Ron Winter

CTO, InRoads Credit Union

Ron Winter

Chief Technology Officer

InRoads Credit Union (St. Helens, OR)

What achievements at InRoads are you most proud of?

Our culture at InRoads has changed. Banking is a very traditional process, and very commoditized. We have gone through a process where we’ve created a digital brand over the past number of years – with our interactive teller machines, our video banking via POPi/o and now Eltropy, our Text messaging solution. 

Biggest challenge?

I think the biggest challenge for us – and it’s common in our industry – is staffing. We’ve had “The Great Resignation,” the pandemic, and turnover. We’ve been unable to bring in seasoned bankers into our organization. So we’re bringing in people with a lack of experience who we’ve had to train. And as part of that we’ve had to train them in this new transformational model that we’re trying to implement across the organization. Some of our more seasoned staff have had to work through this, along with the people we’re bringing on board. That’s probably been the biggest challenge for us.

Part of this new transformation is that we really want to create space to have deeper conversations with our members. And as part of that, you need to dig in deep to their financial journey, their financial well being. And for someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience in that, it’s really hard to dig in and have that conversation, and be authentic and create trust as you’re building that relationship with our member or prospective member.

How is Text messaging helping?

This is not rocket science. This is how people communicate now – over text. In the past people would leave voicemails for members – and you’d have to call them back and they’d have to call you back. That’s really not an efficient process. 

What’s the overall impact been?

In today’s world, the consumer expectation is very much instant gratification. And texting really speaks to that. So as we’re able to move those conversations into a text, we get a much quicker response. We know our membership loves it. And I think it’s going to just grow and grow and grow within our processes to just be part of who we are.

How is the “member experience” changing in banking?

Banking is very transactional, but for our new consumers, and our new members – they’re not used to those traditions. They’re used to how Apple does business. They’re used to how Amazon does business. And their expectation is “this is how I do business, as a member.” So we really want them to be able to bank on the terms that they expect. Because they’ll find it elsewhere if we don’t.

What are your members saying?

We survey our members. Our survey scores are very solid and speak to that. They say “I’m so glad you’re doing this” – whether it’s video banking or text communication. In all of these channels we’re seeing very positive results. That’s part of our initiative – to keep growing all these channels, because again, it’s just the expectation. 

How are you, in turn, helping them?

We talk a lot about the value proposition of why InRoads. We really want to be authentic and have something that we can deliver to members. We are very passionate about the brand that we’re creating. And that I think that’s both how we engage with our members, but also the digital solutions that we provided them.

Why are you partnering with Eltropy?

I like to think of us as a technology company providing financial services. And we just need to partner with technology companies that have that same DNA and that same passion about providing these solutions to members. So we’ve chosen wisely with Eltropy.