other user’s ability to log in.
Our vision here is a little more nebulous. The latest idea is to create a mechanism where the primary member can set up additional login credentials for a joint owner to which they want to grant access, subject to certain boundaries, such as:
- Require the member to go through a two-factor authentication routine to access the setup feature
- Can only choose an existing joint owner name from the secondary names file in CU*BASE
- May need new configuration settings under Membership Designations to determine whether other owner types (misc. owners, beneficiaries) can also be selected
- May need to provide a way for CUs to specifically block an individual joint owner from being presented as well
- The secondary name record must already be set up properly with an SSN/TIN link to either another membership record or a non-member record
- May need to block a secondary name from being used if there are no valid phone numbers or email addresses on file
- Allow the primary member to also delete/cancel a joint owner’s credentials at any time
What about sub-account access?
Another sticking point in this design is the idea of controlling exactly what the joint owner’s credentials will allow them to do. Our initial design is an all-or-nothing proposition: If the primary member grants permission to someone, they will have exactly the same permissions as the primary member. Regardless of which sub-accounts they were actually attached to, they would be able to see and post transactions to any sub-account under that membership.
This is because of the way different CUs use the CU*BASE secondary names system. The system is intended to require a separate link for each sub-account, to designate that person’s access to each account. However, for many CUs, a person who is joint on the 000 membership share is considered joint on all sub-accounts ever opened under that membership. We will need a CU-level config flag to indicate whether we should look only to the 000 account or to all individual accounts. But more importantly, we would need to retrofit dozens of individual online modules to be able to honor those restrictions. A big undertaking indeed!
Project #1: Aggregation Features for Business Online Banking
Our first foray into this area will be a project for the BizLink 247 business banking solution to add a new option under Member Personal Banker that will allow CUs to offer a “see/jump” feature to their business members using BizLink 247. This is designed for business members who may have multiple business memberships at the credit union.
Similar to the current jump feature for It’s Me 247, the CU would be responsible for the initial setup. Using a new tool in Personal Banker, the CU would choose a primary membership, then add list of secondary memberships (account bases) that can be aggregated and jumped to from the primary account login. For security reasons, on business accounts there will be no mechanism for the member to do the aggregation setup in PIB-MLO.
Features we’re currently envisioning:
- Memberships chosen for see/jump privileges must be other businesses who are also using the BizLink 247 business online banking platform.
- Employees will still log in under a single membership account (the “primary” membership)
- Each business employee will have their own aggregation/jump permissions (so the owner can have some but the accountant might not)
- A new cross-platform widget will be designed to allow the CU to put aggregation features front and center on their business online banking page and within the app
- A new “See all my accounts” module will be available from the new widget
- This new page will be similar to the existing full account summary, with additional features such as a mechanism for choosing from a list of linked memberships
- The summary will show total of all savings, CDs, etc., under the selected membership, or an aggregated list across all memberships
- For transaction history, will include a contextual option to view account details for each sub-account under any of the linked memberships
- A new “Jump to this account” (or perhaps “Switch accounts”) feature will allow the employee to jump to the other membership and perform other tasks (transfers, bill pay, eStatements, open accounts, etc.)
- All permissions once they jump will be controlled by the employee ID that has been designed as the “alias” when setting up the aggregation/jump permissions (i.e., person signs on to account 123 as “Accountant123” then jumps to account 234 as “JSmith”)
- After jumping to another membership, the member would use a “switch back” feature to shift back to the primary membership under BizLink 247
Status as of December 2023: UI design prototypes for project #61373 are currently in process with the assistance of the Conversations on Serving Business Members group.
- Project #2: Once we get the BizLink 247 see/jump project up and running, we will start inventorying what changes would be needed to add similar functionality to It’s Me 247 online banking for individual membership.
- Adapt the existing See/Jump controls already available in Member Personal Banker
- Create a new aggregation module (“see”) similar to the new one being created for BizLink 247
- Make the existing Jump feature more accessible and easier to use
- Project #3: Design a new table and mechanism for adding multiple sets of credentials to the same membership, to be assigned by the member to existing joint owners
- Future: Assuming we can overcome some technical infrastructure challenges, we may consider:
- Adding the ability to show sub-accounts from multiple memberships in the “Favorites” feature on the home page
- Providing the ability to jump to personal memberships (It’s Me 247) from a business membership (BizLink 247), or vice versa
- Addressing permissions at the sub-account level in some way
Status as of December 2023: All are in early design concept stages, pending completion of project #1.
Your chef for this recipe: Dawn Moore