Building a New Search Engine

In the 21.05 release, we introduced a brand new search engine as part of the new Xpress Teller system. We also introduced the new search into the Member Inquiry tool, replacing the existing global search feature. This new engine was intended to solve some long-standing weaknesses of our current global search and to give us more flexibility for adding new search options in the future.

After initial deployment, it was clear that while the new search options such as phone number and email address were a big hit, the results when searching by member name were disappointing. So we went back to the drawing board, and in the 21.12 release we made a major improvement to how the search works for both Xpress Teller and Member Inquiry.

The changes in 21.12 did help a lot, but based on CU feedback we decided to take one more stab. A project we’re dubbing “Search Engine 3.0” will further refine name searches by allowing first, middle initial, and last names to be entered separately for individuals, with an additional field just for searching for an organization name.

Following is a mockup of how the name search would change in Member Inquiry (we’ll make the same change to Xpress Teller as well):

The intent is to solve the few remaining concerns in order to allow us to move forward with replacing global searches throughout CU*BASE with this new engine.

Status as of February 2024: Project #58064 is complete and will be implemented with the 24.05 release.

What’s next?

After the Search Engine 3.0 project is implemented, assuming there are no show-stoppers, we are planning to move forward with replacing the existing search in Phone Operator, Global Search, and elsewhere with this new engine.

Other Ideas We’re Considering for Future Phases

  • Search by street address?
  • Include closed accounts/memberships?
  • Search by card # for closed cards?
  • Search by VIN#?
  • Checkbox for including joint owners in the search or not?
  • Search by last 4 only of SSN/TIN?
  • Search by date of birth?

Your chef for this recipe:  Dawn Moore

FAQs about the New Search Engine

Explain how the new search engine works when it comes to searching for a member name.

Why am I sometimes finding the primary owner only and other times the primary and secondary owners (such as joint owners) when I use the Xpress Teller search feature?

How will the new search work when it comes to hyphenated names, or names that end with something like Jr., Sr., II, and III?

Why would you use the Advanced Search feature in the new search engine?

How can you tell in which field a number was found in when using Xpress Teller Search and Inquiry Search?

Why might I not find a joint owner or co-borrower record in the Search results on Xpress Teller Search or Inquiry Search?

How is the data gathered for the new search engine that’s used by Member Inquiry and Xpress Teller?


March 1, 2024

10 Responses to “Building a New Search Engine”

    • Dawn Moore

      Thanks Heather! I have put this on my list for our next round of changes to the advanced search.

  1. Vito Amato

    The search for name field is frustrating. Still populating too many invalid results. For instance, we were trying to search for someone with the last name Ward. It pops up results for Edwards, Howards, Hayward, anything that has Ward in it. If we have the full name, like John Ward, it works fine. But sometimes when we’re doing research by last name it’s very frustrating.

    I also agree with Heather Franklin, searching by the last 4 of SSN would be great.

    The idea is great but it still needs a lot of work.

    • Dawn Moore

      Thanks, Vito! As you will see by the changes to the recipe above, we will be addressing the name search once again with our plans for “search engine 3.0,” I think this time will be the charm!

  2. Dedra Cheever

    The search by vin# would come in extremely handy. I just needed it yesterday and have no way to see who the member is that owns that collateral. With our previous core we were able to do search that way. It was utilized when letters were received from police departments or towing companies and no name is provided, only collateral information. In most instances if you call they will not give the info as you are the lienholder and should have access to the tilte and their name. Another instance is when you need to release a lien and can search to see if it is still your collateral or not. Sometimes vehicles are used as collateral by members other than the actual owner. Thanks!

    • Dawn Moore

      For now you should try Tool #224 Collateral/VIN# Lookup (shortcut is VININQ). Hope that helps!

  3. Tammy Cantu

    Does this mean we will be able to search by just the first name? This really comes in handy when someone remarries and you can only remember their first name. Also, it sounds like part of a name will pull up any options included, but couldn’t that be taken care of with a wildcard option? Like Ward would only bring up any names that start with Ward, like even Warden… but if you put in *ward* you would get any name that contained that. Just a thought.

    Our Loan Officer, Gigi, had a recommendation too, she said just like a lot of paperwork only shows the last four of a SSN, some things only show the last 8 digits of a VIN#.

    Looks like some good updates are in the works!

    • Dawn Moore

      To answer your first question, yes, the separate fields would allow you to search only by first name, although you’d obviously get a lot more hits that way! Our main objective is to simplify how individuals and organizations are searched to refine the results as much as possible. The project has been delayed a bit due to other priorities but we’re still plugging away!

      We do have on our list to one day add VIN to the advance search options. To your point, we probably will need to include some sort of wildcard functionality for that and SSN/TIN so you can define which digits you’re looking for. Appreciate the feedback! -Dawn Moore, EVP Client Experience

  4. Matthew Esquivel


    Where does CUA stand on implementing a search function for addresses in CU*Base?

    It seems like such a simple and necessary component that it should have been a searchable field from the onset. I can’t tell you how often we get Bill Pay checks from individuals we cannot locate in CU*Base and it would be wonderful to be able to search by the address associated with the check. This was a standard search field from our old Fiserv core XP2.

    I hope to see this added soon!

    • Dawn Moore

      This is on the list, along with a few other things, but honestly we just haven’t been able to pull resources away from other things to get back to adding more enhancements to this new search engine. I’m still pushing for it, though, and appreciate your patience!

      In the meantime, you might reach out to the Asterisk Intelligence team to see if they could set up a quick Query where you would be able to find account nunmbers based on address fields. Might help for the time being!


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