The effort to create a new technology standard for integrating software among credit unions and their vendors is about to take a major step forward with the launch of its first beta.
In the next couple weeks, the $1.6 billion Baxter Credit Union in Vernon Hills, Ill., expects to integrate its loans, savings and checking data from its Symitar Episys core processing system with member card data from PSCU into the MoneyDesktop personal financial management solution.
The result is expected to be an aggregated, real-time look at a member’s personal finances to help the credit union serve as a primary financial institution. And what’s expected to be the first of many successful uses of the new CUFX standard, its creators said.
While the technology itself bears some resemblance to the long-used OFX standard that Intuit developed to download home banking data into its Quicken solution, there are some critical differences.
“What we’re trying to do is get away from proprietary integration and make it so that any credit union can easily integrate with any third party without having to write stuff for each and every core processing vendor,” said Jeff Johnson, chief information officer and senior vice president at BCU.
Once the beta passes muster at his credit union, Johnson said, the next step will be to work with BCU’s marketing staff to prepare for what’s expected to be a rollout to members in June.
“This is all geared toward members,” Johnson said. “With all the concerns about financial literacy and budgeting and better managing for retirement, this was a good place to start.”
The CUFX group just had a kickoff call for new membership specifications, and plans to have two face-to-face meetings in Chicago in May to work on those, Johnson said.
The project is being helped along by the CUNA Technology Council and already has about 20 participants, including vendors, credit unions and consultants.
“Participation is growing,” said Johnson, vice chair of the council’s technology committee and the 2012 Trailblazer CIO of the Year from Credit Union Times. “This is all credit union driven and governed. We’re working to create a free standard that anyone who serves the credit industry should hop on.”