Case Studies

Credit Unions & Banks, Acquisitions & Mergers: Automated Urgent Onboarding of Acquired FI Accounts Using Intelligent Automation

$4 Billion Asset Credit Union
North America

Client Situation

Acquisitions are ever increasing among credit unions and banks. 2024 is no exception and the current interest-rate climate is only prompting more mergers.  

In this case study, a respected credit union had just acquired another one—with all its branches and members, with the closing just four months away. The acquiring credit union’s core was from Jack Henry. The acquired credit union used Fiserv. Unfortunately, Jack Henry, as a vendor, told the acquiring credit union that they would be unable to convert and import the acquired non-Jack-Henry accounts for nine to 18 months. This jeopardized the entire merger. 

The related member-onboarding challenge, for the thousands of new accounts, was four-fold:   

  • New member accounts needed to be created for acquired members. 
  • New share and mortgage accounts needed to be created for the new members.  
  • New debit cards would need to be generated and ordered for all new members.  
  • All balances would need to be transferred into the newly-created accounts.  

Lacking the internal resources to transfer all of these millions of fields of data, the credit union turned to The Lab, North America’s standardization, automation, process improvement, and data authority, with more than three decades of experience. 

Project Overview

Project Sponsor: EVP, Chief Operations Officer

Client: $4 Billion Asset Financial Institution 

Implementation Results
  • 1,000s of members imported by bots—error-free.

    • Included both new accounts and mortgages

  • 9-18 months: Timeframe core provider wanted to try and do this

  • 16 weeks: Timeframe for entire process performed by The Lab, with minimal touch-time required of SMEs and sponsors 

Project Approach & Intelligent Automation Strategy  

The 16-week, fixed-fee project was all that was required of the credit union. The Lab, after all, is a full-service intelligent automation implementation firm for community banks, regional banks, and credit unions of all sizes.  

The automation and data strategy that ensures success for this type of urgent project is to bring the new members in “through the front door.” This approach is only possible with robotic process automation. It’s far different from the old way of merging cores through the “back end,” as core providers and data-integration firms typically do. Simply put, The Lab makes bots that mimic your new-account-opening processes at the user-interface level—exactly the way your human staff perform them in your core. Here, the bots onboard the acquired members the exact same way.  

The Lab’s approach for this complex urgent task is simple: We ask the front-line subject-matter experts (SMEs) who perform member onboarding train our team on how they do the work today—and then we train bots to do the same. The bots then perform the new-member onboarding work 10 to 30 times faster than the SMEs can. It would take a human team months of copying-and-pasting all the accounts one-by-one—and even then, their work would be rife with errors. Several bots, by contrast, can onboard all of the accounts overnight after being configured—and they make zero keying errors. 

To begin, The Lab conducted a half-dozen remote scoping sessions with credit-union SMEs to understand, record, and document the work activities of how they currently onboarded new members. This included identifying all of the required member data, systems, and other technology used to complete the work activities, as well as defining all other business requirements for the proposed bots.  

Using the resulting documented member-data requirements, The Lab then created a master data table to aggregate all acquired-member information, with each data field mapped to a corresponding data field in the destination system.  

The Lab then developed a suite of onboarding bots to run the actual processing. After development was complete, The Lab ran all the automations for the client, ensured all the accounts migrated properly, and supported all post-conversion change-management. Note that all of the MSFT Power Automate bots were configured by The Lab’s automation-development team in Houston—no work was offshored or developed by contractors. 

Initiative Objectives:
  • Quickly onboard thousands of new accounts

  • Achieve four-month acquisition timeframe  

  • Minimal touch-time required of SMEs 

  • Resource recovery/operational efficiency 

  • Ensure data accuracy 

  • Improve process flexibility

    • On-demand data migration now possible 

  • Provide information security 

    • All member information safeguarded in on-prem environment 

Implementation and Solution Examples  

1. Standardized New Member Data 

The Lab created a standardized master data table from the acquired financial-institution data to aggregate acquired-member information. This provided the standard data source for automation, with each data field mapped to a corresponding data field in the destination core and ancillary banking systems. 

2. Customer/Member Onboarding Bot  
The “current state” of opening a new account was fully documented by The Lab, right down to field-specific details such as Proxy Date and Warning Codes, and what to do if the customer prefers, or declines, to have a new debit card mailed to them. The Lab then standardized the process to enable automation and implemented the bot to create new member accounts for acquired members. 

3. Mortgage Setup Bot  
Again, the “current state” documentation was intensive, with every single detail, field, and decision-point captured and verified by both the bank’s SME and the full client team. The “future state” was completely “bot-ified”; for this scenario alone, it accessed Jack Henry Symitar, FICS Mortgage Services, MS Office, and shared drives.

4. Debit Card Ordering Bot  
After current-state processes were scoped, The Lab worked with the client team to streamline the process for machinability. One implemented, this new bot completed the requisite data entry and generated debit cards for new members as needed.  

5. Balance Transfer Bot 
The final bot moves balances from acquired-member accounts into newly-created accounts.  

Project Summary 
  • Sixteen-week urgent solution implementation 
  • End-to-end merger automations 
  • Minimal software cost
  • Microsoft Power Automate 

The Lab Makes it Easy

Organization-friendly engagement design

At The Lab, we’ve spent three decades refining every aspect of our transformation engagement model. We’ve made it easy for clients—from the C-Suite to the front line—to understand and manage the initiative:

  • Minimal use of client time: One to two hours each week, maximum.
  • Measurable benefits: Typical 12-month ROI is 3x to 5x.
  • Pre-built templates and tools: Process maps, data models, bots, and more.
  • U.S.-based, remote delivery: Nothing is ever outsourced or offshored.

Designed to reduce risk, increase success

Since 1993, The Lab has led the industry in eliminating risk for our clients. Whether your engagement involves a handful of bots or wall-to-wall transformation, we make it easy to do business with us:

  • Fixed pricing and clearly defined scope
  • Early-out checkpoints and options
  • Money-back guarantees

Book your demo today

Rapidly accelerate—and monetize—your strategic initiatives, including process improvement, org design, intelligent automation, analytics, AI, and more.

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