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PORTLAND, Ore. – Already dominant in the online banking space for big credit unions, Corillian Corp. is now adding a new focus down market while working to help all its clients, big and small, reach out to the millions of consumers who still eschew the online channel, its CEO says. That growth will be sought by following the same philosophy of in-house innovation and development that has gotten the company to where it is now, says Alex Hart, Corillian’s president and CEO since 2002. Under his watch, Corillian now lists six of the 10 largest credit unions as clients, along with 20 of the largest 100. Credit unions represent more than 40% of Corillian’s customer base, which now includes more than 30 million end users, the company says, and its CU business has grown 33% in the past two years. While some of its competitors have grown through acquisition, “we’ve been more focused on organic growth, because the ultimate goal is to create a great user experience and historically it’s been easier to do that with products we’ve built ourselves,” Hart told Credit Union Times in a recent interview. That said, Corillian did make a couple acquisitions in the past year aimed at helping it compete with Digital Insight, Online Resources, core processors and others providing online banking and bill pay to the thousands of mid-size and small credit unions. One was qbt, which itself had recently bought the MemberBridge online banking business and is a specialist in middleware for connecting payment and transaction systems across disparate platforms. The other was InteliData, which combined with Corillian’s existing bill pay warehouse to give Corillian the ability to provide low-cost bill pay service to credit unions that can pass that on to members, Hart says. “It’s pretty obvious that credit unions need to be able to offer low-cost or better yet, free, online bill payment services to members,” the Corillian CEO says. “Because we don’t have to re-sell someone else’s version, our customers don’t have to have as big a volume to get the price point down. “For example, one of our customers was paying $22,000 a month for bill payment. We were able to duplicate, really improve, that experience and get the price down to $7,000 a month.” Providing a satisfying, economical user experience is one key to winning new business for Corillian and new end users for its customers, Hart says. Making sure it’s safe is the other. Corillian has been out front in developing anti-phishing pre-emptive forensics and dual-factor authentication technologies in-house and with strategic partnerships, Hart says. The company has picked up some perhaps unexpected new clients along the way. “We’ve licensed our software to the FBI and the Secret Service and have had a part in helping arrests be made all over the world,” Hart says. “That’s pretty rewarding, actually.” Improving security both in reality and in perception are critical to moving online banking and bill pay deeper into the consumer marketplace, Hart says, and despite the large numbers of people already online, that marketplace is not necessarily a mature one. “Only about 35 to 40% of the banking population uses the online channels, so it’s still pretty early,” he says. “We think we can get that up to 75 or 80%, similar to the rate of ATM usage.” Hart notes that it took about 20 years for the ATM channel to get to the point where online banking has gotten in about 10 but that growth going forward is going to take some work. “The challenge is making sure that people who are not tech- or office-oriented are comfortable enough to get online, and once they are, to make sure it’s easy and safe for them to use it,” he says. “It’s going to happen, I think. Five years from now, I think it will be unusual to run into someone under the age of 60 who doesn’t use online banking on a regular basis.” Meanwhile, while Corillian continues to “do well with large credit unions and banks,” Hart says, “a very important part of our strategy going forward will be serving smaller credit unions.” To that end, Corillian has “put a lot of effort into the past few years in reducing the complexity and cost of what we do, so more financial institutions can use our software,” Hart says. “Nine of the 11 new customers we added at the end of last year were credit unions,” he says, “which reflects the growing importance of online banking to the credit union industry as well as our success in making our solutions more affordable for smaller institutions.” -

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