For firms in the grips of nosediving profits, disgruntled customers and unsustainable business environments, the steps to effect positive change would be as obvious and simple as flipping a switch. However, for a credit union, which has grown its member base by 89% since 2011, has in excess of US $6b in assets, and was named the number one credit union in California by Forbes Magazine, the next step might not be so obvious. For Logix Federal Credit Union though, an insightful and experienced leadership team, dedicated to intelligently implementing the latest technology while taking full advantage of a highly engaged workforce, is poised and ready for the future. “We are fortunate in that our members already love us,” says Edward Chuang, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Logix. “The important thing is not to rest on our laurels, because we know that the banking industry is changing, and we know that consumer expectations are changing, too. So, ‘how do we stay number one?’ is really the challenge we're facing.”
In the constant race to stay relevant and with a desire to relentlessly pursue innovation, Logix is undergoing a top-to-bottom transformation. “Logix is going through a very exciting transformation right now, and that began with Ana Fonseca taking the helm as the new CEO of Logix in January of this year,” says Chuang.
A veteran of the finance sector, with 27 years under her belt at Logix, Fonseca stepped into the role of the company’s President and CEO in January 2019. Striking an ever-present balance between the adoption of new technologies and managing the experience of both members and employees, Fonseca is excited to apply Logix’s award-winning customer service to its online presence. “We already have a really great member experience, especially in our branches, and so we're driven by wanting to make our members feel welcomed, significant, and engaged,” she explains. “What we're trying to do is take that feeling and replicate it across other channels: on our website, within online banking, and throughout our mobile app.”
Chuang adds, “Bundled in this transformation are a number of initiatives that are really poised to take us to a whole new level. We call it Logix 2.0 and it includes a brand new headquarters building about 30 miles north of our current location, a state-of-the-art data center built from the ground up, and taking one of our core strategic principles – consistently excellent member experience – to another level. We’re aiming to address all of the ways we serve our members and make those interactions seamless and easy for them.”
Founded in 1937, Logix Federal Credit Union is the largest credit union in Los Angeles County and the seventh largest in the state. It provides banking services to over 202,000 members, access to over 30,000 surcharge-free ATMs, and operates 17 branches in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Logix has outgrown its current headquarters building in Burbank as its employee count exceeds 725. “We offer nearly all of the banking services that any large bank would, but we're different. We’re here to help members thrive, not to increase shareholder profits,” says Chuang.
As Logix’s CIO, Chuang’s role is closely tied to keeping the company abreast of the banking ecosystem’s development. “In the last 10 years, digital banking has gone through multiple miniature evolutions as digital platforms have matured,” he says. “Last year we established a new data analytics and business intelligence department. That group is chartered with pulling together numerous data sources, whether it's mortgage lending or payments transactions, and creating useful insights about our members and our employees.” Logix’s commitment to harnessing the power of data is enhanced by the construction of its new data center. “We’re using some out of the box products from key strategic partners, but ultimately the data lake we're creating is specifically for us with our own data and only for our usage,” explains Chuang. Logix recently implemented an Advanced Reporting for Credit Unions (ARCU) system powered by Jack Henry. “It allows us to create an advanced reporting database; we take a daily snapshot of all of our transaction data from our core and the analytics team goes to town on it,” says Chuang. “They pump our data into a number of AI or machine learning-enabled products to derive useful reports of member behavior.”
Adopting new technology to better gather and utilize data is key to Logix improving its member experience even further. “It’s all about helping our members thrive,” reiterates Fonseca. “We want to provide them with value and make sure we’re offering products that make sense for them. This data is going to help us understand what life stage they're in and what products make sense for them. For example, if we see they’re shopping at a home improvement store, we might be able to offer them a home equity line of credit, because they're probably working on home improvements or maybe a major remodel.” With the data landscape in constant flux and exponential expansion, both Fonseca and Chuang recognize its importance to the continued success of Logix. “Data will be the key to winning, and if we don't leverage it, that will be our downfall. This realization is really informing how we're using data,” notes Chuang.
Logix employs data gathering and analysis not only to provide its members with a sublime member experience, but also to help foster and maintain a positive internal atmosphere. “Even though we've gone through a lot of changes, one thing that's very important to us is that we preserve the culture we’ve cultivated over the past several years. I would say that one of the things that's really noticeable about our culture to new employees is how fun it is to work here,” says Fonseca. “From dress-up days on Halloween to annual award ceremonies at venues like the Los Angeles Zoo, Logix ensures that the happiness of its employees is maintained.”
Logix’s leadership team also recognizes that maintaining positive and open relationships with its employees is a powerful tool for improving business strategy. “The other important aspect of our culture is that we foster open communication,” adds Fonseca. “Our employees have access to everyone on our senior management team, and they are encouraged to submit ideas for things that we can do better for our members and for employees.”
Looking to the future, Chuang is certain that the future of Logix is in safe hands. “With the visionary leadership of Ana, I think the willingness to transform is something that no strategy can spell out on paper,” he says. Fonseca and the Logix team are ready to enter 2020 with a more seamless digital experience for their members, a constant dedication to enhancing Logix’s technological capabilities – with solutions ranging from automation to intelligent ATMs and teller-less branches – and a continuing mission to make the members of California’s leading credit union continue to feel welcomed, significant and engaged. Chuang concludes: “We truly aim to provide the best possible banking experience that our members can have.”