CruiseNet Makes Debut for Small CU Market
Symitar is now in the final phases of rolling out CruiseNet, the newest iteration of its Cruise platform for credit unions with assets of $50 million and less.
Built on .NET architecture, CruiseNet includes integrated loan collections, relationship pricing, accounting, automated reporting and workflow options, the latter of which includes eliminating much of the need for toggling between screens, the company said.
About 170 credit unions are on the Cruise system and they all have been transitioned to CruiseNet, said Sue Chriest, the platform’s director of operations and research and development. Thirty to 40 of them run the core system through a data center, she noted.
“We acquired (Cruise) around 2002 and it goes back well into the 1990s,” said Ted Bilke, president of Symitar, a division of Jack Henry & Associates.
The rewrite to CruiseNet centered on a new user interface and workflows with an eye toward making Cruise more attractive to a wide range of customers among smaller credit unions, Bilke said.
Chriest said the conversion took the form of a major release in March 2013, which accounted for about three-fourths of the system, with other upgrades following. The last piece was warehouse posting, she added. The rollout went into a beta phase in September and the rest of the client base was moved at the end of 2013. The parent company, Jack Henry & Associates, made the investment despite the declining number of credit unions nationwide. Despite merger and acquisition activity, Symitar has remained dedicated to helping smaller credit unions thrive by investing back in to the advancement of CruiseNet, the company said a few months ago.
Via CruiseNet, the $21 million Great Meadow Federal Credit Union in Comstock, N.Y., is running the core system through the service bureau. Ryan Roberts, the cooperative's president/CEO, said the biggest challenge been training on the new system. The credit union converted from a FedComp system to Cruise in 2011 and is now in the last phase of its upgrade to the new version.
“We did it in small pieces (and)it’s really helped us improve our workflow, especially in lending and loan collection,” Roberts said.